Selling Off-Road For On-Road Motorcycles Equals Huge Fines

cagovThe motorcycle you sell, factory or custom, is only for off-road use. But the buyer states (true or not) that you told him he could ride it on the road. Well, watch out, especially in California. The California Air Resource Board just fined $180,000 2 San Diego motorcycle dealers for sales violations. Because off-highway vehicles, motorcycles, ATV, cars, etc don’t have to meet the same requirements that on-road vehicles, notably for emission standards, it is illegal to sell off-road vehicles to be ridden on the public streets, roads and highways. CARB reminds Dealers that there is not such a thing as a kit conversion making an off-road vehicle an on-road one for registration purpose.


12 Responses to “Selling Off-Road For On-Road Motorcycles Equals Huge Fines”

  1. 1 TPEvans Sep 6th, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Any state that produces a Feinstein and a Boxer is bound to produce hundreds if not thousands more of this type at all levels of government, including that agency known as CARB. It may well be too late to save this once great state.

    I am sure California is going to be so beautiful once all of the people get fed up with this BS and leave. Perhaps then CARB will be pleased.

    For those who believe that there is absolutely no limit on the restriction of individual freedoms than can be taken in the name of the environment, I ask how exactly are you going to get the ChiCom’s to go along with you? You won’t. And that is one of the big reasons why all the stuff we buy will come from there, or a location managed by the Chinese.

    Again, we are doing this to ourselves.

  2. 2 Dave Blevins Sep 6th, 2009 at 8:39 am

    What are the actual details in this case… what was sold, a custom show bike or an actual off-road bike said to be operable on the highway? Possibly a bike with “off road use only” accessories or engine mods?

  3. 3 LegalMatters Sep 6th, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Dave. It doesn’t matter if it is a manufacturer off-road motorcycle or a custom motorcycle sold as on-road. The law is the same. If a client come to ask you to build a custom motorcycle that cannot be registered for on-road use, the client can ask for a refund, sue you for damages and report you to CARB. It’s a case of fraud and breach of contract. You better off have your client sign that the custom bike is built only following his wish list, that you make no promise about the possible legal use of the motorcycle, and that he is responsible for making the modifications/alterations required by law to register it for on-road use. There is no discussion. It’s the law. In case you didn’t know, creative custom building in California is dead. Forever! Other states going to enforce, too. Trust me.

  4. 4 Dave Blevins Sep 6th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    I understand that, I am just curious about the details of what was illegally done in this (these) cases in the headline. Was it scooters, ATVs, dirt bikes turned into street bikes, titling issues, fake titles, etc. That’s what I meant, the CARB stuff is obvious, but I think there may be more to the story here.

  5. 5 nicker Sep 6th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    We, there are several issues at play here. The primary one being CARB’s authority (perceived -vs- mandated).

    Certainly anyone or any entity has as much authority (or power) as they can “command.”
    (every kid learns that in the school yard at a very early age).

    CARB has the mandate to define what is required for newly constructed motorcycles.

    CARB does not yet have the mandate to restrict existing, legal registrations.

    This is a great example.
    “…CARB reminds Dealers that there is not such a thing as a kit conversion making an off-road vehicle an on-road one for registration purpose…”

    Well, as a general statement, that is simply not true.

    A LKX250 in 1978 could be purchased with a dual-sport option.
    Looking at the parts list, the “Kit” appears to includes lights for street use.
    (the alternator for that year KLX came with a lighting power lead)

    However, CARB has restricted CA-DMV from re-registering “ALL” dirt bikes as Dual-sport.
    (if it didn.t come off the showroom as a Dual-sport it stays in the dirt)

    The point of the KLX example is that CARB is in violation of ex post facto, but couldn’t care less because they are the 900lb gorilla. The “Kit” (even one that exists) is totally irrelevant to them.

    Looks to me like CA builders are gonna be limited to CA customers with a scooter that already has a current registration (is already in the CA-DMV system).


  6. 6 Fluke Sep 6th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Two companies called GP Motorcycles and Moto Forza were fined 90,000$ each for mis-selling Off road only Husquarvana dirt bikes illegally converted to “on road” use with respective registrations.

  7. 7 Mike Kiwi Tomas, Kiwi Indian Motorcycles Sep 7th, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Education would have been a good solution rather than a money hungry penalty. If you argue with them the fine goes up. Jesse James was a classic case where they wanted to make an example out of a company. There is no way any business can keep up on all the rules and regulations and a simple educational visit would certainly go a long way. Neither company is a bad company. Calif Gov needs money and this is just another example. On the other side of the coin the South Dakota Gov office has organised a meeting with us to expand our company presence in their state with econonic incentives. All I get from the Calif govs office is another bill.

  8. 8 bigalyts Sep 7th, 2009 at 8:30 am

    California Rules and then Florida Follows.

  9. 9 JP Sep 7th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    If CA rules then FL follows…medical MJ coming soon to a corner near u

  10. 10 Stephen Sep 7th, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Welcome to the police state. We’ve had a police state in Australia for years. What they want you to do is forget your USA made customs and buy “nice” Jap sport bikes.

    The big Jap companies paid off our govt so the govt changed the rules so that only Jap bikes could comply with the “new” “safety” standards. Folks don’t let your govt do to you what they did to us downunder. Stand up now before they “revise” the motorcycle riders test to suit a 250cc Jap bike.

  11. 11 nicker Sep 8th, 2009 at 1:10 pm


    Thanks so much for the first hand warning.
    Too bad so many Americans are “Oblivious”…. and so we have ….”Obama”
    And soon we’ll also have an Australian gun ban.
    Not to mention a UK health care.

    Ya, between the Greens and the global Marxists, about the only thing we’ll be able to customize and ride will be our Toilets.
    And even they are increasingly under the control of the CA water agencies…… 🙁

    Please pay attention to what your elected officials are doing and make phone calls when ya see something you don’t like.


  12. 12 Boss Hawg Sep 8th, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Pretty Simple…$10,000.00 per Occurence per Day!

    This link to the EPA will answer questions some know and most don’t.

    Yes, it takes a few moments to read and hours to digest. But if you ask me, the EPA could put the hammer down on virtually any dealer or any shop they want including all those pipes, breathers, fuel chips, and Twin Cam modifications made by dealers ans shops alike.

    Don’t piss of the buyer…he may just turn your dealership or shop in!

    Boss Hawg

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