As some you may be aware, I have been collecting Nishiki data for several years in an attempt to more accurately determine their age and create a timeline of models. I now have sufficient data sets and confidence to report the results for serial numbers from the 1970s to mid 1980s, however sufficient data is lacking for the late 1980s onward.
To this end, it would appreciated if any Nishiki owners would submit posts with pics and specs of their Nihiki. A full, drive side view is the preferred pic. Requested info is model, year (if known), frame material and make, model and date codes of major components. For component date code format, location and decypher, refer to http://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm .
Thank-you in advance for your contributions. Where possible, I will answer questions as they arise. General developments in the database will be reported in this post (ie post #1 ) below:
Kawamura manufactured frames (1972-1987*)
Serial number format XYZZZZZ where:
X is a letter indicating the market using the following codes:
C = Canada (pre-1986*)
E = Europe
K = USA (pre 1985)
W = USA (1985-1987*)
Y is a letter indicating the last digit of the manufacturing calendar year, where A =1, B = 2, C = 3… J = 0. Exception is letter S, used on all frames prior to 1975.
ZZZZZ is a five or six digit number, apparently representing a sequential frame manufac turing number for the year (or era in the case of pre 1975 frames)
Example 1: KA24587 is the 24,787th frame produced in 1981 for the US market.
Example 2: CG231117 is the 23,117th frame produced in 1977 for the Canadian market.
Example 3: WE54612 is the 54,612th frame produced in 1985 for the US market.
* Serial number format may extend beyond 1987, but there are no reported examples, to date.
Giant manufactured frames (1978-1986*)
Two part serial number, with first part designating manufacturer, month and year. The date codes data is generally stamped on the drive side dropout.
Serial number foramt Gmmyy where,
G = Giant
mm = month where 01 = Jan, 02 = Feb, etc.
yy = year where 80 = 1980, 81 = 1981, etc.
Example: G0384 is a frame that was manufactured by Giant in March 1984.
* The serial number format changed in 1987. The format precedes 1978 though no samples have been reported on Nishiki bicycles.
Giant manufactured frames (1987-1989*)
Serial number formatt Gfyxxxxx where,
G = Giant
f = letter indicating fortnight (i.e A = weeks 1-2, B = weeks 3-3,... Z=weeks 51-52)
y =last digit of calendar year of manufacture (i.e. 7 = 1987, 8 = 1988, etc.)
xxxxx = numbers probably indicating a sequential manufacturing number during the fortnight
Example: GD706959 was the 6,959th frame manufactured during the 4th fortnight of 1987.
* The serial number format appears to started in 1987 and is known to extend beyond 1989 on Giant branded models, though no Nishiki examples have been reported, to date.
Derby Manufactured Frames (1989-1992*)
Circa 1989, Nishiki was acquired by Derby International, which also owned Raleigh and some manufacturing was done at their Kent, Washingtion facility.
Serial number format Rydddyxxxx where:
R = Raleigh, Kent, Washington
y...y = year
ddd = day of year
xxxx = sequential manufacturing number
EXAMPLE: R9035167879 is the 7,879th frame built on day 35 (i.e. February 04) of 1991.
* The serial number format may extend beyond this range, in either direction, but to date no examples have been reported.
Katakura manufactured frames (1971-1973*)
Serial number format Kmyxxxx where:
K = Katakura
m = letter indicating month of manufacture (i.e A = January, B = February,... L = December)
y = number indicating last digit of calendar year (i.e 1 = 1971, 3 = 1973)
xxxx = four numbers probably indicating the sequential manufacturing number during the month
Example:KI20182 is 182nd frame manufactured during September 1971.
Over the years numerous other serial number formats have cropped up. Some are known manufacturers, while others are unidentified. These appear to have been smaller, subcontracted orders and constitute a a very small portion of the overall Nishiki volume. As such, they will not be covered here but will be addressed by individual forum response when they crop up.