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Mystery Japanese touring bike

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Mystery Japanese touring bike

Old 09-30-18, 05:12 AM
  #26  
OutnBack
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The colors very closely resemble an 83 Nishiki International, but that year Nishiki came w/ Tange #2 , & calipers instead of cantis.
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Old 10-01-18, 06:43 PM
  #27  
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26.0 seatpost? That doesnít seem right for Tange no 5
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Old 10-03-18, 12:20 PM
  #28  
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a few more pics... date code on the cranks is 1983, rear d is 1984, brakes 1983.


Seat cluster


Reinforcing tang on fork crown


Chain hanger


Cable stop


Cable stop and rack braze on
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Old 10-03-18, 12:30 PM
  #29  
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Looks cool whatever it is. What's the rear spacing?
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Old 10-03-18, 12:32 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Looks cool whatever it is. What's the rear spacing?
not sure, but itís got a 5 speed Suntour pro Compe freewheel.
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Old 10-03-18, 02:52 PM
  #31  
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You see a lot of Shoguns made with tange 5 fwiw..........maybe a 300 or 500 model. Many had engraved s on seat stays though.
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Old 10-03-18, 03:10 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by dailycommute View Post
You see a lot of Shoguns made with tange 5 fwiw..........maybe a 300 or 500 model. Many had engraved s on seat stays though.
I thought it may be a shogun when I saw a pic of a 1500 with the same paint. Different serial number system and detailing. Iíve yet to see a Japanese touring bike from this era with the fork reinforcement... Iím thinking that may help narrow it down. Iím still sticking with 84 because thatís the date on the derailers and cranks, and the frame has the braze on for the Suntour symmetric shifters.
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Old 10-03-18, 03:22 PM
  #33  
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This color scene was popular in the early to mid 80s... so far Iíve found a Schwinn voyager sp, centurion elite gt 15, trek 620, trek 7something, some Nishikis and a few others that have paint that could be a match or close. Again, none have the right lug and construction details. Maybe production wasnít as uniform as we think.

it could be a repaint... serial number doesnít seem to help with ID tho. the only maker it seems to match is Tsunoda, and itís not a lotus.
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Old 10-17-18, 10:28 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Cl904 View Post
Iíve yet to see a Japanese touring bike from this era with the fork reinforcement... Iím thinking that may help narrow it down. Iím still sticking with 84 because thatís the date on the derailers and cranks, and the frame has the braze on for the Suntour symmetric shifters.
This very frame came up in a thread several years ago. BF member @balindamood had one of these bikes (HE87496) and went to check out another matching bike that was for sale (HE86966). It's a small world.


I agree that the fork reinforcing tang is unusual here. I've never seen one on a hi-ten fork like that and would be surprised if there were multiple brands with forks like that.


While I'm still not sure who manufactured this frame (whether it was Tsuonda or some other company that used similar serial number format), the bike here likely wore the Corsaro decals when new. It looks like their Riva model:











There isn't a whole lot of info on the Corsaro bikes online. Most often repeated bit of info is that all their bikes were made by Giant, although generally no hard proof is provided. I've seen some of their models that were definitely made in Japan, so yours could have been made in Japan or Taiwan.

It looks like the Corsaro brand was established around 1983 (at least according to the trademark registration records online). The interesting bit is that the contact person for the company was Richard Wilson, who very well might be the Rick Wilson of the Wil-Go Corporation that was not only an importer/distributor of Gitane bikes in the western US:

but also eventually merged with Mitch Weiner's company to form Western States Import Co. That's why you'll see Wil-Go listed in Centurion literature as a distributor.


It's a bit of a tangent, but perhaps some members (like @verktyg) might shed some more light on the Corsaro brand.
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Old 10-18-18, 10:15 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by MauriceMoss View Post
This very frame came up in a thread several years ago. BF member @balindamood had one of these bikes (HE87496) and went to check out another matching bike that was for sale (HE86966). It's a small world.


I agree that the fork reinforcing tang is unusual here. I've never seen one on a hi-ten fork like that and would be surprised if there were multiple brands with forks like that.


While I'm still not sure who manufactured this frame (whether it was Tsuonda or some other company that used similar serial number format), the bike here likely wore the Corsaro decals when new. It looks like their Riva model:











There isn't a whole lot of info on the Corsaro bikes online. Most often repeated bit of info is that all their bikes were made by Giant, although generally no hard proof is provided. I've seen some of their models that were definitely made in Japan, so yours could have been made in Japan or Taiwan.

It looks like the Corsaro brand was established around 1983 (at least according to the trademark registration records online). The interesting bit is that the contact person for the company was Richard Wilson, who very well might be the Rick Wilson of the Wil-Go Corporation that was not only an importer/distributor of Gitane bikes in the western US:

but also eventually merged with Mitch Weiner's company to form Western States Import Co. That's why you'll see Wil-Go listed in Centurion literature as a distributor.


It's a bit of a tangent, but perhaps some members (like @verktyg) might shed some more light on the Corsaro brand.
thatís it! Thank you
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Old 10-18-18, 10:20 AM
  #36  
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Wait... my serial matches the one in the old thread?!? It is a small world.
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Old 10-18-18, 10:24 AM
  #37  
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My 1984 Univega Specialissima has a very similar fork reinforcement. Though it's a lot nicer finished and I don't think the rest of the crown matches. The weird thing is, other than the fork crown, mine is identical to the Miyata 1000 and Specialized Expedition of the same year, and is Miyata-made.
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Old 10-18-18, 10:57 AM
  #38  
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Looks good!
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Old 10-18-18, 11:36 AM
  #39  
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I've seen the Giant reference in regards to Corsaro but have been unable to confirm this due to the dearth of Corsaro serial numbers. While it wouldn't surprise if Giant made some of the lower end Corsaro models in the mid-1980s, this one is definitely not Giant manufacture. Nor is it Miyata or Tsunoda. The only confirmed source for Corsaro that I've come across is Nissan and they are readily identifiable by an N-suffix, which the subject bicycle does not have.

The H-prefix in the serial number suggests the manufacturer's name may have started with the letter. The only Asian manufacturers that I can think of whose name started with an H are Hattori and Hopdaka. It's definitely not Hodaka. Hattori were known primarily for BMX bicycles and unfortunately I do not have any examples of their serial number format.

Given the previous noted similarities to Nishiki, Kawamura should not be dismissed as a possible source. We know that Kawamura was atypical in that they used different alpha prefixes for Nishiki models depending on the market/customer. The format does match Kawamura with the exception of the H-prefix. A C-prefix would seem to be a natural choice for Corsaro Imports Inc. but we know it was already allocated to Canadian market Nishiki models, as far back as 1977. Therefore, it's possible that the H-prefix was assigned to Corsaro bicycles. Assuming Kawamura is the source would make it 1985 manufacture. This is reasonable for components with a 1984 date code but a stretch for components with 1983 date codes, if we assume they are OEM.

That fork crown is a Tange CCL (or clone) and was available to anybody who wanted to use it. While the fork is only hi-tensile steel, it's possible that the tangs were spec'd for extra stiffness, given the loaded grand touring application. It may be Tange manufactured fork and, if so, may have a date code stamped into the steerer tube.

Last edited by T-Mar; 10-18-18 at 11:50 AM.
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