Where is the VIN Number on a Dirt Bike?

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Though it may seem like a simple question, and certainly a simple answer to follow, it is important to know where the VIN number is on your dirt bike, as it is helpful in identifying important information for you as the rider, as well as anyone needing to know how to repair it, how to know what make and model it is, and other information that is helpful in the upkeep of the bike.

The VIN number on a dirt bike is on the neck of the bike, close to the steering head. But it can vary in location due to makes, models, and companies. If the VIN isn’t immediately visible, try turning the handlebars left and right.

On every make, model, and type of vehicle, on or off road, they all come with a unique identifying VIN number. In order to know and understand what the VIN number is and how it works, continue reading!

What is a VIN Number?

A VIN number is a seventeen digit long number that is used to identify the dirt bike.

The VIN number, also known as the Vehicle Identification Number, is used for identification purposes, mainly. It helps owners and purchasers know whether a bike is stolen or legit.

It is specific to the make and model of any dirt bike. It helps inform the year it was created, which parts it uses, where it came from, and who developed that particular dirt bike. However, VIN numbers come with many purposes for each bike that is created by different manufacturers, including, but not limited to, model repair, age, and where it came from.

Where is the VIN Number Located?

There is a simple answer to this simple question, but it is important to know in order to maintain the bike, if necessary, or report stolen in case of such situations. The VIN number for most dirt bikes is around the steering component of the bike, on the right-hand side and closer to the underbelly of the casing. Some bikes, however, may have it located closer to the motor, around the cylinders. But, no matter where it is placed, this seventeen-digit number is vital information for any dirt bike rider to know.

What If The VIN Isn’t On the Neck of the Bike?

With every brand of dirt bike, the VIN number may not be on the neck of the bike, close to the steering head, each company may choose a different place. It is important too, first, ensure that the bike is clean, as it will be easier to check for the VIN without mud keeping it out of sight. After ensuring that all parts of the bike are visible, start by looking at the neck of the bike, turning the steering head to the left and checking the right-hand side of the bike’s upper body.

If it is not there, some companies will put it closer to the engine, where it will be etched close to or on the cylinders of the engine. If it is not there, the final place it can be is etched into the wheel well of the dirt bike. These are the three most common places to search for the VIN number on any dirt bike, but the majority will be placed on the neck of the dirt bike.

What Do The Numbers and Letters Mean?

The seventeen numbers on any dirt bike aren’t just there in any random combination and given to just any bike. Each set of numbers serves a purpose to help add information and detail so that owners and manufacturers alike are able to understand the bike, its purposes, and many other factors in order to either repair or return to its original capabilities and owner.

The first three numbers (which are known as World Manufacturer Identifier’s) of the dirt bike are to inform about the region the dirt bike was manufactured in (which are the first two numbers), and the third number helps to identify the vehicle type. These first three numbers are basic information in regards to who made it and where.

Numbers four through nine (also known as the Vehicle Descriptor Section) are used to know what model it is, what engine is used, and various other styling aspects of the bike. Number nine in the sequence is used to specifically ensure that the VIN number is correct.

Numbers ten through seventeen (which are also known as the Vehicle Identifier Section) are important numbers to inform the rider, especially if there is no paperwork given, on how to identify the bike, as stated in the name. Number ten is specifically used to identify the marketing year of a dirt bike, which basically means the year it was created and sold. Numbers eleven through seventeen are used to know where the bike was assembled, the production number, and other options regarding parts or upgrades to the bike.

What are VIN Numbers Used For?

VIN numbers are used to identify the bike, who owns the bike, where the bike came from (such as the state), the age of the bike, as well as who manufactured the bike. All of these identifiers are used a great deal for the companies, but also for the person who holds the bike.

In regards to how old a bike might be, the VIN number can be used to identify the year it was sold but not necessarily created. On the bike, the tenth digit in the VIN number tells the owner the year of the vehicle. Let’s say that a dirt bike was manufactured in March of 2016 and was then shown and sold in December of 2016, the tenth digit would include a 2016 number to identify it as that years make and model. However, the model year is vastly different than the production year. For the example above, the model year and production year are the same, but if something was created in 2016 and then shown and sold in 2017, the tenth digit of the VIN number would be for the 2017 year, not the year it was made, 2016.

According to a system that was developed and created when the seventeen digits VIN was, each year of a dirt bike is assigned its own letter, starting in the year 1980, which means it would be an “A,” and so on and so forth. However, there is a different system for motocross dirt bikes made after 2001, in which case they will have numbers for their corresponding years, such as dirt bikes made in 2003 will have a 3 as their identifying year number.

Who Developed the VIN Number?

VIN stands for “Vehicle Identification Number,” which means exactly what it says, that the seventeen digit combo placed on any dirt bike helps in identifying the who, where, and what of the bike itself. The VIN number, on any make or model of any dirt bike, is the number that identifies it not only to the person who owns it, but also to authorities who may be looking for a bike or car to return to the rightful owner. The VIN number was first created in the 1950s by American automotive manufacturers who stamped parts in order to be able to identify what they were, what they were used for, and where they went on the vehicle. VIN numbers were also helpful to identify cars as they were in high demand and were rapidly created in similar styles.

In 1980, most dirt bikes were stamped with eight to ten digits, and these numbers were used to simply identify the year and make of the dirt bike, as there were not as many companies making dirt bikes so it was easy to know who made it and where it came from. Now, they are seventeen digits and do many different things besides identify it.

Today, it is required by law to have a VIN number on any vehicle, as it identifies what it is, who it was made by, and who purchased that particular vehicle so that it may be returned to the proper owner. The VIN number was created to help not only owners purchase a car, but it helps when things are lost, broken, or in need of an upgrade, as VIN numbers are unique to specific makes and models of dirt bikes.

Identify Your Dirt Bike

Just as every rider is unique to their bike and how it works and rides for them, the VIN number is personalized to every dirt bike created. Each sequence of numbers is helpful and is used for manufacturers to not only develop and design the bike to desired specifications, which the VIN number helps to identify, but as well as help riders know more information on how to maintain their bike and what specifications it requires according to the VIN number given to its year and make.

VIN numbers are key identifiers, ensure that when you go to purchase your dirt bike, the one you want has a VIN number, as VIN numbers help to identify not just information in regards to parts needed for that specific bike and the year it was sold, but whether the bike was stolen or not.

Knowing what the VIN number means and how it can be useful to you as the owner is important in being a responsible and informed dirt bike enthusiast. With this information, you will need to know all there is to know about your bike and the best way to keep it working to the way you prefer.

Jim Harmer

I'm the co-owner of Dirt Bike Planet. I live in Star, Idaho and enjoy dirt biking with my wife and two boys throughout the Idaho mountains.

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