Honda Motorcycle Vehicle Identification Numbers Explained & Decoded

  • 12:15 PM
  • 01.11.2021

What is a Motorcycle VIN Number?

A VIN or Vehicle Identification Number on a Honda Motorcycle is a 17 digit code which consists of letters and numbers. Likened to the DNA of the motorcycle every vehicle produced since 1981 has one of these codes. This identification system was implemented to create a consistent method of identifying a vehicle, a necessity for law enforcement departments. No two motorcycles or any vehicle can have the same VIN.


What does a Honda Motorcycle VIN Number tell you?

The VIN will tell you what country your bike was manufactured in, the bike manufacturer, the type of vehicle it is, the model of the vehicle, the year it was manufactured, and the production line number. Knowing all these details will assist you identifying the exact configuration of your motorcycle ensuring that you purchase the right part that fits.

Where is the VIN Number on a Honda Motorcycle located?

You will find your motorcycle’s VIN number stamped onto the right side of the headstock, where the steering stem is located. The VIN is also usually located on the left side of frame on a metal tag above the motor.







How do you decode a VIN Number on a Honda Motorcycle?

The first three characters of a VIN is also known as the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI). This uniquely identifies the country where the vehicle was manufactured, the manufacturer and what type of vehicle it is.

                                                                                                      JH2 RD07A 9 T M 001234


1.    Locate the first character. This letter or numeral represents the country of manufacture. In this case, a "J" for Japan should be present.
2.    the second character, "H." This represents the name of the manufacturer, Honda.
3.    The third character. This letter or digit represents the vehicle type. Most Honda motorcycles use a "2," which refers to a motorcycle, although "A" or "1" may also be used.

The next section of six characters (RD represents the Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS). The VDS provides information portraying the general attributes of the vehicle.

4.    The fourth through the eighth characters. These letters and digits are used to identify the model of the motorcycle itself. In this example, RD07A represents a XRV more commonly known as an Africa Twin.
5.    The ninth character is a randomly selected number or letter to make the VIN code completely unique, in this example it is “9”.

The last section of the VIN is made up of the remaining eight characters and is known as the Vehicle Indicator Section (VIS)

6.    The tenth digit denotes the year of manufacture, which in this case is “T” which is 1996. The VIN use both letters of the alphabet to identify the year except the following letters I (i), O (o), Q (q), U (u) and Z (z) and numbers from 1-9 (no 0). Learn more about identifying your motorcycle’s year in our Honda motorcycle year decoder blog, complete with decoder year chart.







7.    The letter or number in position 11 indicates the manufacturing plant where the vehicle was assembled.
8.    The remaining six characters (12 through 17) are usually the order in which the motorcycle came off the production line. These numbers are usually kept in succession.

The code is assigned to a vehicle manufacturer in order to allow identification of the said manufacturer and when used in conjunction with the remaining section of the VIN, ensures uniqueness of the VIN for all vehicles manufactured for a period of 30 years.

  • 12:15 PM
  • 01.11.2021