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never been reported stolen...
You're right. That's pretty much the definition of a lien. The title cannot be transferred to a new owner until the lien is satisfied and released. That really has nothing to do with the bank contract. The contract might state something to that affect, but the lien itself accomplishes the same thing.
Since the original owner hasn't had possession of this motorcycle for at least 3 years that I can for, I'm doubting it is going to get reported stolen now, out of the blue.
As you pointed out, the bank is the "owner" technically the lien holder, and they can become the owner should the loan be defaulted on, then they would be able to repossess the bike and re-sell it to make up their money. Just like a mechanic would with a mechanic lien.
I've been working with HSBC, which is the bank that bought out the original bank that issued the lien in the first place. Problem is, HSBC has no record of the title, the lien, or even the loan in the first place. One of the wonderful little details that can get "lost" when one bank closes its doors and is taken over by another. So one of the issues is getting HSBC to either find the title (which as records indicate, was issued as a paper title and given to the bank when the lien was created in 2005) or, HSBC needs to at the very least, submit the forms to release the lien. Unless the original owner was somehow able to a 10 year loan on a motorcycle in 2005, if the loan was defaulted, it would have already happened. Standard financing through Kawasaki (which used the bank that no longer exists) would have been 3 years, on occasion, 5 years. Even at 5 years, it would have already been defaulted on by now. So by that standard, the lien has been satisfied, it just needs released. Which brings it back to one of the original issues dealing with HSBC.
From what I've been able to research, the mechanic's lien may still be an option as it appears that the mechanic would be able to get the title to be able to sell the vehicle, and then the previous lien would have to be satisfied then. Usually by whoever is buying it. That is just unverifiable internet info, but I will be inquiring about this when I get someone from the DMV on the phone.