The rules for registering new vehicles in California are different for California residents and for people moving to California from other states.
In other words, in order to prevent California residents from buying a NEW motorcycle in another state or country and then importing it into California thereby bypassing the more expensive and stricter emissions required by California, the state says you must have at least have 7,500 miles on the bike to bring it in.
Exceptions are made if you acquire a vehicle through a transfer by inheritance or by a decree of divorce. Also, the bar to registration would not appy if your vehicle was damaged or stolen while out of California and you had to replace that vehicle while out of California.
These rules clearly amount to selective enforcement and an injustice perpetrated upon California residents that probably would not pass muster in a class action suit or civil claim against the DMV. You could appeal to the DMV asking for logic in the matter and request a waiver citing selective enforcement.
IMPORTING MOTORCYCLES FROM OTHER STATES BY CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS
Individuals are prohibited from importing, purchasing, or leasing a new vehicle from another state, unless the vehicle was manufactured for sale in California, and the EPA label certifies the vehicle has California smog equipment. California considers a new vehicle to be any vehicle with less than 7,500 miles on the odometer AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE.
In other words, in order to prevent California residents from buying a NEW motorcycle in another state or country and then importing it into California thereby bypassing the more expensive and stricter emissions (read lower performance models) required by California, the state says you must have at least have 7,500 miles on the bike to bring it in.
The 7,500 mile requirement is ONLY for vehicles that don't meet the California emissions requirements. There is no 7,500 mile minimum requirement for motorcycles that have a manufacturer’s sticker indicating that they comply with California standards.
The odometer statement on the title or bill of sale should exceed 7,500 miles. The California DMV wants the mileage to be over 7,500 miles at the time it enters the state. They check the odometer reading against the odometer statement on the title and/or bill of sale. They consider the date of the sale (i.e. when you take ownership) as the time the bike "enters the state". If your bike was purchased and documented with 3,000 miles, and you try to bring it in with an odometer reading 7,500+ miles, you’ve got a problem.
When you attempt to register the bike for the first time the emissions label is inspected at the Department of Motor Vehicles to determine what standards the bike meets, and the odometer reading taken. The DMV doesn’t visually check that the California emissions equipment is actually installed, so swapping parts with a California-certified bike to obtain the manufacturer’s emissions sticker could be a work-around (depending where on the bike the sticker is mounted). There is no emissions testing of motorcycles in California.