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I was just curious. What year did HD start putting Vin numbers on frames instead of just the numbers on the engine case? Thanks, Todd
 

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Not to nitpick but I think it was for the 1970 model year which started in the fall of 1969.
 

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The above is true for the Milwaukee made Harleys. I just looked at a '66 Sprint that had matching frame and engine numbers, flanked by stars even.
 

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Folks,

H-D began stamping production numbers on frames and transmissions somewhere around 1962,... memory failing fast...., but at least by '64.

It was upon the left side of the headstock, quite small, and starts with a letter.

....Cotten
 

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Folks,

H-D began stamping production numbers on frames and transmissions somewhere around 1962,... memory failing fast...., but at least by '64.

It was upon the left side of the headstock, quite small, and starts with a letter.

....Cotten
Cotten is referring to anti-theft numbers, and yeah I thought '62 as well. As mentioned, these start with a letter followed by 4 numbers. These anti-theft numbers are tied into the vin. These numbers were on frames, triple trees, transmissions, and I don't know what else. They can be used by leo if you had stolen parts on your bike, etc.
 

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Many WLC frames were stamped by the Canadian government for identification, normally on the left portion of the triangular casting at the seat post. Your WLA engine could be in a WLC frame.
H-D also stamped ID numbers in frames that were returned for repair in order to track them and get them back to the correct dealers.
None of those numbers are serial numbers (VIN nowadays) used for titling purposes.
Robbie
 

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Robbie please correct me if I'm wrong but I believe sportsters have the anti-theft numbers from late '68 or early '69, stamped onto one of the front downtubes. They also have the frame VIN pad (not stamped until '70) from '69.
Non-VIN manufacturing date codes are stamped into the rear right tank mount from '53 (not early '53 though).
 

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Sorry for the noob question, but if you buy a pre 1970 Harley, what is "titled"? Can you simply use an aftermarket frame with no problem at the DMV?
 

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The title is tied to the motor. So yes on the after market frame.
That's not entirely true if the aftermarket frame has numbers.

Once a frame has numbers, those supersede the engine numbers and you'd have to do a special construction. Now is that what people are doing, most likely not, but that doesn't make it right either.

Best thing for a titled engine (pre '70) is to put it in a non-numbered (pre '70) frame. Why make it difficult?
 

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Let me be the pain-in-the-ass nitpicker. Aermacchi made Harleys, which many don't consider to be genuine Harleys, had frame numbers in the 1960s.
 

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That's not entirely true if the aftermarket frame has numbers.

Once a frame has numbers, those supersede the engine numbers and you'd have to do a special construction. Now is that what people are doing, most likely not, but that doesn't make it right either.

Best thing for a titled engine (pre '70) is to put it in a non-numbered (pre '70) frame. Why make it difficult?
Thank you for the post and Thank you Tattoo. I am just a dumb ass noob but dont want to get myself into a bind if I find a cool motor, title etc.

Great posts. They helped me
 

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oh shit, here we go again...

If the aftermarket frame has non registered MSO on it they can be removed,and many manufactures will make you a frame and not stamp any MSO numbers in it. an MSO number is not a VIN number until it has gone through DMV and been registered then it becomes a felony to remove or alter those VIN numbers.
According to the law VIN numbers can't be messed with at all, but those date code or anti theft numbers are not legally VIN numbers so the can be added to a reproduction frame in an effort to make it a restored bike as long as you don't have any intent to defraud anyone.
 
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