Excerpt from "Stolen", an old publication to identify various brands of motorcycles.
Honda Motorcycles are manufactured in Japan. The only distributor for the United States is the American Honda Motor Company Inc., Gardena, California. This agency maintains records of all motorcycles imported into the United States. In most instances, assembly information is available from American Honda by submitting either the frame or engine number. The National Automobile Theft Bureau can provide information only by frame number.
Honda is by far the largest selling motorcycle in the country today. Consequently, more Hondas are stolen than are any other motorcycle.
Replacement frames do not have frame numbers assigned or stamped thereon. Complete replacement engines do have factory assigned and stamped numbers. This is done primarily for warranty purposes, Honda motorcycles are generally registered in most jurisdictions by the frame number. In the past, numerous Hondas have been registered by an incomplete frame number, (model number has been omitted) an engine number, or an incomplete engine number. All Honda engine numbers have an "E" stamped after the model designation prefix. Honda frame numbers do not contain the letter "E"' which is an engine number designator. It should be noted however, that Honda models CA102, CM91, CA105T, CL125, SS125, PC5OY, SS65, and C100R may all have an alpha designator in the frame number.
These are the only known exceptions in Hondas imported into the United
A. Alteration of Honda Identifying Numbers
- A Honda engine number is one of the most difficult to alter without detection. The single cylinder engines have a recessed area into which the engine number is stamped. Surrounding this recessed area is a raised border. The larger two-cylinder engines have a distinctive engine number that is stamped into a raised, knurled area which is surrounded by a raised lip. Any attempt to alter this number would necessitate the removal of the knurled surface and probably disturb the surrounding lip, thus making the alteration apparent to even the untrained eye.
- Honda frame numbers are frequently removed entirely or altered. Grind marks, uneven and irregular surface, evidence of welding, unusually heavy paint, or unevenly stamped letters and numbers are indications of alteration. If the engine number appears unaltered and the frame number appears to have been altered, compare the two. They should be similar in size and style. Several of the Honda numbers are distinctive and difficult to duplicate, The numbers "9" and "4" are probably the most distinctive. Once these authentic numbers are seen, imitations immediately become readily apparent. You are encouraged to make yourself familiar with them.
B. Data pertaining to Honda frame and engine numbers.
- There are two types of frames, pressed and tubular. Pressed frames are used for models S-65, S-90, CT-90, CT200, CM91, CA95, CA72, CA100, CA102, C110, and CA200. All other models, (the larger models), use the tubular frame.
- The chart below lists the various models and number of digits used.
MODEL NUMBER OF DIGITS CA-100 1 letter and 6 digits CA-102 1 letter and 6 digits CA-105 1 letter and 6 digits C-110 6 digits beginning with 3 or 4 C-200 6 digits beginning with 1 or 2 or 7 digits beginning with 3 CT-200 6 digits beginning with 1 S-65 1 or 2 letters and 6 digits S-90 6 digits beginning with 1 or 5 CM-91 1 letter (A) and 6 digits beginning with ? CT-90 6 digits beginning with 1 CA-95 6 digits beginning with 1 or 3 or 7 digits beginning with 4 or 5 CB-160 7 digits be~inning with 1 or 9 CL-160 7 digits be~inning with 1 CA-72 6 digits beginning with 1, 3, or 4 or 7 digits beginning with 1 CB-72 6 digits beginning with 3 or 4 or 7 digits beginning with 1 CL-72 6 digits beginning with 3 or 7 digits beginning with 1 or 4 CA-77 6 digits beginning with 1, 3, or 4 or 7 digits beginning with 1 CB-77 6 digits beginning with 1, 3, or 4 or 7 digits beginning with 1 CL-77 7 digits begi'nning with 1 CB-450 7 digits beginning with 1 EXAMPLES: CL160-1010823 CA77-302251 CB450-1000432