VIN or Vehicle Identification Number is a unique code that is present on each and every bike model that is manufactured or is there on the public road today.
The reason VIN is unique for every motorcycle is that it comprises of letters and numbers that can be used to accurately identify that particular bike model. These codes contain important information on the vehicle including when and where the bike was manufactured. But where the hell are they located on a motorcycle?
The VIN of any motorcycle is present on its frame. But locating exactly where on the frame can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.
In this article, we will provide you with information on what is a VIN, what are the different components of VIN, where to find the VIN on your bike, and why VIN is important.
Where to Find The VIN on Your Bike?
VIN of any motorcycle is present on its frame which you might find difficult to locate depending on the type of bike you own. If it’s hard for you, then there are other ways in which you can locate it-
For Scooters: They have their VIN stamped right on the steering head just under your handlebars above your front wheel axle. If it still remains unseen, check under the plastic engine casing that you can easily access by removing all the bolts.
For Motorbikes: VIN of a two-wheeled motorcycle is normally present on its steering head above the front axle and below the handlebars. In some bikes, it may also be stamped onto your engine block which will make it difficult for you to spot from a distance.
However, if you come across any difficulties in locating it from these positions, then do check the frame behind your petrol tank where most manufacturers stamp their codes with ease.
Different manufacturers put the VIN on different areas of the bike. If you cannot find the code on the steering neck after turning your bike’s handlebars, simply contact your dealer or manufacturer as they will guide you on the exact location of the code.
What is a VIN?
VIN is just like the fingerprint of your bike that can be used to identify it easily. It can help you keep a record of the vehicle’s service history along with its ownership details.
Apart from this, VIN also helps in deterring theft as they are difficult to change or alter which makes them a handy tool for law enforcement officials.
Different Components of VIN
As mentioned earlier, VIN comprises of both letters and numbers which make it unique.
A typical VIN code will contain 17 characters-
The first character is always “1” except for motorbikes manufactured before 1981 where the first character is “0”. The reason behind having both these digits as the first digit is because many manufacturers preferred to use the model year as the first digit rather than the number 1.
The next character is the one that tells you where your bike was manufactured or assembled. The characters used are based on the alphabets present in the country which manufactures/assembles the vehicle-
A = United States,
B = Canada, C = Mexico,
D = Germany,
F = France,
G = Italy, H = Spain, I= England J=Japan K= Korea L= India M= China
After this letter code comes two more letters that represent the manufacturer of your motorcycle model.
After these two letters comes another number which is called a “check digit”. It is basically an extra digit added to ensure the accuracy of VIN so that there are no mistakes made during the manufacturing process.
The last six digits of the VIN code are numbers that can be used to decipher where and when your vehicle has been manufactured. It also shows whether the vehicle is registered as a passenger car or a motorcycle.
The 17 digits of VIN can also be broken into three distinct sections. This is how it goes –
World Manufacturer Identifier
The first three characters of the 17 digit code come under this section and are also known as the WMI code. As mentioned earlier, the information on the vehicle manufacturer and the country of origin are all uniquely stated with these three characters.
Vehicle Descriptor Section
From characters 4 to 9 of the VIN code is the Vehicle Descriptor Section which provides all the information regarding the overall characteristics of the vehicle, for example, the model type, the body type, etc.
Vehicle Identifier Section
Characters 10 to 17 of the VIN code provides clear information on the identification of the motorcycle including their engine type, transmission, plant code, etc.
Why VIN Is Important?
You must know how important VIN is to understand what damage would be caused if this information gets compromised during theft or any other accident leading to damages.
If you lose your keys then you can easily get them replaced. But if your motorcycle gets stolen, then it can be a huge loss for you as you will never get compensated for the theft unless you have insured your vehicle beforehand.
This is why the VIN of any motorcycle is very important-
It tells all the necessary information about your vehicle such as the name and address of the manufacturer, model type, design year, engine type and size, transmission details, etc.
It helps to verify this information before buying any used motorbike. This means that by checking out their VIN code you can know more about their mileage and other things that affect the value of a two-wheeled machine.
It also comes in handy when trying to sell or buy a second-hand bike because you can easily get in touch with the owner and share all necessary information through VIN.
VIN is also an important factor when it comes to fixing motorcycle insurance premiums. It gives you a complete picture of the value and history of your bike which ultimately affects the price of your insurance policy.
Now that you know how important the VIN number is for your motorcycle, make sure you always keep it somewhere safe and secure where no one else would find it. This might be beneficial for you if there’s ever a need to recover a stolen motorbike.
The VIN is a very important code which you should keep somewhere safe and secure. If your motorcycle gets stolen, make sure you report the case to authorities along with the VIN of your vehicle so that they can track down your beloved machine.
However, even if it doesn’t get stolen, knowing this information remains beneficial to you both in terms of sale or purchase so make sure you check it out before hiring any mechanic or selling your bike.
VIN of any motorcycle is usually stamped right on the steering head just under your handlebars above your front wheel axle. If it still remains unseen, check under the plastic engine casing that you can easily access by removing all the bolts. You can also locate it on the frame behind your petrol tank where many manufacturers stamp their codes with ease.
So, keep this useful 17 characters code handy for your bike!