Where Do I Find The Harley Davidson Engine Number? – You Should Be Know

When you have your first Harley Davidson, you want to keep the motorcycle in the best condition possible. Thus, the maintenance of the motorcycle becomes important. The regular maintenance of the engine, wheelbase, tire, brakes, and seat will maximize its performance. 

However, one of the important parts of maintaining Harley Davidson is identifying its engine number and knowing its meaning. But for that, you need to know the Harley Davidson engine number location. Once you find the engine number, you can read and break it down following our suggestions. 

Usually, the engine number of your Harley motorcycle will be on the left block of the engine and slightly below the cylinder. It is usually ten characters long and inscribed using a dot-matrix system. 

The engine number location and its identification will be useful to maintain its engine better. It is also helpful for yearly services. Nonetheless, the engine number identification is linked with the VIN of your Harley motorbike. So, we will also discuss it briefly. 

Harley Davidson Engine Number

Where To Find The Harley Davidson Engine Number Location?

Where To Find The Harley Davidson Engine Number Location

Finding the engine number location of your motorcycle, including Harley Davidson, is easy. The engine number will be stamped on the engine housing. Thus, you can easily locate it. You may follow these tips for finding the location. 

  • Keep your Harley in idle mode. Ensure that it is located on a firm base so as not to fall off or tumble. 
  • Now, you need to bend to go close to the engine. If you find it hard to bend and find the engine housing, you can sit comfortably. 
  • After that, look closely at the engine housing. If dirt and residue have made the engine housing too dirty to look at the engine number, you need to wipe it off properly. 
  • Find a piece of clean cloth and use it to wipe off the dirt and residues from the engine housing. Now, you can easily look at the engine number. 
  • The engine number should be stamped on the left side of your Harley’s engine block and at the lower section of its cylinder. So, observe the suggested location to find the engine number. 
  • Usually, the Harley Davidson engine number will be stamped using the dot-matrix system. It helps you locate and find the engine number with ease. 

When you have found the engine number, you should take a photo of it with your smartphone. Or, you can note it down for future use. It will help you use the engine number to maintain and service your Harley engine whenever needed. Remember that you will also need to provide the engine number to change it if you need it. 

Why Is The Harley Davidson Engine Number Important?

Why Is The Harley Davidson Engine Number Important

There’re many uses for the engine number of motorcycle. It includes the following ones:

  • The engine number is necessary when you service your motorcycle from Harley Davidson’s recognized mechanic shops. The engine number is the unique identification of your motorcycle given by the manufacturer. 
  • If you lost the key to your Harley Davidson and want to get a new one from the automobile blacksmith, you will need to provide your ownership of the motorcycle. Thus, the engine number will be your savior. 
  • If your Harley gets stolen, you need to go to the police. The engine number will help them find your motorcycle since it is unique to your motorcycle. Or else it will be incredibly tough to find our stolen motorcycle. 

Thus, you should always keep the engine number of your Harley Davidson securely once you locate it. However, you should also know the meaning of the different numbers and letters of the engine number. It will help you identify the exact engine model for better maintenance and service. 

Breaking Down The Engine Number Of Your Harley Davidson

Breaking Down The Engine Number Of Your Harley Davidson 

You have located the engine number of your Harley Davidson. So, what does this mean? Let’s break down the meaning of your Harley Davidson engine number. You will need to know a few tips for it.  The engine number of your Harley Davidson is stamped on the left block of the engine. It is slightly under the cylinder. 

“The Engine Number Of Your Harley Davidson Is Ten Characters Long.” 

You may also identify the engine number from the VIN of your Harley Davidson. The VIN is another 17 characters long unique identification number for your Harley. The “VIN” stands for Vehicle Identification Number and is unique to every Harley motorcycle. 

It lets you know the engine model, motorcycle model, year of manufacturing, and finally, where the motorcycle was made. At first, glance, breaking down the VIN can be a great challenge. So, we will discuss it in the following steps with easy explanations. 

  • The 5th and 6th character of the VIN refers to the model of your Harley Davidson. It includes DJ, AA, BA, BB, etc., numbers. Also, these two characters are unique to the specific model, referring to their manufacturing method. 
  • Next is the 7th character of the VIN of your Harley. It indicates the engine type of your motorcycle. Some of the characters may include L, K, etc. 
  • The 10th character refers to the model year of your Harley motorcycle. Yes, you can know the production year of your motorcycle with the 10th character. 
  • From the 12th to 17th character of the VIN refers to the serial number of your motorcycle. 

Is The VIN And Engine Number The Same For Harley Davidson?

Is The VIN And Engine Number The Same For Harley Davidson

No, the engine number and VIN aren’t the same for Harley Davidson. The same is true for any motorcycle brand and type. There are a few key differences between your motorcycle’s engine number and VIN. 

  1. The engine number will be on the engine. You may find it at the engine’s left, right, bottom, or top. On the contrary, you will find the VIN on multiple locations of your motorcycle. It may be even on the engine also. 
  2. The engine number is usually 9 to 10 characters long. On the other side, the VIN is almost always 17th characters long. The characters include numbers and letters, with the letters having specific meanings. It includes model number, manufacturing year, and manufacturing location mainly. 

You may see the following YouTube video to locate and read the VIN and engine number quickly.  Use The Engine And VIN Number To Find The Manufacturing Year Of Harley Davidson 

When you have found the VIN and engine number of your Harley Davidson, you can quickly find its year of manufacturing. It will be useful if you plan to get a used and comparatively older model of the motorcycle company. 

1960s Engine Models

For engines and motorcycles built before the 1970s, the first two numbers of the VIN will be the actual production year of the motorcycle. For the even-numbered year, these two VINs will be even numbers, and for odd years, the numbers will be odd. For engines made after 1969, the first two VIN letters won’t correspond.

1970 To 1980 Engine Models

The Haley bikes built from 1970 to 1980 have a different way of showing their production year. In these bikes, the last two characters of the VIN refer to the manufacturing year. However, unlike the models built before 1970, these models have a different VIN reference.

The second last letter will be “H” or “J,” which will be before the last digit. The letter “H” refers to the motorcycles made from 1970 to 1979. And the letter “H” means the bike was made in 1980. Also, the last letter after “H” refers to the actual manufacturing year. For instance, “H6” refers to 1976, the production year. 

The 1980s To 1990s Engine Models

For the Harley motorcycles built from 1981 to 2000, the last letter of the VIN will be its year of production. The letter is inscribed for different years of manufacturing. It usually starts with the letter “B,” which refers to 1981 as the production year. 

Letter in the VIN (Last character) 

Harley Davidson’s Manufacturing Year 





















From 1991, the production year will start with the letter “L.” The following letters will correspond to the respective years of manufacturing. 

Engines Built After The 2000s

Since 2001, Harley Davidson has established a more unified system of their VIN for motorcycles. You need to look at the 10th digit of your 17-character-long VIN. For instance, if the 10th digit of the VIN is “7”, it means the bike was manufactured in 2007. 

Also, the corresponding letter will determine the manufacturing plant of your motorcycle. These letters are “J,” “T,” “Y,” and “K.” These letters refer to the following manufacturing plants. 

  • J refers to the Milwaukee manufacturing plant. 
  • K indicates the Kansas City plant for production. 
  • Y means the plant is in New York. 
  • Finally, T will refer to the Tomahawk plant. 

Read More: A Complete Guideline On Harley Davidson Engine Size Chart


Locating the Harley Davidson engine number is no rocket science. You should find it easily on the left block of the engine right below the cylinder of your Harley motorcycle. Also, the VIN will be in multiple locations. You can use the engine number and VIN to find the production year, plant, etc. Also, these two identification system is useful for a warranty claim, repairs, services, and maintenance of your moto

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