How to Check Harley VIN Numbers

Written by julius vandersteen
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How to Check Harley VIN Numbers
Check a Harley VIN by looking it up in a database. (une harley image by Géraldine Royer from

Every Harley-Davidson motorcycle carries a unique vehicle identification number (VIN), which insurance companies and the Department of Motor Vehicles use to keep track of the motorcycles. A VIN is also used to track maintenance schedules, warranty claims, recalls and theft. For motorcycles built between the 1930s and 1969, the engine number serves as the VIN. For motorcycles built between 1970 and 1980, the numbers are located on the frame and the engine. Only the number on the frame is considered the legal VIN after 1969; there might be a different VIN on the engine if the engine was replaced. A VIN on a Harley made until 1980 can be of varying length. From 1981 onward, Harleys have 17-digit VIN numbers.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Locate the VIN on the Harley and write it down on a piece of paper.

  2. 2

    Go to the Motoverse: Harley-Davidson VIN Decoder website (see Resources) if your Harley was built in 1981 or later. Type the 17-digit Harley VIN in the "Enter your Harley VIN number" box.

  3. 3

    Click on "Go." The Motoverse VIN decoding service will generate a report that describes information carried by the motorcycle VIN, including model, engine type and the year it was manufactured.

  4. 4

    Go to the Harley-Davidson Service Checkup website (see Resources). Type in your Harley's 17-digit VIN and its approximate mileage, and then click on "Get Checkup" to see maintenance plans for your motorcycle.

  5. 5

    Call Harley Davidson at 414-343-4056 if your motorcycle was built before 1981. Provide your VIN to the customer service representative so he can look up information about your motorcycle.

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