Today, August 8, 2005, Sr. Investigator Ed Stover of the Highland Field Office of the NYS DMV said to me,
"Guess who gets screwed. You do. Because ...it's MY judgement call." (Yes. It's on tape.)

On the first of July 2005, 13 months after mailing my paper work and money to the "Salvage Vehicle Examination Program" of the State of New York Department of Motor Vehicles, I was on my way to the Highland Field Investigation unit to have my motorcycle inspected for stolen parts and safety.

When it was my turn I was instructed to ride the motorcycle thru the parking lot and into the garage. Sr. Investigator Ed Stover told me to put it up on the lift. I pushed it up there and he proceeded with reckless disregard to close the vice that is designed to hold the bike up straight on my front brake rotors. When I saw what he had done, I protested, but it was too late. They were quite bent at that point. He then backed the vice off and said, "That won't hurt 'em. They're not hot enough to get warped." I kept my mouth shut as I was at his mercy but was thoroughly astonished. The most important part of a motorcycle are its front brakes.

I handed him my receipts for the replacement parts and a set of photographs from the original ebay listing for the motorcycle to show how much work I had done and was told to go wait outside. About a minute later a woman came out with Investigator Putorti and asked me where the rest of my receipts were. I said that those were the only receipts I had as I had replaced nothing other than the front tire and the battery. I told him what I had done was to remove all the broken plastic, and disassemble, inspect and reassemble all the critical components of the motorcycle. Cleaning, adjusting, and tuning as I went thru it.

Investigator Putorti said "This is TOTALLY unacceptable. I need an insurance company damage report before we go any further. Most people bring us A LOT more receipts." Apparently repairing the motorcycle myself and not spending tons of money was "TOTALLY unacceptable". I pointed out that the required MV-907A was filled out by the insurance company and stated that the only damage to the motorcycle was it's bodywork. He told me "that doesn't mean anything". I wondered to myself why it's required then.

At this point Sr Investigator Ed Stover chimed in with, "You'll be lucky if we give you another inspection by September." Wow... It's looking like he meant it tho.

  part I was told by Investigator to fix to pass inspection
Investigator Putorti then said, "I would have failed you anyway. That's still broken." pointing to a piece of plastic under the seat on the rear tail section.

Then I asked him if I were to remove the offending broken piece of plastic as I had done with all the other broken bodywork, if that would fix that problem and he said, "It needs a seat." I pointed out that the seat was attached to the frame, not the flimsy piece of plastic and wasn't broken. It was the piece of plastic under it that was broken. He said, "As long as it has a seat." I asked him if there was anything else that he would have failed me for and he said, "No. As long as you fix the seat and get me the insurance company damage report, you should pass." I have since fixed the plastic as I think simply removing it would be ugly.

IT GETS MUCH WORSE

Ed Stover took a special interest in me. When I was handed my FI letter before I left, I noticed that Putorti's name had been crossed off and been replaced with "Stover". I called at the beginning of the following week to inquire about restitution for my brake rotors and Sr. Investigator Stover told me that it was my fault that he had crushed them. He guaranteed that I would see "not a cent". I went and bought a tape-recorder* and called him back. I told him I had no idea he was going to close a vise on the front of my motorcycle and he stated that "all the dogs aren't barkin' then". Basically calling me an idiot for not knowing the mechanics of the tools of his trade. Specifically a "bench table", and due to that lack of knowledge it was my fault he had crushed the brake rotors. (Yes. I recorded the conversation.) I do now know what a bench table is and how it works and am sure that at the age of five I would have been able to operate one without crushing any brake rotors. Ever. I find that very disturbing.

MUCH MUCH WORSE

I faxed the requested insurance company damage report on the 18th of July to Sr. Investigator Stover. When I called to ask if he had recieved it he said "That isn't worth the paper to use in the bathroom." He then told me that he would get the damage report that was filed in Albany and that "It should be a day or two". That was 3 weeks ago. I called back today (8/8/05) and he said it was "not in batch yet". I asked Sr. Investigator Stover why, since we had a DMV form MV-907A that was filled out by the insurance company and clearly states that the only damage to the motorcycle was the body and we had an Insurance Company Damage Report that was filled out by the insurance company and also clearly states that the only damage to the motorcycle was the body, couldn't we proceed with the inspection. He said "Ya gotta fix the bodywork for one". I told him I had done that.

MUCH MUCH MUCH WORSE

He then asked "Did you put all new fairings on it?... The bike's gotta be back the way it was originally. That's our policy." You have GOT to be kidding me I thought. I asked who's policy this was as this was the first time I had heard of it. He said "DMV's!" NOWHERE in the documentation regarding a salvage title does it say ANYTHING about restoring the motor-vehicle to "original condition". I said as much and Sr. Investigator Stover yelled "I don't care if it says that to you people!...You have a company you work for?! They don't tell everybody what your policies are! We don't tell everybody what our policy is either!" I then asked what I should do about the paperwork he says isn't filed in Albany yet after more than a year. He said "If they don't want to file the paperwork, Guess who gets screwed. You do. Because then it's MY judgement call." (Yes. It's on tape.)

He's right about one thing. I'm getting screwed.

  Speed Triple as Triumph sells it. It is a "Naked Sport Bike"
Triumph sells a version of my motorcycle without all the bodywork. It is called the "Speed Triple" and is virtually IDENTICAL to my motorcycle as it is now.The ONLY significant difference being that mine has a windshield and the Speed Triple does not. It is referred to as a "naked sport bike".

I have spent countless hours working on this motorcycle as well as hundreds of dollars on parts and transportation. There was also the original investment in the bike itself. I also took 2 days off from work to deliver it to this "Senior Investigator". For my efforts, I have missed 2 summers of riding. I have had my beautiful and perfectly functioning motorcycle's brake rotors crushed in a vice. I have had my intelligence questioned. I have been yelled at and insulted. And I am still being subjected to a shameless abuse of power. What's going to be required next? Wind-tunnel testing?

This motorcycle will EASILY pass a safety inspection at ANY NYS authorized inspection station. NONE of the parts on the bike are stolen. I NEVER want to go to the Highland Field Investigation Office again. I want my title and registration. I first filed the paperwork on this bike 14 months ago. I have lost 2 summers of riding. It is long overdue.

PLEASE help me.
Erik Mermagen
718 875 4803
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* New York state law governing recording telephone conversations