How Do You Decode a Yamaha VIN Number?

Are you thinking of getting that Yamaha bike? Whether you are purchasing a new or even a used one, you want to get value for your money. Nobody wants to end up with a well-decorated piece of junk.

As a buyer, you will always go for the motorcycle with the best technical condition, and rightfully so. However, a bike that looks good at first glance can have a history that can bring you problems in the future. This is why a VIN lookup of that 2-wheeler is vital before buying it.

Through this article, you will learn how to decode a Yamaha VIN from the comfort of your couch. But first, let us highlight what the VIN is and where you can find it on that Yamaha.

Let’s get started.

What is a VIN?

After the year 1980, all manufacturers were required to give a code to each vehicle they manufactured. This code was to be used for identification purposes and was to be unique to every vehicle. So, whether it’s a Chevy or Yamaha, there’s no exception in this matter.

This unique number is known as the vehicle identification number or, in short, the VIN. It comprises 17 characters, mainly capital letters and numerals with no space between them. This code acts as the vehicle’s ID.

Many people think that the characters in a VIN are random. Well, that is not the case. Each character in the VIN usually carries a meaning.

Understanding the meaning of these characters can aid you to learn a lot about that Yamaha in minutes. With the VIN, one can learn about the motorcycle’s body style and even the model. What’s more, you can also know about the previous ownership record of that bike.

So, where can you find the VIN on your Yamaha? If you buy a Yamaha for the first time, it can be challenging to identify the VIN. It is for this reason that we have listed some common places where you can find the VIN.

Some of these parts include:

On either side of the steering tube. It is hard to miss the VIN stamped vertically on either side of the steering tube.

In the case of the motor. On this part, check for the clutch cover on the right side of the motor.

Below the handlebars

On the front of the bike’s frame, the VIN is usually etched on a metal plate along with some other important information.

Decoding the VIN

As we saw earlier, each character of the VIN usually holds some meaning. Understanding this meaning is what is known as decoding the VIN. The best approach to take when decoding that Yamaha VIN is by using an online Yamaha VIN decoder.

Once you have located the VIN, note it down, head to the internet, and search for a VIN decoder. With a reputable VIN decoder like VinPit, you will get all the information you need in minutes. Relying on a huge database, you are assured not to miss a thing.

All that VinPit requires is for you to input the VIN in the field provided. Once you have done that, you leave the rest of the work for the site. Some information will then pop up.

This information can be confusing, but here is how you can make sense of it.

First Character

The first character of the VIN refers to the country in which the vehicle was manufactured. For Yamaha, you will find the letter “J” in this place. This means that the bike was manufactured in Japan.

Second Character

In the second place is a character that stands for the vehicle manufacturer. For Yamaha, you will find the letter “C” in most cases.

Third Character

The third character will tell you about the type of vehicle. Motorcycles use the letter “A” or the number “1” to depict them.

Fourth to Eighth Characters

These five characters are usually referred to as the vehicle’s description code. With these characters, you will learn about the features of your Yamaha. The features will range from the motorcycle’s model, engine type, engine size, and many more.

Ninth Character

This digit is also called the security code. It is used to check the validity of the VIN. To do this, it uses a complex mathematical formula that we don’t want to bore you with.

Tenth Character

This character represents the model year for that specific motorcycle. Different characters denote different years. In the past, numbers were used to represent the model years.

However, for the latest models, letters are used to code the model years.

Eleventh Character

This digit will tell you about the plant that assembled your Yamaha.

Twelfth to Seventeenth Characters

These six digits represent the production sequence number for your bike. Each Yamaha bike gets this number after it has been assembled.

Where Can You Apply The Information You Get After Decoding?

Now that you know what a VIN is and how you can decode it, only one question remains. Where do you apply the information you get? Below we have highlighted some of the instances where the information from a VIN can be helpful.

Purchasing the Yamaha

When buying that Yamaha, make sure you do your homework thoroughly. Be sure that no seller will reveal the motorcycle’s defects to you. It is for this reason that you have to get the correct information on your own.

With the information from a VIN, you will know all the features of the 2-wheeler in minutes. What is more, you will be able to know the ownership history of that bike. This will guide your judgment so that you can know whether the investment is worthwhile.

Selling the Yamaha

Apart from purchasing, the information from the VIN can help you when selling that Yamaha. Buyers, more often than not, will need to know the features of that bike. By decoding the VIN, you will be able to answer all questions that may arise.

This will help you close the deal faster and much smoother.

Servicing the Yamaha

At one point or another, you might need to replace some parts of that Yamaha bike. The only sure way to know which parts to purchase is by using the information from the VIN.


In conclusion, knowing the condition of that Yamaha is crucial before investing in it. The only sure way to get credible information is by getting it on your own. No seller will ever tell you that the Yamaha they are selling to you had been stolen.

It is for this reason that a VIN lookup is necessary. With a site like VinPit, you can get all the information you need at no cost. The information ranges from the specifications of that 2-wheeler to even its previous owners.

This information guides you to know whether the investment is worthwhile.