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Vehicle numbers were standardized at 17 digits after 1981. Before that, the manufacturers used whatever system they wanted. Some of their numbering systems changed formats frequently.

There may be an online database for older Harley motorcycles, but my guess is that it will only show model type and year. Previous owner information would be kept with the state that the motorcycle was titled in. This may or may not be public record depending on state law, and probably not be available online.

Your best bet is to contact your state DMV to see if those records are public or private and how to access them if they are public. There may be a fee for record retrieval.
 
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