VIN number problems

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May 12, 2005
I have a 1970 S type commando, and have been told the engine and frame numbers should be the same, on the registration document (I'm in the UK) the eng no. is 20M35134700 and the frame no. is 20M3S134700
Which one is correct if they meant to be the same.

Also how should the frame number appear on the frame VIN plate. should it be just the numbers ie. 134700 or should it be the whole lot. 20M3S134700.

Thanks for any help
The frame plate number should only be the 6-digit number, the "20M3S" prefix should only appear on the engine. 20M3S is the engine designator for the Commando, with the "S" designating that the points are mounted on the end of the camshaft. The prefix was dropped from the engine number starting at s/n 200000 in late 1971 (1972 model year).


The 5 is a Typo, I have a B4455 if my V5 is to be believed, I think it is the original Garage's fault on first registration or more likely the DVLA numpties in Swansea. If you go to your local Vehicle registration office they will send someone out to verify and correct it, but have a NOC dating certificate/letter to hand to show to confirm your assertion the V5 is wrong and not the bikes stamps. No idea if they charge for it but if its free I plan to do it on my B44SS.
"5" instead of "s"

Another possibility is the day the VIN was stamped the worker either had a hang over and couldn't tell the difference or lost the "S" stamp.


The "S" in the VIN doesn't indicate a Type S Commando as all Commando models with points driven by the camshaft through the 1971 model range have the same first five number/letter code. Actually there is no way to tell from any marks on the machine what the body style was originally. The NOC has the factory records that can tell you by the VIN what the body style was leaving production.
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