Harley Davidson motorcycles can be identified from the following numbers:
|Vehicle identification number||– stamped on the vehicle|
|– on the type plate (factory plate)|
|Engine Number||– on the engine housing|
The numbers required to identify the vehicle are only ever stamped on. The raised numbers are parts numbers, which cannot be used for identification purposes.
Harley Davidson Vehicle Identification Number :
Numbers which have been misstamped are cancelled out by means of a horizontal line, but are still legible. The proper VIN is restamped over or under the misstamped number.
In cases where either the dealer or the owner notices a mistake in the VIN, Harley Davidson will have the correct number applied by an authorised person in accordance with the rules pertaining in that particular country.
Location of the VIN Harley Davidson
Harley Davidson VIN breakdown
From 1922 to 1969 the VIN Harley Davidson consisted of the two last digits of the model year, and one to four letters, followed by four or five numbers.
z.B.: 68 XLCH 4320 (1968 Sportster)
The VIN was not stamped into the frame by the works, but always only stamped onto the engine block. It was sometimes necessary to comply with the registration procedures in certain countries by stamping a number onto the frame. The VIN Harley Davidson can be identical with the engine number; its shape and appearance normally differed from that of the engine number.
There was a particular system in the VIN from 1962 to 1969. The was designated the ‘odd/even system’. The last characters of the VIN on models from years with even numbers would in most cases begin with an even number, so, for example 62 FL 2243. On a five-digit serial number the first two digits would have to form an even number, as, for example 62 FL 12243. A 1965 VIN would for example look like this: 65 FL 1396 or 65 FL 11396.
During this period there was also a frame number, consisting of one letter and three or four numbers, and which was stamped directly onto the frame. The frame number does not correspond to the VIN Harley Davidson stamped onto the engine. On FL-series motorcycles the frame number was on the left hand side and on XL models on the right hand side.
Harley Davidson 1970 – 1980
From the beginning of model year 1970 chassis numbers and frame numbers became identical. The Harley Davidson VIN is stamped by hand on the right-hand side onto the unprocessed engine moulding (no level surface) and mechanically stamped onto the frame. The frame number on FLT models is on the left-hand side, except on very early introductory models, on which the stamped number was located on the central front part of the steering column head.
From the beginning of Harley Davidson model year 1970 chassis numbers and frame numbers became identical. The two first characters (a number, followed by a letter) represent the model. How they are broken down can be seen in the overview of the models in Appendix 1. The numbers ‘1’ to ‘9’ and the letters ‘A’ to ‘K’ (except ‘I’ and ‘J’) were used to stand for a particular model of motorcycle. The next five numbers were a factory serial number, not smaller than 10 000. The two last characters represent the model year, consisting of one letter and one number. For the years 1970 – 1979 this letter is an H, for 1980 it is a J. The number is the last digit of the model year.
Example: H8 stands for the year of construction 1978
J0 stands for the year of construction 1980
Some changes to the first character can however result from particular designation requirements.
The following are examples of particular initial characters:
|Model||First character of the number combination|
|1978 1/2 Modelles||60000|
|Light vehicles built in New York||40000|
|Individual sales of frames/engine sets||90000|
From Harley Davidson 1981
The characters are 4 mm high and 3 mm wide. The ‘6’ and the ‘9’ can sometimes be used in place of one another.
Model designations and engine code Harley Davidson :
(broken down by year of manufacture)
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974
1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Type Plate of Harley Davidson :
Location of the type plate Harley Davidson
Composition of the type plate Harley Davidson
Harley Davidson Engine Number :
Location of the engine number Harley Davidson
Appearance of the engine number Harley Davidson
Breakdown of the engine number Harley Davidson
The Harley Davidson engine number has 10 characters and is stamped onto the engine block, on the left. There is a star at the left and right of the sequence of characters.
The engine number can be derived from the VIN. It is the:
5th – 6th character of the VIN = model designation (e.g. DJ)
7th character of the VIN Harley Davidson = engine type (e.g. L)
10th character of the VIN = model year
12th to 17th characters of the VIN = serial number
Harley Davidson Gearbox number :
The Harley Davidson gearbox number has been used since model year 1962. The gearbox number only used on big models. The Sportster (1000 cc) does not have a gearbox number, because the engine and the transmission have the same number.
Location the gearbox number Harley Davidson
Composition of the Harley Davidson gearbox number
Before 1978 the Harley Davidson gearbox number consisted of one letter and three or four numbers, e.g. U1478.
In 1978 there was a changeover to using two letters and four numbers, e.g. AA1234.
Harley-Davidson does not normally use the letters ‘I’, ‘O’ and ‘Q’. However in 1982 there was a ‘BO’ series. Some of these transmissions can also found in 1983 models. These are valid.
From 1990 the gearbox number Harley Davidson has consisted of 8 characters. The first two digits represent the model year, the next three digits stand for the calendar day and the and the last three digits represent the serial number of that particular production day. On some 1995 and 1996 models an extra ‘9’ can found at the beginning, making the gearbox number into a 9-digit number.