New to the forum so be nice. Hoping someone can help me identify this bike better.
From all the searching I did I can't seem to find anything related to this specific bike. Only similar ones.
Doesn't seem to have any form of serial number that's what's making it difficult. I may have overlooked it but I scoped out every inch pretty closely. Possible locations?
What I can tell:
- 22(ish) inch wheels.
- Badge on the front says Kawamura cycle with a "K"
- Peter sports 'printed' on the top tube. (Doesn't look/feel like a sticker)
- Kawamura cycle on the down tube (again looks/feels like paint)
- Down tube is a sticker
- 5 Speed T shifter
- Suntour Skitter derailleur
- ARAI GOLD brake
- It has 2 fenders (not fitted) which are chrome with a diamond pattern along the whole thing. One has an extended mud flap type thing.
I hope just to find a little more info about this bike. What year etc.
That's an early-1970's bike that's patterned after the American and English roadsters, and a very good find.
That's quite old for a Japanese bike imported to the US, but it's difficult too date these bike exactly because they pre-date all the better-understood date code systems that were used on Japanese components. Possibly a 2-digit (74 for example) code appears on something, but probably not.
The "printed" lettering/graphics on the frame is silkscreen painting, a method used by other Japanese brands in the early 1970's as well. Concord (correct spelling) was another brand from Japan with silkscreened graphics, which were also featured on some Schwinns. This thin layer of paint rubs off quite easily if the frame is scrubbed with compound.
Kawamura later built bikes for Nishiki, with Kawamura script on the chainstay, some of which later had Kawamura cartridge bottom brackets.
The Nishiki brand originated in the US to sell Japanese bikes.
The name Peter Sports doesn't seem like it came from a US marketing group, which seems a little odd since the lettering is all in English.
Maybe the lady's model was called Mary Sports? Paula Sports? Polly Sports?
Being in Australia, one might suspect an Australian importer/marketing group (which would explain the lettering being in English just as well as a US one ).
1970s domestic importers/marketers in various countries often carried the name of a proprietor (or some brand name made up for the purpose), and Kawamura, in addition to building bikes marketed in the US, Canada and probably elsewhere under the Nishiki brand, also built for Norco for distribution in Canada (i.e. Kawamura frames definitely appeared associated with multiple other brand-names for various markets). So 'Peter Sports' may well have been the Australian company selling these Kawamura bikes?
Not much help, I know. I'm sure at least that much you've already figured out.
I've very little knowledge myself of bikes of this era (let alone Australian importers of 40-odd years ago). Not sure about other dating prospects, though I'm sure others here would know more about the production periods for various specific components, etc...
And might give some clue, at least - pre-1970 examples are marked "Maeda Iron Works" on the rear parallelogram plate, post-1970 stamped "Maeda Industries, Ltd.", according to <http://www.disraeligears.co.uk>. The 2-letter date code for Suntour stuff started sometime in the 1970s, not sure when exactly...
The clue is indeed a good one. The derailleur is stamped Maeda Industries, Ltd. however has no 2 letter date code. It looks similar to the 3rd style. I'd take a stab at it being the 4th style that isn't pictured though.
Wheels say "Silverstar" "Grandprix VS" and "RD & Sport" They hold air but I lose flakes of crusted tire every time I ride it haha.
I had similar thoughts regarding the "Peter Sports" naming. An importer branding seemed most logical to me. The silk screening is interesting, replicating that in a restoration might be the difficult part. Still unsure the direction I'll take it.
I'll update if I find any more information. Thanks again for such good responses.
I think you'll best preserve this bike's value by conserving the original finish, and the entire bike.
It's complete and original. Any new paint, decals or parts might detract from it's cohesive originality imo.
A bike's finish is only original once.