1963 FL high serial

Identifaction of VIN, case numbers and cylinder heads
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Fiskis
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1963 FL high serial

#1

Post by Fiskis » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:57 pm

Found a '63 Duo-Glide chassis in an European country where the dealer had to stamp the serial number into the frame to get the bike legal. The original title is there with a stated frame number just under 63FL 9500.
Anybody knows if the sequental numbers went that high in 1963, i.e. could it be a goofy number? If you convert the number of produced bikes to the odd thousands, you get 9299 as the highest. Therefore, if numbers were used without interruptions an produced number 4300 is correct, the frame number found would be less than 200 units above the "official". In many similar cases the authorities have issued frame numbers that bear no similarity to H-D serials. So there is really no reason for somebody back then to have invented a H-D lookalike number.

Regards Fiskis



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Re: 1963 FL high serial

#2

Post by VPH-D » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:26 pm

I think the official numbers for production are an estimate, not an absolute. Doesn't the title belong with the engine in Europe, as it does here in the US?
VPH-D

Fiskis
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Re: 1963 FL high serial

#3

Post by Fiskis » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:42 am

Many countries require a frame number, that normally is copied from the engine number on pre-1970 Harleys. Then the frame is carrying the identity of the vehicle. To my knowledge that is the case in Sweden for example. I have seen transferred frame numbers on Dutch and British Harleys, too. In my country you got to have a stamped frame number since 1965. In the traffic inspection they rutinously tell for you to have that on older vehicles too, but if you know your rights, you do not have to. You only have to follow the requirements of the day your vehicle was built, wth the exception of a rear wiew mirror that is mandatory even on a 1898 model.

The interesting fact in Finland is, that the identity is not in a single part like the motor case or the frame. It is in a teorethical 50+% of the parts of the vehicle. Every group of parts have a certain percentage. 20 years ago two thirds of the price of a new car was taxes of various type, so economically you would do extensive repairs after severe accidents, as the "title was worth" 2/3 of the cars price. The same was for motorcycles, although the percentage of tax was not quite so high.

After a severe accident or if you build a chopper you can legally swap the frame and motor. If the new frame have no numbers, the old chassis number is copied and certified by the authorities. All substituted parts are recorded in the vehicles documents to stop further alternations crossing the 50% borderline of substituted parts. You cannot build a new bike around a motor case with good numbers as the numbers are in use.

Regards
Fiskis
Last edited by Fiskis on Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1963 FL high serial

#4

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:33 am

Fiskis, I followed your thread about this on the AMCA forum and although I had several questions to ask regarding the responses I cannot post there as I am not a club member. I have a collection of H-D engine serial numbers and the highest authentic-looking one for a 1963 Panhead registers just below 9100 in its sequential portion. But if you contact H-D they may be able to give you a definite answer regarding the highest one issued.

Here in Western Australia a mate of mine took a 1967 Shovelhead in for licensing but the authorities required a serial number on the 1967 frame so he stamped the engine number on the frame and that satisfied them.

In your AMCA thread you asked about changes to serial number stamps for the 1960s. Apart from the round back 6/9 you mentioned, I have run across several different styles that were used and the following list applies to the characters sometimes found in the year portion of the serial number:

1. 1961 had a less-pronounced 1 and it had a more narrow serif base.
2. 1962 employed two different 6s and two different 2s with the style of 2 seeming to depend on the style of 6 and/or vice versa.
3. 1963 had the top half of the straight back 6 leaning to the right instead of being vertical. The 3 was flat-topped but sans serif.
4. 1964 used a closed-top 4 which was sans serif.
5. 1967 had a sans serif 7.
6. 1969 used an oval-shaped base/head for the straight back 6/9 instead of the round base/head.

The sequential portion of some late-1960s serial numbers featured a round-topped 3 and some had a sans serif 7.

I have seen the serial numbers on the site you were directed to. The 1959 FL, the 1961 FLH and the 1962 FL examples that you mentioned all appear to be okay although 1962 sometimes employed a different 6 and 2 as I noted above. The picture of the 1960 FLH example is a bit foggy although the characters used may be alright. Eric

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Re: 1963 FL high serial

#5

Post by panhead » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:57 am

In my Register there are three VIN's with a number higher than 9100.

Fiskis
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Re: 1963 FL high serial

#6

Post by Fiskis » Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:02 pm

Eric,

Thank you mate, for answering many of my questions. The AMCA site is sometimes a bit slow. Would you by chance have knowledge of an email address where to send serial number questions to H-D?


Panhead,

Thanks for info.

Regards,
Fiskis

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Re: 1963 FL high serial

#7

Post by VPH-D » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:20 pm

I guess my question would be, how do you get around the possibility of the engine still being in use/titled? The title belongs to the engine.
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Re: 1963 FL high serial

#8

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:45 am

Cheers, Fiskis. I've sent you a PM. Eric

Fiskis
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Re: 1963 FL high serial

#9

Post by Fiskis » Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:40 pm

VPH-D,

Here you cannot registrate a "new" motorcycle with the same serial number that is in use, even if you have the original engine. Some years ago a quite original looking Hydra-Glide was for sale for parts. The story was that that the title had bounced as the chassis number already was in use in a chopper with Evo engine. It would be a difficult thing to prove which bike has the right to the title if the chopper has a certified frame number. It would be better if a much reworked chopper would get a totally new identity, but that is effectivly restrained by economical and byrocratic obstacles.

Eric,

Thanks.

Fiskis

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