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  1. #1
    Administrator

    My Bike(s)
    SV650S '05 (Blue) -SOLD-
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    How to decode the VIN number

    NOTE: This info is based upon my short research on the topic. Info like the WMI is decribed in ISO 3780 (which you must pay for). The year code is decribed in ISO 3779.

    The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is composed of 17 characters. The standard was originally defined in ISO Standard 3779 in February of 1977. Then it was revised in 1983. The ISO VIN is designed to identify motor vehicles of all kinds: cars, trucks, busses, motorcycles etc.

    The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) contains three major sections:
    • WMI - World Manufacturer Identifier (1,2,3 characters in VIN structure) If the manufacturer builds less than 500 vehicles per year than the third digit is "9". The WMI is described in detail in ISO 3780.
    • VDS - Vehicle Description Section. It contains 6 characters (4th to 9th positions in VIN) and defines vehicle attributes specified by manufacturer.
    • VIS - Vehicle Identifier Section. The last 8 characters of VIN define Year, manufacturer plant and serial (sequential) number of the vehicle.
    The last four characters shall be numeric. The 10th position of the Vehicle Identification Number is a YEAR CODE.

    ISO recommends that in VIN code capital letters A to Z and numbers 1 to 0 may be used, excluding I,O and Q in order to avoid mistakes of misread. No signs and spaces are allowed in Vehicle Identification Number code.
    ***********************************************

    Recap with examples:

    Digits 1,2,3 are World, Manufacturer, Identifier
    Digits 4,5,6,7,8 are Vehicle descriptor Section -- *Somewhat variable based on manufacturer.
    Digit 9 is the check digit
    Digit 10 is the Year code
    Digit 11 is the Factory code
    Digits 12,13,14,15,16,17 are the Vehicle Identification Sequence


    Let's see how this splits:



    First digit - Country code
    U.S.A.(1 or 4), Canada (2), Mexico (3), Japan (J), Korea (K), England (S), Germany (W), Italy (Z)

    Second digit - Manufacturer
    Audi (A), BMW (B), Buick (4), Cadillac (6), Chevrolet (1), Chrysler (C), Dodge (B), Ford (F), GM Canada (7), General Motors (G), Honda (H), Jaguar (A), Lincoln (L), Mercedes Benz (D), Mercury (M), Nissan (N), Oldsmobile (3), Pontiac (2 or 5), Plymouth (P), Saturn (8 ), Toyota (T), Volvo (V), Suzuki (S), Kawasaki (K).

    Third digit - Identifier
    Motorcycle (1 or A) Kawasaki and Suzuki seem to follow this anyway

    Fourth digit - Vehicle category
    Data here is Suzuki specific, haven't found info for other brands.
    Scooter (C), Business model or commuter (B), Single cylinder sport/street (N), Multiple cylinder sport/street (G), Family (F), Off road (S), V-Type engine, street, V2/V4/V6/8,... (V), Square Four (H)

    Fifth digit - Engine Displacement
    Data here is Suzuki specific, haven't found info for other brands.
    A=49cc and less
    B=50-69cc
    C=70-79cc
    D=80-89cc
    E=90-99cc
    F=100-124cc
    G=125-149cc
    H=150-199cc
    J=200-249cc
    K=250-399cc
    M=400-499cc
    N=500-599cc
    P=600-699cc
    R=700-749cc
    S=750-849cc
    T=850-999cc
    U=1000-1099cc
    V=1100-1199cc
    W=1200-1299cc
    Y=1400-1499cc
    Z=1500 & up

    Sixth digit - Engine Type
    Data here is Suzuki specific, haven't found info for other brands.
    1=2 stroke single
    2=2 stroke twin
    3=2 stroke triple or four
    4=4 stroke single
    5=4 stroke twin
    6=?
    7=4 stroke four

    Seventh digit
    Data here is Suzuki specific, haven't found info for other brands.
    Design sequence or model version first version uses 1 then second version uses 2 etc... the tenth version would then be identified by the letter A then B etc..

    Eigth digit
    Data here is Suzuki specific, haven't found info for other brands.
    First version uses 1 then second version uses 2 etc... the tenth version would then be identified by the letter A then B etc...

    Ninth digit - Check digit
    The ninth vehicle identification number digit is a VIN accuracy check digit, verifying the previous VIN numbers. This is how the check digit works


    STEP 1
    Assign to each number in the VIN its actual mathematical value and assign to each letter the value specified for it in the following chart:
    ASSIGNED VALUES:
    A=1 G=7 P=7 X=7
    B=2 H=8 R=9 Y=8
    C=3 J=1 S=2 Z=9
    D=4 K=2 T=3
    E=5 M=3 U=4
    F=6 N=4 V=5


    STEP 2
    Multiply the assigned value for each character in the VIN by the position weight factor specified in the following chart:
    VIN POSITION AND WEIGHT FACTOR:
    1st = 8 10th = 9
    2nd = 7 11th = 8
    3rd = 6 12th = 7
    4th = 5 13th = 6
    5th = 4 14th = 5
    6th = 3 15th = 4
    7th = 2 16th = 3
    8th = 10 17th = 2
    9th = check digit

    STEP 3
    Add the products from steps 1 and 2 and divide the total by 11.

    STEP 4
    The numerical remainder is the check digit which would appear in the 9th position in the VIN. If the remainder is 10, then the letter "X" is used for the check digit.


    Tenth digit - Year Code
    80(A), 81(B), 82(C), 83(D), 84(E),
    85(F), 86(G), 87(H), 88(J), 89(K),
    90(L), 91(M), 92(N), 93(P), 94(R),
    95(S), 96(T), 97(V), 98(W), 99(X),
    00(Y), 01(1), 02(2), 03(3), 04(4),
    05(5), 06(6), 07(7), 08(8 ), 09(9) ( Don't know what happens after that )

    Eleventh digit - Factory Code
    Manufacturer code for what plant it was built in

    Twelfth to Seventeenth digits - Serial Number
    Louis

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  3. #2
    Still crazy after all these years

    My Bike(s)
    Blue Suzuki GSX 1400 (2003)
    Location
    Schliengen, Germany (47.754543, 7.631989)
    Posts
    13,854
    Thanks for the info Louis, but it doesn't seem to be correct for all models.

    My VIN starts with JS1BN1111001xxxxx
    JS1B = Japan / Suzuki / Motorcycle / Business model or commuter - so far, so good
    N = 500ccm to 599ccm ... nope: 1402ccm
    1 = 2-stroke single ... nope: inline 4, 4-stroke
    1 = Version 1 ... yes
    1 = Version 1 ... yes again?
    1 = checksum digit (I haven't bothered to calculate this)
    0 = 2000 .... nope, mine is a 2002 or 2003 (not sure) - but they didn't start building the GSX 1400 until 2001, so it can't be a 2000'er!

    There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    blog: gsx1400

  4. #3
    Clutch Cadet
    My Bike(s)
    2005 GSF650S
    Location
    N.B. Canada
    Posts
    914
    Kwel = it is on the money.
    Life is short and you are dead a long time.

  5. #4
    Administrator

    My Bike(s)
    SV650S '05 (Blue) -SOLD-
    Location
    Gatineau, QC, Canada
    Posts
    10,555
    Quote Originally Posted by inspiron
    Thanks for the info Louis, but it doesn't seem to be correct for all models.

    My VIN starts with JS1BN1111001xxxxx
    JS1B = Japan / Suzuki / Motorcycle / Business model or commuter - so far, so good
    N = 500ccm to 599ccm ... nope: 1402ccm
    1 = 2-stroke single ... nope: inline 4, 4-stroke
    1 = Version 1 ... yes
    1 = Version 1 ... yes again?
    1 = checksum digit (I haven't bothered to calculate this)
    0 = 2000 .... nope, mine is a 2002 or 2003 (not sure) - but they didn't start building the GSX 1400 until 2001, so it can't be a 2000'er!
    European freak

    I think Europe has a slightly different VIN decoding scheme.
    Louis

  6. #5
    Still crazy after all these years

    My Bike(s)
    Blue Suzuki GSX 1400 (2003)
    Location
    Schliengen, Germany (47.754543, 7.631989)
    Posts
    13,854
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis
    European freak

    I think Europe has a slightly different VIN decoding scheme.
    Yes, I found this on the web:

    http://www.vehicleidentificationnumb...ll_cars_1.html

    ISO 3779 makes a provision for a code for the year in which a vehicle is built. When a manufacturer uses a year code, ISO recommends that the 10th position of the VIN is used.
    The same applies to the use of a factory code. When a manufacturer uses a factory or plant code, ISO recommends that the 11th position of the VIN is used. In the VIN-code, capital letters A through Z and numbers 1 through 0 may be used, except the letters I, O and Q for obvious reasons. No signs or spaces are allowed in the VIN.


    Other systems.
    The European Union has issued a directive to the effect that a VIN must be used for all road vehicles in the EU member states. This directive complies with the ISO Standard but a year digit or factory code is not mandatory. Also, it is left to the choice of the manufacturer whether the VDS is actually used for vehicle attributes or not. The system only applies to motor powered vehicles with at least four wheels capable of speed above 25 km/h and trailers.

    There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    blog: gsx1400

  7. #6
    Petrol Taster
    My Bike(s)
    2000 GSXR-600
    Location
    ESSEX, England
    Posts
    741
    thats great info to have thanks. i made a post on here a while ago about paint codes, one person replied, cant remember who, saying that they are part of the VIN, so which part is this Louis?


    Both knees are good friends with Mr Road. they play everyday!!

  8. #7
    Still crazy after all these years

    My Bike(s)
    Blue Suzuki GSX 1400 (2003)
    Location
    Schliengen, Germany (47.754543, 7.631989)
    Posts
    13,854
    The paint code won't be part of the VIN, since the color can change. My bike was originally silver, but the dealer swapped the painted parts with another GSX 1400, so that I could have a blue bike.

    There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    blog: gsx1400

  9. #8
    Administrator

    My Bike(s)
    SV650S '05 (Blue) -SOLD-
    Location
    Gatineau, QC, Canada
    Posts
    10,555
    As inspiron says, I'd doubt about the paint code being in the VIN.
    Louis

  10. #9
    Found second gear by accident
    My Bike(s)
    2006 BOULEVARD C90T & 2006 GSX-R1000
    Location
    PHILADELPHIA, PA
    Posts
    335
    Quote Originally Posted by inspiron
    The paint code won't be part of the VIN, since the color can change. My bike was originally silver, but the dealer swapped the painted parts with another GSX 1400, so that I could have a blue bike.
    Inspiron is this true for bikes only? In the past i purchased specific paint colors for a Monte Carlo and a Mustang with the information extracted by the sale's person from the VIN #.
    I'll be on the horn with Suzuki CSR tomorrow.

  11. #10
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    In Between Bikes at the Moment :-(
    Posts
    3
    Just to add a little to this thread - The year digit is position 10 as Louis reports. The 7th digit is also used to deal with the issue of repeating characters that started in MY2011. For light duty vehicles and Passenger vehicles if the 7th digit is numeric the model year encoded in VIN position 10 refers to a year in the range 1981-2009. If is is an Alpha character then it is MY2010 forward. HOWEVER - this was not required of Motorcycles and other industries that produce vehicles. As a result if you try to decode your bike with it may come back with a year value that is off by 30 years. Don't get thrown by this.

    Manufacturers selling into the US have to register/report their VIN patterns to the NHTSA. It is a pain to find them but there are available the submissions from each manufacturer and sometimes each manufacturing plant. Finding them can be a little rough - but if you are only interested in a particular hard to find make it might be a worthwhile resource.

    NICB makes a VIN book available every year that is a good resourse for decoding bikes from most of the major brands. they are only $10 bucks or so. But only cover the last 3-4 years of vehicles though you can still buy previous years releases to get additional year coverage.. - https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vin-manuals

    O
    nline resources that I have found helpful are MotoVerse. It will often give you a false year for the reasons I described above but they have a lot of data and it is free. (Don't fret over picking a brand as all the choices seem to lead to the same VIN decoder) - VIN Decoder for cars, trucks and motorcycles @ Motoverse.com

    Another option if you are looking to decode a bunch of VIN's is to sign up for a free trail of Dataone Softwares online VIN decoder. VIN Decoder Web Service, VIN API & XML VIN Decoding>> Auto Tools | DataOne Software You get 50 free decodes, however I have found that you need to provide some suggestion of a possible business use in order to get it turned on. they also have flat files available if you are looking to take the data and build something around it yourself. Probably not the best fit for recreational use but I have found their data to be solid and one of the few choices for consuming moto data for businesses purposes

    Another online decoding option that I have found to be surprisingly good is the ford fleet vin decoder. https://www.fleet.ford.com/maintenance/vin_tools/

    Hope this was helpful to someone

  12. #11
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    Suzuki DR650
    Posts
    1
    my DR650 does not have the 17 digits but 11 digits any ideas?

  13. #12
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    KZ 400 C1
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by IANAGC View Post
    my DR650 does not have the 17 digits but 11 digits any ideas?
    I'm having the same problem. The KZ 400 I just got has two sets of numbers. The one off of the triple tree, K4S-26XXX and off of the block, K4SE035XXX. Every VIN site I've checked tells me that I must have a 17 digit number. Any one got any ideas ?

  14. #13
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    KZ 400 C1
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    2
    Even the Kawasaki website is of no help.......

  15. #14
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    Suzuki GS850GL
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    6
    Hi Lobo,

    This is what I have learned about finding the 17 digit vin- I found mine under the seat cushion just down from gas tank. Mine was on a small label on the frame of the bike The block and the tree had partial vins, but in both places positions 7 -17 were unretrievable.
    Hope this helps.
    Peace, Newbie123

  16. #15
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    1982 Suzuki GS-650GLZ, 1993 Suzuki GSX-750RW
    Posts
    1

    Exclamation Vin > 17 digits:

    IANAGC said: my DR650 does not have the 17 digits but 11 digits any ideas?
    Lobo said: I'm having the same problem. The KZ 400 I just got has two sets of numbers. The one off of the triple tree, K4S-26XXX and off of the block, K4SE035XXX. Every VIN site I've checked tells me that I must have a 17 digit number. Any one got any ideas ?
    VIN numbers PRIOR to MY1981 (model year 1981) were not REQUIRED to have a 17 digit VIN number. Some manufacturers (particularly in the US) had already gone over to this design b/c they knew the legislation was in play. The reason you are having trouble with that VIN is likely for this reason.

    See this article: My Suzuki Pages - FAQ: identification .

    The article is about Suzuki's mainly, but there is much generic information there about other subjects.

    Hope this helped


 

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