Classic & Vintage - Help identifying this bike (w/ serial # and pics!)
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10-05-09, 10:46 PM
I brought this bike back with me from home. My dad bought it used years ago and it sat in the garage. It didn't have any decals and he got it painted yellow. The serial number is KS87051585 but I noticed (and you can kind of tell in the picture) that the last 5 is stamped kind of out of place. It's a bit lower and a bit deeper into the metal. Perhaps it was not originally there? Anyways, on to the pictures.
10-05-09, 10:52 PM
Not sure, but the serial number has me thinking it's Japanese. I'd guess a mid-late 70's bike that's near entry level (lack of dropout hanger).
10-05-09, 11:13 PM
1984ish Centurion Signet
old and new
10-05-09, 11:19 PM
judging from the serial #, it's a pre- 1975 Nishiki or a different brand built at that time by the Kuwahara factory. ---all thanks to the data base created by T-Mar and with the cooperation of other fellow members here at Bike Forums.
Nishikis were popular throughout the states and Canada ; Kuwahara and others for whom they made frames were found in certain parts of the US & Canada (not as common)
Familiar to some extant with Nishiki; it's a mid-level bike, Hi-Tens. steel tubing; with the componts seems to be '74 or 75, not sure but less like a 1972 as far as some parts.
old and new
10-05-09, 11:22 PM
10-06-09, 10:54 AM
That's the second Nishiki suggestion. I've also gotten Schwinn Le Tour suggestions. At least it's been narrowed down to a few good guesses and an era. The fixed-up Nishiki's I'm seeing on Google Images are absolutely beautiful works of art.
Yes, a KS prefix on a serial number normally indicates Kawamura, who manufactured Nishiki. However, in all my years tracking Nishiki serial numbers, I have never seen one with 10 characters. Invariably, they have been 8 characters and the first number no higher than 3. Kawamura discontinued this serial number format circa 1975 on the Nishiki models.
Based on the presence of a down tube bottle bosses and cables running under the BB, this is much later than early or mid-1970's, though it is definitely entry level. Originally, I was thinking Nishiki's sister brand, Azuki, though I'm having a hard time rationaling why Kawamura would use a serial number format that is so different. Also, this bicycle looks '80s by which time Kawamura had move entry level production to Taiwan.
10-06-09, 11:59 AM
Maybe Stausty had it right?
10-07-09, 08:27 AM
Hehe, it's nice to know I have some sort of enigma here. Identifying the brand is just out of curiosity. I was hoping that perhaps sometime down the line I'd get some NOS decals for w/e bike it was. Although, seeing all of amazing fixed up Nikishi's on google images makes me want just a bare frame now. I definitely got more info from these forums than I would of gotten on my own.
Actually, I'd probably dismiss a Centurion Signet too. As many of you may be aware, I've got literally hundreds of Centurion serial numbers of file. That format does not surface with a quick perusual and the handful of Signets (which by the way, were not available as early as 1984) all have a common format traceable to one manufacturer. That doesn't mean it's not a Signet, but it's improbable.
There are a couple of other Japanese manufacturers that used a similar format, but again there are just too many characters. Given the era and level, it's most likely Taiwanese and a chain store brand.
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