How to Check if a Dirt Bike is Stolen? – 4 Methods

Written by

James Stevens

Fact-checked by

Robert A. Verdin

How to Check if a Dirt Bike is Stolen

While you’re shopping for a dirt bike, you might come across one that’s available for a very cheap price.

It might sound like a bargain, but there’s also the possibility of it being stolen. For this reason, we’ll teach you how to check if a dirt bike is stolen so you won’t run into potential legal issues down the road.

Step-by-Step Guide to Check if a Dirt Bike is Stolen

So, how can you exactly know if a bike is stolen? Well, there are a few steps you can follow that also involve looking at a dirt bike’s VIN (vehicle identification number).

Let’s look at what these steps are.

1. Check for Possible Signs of Tampering

One of the most important steps that will help you find out if a motorcycle is stolen is to look for any signs of tampering in the vehicle.

This is something that thieves normally do in order to make it harder for the police to trace a stolen bike. Here’s are a few notable problems you can check out:


  • Any scratches on the ignition switch or lock
  • Damaged handlebar or steering lock
  • Missing keyholes or broken locks
  • New or out-of-place components
  • Any signs of replacements or repairs

2. Check a Dirt Bike’s VIN


Once you’ve identified no signs of tampering on a dirt bike, the next crucial step is to check its VIN or vehicle identification number.

This is necessary to verify dirt bike ownership of the vehicle you’re interested in buying.

In case you’re wondering, a VIN is a 17-digit code unique to any given vehicle. You can think of it as its fingerprint, which provides information regarding its model, year, and make.

1. You can check a dirt bike’s VIN location, which is normally on its frame, specifically in the engine or the steering head.

2. Once you have found the VIN, you can use an online dirt bike VIN checker to check if it matches the information on the bike you plan to purchase. This will help you determine whether it’s a stolen bike or not.

A reliable resource is the NICB VIN check tool provided by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. They let you conduct up to 5 VIN checks per day for free.

3. Look for Any Stolen Vehicle Reports Online


If you still need further confirmation, the final step you can take is to check stolen vehicle reports online.

  • All you have to do is Google “stolen motorcycles”, and you should be able to find a list of stolen dirt bikes. Check if you can find someone’s bike that’s quite similar to the one you’re interested in buying.
  • Then again, the National Insurance Crime Bureau is a useful resource as it contains a massive stolen dirt bike database in the US.
  • Alternatively, you can get in touch with your local law enforcement agency and provide them with the VIN of the dirt bike you want to purchase.

They can conduct a dirt bike VIN check free to confirm whether it’s stolen or not.

4. Performing a VIN Check


Now that you know the steps you should follow to check if a dirt bike is stolen or not, let’s now talk about how you can perform a VIN number lookup.

There are several resources for this:

  • The NICB website: It lets you check up to 5 VINs per day for free as mentioned above. However, it’s only available for US vehicles.
  • The Is It Nicked website: It is available for vehicles in the UK and even shows additional information such as MOT status and road tax.

The Stolen Register: A worldwide database that makes it perfect for checking a vehicle’s VIN no matter where you are.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if the dirt bike’s VIN is suspicious?

Once you’ve conducted a VIN number identification and found out that it’s suspicious, your best course of action is to contact the police and report it.

Chances are, the vehicle you’re planning to purchase is a stolen motorcycle. Provide the VIN to your local law enforcement agency and let them verify it.

Are there any red flags to look out for when buying a dirt bike?

There are actually a handful of red flags you want to look out for so you can avoid buying a stolen bike.

For starters, if it’s sold at a very low price or has any signs of tampering, then it might be a stolen vehicle.

If the seller won’t provide you with detailed information regarding the dirt bike’s origin, then that should be another cause for concern to watch out for. You can also check by license plate to see if it’s missing or removed from the bike itself.


Hopefully, you now know how to check if a dirt bike is stolen before proceeding with the purchase.

The good news is that it’s easier these days to verify the authenticity of a given dirt bike due to the expanding database that VIN checkers like NICB and Is It Nicked feature.

That said, it’s always advisable to take your time checking the dirt bike and verifying its details to make sure that you’re buying a legitimate bike for yourself.

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James Stevens

James Stevens is an expert bike mechanic who knows everything from basic repairs to custom modifications. What sets him apart is his ability to explain complex concepts in a way that's easy to understand. Check out his content on Speedway if you need help with upgrades or modifications for your bike.