Confusion over year of bike

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by AUST FATBOY, Jan 11, 2010.


    AUST FATBOY Member

    Gooday Guys,

    Something that has been bugging me since I bought the FB almost 3 years ago is the year of the bike. The bike was bought as a 2005 model, and as previously posted has the tank emblem stating that it is th 15th anniversary model where the " USA " is usually. No other bits/markings other than that. As I understand it, 2005 was the anniversary year for the FB? Once I got the bike home and it had been looked over by some mates it was pointed out that it is actually a 2004 ( Manufacture date on the frame is 07/04 ). So I assumed I had been conned on the year of the bike. A few minutes ago I was looking in the tips section on here and went to the HD website to check my vin. According to HD it is a 05 model. So I am now really confused. It really doesn't matter all that much, I still love the FB , but it would be good to get this out of my head. Does anyone know what is going on ? All help gratefully appreciated and sorry for the longish post.
  2. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    If the VIN crosses to a 2005 at the HD website, then it is a 2005. I know with cages, the production for a particular model year starts the year before. Starting production in July of 2004, (like in your example) sure is an early jump for production year 2005, but that's how HD does it. I would guess your bike is pretty close to one of the first made for production year 2005, but it is a 2005.

    Remember, the same concept will carry over to the END of a production year run. I would guess the LAST month that a 2005 was made would be somewhere around May or June of 2005.

    I know for Classic car auctions, the Earlier in the year something was built, the more it is worth. Especially when it comes to a Special Anniversary Edition (like in your case), an early serial number bike would be worth More to a collector.

    Enjoy your Ride!
  3. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    Aust; Do your mates know it's a motorcycle, not a newspaper? It takes a while to get new bikes made and shipped to the dealers for the new model year which are usually released in Sep. Your's was one of the first made for the 2005 model year. My 2007 was made in June '07, probably one of the last made for that year. The vin is what matters. Your friends owe you a Fosters, for worrying you.

    AUST FATBOY Member

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for your replies. I now know that it is indeed a 2005 and can put that to rest.

  5. SilverFoXD

    SilverFoXD Junior Member Contributor

    Definitely an 2005. The serial number is the key.

    I took a tour of the York plant in mid July, 2008. The tour guide could not show us the assembly line as the bikes there were the 2009 models and they had not yet been introduced to the dealers.

    So, by the time HD builds the first bikes, ships them to OZ, then on to the dealers, etc., it could well be into September.

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Aust Fatboy... here is a "brief" tutorial regarding the VIN #...

    Example 1 HD 1 CG P 1 3 4 K 123456 1 = Domestic 2 = International Harley Davidson (Manufacturer) 901 cc or larger displacement XL1200C Custom (Model Designation) Engine Size (1200cc) 1 = Std Year, 2 = Mid-Year, 3 = California model VIN check digit (0 thru 9 or X) Model Year (2004) Assembly Plant (Kansas City) Serial Number

    Your Operators manual has more detailed info specific to your model of course, so it is one of those things you should get for your motorcycle to be sure.
  7. vistavette

    vistavette Member

    Just an FYI. All motor vehicles manufactured from 1981 and on have a 17 digit VIN; the 10th digit is the year. Often a letter replaced numbers; such as a "V" is a '97 "W" is '98 ... Starting in 2001 it is a number.

    AUST FATBOY Member

    Thanks for your help guys, the 10th digit is a 5. I appreciate your efforts.