A VIN number is easy to locate, because it is found on vehicle registration cards, loan paperwork and recreational vehicle insurance cards. Most motorcycle owners realize that the VIN number is a unique number given to their bike that identifies it from other bikes, but not many people understand all of the information that is embedded within the VIN number. The information recorded can vary from maker to maker.
Look at the first three digits of the VIN number, otherwise known as the WIM or the World Manufacturer Identifier. On a Suzuki, you will see J signifying Japan, followed by S for Suzuki and 1 for motorcycle.
Recognize the next five digits as the VDS or Vehicle Descriptor Section that gives information about the vehicles specifications.
Look at the first digit gives the vehicle category. The following are the values for the possible letters:
B = Business model, commuter C = Scooter F = Family G = Multiple cylinder sport street H = Square Four N = Single cylinder sport street S = Off-road V = V-type engine, street (V2, V4)
Identify the second digit of the VDS, which signifies the piston placement. The following are the values for the possible letters:
A = ---49cc 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 X = 1300---1399cc Y = 1400---1499cc Z = 1500---
Examine the third digit of the VDS, which represents the engine type. The following are the values for the possible numbers:
1 = 2-stroke, single 2 = 2-stroke, twin 3 = 2-stroke, triple or four 4 = 4-stroke, single 5 = 4-stroke, twin 7 = 4-stroke, four
Locate the fourth digit of the VDS. This gives the model version by number. For instance, the first version of the model will be given a 1 in this field while the ninth version will be given a 9.
Look at the final digit of the VDS , which will be the letter A. This designates the base model.
Ignore the ninth digit. This is called the check digit and is used for security purposes and provides no information about the bike itself.
Examine the tenth digit or year code, which gives the model year. The possible values for this digit are given below.
1980 = A 1981 = B 1982 = C 1983 = D 1984 = E 1985 = F 1986 = G 1987 = H 1988 = J 1989 = K 1990 = L 1991 = M 1992 = N 1993 = P 1994 = R 1995 = S 1996 = T 1997 = V 1998 = W 1999 = X 2000 = Y 2001 = 1 2002 = 2 2003 = 3 2004 = 4 2005 = 5 2006 = 6 2007 = 7 2008 = 8 2009 = 9
Notice the eleventh digit. In other vehicles, this will give a factory code, however, with a Suzuki, the value will read 2.
Locate the final six numbers of the VIN. This is bike's six digit Vehicle Identification number that is unique to that vehicle.
- In 2010, the year code will restart again with "A."