1.) There is absolutely no reason why an out of state bike can not be titled in another state...
The seller says that the PO, from Oklahoma, initially agreed to go through a lost title process with the seller but then decided to blow him off. A while later, the seller called DOL in Oklahoma to see what the story would be but was told that it was xxx days after the date of sale, and there is a progressive fee for late title transfer, so seller decided it was cost prohibitive to retitle that bike / frame, and moved the front wheel to the bike that had been crashed. I'm pretty sure this is what seller told me, but as I write this it feels like the main problem is just that it would be impossible to transfer title if PO wasn't cooperative? I'll have to get this straight.
I think he was initially expecting to ride what is now the parts bike, but because of this decided to begin parting it out, and transferring parts to the main bike now. Parts bike was complete when seller bought it from PO, as I recall.
Any impact strong enough to require that the front forks be replaced has almost certainly tweaked the frame to some degree. To quote Wednesday from the Adams Family movie: Be afraid . . . be very afraid!
Yeah... maybe I can see if the seller has any pictures of the bike before he did work on it? He is a nice guy, and feels trustworthy, but definitely want to make sure I'm not getting a bike I can't trust on a XC trip, which is what I will ask of it.
The steering was just in a slow corner, and felt even otherwise. It was just a couple minute ride last time -- this time will be sure to get up to speed and try some more tight maneuvering. Going to do a frame trueness test IE (framestraightsystem.com/Motorcycle%20Frame%20Check.htm). Will do close inspection of frame at stress points, and all else suggested.
I have to say, I'm very glad to have posted here! Wasn't sure I'd get any response in time for showing Sunday, but this has given me a good footing to check out the bike.
Totally prepared to walk away, but hope it all checks out.