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Thread: Serial Numbers??

  1. #1

    Default Serial Numbers??

    Is there a website or publication that covers serial numbers for Harley-Davidson production, such as what numbers in what years they started with. I have several serial numbers I have questions about and don't know where to look.

  2. #2
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    http://vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/v/Numbers/ has many examples of numbers.
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the tip, I will check out the site.

  4. #4
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    Welcome to the forum, Brian. Iím not exactly sure what youíre after but you can find H-D production figures through 1969 in The Legend Begins, a Harley publication, although the book states the info is not to be regarded as totally accurate.

    You mentioned what numbers in what years they started with so Iím wondering if you meant, at least in part, what the sequential portion of the serial numbers started with. Is that part of what youíre asking? Staying strictly with Panheads for now, for 1948Ė56 Panheads the sequential portion of the serial number started at 1000 but then for 1957 it changed to starting at 1001 although I donít know the reason for the change. And apparently the start number remained at 1001 for 1958Ė59. Then for 1960Ė65 Panheads the even-odd code was used, and although there is some confusion regarding the exact number those six years started with, 1960, 62 and 64 began in the 2000s (either at 2001 or 2000). And 1961, 63 and 65 started in the 1000s (either at 1001 or 1000).

    NB: Some people will tell you the even-odd code didnít start until 1962 but those people are mistaken.

    And Iíve sent you a PM. Eric

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speeding Big Twin View Post
    Welcome to the forum, Brian. I’m not exactly sure what you’re after but you can find H-D production figures through 1969 in The Legend Begins, a Harley publication, although the book states the info is not to be regarded as totally accurate.

    You mentioned what numbers in what years they started with so I’m wondering if you meant, at least in part, what the sequential portion of the serial numbers started with. Is that part of what you’re asking? Staying strictly with Panheads for now, for 1948–56 Panheads the sequential portion of the serial number started at 1000 but then for 1957 it changed to starting at 1001 although I don’t know the reason for the change. And apparently the start number remained at 1001 for 1958–59. Then for 1960–65 Panheads the even-odd code was used, and although there is some confusion regarding the exact number those six years started with, 1960, 62 and 64 began in the 2000s (either at 2001 or 2000). And 1961, 63 and 65 started in the 1000s (either at 1001 or 1000).

    NB: Some people will tell you the even-odd code didn’t start until 1962 but those people are mistaken.

    And I’ve sent you a PM. Eric
    I've read the even-odd code starting in 62 in two different places. Where did you get your info from?

  6. #6

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    Thanks for your help, this is what I was looking for.

  7. #7
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    cdndewey, a while back I ran across a thread on FlatheadPower where Herbert Wagner in 2007 talked about H-D using model layout sheets which covered the starting point for serial numbers and he indicated the even-odd code began for 1960. My photo examples of 1960Ė61 factory-stamped serial numbers indicated Wagner was correct because they all comply with the even-odd code. No exceptions.

    That forum has changed somewhat since then but the link below will take you to page two of that thread. As you may know, Wagnerís screen name is HarleyCreation:

    http://www.sscycle.com/tech/viewtopi...=8857&start=20

    In the winter 2009 issue of The Antique Motorcycle, Wagner again indicated 1960 was the start year for the even-odd code in an article called Cracking the H-D Code: ĎFor 1960, serial numbers suddenly began with number 2000, while in í61, they reverted to 1001.í However, as I stated above thereís some confusion about the exact start number and youíll see that when comparing the 2007 forum thread with the whole 2009 article. Anyway, the 1960s even years start at either 2001 or 2000 and the 1960s odd years start at either 1001 or 1000.

    Regarding 1962, the earliest mention Iíve seen of that is in a document apparently printed by the CHP in 1971 and it can be found on Chris Haynesí web site. It seems the CHP error regarding 1962 was copied by others, both police and non-police, and it appears in an early Jammer Handbook which I bought circa 1980 as well as in a document apparently prepared by Connecticut police around 1981. Some of the Connecticut document was posted on the Hydra-Glide forum in August-September 2009 and the Clymer service manual for 1948Ė65 Panheads also contains the error relating to 1962.

    So far I see two possibilities for how 1962 was incorrectly printed as the start year for the even-odd code:
    1. Itís a typo no-one corrected. And it's easy to see how a typo gets copied by comparing the CHP document with the Jammer info and the Connecticut document. In all three of those publications in a certain reference which could only relate to 1948 or later belly numbers, the letter V appears three times apparently instead of the letter U. Obviously the V-series bikes werenít made after 1936 so the 1948 or later reference couldn't possibly relate to the V-series. But no-one corrected the error. So a similar thing may apply to the mistake regarding 1962, with no-one correcting it.
    2. It may have been taken as 1962 because thatís the year Harley started using additional original component identifying numbers aka anti-theft numbers and someone incorrectly assumed that both things started at the same time.

    In closing, given what may be happening with member profiles on the AMCA forum beginning 15 November I may no longer be able to post here but you can find me via PM on other forums, including CAI, H-G and HTT. Cheers. Eric

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    Brian, I sent you another PM. Eric

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