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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 7th December 2009
Jplath Jplath is offline
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Default Cant find my frame VIN

Hey guys,
Finally getting back to my 71 sportster project after a 3 month hiatus. I was hoping to take car of the registration but i still cant seem to locate my frame Vin. The bike was a basket case that i was told had been out of the system for at least 25 years (i have NO paper work whatsoever). The engine vin indicates that it is 1971 xlh. My Harley manual says that the vin is located on the steering tube, however, i have also heard of it being stamped somewhere underneath the seat. What makes this so difficult is that the frame has been bondoed extensively (i guess to smooth out the welds?). I managed to sand down the bondo and paint on the steering tube only to reveal bare metal and no numbers. I also chiseled down about a 1/4 inch of bondo underneath the seat and discovered that the old seat mounts had been braised over with brass, but still no numbers.
Can anyone tell me (or show me ) the exact location(s) of the vin? pictures would be great...
If it has no vin (pre 1970 frame or ... stolen at some point and shaved down) is it still possible to register it - either by claiming it to be a pre 1970 bike or stamping a new vin?
thanks
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  #2  
Old 7th December 2009
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dave76 dave76 is online now
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Ahh someone decided they wanted to smooth the frame neck on mine and sanded everything nice and smooth, no numbers to be found. You might be in the same boat too.
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  #3  
Old 7th December 2009
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Here's where it is on my 77 . . .there was some point where there was no frame number. .i'm not sure what year that was??. DO NOT!!. ...go stamping anything on the frame that even resembles a frame number. ..you will be branded with a stolen tag and the whole bike confiscated on suspicion. .. Personally i don't go telling the whole internet world my complete engine number either . . .see you just gave some bike thief full details of your bike and the fact its been out of circulation for 25 years, and you have no paperwork for it. .. they jump in, rebrand their stolen bike with your numbers before you . ..and sheebang . .your's is then the copy . . .ps. i'd go back to your original email and replace some numbers with ***. . . . .i'm just sayin

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  #4  
Old 7th December 2009
Jplath Jplath is offline
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thanks russzx6...the changes have been made. Didn't even think about that! i'll sand some more paint and see if shows up (havent checked that far down on the steering tube yet).
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Old 7th December 2009
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If there is no serial number, can the registry assign a number?
What do you do if you make a frame from scratch using a frame jig and steel tubes that you weld together. How do you get a serial number for that?
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  #6  
Old 7th December 2009
Jplath Jplath is offline
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Couldn't find anything further down on the steering tube (like in the picture). Anyone else with an early 70's ironhead? What can i do if this thing doesn't have a vin on the frame?
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  #7  
Old 7th December 2009
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you say you have no paperwork at all ? Have you ever had the eng. #'s ran to find out if they're "clean" ? Call your state DMV and ask them about registration requirements. I hope you got a hell of a deal on that basket case. Most people stay away from frames and engines/cases if there is no paper. Good luck.
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Old 7th December 2009
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if it was supposed to be numbers matching when you got it, the frame vin and the engine vin were the same in 71 i believe. register it with the engine vin and be done with it. just say the frame is custom and has no numbers on it.
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  #9  
Old 7th December 2009
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I would claim it's pre '70. I would also ask my local cops (hypothecally, of course) what they think.

I dont think they ever put a frame vin elsewhere than the lower part of the neck casting on Ironhead frames ( with neck castings anyway). On tubular frames, the number is on the right front of the steering stem tube.
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  #10  
Old 7th December 2009
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You should be able to title it by the motor since Harley may have used an earlier frame. My 60 Triumph had a frame number, but didn't match anything on the title or dealer invoice. My '71 Triumph is registered with the engine number. I put it in a '67 frame, no numbers. My '75 was the same way...the frame had no number that could read except for an 506...check your state DMV about registering certain years by engine or frame number.
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