- Decoding a vintage 9 digit Yamaha
There is a whole list of the different decode numbers and it is best you check for yourself or ask an expert because every type of bike is different. You will need to know the exact model and the year it was produced. This website has all the code numbers for the vintage bikes, so you are bound to find the code you are looking for.
- Fixing up an old bike
- Using online forums for help
There will also be experts in the forums who are happy to offer help and advice for those who need it. You may also be able to find videos on YouTube which show people fixing up their vintage bikes and by watching the videos you are sure to learn a lot. Many people find that watching a video is far easier than reading instructions and many individuals have provided clean and insightful instructions in video form.
At the moment, decoding a nine digit Yamaha Motorcycle Vehicle Identity Number (VIN) is impossible for the owner of the motorcycle without seeking specialist help from an expert in vintage Yamaha motorcycles.
A VIN is a unique serial number used in the automotive industry to allow for quick and accurate identification of a specific motor vehicle in the case of loss or theft.
From 1954 until 1981, it was left to each individual motor vehicle manufacturer to decide upon the format and number of characters used in the VIN they produced for their vehicles. This means that there was no standard universal form for the VIN during this period.
As such, the VIN used for a Yamaha motorcycle would have a completely different formulation to those used for any other brand of motor vehicle.
Each vehicle manufacturer had their own individual format and Yamaha used a nine digit VIN during this period. Information on what the nine digits refer to is unreliable, fragmented and complicated by the fact that there is no standardized format. What the numbers and letters refer to in one VIN for one make of bike, may not be consistent with a VIN for another type of Yamaha bike.
Because of problems such as this and the lack of standard format for VINs, in 1981 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standardized the format for VIN into the 17-character format that is still in use today.
In addition to having 17 characters, the post 1981 VIN also has a standardized decoding mechanism which allows for easy decoding of the vehicle in question, where it was manufactured, attributes the vehicle has, the model year, plant code and the sequential number for example.
This is not the case for nine digit VINs.
As such, to decode the nine digit VIN of the motorcycle in question it is important to call a local Yamaha dealership and ask to speak to someone with knowledge of classic motorcycles and in particular, those built prior to 1981.
If they are unable to help, they may be able to direct you to a nearby vintage Yamaha enthusiasts' club who may be able to provide you with the information you are seeking.