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Hi how is everyone new to the community I have a 78 soft tail sporster and I can't read the vin number on the goose neck where else can I find the 17 number vin the engine and frame numbers are the same but I have to have the vin number to file for a lost title
 

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Compare the number on the engine with what you can read on the frame to fill in some of the missing blanks (the most important missing blanks are the last numbers, which are the serial number for that specific bike). Some of the first few numbers/letters are model designation and country it was made for, so if you know the model and where it was meant to be sold, just look up the VIN codes for that year, example, my 97 softail custom has a VIN designation of BK for the model and a 1 for USA, so it starts with 1HD1BK (the second 1 after the HD is a weight class designation that it's over 900 cc). Just make sure you look up how the VIN was coded for the particular year of the bike.

You could also lay a piece of paper over the stamped VIN on the frame and rub a pencil over it to get the numbers transferred on the paper, they may be more easily read that way.

Though, if it's a 78, they might have still had the full VIN# on the engine rather than an abbreviated number. And in 1978, the VIN should be 9 digits.

Yours should look something like 4AxxxxxH8. 4A is an XLCH, H8 is 1978, you just need the 5 numbers in the middle (bike specific serial). Again, that's assuming it is a 1978 XLCH.

17-digit VIN numbers didn't start until 1981.
 

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^^^^^^^What Sardonicus said^^^^^^

But as a "Welcome to the Forum" gift, here are a handful periods and CAPS you can have for free to get you started.

...................................................................................
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Welcome from the Central Sierra's!
 
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