VIN vs belly numbers

Identifaction of VIN, case numbers and cylinder heads
BART
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Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:33 pm
Bikes: 1950 FL (50FL11086), 1976 FXE, 1990 FLSTC, 1987 XLH, 1992 XLH, 2000 FLSC, 2007 FLTR
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Re: VIN vs belly numbers

#31

Post by BART » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:49 pm

50 Panhead - I'm not sure I follow your comment:

"There is discussion about vins starting at 1000 but none have been seen outside the factory."

Can you enlighten me?

Thanks in advance.

BART



BART
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:33 pm
Bikes: 1950 FL (50FL11086), 1976 FXE, 1990 FLSTC, 1987 XLH, 1992 XLH, 2000 FLSC, 2007 FLTR
Location: Dodge Center, MN
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Re: VIN vs belly numbers

#32

Post by BART » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:58 pm

Panhead 50 - Just figured out what your comment was - there are no 50FL1000, it starts at 50FL1001.

I'm gettin' old, you know! As the old "saying" goes: Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.

BART

Speeding Big Twin
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Re: VIN vs belly numbers

#33

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:00 pm

BART, I do not know exactly how many 1950 model Panheads were made. The Legend Begins, an official H-D publication, records 1950 Panhead production as 10265. However, it is unclear whether that figure means the amount of 1950 model Pans made or whether it means the amount of Panheads made in 1950.

On page 198, regarding production figures and model descriptions, Legend states: ‘We are passing this information along to our enthusiasts as a matter of interest, and it is not to be regarded as totally accurate.’ Also on that page, Legend says the info is from a document created in 1978 by a Harley employee and the figures and descriptions were copied from various schedules and sales reports.

In How to Restore Your Military Harley-Davidson 1932-1952, author Bruce Palmer names the abovementioned Harley employee as Midge Kimbell, William H Davidson’s secretary of many years, and says the figures were compiled shortly before her retirement. Palmer spoke to Kimbell but she could not remember which way the numbers were counted although she made it clear the numbers were based on only the records that could be found and that some were missing. Kimbell further told Palmer that the list was made as a quick project and that the numbers were not double checked. Therefore Legend figures cannot necessarily be relied upon as accurate.

Regarding the start number for 1950 model Panheads, here’s what I stated on page two in this thread: ‘For 1950 model Panheads, serial numbers began at number 1000.’ And I did not make that statement lightly. Why do I believe that start number? In June 2007 on the FlatheadPower (FP) forum, and also in the winter 2009 issue of The Antique Motorcycle, Herbert Wagner talked about Harley model layout sheets and start numbers for many different years including and/or covering 1950. On FP, regarding the 1950 model layout sheet, Wagner stated the following: ‘and the 1950 sheet reads: "motor numbers start with 1000...."'

So there it was, on a Harley-Davidson model layout sheet, that motor numbers for 1950 models start with 1000.

If you wish to read the FP forum discussion please let me know and I’ll send you a link to it. And if you do not know of Herbert Wagner then please Google the name. Wagner is well known for his H-D research.
Eric

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