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Earliest 1975 Centurion Semi Pro?

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Earliest 1975 Centurion Semi Pro?

Old 01-08-19, 11:35 PM
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wawine
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Earliest 1975 Centurion Semi Pro?

I have picked up a very nice, pearl orange Centurion Semi Pro bearing serial number ‘M5E0657’, placing it in early spring of 1975.

Has anyone seen an earlier serial number on one of these?

Thanks
Doug

Last edited by wawine; 01-08-19 at 11:36 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 01-08-19, 11:46 PM
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The only Semi Pro's I've seen were 1979 and 1981, and they were nearly identical. I've seen pictures of Pro Tours that were orange, I think.
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Old 01-08-19, 11:53 PM
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Doug- I have either a 1975 or 1976 Semi Pro. I’ll check the serial number tomorrow and let you know...
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Old 01-09-19, 12:00 AM
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@cdmurphy has an orange one. I know for a fact that they were around at least in 1976, as I saw one either then or the year prior in a bike shop in Fresno, California. It was up on a top stand, and the late afternoon sun was shining on it.

It was like the briefcase opening scene in Pulp Fiction.
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Old 01-09-19, 12:04 AM
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False alarm- mine is a ‘77

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Old 01-09-19, 12:20 AM
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Here it is, as found.

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Old 01-09-19, 12:27 AM
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wow! nice find! there is a whole thread for centurion serial numbers:

Centurion Serial Number Database

post there for more info id suspect
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Old 01-09-19, 12:49 AM
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Doug - Mine's a '76, but I've seen photos of and serial numbers for a few '75 models. A fellow centurion nut in Australia has an early 75 too, but I don't know the serial number. They had a different font for the "CENTURION" logo, with a more angular, faceted look.

I've been half-assedly compiling serial numbers for the Miki built bikes, trying to understand what the numerical sequence means. Spoiler- it isn't "numbers per fortnight." as initially suggested by T-Mar (not to knock his immense contributions). It looks to be serial, progressing through the full year, but starting in April (Many Japanese companies start their fiscal year in April). They changed their serial reset to January in '78. Also, the first digit appears to be something other than the hundred thousands position, but I don't know what. I'll try to get proper documentation up on on the Centurion serial thread soon.

So far, the earliest '75 number i have is M5B0018, from a Super Le Mans. The earliest Semi Pro serial from the "Centurion Serial Number" thread looks to be M5F0268 (with two others in the 75F0300-75F0600 range)

How positive are you that the "E" in your serial is in fact an "E", and not an "F"? If it's truly an "E", it puts the numerical part out of line with the other 10 or so '75 serial numbers I have for Centurion, Sekai and Shogun bikes with Miki serial numbers. If it's actually an "F", then it's within 100 or so of the other 75 Semi Pros, likely from the same order. (There are 5-6 serials I've found so far that appear to be outliers, but in several cases they turned out to be typos, and the correct numbers fell in line.)
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Old 01-09-19, 12:57 AM
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The ‘E’ could very likely be an ‘F’. The bottom leg looks to be hand scribed, as does the upper arm of the 7 in the number.
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Old 01-09-19, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by wawine View Post
Here it is, as found.

Great looker. I really like that.
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Old 01-09-19, 07:56 AM
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1979 (from cb400bill) Yeah, I know. The housings were trimmed later.
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Old 01-09-19, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by wawine View Post
The ‘E’ could very likely be an ‘F’. The bottom leg looks to be hand scribed, as does the upper arm of the 7 in the number.
Perhaps it was stolen and someone tried to change the serial number to obfuscate. Even if true, probably no way to find out in its 44 years- Be a fun movie to make tracking the life of a bicycle and seeing all the adventures it had and where it got its triumphs and scars.
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Old 01-09-19, 01:08 PM
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Damn, now I'm on the lookout for a 24" CTC Semi Pro. I could sell my 23" Lotus Classique, which is a bit small for me. I want an orange want like the OP and @cdmurphy.
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Old 01-09-19, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Damn, now I'm on the lookout for a 24" CTC Semi Pro. I could sell my 23" Lotus Classique, which is a bit small for me. I want an orange want like the OP and @cdmurphy.
The Classique (in certain years) is almost identical to the Semi-Pro (in certain years), less the chromed lugs.
It makes up for it on the stays and fork legs. Tough choice.
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Old 01-09-19, 02:15 PM
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Pretty!^^^
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Old 01-09-19, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Damn, now I'm on the lookout for a 24" CTC Semi Pro. I could sell my 23" Lotus Classique, which is a bit small for me. I want an orange want like the OP and @cdmurphy.
if you are serious, I will throw a tape on this one. I will be looking for a new home for it. Too many new bikes this year!
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Old 01-09-19, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Damn, now I'm on the lookout for a 24" CTC Semi Pro. I could sell my 23" Lotus Classique, which is a bit small for me. I want an orange want like the OP and @cdmurphy.
Well, you might want to know that the Semi Pro I had fit 650B x 38mm tires with no modification. A very smooth rider!

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Old 01-09-19, 03:33 PM
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I will be subscribing to this thread,

I really like the Semi Pro's and wouldn't mind finding one myself. so depending on the Size and gugie. i would also be interested in it
@cdmurphy please keep us updated on your findings on the Miki SN decipher.

Also was the Centurion logo that was on the down tube , was it a decal or painted with disappearing ink? my 77 Protour has the Pro-Tour on the top tube but the centurion logo had disappeared..
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Old 01-09-19, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fleslider View Post
I will be subscribing to this thread,

I really like the Semi Pro's and wouldn't mind finding one myself. so depending on the Size and gugie. i would also be interested in it
@cdmurphy please keep us updated on your findings on the Miki SN decipher.

Also was the Centurion logo that was on the down tube , was it a decal or painted with disappearing ink? my 77 Protour has the Pro-Tour on the top tube but the centurion logo had disappeared..
The original decals appear to have been some sort of waterslide, like what was used on model kits when we were kids. They are quite fragile, and seem to get rubbed off or otherwise ruined without much provocation. I did reproduce the graphics for the 76-78 models, and found a seller on ebay to make them in pretty durable vinyl. They're a bit thicker than original, but will look nice for a long time - especially if you clear over them.
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Old 01-09-19, 03:46 PM
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@cdmurphy thanks for the clarification. i will have to do that when i get the Pro-Tour repainted (Paint was totally trashed) I see the one guy on the bay that has them and all of the other decals most which i need but i will still need to do a decal for the Pro Tour logo on the top tube.

On the Semi Pro front , the guy on the bay has the Semi Pro logo stickers
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Old 01-09-19, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by fleslider View Post
I will be subscribing to this thread,

I really like the Semi Pro's and wouldn't mind finding one myself. so depending on the Size and gugie. i would also be interested in it
@cdmurphy please keep us updated on your findings on the Miki SN decipher.

Also was the Centurion logo that was on the down tube , was it a decal or painted with disappearing ink? my 77 Protour has the Pro-Tour on the top tube but the centurion logo had disappeared..
this one is 23” CTC, and too big for me
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Old 01-09-19, 03:50 PM
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Man to small, need a 24" The search continues
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Old 01-09-19, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by fleslider View Post
@cdmurphy thanks for the clarification. i will have to do that when i get the Pro-Tour repainted (Paint was totally trashed) I see the one guy on the bay that has them and all of the other decals most which i need but i will still need to do a decal for the Pro Tour logo on the top tube.

On the Semi Pro front , the guy on the bay has the Semi Pro logo stickers
Yeah, those were from my files. I can probably whip up the necessary "Pro-Tour" file for you to send him. He was great to work with.
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Old 01-09-19, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Damn, now I'm on the lookout for a 24" CTC Semi Pro. I could sell my 23" Lotus Classique, which is a bit small for me, snip . . . .
Yeah I was thinking the same thing. That is a good looking bike.
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Old 01-09-19, 04:22 PM
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@wawine, yeah, from your pic it looks like a 23". As @RobbieTunes notes, the Lotus Classique and Centurion Semipro are in the same league.
@nlerner, I'm riding 700c x 33.333's on my Classique, the vertical clearance on the fork blade just barely fits. I've got those same tires on my Zero Bike (Pro Tour), and they did ok going up Mt. Tam on Railroad Grade a few weeks ago with lots of ruts, exposed rocks and other crap.
@bikemig, if I can find a 24" Semi Pro or Classique, I'll buzz you about my 23" Classique...
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