Where Is The Harley Davidson Engine Number Location?


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Harley Davidson Engine Number Location

Struggling to find the Harley-Davidson Engine number location on your new bike? Don’t worry, it’s something that most new Harley-Davidson users struggle to spot.

Finding the Harley-Davidson Engine Number location is both easy and tricky. While people get muddled up in the codes and numbers associated with bikes, it’s still an important detail to know. The Harley-Davidson Engine Number location is the crankcase of the engine. 

Why do Harley-Davidson bikes come with engine numbers?

A Harley-Davidson engine number is an important piece of information that you should know about. This is essential if you’re into DIY repairs or full-size restorations. If you’re interested in involving in a motorcycle rebuild or restoration project, or you’ve recently completed one, you’ll know that there are many codes and numbers associated with every bike.

The manufacturers stamp different parts of a motorcycle to help you identify different parts of the bike. These numbers will help in ensuring that the engine is original. Further, they’ll help you find original parts and help you in knowing a bit more about the individual parts.

Generally, there are two numbers on your Harley-Davidson that you’ll want to pay attention to. One of them is the engine number while the other is the VIN number. The Harley-Davidson engine number is incredibly useful if you’re considering a Harley-Davidson and wondering about the engine’s reliability history. Sometimes, if you’re getting repairs done on your bikes and engines, it’ll be important to know if your motorcycle has errors related to it.

A Harley-Davidson VIN is normally placed in multiple locations around the Harley-Davidson. A Harley-Davidson engine number is stamped and engraved on the engine block. Some models may vary, but a Harley-Davidson engine number location is usually around the crankcase. It is important to know how to find the engine number and decode it.

Where will you find the Harley-Davidson engine number location?

Engine numbers, no matter what the model or year of your Harley-Davidson, will be found somewhere on the engine. Outside of that, it is fairly bike-specific to find the exact location of the engine number. Although different Harley-Davidson models can be different, a common place to find the engine number will be near the crankcase.

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Harley-Davidson engine numbers will be engraved into the metal. Instead of looking for an engine number plate, you should look for engravings. Sometimes, grime and dirt can cover up the number on the crankcase. This is why you should clean it right away as soon as you find it. 

An alternative to finding the engine number on the crankcase would be to look for it in the owner’s manual.  These are usually kept under the seat of the Harley-Davidson. You should look through the table of contents. Then try to see if you’re able to find the VIN in the manual. Either in the same line or in the next line, there will be a mention of where to find the engine number.

If you’ve lost or thrown your owner’s manual, an alternate way of accessing the engine number would be online. Click here and find out your engine number. It is an excellent resource, and you’ll be able to access it instantly after downloading. While the manual will not have the Harley-Davidson’s engine number, it’ll give you the directions to find it.

It is widely believed that an engine number on an older bike is easier to find. The newer bikes of today will have the fairings and other panels covering up a portion of the engine block. For Harley-Davidson bikes with fairings on the front, be prepared to take them off to access the engine number.

Harley Engine Number Location

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is located on the crankshaft of the engine. It is the same as that on the steering wheel mount. Regarding where to find the engine number, a sticker that contains the number is located directly on the engine block. This is the case rather than using multiple stickers. The Harley-Davidson engine number is located above the engine bay, and it contains number letters. However, some models will also have ten digits in the engine number.

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Coming to the VIN on the Harley-Davidson, it is written right beside the steering wheel. There is a large VIN sign towards the right side of the frame.

Depending upon the destination, the downtube may be accompanied by a printed VIN label. Make sure to know the engine number of your Harley-Davidson matches the number of your bike when making the purchase. The sticker at the back of your Harley-Davidson’s engine must spell out the bike’s engine number. You must pop out the hood, or you can also view it from the rearview mirror. The owner’s manual will also help you know where to find the VIN and engine number.

What does a Harley-Davidson number look like and how to decode it?

As mentioned before, the Harley-Davidson engine number will be made up of 9 numbers or characters. This is what helps distinguish the engine number from the VIN apart from the location. It should be noted that normally there are 9 numbers/characters but sometimes, it could even be up to 17 characters. There might be some letters incorporated inside the number sequence too. Some motorcycle manufacturers will specify engine size, cylinder count, emission rating, and manufacturing date in the number. The other times, it can simply be a serial number referencing something different to the company.

Harley Engine Number

Every Harley-Davidson is different, but the importance of the engine number isn’t in knowing the displacement of your bike. However, it will be used to help the Harley-Davidson users find specific parts for the bike. With just a simple Google Image Search, you’ll be able to see that every bike prints the number differently.

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There are many examples that are riveted into the crankcase. Some of them include two rows of characters placed onto the engine side of the kickstand. Before you start looking for the engine number on your Harley-Davidson, you should look at the owner’s manual. There will likely be a section titled “Owner Information”. There, you will find a description of serial numbers and a blank space where you can write the numbers. This section will help you find the Harley-Davidson engine number location.

Once you know the Harley-Davidson engine number location, you’ll get to know the engine number. The next step will come in decoding the Harley-Davidson engine number. Here is how you’ll be able to easily decide the Harley-Davidson engine number.

  • The first character of the Harley-Davidson engine number is the country code
  • The second character of the Harley-Davidson engine number is the manufacturer 
  • The third character of the Harley-Davidson engine number is the type of vehicle 
  • The fourth to ninth characters will check to see whether you have accurate engine types, engine sizes, and model 
  • The tenth character will contain the year code


Thank you for reading. Now it’ll be easier to know the engine number as you know the exact Harley-Davidson engine number location. Hopefully, this article would have given you more than enough information about the Harley-Davidson engine number, why motorcycles come with engine numbers, how to decode these numbers and more. Remember, an engine number and VIN are not the same, although both of them are equally important.

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White Star Rides is your go-to Harley-Davidson expert. We live and breathe these bikes. Our team has years of experience in fixing, riding, and loving Harleys. We know every part of these bikes and love sharing what we know with you. Whether it's about fixing a problem or just enjoying the ride, we're here to help. Trust us to make your Harley journey better and easier.

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