HARLEY DAVIDSON VIN NUMBERS AND WHAT THEY MEAN

HARLEY DAVIDSON VIN NUMBERS AND WHAT THEY MEAN

(HARLEY DAVIDSON VIN NUMBERS A STRANGE AND TERRIBLE SAGA)

Deciphering Harley Davidson VIN codes is almost an art form in itself. To the best of my knowledge the information that follows is correct. When purchasing a used Harley I strongly encourage you to take a look at the VIN number and make sure that the VIN and title match. If the seller does not have a clear title in his or her name or the VIN does not appear to be correct walk away!

LOCATION

BEFORE 1961 Prior to 1961, the engine number is the VIN. This number can be found on the left side engine case. Harley models produced prior to 1969 do not carry any frame number.

WHAT DO THEY MEAN? First two numbers are the model year. Letters (up to four) are the model designation. The last numbers are the production run number.

1962 – 1969

WHAT DO THEY MEAN? First two numbers are the model year. Letters (2-4) are the model designation. The last numbers are the production run number.

Models with 4 digit production numbers have an even-numbered first digit for even years, odd for odd years. Models containing a 5 digit production number will have the first two digits even for even years, odd for odd years.

WHO CARES? If the VIN does not follow this even or odd numbering sequence the VIN has probably been altered. It is common to find mismatched engines in these early bikes with different VIN numbers than the title paperwork.

1970 – 1980: Beginning in 1970, Harley started stamping VIN numbers on both the frame and engine case. Except 1997 . First two numbers are the model code. Next 5 digits, position 3-7 is the production run number. The last 2 digits designate the year.

Important: on 1970 and later bikes the legal VIN number is on the frame

And just when you thought you understood the system there was the 1997 model:

During the 1979 model year, some Harley’s were produced with engine numbers that did not match the frame number. The production date is reported to be from 1/9/79 – 2/7/79, and the frame VIN’s affected are 43000H9 through 48199H9. These models had engines numbered with a separate "crankcase number" instead of the frame’s VIN. This engine number is reported to be a ten digit numeric ID. Regardless of the engine case number, the title must always match the frame VIN.

1981 -2000:

Beginning in 1981, Harley started using a 17 digit VIN number on the frame and an abbreviated VIN on the engine case. The title must match the VIN number on the frame. If the title and frame VIN reads 1HD1ELK12BZ123456 , the engine case number should read something like ELKB123456 . VIN number rules described under the 1970 – 1980 Harley models also apply here.

Harley VIN Model Year Designations

Prior to 1970  the model year appeared in the last 2 digits of the Harley VIN. From  1970 to 1980  Harley used an alphanumeric year code. The code "H" is followed by the last number of the year (i.e. 1971= H1, 1972= H2). The exception is 1980 which was J0.

1981 to 2000 model big twins Single letter in the 10th digit designates the model year. 1981 – B 1986 – G 1991 – M 1996 – T 1982 – C 1987 – H 1992 – N 1997 – V 1983 – D 1988 – J 1993 – P 1998 – W 1984 – E 1989 – K 1994 – R 1999 – X 1985 – F 1990 – L 1995 – S 2000 – Y

Harley VIN Model Codes

Big Twins Big Twin’s have a different set of model designations in the Harley VIN FOR a 4 speed or 5 speed models. 1970 thru 1980 4 Speed Big Twin The first 2 digits of the Harley big twin’s VIN digits are the model code.

1980 5 Speed Big Twin Harley 1980 5 Speed’s used code  5G 1981 thru 1985 4 Speed Big Twin The 5th and 6th digits designate the model code.

AE= FLT AF= FLTC

 5 Speed Big Twins The 5th and 6th digits designate the model code.   BH = FXST

DJ = FLHTC

FE = FLTCU-I

BJ = FLSTC

DK = FLTC Shrine

FF = FLHTC-I

BK = FXSTC

DM = FLTCU

FG = FLHTCU-I W/SC

BL = FXSTS

DP = FLHTCU

FH = FLHP-I Police

BM = FLSTF

EA = FXR

FJ = FLHP Police

BN = FLSTN

EB = FXRS

FL = FLHTCU-I Shrine

BP = FXSTSB

EC = FXRT

FM = FLHTP-I Police

BR = FLSTS

ED = FXRP Police windshield

FP = FLTR

BS = FXSTD

EF = FXRP Police Fairing

FR = FLHRC-I

BT = FXSTB

EG = FXRS-SP

FS = FLTR-I

DA = FLT 82 – 83

EH = FXRD

FT = FLHPE-I (California)

DA = FLHTP Police Windshield

EJ = FXRC

GA = FXDB-D

DB = FLTC

EK = FXRP Police C.H.P.

GB = FXDB-S

DC = FLHT

EL = FXLR

GC = FXDC

DD = FLHT

EM = FXLR Conv

GD = FXDL

DE = FLHTC W/sidecar

FA = FLHS

GE = FXDWG

DF = FLHTP Police Fairing

FB = FLHR-I

GG = FXDS Conv

DG = FLHTC Shrine

FC = FLHTCU-I

GH = FXD

DH = FLTC W/sidecar

FD = FLHR

SG = TLE Police

SH = RLE Police



Sportster VIN Numbers 1970 thru 1980 Sportsters First two digits of the Harley VIN are the model . 3A = XL or XLH 4A = XLCH 4E =- XLS 2G = XLT 4D = XLA 7F = XLCR

1981 to 1985 Sportsters 5th and 6th digits are the model . CA = XLH CB = XLS CC = XLX CD = XR1000

1986 to 1996 Sportsters 5th, 6th and 7th digits are the model . CAM = XLH883 CAN = XLH1100 CEM = XLH883 Hugger CAP = XLH1200 CGP = 1200 Custom CFM = XLH883 Deluxe CHP = 1200 Sport

883cc Sportsters: CN = XL-883 Standard CP = XL-883C Custom CR = XL-883L Low CS = XL-883R 1,200cc Sportsters: CT = XL-1200C Custom CV = XL-1200R Roadster CX = XL-1200L Low CY = XL-50 50th Anniversary Sportster CZ = XL-1200N Nightster

I hope this will help you identify the various models of Harley Davidson motorcycles and avoid the hassle of buying something that cannot be legally registered.

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