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Old 03-12-14, 11:04 PM   #1
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Calling T-Mar (ser.No. ID)

Does anyone have any clues on this serial number. Pretty sure the bike is of Japanese origin.

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Old 03-13-14, 10:15 AM   #2
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I wish he would answer, but I do believe that T-Mar is gone, jackie, gone...we can only hope that somebody good with numbers and detail will pick up some of his serial number ju-ju (I'm afraid I don't have that gift!)
What you have there is an Hitachi investment cast BB shell, very good quality and yes Japanese...so the frame may be JP but there were a number of USA builders that used these BB shells, too.
Maybe you can delve thru all T-Mar's serial databases (as well as some others like the Fuji and Lotus experts) and chance upon the format that matches yours...
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Old 03-13-14, 03:06 PM   #3
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I believe that to be a Miki-built frame, probably from 1986, but I'm sure @Hummer, the new resident serial-numbers-that-start-with-M wizzard, will be along shortly.
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Old 03-13-14, 03:29 PM   #4
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IF japanese vintage production, that follows the Fuji serial system. My '75 (built late '74) Fuji S-10S is K9I003xx LNLNNNNN (Letter-number-letter-number-number-number-number-number. The first letter is maybe manufacturing plant(?), the next being year in Showa-calendar Japanese, the next being month, and the last six being the sequential number? That'd put the suspect frame a January '71 production from the 'M' manufacturing facility? I don't know for sure, but I'm throwing that infobit out there for you...
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Old 03-13-14, 04:27 PM   #5
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I happen to be a student of the school of T-mar.. and have been blessed enough to even have had communication with him about serials since his "departure" but this is from the Sekai database thread that I maintain, if it is indeed a Miki frame this may be of use to you.

70's At least for some Sekais the Y## format and M## one should actually equate ## with the last two digits of their respective year IE. Y77 is 1977, however this does not apply to all Sekai formats.. apparently not even all Mikki or Yamaguchi manufactured frames. Please consult with specs and pictures if you feel your serial is not matching to format.


80's Yamaguchi/Mikki made Sekai frames refer to the quote from T-mar.


Originally Posted by T-Mar
Apparently, Miki made both Sekai and Sakai frames. Sekai frames were manufactured by Miki and assembled by Sakai Export. It not uncommon for a manufacturer to produce more than one brand. The serial number format should be Myfxxxx, where y is a number designating the year and f is a letter designating the fortnight. The same serial number format shows on on some Norco and Centurion models, though it is unclear whether these frames were made by Miki or another manufacturer with the same serial number format. For instance, Merida of Taiwan uses the same format.



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Old 03-13-14, 05:49 PM   #6
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I happen to be a student of the school of T-mar.. and have been blessed enough to even have had communication with him about serials since his "departure" but this is from the Sekai database thread that I maintain, if it is indeed a Miki frame this may be of use to you.

70's At least for some Sekais the Y## format and M## one should actually equate ## with the last two digits of their respective year IE. Y77 is 1977, however this does not apply to all Sekai formats.. apparently not even all Mikki or Yamaguchi manufactured frames. Please consult with specs and pictures if you feel your serial is not matching to format.


80's Yamaguchi/Mikki made Sekai frames refer to the quote from T-mar.


Originally Posted by T-Mar
Apparently, Miki made both Sekai and Sakai frames. Sekai frames were manufactured by Miki and assembled by Sakai Export. It not uncommon for a manufacturer to produce more than one brand. The serial number format should be Myfxxxx, where y is a number designating the year and f is a letter designating the fortnight. The same serial number format shows on on some Norco and Centurion models, though it is unclear whether these frames were made by Miki or another manufacturer with the same serial number format. For instance, Merida of Taiwan uses the same format.



Can you shed any light to what a 'K' made frame is??? Even ClassicFuji.com doesn't know!!!
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Old 03-13-14, 09:25 PM   #7
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Thanks for everyones input. This place is a wealth of knowledge as usual.
Here are a few pics of the rest of the frame which I obtained in a very decrepid state painted in pearl white.
The forks didn't come with the frame, they were the only full chrome ones I had that sort of fitted OK.













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Old 03-13-14, 09:34 PM   #8
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Nope. I was wrong. Much later than I thought... based on the braze-ons and such, it is mid-late 80s. can't see the fork well enough. And a Shimano sealed cartridge BB? Maybe even later if that was original...
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Old 03-13-14, 09:42 PM   #9
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@ RaleighSport, I have a Sekai Bigfoot that I'm guessing is a 1984 model. It had a "Made in Taiwan" sticker in the seat tube. Date codes are mostly 1984, however some are 1981. The code on the bottom bracket shell says:
DSRM
5014061

i guess I should add this to the Sekai database thread, but since you mentioned it her, thought I'd throw it in. This letter/number format seems different
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Old 03-13-14, 09:55 PM   #10
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Nope. I was wrong. Much later than I thought... based on the braze-ons and such, it is mid-late 80s. can't see the fork well enough. And a Shimano sealed cartridge BB? Maybe even later if that was original...
Fork and cartridge BB are both foreign to the frame, don't let them mislead you .
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Old 03-13-14, 10:13 PM   #11
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My Sekai was made in 1983 and I have braze on cable guides on top of the bottom bracket, not under. My serial number is M3C05037, same format as yours. So I think the 1986 date for yours sounds right. That looks like a very nice frame!
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Old 03-14-14, 02:53 AM   #12
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Closest I've seen to the lugwork & seat stay caps is a Nagasawa. It almost looks like someone tried to do a Nagasawa copy!
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Old 03-14-14, 05:52 AM   #13
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Can you shed any light to what a 'K' made frame is??? Even ClassicFuji.com doesn't know!!!
This may be of use to you.
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Kawamura manufactured frames (1972-1987*)

Serial number format XYZZZZZ where:

X is a letter indicating the market using the following codes:
A= Australia
C = Canada (pre-1985)
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
@ RaleighSport, I have a Sekai Bigfoot that I'm guessing is a 1984 model. It had a "Made in Taiwan" sticker in the seat tube. Date codes are mostly 1984, however some are 1981. The code on the bottom bracket shell says:
DSRM
5014061

i guess I should add this to the Sekai database thread, but since you mentioned it her, thought I'd throw it in. This letter/number format seems different
Veloci, the thing about Sekai is this somewhere in the early 80's the company was bought out by Norco who was a distributor for Sekai (the main one as I understand), what we have a system for that mostly works are the serials from the Mikki, Yamaguchi, and Kawamura plants and I do mean mostly.. there are always exceptions it seems and T-mar has spent a lot of time puzzling these things out for us. Personally I would love to get a lot more bikes in the database with unknown systems of serials and see about really expanding the serial system but it just hasn't materialized yet. On further thought, please do post your bike to the database and I'll be happy to sort it out. (Pics help)

Last edited by RaleighSport; 03-14-14 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 03-14-14, 06:20 AM   #14
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My serial number follows the Fuji serial system in place in the early '70s, not the Kawamura serial numbering system. My Fuji's serial is K9I003xx was built in September 1974, as a 1975 model. Presumably at the 'K' manufacturing facility. Fuji Bicycle Serial Number Formats - 1971 through 1991 I bought this bike new in '76.
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Old 03-14-14, 06:42 AM   #15
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My serial number follows the Fuji serial system in place in the early '70s, not the Kawamura serial numbering system. My Fuji's serial is K9I003xx was built in September 1974, as a 1975 model. Presumably at the 'K' manufacturing facility. Fuji Bicycle Serial Number Formats - 1971 through 1991 I bought this bike new in '76.
That's interesting I'm borrowing this next part to speculate on from T-mars Fuji serial database.
"SERIAL NUMBERS 1971-1974*:

Serial number format WXYZZZZZ where;

W = a letter, all cases to date being F, K or M, with F presumibly indicating Fuji.
X = a number, indicating the last digit of the Japanese Imperial calendar year, Showa reign (6 = Showa 46 = 1971, 7 = Showa 47 = 1972, etc.)
Y = a letter, indicating the calendar month of manufacturer (A = January, B = February, C = March, etc.)
ZZZZZ = four or five digit number sequence, probably indicating frame number during month

Example: F7C10256 indicates the 10,256th frame manufactured during March 1972.

* The serial number format may extend beyond 1971-1974, in either direction, but to date, data samples lie within this range. "

That thread of course references itself as obsolete and links out to the same site you reference. I don't know of anything to indicate this, but an educated guess would be that the letter does as you say refer to the manufacturing facility. From the history of Fuji we can presumably safely say that your bike was produced in Japan since it's production date predates the manufacturing move of parts of the company from Japan. I've been able to dig up that it would likely be subcontracted, as F denotes original Fuji plant manufacture. But without a list of subcontractors for the time point, it's impossible to say exactly which Japanese plant it came out of, evidence of this is given by T-mar not having it written somewhere for all to see.. after all he's far better at this than I.
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Old 03-14-14, 08:44 AM   #16
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Closest I've seen to the lugwork & seat stay caps is a Nagasawa. It almost looks like someone tried to do a Nagasawa copy!
That stay cap (fluted with 2 engraved "stripes") was also used by a couple others besides Nagasawa, even 3Rensho used similar but most of those who used them engraved their name in the center between the 2 "stripes". I think that the style first appeared on an Italian brand (but can't tell you who) and the Japanese builders admired that brand so copied it...
Really nice looking frame and if it's a Sekai it's got to be their top model...I'd reckon the "6" in the code makes this an '86 frame...what brand dropouts?
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Old 03-14-14, 08:49 AM   #17
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That stay cap (fluted with 2 engraved "stripes") was also used by a couple others besides Nagasawa, even 3Rensho used similar but most of those who used them engraved their name in the center between the 2 "stripes". I think that the style first appeared on an Italian brand (but can't tell you who) and the Japanese builders admired that brand so copied it...
Really nice looking frame and if it's a Sekai it's got to be their top model...I'd reckon the "6" in the code makes this an '86 frame...what brand dropouts?
Highly doubtful it's a Sekai, but it could have come from the same plant some Sekai's did.
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Old 03-14-14, 08:49 AM   #18
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That stay cap (fluted with 2 engraved "stripes") was also used by a couple others besides Nagasawa, even 3Rensho used similar but most of those who used them engraved their name in the center between the 2 "stripes". I think that the style first appeared on an Italian brand (but can't tell you who) and the Japanese builders admired that brand so copied it...
Really nice looking frame and if it's a Sekai it's got to be their top model...I'd reckon the "6" in the code makes this an '86 frame...what brand dropouts?
Dropouts are Suntour from memory (bikes not at home at the moment)
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Old 03-14-14, 11:36 AM   #19
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@RaleighSport, yes, I have several bikes which have serial # databases that I will add (Sekai, Nishiki, Fuji). I will include photos. Thanks for carrying on.
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Old 03-14-14, 12:24 PM   #20
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I haven't seen T-Mar around for a while. Is he doing okay?
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Old 03-14-14, 01:10 PM   #21
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I haven't seen T-Mar around for a while. Is he doing okay?
I believe he decided to "retire" from the forum.
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Old 03-14-14, 03:31 PM   #22
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I believe he decided to "retire" from the forum.
He did. Said he'd stop after 10 years or 10,000 posts, whichever came first, IIRC. His last post was # 9,999.
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Old 03-15-14, 07:02 AM   #23
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He did. Said he'd stop after 10 years or 10,000 posts, whichever came first, IIRC. His last post was # 9,999.
After some forum cleanup, he's at 9,998.

http://www.bikeforums.net/members/t-mar-20650.html
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Old 03-15-14, 11:40 PM   #24
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G'day minority,

The serial number matches the format of Miki manufactured frames. "M" for Miki and "6" the first digit for the year 1986. The shift cable guides on the bottom of the BB shell tends to occur more frequently in the second half of the 1980s. That is why I think 1986 and not 1976.

Miki supplied frames for several brand names in Europe and North America, so why not Australia too? Some Australian brand name that used Miki frames: Graecross, Hallmark, Bennet, Clamont.

Your frame appears to be a higher end and I assume from an Australian brand name. Each Miki customer would have given Miki their own specifications. Miki frames for Union of Holland are not identical to Miki frames for Sekai of Seattle, Washington. I have never seen a Miki frame for Europe or North America with your seat stay caps or BB shell. So I assume these were specified by the brand name distributor. I could not even guess which brand name and model it might be.

Some features of the frame are reminiscent of Centurion Professional and Semi-Professional Miki built frames of the 1970s.

As for Nagasawa, their lugs usually have cutouts. I don't know the Nagasawa serial number format.
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Old 03-16-14, 07:33 AM   #25
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G'day minority,

The serial number matches the format of Miki manufactured frames. "M" for Miki and "6" the first digit for the year 1986. The shift cable guides on the bottom of the BB shell tends to occur more frequently in the second half of the 1980s. That is why I think 1986 and not 1976.

Miki supplied frames for several brand names in Europe and North America, so why not Australia too? Some Australian brand name that used Miki frames: Graecross, Hallmark, Bennet, Clamont.

Your frame appears to be a higher end and I assume from an Australian brand name. Each Miki customer would have given Miki their own specifications. Miki frames for Union of Holland are not identical to Miki frames for Sekai of Seattle, Washington. I have never seen a Miki frame for Europe or North America with your seat stay caps or BB shell. So I assume these were specified by the brand name distributor. I could not even guess which brand name and model it might be.

Some features of the frame are reminiscent of Centurion Professional and Semi-Professional Miki built frames of the 1970s.

As for Nagasawa, their lugs usually have cutouts. I don't know the Nagasawa serial number format.
That's really great info, thanks for that.
The pics of Nagasawa bikes that I've seen also have "Nagasawa" engraved between the lines on the seat stay cap.
Nice too know that it's a 1986 at least and with a bare frame weight of about 1850g it seems it was apretty good frame for its time.
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