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ejb2370
26th March 2009, 15:20
I don't see anyhting on the title or frame that would tell me what it is?It's a 1999.I can't figure out how to post a pic.

Moved On / My Own Choice
26th March 2009, 15:24
I don't see anyhting on the title or frame that would tell me what it is?It's a 1999.I can't figure out how to post a pic.

There weren't that many "models" - but normally there is something in the VIN code that will tell you the motor and model.

mray55
26th March 2009, 15:28
Welcome to the best place to find advice for your bike. I see it is your first post. So have fun reading!!!

bud095
26th March 2009, 15:29
you gotta pic?

funnythebunny
26th March 2009, 15:37
Welcome to the forum, from NYC's Bronx. Get 5 posts (and/or replies) and you'll be able to post photos. The serial # hides clues as to what "model" you have, regardless of mods. Anyone with a 99 HD repair manual can decipher it for you.

Bob F
26th March 2009, 15:52
Hello from Pittsburgh and welcome to the XLForum.

Deimus
26th March 2009, 15:57
Did a little online search and found two source that together will answer your question I believe. The first was from WikiAnswers that gave:
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_decode_a_harley-davidson_vin

The modern 17 digit code basically breaks down as follows: The first 3 digits identify the manufacturer as Harley (1HD). The fourth digit is an engine designation, 1 is over 1,000 cc's and 4 is under 1,000 cc's. Digits 5-8 are the model designation. Digit 9 is a check digit. Digit 10 is the year of manufacture (they used letters prior to 2001, then 1 for 2001, 2 for 2002, etc.). Digit 11 is the factory where the bike was built. And digits 12 - 17 are the unique 6 digit identification number for that particular motorcycle.

The second source was a nice page detailing the HD VIN codes:
http://www.freewebs.com/vindecoder/vin1981today.htm

It gave this list for the Sportster model codes you should find in your VIN:

Digit for the models in the 1981 - 2007
Sportster
CA XLH Sportster
CB XLS
CC XLX
CD XR 1000
CE XLH Hugger
CF XLH DeLuxe
CG XLH Custom
CH XLH Soprt
CJ XLH C53 Custom
CK XL 883 R
CL XL 1200 Roadster
CM XL 883L
CN XLH Sportster
CR XL 883L
CP XLH C53 Custom
CS XL 883 R
CT XLH Custom
CW XL 1200 Sportster Low
CX XL 1200 Sportster Low
CV XL 1200 Roadster
CY XL 50th Aniversary Sportster
CZ 1200N Sportster 1200 Nightster
LA 1125R Sportster
LE 883 Iron

Edit: In my 2005 Parts catalog, a couple of the model descriptions are slightly different from the above table:
CA - XL883
CJ - XL883C
CG - XL1200C

And your year code for 1999 should be "X" in your VIN

Deimus
26th March 2009, 16:15
My 2005 Parts catalog gives a better VIN decode than the WikiAnswers source:

From the Parts catalog:

Digits:
1: Market Destination; 1-Domestic; 5-International
2-3: Manufacturer; HD
4: Motorcycle Type; 1-Heavyweight; 4-Middleweight
5-6: Model; (see model chart in previous post)
7: Engine Type; M-883; P-1200
8: Introduction Date; 1-Regular; 2-Midyear; 3-California; 4-SpecEdition; 5-Cali SpecEdition
9: VIN check digit
10: Model Year (see online source referenced in previous post)
11: Assembly Plant; K-Kansas City MO
12-17: Sequence Number

ejb2370
26th March 2009, 18:06
Wow,that's a lot of info fast!Thanks for the welcome posts and all the info.Looks like I have a XLH C53 Custom.I've only had it a few weeks now,so I'm still learning,but is their a place to learn what separates certain models from others?Thanks again for the quick replies!

Moved On / My Own Choice
26th March 2009, 18:32
Wow,that's a lot of info fast!Thanks for the welcome posts and all the info.Looks like I have a XLH C53 Custom.I've only had it a few weeks now,so I'm still learning,but is their a place to learn what separates certain models from others?Thanks again for the quick replies!

The BEST place - an owners manual or FSM.

The next best place - here and/or www.sportster.org - specifically the History tab may help a little.

The differences aren't huge...

wade1171
26th March 2009, 18:40
i have never heard of a XLH C53 Custom is that a 883 custom?

ejb2370
26th March 2009, 19:14
Yea, its an 883,and apparantly is a custom,although I didn't know it til today.I'll do a couple more posts and put a pic up.

ejb2370
26th March 2009, 19:25
I put a pic in my gallery,I can't post any attachments.Maybe someone will know what makes it a XLH C53 Custom.

Moved On / My Own Choice
26th March 2009, 19:33
I put a pic in my gallery,I can't post any attachments.Maybe someone will know what makes it a XLH C53 Custom.


I think you can post pics now despite what the BB message says.

More importantly, I think the data from the link just sucked and a scanner accidentally turned 883 into C53 (i.e. read the 88 as C5).

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/500/medium/harley55.JPG

ejb2370
26th March 2009, 21:08
OK,thanks for the info.

Weo
27th March 2009, 00:01
It's a Custom with aftermarket pipes... don't know the cc though, but I don't know if they made an 883 custom in that year, so might be a 1200.

Weo
27th March 2009, 00:14
I take it back... I think the 1200 Custom came with the slotted rear wheel and the 883 Custom came with that fatboy one like yours. So could be an 883 Custom.