Decoding the VIN Number FAQ

10 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Decoding the VIN Number FAQ

More Detailed Information on Decoding the VIN:

November ‘01

There’s actually lots of interesting info in a VIN. Using my VIN as an example:

WB1 0182A 4 1 Z E450XX

WB1 is the manufacturer code

0182A indicates the type of vehicle (m/c), engine type, and net brake horsepower.

4 is a check digit that is derived using an algorithm; it assures that the rest of the numbers are correct

1 is the model year (iceman knows his stuff!)

Z is the plant of manufacture

E450XX is a sequential number assigned by the manufacturer.

Anything with a first digit of W is West Germany, J is Japan, 1 and 4 are the USA, 2 Canada, 3 Mexico, 6 Australia, and countless other countries.

Second digit signifies Manufacturer. F=Ford, B=BMW, D=Daimler Benz, T=Toyota. A JTxxxxxx is a Japan produced Toyota, a 4Txxxxxx is a US made Toyota.


*The first three characters uniquely identify the manufacturer, make and type of vehicle.

*The second section consists of five characters (VIN positions 4-8) and identify the attributes of the vehicle. Different information is required for each type of vehicle.

*The third section consist of one character which is the check digit, calculated over the other 16 characters of the VIN. This character can be numeric or the letter X;

*The fourth section consists of eight characters on positions 10-17 of the VIN. The last five shall be numeric for cars, MPV’s and light trucks and the last four shall be numeric for all other vehicles. The first character represents the vehicle model year, the second character represents the plant of manufacture.

The third through eighth characters are a sequential production number (for manufacturers producing more than 500 vehicles per year). For other manufacturers, the sixth, seventh and eight position represent the sequential production number. chiefkeefe

There’s a sticker (white, with black letters on it) underneath the right engine cover. If there’s no sticker, it has fallen off. (From Oliver, in response to the same question).


On my 2000 F650 (classic) it’s under the mudguard for the motor. Right side sort of near the brake pedal but underneath. It’s a bar code sticker. I’ve never taken it off to see if the motor number is stamped in the metal.

Good Ride’n Bill. Wamer #1021 CA

No idea on the GS, but on the Classic, except for Wamer’s bar code sticker, that’s it for numbers. There is no Official Serial Number stamped into the crankcase. If you were to remove the engine, turn it upside down and polish it, on the bottom of the crankcase you


see some numbers engraved very lightly by freehand in the finish of the aluminum. Not always visible, except on new engines. Todd #389

Nope. Cannot.

I went to register on a site for my bike and BMW NA seems to think it is black. My bike is red and as far as I know it always has been. My VIN is WB10166A4WXA16072. Any help would be appreciated.

MasterITRIT #F650-1231 — ’98 F650 Classic — ’80 Yamaha XT250 — Rochester, NY.

The color from VIN (if it exists) doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what you got. I bought my black GS and noticed on the paperwork (the original shipping slip from the plant) that the bike color was specified as RED. I asked the dealer, and he said they swapped the colored panels out for a different customer that was looking for a red lowered bike. Since they only had the black one in the lowered version at the time, and a red regular GS they just swapped colors.

Some dealers will do swaps like this as well as others on their new bikes. When I bought mine, I wanted a Dakar seat and they swapped my regular seat with a Dakar seat from a new bike as an incentive for me. As long as the parts are in new condition, they don’t seem to mind doing this for customers. ’03 black GS, Colorado.

I checked on the (what I thought was a shipping slip) Montage Auftrag’, which is basically the order to assemble the bike (whatever that is called here officially I don’t know). The Farb Schluessel aka color code, is listed as 761 (which is identified as Rot 2 / red 2). This number is nowhere to be found within the VIN number of my bike, so apparently they list color codes somewhere else. Razz, ’03 black GS, Colorado


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