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How to Read a Yamaha VIN Number

Updated February 21, 2017

The vehicle identification number, also referred to as the VIN, is a sequence of numbers and letters that can be broken down and read provided you have an understanding of what each letter or numerical figure means. It's useful to know how to read your Yamaha VIN number, whether for replacement parts or simply for your own awareness.

Locate the VIN on your Yamaha. The VIN is typically found below the handlebars and located on the steering stem. If you do not find the VIN on the steering stem, check the vehicle frame for a small metal plate that will display the VIN.

Decode the meaning of your Yamaha motor vehicle VIN by breaking down the unique pattern of numbers and letters. For example, if the VIN starts with "4" or a "1" then your Yamaha was made in America, a "2" stands for Canada and "3" stands for Mexico. Vehicles made in Korea, Japan, England, Germany, Italy and Brazil would have vehicle identification numbers beginning with "K", "J", "S", "W", "Z" and "9", in that order. The secondary character of the VIN reflects the motor vehicle manufacturer, which would be a letter "C" for all Yamaha motor vehicles.

Locate the third VIN digit. This stands for the manufacturer division that produced the motor vehicle.

Notice VIN numbers four through eight. These 5 digits reflect the features found on the motor vehicle.

Observe the ninth figure on the VIN. This particular digit is unique and used as security to guarantee a valid VIN number.

Look at the 10th figure of the VIN. This stands for the year of the vehicle model. From the years 1988 to 2000, the tenth VIN figure would be "J" to "Y" and thereafter the 10th figure was changed to reflect a number.

Decode the last seven figures of the VIN following these rules: the 11th digit is the plant facility where the vehicle was assembled. Digits twelve through seventeen stand for the order that the vehicles were assembled.

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About the Author

Based in Orange County, Calif., Herman Cruz has been writing since 2007. His articles have been published in various content platforms and he also has written for Internet entrepreneurs who need assistance with writing sales letters and articles for their businesses. Cruz is pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in integrated composition, improvisation and technology at the University of California in Irvine.