Honda ATVs have a Vehicle Identification Number that can be used to trace the ATV back to the manufacturer and even to the exact point the ATV came off the production line. Other information contained in the VIN is the year of manufacture, make and engine style, and a check digit in the middle of the VIN to prevent vehicle identification fraud.
Find the VIN number on the ATV. This is mounted on the frame generally near the bottom. It is a 17-digit number. Look at the first three digits. These represent the World Manufacturer's Identifier, or WMI. The first digit denotes the country of origin. If the initial number is a 1, the ATV was manufactured in the U.S. If it is a J, it means your Honda was made in Japan. The second digit will be an H for Honda. The third digit is the vehicle type or manufacturing division. This could be a 3 or a 5, for example, for all-terrain vehicle, or an M, for example, for motorcycle division.
Use the next five numbers (four though eight) as a group. These digits are called the Vehicle Description Section and represent the details of the ATV, such as series, model and engine type.
Find the ninth digit. Treat this number in isolation. It is assigned to protect against vehicle identification fraud and can be traced back to the ATV by the manufacturer.
Check that the 10th digit matches the year of manufacture. From 2000 onward, it is a number, and before 2000, it is a letter. For example, a 1998 model will have the letter W in the 10th position.
Determine the plant where the ATV was made with the 11th digit. A represents the Ohio factory in the U.S.; B is the Aalstd factory in Belgium; C is the Saitama factory in Japan; D is Guadajara in Mexico; E is the Montesa, Spain factory; F is the Italian Atessa factory; K is the Japanese Kumamoto factory; M is the Hamamatsu factory in Japan; R is the Manaus factory in Brazil; S the Suzuka factory in Japan; T is the Japanese Tochigi plant; and 4 is the South Carolina U.S. plant.
Use the final six digits to see the unique production sequence of the ATV. This can show you when your ATV came off the production line and is used for product recalls if only a portion of the production was affected by an issue.
Items you will need
- VIN code specific to the ATV
- atv airborne image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com