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How to Decode the VIN on a Suzuki Motorcycle

Updated February 21, 2017

Each of the 17 digits of a Suzuki vehicle identification (VIN) number has a specific meaning. The first three digits identify the manufacturing country and company. The next five digits identify the features of the motorcycle with model number, engine size, etc. The ninth digit uses an algorithm to establish a check digit to prevent fraud. The 10th digit identifies the year, and the 11th digit identifies the manufacturing plant. The remaining digits show the sequence that the motorcycle came out of the manufacturing process.

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  1. Compare the first three digits to the WMI (World Manufacturer Identifier) codes chart to identify Suzuki and Japan. JS1 means Japan, Suzuki and motorcycle.

  2. Compare the next five digits to the chart to identify vehicle category (scooter, off road, etc.), piston displacement (400 to 499cc, 1100 to 1199cc, etc.), engine type (2-stroke, 4-stroke, etc.), design sequence and model variation. As Suzuki upgrades, they add characters to identify the change sequence.

  3. Compare the ninth digit against the check digit algorithm to validate the number.

  4. Compare the 10th digit to the year chart to verify the year of manufacture.

  5. Compare the 11th, 12th and 13th digits to the codes to find the exact plant where the motorcycle was manufactured. The remaining digits only tell the sequence which it came off the assembly line.

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Things You'll Need

  • VIN codes chart

About the Author

Richard Asmus was a writer and producer of television commercials in Phoenix, Arizona, and now is retired in Peru. After founding a small telecommunications engineering corporation and visiting 37 countries, Asmus studied broadcasting at Arizona State University and earned his Master of Fine Arts at Brooklyn College in New York.

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