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  1. #1
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    Default Knucklehead VIN Help

    Long time lurker, first time poster here. I got a lead on a Knucklehead that a guy is selling out of Missouri. He said the motorcycle was re- id’d by the state of Kansas after it was stolen in 1951. The title has the a letter and number combination of S-11-111KAN. Wondering if y’all have ever seen a vin like this, and if there’s a way to inspect the cases to see if they’re genuine Harley and not repro’s. Thanks!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That could be.... Does he have the title with those numbers on it???

    It would be easy to tell if it's a real Harley motor but much better pics would be needed....

    Is it complete??? What is he asking???

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    He said he’s got a good Missouri title for it. Here’s a write-up he posted. He’s a friend of a friend so I don’t know the guy personally. Was looking to do some recon first before reaching out. He wants $15k for the full bike. Click image for larger version. 

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    Try using one of those online VIN searches. Its a Knuck, right, don't the VIN use the numbers off the engine?

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    Quote Originally Posted by worldsbelow View Post
    He said he’s got a good Missouri title for it. Here’s a write-up he posted. He’s a friend of a friend so I don’t know the guy personally.
    I would say you would be ok if those numbers are on his title..... That's a nice looking bike go look at it in person....

    That's not a steal of a deal but it's not over priced either for what it is....

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    The number sequence doesn't match the standard 17 characters for a modern VIN, so it's not as easy to search. From what I've read, VIN's did't become standardized until the 80's. Just wondering if any midwest folks have seen this type of VIN before and how I can verify if the motor is legit without the original VIN, if that's even possible. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by worldsbelow View Post
    The number sequence doesn't match the standard 17 characters for a modern VIN, so it's not as easy to search. From what I've read, VIN's did't become standardized until the 80's. Just wondering if any midwest folks have seen this type of VIN before and how I can verify if the motor is legit without the original VIN, if that's even possible. Thanks.
    It's going to be a waste of time looking up those numbers.... Many States did that very often years ago...

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    Quote Originally Posted by worldsbelow View Post
    I can verify if the motor is legit without the original VIN, if that's even possible. Thanks.

    What you need to do is a bunch of reading..... One thing I would ask if your worried is ask if the motor still has the belly numbers???? I bet it does...

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    forget researching the vin, it's a revin-ed scooter. Vin pad been buffed down, you can drop some acid on it [research acid, CHP uses it] will bring out OG numbers. Only way now to tell idf its og cases, is pull the skid plate. I myself would walk away, unless you plan on keeping the bike, like forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddhahoodVato View Post
    Only way now to tell idf its og cases, is pull the skid plate.
    Thanks for the info. What does CHP stand for?

    Also, what would be behind the skid plate to reveal if the cases are OG? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    What you need to do is a bunch of reading..... One thing I would ask if your worried is ask if the motor still has the belly numbers???? I bet it does...
    A bit of info here:
    Q: "I,m trying to find the "belly" numbers on a 1944 Knuckle..."
    An answer that has a correction by next poster:
    "The belly numbers are located on the bottom of both halves of the engine cases. It consists of three digits, followed by a dash, followed by four digits.
    For a knuck, the first digit will be "1", the next two are the year (possibly one year earlier than the 44 you already know because they are stamped before assembled and might sit on a rack for a while). The remaining four digits are just a sequence and will NOT match the number by the timing hole.
    The belly numbers on each half should be the same."

    Answer: "The first portion of the belly numbers on a 1944 Knucklehead won't consist of three digits and the same thing applies to all other Knucklehead years.
    Knuckleheads only have two characters in the first portion of their belly numbers. They do not have the first (or extra) digit you mentioned. The extra character coding system wasn't introduced until 1948."

    See more here:
    http://harleytechtalk.com/htt/index.php?topic=16947.0

    and,
    "But the first two characters may be different styles to the first two characters in the serial number."
    http://harleytechtalk.com/htt/index.php?topic=13014.0
    Last edited by TriNortchopz; 01-14-2019 at 8:01 AM. Reason: a correction, not an edit

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    Right on! I’ll have to see if the current owner can send me more detailed pics with belly numbers. Thanks for the arrow Trinort. 🤙🏽

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    Quote Originally Posted by worldsbelow View Post
    Thanks for the info. What does CHP stand for?

    Also, what would be behind the skid plate to reveal if the cases are OG? Thanks.
    CHP= California Highway Patrol=Police

    Remove the skid plate you can witness the HD mo co belly numbers on the cases,,Aftermarket cases wont have[numbers]

  14. #14

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    Isn't owning a bike with a altered VIN a Federal crime, around here they would confiscate the bike and you would have to prove it was legit. I do not think the State of Kansas would have ground down the pad and put numbers on it, can you imagine a trooper with a grinder in the trunk or at the station!!

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    If this scoot had a state-issued serial number assigned, it should have that number stamped on the frame, or on a state-issued tag riveted to the frame, in addition to the number stamped on the case. If the motor case number is all it has, you might think twice about buying it, and the possible problems that could follow.

    Jim

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    You guys are forgetting that those State applied numbers are from 1951...... You can't use today's logic for what they did back then.... Hell not long ago back in the 70s dealers would restamp numbers in new replacement frames... If a bike was totaled because of a bent frame....

    I'd bet there nothing wrong with that bike...... Now if you would take it into California you would get a tag.... Hell they put tags on legit Harley numbered bikes....

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    Quote Originally Posted by worldsbelow View Post
    Also, what would be behind the skid plate to reveal if the cases are OG? Thanks.

    That's why I said you need to read read read...... Also I told you in post #8 what was behind the plate if you would have been reading everyone's post.....

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    My bad, homes. I didn’t know there was a difference between the belly numbers and the location where the vin was stamped. Glad you fellers could help out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by worldsbelow View Post
    My bad, homes. I didn’t know there was a difference between the belly numbers and the location where the vin was stamped. Glad you fellers could help out.
    No problem.... But Like I said before, If you want to own a old Harley you need to read read read and listen to people that know way more than you..... that way when your our age you can help others.....

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    You guys are forgetting that those State applied numbers are from 1951...... You can't use today's logic for what they did back then.... Hell not long ago back in the 70s dealers would restamp numbers in new replacement frames... If a bike was totaled because of a bent frame....

    I'd bet there nothing wrong with that bike...... Now if you would take it into California you would get a tag.... Hell they put tags on legit Harley numbered bikes....
    This is true only f you dont have a title that has the vin that matches the cases.

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