Not every neatly-dressed salesperson or dealer means you well. On the face of it, the listed motorcycle they are putting up for sale seems like a bargain, but it may also be a salvaged or faulty one. Therefore, instead of just hopping on any bike at random, it's important to analyze the bike carefully before buying it.
Fortunately, it's very easy to find out some information about a motorcycle using its VIN. The VIN or Vehicle Identification Number is to your bike what DNA is to humans, which is an alphanumeric string that manufacturers use to track the history of each vehicle. You can often find it on the frame of your bike.
Using a motorcycle VIN decoder like VinPit to run a motorcycle VIN check, you will know when the bike was manufactured, where it was made, and even whether it was lemon.
This article will explain more about Motorcycle VIN decoders and how to run a motorcycle VIN lookup for free. Follow along!
How Does a Motorcycle VIN Decoder Work?
To get information encoded in the DNA, you need a tool to analyze DNA samples and extract info. The Motorcycle VIN decoder does something similar but for motorcycles.
Your motorcycle VIN comprises a bunch of random figures and letters that store specific info about your bike. But you might not have the patience to find out what each letter or number in the VIN means yourself. A motorcycle VIN decoder makes your job easier by helping you decode the VIN and gather all the information extracted into a detailed report, in a matter of minutes.
The VIN decoder also retrieves information from various databases about your motorcycle to find out if it has any accident, theft, or recall history.
How to Decode a Motorcycle VIN (Step-by-Step)?
A motorcycle VIN works just the same as a car's VIN. It comprises a few different sections that store specific information about the bike itself and its history. Let's walk you through this;
World Manufacturer Index (WMI)
The World Manufacturer Index covers the first three symbols in the VIN. The first VIN symbol indicates where your bike was built, the second denotes the bike manufacturer, and the third indicates the type of bike.
Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS)
Every vehicle has distinguishing qualities like its make, model, transmission system, and engine size. All of these car vehicle specifications are encoded in the VIN's 4th to 8th symbols, which are also known as Vehicle Descriptor Section.
Security Check Digit
The 9th VIN symbol, aka security check digit, is used to check the validity of a VIN. It helps the VIN decoder detect and screen out those invalid VINs.
Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS)
The Vehicle Descriptor Section alone comprises the 10th to 17th VIN symbols. Decoding this section will reveal the bike's model year, production plan, and serial number.
What Information Can You Decode with a Motorcycle VIN Decoder?
A motorcycle VIN decoder grants you free access to important details about your bike. Here are some motorcycle details you can when you get a motorcycle VIN lookup:
- Model year
- Model trim
- Engine size
- Transmission type
- Location of production (factory and country)
- Production sequence number
The motorcycle VIN decoder will also provide non-technical details that may help paint a better picture of a bike's status or condition. Such info includes:
- Involvements in recall campaigns
- Inclusion in theft databases
- Salvage history
- Warranty claim history
- Insurance policy
- Accidents and natural disasters history
- Title and lien issues
- Maintenance and service records
Why Is a Motorcycle VIN Lookup Important?
Here's the $64,000 question: why do you need to get a motorcycle VIN lookup? Well, we like to believe that a VIN check ensures that you can be adequately informed about the second-hand or used vehicle you intend to purchase before money changes hands.
You may come across many dealers who sell motorcycles that have defects, have been recalled, or have been reported stolen by law enforcement. Looking up a motorcycle's VIN helps you identify such faulty vehicles in time and this affects your decision to purchase it—or not. For example, a bike that has had too many heavy repair jobs over the years might break down more often than it should and may pose a danger to you and your family, thus, you may want to stay clear of it.
Additionally, a motorcycle VIN decoder helps you find the correct spare parts for your two-wheeler when repair time comes around. This is helpful because most online shops will ask for particular bike specifications.
Motorcycle Sample VIN Numbers
Here is a sample motorcycle VIN number that we decoded using the VIN decoder guide. Use this as a guide for decoding other motorcycle VIN numbers.
- VIN — JH2RC3605CM101581
- Model year = 1982
- Country of production = Japan
- Manufacturer = Honda
- Serial number = M101581
- Type = 2-wheel motorbike
- Security check digit = '5'
Motorcycle VIN Lookup Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Where do I find my motorcycle VIN number?
Depending on the manufacturer, the bike's VIN may be stamped in different locations. In most cases, you can find it on the bike's frame. Better still, you can just ask the previous owner for the bike's VIN number. All motorcycle's VIN can't be removed or tampered with.
Is it legal to perform a VIN search on my bike?
Yes. It's completely legitimate to do a VIN check in the United States. All the information the tool retrieves about your bike comes from public official databases, available for all people using any internet-enabled device. You should be alert if a seller refuses to disclose a vehicle's VIN on privacy grounds since they may be trying to hide something.
What other information can I get from a motorcycle VIN lookup?
You'll be able to see any accidents your bike has been involved in, as well as any, recalls it might have been subject to. You'll also see when your bike was manufactured, where it was manufactured, and other more essential data such as ownership changes, loan defaults and liens, and theft recovery information.
How do I look up a motorcycle VIN for free?
You should give VinPit a try if you want to decode motorcycle VINs for free. It makes decoding a Motorcycle VIN an absolute cinch. It only requires that you feed the VIN into the search field and hit 'Start Search', and you can get your vehicle report in just a few minutes. It can be done anytime, anywhere.
Can I do a VIN lookup for any motorcycle?
Yes! VIN decoder is open to any owners and potential buyers of various motorcycles. Whether your bike is Honda or Suzuki, you can use VinPit to run a VIN lookup to track down the history of the bike, giving you the confidence that you need to make an informed decision about the bike of your choice.
What sources does VinPit use?
We source our information from various publicly available databases run by government agencies like the DMV and NHTSA. These databases are updated regularly, so you'll be getting accurate and latest info about the vehicles.
Not using a VIN decoder means leaving your bike purchase decision to chance. You can be lucky and get an excellent bike with good service history, but on the other hand, that shiny vehicle may have just been picked up from the junkyard and tidied up for sale. You could even end up getting yourself a ticking time bomb if it's a lemon. That is why you should use a motorbike decoder if you are looking to buy a used bike.
VinPit is one of the most popular Motorcycle VIN decoders to run a free VIN lookup. It offers you a quick and convenient way to get an accurate and comprehensive vehicle report. It's worth a try.