Updating a year lease letter
The early 17 character VIN numbers usually had the last 7 digits correspond to the engine number as still stamped into the area at the oil dipstick.Stamping the serial number at the dipstick area stopped with the 1984 models.Some dealers did not apparently have metal punches and there are no serial numbers on those replacement engines.Near the end of 1983, with the introduction of the 1984 model year bikes, BMW decided not to match up frame and engine numbers. There would no longer be any serial number stamped next to the engine oil level dipstick.There may be a silver sticker there, the serial number being just forward.You also may see bikes of the early 1980's with a large silver-colored metallic label located on the top of the driveshaft housing. There may be a serial number followed by one extra number, and then the type of motorcycle.
BMW meant (my interpretation) this applied if you did have a stamped engine number located at the dipstick area.It is entirely possible to find a motorcycle with a VIN identification plate mounted over the original stamped, etc., area...or, located someplace on the motorcycle.This caused some fun and games with motor vehicle departments in various States, and some States identification plates may have been used to take care of the "problem".These labels had machine-punched letters/numbers to identify the VIN number.A few bikes, mostly those shipped to California for the "1983" model year, were stamped for either 1983 or 1984 by using the single letter ID in the VIN for the year.