Dates on Mfg's Statement of Origin

Originally printed in issue #77 of Still....Keeping Track

4/19/2017 posting from POG message board

James Giddings has this Statement Of Origin that caught my eye.

The Statement Of Origin was issued to a dealer in June of '71, but according to the frame number, the bike was not built until July.

-Gary Roach (OH)



Given that the first CMF machines have a build date of June of 71, Penton Imports most likely had a few machines air shipped over as soon as they were built in June to be able to show and/or race them to build up the demand for the container loads of them to soon follow.

The date on the MSO is June 15th, a Tuesday. I can just picture Jack and the boys showing up at a big MX race on the Sunday before and kicking butt on the new CMF machines. Monday morning the dealers probably started to call Penton to place their orders.
Penton probably asked for and received pre-payment in full for the machines ordered and they then supplied the dealers with MSOs for the yet to be built machines as a guarantee of delivery. I am sure that dealers knew they could get full price for these new machines and were willing to pay up front for guaranteed quick delivery once the container arrived. Those who could not pay in advance just had to wait and take their chance at machines being available, where as payment in advance guaranteed a machine right out of the container.

Figuring the build date of July and just assigning serial numbers in order would not have been much of a stretch for KTM and John to figure out in return for cash in hand.. If by chance a certain "promised" machine ended up in Italy surely Penton could just supply the "correct" MSO when delivery took place as I am sure the dealer was just lusting over the new machine and if the original MSO was incorrect and a new one was supplied, he probably wouldn't really care.

It states on the MSO that ownership of the new motor vehicle has been transferred on June 15th and I don't think Penton would have done that without payment in full.

Just my theory…

I do know that Penton Imports was great at marketing. I can still picture John telling the dealers at Penton Dealer School how the bikes in the warehouse would be sold at the old/lower price and the ones arriving in the next container would have the new price increase…and how the more machines they bought now and took home with them the more money they would save/make…. Those dealers crammed as many new Pentons in their vans and onto trailers as they could, saving all that money. Possibly that is why Penton had dealer school in February when sales were the slowest.

-Paul Danik (PA)


An astute observation,Paul! I remember going to one of those meetings with the owner of Campus Cycle in Cincinnati! Way back then!




Do you remember what year you were at a Penton Dealer School or where it was held at? Please do tell of your experience if you care to. Any special memories from the event? Possibly the introduction of any new machines might pin point the year.

As far as the MSO date issue, possibly it simply may have been a typographical error, especially since it is a duplicate. It would be neat to find another from that time frame and see how it is filled out.

-Paul Danik (PA)


Believe it was about 1969,the owner, Mark Schmidter set up an AMA regional(or national??) MX out at his property,MotoWest??

between Cleves and Miamitown,Ohio. Many of the top motocrossers in the country were there. We were dumbfounded by these two little teenagers on these spindly little motorcycles(Penton)we had just barely heard about,and Jeff and Jack in the 100 and 125 expert classes cleaned house!Mark was just branching out from Yamaha (just got Bultaco,in process with Husqvarna) just came naturally to pick up Penton since John did the Husqvarnas..Been almost 50 years ago,I was awestruck,remember the pep talks,forget who(maybe Doug?) we were paying a lot of attention to on transmission set up because we had some problems with a couple of the first ones.

Later we picked up Greeves,Stan Simpson past AMA Chairman of the board) and I got 380's and 250's,loving the handling,hating the 4 speed gearbox in enduros.We thought the Penton's were "too small" for us since we were big guys!I now have a 1974 100 Berkshire, pulls me just fine!