Your motorcycle’s Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, is a 17-character identification that belongs to the vehicle’s history. The VIN contains data about the manufacturer, model year, and production location. The VIN is your motorbike’s identifying number in many ways.
Vehicle identification numbers (VINs) can be found on vehicle registrations, titles, and even insurance cards. When purchasing parts, using the VIN is a sure way to acquire exactly what you need, and a sales agent will commonly ask for it.
Furthermore, whether you’re selling or buying a used motorcycle, the VIN tells you or a potential buyer whether the bike has been in an accident, rebuilt, or even stolen, among other things.
The VIN seems to be one long string of letters and numbers, but it is really divided into three sections: the first three characters, the next six (spots four through nine), and the last eight.
The first three letters comprise the World Manufacturer Identifier. The first character represents the country code. The USA is represented by the letter “1” or “4”, Canada by the letter “2,” England by the letter “S,” and Germany by the letter “W.” The manufacturer is represented by the second digit. Kawasaki, for example, gets the letter “K,” Honda gets the letter “H,” and Suzuki gets the letter “S.” The vehicle is identified by the third character. Motorcycles are often designated with a “1” or a “A.”
The Vehicle Description Section is made up of the six characters listed below, and it describes the manufacturer’s vehicle features. Characters four through nine vary depending on the manufacturer, but they always include engine size, engine type, and even model information. The ninth digit serves as an accuracy check, ensuring that the preceding characters were approved by the manufacturer. The tenth digit represents a year code, while the eleventh digit represents a factory code.
The last eight characters of the Vehicle Identifier Section indicate the year and location of manufacture, as well as the serial number.
The digits 0 through 9 and letters A to Z are used, with the exception of I, O, and Q, which are used to avoid confusion with the numerals 1 and 0. There are no additional characters used than letters and numerals.
For just $14.95, you may get a VIN checked from, which is important for prior accident histories.
Your report will include the following:
- Accident History
- Lease & Taxi Use
- Title Information
- Hidden Damage
- Junk & Salvage
- Mileage Rollback
- Manufacture’s Recall History
- Sale Records
- Lemon Check
- Theft & Recovery
- Owner History
The VIN is usually located on the steering neck of motorcycles and dirt bikes, but it may also be found on the motor around the bottom of the cylinders. Turn the handlebars to the left and look at the right side of the frame where the steering head is located. The inscription is engraved vertically on the metal.