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Old 09-18-05, 07:11 AM   #1
oglala_1927
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Takara bike

JUst picked up a takara 3-speed and am gonna fix it up. Everything on it except the braking system has been looted!! The serial # 77 XXXXX. Anyone know anything about the The takara brand? Thanks
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Old 09-18-05, 07:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by oglala_1927
JUst picked up a takara 3-speed and am gonna fix it up. Everything on it except the braking system has been looted!! The serial # 77 XXXXX. Anyone know anything about the The takara brand? Thanks
My best friend got a Takara ten-speed in high school back in the early 80's. I was insanely jealous at the time since it looked so much better than my battered, born-again Raleigh Grand Prix. The Takara was a nice enough bike, with Suntour components. I have seen it referred to as mid-level to low-end Japanese "bike-boom" bicycle and sold at many bike shops in the '70's and '80's. My friend's bike rode very well and seemed quite fast and stiff to me. There is an old thread on Takara HERE . Good luck finding out more about this bike.
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Old 09-18-05, 07:27 PM   #3
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Agree that this was a mid to low end Japanese imported bike from the mid 1970's. Don't know if they made it into the 80's. In my area, New England, they were sold by a wholesaler in Massachusetts who also sold Austro-Daimler-Puch bikes. Whew ! Say that 3 times. The bikes were OK and all used the standard SunTour derailleus, Dia-Compe brakes, etc. Nice quality and finish. The Japanese drivetrain shifted a lot better than European imported bikes of that time period. The brand came and went rather fast. Parts, and it sounds like you need all of them, should be no problem as to interchangeability, etc. Hope that this helps
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Old 09-19-05, 07:17 AM   #4
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Takara was one of the many Japanese manufactured brands that started flooding the US market during the 1970s bicycle boom. They produced a wide range of models and were typical of the Japanese bicycles of the era: well designed, manufactured and finished , though slightly dead ride quality compared to most European models. Early models were made in Japan, with production later switching to Taiwan. The brand was very famous for the girls in its ads and their T-shirts. They survived at least to 1988, but I have found no reference to them after that.

I do have specs for the the late 1970s, 3 speed model, but they are very limited in the description of brands and models.
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Old 01-19-09, 08:59 PM   #5
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hmmm I recently found a takara grand touring up in a old garage in N.H. I live in florida, and was searching for a nice frame to make a fixed gear for all the flat-land riding that I do in south florida.After I got it home I started to research the Takara brand.... I read a-lot about how the bike was from japan and was about a 83 or 81. Then I found one story that said the Takara brand was not japan but made in america by a small company in Oregon. They named the brand Takara because it sounded japanish, and at the time, japanese? bikes were very hot and sales would be good just because people thought that the bike was from Japan.
the bike was in very very good condition, and so were all the components. I am tempted to keep original.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:32 PM   #6
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I've got a 47cm Takara in the basement. Seemed like a pretty nice bike. Bar end shifters, high flanged hubs, lots of quality components. Pretty rusty. Parted it out. Haven't pitched the frame yet though. Some short person may want to repaint it and make a fixy out of it.
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Old 01-20-09, 12:44 AM   #7
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My brother still has his 75? 10 speed that he bought new and rides about once a week.
It's a decent lugged frame. The owners manual is totally generic with no mention of a brand name, which leads me to believe it may have been sold under other names????
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Old 01-20-09, 10:06 AM   #8
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I had a Takara MTB. Must've been about 1988. Pretty low-end Hi-Ten frame, steel wheels. Got it at the LBS in PHX for $150.
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Old 01-24-09, 11:33 PM   #9
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I just bought a 1979 Takara Grand Touring 960, 23" this afternoon. I got a great deal off Craigslist. Understanding that this was never a very high-end bike, it does appear to be of better than average quality, with hand painted lugs and good Sun Tour components. It is in excellent condition, with all original parts (except the brake levers, replaced by the original owner when the bike was first purchased). It was, until today, a one owner bike, and came with the Takara catalog for 1979.

As beantownbarry suggested, I do believe this was an American company. The back cover of the catalog gives an address for the Takara Bicycle Company in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. My particular frame is marked as Made in Japan.


















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Old 01-25-09, 09:24 AM   #10
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I just bought a 1979 Takara Grand Touring 960, 23" this afternoon. I got a great deal off Craigslist. Understanding that this was never a very high-end bike, it does appear to be of better than average quality, with hand painted lugs and good Sun Tour components. It is in excellent condition, with all original parts (except the brake levers, replaced by the original owner when the bike was first purchased). It was, until today, a one owner bike, and came with the Takara catalog for 1979.

As beantownbarry suggested, I do believe this was an American company. The back cover of the catalog gives an address for the Takara Bicycle Company in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. My particular frame is marked as Made in Japan.

















Nice catch. You should see about getting scans of the catalog posted up on line somewhere.
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Old 01-25-09, 04:25 PM   #11
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I guess I will just add some more Takara Information for others to know. I picked up a free and rusty, but complete, 1985 or so 18-speed Takara Overland last summer. Made in Taiwan and sold in Fairbanks, AK. at "Beaver Sports"
It has all the touring bike features from the period. Nothing too special.

Specs from the parts on the bike which I think are all original (all date codes fall in 84/85):

Frame: Cr MO 4130 Main Tubes by Pacific Cycles Inc.
Fork: Cr Mo 4130
Shifters: Suntour Bar End (ratcheting)
Derailleurs: Suntour Mountech front and rear
Crank: Sugino GT with 50/45/28 Chain Wheels
Freewheel: Suntour 6-speed
Pedals: Suntour sp-154
Hubs: Rear: Jou Yu (?) large flange 40 spoke Front: Jou Yu small flange 36 spoke.
Rim: Araya 27 1 1/8"
Spokes: Rusty
Handlebars: Hsin Lung (HL)
Seat: Viscount w/ Kalloy 26.4 stem
Misc: Braze-ons for rear rack. 2 water bottle locations top/bottom of down tube. Adjusting screws for rear drop out (missing).


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Old 02-07-09, 12:59 PM   #12
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Following up on my earlier post, here are some pictures of my Takara Grand Touring, ready for the Spring. I have added a new stem, slightly wider handlebars, grip tape, SCR-5 brake levers with gum hoods for the vintage look, a Wald basket, B17, Kool-Stop brake pads, and new cables. Half of it all came from another bike that didn't fit me very well. The bag is a Minnehaha medium saddle bag. I am really happy with the result.







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Old 02-09-09, 01:12 PM   #13
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Very nice. Getting a one owner bike with original parts is always the best way to start a project!
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Old 02-09-09, 01:28 PM   #14
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takara

If I'm not mistaken, Takara also market the same bikes as Soma. Same components as described.
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Old 02-09-09, 01:43 PM   #15
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Nice bike, Otter.
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Old 02-09-09, 01:52 PM   #16
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Would love to see scans of that catalog if you ever get the chance!
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Old 02-09-09, 03:49 PM   #17
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If I'm not mistaken, Takara also market the same bikes as Soma. Same components as described.
Back in "the old days", the bike companies tended to buy more complete "Gruppo's" from SunTour etal.
Having the same components on bikes made by totally different companies isn't far fetched at all.
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Old 02-09-09, 09:12 PM   #18
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Would love to see scans of that catalog if you ever get the chance!
I don't have immediate access to a scanner, but I did snap some photos of the catalog pages. Clicking on the photo below will take you to the complete set on Flickr:


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Old 02-09-09, 09:55 PM   #19
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I guess I will just add some more Takara Information for others to know. I picked up a free and rusty, but complete, 1985 or so 18-speed Takara Overland last summer.
I've never heard of the Overland model, what size is it? I have a Grand Touring in the works, and a 5 speed cruiser for my girlfriend.
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Old 02-16-09, 06:25 AM   #20
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23" (58 cm).
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Old 02-28-09, 04:12 PM   #21
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I've got a really nice '84 Takara Grand Touring.

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Old 02-28-09, 05:15 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Otter 718 View Post
Following up on my earlier post, here are some pictures of my Takara Grand Touring, ready for the Spring. I have added a new stem, slightly wider handlebars, grip tape, SCR-5 brake levers with gum hoods for the vintage look, a Wald basket, B17, Kool-Stop brake pads, and new cables. Half of it all came from another bike that didn't fit me very well. The bag is a Minnehaha medium saddle bag. I am really happy with the result.







Nice looking bike! Which model Wald basket is that?
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Old 02-28-09, 05:44 PM   #23
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Really great photos otter, thanks for posting them
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Old 03-01-09, 08:15 PM   #24
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Nice looking bike! Which model Wald basket is that?
Thanks! The basket is the Wald 137. It was meant to mount to the axle and the handlebars, but I wanted to come up with something that works well with drop bars. So, I removed the two brackets from the top rail of the basket, and hammered one into a shape that I could run from the bottom of the basket to the front brake bolt.

At first I tried using the brake bolt mounted reflector bracket, which came pretty close to a good fit, but this really did the trick.
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Old 03-03-09, 12:58 PM   #25
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Hey cool, a Takara thread. Thanks, Otter 718, for posting those photos of the catalog.

Here's mine, a 1979 Professional:





I replaced the saddle on it the day it was purchased, and put new tires on it a couple months ago (after the pics were taken). Still need to replace the bar tape and put some fenders on, but it is a nicely detailed, extremely smooth-riding bike.
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