I think I'm living in the Twilight Zone

peabodyracin

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
6:02 AM
Joined
Jul 10, 2015
Messages
1,010
Reaction score
1,180
Location
Minnesota
I've gotta put this one out there. Last fall I bought a really clean 2004 Yamaha V-Star from the original owner. Seemed like a very nice guy. Bike had been sitting for about 6 years. He advertised it as 'won't start'. Battery was of course stone dead and gas in it smelled awful, so I bought it expecting the usual routine to get things back in order. Got it home and with about 15 minutes of checking things over determined the engine to be locked up tight. I guess he was technically correct in his statement. My fault for not checking it out more before handing over the money.

Bought a clean, low mile engine and over the winter replaced it, giving everything else the once over. Bike turned out very well. In May I advertised it for sale, laying out the entire history of the bike for anyone who might be interested. I wanted to sell it to look for an enclosed trailer. After 3-4 days I'm contacted by a guy about an hour away wondering if I'd be interested in trading the bike for an enclosed trailer. I couldn't believe my good fortune! I hauled the bike to his place, looked over the trailer and was very pleased with its' condition.

This guy also seemed a really decent sort. Story was he'd gone through a difficult divorce, down on his luck and needed something good on gas. The trailer background was he'd bought it a year previous from an old guy who'd lost the registration card. (This is a real common issue with smaller trailers here. The state issues a lifetime license sticker and just sends you a post card size registration slip. The sticker goes on the tongue of the trailer and you never have to renew the tag. I've run into this a lot over the years, where the owner has lost the card. I've seen it so much I'd quit worrying about it) We made the trade. He wrote me up a nice bill of sale, signed and dated. I dragged the trailer home thinking things worked out pretty good after all.

About a month ago I get a call from a sheriff in a neighboring county. Net is he's investigating a stolen trailer and thinks I may have it. I make it a point to call the county directly to connect with this guy so I know he's for real. He tells me the motorcycle is still registered to me. The guy I made the trade with is "a prolific thief". If he can determine the trailer I have is stolen, he can seize the bike, and once things are processed I'd get the bike back. I send him some photos of the trailer per his request. Don't hear anything further. I figure, false alarm or the guy's too busy to focus on it.

Two weeks ago I get a call from an investigator in another county. Here too I make it a point to call the police dept directly to get connected to this guy as I'm starting to get a bit paranoid. Net of this is he's involved because the guy was killed on the motorcycle the previous weekend. He and a girl were found in a ditch out in the country. He was dead at the scene and the girl in serious condition at the hospital so they'd not been able to interview her to see what happened. I tell him about my previous discussion with the sheriff. He asks for photos and within 10 minutes is back to confirm I have the stolen trailer. He further tells me the bike is still registered to me and asks if I want it. I have mixed emotions at this point, but decided I might as well go get it to see what I might recover since I'm about to be out a good running bike and a trailer. I pick it up the next day. The bike looks like hell. It had obviously been upside down, there'd been a fire as most of the seat is melted. The handle bars are broken off, etc.

I then hear from the previous owner of the trailer. Nice guy. Tells me he's already been paid by his insurance company so it's technically theirs now and he'll advise them of me having it so they can come get it. I ask if he'd inquire on my behalf about possibly purchasing it from them as I still need a trailer. He says he will.

Trailer guy calls me the next day to say the insurance folks will sell the trailer back to him and he's told them he'll take it and is sending them a check that afternoon. If I want the trailer I can then buy it from him for what he's paid for it. I was quite struck by how decent he was about the whole deal. He just said " I know you're out money on this deal. I'm whole because of the insurance settlement, so am glad to help you recover somewhat." I couldn't tell him how grateful I was for his actions.

Last Thursday while I'm at work a girl stops at my house and knocks on the door. My wife answers. Story is she is the girlfriend of the guy who was killed and is pregnant with his child. She's says she got our address from the title for the motorcycle. (This is clearly not the girl who was on the bike when it crashed. I found out that girl had some pretty good burns). This girl at the house is quite emotional (or a really good actress), says the funeral was a closed casket and she'd like to see the motorcycle for closure. Fortunately my wife has the presence of mind to not let her in the garage. She provides our home phone number and says she can call me that evening. She hasn't called back yet anyway.

Within an hour, there's a message on the answering machine from a guy claiming to be the nephew of the guy who was killed. He's wanting to see the motorcycle. I've had about enough of this by now and just delete the message.
Later that same day there's yet another message from a reporter supposedly at a TV station who's trying to do a special interest story on the crash and wants to come get video of the motorcycle. I deleted that one too.

I'm starting to think there's still more to the story than I'm aware of. I've torn the bike down enough already to know if there were drugs stashed on it somewhere. Perhaps they've visions of trying to claim the motorcycle. Making sure everything is locked up tight around the homestead, cars parked in front of the garage doors, etc. I'm waiting to see what happens this week now. I do have to brush up on my people reading skills.

SANY0003.JPG
 

DeltaV

Endeavor to persevere
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
7:02 AM
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
17,272
Reaction score
52,216
Location
Coastal Georgia
Bingo. Something is up. Call the Sheriff's office. Let them handle it.
 

1STMP

Well-Known Member
Local time
5:02 AM
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
1,572
Reaction score
2,753
Location
Roswell, New Mexico
Could it be that those involved believe
themselves entitled to insurance
payouts? Might be a good idea to contact
your insurance company to see where you
stand, seeing as the bike is still in your
name. I think certain people are looking
for the goose that laid the proverbial
golden egg. At this point, the trailer is
out of the picture, as a human death is
involved. Just my .02.....
Could be that they're claiming fault with
the bike that caused the injuries.
 
Last edited:

guy gadbois

Well-Known Member
Local time
12:02 PM
Joined
Apr 7, 2021
Messages
237
Reaction score
580
Location
Principality of Sealand
Looks like someone is trying to find a way to pin some liability on you ; part out anything "save-able" , then get rid of the carcass. Now.
 

Hey-O

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
6:02 AM
Joined
Nov 21, 2018
Messages
17,761
Reaction score
64,149
Location
St. Charles, MO
My people skills are fine, what I don't have time for is all the drama that comes with selling stuff. Stuff around the house I give to friends in need and cars go to the dealer or sold. Most of my cars are sold to friends who know me and the car. I cleaned out my garage once by telling a friend in the car world to come get this sbc 406 for 50 bucks. He brings his friends and that 50 buck engine gets me at least a 200 dollar offer because they know it's worth more than that and they feel guilty. They haul everything off and I get my garage clean and my 50 bucks for my engine. They owe me, not really, but they think so. If I need something they are there in a heart beat, everyone is happy and that's the way I like it.

In Missouri we have to report to the state the car was sold. That way they can come for him if the car is not reregistered in a timely fashion. Trailers are titled, outboard boat motors, and at one point so were trolling motors. It's all about receiving tax for them by the state, but it also keeps an eye on who's doing what.
This is not your fault, but had he killed someone on that bike and it's registered to you, who could they come for. I know the reason the state wants to know about the sale is to continue to collect taxes, not a favor to me, but it works to get you from under it. The tighter thinks get, the worse it gets with people trying to get over on people. This is why I have two attorneys. one to ask question like this and the other, a criminal defense attorney for me, when I break someone freaking neck.
 

YY1

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
7:02 AM
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
22,293
Reaction score
15,908
Location
FL
My mom sold a car once to a buy here, pay here lot/garage because the transmission was about to go out (was clearly disclosed as such).
The lot sold the car to someone else without fixing the trans.
Neither the lot, nor the new "owner" ever bothered to register the car.
Sheriff 2 counties away calls my mom at 2:00 am telling her to come get her car, which is on the side of the road.
Had to explain in detail exactly what happened, and almost forcefully explain that we were NOT going to come get it.

If it were me, I'd pull that engine if it still runs, and scrap that bike, or cut it up and scrap the VIN/frame.
 

peabodyracin

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
6:02 AM
Joined
Jul 10, 2015
Messages
1,010
Reaction score
1,180
Location
Minnesota
I've certainly thought of the insurance claim potential. I also understand the thoughts about scrapping or destroying the remains. However, that doesn't seem to do anything toward removing liability exposures, be they real or imagined.

It turns out the bike still runs and sounds good. Most of the damage is cosmetic. Frame, rims and front forks are still straight. Parts are plentiful and cheap online. They must have sold these things by the boat load. I've priced out what I'd need and it looks like I could get it legal and functional for about $300. Come spring it should still be a $1200 bike. Going to lay low for now and see what happens next.

Truth is so often stranger than fiction.
 

Ghostrider 67

Power corrupts.....lol.....
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
7:02 AM
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Messages
27,732
Reaction score
59,924
Location
Salisbury, Vermont
Makes me wonder what's on/in that bike that is so interesting to these people that they would risk showing up at your door for it? Look in the gas tank and oil tank. Pull the tires off the rims.
 

Moparnocar

Well-Known Member
Local time
6:02 AM
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
786
Reaction score
343
Location
Mahtomedi
I've certainly thought of the insurance claim potential. I also understand the thoughts about scrapping or destroying the remains. However, that doesn't seem to do anything toward removing liability exposures, be they real or imagined.

It turns out the bike still runs and sounds good. Most of the damage is cosmetic. Frame, rims and front forks are still straight. Parts are plentiful and cheap online. They must have sold these things by the boat load. I've priced out what I'd need and it looks like I could get it legal and functional for about $300. Come spring it should still be a $1200 bike. Going to lay low for now and see what happens next.

Truth is so often stranger than fiction.
Why did so many people wanna See it......that's what I don't get
 

Ron H

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
6:02 AM
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
7,520
Reaction score
8,370
Location
WI
Years ago I had a Dodge wagon and my dad took it transferring the title to my folks names. He drove it a few years then sells it for cheap to a person of color dude signing off the title handing it to him. Couple months go by and my folks get a call from the nearby city PD saying the car has a few hundred bucks in parking tickets and it’s parked in a real shitty part of town to be towed. Car was never re-titled in this guy’s name. My dad had the brainstorm calling me to take him down to where the car is talk to the guy who owns it (longer story here) but my mother goes ape-**** saying don’t think of going there.

Anyway, ever since, having sold over half dozen vehicles over the years, I NEVER give the title to the buyer getting agreement that we can drop the title in the mail together providing a stamped-addressed envelope for mailing it to the DMV. Have a pre-written selling agreement that the vehicle is sold AS-IS, noting the mileage, time of sale, etc. giving the buyer a copy.

Buddy bought a 14k lb trailer six months ago for four grand and trusted the seller to send him the title for it. Still waiting. Come to find the seller wasn’t the owner and it has a lien on it. Seller had a sizeable biz he was closing up and seems evident he had done work on it and the owner never paid him for it, so he held on to it. Yep, he’s been kicking himself for letting this ****-show happen..
 

YY1

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
7:02 AM
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
22,293
Reaction score
15,908
Location
FL
The BOS you got lists the bike as payment for the trailer (sounds like evidence of a crime to me)?

Usually those are "as is", but not sure of your state.

That sounds like a legal document to me.

Just because the other party failed to register in their name (which also sounds like a crime, to me), shouldn't make you liable.

In FL, If I buy something, I get the title, unless I know there isn't one.

In FL, if you sell something, there's not a lot you can do if the buyer fails to register, because of the above.

In FL, you have 10 days to register a vehicle after ownership changes.
 

Geetex

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
6:02 AM
Joined
Nov 17, 2019
Messages
855
Reaction score
1,110
Location
Illinois
Makes me wonder what's on/in that bike that is so interesting to these people that they would risk showing up at your door for it? Look in the gas tank and oil tank. Pull the tires off the rims.
I doubt there's anything in/on it. I suspect that they are private investigators working for the attorney that is working for the injured girl or the dead guy's family. It seems they need to verify that the bike is at the residence, possibly for a warrant, and they probably also want some pictures, maybe for evidence. Whoever they are, they seem to be trying to do things legally, misrepresented but legal. If they were dealers or some other criminal types, they would have just broken into the garage, taken the bike, and would have no problem inflicting bodily harm on anyone who tried to stop them, that's how those people operate.

peabody, you inadvertently got yourself into a bad situation, I feel bad for you. Because the bike is in your name you are probably liable for any death, injuries, or damage caused by the bike or its operator. Since you sold the bike, I doubt that you still had insurance, which leaves you holding the entire bag. If I was in your shoes I'd get the cops involved, if for no other reason, than to have everything on record with the police in case the **** hits the fan and if I didn't already have one, I'd get an attorney lined up so that I'd know exactly who to call if the time comes. I hope I'm wrong and everything works out well for you.
 

WileERobby

Well-Known Member
Local time
7:02 AM
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Messages
12,632
Reaction score
21,236
Location
State of insanity
My empathy for you, Bud. I've never been a fan of "trades", always seemed like a neat way to pass along illegitimate goods, especially when the trader's name appears on nothing.
 

YY1

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
7:02 AM
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
22,293
Reaction score
15,908
Location
FL
OP got the bike back from the LEO, so they are already involved.

I will refrain from red-x ing Geetex, but I totally disagree with almost all of what he said,
 
Top