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FT: Frame (Twin) UFM Assemblies



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vin998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#3
Are they assigned a number and stamped?

(Website shows out of stock.)
Issuing frame numbers in the UK is tricky as the UK registration authority (DVLA) takes the frame number as the vehicles identity and links the frame number to the registration. The engine number is recorded as well, but engines can be swapped, and so its the frame number that is important.
In the UK if a vehicle is over 25 years old it will qualify a historic taxation class and so is free to tax for road use. The DVLA take the 25 years from the proven age of the frame and engine via their numbers etc. Hence the reason for the checks when issuing VOC dating certificates.
Any new UFM can be issued with a new frame number which follows RE##### (yes RE) . In the UK it would not be possible to register a Vincent with the DVLA with a new UFM for historic tax class as it's classed as a brand new frame and so you would be looking at Q plate if your lucky. You may need to pass modern type approval etc and at the worst you could have a bike that could not be registered for road use in UK.
Of course there are some owners who may chance their luck with a box of number stamp but they usually get found out.

Simon
 

peter holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#4
I will very gingerly put my head above the parapet, what was the point of manufacturing complete UFMs if we end up with a machine that cannot be used on British roads, and is presumedly only of any use for museum display purposes, could not the RFM number be used to determine the age of the machine and the UFM just stamped with the type designation but not a number that matches the RFM. With the Vincent factory closing its doors 63 years ago, here is a hypothetical question, if there was a stash of UFMs left over from those bygone days, not such a daft thought as there were some factory original parts for sale at this years annual rally, would those UFMs qualify for the DVLA 25 year rule even though they were unstamped, and then if they were stamped what numbers could be used. This is all very relevant to me as I had a pretty serious crash about 10 years ago and my original headstock casting was wrecked with the bearing housings ovaled and cracked, I managed to purchase a replacement UFM complete from Ron Kemp, I decided to retain the factory stampings on the replacement but had a small aluminium plate stamped up with my existing numbers and just araldited the little plate over the existing number, no filing or restamping took place.
It might be possible to reinstate my original UFM at some point if the bearing housings can be repaired a little and then machined to accept taper roller bearings, something for me to consider.

I can of course see there could be problem with indiscriminately stamping up new UFMs with existing numbers, no one wants a situation whereby there is more than one machine displaying the same frame numbers, but in a case like mine I would have been more than happy to hand my damaged headlug casting into the Spares Club in exchange for a replacement casting stamped up with the correct number, perhaps with an additional feature to distinguish from an original part if that is deemed important, no one is trying hoodwink anyone here, we are not trying to make £20K Comets into £658K Black Lightnings, we are just trying to keep our beloved steeds on the roads where they should be, not in museums.
 

vin998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#5
The DVLA will allow you to replace a damaged frame (UFM) for a new one and transfer the frame number, but only if the bike is already registered with them and you prove to them you have the genuine damaged item and that the new one is an exact replacement. I don't know what exactly is involved as its not something I have ever done. Then there is the question of how will potential purchasers view the bike if you ever sold it?

As for a genuine headstock with no number. The DVLA and VOC identify and date a UFM by the frame number stamped on the headstock. No number makes it difficulty to prove the identity and thus the age. The DVLA may issue frame number in the format of DVLAS######## but that is their decision.

The DVLA rules are constantly been tightened up. They are aware that there is fraudlant activity to try and gain registrations.
 
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Dinny

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#6
Soon there will be more Vincents in existence than were ever made and the line has been crossed with producing new machines. Does it dilute the brand, I'm not sure but we live in a world where you can build a new Spitfire and as long as you have the original data plate (or providence back to the data plate) then the CAA will allow you to register it as the original serial number.

Crazy times, I remember in the 80's it was impossible to buy a twin engine or crankcases, now they just come off the shelf...

My view is, if these parts are produced then they will at some point end up stamped as originals by someone, somewhere and it will be hard to identify whats original in another 20 years.

Mark
 

chrislaun

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#7
I'm afraid in another twenty years they will probably be worthless and no one will care what's original, we won't be able to use them, they'll only be museum pieces, I hope not but that's the way things are going.
Aside from that I cannot see what's wrong with having new UFM's RFM's and crankcases, everything else could be replaced and no one would bat an eyelid.
I myself have a replica bike, the owners club know it's a replica and are quite happy with it. the machine registrar has a record of it's frame and engine numbers and registration, I always freely admit to it being a replica when discussing it, thus helping prevent it ever being passed off as genuine.

Chris.
 

greg brillus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#8
I see no reason why new parts cannot be stamped with numbers that follow on from the last of the factory records. Even if new parts are supplied, there is never going to be enough made and put on the roads that will be of any major impact on total existing Vincent numbers, how many originals got broken up for parts from wrecks, turned into Norvin's, Egli's, speedway racing sidecars and so on. Not indifferent to new Manx's bought and their engines used in Cooper type cars..........well the frames for Norvins and similar Hybrids had to come from somewhere. There is too much hype and drama about all these numbers. Anyone wanting to re-stamp parts to create a fake machine are really kidding themselves these days, and there are few who would actually possess the correct original font type letter/number stamps to make them look totally authentic anyway. Modern stamp fonts are very plain, and easily recognizable. In the near future I wish to build another twin using new cases and most likely a new upper and rear frames. I have no desire to stamp them with numbers that are in the mix of the originals, but would like them to at least simulate the originals.......Is this going to be possible..........Remember I live in Australia, so our rules are strict, but I don't think they are as restrictive as yours.
 

Dinny

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#9
I do not want to appear negative about producing replicas as long as that is what they remain, my issue is when a modern part is stamped as an original and passed off as such to an unknowing buyer.

My Series A has a replacement RFM with no number and that is how it shall stay. I have the original front frame so it's not an issue to me to register it when I get the damn thing finished... If people like Neal V did not produce these parts then I would be stuck with a bike that has no rear end. I would rather fit replica parts to complete the project and get it on the road than to have it sit under a bench for another 50 years.

At least it's now on top of the bench and may well run after collecting dust for who knows how long.

Mark
 

vin998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#10
Greg
The problem is if you built your replica with a brand new engine & UFM in the U.K. the DVLA (UK registration authority) would not allow you to register it for road use. They would consider it a brand new bike and so it would have to pass modern safety regulations and emissions which is something a Vincent couldn't do today. Something like one of the series A twins made in Australia would be impossible to register for use on the road in U.K. The authorities would not allow it.
Original factory built bikes have to be proven to be of a certain age before they can be registered and used and are then classed as historic. Hence the reason the numbers are important as they help authenticate a bike is "historic" and so the reverse side is the temptation for owners to try and fudge the numbers so they can register & use a bike. Because of this there are quite a few replica engines in U.K. that their owners are passing off as the real thing and replica frames will just make it worst.
Of course this is the situation in U.K. Other countries will be different with some even worst. I believe the rules are even stricter in Germany.
 

peter holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#11
The Spares Club built Black Shadow that was auctioned off and now resides in a museum in New Zealand, Nelson I believe, was built entirely from new parts, did not that end up with a UK registration giving it legal access to our roads, or have the rules changed in the intervening years.
Correction, The club Black Shadow now resides in Invercargill, Bert Munroe's hometown, sad isn't it, it could have been thrown together with no internal engine components whatsoever, in fact the whole thing could have been made out of paper mache and it would have made no difference for the use it is getting, lets hope at some point someone gets it out of there and uses it. I wish I had had 35k sloshing around in my bank account in 2007, it sure as hell would have some miles on it by now.
 
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vin998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#12
The Spares Club built Black Shadow that was auctioned off and now resides in a museum in New Zealand, Nelson I believe, was built entirely from new parts, did not that end up with a UK registration giving it legal access to our roads, or have the rules changed in the intervening years.
Yes it did end up with a UK registration. After a lot of negotiations by my predecessor Gordon and other VOC members the DVLA allowed it as a one off. It was not classed as historic, but as a new modern bike and still had to pass quite a few of the regulation as of 10 years ago. The DVLA & DOT said they would not allow another hence the reason no more have been built. Today the rules are even tighter as emissions have been tightened up. I believe it's very difficult to get an air cooled engine pass even with fuel injection etc.
 

Bill Cannon

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#13
In the course of my business, we frequently replace frame members.
They do not come numbered from BMW, we have to get them professionally engraved with the existing number..
There is no requirement to inform DVLA or return the old frame member.
Bill
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#14
In the course of my business, we frequently replace frame members.
They do not come numbered from BMW, we have to get them professionally engraved with the existing number..
There is no requirement to inform DVLA or return the old frame member.
Bill
I would have thought that was what was done by Vincents in the old days, Seems a good idea to me.
Many years ago I was involved with a Big Car Garage who did Crash Repairs, Some where Huge, If a car was New ish, It would be hard to write it off, One we started with just the floor !!, I did the engine out etc and suspension, But as long as the bit of bodywork had the numbers it was still the same car !!.
It's a shame just a few people making big money, Mess it up for us who are just trying to keep this stuff on the road, We should be paid for trying to keep a bit of History. Cheers Bill.
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#15
When we built our Egli Racer with a new engine we applied to the VOC registrar for an engine number and thats what we stamped on it.
I hear what Chrislaun says about the future but its up to us to support all the organisations like the BMF MAG (why are they not combined yet?) the FBHVC and LARA and other bodies to keep our roads free for pleasure as well as transport.
 

peter holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#16
I am not sure how the French equivalent of DVLA deal with such matters, but in a conversation I had with Patrick Godet earlier this year he intimated that he is running out of options to register brand new Egli Vincents, meanwhile there are thousands of VW cars, and most other makes also that are being driven around after declaring false emission figures, probably far more polluting than a brand new, normally aspirated Vincent.
 

greg brillus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#17
At the end of the day all their smart ass answers mean nothing except the huge feeling of importance they must feel when they can knock something back. Who in the hell is going to mass produce these bikes.............have you actually ever sat down and added up the total cost of parts to produce a new one, plus the cost of labour these days to assemble and fine tune one ready to sell................It's never going to happen............. The facts are that these parts that represent the main back bone of a bike are not going to be available too much longer. The best thing anyone can do is put some form of numbers on them that is similar to the originals, and tell the authorities as little info as they need to get the machine registered.......The more you tell them the closer you are to hanging yourself. I go out of my way to make sure the original numbers are visible...........When you get some high paid white collar worker at the registry office telling you to sand off the paint on the Shadow engine so they can read it ..................That does not go down well with me.
 

plasticbeer

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#18
At the end of the day all their smart ass answers mean nothing except the huge feeling of importance they must feel when they can knock something back. Who in the hell is going to mass produce these bikes.............have you actually ever sat down and added up the total cost of parts to produce a new one, plus the cost of labour these days to assemble and fine tune one ready to sell................It's never going to happen............. The facts are that these parts that represent the main back bone of a bike are not going to be available too much longer. The best thing anyone can do is put some form of numbers on them that is similar to the originals, and tell the authorities as little info as they need to get the machine registered.......The more you tell them the closer you are to hanging yourself. I go out of my way to make sure the original numbers are visible...........When you get some high paid white collar worker at the registry office telling you to sand off the paint on the Shadow engine so they can read it ..................That does not go down well with me.
It's fantastic that most spares can be bought that are brand new and of a good standard, but it does carry risk. A pair of new crankcases can now be had that are better quality than the ones that came out of Stevenage, yet a pair of originals usually cost more. This suggests most owners are more interested in originality than quality of the part.
So far so good, any attempt to pass off new for old by stamping #s is therefore done for potential gain. The old fashioned name for this was fraud, no idea what the modern terminology is.

Vince Farrell
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#20
At the same Auction that the new Shadow was sold an old Rapide went for a higher priceo_O, There you have it, a brand new sorted Shadow! that had already been fettled by the best hands in the club ridden by the press to great aclaim and was ready to ride for years and years,
No-one in the club wanted it so it went to Auction fortunately the sum paid covered the Clubs outlay but it is a sad reflection of the times, as that new Shadow now sits in a NZ museum:mad:, I doubt it did 1000 miles I think those facts say more about modern attitudes to Vincents than anything.
 
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