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Printed from: www.36el.com/vin.shtml on Saturday, 25-May-2024 12:41:46 EDT
From http://www.harley-performance.com/harley-vin.html
How to Identify Harley VIN Numbers

When buying any used Harley-Davidson, checking the Harley VIN numbers against 
the title is mandatory. If they do not match exactly you should think about 
looking elsewhere. Typographical errors on motorcycle registrations are 
sometimes very common, but don't take any chances. In some cases a visit to 
your local department of motor vehicles may be enough to get a VIN typo 
corrected. However, when buying a Harley or other vehicle with an out of state 
title, the difficulty in correcting such errors increases dramatically. With 
strict state regulations increasing every year, you are better off avoiding any 
problem that may leave you holding a piece of property that cannot be 
documented. Not only is it illegal to drive, but you leave yourself open to 
unscrupulous people who could make a legal claim against you and your property.


If you have a Harley engine with matching title taken from a crashed or 
salvaged motorcycle, and put that engine into a new frame, the title is 
invalid. Anyone trying to sell you a post-1970 Harley where the title VIN only 
matches the engine, but does not match the number on the frame, PASS! Want to 
upgrade your bike to a new custom frame? You must apply for a new title. While 
it is nice to have an original Harley with matching engine and frame numbers, 
only the frame VIN is relevant when it comes to legal registration.

Never accept a Harley or other vehicles without a legal title. One such case 
involved an individual restoring a Harley originally purchased without proper 
papers. Some deadbeat and his lawyer came along and claimed the Harley was his. 
Without enough money to pay an attorney, and lacking any legal title or 
receipts, the poor guy was forced to give the bike to this shark in order to 
avoid a lawsuit. This may sound like extortion but it happens all the time. 
Don't become another horror story. Take precautions when investigating the 
authenticity of the Harley VIN and registration.

There has always been much debate over bikes with matching numbers and their 
true value. In my opinion, any Harley being sold as "rare" or "limited" is 
usually anything but that. As with beauty, value and rarity are often in the 
eye of the beholder. If matching numbers makes a motorcycle more valuable to 
you, then only you can put a value on it. Just don't expect the next person 
buying that Harley from you to think the same way.

Locating the Harley VIN

Prior to 1961

On Harley models prior to 1961, the engine number acts as the VIN. This number 
can be found on the left side engine case. Harley models produced prior to 1969 
do not carry any frame number.

VIN Numbering Conventions:

    * First two numbers are the model year.
    * Letters (up to four) are the model designation.
    * The last numbers are the production run number.

1962 - 1969

VIN Numbering Conventions:

    * First two numbers are the model year.
    * Letters (2-4) are the model designation.
    * The last numbers are the production run number.

In addition, models with 4 digit production numbers have an even-numbered first 
digit for even years, odd for odd years.

Models containing a 5 digit production number will have the first two digits 
even for even years, odd for odd years.

Why is this important? If the VIN does not follow this even or odd numbering 
sequence, you can almost guarantee that the VIN has been altered. It is 
extremely common to find mismatched engines in these early bikes with different 
VIN numbers than the title paperwork.

1970 - 1980:

Beginning in 1970, Harley started stamping VIN numbers on both the frame and 
engine case. The exception as noted by our friends at Cyborg Cycles, is the 
1979 model. This exception is discussed below.

    * First two numbers are the model code.
    * Next 5 digits, position 3-7 is the production run number.
    * The last 2 digits designate the year.

The only legal VIN number for Harley's produced after 1970 is on the frame. NO 
EXCEPTION! It doesn't matter if the engine case number matches your 
registration papers, if the frame VIN doesn't match the registration you have a 
problem! You might be able to fool a few cops or even someone at the DMV, but 
don't count on it. In addition, it should go without saying that any alteration 
to the VIN is illegal. This goes for restamping frames or adding the original 
VIN to a replacement frame. If you replace the frame, you need to have a new 
VIN assigned to your Harley.

Always remember that on models built after 1970, the Harley VIN always follows 
the frame... not the engine! The infamous 1979 Exception

During the 1979 model run, some Harley's were produced with engine numbers that 
did not match the frame number. The production date is reported to be from 
1/9/79 - 2/7/79, and the frame VIN's affected are 43000H9 through 48199H9. 
These models had engines numbered with a separate "crankcase number" instead of 
the frame's VIN. This engine number is reported to be a ten digit numeric ID. 
Rumor has it that Harley went back to the old numbering sequence once the legal 
ramifications were realized. Regardless of the engine case number, the title 
must always match the frame VIN.

Thanks to Cyborg Cycles for this information.
1981 -2000:

Beginning in 1981, Harley started using a 17 digit VIN number on the frame and 
an abbreviated VIN on the engine case. As always, the legal title must match 
the VIN number on the frame. If the title and frame VIN reads 
1HD1ELK12BZ123456, the engine case number should read something like 
ELKB123456. VIN number rules described under the 1970 - 1980 Harley models also 
apply here.

Harley VIN Model Year Designations

Prior to 1970 the model year appeared in the last 2 digits of the Harley VIN. 
From 1970 to 1980 Harley used an alphanumeric year code. The code "H" is 
followed by the last number of the year (i.e. 1971= H1, 1972= H2). The 
exception is 1980 which was J0.

1981 to 2000 model big twins
Single letter in the 10th digit designates the model year.
1981 - B 	1986 - G 	1991 - M 	1996 - T
1982 - C 	1987 - H 	1992 - N 	1997 - V
1983 - D 	1988 - J 	1993 - P 	1998 - W
1984 - E 	1989 - K 	1994 - R 	1999 - X
1985 - F 	1990 - L 	1995 - S 	2000 - Y

Harley VIN Model Codes

Big Twins

As if things weren't confusing enough, Big Twin's have a different set of model 
designations in the Harley VIN depending on whether they are a 4 speed or 5 
speed model.

1970 thru 1980 4 Speed Big Twin

The first 2 digits of the Harley big twin's VIN digits are the model code.

1A = FL/FLP 1200 	2F = FXS 1200 	5H = FLHS - 80 	7H = FLH 1200 Police
1H = FXB - 80 	2H = CLE - 80 	6E = FXEF - 80 	8H = FLH 1200 Shrine
1K = FLH - 80 shrine 	3G = FLH - 80 	6G = FXE - 80 	9D = FXE 1200
2A = FLH 1200 	3H = FLH - 80 Classic 	6H = FL - 80 	9G = FXWG - 80
2C = FX 1200 	5E = FXEF 1200 	7G = FXS - 80 	9H = FLH - 80 Police


Example: 3G12345H1 is an FLH

1980 5 Speed Big Twin

Harley 1980 5 Speed's used code 5G
1981 thru 1985 4 Speed Big Twin

The 5th and 6th digits designate the model code.

AA = FLH - 80 	AL = FLH - 80 	BE = FXWG - 80
AB = 80 police chain 	BA = FXE - 80 	BF = FXSB - 80
AC = FLH - 80 Shrine chain 	BB = FXEF - 80 	BH = FXST
AH = FLHP - 80 Police Belt 	BC = FXS - 80 	BG = FXDG - 80
AK = FLHS - 80 	BD = FXB - 80 	BK = FXSTC

Example: 1HD1BEK11BY123456 is a FXWG

1981 5 Speed Harley Big Twin

The 5th and 6th digits designate the model code.

Example: 1HD1AFK11BY123456 is a FLTC

1982 thru 2002  5 Speed Big Twins

The 5th and 6th digits designate the model code.

BM = FLSTF 	EA = FXR 	FJ = FLHP Police
BR = FLSTS 	ED = FXRP Police windshield 	FP = FLTR
BS = FXSTD 	EF = FXRP Police Fairing 	FR = FLHRC-I
DA = FLT 82 - 83 	EH = FXRD 	FT = FLHPE-I (California)
DA = FLHTP Police Windshield 	EJ = FXRC 	GA = FXDB-D
DB = FLTC 	EK = FXRP Police C.H.P. 	GB = FXDB-S
DE = FLHTC W/sidecar 	FA = FLHS 	GE = FXDWG
DF = FLHTP Police Fairing 	FB = FLHR-I 	GG = FXDS Conv
DH = FLTC W/sidecar 	FD = FLHR 	SG = TLE Police
	SH = RLE Police

Example: 1HD1BHK11GY123456 is a FXST


Sportster VIN Numbers

1970 thru 1980 Sportsters

First two digits of the Harley VIN are the model code.

3A = XL or XLH 	4A = XLCH 	4E =- XLS
2G = XLT 	4D = XLA 	7F = XLCR

Example: 4A12345H1 is a XLCH

1981 to 1985 Sportsters

5th and 6th digits are the model code.

CA = XLH 	CB = XLS 	CC = XLX 	CD = XR1000

Example: 1HD1CDHY15B123456 is a XR1000

1986 to 1996 Sportsters

5th, 6th and 7th digits are the model code.
CAM = XLH883 	CAN = XLH1100 	CEM = XLH883 Hugger
CAP = XLH1200 	CGP = 1200 Custom 	CFM = XLH883 Deluxe
CHP = 1200 Sport

Example:1HD1CEM15GY123456 is a XLH883 Hugger

Confused yet? See Model Number page for a description of Harley model numbers.

Enjoy the ride!




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