In all European countries, many bikers have been importing their Harley-Davidson motorcycles directly from the United States and not dealing with the official Harley Davidson dealers of their local countries. In Spain, it is alleged that documents of these imported bikes have been altered to make them meet European regulations.
Mechanics and other employees who work for Spanish ITV/MOT testing stations (the equivalent of DOT in the USA) have been arrested and face charges of fraud and falsification of documents. None of those arrested have yet been indicted. Police is stopping and inspecting as many Harley riders as possible, checking their documents (titles, VIN numbers), with many having their driver licenses confiscated and being told that they can’t no more ride their Harleys.
Harley Davidson says that since 2003 all motorcycles made for the European market carry the code 5HD on their VIN numbers, while those bikes with USA specification have the code 1HD. Those riding with the code 1H are specifically targeted by Spanish police. Some legal representatives of these importing companies have even claimed that Harley Davidson España is behind the altering of the technical documents…While the investigation is going on, Spanish bikers organize protest rides… (photo EFE)