Year of manufacture and VIN number

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by NeilP, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. NeilP

    NeilP Member

    I have just bought a Sportster and according to the VIN number it was made in 2004
    VIN is 5HD4CAM124Kxxxxxx
    x's replace the build number.

    Now the strange part. My registration document shows the bike was first registered here in Jersey, Channel Islands, England on the 5th January 2004.

    There is no way the bike could have been made in the USA in 2004, and sent to Jersey in 5 days and registered.
    So it must have been made in 2003...yet the VIN shows it is a 2004 bike.

    So would a 2004 model bike have been built in 2003? or what is going on here?

  2. NeilP

    NeilP Member

    That will be it then

    Will check the rubber mounting in the morning, need to do an oil change on it anyway. Had to put a litre and a half of oil in it, just to get the oil level back to the BOTTOM of the dipstick. The last owner did nothing too it at all, obviously not even checking the oil. I paid £2300 for it, 4000 miles on it
  3. softy heritage

    softy heritage Member

    The eigth digit from the end signifys what year it is. So it would be a 2004. Also possible it was built in 2003.
  4. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    There should also be a tag on the frame that tells what month & year it was built. The tag has Something like "This vehicle conforms to bla bla bla that were in place on the date stamped above" bla bla. Both my '92 and '07 have this, I just looked, 12/91 and 06/07. The '92 has it on the bottom of the front right down tube, the '07 has it on the left side of the neck.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    On MY 06 1200 R sporster , oil needs to be checked AFTER A START-UP and ran for a minute so the oil that flowed to the engine has a chance to equalize and proper level shows on the dip-stick... Just thought i would OFFER that...

    Hope you didn't add oil before letting it run a bit.........I way over filled mine
    ONCE so now I remember!

  6. NeilP

    NeilP Member

    Thanks for all the replies guys, all useful stuff.

    I have had bikes for years, but this is the first Harley.

    I was worried about the lack of oil...I bought the oil, filter, spark plugs yesterday, was planning on doing it all today. Since it only takes 3 litre or so for a full change, including the filter, and I had to put 1.5 litre to get it to the bottom of the dipstick, that would leave only about half a litre in the engine!

    While we are on the subject ( I have no handbook, last owner lost it) How do you use the dipstick?
    Bike level or on sidestand?
    and do i push and turn the dipstick back to the fully in riding position, or just seat it in the filler hole. to get the correct level reading?

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Routine maintenance is a snap and good time to get to know your bike. Like everything in life preparation and patience are the main ingredients...gasket(s), o-rings, drain tray and pan, oil filter (consumables), a manual and clear area to work is the key. Proper fitting handtools, wrenches, hex & torx bits are of course a must. Come on in, the HDTalking DIYer forum is just fine. and ready to help..!
  8. roadrashman

    roadrashman Member

    the tenth digit is the model year of the bike not manufacture date
  9. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    Its a not so funny thing with vin numbers in the auto industry when trying to order parts. When in doubt I look them up and also look at the EPA sticker to confirm what tear it complies with
  10. NeilP

    NeilP Member

    Thanks guys.

    Found the manufacture date 11/2003, but it is an 04 model, so now I know.

    Thanks for the oil change video link. I had previously found the one of the guy in the workshop, but had not seen the other one before. Plugs, oil, filter and transmission oil changed this afternoon.

    I have a plenty big enough workshop (once I get my mates old car, my Landcruiser and two old tractors out the way! but I think I will have to build a bike stand /lift. But for now a manual is the next thing on my shoppng month