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VIN Decoding
We've all seen the cryptic serial numbers on our scooters, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). These numbers have a fixed format common to all motor vehicles sold in North America after 1980. All VINs have seventeen characters, both alphabetic and numeric. The letters I, O, and Q are not used to avoid being confounded with numerals. A comprehensive explanation and breakdown of the VIN format (including the rather tedious calculation of the so-called "check digit") can be found in the Wikipedia article.

Generally, the format for North America is:
CHARACTER POSITION INDICATION
1 and 2 Country of manufacture
3 Manufacturer name
4 through 8 Model number
9 Check digit
10 Model year
11 Assembly plant
12 through 17 Serial number

As an example of a VIN on a modern Vespa scooter, the VIN of my 2007 GTS250ie is: ZAPM459Lx7500xxxx. Decoded, this would be:
ZA: Manufactured in Italy
P: Piaggio/Vespa
M459L: GTS 250ie
x: Check digit
7: 2007
5: Assembled in Pontedera
00xxxx: Serial number

This article needs some help from owners of scooters other than the GTS250. My hope is that owners of other scoots will edit this article to enter the 5-character model number from their scooter's VIN. Any other differences would be of interest as well.

C161C: Vespa ET2 (Pre-Leader)
C386B: Vespa LX50
M198F: Vespa ET4 (Leader)
M228F: Piaggio LT150 (North America)
M319K: Vespa GT200L (North America)
M340W: Piaggio BV500
M448F: Vespa LX150
M4510: Vespa GTS 250ie (Europe, UK, Australia)
M459L: Vespa GTS 250ie (North America)
M610X: Piaggio MP3 500
Last Updated Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:12 pm
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