Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions 45 Flatties KHK vin number raising

KHK vin number raising

Post Wed Jul 03, 2002 1:30 pm

Posts: 3158
Location: Central Illinois, USA
Here in Illinois, the authorities use Palmer as a reference!

And since I have written affidavits of authenticity,...I am also a reference.

My titlebond appraisals often serve for the inspection step.

Illinois will not hold a suspicious machine for more than 30 days if no charges are filed. Our state ABATE can be thanked for that edict.

Your best means of dealing with the authorities may well be through a licensed dealer of good reputation, rather than an expensive lawyer.

The Man wants to nab perpetrators, not victims.

Post Thu Jul 04, 2002 12:00 am

Posts: 801
Location: Planet Earth
As said in other postings, the authorities use the information about numbers that has been supplied to them by HD. I had the pleasure of this a few years back. While crusin local RT 128 in Mass. I was stopped by a State Trooper who asked for my papers. While sitting there for over 20 min. a second Trooper pulled up and came over to the bike with a clip board loaded with papers. He looked at the numbers and then checked the corisponding paper on his clip board. He told the other Trooper everything was OK. I asked about the papers and ws told that they were from HD and had all the number configurations that they had used.
Now as far as HD's info they claim a lot of things that are not true. A friend of mine was looking into buying a new FX back in the 70's. While we were at the local HD dealer I noticed that one of the new FLH's had a set of numbers that had a line stamped through them and a second set of numbers stamped beside them. When I asked about it I was told that it was a factory mistake and they would supply paper work to anyone that bought the bike to back it up. Wouldn't touch that with the old 10' pole. So if that is true I would not put to much stock in what HD says about spaces or a lot of other things. I have seen many bikes over the years with spaces. Some deffinatly punched and others that I would say were 100% factory. Take Panics comment about the cut out in the boss for the case nut into cocidiration.


I would get the correct 8 and smack it in or find a dealer in your area that can do it. The dealer might be hard if you are not buying a new alphabet bike, all new leathers and a ton of chrome do dad for it.


Post Thu Jul 04, 2002 2:12 pm

Posts: 80
Location: Pensacola, FL, USA
Just to continue the story........
NICB turned up at the house yesterday with 2 escambia county sherriffs....ho hum. Florida DMV sicc'd em on me before giving me the chance to get the inspection paperwork from Arizona.
The investigator looked at the scoot and said the last number was to badly damaged to lift.
He then said because it was so damaged he was unwilling to put his name on the OK.
He looked at the case matching numbers and said one number looked like it was false. He looked at the frame number and determined the frame was a 52 frame.
Got into a huddle with the sherriffs and said he had to go to HD to check some info (which worries me more than anything else). Sherriffs told me to put the bike in the garage, not move it, sell it, burn it or otherwise under penalty of death and that they would contact me ASAP.

I showed the investigator this thread and the pictures posted here and he absorbed the information well.

In all not a bad experience. He understands I may be a victim here, but he made it very clear he could have taken the bike as it sat. My take is that he will not be able to match the case numbers with the VIN #'s at HD so the Arozona compliance document, i'm receiving on friday, is going to be the key.

As to the number spacing/type issue. I'm convinced Harley did not use straight back 6/9's or the normal spacing config on the K models. Ebay currently has great pics on 2 left hand K cases that support the numbers on my scoot. (Item # 1840221352 if you want to check em out).

I'll keep ya posted.

[This message has been edited by SirLosealot (edited 04 July 2002).]

Post Thu Jul 04, 2002 3:09 pm

They can't ask H-D for data - factory fire in 1960 destroyed all prior records.

Click here to read about my Mikuni Book

Post Thu Jul 04, 2002 3:21 pm


Post Thu Jul 04, 2002 3:24 pm

Another thought: "they determined that the frame is a 1952" meaning they saw 1952 on the neck casting? WRONG, frame used 1952-early 1956.

Post Thu Jul 04, 2002 4:24 pm

Here's the one Conan referred to:
and here's the URL:

Post Thu Jul 04, 2002 6:17 pm

Posts: 80
Location: Pensacola, FL, USA
Now that one does look like it's been modified. I see a four under the one.

Post Thu Jul 04, 2002 6:21 pm

Posts: 1028
Location: Ojo Caliente,NM,USA
At one time I owned 57XL 1889 and the XL started in the same place as Panics pic. but the numbers were closer together so there was a huge blank area in the center. The later Sportys that had three letters have less blank space.

Post Thu Jul 04, 2002 8:59 pm

Posts: 1676
Location: Interlaken, NY USA

I also have seen factory overstrikes. A friend had a 71 fx that had one line of numbers that had a line stamped through it and second line of numbers below the first.
He was the second owner,and knew the first. the bike was definitely legit.

Post Fri Jul 05, 2002 12:18 am

Posts: 1319
Location: State College, Pa.
The frame should have a year/month stamped on it at the seat nose casting area. Thus a 52 frame built in June might read: 2F (sixth month numericaly in the alphabet). This only refers to the date that the frame was made, not the year of the bike. Because of model year inception in August an early 52 may be stamped 1H. And to think that for a new model year being made and to be available August 1st, I would tend to think that the frame possibly may even be stamped in July. Therefore a frame stamped 2J would be a 53 model. And to sum this up, this year/month stamping may be a month/year stamping so the letter would come first if I'm thinking backasswards.


Post Fri Jul 05, 2002 12:24 am

Posts: 3158
Location: Central Illinois, USA
The year of the frame (unless post'70 and vin'd) should be irrelevant to registering the machine.

Post Fri Jul 05, 2002 5:36 am

Posts: 1319
Location: State College, Pa.

Only that it'll open up the leery eye a bit more.

Post Fri Jul 05, 2002 12:25 pm

Posts: 896
Location: Bixby,OK, USA
1980 FLT's had holes drilled in the cases and threaded for exhaust mount bolts right throught the numbers, and the numbers were restamped on the primary side I believe.
Just another HD curiosity...jb

Post Fri Jul 05, 2002 1:06 pm

Posts: 3158
Location: Central Illinois, USA
The factory did lotsa stupid things on late models, like in '79 (I think it was) they hired in a new hand who stamped out about 50 with the wrong stamps and codes. They went out as production anyway, and it has embarrassed the authorities as well as some law-abiding owners.

And the crossed-out numbers is another confusion: My hack frame has the number crossed, and then the SAME number stamped under it! I don't even remember what year it is. My right foot has probably worn it off by now: stupid place to put the #s!!

Post Fri Jul 05, 2002 5:02 pm

Posts: 80
Location: Pensacola, FL, USA
For the interested......

My frame # is: 4785852.. I assume it is H78552 based on the previous posts. It was difficult to read.


Post Sat Jul 06, 2002 3:26 am

Posts: 1319
Location: State College, Pa.
And where exactly is this number stamped?

69 and earlier have no frame serial numbers. 70 and up would have (for example) 4A (XLCH) 1000 and up (next 5 digits) H (1970-1979) 0 (1970). Or as read 4A1001H0 for a 1970 XLCH, 3A1002H4 for a 1974 XLH, 3A23765H2 - 1972 XLH. This would give you 8 to 9 digits on the cast area on the right side of the neck. Also, there should be 2 stars, one before and one after, with the frame number.

These numbers you have found. Might these be Arizona or Nebraska state numbers?

Post Sat Jul 06, 2002 2:49 pm

Posts: 3158
Location: Central Illinois, USA
Starting somewhere about '64, production numbers (not VINs) were stamped into the LEFT side of headstocks. At least on big twins. Like trannys about the same time, they started with a letter and then 4/5 digits.

These can be referenced to an assigned VIN from Factory records.

PS: Removal of these is a felony in Illinois as much as a VIN, if I understood the investigators correctly.

Post Sat Jul 06, 2002 4:25 pm

I've seen a long number sequence stamped into lower fork crown & transmission case on late 1960s big twins. The number looked only about 3/32" tall, almost invisible unless the surface is clean.


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