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Belly Numbrs vs VIN

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MOSTLY 49
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Bikes: 1949 Harley FL, 1993 Harley Heritage, 2000 Special Construction,
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Belly Numbrs vs VIN

#1

Post by MOSTLY 49 » Mon May 14, 2018 7:29 pm

I have a 1949 Panhead engine with matching belly numbers, but an obliterated VIN boss. Can Harley Davidson archives tell me the original VIN from the belly numbers? Thanks, MOSTLY 49



RUBONE
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Re: Belly Numbrs vs VIN

#2

Post by RUBONE » Mon May 14, 2018 10:33 pm

Short answer is no. It is rumored that Law enforcement can get that info but it isn't available to the public.

MOSTLY 49
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Location: Redding, CA

Re: Belly Numbrs vs VIN

#3

Post by MOSTLY 49 » Tue May 15, 2018 5:25 am

Not at all what I wanted to hear, but it's what I thought. Good numbers lost forever!! Thanks RUBONE

FL54
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Re: Belly Numbrs vs VIN

#4

Post by FL54 » Tue May 15, 2018 2:09 pm

Hate to be cynical, but good numbers lost forever may be hot numbers ground off intentionally.

MOSTLY 49
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Bikes: 1949 Harley FL, 1993 Harley Heritage, 2000 Special Construction,
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Re: Belly Numbrs vs VIN

#5

Post by MOSTLY 49 » Wed May 16, 2018 4:44 am

FL54,
The numbers weren't ground off, the left side case blew out at the crank pin bearing and took the number pad with it. The owner at that time had the case repaired and the bike was re-registered with a California assigned number. It's all legit...but titled "special construction", not HD :(

Speeding Big Twin
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Re: Belly Numbrs vs VIN

#6

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Wed May 16, 2018 1:25 pm

Stu, welcome to the forum. When the bike was re-registered would California DMV have recorded the original H-D serial number (SN) for future reference? And if so, would they still have it on file?

As for the Harley factory, belly numbers (BNs) and SNs were recorded but how much info is still available has been disputed on forums for at least the last ten years. Sometimes there is talk about info being destroyed by fire but exactly where was this fire? On other forums at least one person says the fire was not in the service department and he says that is where BN and SN records were kept.

We know H-D still has some info for early-60s and later because we’ve seen factory letters of confirmation. But is any info still available for 1949 models? I do not know. You could try asking your local Harley dealer to put in a request to the factory on your behalf. Explain the situation and show the dealer the special construction title so he/she knows everything is legal. But please make sure the dealer sends the request to the Service Department at the factory and not, for example, to Customer Service.

Getting back to the BNs, are you sure they are authentic? (No offence meant.) Are the characters consistent with factory types for 1949? And if the cases are 49 I'd expect the BNs to be formatted similar to the following example: 249-1234(5). Also I notice you refer to the engine as an FL so I expect it has 7s on top of the cases near the rear engine mounting bolts?
Eric

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Re: Belly Numbrs vs VIN

#7

Post by FL54 » Wed May 16, 2018 2:29 pm

49,
No offense intended. Cases do get damaged by internal failure as in your case or a crash. I have one bike with a special construction tag and assigned VIN but the title and registration still show Year on case and HD as make.

MOSTLY 49
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:08 am
Bikes: 1949 Harley FL, 1993 Harley Heritage, 2000 Special Construction,
Location: Redding, CA

Re: Belly Numbrs vs VIN

#8

Post by MOSTLY 49 » Sat May 19, 2018 4:32 am

FL54
No offence taken. You're not the first to bring up that possibility.

Speeding Big Twin
Thanks for the welcome. I'm trying to find the answer to your question about the possibility of the original VIN being recorded by DMV. According to the title, the bike has been continuously registered since 1949, so surely there's a vehicle history somewhere in their archives. If I could resurrect that original VIN, I see a path to a new title (without going into detail). WRT the belly numbers, they follow your example, but only have 4 numbers after the 249. I just put the belly pan back on, but will take it back off tomorrow to take a picture of the numbers. They look legit to me, but certainly wouldn't mind another opinion...and yes there are 7's stamped on the top rear of the cases. I'll take your advice and see if I can recruit the help of the local Harley dealer. He's known the bike for years and knows it's not a scam.

Thanks for the info, MOSTLY 49

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Re: Belly Numbrs vs VIN

#9

Post by RUBONE » Sat May 19, 2018 2:09 pm

4 numbers after the 249 are normal for a 4 digit VIN. '49 was a high production year so the VIN can go into 5 digits and the belly numbers as well. Generally but not always the belly number is within 100 digits or so of the VIN number. Good luck in your search. If any previous owner has a copy of the old title you may be in luck.

MOSTLY 49
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:08 am
Bikes: 1949 Harley FL, 1993 Harley Heritage, 2000 Special Construction,
Location: Redding, CA

Re: Belly Numbrs vs VIN

#10

Post by MOSTLY 49 » Sat May 19, 2018 5:23 pm

Sadly, the previous owner passed away, and I got the bike from the estate sale. The only documentation in the "file" was the registration and the Special Construction title. If there was a copy of the original title it's gone now. I'm still hoping there's info in the DMV archive, and that they'll give it to me!! '49

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