Why Cal Frames?

Cal Frames was founded with one main goal: to produce quality license plate frames for vintage California motorcycle plates. Many vintage motorcycle plates are a different size than current motorcycle plates, and use a different bolt hole pattern as well, so it can be difficult to find frames that fit these plates. The few frames that do, often end up scratching or bending the plates they are attached to, instead of protecting them. Because of this, many owners mount their vintage plates without frames, but doing so risks damage to the plate from bumps and vibrations while riding, which can cause vintage plates to weaken, crack and break over time. Because vintage motorcycle plates are valuable and sought after, a solution is needed to keep them secure and protected, and that niche is what Cal Frames intends to fill.

Many states, including California and Utah, allow a vintage plate showing a specific year to be registered to a vintage vehicle of the same year, known as the "Year of Manufacture" program. The initial inspiration behind these frames was the need for a better alternative to the flimsy bolt-on sticker carriers provided by the CA DMV with this program, which look awkward and out of place, and detract from the classic look of vintage motorcycles. Cal Frames' "Cal Classic" design incorporates a sleek sticker well into the frame, with a classic look that complements the lines of a vintage bike, rather than clashing with its classic styling.

What makes Cal Frames license plate frames better than the rest? They incorporate a variety of features that are designed not only to look great, but to provide the necessary support to protect these valuable vintage license plates, while mounting them properly and securely. These features include:

  • ZAMAK-3 zinc alloy die casting, either plated in chrome or powder coated, for long life and durability
  • An open-face, rear-mounting design, where the plate bolts onto the frame instead of the other way around, allowing the entire plate to be seen, not hidden
  • Raised bosses around the mounting holes with nylon washers at the contact points between the plate and the frame, to prevent damage through direct contact that could crush or scratch the plate - as is the case with most front-mounted frames
  • A raised, curved edge that entirely surrounds the plate, to protect the it from impacts to the greatest extent possible
  • A convenient integrated sticker well for current registration stickers for YOM plates, which can also be used to display other stickers or embellishments
  • Correctly-placed mounting holes for 1934-1962 California MC plates using all six bolt holes (plus Utah MC plates 1959-1989), which also allows plates to be mounted securely on fender mounts via the two center bolt holes
  • Mounting holes for plates from 1970 onward, using all four bolt holes
  • Mounting for 1920-1933 California MC plates, using four bolt holes in a vertical position
  • Correctly sized stainless steel fasteners that won't stain plates with rust over time
  • Flippable design that can be mounted with the sticker well either at the top or bottom
  • Universal mounting slots for bikes with plate mounts that do not fit vintage plates, ranging from 2 inches to 5.7 inches, plus holes for 145mm Italian plate mounts

    While Cal Frames license plate frames may cost slightly more than run-of-the-mill license plate frames, the wide variety of features offered deliver much more value than the price difference would suggest. After all, don't both your vintage bike and your vintage plate deserve a license plate frame that will serve them both well?

    Lastly, if that's not enough to convince you, all Cal Frames products are made in the USA. The frames themselves are manufactured right here in California, so the money you spend here will support domestic manufacturing businesses that help strengthen our economy.