The VIN on a Harley is useful for identification and description of the featrues
Just like cars, motorcycles use vehicle identification numbers (VIN) for identification and description purposes. A VIN on a Harley Davidson motorcycle consists of 17 alpha or numberic characters that meet the standards set in place by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Not only is the VIN used as a unique identifier for the motorcycle, it can also be used to provide detailed information about the features on the motorcycle.
VIN Location & Identification
Locate the VIN, which is engraved onto the frame of the motorcycle on the front left side. If this is not readily visible, check the Certificate of Title which has your VIN listed on it as well. Find the first three digits, which represent the World Manufacturer Identification number. Harley Davidson motorcycles always begin with “1HD,” with the “1 indicating it was manufactured in the United States and “HD” being the unique identifier for Harley Davidson.
Characters 4 through 6
The fourth digit of the VIN represents the weight class. For Harley Davidson, the heavyweight motorcycles will use the number 1 while the lightweight motorcycles use the number 4. The fifth and sixth characters designate the line and model of the motorcycle. For example, the letter E stands for the FXR (Dyna) line and when combined with the sixth character, the letters EC stand for an FXRT (Sports Glide).
The 7th & 8th character
The seventh digit of the VIN on Harley Davidson motorcycles represents the engine displacement, or cubic centimeters (cc) of the engine. For example, the letter K represents a 1340 shovelhead motor and the letter M represents an 883 evolution XL motor. The eighth character of the VIN on a Harley Davidson provides an indication of the introduction date. There are only four available numbers for this character, which are as follows:
1: regular (September Introduction)
2: mid-year (January Introduction)
3: California Special Introduction
4: Daytona (March Introduction)
As a standard practice for all vehicles (cars, motorcycles, trailers, etc), the ninth digit of the VIN is the check digit, which is used by the Department of Transportation for VIN validation. There is a special calculation that is performed to ensure the VIN is accurate and not a fabrication.
The 10th & 11th digit
The 10th digit of the VIN is a letter that represents a vehicle model year. The 11th represents the plant where the car was manufactured (for example, the letter J represents Milwaukee, Wisconsin; T represents Tomahawk, Wisconsin; and Y represents York, Pennsylvania)
The final six digits
The final six digits of the VIN stand for the motorcycle’s serial number, which is used as a unique identifier for each motorcycle that is manufactured. The numbers are assigned in the order the motorcycle manufacturing process is completed for each motorcycle of the same type.