You can lookup a motorcycle VIN number the same way you would check any other registered vehicle, with a simple VIN decoder. You can also use the motorcycle vehicle identification number to run a vehicle history report, which is a good idea if you’re purchasing a used motorcycle. This is essentially the same as running a motorcycle title search. This will give you the lien holder, if a loan is out on the vehicle, how many previous owners of that motorcycle, accidents and recalls and safety issues. Another useful government website that will help you learn more about a motorcycle is SafeCar.gov. This will show you all known safety and recall notices for your motorcycle, all you need to do is enter your 17 digit motorcycle VIN.
The VIN number on a motorcycle is located on the steering neck. If you turn the handlebars to the left and look on the right side of the motorcycle frame you should see the metal tag with the VIN number on it. If you cannot find it there then it might also be located on the motorcycle motor. The easiest way to find your motorcycle VIN number is to look on your registration card, motorcycle title or motorcycle insurance card. If all else fails then you can use a service, like SearchQuarry.com, and lookup your 17 digit VIN by your license plate number.
A motorcycle title search is the same as a running a vehicle title search, you will need the motorcycle VIN to begin. The motorcycle VIN should be 17 digits that are alpha-numeric, this can be easily found on your motorcycle registration card and neck of the motorcycle, as described in the section above. Then you will want to obtain a vehicle history report for the motorcycle, which will cost a few bucks but well worth it. This report will tell you if the vehicle title is clean, salvaged, junked, recalled and if there are any liens on the vehicle. If you’re purchasing a used motorcycle and the person selling it to you isn’t on the title, then the motorcycle might still have a bank owned lien on it. You can also contact the DMV and use their National Motor Vehicle Title Information System to run a motorcycle title search, and find out if a motorcycle title is clean.
You can find out if your motorcycle has any recalls or safety issues by using the free government resource, SafeCar.gov. This free resources is federally run safety resources for the public to find out if their vehicle has any reported recalls or safety concerns. This can prove to be very useful when purchasing a used motorcycle, knowing this information before you make your purchase can save you a lot of frustration down the road. Another great government resource, that is not free but very informative, is VehicleHistory.gov. This resource will provide you with the history of a motorcycle as well as a NMVTIS report which will protect you from fraud and buying a stolen vehicle.