VIN number questions

Identifaction of VIN, case numbers and cylinder heads
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DougOhio
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:17 am

VIN number questions

#1

Post by DougOhio »

I'm trying to get smart on VIN numbers and belly numbers. I looked through all the posts. I've heard horror stories about bikes being seized with good titles, but bad VIN numbers. How do I avoid this? Has anyone seen bikes seized at an event by a taskforce? What should I look for? Mismatched numbers, years, etc...?
Thanks.
Doug



Cotten
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Re: VIN number questions

#2

Post by Cotten »

Doug!

The best reference on VIN changes from late '37 through the 60's is Bruce Palmer's How to Restore Your Harley-Davidson (Motorbooks International.

However, there is no substitute for a skilled eye at recognizing alterations. (Often I must compare enlarged photos with a certifiably authentic stamp of the same vintage to detect differences.)

Your bottom line with the authorities is papertrail. They only want perpetrators, not victims.

65flh5326
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:36 am

Re: VIN number questions

#3

Post by 65flh5326 »

This is some of what I remember. The numbers on the crankcase bottom halfs are production #s, these are the one s that are most likely altered simply to screw a potential buyer onto thinking they are getting an original
engine/bike. These production#s are easy to forge as the # stamps are standard machine cut stamps. The production# are not factory tracable on pre 70s componants. The records were destroyed.
The actual VIN# on the left case is a differant story, these # stamps are special. Most easily noticed is the straight back 9 and 6. There are other features that I will not discus on the internet.
On old bikes with left case Vin#s the crooks could steal a bike and use a titled left case or an aftermarket case.
In WA state, the State Patrol has methods of lifting welded and restamped #s. If in doubt have the bike inspected.
Bikes are being ripped off in record numbers these days, with the crooks prefering new choppers, but will take factory bikes also.

Don

1 star
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Re: VIN number questions

#4

Post by 1 star »

Actually HD in Milwaukee can trace Vins back to 1963
& Belly #'s for free just look up their # & call & follow the prompts. It's easy & free. I recently had them research some #'s for a potential project, before I bought it..

Well worth the time.. hope it helps.

Billy
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Re: VIN number questions

#5

Post by Billy »

I agree w/1star, as I have had HD do a VIN search for me. & on a recorded message they say they can only go back to '63. You leave your info including the VIN & your phone # & they will call U back..
The results were very enlightening. I was told what # in the production line it was & where it was
sent to (police bike) & the belly#'s & more..
All w/1 free phone call..

65flh5326
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:36 am

Re: VIN number questions

#6

Post by 65flh5326 »

Previously ( many years ago) HD could not find a Vin # by the crankcase belly#. Has that changed?

Don

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