The coronavirus pandemic has triggered many peculiar trends, including the growing popularity of second-hand bikes in the US. The 27% increase since 2020 shows consumers’ desire to shift from public transport to more private options. If you are planning to purchase a second-hand motorcycle, research its background online. One quick VIN check will provide a wealth of useful information.
All vehicles produced in the United States since 1981, including motorcycles, ATVs, and RVs, have unique identifiers that contain 17 numbers and numerals. To run an online motorcycle VIN check, enter this code on a website like FaxVIN and get your free report. If the seller is crooked, you will understand it immediately.
Where to Find the Number
According to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, every motorbike must have a VIN, but it can be stamped on different parts depending on the manufacturer. You should also find it in the owner’s handbook and other documents. The numbers on paper and the bike must be identical. Otherwise, you are looking at a motorcycle that has probably been revamped after serious damage.
The code includes 17 characters — numerals and letters except for O, I, and Q. Every element carries particular information. For example, VINs of motorcycles made in America start with 1 or 4. The second character shows the manufacturer — for example, C stands for Yamaha.
The code is always placed on non-removable parts, preferably in locations where it cannot be easily scratched or damaged in another way. For example, here are some typical placements on Yamaha motorbikes:
- On the frame or under the seat;
- Below the handlebars;
- On the right or left side of the steerer tube, aka the head pipe;
- On the motor case around or behind the clutch cover (the code can run in different directions — front to back or left to right).
How to Check a Bike for Free
This is an easy task. All you need is a website with a VIN decoder and the VIN from the motorbike. Enter it into the search field, and the system will produce a report with a build sheet showing the type of engine, fuel, specs, etc. This information is provided free of charge, but you can also purchase a detailed history report via the VIN check and lookup tool.
An in-depth investigation into the past of a motorbike is crucial for any prospective buyer. It will show any accidents, damage, and other negative events, from defects to repossessions. If the bike was damaged by flood, hail, or fire, stolen or recalled, these details will also be included.
To Sum Up
Prospective owners of second-hand motorcycles should check their background to avoid expensive mistakes. Sellers are not always honest. A quick online search lets you delve deep into the past of any vehicle and reveal negative events that affect its condition and value.