A buyer or owner of a Harley Davidson motorcycle can check the VIN by using an online VIN decoder, such as VIN-Decoder, which automatically identifies the exact model, year and other features of that particular motorcycle. A VIN, or vehicle identification number, is a sequence of characters that is unique to that vehicle.
First implemented in 1954, the early VINs were formatted by the individual manufacturers. By 1981, the format was standardized by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Harleys manufactured after 1981 are identified by a 17 character code located on the frame, which must match the title. If the frame is replaced after an accident or other mishap, a new VIN is issued for the motorcycle. If the VIN on the frame does not match the VIN on the title, a buyer should investigate thoroughly before purchasing the motorcycle.