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Re stamped numbers #635096 01/14/16 10:17 am
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Tadbrenner Offline OP
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I've followed this forum for about a year and have been disturbed by the frequency of fake and re stamped numbers. It would at least appear that GS's are the greatest targets simply because of the external appearance of lesser crank cases. Though not
Directly on topic lot 153 was sold a the recent Bonhams Las Vegas auction. To the credit of Bonhams they caught the restamp after publication of their catalog and revealed the fact to buyers. What shocked me was the fact that this bike had passed through very well known and knowledgable hands before the issue was identified by Bonhams. Granted only about 100 MX100 Brough Superiors were made and the factory kept good records-hence catching this one was relatively easy. My ultimate question is whether some type of data base could be kept to protect buyers from these fakes. The bike at Bonhams sold for about one third of what the real thing would bring and the buyer undoubtedly got a beautiful and well sorted rider. I'm afraid that such a result is the exception and not the rule.

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Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635098 01/14/16 10:37 am
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If only there were a Gold Star Buyer's Companion to educate buyers on what to look for and what to avoid...


1966 Triton
1962 BSA DBD34 Gold Star
1966 Triumph Bonneville
Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Swan] #635115 01/14/16 12:32 pm
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Jerry Roy Offline
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Originally Posted by Swan
If only there were a Gold Star Buyer's Companion to educate buyers on what to look for and what to avoid...


Yes, such a book would be a magnet to those looking for such information. blush

CZ

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Jerry Roy] #635118 01/14/16 1:10 pm
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Magnetoman Online Content
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Originally Posted by Jerry Roy
Originally Posted by Swan
If only there were a Gold Star Buyer's Companion to educate buyers on what to look for and what to avoid...
Yes, such a book would be a magnet to those looking for such information.
+1

In all seriousness, given that there is such an easily accessible resource I don't have much sympathy for anyone who pays $20k+ for a Gold Star without having this book by their side. Not just for spotting engine numbers, but for the frame, gearbox ($2k for an RRT2 these days, vs. $200 for a STD that could be restamped), sheet metal, etc.

The Gold Star Owners Club has the despatch records, i.e. the database, so they can tell you if a given number engine you just bought left the factor with a given number frame. But, they can't tell you if the bike you're looking at has had its numbers restamped.

As an example of the limitation of a database for preventing fraud, the first BB Gold Star was stamped -101 and two years later the year started with them at -2001. Any unscrupulous person can take an inexpensive 350cc ZB31 or BB31 engine, stamp it with an arbitrary number within that 101-2001 range, say BB.34.GS.666, and odds are very high a check of the despatch records will show that a 500cc Gold Star left the factory with that number. That genuine machine might even still exist, but no international database of currently registered motorcycles exists now nor is likely to in our lifetime.

The point is, a database doesn't help against such all-to-common forgeries. The only defense against such forgeries is knowing what factory stamped numbers look like. Also, in knowing how to identify a genuine RRT2 as opposed to an altered STD. And so on. Fortunately, all of this is in the book Swan (and I!) recommend.

As the OP wrote, "the fact that this bike had passed through very well known and knowledgable hands before the issue was identified" tells you you're on your own, i.e. you can't rely on what you're told by sellers, and you can't rely on a database. To quote Isle of Man winner Ronald Reagan, "Trust that the 'Gold Star' you're being offered might be genuine, but hand over your money only after you've verified it for yourself."

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635197 01/15/16 2:10 am
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Elijah Offline
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Why wasn't the forgery confiscated by the police & the owner arrested ???

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635198 01/15/16 2:35 am
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Unless you know who did the actual forgery you can't arrest anyone for forgery.

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Elijah] #635199 01/15/16 2:35 am
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Originally Posted by Elijah
Why wasn't the forgery confiscated by the police & the owner arrested ???


Owning isn't a crime, in most countries.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635205 01/15/16 4:52 am
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vincentBSA Offline
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My cases is Unstamp.
I have the same number on each side (661680 on the left and 03 on each side)


[Linked Image]

and on the side with date (with a mistake/reverse on the first stamp...)

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

How to explain the absence of serial number DBD34GSxxxxx ?

Regards

Vincent

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635214 01/15/16 7:22 am
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Elijah Offline
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There have been stories on some HD chat lines about cops raiding swap meets & arresting sellers who had cases with suspect or tampered with # 's ..... in the USA .

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Elijah] #635216 01/15/16 8:24 am
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Hi guys
I was wondering if anyone can post a link to the auction. Thanks

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635220 01/15/16 9:12 am
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The bike in question is not a Goldie, but a 1938 Brough Superior with a restamped Matchless motor recently sold at Bonham's Motorcycle Auction, January 2016. Here is lot 153 auction description. Note the last paragraph indicating another motor with the same serial number already exists in the UK, so the estimate was lowered to $110,000-130,000.

Money does strange things to people. Buyer beware.

Last edited by Swan; 01/15/16 9:35 am.

1966 Triton
1962 BSA DBD34 Gold Star
1966 Triumph Bonneville
Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635265 01/15/16 2:07 pm
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Putting an engine into a Brough gives a reason other than engine theft, for re-stamping.

Passing it off as the original engine would be dishonest, but the auction house is posting a warning.

Of course, future sellers may (will?) attempt to pass it off as original.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635273 01/15/16 3:05 pm
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I heard by someone that was at the Mecum auction that the Triumph GP that did not meet reserve was a replica and this was not disclosed and the owner had some connection to Mecums.


Bill B...


Boomer
Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Boomer] #635279 01/15/16 3:49 pm
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Why would anyone stamp cases? I guess possible reasons are
1) Brand new cases stamped to replace scrapped originals - standard practice for dealers/franchises
2) Replica cases stamped with an original style number away from the original series. - Ok in my view as long as not being passed of as genuine
3) Stamping cases so the owner can kid him/herself they have something the haven't. - There are some really sad ba$tards around
4) Stamping cases to sell something fraudulently. _ The scum of the earth



BSA B31 500 "Stargazer"
Greeves 200 "Blue Meanie"
Greeves 350
Greeves 360
Suzuki GSX1100 EFE "Sorcerers Apprentice"
GM500 sprint/LSR bike "Deofol"
Jawa 500 "Llareggub"
Aprilia RSV Mille "Lo Stregone"
'35 & '36 OK Supreme
Kawasaki ZZR1400 "Kuro no senshi"
Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635288 01/15/16 4:36 pm
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Between GSOC, Gold Star Owner's Companion, and the britbike forum, I felt the eBay seller had represented his auction properly. If I had not had these resources I probably would not have bid for the money it was going for.


Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Magnetoman] #635418 01/16/16 12:03 pm
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Tadbrenner Offline OP
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The buyers companion is undoubtedly a great thing. Unfortunately it also helps to educate the sophisticated crooks. As prices rise crooks will get better and better and forgeries will become much harder to detect. Perhaps there are too many GS's to have an effective registry but it would at least identify if the same number was on a known example. As far as the Bonhams bike the numbers, font and spacing all look right. The only sign of a restamp is that it looks too clean- but people shine things up for auction. This one could have been a $200,000 mistake unless someone had discovered that the same number was already known.

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635432 01/16/16 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Tadbrenner
The buyers companion is undoubtedly a great thing. Unfortunately it also helps to educate the sophisticated crooks. As prices rise crooks will get better and better and forgeries will become much harder to detect. Perhaps there are too many GS's to have an effective registry but it would at least identify if the same number was on a known example. ...
The art world has faced this problem for decades, except in that case millions to hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake on each work, attracting forgers that are highly skilled and highly motivated. Because of this, it's been an ever-escalating battle of wits between the forgers and the authenticators, with scientific tools like Raman spectroscopy, x-ray fluorescence, infrared imaging, etc. being brought to bear as each technique is demonstrated to reveal information relevant to the identification.

It turns out art authentication overlaps with my professional interests (e.g. a few days ago I was invited to speak about my own work on this topic at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg later this year). So, it shouldn't be surprising that I've given a fair bit of thought to the issue of forged Gold Stars and other valuable motorcycles.

One thing in our favor is an overpolished Gold Star in Las Vegas is "only" worth ~$30k, consistent with the fact the highest quality of forgery I've seen thus far hasn't exceeded home shop standards (that said, I can only comment on the forgeries that I could tell were forgeries; perhaps there were ones that fooled me). The less financial gain there is in converting a B31 into a DBD.GS, the less time a forger can afford to spend doing a convincing job on all the details. Also, the less informed that potential buyers are, the less convincing a forgery has to be because they won't know what to look for. Anyway, the latest (5th) edition of The Gold Star Buyer's Companion goes quite a bit beyond just the appearance of the engine numbers for checking the authenticity and it would take someone quite a while to create a convincing forgery of all of the details covered in that book.

As for a registry, it would be impractical for several reasons: too many Gold Stars were made in the first place; how to keep forged ones from being registered as if they were good ones; how to keep forgers from using that registry of engine and frame numbers in their new forgeries; the lack of a U.S., let alone international, motor vehicle database; etc. etc.

For now, I believe that by far a buyer's best defense is making use of the information compiled in that book. If in the future a new generation of better forgers start practicing their "art" at a higher level, a new edition might have to have a chapter on scientific techniques. It doesn't look like that will have to happen for a while, though.

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635433 01/16/16 2:52 pm
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Agreed, Magnetoman.

The best defense against buying a forgery is to study, study, study. Educate yourself on what are the real components used on that year, make and model, what is authentic for the time period in which the bike was manufactured, and what factory variatione were made that model year (if any.)

The best defense against fraud is the educated, informed buyer.
That is one of the reasons this BRITBIKE site exists.

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Irish Swede] #635444 01/16/16 4:23 pm
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Jerry Roy Offline
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Originally Posted by Irish Swede

The best defense against buying a forgery is to study, study, study. Educate yourself on what are the real components used on that year, make and model, what is authentic for the time period in which the bike was manufactured, and what factory variatione were made that model year (if any.)



One of the problems facing the neophyte is that the information of, lets say, the plating used on various fasteners is hard to find. Chrome, nickel, cadmium, bare? Paint colors?
What source do the Concours scrutinizers use, and is it available to the hoi polloi? It probably isn't an issue unless one is trying to build a show bike, but still, it would be nice to be able to find that information without have to assemble a library similar to MM's. (Uuum, I wonder if he issues library cards? wink )

JR

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635445 01/16/16 4:43 pm
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In UK if you are building a concours vehicle and the fixings were originally cadmium plated, you are screwed. Go to an electroplaters and ask for cad plate the answer is always NO, not as long as you have a hole in your arse. Cadmium plating is illegal in UK because it is highly toxic


BSA B31 500 "Stargazer"
Greeves 200 "Blue Meanie"
Greeves 350
Greeves 360
Suzuki GSX1100 EFE "Sorcerers Apprentice"
GM500 sprint/LSR bike "Deofol"
Jawa 500 "Llareggub"
Aprilia RSV Mille "Lo Stregone"
'35 & '36 OK Supreme
Kawasaki ZZR1400 "Kuro no senshi"
Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Andy Higham] #635455 01/16/16 6:17 pm
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Jerry Roy Offline
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Does that mean that you cannot import cad plated fasteners?
The aviation maintenance / rebuild facilities still cad plate certain components, because that was what was specified on the type certificate.
In other words, is possession of cad plated parts a crime over there?

JR

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635456 01/16/16 6:17 pm
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Sadly for you Europe riders, not having a supplier, cad plating is available in the US. Over several years I've had various batches of hardware done by Quality Plating in Salt Lake City, Utah. BTW, they do mail order business. Perfect work on pieces as small screws/nuts/spokes/nipples/etc. and axles and other largish pieces. I always soak the stuff in carb cleaner and fine wire wheel clean pieces before sending them over. They will acid dip clean but I want to eliminate any issues.

http://www.qualityplating.com/

Last edited by dave - NV; 01/16/16 6:22 pm.

Dave - NV
Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635477 01/16/16 11:12 pm
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Cad plating is ok in EU for aviation but not for anything else. Its also ok to have it done outside EU as its the plating operation that is banned not cadmium.

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635508 01/17/16 11:32 am
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Graham Sullivan Offline
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Greetings boys and girls. I have three pertinent inputs to this thread.

I am the third owner of my 1959 Gold. The second owner (a good friend of mine in the Rocker days at the Ace Cafe, [Johnny Kemp, where are you now?]) bought it in 1963 but sold it to me a few years later as he fell in love and he went off and got married.

The RRT2 sandwich plate is unstamped. It was like it when he bought the bike and neither he nor I really gave a sod about it in those days. Nowadays it looks like a 'dodgy box' to anyone who buys it (after I croak, that is), so here is a possible 'ringer' to any future purchaser. Live with it is my motto, because I know better, but that won't hold up today or when I'm dead.

The same goes for the BSA Works experimental 2LS front brake on the bike. John worked in Smiths Industries at Cricklewood, North London, back in the day and he was always coming home with bits and pieces given to him by the BSA reps (Police speedometers etc). But the brake has no written provenance but as I helped him fit it the day he came home with it I KNOW it is legit. But once again, time has worked its magic to any future buyer.

Now a word on the business of 'stamping' in all its forms. Early 1969 another mate was running very late putting his Gold together ready to go to the Island. He opted to flog it (80, I think) and use the money to buy a Runner. The bloke who bought it was known to us all so when he offered 50 as a deposit he was allowed to take the bike away. You can guess the rest. Never seen again by any of us.

All that was left was the log book.

About five or six years later he sold the log book. I remember at the time it made me laugh that anyone would be so desperate as to want to buy a bit of paper and I nearly died laughing when he finally ripped it out of my mate's hand for over 100! That's what I paid for Kempy's Gold, log book and all!

Apparently the geezer's Gold was a bitzer and he wanted to make his bike 'match'.

In the late 60's provenance wasn't much of a problem. Nowadays it appears to be more than the metal.

So, the moral of the story is don't believe an old log book is correct as there is no real date record of an engine change and later the frame change and these details will be forgotten about by the new log books we have today.

I have the original buff book so I can enjoy 'proof absolute' and everything ties up (except the 'fake' RRT2 box and dodgy front brake!)

Be on your guard boys and girls, remember EVERYBODY is out to get you, even your friends - in some cases!

Graham.

Re: Re stamped numbers [Re: Tadbrenner] #635694 01/18/16 2:07 pm
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Graham I agree with your comments, who knows what's gone on in over half a century.

My present Goldie threw a rod in 1963, and was subsequently fitted with a new set of genuine BSA unstamped case's, as in Andy's point one. Yes it makes it none original, but NOT none genuine. The same principal would also apply to a genuine new frame. I can't imagine every BSA dealer would have had a set of stamps, with the exact same font as used by the factory. As said who was bothered about it at the time.
I too have the original buff log book, as 'proof absolute'. Who will be dealing with that one come the time I don't know, I just ride and enjoy it, it will be up to the purchaser to form there own opinion.
I can quite appreciate the need for somebody who is contemplating buying a Goldstar wanting to verify it is the genuine thing, but I tend to think there can not be many Goldstars in the world, that are still as they left the factory.
I have made a few modifications over the years, including my own crankshaft, and building a replacement gearbox with a Nova CR five speed cluster. Stamped RRT2 but with the cam plunger being in the bottom, an indicator for any one who knows what they are looking at. The original crank and RRT2 box being on the shelf, if required. But why would anyone want to revert back to a fifty plus years old con-rod, the gearbox I could perhaps understand.
You can have the wisdom of solomon, and it can appear to have all the correct stampings, and provenance. But the only sure way you are going to know what's "inside" is look.

As we live only 20 miles apart Graham, I don't recall our paths ever crossing.

Last edited by DBDBrian; 01/29/16 6:17 pm.

Brian

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