1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

Identifaction of VIN, case numbers and cylinder heads
Post Reply
wahoo
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:02 am
Bikes: 1948 EL
1960 FL
2008 Buell 1125R
Location: florida
Been thanked: 1 time

1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#1

Post by wahoo » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:05 am

I am about to trade a running 79 shovel engine for a basket pan.
I feel good about this deal, just covering all the bases.... I have
been burnt before.
The numbers look good, any red flags from a 5 digit ID number?
60FL 128XX

George



steve_wood
Posts: 951
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:32 am
Bikes: 56 FLH, 2007 FLHRCI
Location: Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Has thanked: 49 times
Been thanked: 28 times

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#2

Post by steve_wood » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:19 am

The MC did use 5 digit production numbers sometimes but.... and more importantly...

The serial numbers from 1960 to 1969 were coded. For even years, the first digit after the model number was even. For odd years, the number was odd.

Example of valid numbers: 60FLH2001, 61FLH5013, 69FLH7757 are all good. 60FLH1001 and 61FL2001 are bogus.

Based on this, the number you've shown us looks incorrect.

Sorry.

wahoo
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:02 am
Bikes: 1948 EL
1960 FL
2008 Buell 1125R
Location: florida
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#3

Post by wahoo » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:23 am

I read something in the knowledge base that made me look in Palmers again, it appears the number 128 in a 1960 are bogus numbers. Confirmations?
VIN with last digit smeared.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

HD48FL
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:01 am
Bikes: Yep
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#4

Post by HD48FL » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:26 am

steve_wood wrote:The MC did use 5 digit production numbers sometimes but.... and more importantly...

The serial numbers from 1960 to 1969 were coded. For even years, the first digit after the model number was even. For odd years, the number was odd.

Example of valid numbers: 60FLH2001, 61FLH5013, 69FLH7757 are all good. 60FLH1001 and 61FL2001 are bogus.

Based on this, the number you've shown us looks incorrect.

Sorry.
I think the odd/even numbering started in '62?

HD48FL
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:01 am
Bikes: Yep
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#5

Post by HD48FL » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:39 am

HD48FL wrote:
steve_wood wrote:The MC did use 5 digit production numbers sometimes but.... and more importantly...

The serial numbers from 1960 to 1969 were coded. For even years, the first digit after the model number was even. For odd years, the number was odd.

Example of valid numbers: 60FLH2001, 61FLH5013, 69FLH7757 are all good. 60FLH1001 and 61FL2001 are bogus.

Based on this, the number you've shown us looks incorrect.

Sorry.
I think the odd/even numbering started in '62?
Read this, not sure how reliable, but the same info is in the Clymer's manual regarding the odd/even sequence starting in '62: http://www.wwwildcats.com/harley_vin.htm

Also, check the belly numbers.

FlatHeadSix
Moderator
Posts: 2682
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 5:14 pm
Bikes: '31 VL, '34 VD, '45 WLA, '47 WL, '49 FL, '51 WL, '58 ST (Hummer), '71 GE (Servi)
Location: Lonoke, Arkansas
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 37 times

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#6

Post by FlatHeadSix » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:08 am

the numbers in wahoo's photo appear to be good. As mentioned in a previous post the odd-even system began in '62 but those numbers would still be correct even it had started in 1960 because 5-digit sequential numbers used the first two numbers to establish odd or even. In this case it is 12 which is an even number.

There is a lot of speculation that the odd-even thing was not intended to provide any security or provide a quick indication of a bogus number, the MoCo did it to pump up the appearance of a higher total production. In 1962, for example, they started numbering at 62FL2001, when they punched the numbers into bike number 62FL4999 it would appear that they had made 5000 motorcycles when, in fact, they had only produced 2000.

the numbers in the picture look OK, I would not be afraid of that case as long as the belly number agree with a 1960 manufacture date.
mike

wahoo
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:02 am
Bikes: 1948 EL
1960 FL
2008 Buell 1125R
Location: florida
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#7

Post by wahoo » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:55 am

The belly numbers agree with it being a 1960 engine.
It is a Georgia engine, so no title.
I have already e mailed the owner and backed out of the deal.
HD48FL knows the story of how I got burnt last year, I would rather
pass on this than get burnt again.

panz4ever
Posts: 558
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:45 pm
Bikes: EL, FXE & FLH
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 18 times

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#8

Post by panz4ever » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:14 am

Agree w/ flathead six on this. Think you passed on a bike with good numbers. If MoCo waited until 62 then the numbers are good....5 digit sequential numbers you go by the first two numbers which are even which means you do not go to jail. If they started in 60 you are still in the game. If it was 62 then it does not matter as long as the vin plate has not been ground down and the numbers are not FUBAR. And from your pics they look good and the plate looks unaltered..

indianut
Posts: 161
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:26 pm
Bikes: American
Location: Florida
Been thanked: 8 times

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#9

Post by indianut » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:40 pm

My Virgin '61 has a Straight-Back 6 in the year portion of the VIN!

Cotten
Posts: 6913
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois
Has thanked: 100 times
Been thanked: 281 times

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#10

Post by Cotten » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:57 pm

For many different model years, the year portion of the VIN was set with a single stamp, presumeably at a different time than when the model and serial portion was added.

This example appears to be one of them.

....Cotten

Bosheff
Posts: 1262
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:23 pm
Bikes: 65 FLH 82 FLH
Location: Michigan
Been thanked: 58 times

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#11

Post by Bosheff » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:06 pm

The #'s are good.

Speeding Big Twin
Posts: 1052
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:29 am
Bikes: H-D
Location: Western Australia
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 118 times

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#12

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:35 am

George, even though that photo is a bit blurry the characters in the serial number appear okay. Regarding the round back 6, 1960 was one of at least three Panhead years where that type of 6 was used in the year portion of the serial number. The other two years were 1961 and 62. But it seems that a straight back 6 was also used at times over those three years: 1960, 61 and 62.

Steve, the five serial numbers you posted look like they came straight from page 8 of Palmer? Or are they also listed elsewhere? Although Palmer appears to be correct about the start year for the even/odd code being 1960, some of Palmer’s other serial number info is misleading, some is incorrect and some info which should have been included in that section has been left out for reasons unknown to me. I have more info about the even/odd code which will follow in my next post.

Mike, I have no info regarding the speculation that H-D used the code to pump up the appearance of a higher total production. But certain other things happened with some serial numbers through the 1960s and they could point to security concerns. For example, I have photos showing the 1 in the year portion for 1961 is different to the 1 in the sequential portion for that year. And other different things happened with the year portions for 1962, 63, 64 and 69. The search continues. Eric

Speeding Big Twin
Posts: 1052
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:29 am
Bikes: H-D
Location: Western Australia
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 118 times

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#13

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:49 am

Regarding the start year for the even/odd code, I have a serial number collection and have used it before when addressing the code on Harley Tech Talk and although I am constantly adding to the collection the results still point to the same start year: 1960.

For 1961 my combined total of authentic serial numbers from FLs/FLHs now stands at twenty-three and I have eight more from other 1961 engine types. Obviously that is a small amount but the odd code applies to all thirty-one of those numbers. No exceptions.

For 1960 my combined total of authentic serial numbers from FLs/FLHs now stands at nineteen and I have eight more from other 1960 engine types. Again a small amount but the even code applies to all twenty-seven of those numbers. No exceptions.

Around the early 1980s, Jammer Cycle published some info on serial numbers etc and I still have a copy of it. Apparently the info was transferred to the Jammer web site without being properly checked. Both the written copy and the web site give 1962 as the start year for the even/odd code but my findings indicate 1960. Some of Jammer’s other info is also suspect and although I have recently emailed them on two separate occasions I have received no response.

Mike, can you please advise where your info regarding 1962 comes from.

Back to 1960. Herbert Wagner (aka HarleyCreation) indicated on FlatheadPower in 2007 that 1960 was the start year for the even/odd code and the link below should lead to page two of that discussion. Wagner’s comments about the code should be at the top of said page. Eric

http://www.flatheadpower.com/tech/viewt ... a&start=20

FlatHeadSix
Moderator
Posts: 2682
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 5:14 pm
Bikes: '31 VL, '34 VD, '45 WLA, '47 WL, '49 FL, '51 WL, '58 ST (Hummer), '71 GE (Servi)
Location: Lonoke, Arkansas
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 37 times

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#14

Post by FlatHeadSix » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:17 pm

Eric
I have no solid evidence leading to the 1962 start date, it is just something that I have always thought to be true because it is the year commonly thrown out for the beginning of the odd-even system. It is now an "Urban Legand" and is no doubt incorrect.

I did a quick check of Rick Conner's Data Book which lists the total FL production in 1960 to be 5,967, this would indicate that the odd-even system began in 1960 otherwise there would not be a 5-digit serial number on any 1960 engine. It would also indicate that the engine in the picture above was one of the final 967 engines built in 1960 so it would be a "late production" if you assume that they adhered to numbering conventions and that the numbers ran sequentially.

Of all the authors that have tried to record the history of the Motor Company I think that Herb Wagner has done more research and has made a greater effort to be accurate than most of them, I have great respect for him and everything he has put into print, and have no reason to doubt him.

So, I completely agree with you, 1960 is probably the first year for the odd-even numbering system. I have a 1960 "other" out in the shop, I'll try to get some good pictures of the numbers so you can add them to your collection.

mike

4pans1man
Posts: 192
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:32 pm
Bikes: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Location: OHIO
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: 1960 Fl with 5 digit numbers

#15

Post by 4pans1man » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:37 pm

I own two 60 Pans. I'm the second owner of both. One original paint. 28,000 miles on one and 37,000 miles on the other. One serial number is FLH 82xx and the other is FLH 100xx. Is one of them a bogas number? Thanks, Tony.

Post Reply

Return to “VIN / Cases / Heads”