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How do I Decode the Suzuki RM85 Motorcycle VIN?

Updated February 21, 2017

The Suzuki RM85 features a 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The digits on the VIN represent the country of origin, manufacturer, details of the style and production number and also contain a check digit to prevent vehicle identification fraud. All Suzukis share several of the same VIN identifiers, but variations reflect the year, make, model, plant and country origin of each motorcycle. Motorcycles made during or after 1981 will have the 17 digit VIN, but earlier models have a VIN of 11 to 17 digits. The VIN on a motorcycle can be found mounted on the frame.

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  1. Check the first letter of the VIN. This represents the country in which the bike was manufactured. For Suzuki, made in Japan, this should be "J" for Japan. The second letter of the VIN represents the manufacturer. For Suzuki, this should be "S." Check the third digit of the VIN; this represents the type of vehicle, and for a motorcycle, this should be a 1.

  2. Look at the next five digits as a section. This is the Vehicle Descriptor Section. This will tell you the bike category, piston displacement, engine type, design sequence and model variation. For offroaders, the first digit will be an S and for bikes under the single cylinder sport street category, this will be an N. The next digit will be a letter representing the cc of the engine. For an RM85, this will be a D because the engine displacement is in the 80 to 89cc range. The RM85 is a two-stroke, single-cylinder bike so the next digit will be a 1. The next two digits stand for the model version and the model variations so will depend on the age and whether this particular RM85 is a base model. Base models use A generally for the eighth digit.

  3. Treat the ninth digit as a separate section. The ninth digit is a check digit that manufacturers use to prevent vehicle identification fraud.

  4. Look at the tenth digit. This will tell you the year your bike was made. Motorcycles made before 2001 have letters for identifying years and from 2001 onwards, numbers are used. For example, a 2003 RM85 will have the number 3 in the tenth VIN place. The eleventh digit identifies the plant where the bike was made.

  5. Find the twelfth to 17th digits. These are the production sequence identifiers that allow the manufacturer to pinpoint at what time the bike came off the production line. These will vary in Suzuki RM85s from bike to bike.

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About the Author

Jillian O'Keeffe

Jillian O'Keeffe has been a freelance writer since 2009. Her work appears in regional Irish newspapers including "The Connacht Tribune" and the "Sentinel." O'Keeffe has a Master of Arts in journalism from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from University College Cork.

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