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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 1985 kz550 and it only has a 12 digit code on the head stock. That same code is on aLL the stickers as weLL.
Did VINs used to be printed somewhere eLse? The bike shouLd be younger than 17 digit VIN.
 

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Well a couple of possibilities to explain why you have a 12 digit serial number instead of the 17 digit VIN.
1) Your bike was imported from a country that was not using a 17 digit VIN in 1985
or
2) Your bike is not actually a 1985 model.
 

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A photo of the motorcycle would help. Is it a shaft drive or chain drive?
I'm thinking if the year & Z550 are correct, then it could be a GT550 shaft which wasn't sold in the USA, so it could be from a country that didn't make the switch to the 17-digit vins yet.
If chain drive, it could be a ZR550 or ZX550 (not a Z550). need a pic.
The manual for the 85 ZR/ZX models show both vin types were used.
 

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Agreed photos of the bike and the 12 digit number would help. Are we talking about a KZ or GPZ model by any chance?

The VIN or serial number were always found on the headstock AFAIK for all Kawasaki bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A photo of the motorcycle would help. Is it a shaft drive or chain drive?
I'm thinking if the year & Z550 are correct, then it could be a GT550 shaft which wasn't sold in the USA, so it could be from a country that didn't make the switch to the 17-digit vins yet.
If chain drive, it could be a ZR550 or ZX550 (not a Z550). need a pic.
The manual for the 85 ZR/ZX models show both vin types were used.
I mistyped. It's a Kz550. I've corrected that in my original post now. It is a shaft drive. I'll add some photos to the thread!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Agreed photos of the bike and the 12 digit number would help. Are we talking about a KZ or GPZ model by any chance?

The VIN or serial number were always found on the headstock AFAIK for all Kawasaki bikes.
I meant KZ, but mistyped. I've corrected that now. I'll add some photos to the thread!
 

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According to your frame serial number you have a 1981 KZ550C2 LTD. But that bike was chain drive so it looks like someone converted it to shaft drive. Can you post the engine serial numbers?
That's a nice Suzuki in the background, is that the 250cc?
 

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By cchratx: I mistyped. It's a Kz550. .... It is a shaft drive.

I'm seeing a chain in the 2nd pic, looking thru the wheel. Looks like a KZ550C Ltd. The solid silver muffler stay indicates that it's a 1980 model, but I guess it's possible someone swapped it out or the first year type could have been used on some 1981 models (never seen that done before, though). The muffler stay is what supports the muffler, footpeg & brake pedal.

In case the vin has been re-stamped, you could compare vins on EB to other Kawasaki models of the era, especially 550s of course. just to make sure the number & letter style look right.

CycleChaos dot com has vin & engine number info.
 

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Ok that makes more sense Martin. But CCHRATX said it was shaft drive so I am not sure what is going on there.

Yes I had checked on CycleChaos and the frame number would indicate a 1981 KZ550 C2 LTD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I could not find the chain, so I assumed shaft. Apparently, I'm just blind. I've confirmed it is a 1981 and the info that came with the bike was wrong. Thank you everyone!
 
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