Once you find the VIN on an ATV, you can use charts to help you decode it. The VIN is mounted on a plate on the frame at the bottom of the ATV. You may have to look around to find it, and if your ATV has nerf bars installed it may be hard to see all of the number. Also, don't confuse the engine number, which is mounted on the engine, for the VIN. Once you have found the VIN you will have to decode it. ATV VINs are standardised for all manufacturers.
Look at the first three digits of the VIN. The first digit represents the country in which the ATV was made. The number 1 or 4 indicates the U.S., the number 2 indicates Canada, the letter J indicates Japan and so on. The second digit represents the company that made the ATV. The third digit represents the type of vehicle or manufacturing division.
Read the fourth through eighth digits. These digits represent the attributes of the ATV, such as body style and engine type. The engine type code is different than the engine number that is mounted on the engine.
Look at the ninth digit. This is called the "check digit." This number or letter is derived mathematically based on the first eight digits and is used to make sure that the VIN is actual and not fabricated.
Read the tenth digit. This digit represents the year that the ATV was made. For example, A=1980, B=1981, Y=2000, 1=2001, 9=2009 and A=2010. This letter or number can repeat (the "A," for example), but the codes of the other digits in the VIN allow you to know in which year the ATV was made. Furthermore, in the example of "A," the manufacturer may make the same body style or use the same engine for a few years, but if a particular ATV has a newer body style and engine, then the "A" in the VIN will represent 2010 and not 1980. Note that letters I, O, Q, U and Z are not used.
Look at the eleventh digit. This digit represents the assembly plant of the ATV.
Read the twelfth through seventeenth digits. This sequence represents a sequential production number. These numbers increase by 1 for each ATV that came off the assembly line.
There are many websites that allow you to type in the 17-digit VIN, and the site will generate a report that decodes the VIN for you.
Tips and warnings
- There are many websites that allow you to type in the 17-digit VIN, and the site will generate a report that decodes the VIN for you.