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VIN Decoding

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ratatooie
Running out of unique names
Running out of unique names

Posts : 180
Location : Isle of Man

VIN Decoding

Post by ratatooie on Tue 07 Mar 2017, 5:57 pm

I was having a conversation at lunch about VINs with another CB500 owner the other day which I thought might be of interest. He has the disc brake version and was saying just from the VIN alone you can tell a lot about a bike, which I found fascinating.

The first few letters (e.g. JH2) apparently tell you the country of origin (J for Japan), the manufacturer (H for Honda) and the type of vehicle (2 for motorcycle). He said the later disc models had ZDC for Italy, Honda, Motorcycle. 

The next four or five letters and numbers are the description code of the vehicle (PC262), which seems to mirror the first four digits of the engine number (PC26E). I gather disc CB500s were PC32A.

The next digit is a checking number between 1 and 9 or the letter X, (which represents 10) and is used to verify the VIN based upon a fairly simple calculation using the rest of the numbers and letters of the VIN. 

The next digit is the year of manufacture (R for the 1994 I believe).

The next digit is the factory in which the bike was made (M for Hamamatsu factory or F for Atessa factory in Italy). Were our bikes made in a number of different Japanese factories or was this the only one in Japan that made the CB500s? I would imagine that different factories would specialise in different things. 

The last six digits are the sequential production number. A quick google says that the CB500 started at 2000074, but he said that the first 2 is dropped so it would just be 000074 for example. This should match the frame number, 

He said his frame and engine number don't match, which I gather is fine and it would be unusual if they did. I don't think my ones do either.

The above is from memory so hopefully I have not missed anything. However, a quick google tells me that the CB500s up to 1995 didn't have a 17 digit VIN, but rather an 11 digit one as stamped on the headstock so now I am just confused about what my drum brake one should be showing. I will check when I get home, but I'm pretty sure it just has PC26-2000XXX on the headstock so that makes sense:

See here - you will need to hit the translate button it in Chrome

Could someone with a drum brake model chip in and allay my confusion? What am I missing here?
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ratatooie
Running out of unique names
Running out of unique names

Posts : 180
Location : Isle of Man

Re: VIN Decoding

Post by ratatooie on Wed 08 Mar 2017, 9:41 am

Right I checked the headstock last night on my drum brake model and my suspicions were correct - the VIN is the older 11 digit one and reads xPC26-2000XXXx. I guess this means that the chap was not aware that only his newer disc brake CB have the new 17 digit VINs. 

Is there a way of verifying VINs of the older Honda format? All the online VIN checkers seem to only have facilities for the 17 digit ones.

Working backwards and applying everything else that he told me I would think that if my bike did have the newer VIN, it would read something like JH2PC262XRM000XXX. 

Now that I (think I) understand VINS, it should make shopping for bikes in the future a bit more informative.
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burning_rubber
Two Tone
Two Tone

Posts : 139
Location : wils

Re: VIN Decoding

Post by burning_rubber on Fri 10 Mar 2017, 8:22 pm

this is very cool  to me, nice info

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