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How to Find out the Year of a Four Wheeler

by Alan Sembera

You may have a hard time buying the right part for a four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle if you do not know the model year. That information is also important when you are buying or selling a four wheeler. Fortunately there is a simple way to find the year on any four wheeler. All ATVs have a vehicle identification number just like an automobile. You can find the model year of any ATV with that number.

Find the 17-character vehicle identification number on the frame of your four wheeler. The number may be stamped on the frame, attached on a riveted metal plate, or attached with a sticker. It usually will be on the left side, on the frame rail under the motor. Do not use any number found on the motor itself. The vehicle identification number will always be on the frame.

Look at the 10th character of the vehicle identification number. It will be a number or a letter.

Use the 10th character to determine the year model of the four wheeler. The numbers 1 through 9 stand for either 1971 through 1979, or 2001 through 2009. If the 10th character is a letter, the following applies: A=1980 or 2010, B=1981 or 2011, C=1982 or 2012, D=1983, E=1984, F=1985, G=1986, H=1987, J=1988, K=1989, L=1990, M=1991, N=1992, P=1993, R=1984, S=1985, T=1986, V=1987, W=1988, X=1989, Y=1990.

Tip

  • If your vehicle identification number is covered with oil or dirt, be careful when cleaning the frame to avoid damaging the sticker or plate.

About the Author

Alan Sembera began writing for local newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. His professional career includes stints as a computer tech, information editor and income tax preparer. Sembera now writes full time about business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas A&M University.

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