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Thread: No VIN number on frame

  1. #1

    No VIN number on frame

    Greeting to all,

    This is my first post as a new member so forgive me if this question has been asked and answered already.

    I have recently purchased a 1984 R100RS from a reputable vintage bike dealer and had it shipped here to California. The bike is great and the transaction went without a hitch with all the required documentation accounted for. While getting everything in order to register it I was looking for the VIN number on the bike and I can't seem to find it anywhere. No stampings, stickers, anywhere on the frame. The motor has a pad on the left side of the engine with stamped information, but they do not appear to have any correlation to the VIN number. The current out of state registration, plate number, proof of insurance, and title have a clear chain of custody, but nothing on the bike to tie it together. In researching this odd circumstance, I have heard there is a BMW Service bulletin (2298) that states that around 1984, BMW was not going identify their motorcycles using a VIN and this is not uncommon for bike of this vintage. This has phenomenon been mentioned in Snowbum's web site and others as well. I have searched the web and cannot fine this service bulletin anywhere which is odd as it has been touted as being the Rosetta Stone for BMW's that are VIN-less. Anyone know of this bulletin and know how to get a copy. I just need some ammunition in the event the DMV throws a net over me and my bike. In contrast, my /5 has the VIN number pounded on to every conceivable flat surface available.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    cheers

  2. #2
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    Have you checked the lower right frame rail, below and just aft of the RH cylinder?

    Best,
    DeVern
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S-PD — 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C — 2010 K1300GT — 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  3. #3
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    In addition to the lower right frame, check the label on the swing arm. If the swing arm is the original, the label will have the VIN punched into it with small holes to make the letters and numbers.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  4. #4
    Thanks for getting back to me. No stickers or numbers stamped anywhere, and I have spent plenty time looking as well as my Airhead friends. I would like to get a copy of that BMW Service Bulletin 2298 if anyone knows how to get one. It is proving to be elusive so I am wondering if it is an urban myth.

  5. #5
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blsuedeshu View Post
    Thanks for getting back to me. No stickers or numbers stamped anywhere, and I have spent plenty time looking as well as my Airhead friends. I would like to get a copy of that BMW Service Bulletin 2298 if anyone knows how to get one. It is proving to be elusive so I am wondering if it is an urban myth.
    Since you own a bike which gives you very good reason to need to see it I would think that any reputable BMW dealer would be willing to show it to you. Who have you asked?????
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  6. #6
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I have not seen any factory bulletin...probably different than a service bulletin...about this. My suggestion to contact Snowbum through his website and ask him to provide some background or a copy. I've never seen it before.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  7. #7
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blsuedeshu View Post
    Thanks for getting back to me. No stickers or numbers stamped anywhere, and I have spent plenty time looking as well as my Airhead friends. I would like to get a copy of that BMW Service Bulletin 2298 if anyone knows how to get one. It is proving to be elusive so I am wondering if it is an urban myth.
    What does the existing title state as the identification for this vehicle?
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  8. #8
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    My 84

    This is the location of my serial number on my 84 RT, it is not deep and perhaps if your bike has been painted or powder coated the numbers may be hard to see? St.
    IMG_20211123_184015421.jpg

  9. #9
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    When I need to highlight numbers/info such as in Steve's picture, I rub a piece of soapstone over the area. Chalk may work as well.
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  10. #10
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    From Snowbums page:

    Per BMW factory bulletin 2298, if your State or Country requires an engine number, you are to use the top line characters on the milled flat area on the engine case, located below and forward of the left cylinder. BMW meant (my interpretation) this applied if you did not have a stamped engine number located at the dipstick area. The stamped milled flat area number BMW said to use is not really a true engine number, and all will be explained in this article.

    You can read the article here: https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/IDnumbrs.htm
    Dave Hutton '78 R100S (mfg 7/77)

  11. #11
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    Lol

    When I need to highlight numbers/info such as in Steve's picture, I rub a piece of soapstone over the area. Chalk may work as well.


    LOL, I wasn't showing the numbers per say as the location of the serial number. Yes, chalk works fine. I had the frame powder coated over last winter and the coater specifically asked me what he wanted me to do in regard to the serial number. Care was taken so it would still be visible.

    As part of NY requirements, the engine number is not the number used for registration, the frame number is. So in this fellow's case, there either is a number on the frame and he is missing it or, there was and perhaps it is obscured by paint or Powder. St.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Since you own a bike which gives you very good reason to need to see it I would think that any reputable BMW dealer would be willing to show it to you. Who have you asked?????
    The bike has had no problem title wise from the original owner in Texas to Georgia. Registration requirements may be looser in those states.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    What does the existing title state as the identification for this vehicle?
    A VIN that I have not been able to find........yet!

  14. #14
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blsuedeshu View Post
    The bike has had no problem title wise from the original owner in Texas to Georgia. Registration requirements may be looser in those states.
    So you haven't asked a dealer about the bulletin?
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  15. #15
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blsuedeshu View Post
    A VIN that I have not been able to find........yet!
    Snowbum’s treatises on VIN information can be found here:

    https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/IDnumbrs.htm

    https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/id-yr-codes-pwr.htm

    Is it possible this was originally a non-US-spec bike?

    Best,
    DdeVern
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S-PD — 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C — 2010 K1300GT — 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

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