Where to locate a VIN on a motorcycle.
When trying to find the location of a VIN there are several places to look on a bike. The various motorcycle manufacturers Honda, Yamaha, Harley Davidson, BMW, KTM etc. all have a challenge in placing the VIN plate. It needs to be visible but not detract from the look and style of the motorcycle. Each manufacturer puts the VIN plate in different places, and they are not always consistent between models. On this Honda Motorcyle to the right you can clearly see the VIN plate on the frame just below the fuel tank. Unless the bike is vintage then there will be a VIN plate or number on there for you to take the number from and run a VIN Check. The most common location for a Motorcycle VIN location is on the right hand side of the head stem. Turn the handlebars all the way to the left to allow the VIN to be seen more clearly. This seems to have become the common place standard between many motorcycle manufacturers. The VIN is usually stamped into the frame which makes it harder to swap than a riveted plate. A stamped VIN can be a bit harder to locate and read. The VIN will be seventeen characters long and a mixture of letters and numbers, you need the full 17 character VIN in order to run a report. It used to be the the VIN was more often used to ensure you are ordering the correct spare parts for your motorcycle, however more and more checks are being run on a daily basis as buyers seek out to the find the history of the motorcycle they want to purchase.
Reasons for running a Motorcycle VIN Check
Do not forget to check the condition of the VIN plate itself, it could give you a clue that something is not quite what it seems. The plate should look like it belongs on the bike, not like a recent addition. It should appear to be the same age as the rest of the Motorcycle, if it seems older or newer than the bike then you have a very good reason to run a check on this bike. It may be possible that the owner is trying to clone another identity onto the bike as the Motorcycle VIN Check would show the true history. The VIN can sometimes be stamped somewhere else on the Motorcycle so you can cross check the numbers. If the VIN plate has been defaced in any way, for example by grinding, or has a sticker over it, or someone has painted over it or if it is loose then you should not trust the information on the plate and should see if you can find the VIN number stamped somewhere else on the bike. There is no point in running a report on a VIN that you already have doubts over as you’ll never know how accurate the information in the report is.
If you run the VIN number through a free Motorcycle VIN Check decoder it will extract the information contained in the VIN itself, this should correlate with what the seller is telling you. Much of this information can be manually decoded as the first characters are fixed by the manufacturer and model of the motorcycle. Finally if something doesn’t seem right with the seller then you should also really consider running a report, is their knowledge of the bike a bit weak, can they tell you the history of the motorcycle, why are they selling it, where are they selling it and perhaps why are they trying to sell it so quickly. All these questions can point you to a bike that might have a history you don’t want and that a Motorcycle VIN check report can uncover for you.