If you've ever shopped for a used car chances are you've seen Carfax reports. Many dealers even provide these for no cost to the buyer. Motorcycles never had this type of vehicle history research tool— until now.

CycleVin uses the standard 17 character vehicle identification number (VIN) to provide accident and damage information on motorcycles and other powersports vehicles. This service can offer potential buyers a wealth of historic data on vehicles manufactured or sold in the US after 1980 (prior to that the VIN was not standardized). This includes bikes as well as ATVs, Side-by-Sides, trikes, snowmobiles and more.

If you're interested you can view a sample report for a Yamaha R6.

The reports aggregate data from a variety of sources and can protect you from title washing, re-branding and the sale of stolen vehicles. You can also discover vehicles that have been damaged or written off as a salvage loss, theft recovery or impounded. Often these vehicles are misrepresented in the marketplace. 

Cycle VIN

Another valuable data point provided by these reports shows the status and history of the vehicle's title. How many times has the bike changed hands? Is the title clear, or does it have any liens?

Before you jump on that "good deal" make sure you're getting what you're pay for. The cost of a VIN report is relatively small price when compared to cost of that new motorcycle!