Can You Use Carfax for a Motorcycle?


No, Carfax does not provide vehicle history reports for motorcycles. Instead, Carfax focuses primarily on cars and light trucks.

However, this doesn’t mean you’re out of options when it comes to researching a motorcycle’s history. There are several alternative services and resources available to help you get the information you need.

What Is Carfax?

Carfax is a well-known service that provides vehicle history reports for cars and light trucks in the United States and Canada. You can enter a vehicle identification number (VIN) and see valuable information:

  • Previous owners
  • Accident history
  • Service records
  • Insurance claims
  • Safety recalls 

Carfax has become a trusted resource for car buyers. Many people use it to make informed decisions and check that they aren’t buying a vehicle with hidden problems.

Alternative Resources for Obtaining Motorcycle History

Unfortunately, Carfax doesn’t provide information on motorcycles. Don’t worry, though. You can still get similar information when buying a used motorcycle thanks to a number of alternative websites and services.


CycleVIN is a reputable service that specializes in providing history reports for motorcycles, ATVs, and other powersports vehicles. Like Carfax, all you have to do is put in the VIN to receive a detailed report that includes the following information:

  • Accident and damage history
  • Title information
  • Odometer readings
  • Previous owners
  • Theft and recovery records

If you’re looking to buy a pre-owned motorcycle, CycleVIN may reveal any hidden issues so you can make a more informed decision.

Check motorcycle history on CycleVIN


AutoCheck is another service that offers vehicle history reports for cars and light trucks, but unlike Carfax, it also includes motorcycles. It’s not as specialized as CycleVIN, but it does provide motorcycle-specific information:

  • Accident history
  • Title and ownership history
  • Odometer readings
  • Theft history

One of Autocheck’s coolest features is the AutoCheck Score. It provides a summary of the vehicle’s history in a single numerical rating. This way you can get an overall picture of the motorcycle’s condition and past compared to other similar vehicles.

Check motorcycle history on AutoCheck

National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) offers a free online tool called VINCheck that you can use to see if a motorcycle has been reported as stolen or listed as a salvage vehicle.

Of course, this is a limited amount of information compared to CycleVIN or AutoCheck, but it’s still a useful starting point when considering a used motorcycle.

Check motorcycle history on NICB

Tips for Researching a Motorcycle’s History

Get the VIN

You’ll need the motorcycle’s VIN, or vehicle identification number, to use any of the above services. This is a special 17-character code consisting of both numbers and letters that identifies the vehicle.

On a motorcycle, you can usually find it on the steering neck or motor. While the seller can provide you with the VIN, it’s usually best to see it on the bike with your own eyes.

Inspect the Motorcycle

A history report from a service like CycleVIN can provide valuable information about a motorcycle’s past, but you should also physically inspect the bike.

Look for any signs of damage, corrosion, or wear that could indicate past accidents or neglect. If you don’t know enough about motorcycles to do this yourself, consider asking a knowledgeable friend for help or even hiring a mechanic to check it out with you.

Ask for the Maintenance Records

Ask the seller for maintenance records to get a better understanding of how well they cared for the motorcycle. Look for consistent oil changes, chain adjustments, tire replacements, etc. I even keep receipts proving I’ve only used premium gas in my bike to show any potential buyers.

Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection

If you’ve narrowed it down to a specific motorcycle, consider investing in a pre-purchase inspection performed by a qualified mechanic. They can likely identify any mechanical or structural issues that you might not notice or that are even missing from the history report.

Understand the Motorcycle’s Market Value

Research the market value of the motorcycle you’re interested in to make sure you’re paying a fair price. Look at other listings for the same make, model, year, mileage, and overall condition. You can also use websites like Kelley Blue Book to get an estimate of a motorcycle’s value based on these factors.