and Accessories catalog offered by Classic Motorworks:
- If it has a Unit Constructed Engine it is a 2009 model or newer.
- If it has a five-speed transmission, it is a 2004 model or newer.
- If it has an electric starter, it is a 2002 model or newer.
- If it has four wires coming from the alternator it was made after June, 1999.
- If it has three wires coming from the alternator it was made before June, 1999.
- If it has a yellow horn button it was made after June, 1999.
- If it has a red horn button it was made before June, 1999.
You can also tell the model year of manufacture from the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). If you're considering buying a motorcycle on eBay you will see the VIN number right there in the ad. The tenth number or letter in the VIN tells you the year of manufacture. Here's how to decode it:
(Some confusion here; in the U.S. 7 should equal 2007 and 8 equal 2008)
You'll also find the VIN number stamped on the neck of the frame in front of the gas tank, on a plate inside the right-side toolbox and on the rear down-tube of the frame. The plate inside my right-side toolbox (top) helpfully gives the model year of the motorcycle and a quaint warning against modifying it to make it louder.