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Mystery 80s Japanese touring bike?

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Mystery 80s Japanese touring bike?

Old 04-20-19, 02:37 PM
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Mystery 80s Japanese touring bike?

I acquired this mystery bike from FB Marketplace (local listing), because I could see the potential in this "diamond in the rough." Lugged steel, canti posts, what appeared to be decent components; for $20, I can't really go wrong. Had to look past the horrible rattle-can paint job and general parts disarray, no big deal.

As near as I can tell, before I start removing paint, it seems I have an 80s Japanese touring bike, of fairly decent quality. Here's what I know so far:

Serial #: J810057 (The frame is 57cm x 57cm, so that makes sense; made in '81, possibly? And the "J" I'm not sure of.) Any idea about this format, T-Mar?
SR triple crankset
SR Randonneur bars
SR Royal stem
Dia-Compe levers (no brakes, but likely were Dia-Compe cantilever, based on remaining hardware)
Sunshine hubs
Araya 27" alloy rims
Shimano rear derailleur (not familiar with model, haven't looked at number yet; I'm guessing not original stock)
Suntour BL front derailleur (broken, but could be fixed)
Suntour downtube shifters
KKT pedals (probably not original stock)
Lugged crown fork and nice looking scalloped seat stays and lugs
Original color appears to have been blue
Headset and BB bear further exploration

This will be my first real grounds-up refurbishing bike project, beginning with the paint issue. Should be fun.



More pics...
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Old 04-20-19, 03:07 PM
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The frame looks to be similar to that off the Miyata touring line. The code with the letter J would indicate that the year of production is 1981, followed by the rest of the numbers.
I'm wondering what model of the touring line it could have been. Based on the parts, either a 6xx or 1000?

It also looks to be repainted or someone tried to at least.
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Old 04-20-19, 06:47 PM
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My best guess without serial number is ‘83 ‘84 610 (if it is a Miyata, but it does look like one) the above the chainstay cable stop makes it ‘84 or earlier, and no bottle mount on the seat tube makes me suspect 610. Check the rear drop outs, if there’s a threaded hole for adjusters, might be an earlier 1000.

But that’s all moot with no serial number.

Oh! Sorry, J makes it an ‘81 1000.

https://www.ragandbone.ca/PDFs/Miyat...%20Catalog.pdf

which did come in blue.

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Old 04-20-19, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWonder View Post
The frame looks to be similar to that off the Miyata touring line.
That chain stay protector is a very Miyata thing to do- so my guess is either Miyata or Univega.


EDIT: I didn't see @Chr0m0ly's post above...
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Old 04-20-19, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWonder View Post
The frame looks to be similar to that off the Miyata touring line. The code with the letter J would indicate that the year of production is 1981, followed by the rest of the numbers.
I'm wondering what model of the touring line it could have been. Based on the parts, either a 6xx or 1000?

It also looks to be repainted or someone tried to at least.
^ Re: repaint - This is an understatement!

Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
My best guess without serial number is ‘83 ‘84 610 (if it is a Miyata, but it does look like one) the above the chainstay cable stop makes it ‘84 or earlier, and no bottle mount on the seat tube makes me suspect 610. Check the rear drop outs, if there’s a threaded hole for adjusters, might be an earlier 1000.

But that’s all moot with no serial number.

Oh! Sorry, J makes it an ‘81 1000.

https://www.ragandbone.ca/PDFs/Miyat...%20Catalog.pdf

which did come in blue.
Thanks for the PDF. Yup, so far the catalog build of the 1000 matches what I'm seeing. Cool, I'm happy to have scored a 1000 for $20.

Funny, when I took it into my LBS today, my friend said "Looks like a Koga-Miyata!" So, in the ballpark, also.
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Old 04-21-19, 07:31 AM
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Fork need to be chromed
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Old 04-21-19, 07:49 AM
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I'll likely keep it to it's original color, but possibly powder coat it, depending on what I find under the "custom" paint job.

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Old 04-21-19, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
Check the rear drop outs, if there’s a threaded hole for adjusters, might be an earlier 1000.
There's no threaded hole for adjusters. The photos I see of other '81s seem to have them. Not sure what to make of that.
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Old 04-21-19, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by johnnyace View Post
There's no threaded hole for adjusters. The photos I see of other '81s seem to have them. Not sure what to make of that.
My 1982 1000 has the adjusters. Maybe it came after. But if this is indeed a 1000 or 6xx, then give it a nice paint job. If I had a frame like yours, I'd powdercoat it a nice Royal Blue or Sky Blue (personal preference). Do away with whatever you see fit.

Only downside to the 81 and 82 models were the lack of bottle(only one) and fork mounts. But what you could do now that you have a bare frame to work with, is to take it to a frame builder to add fork and extra mounts.

You don't have to worry about keeping it "original" anymore. You can truly customize it to your liking and have a kickass ride. This is a great opportunity for you. I wish I had one like it.
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Old 04-21-19, 09:26 AM
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This looks very much like a Univega gran turismo or specialissima frame of the early 80s (pre-1984). By 84, both those models had fork mounts and seat tube cage mounts.
High quality framesets built by miyata. Univega actually used to spec these to a higher standard than the equivalent Miyata frameset of the same year.

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Old 04-21-19, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by panzerwagon View Post
This looks very much like a Univega gran turismo or specialissima frame of the early 80s (pre-1984). By 84, both those models had fork mounts and seat tube cage mounts.
High quality framesets built by miyata. Univega actually used to spec these to a higher standard than the equivalent Miyata frameset of the same year.
On further consideration-- The 'J' in the serial really throwing me off. Have you pulled the fork to see if there's anything engraved? The seat stays attach to the seat tube with a concave surface (same as 1000 and gran turismo models in '81); the later 82/83 univegas were flat not concave.

The rear dropouts look identical to an '82/83 gran turismo, and quite different from the '81 miyata 1000, which has the threaded adjuster hole and raised lip around the dropout slot. Also the head tube lugs don't look like they belong to an '81 miyata (which are 'pointier' along the tubes). In fact they look very much like what the miyata factory was using for the the univegas in 82/83.

The fact that it has canti posts definitely point to a miyata 1000 (univega specialissima and gran turismo were all center-pull in '81). However I wonder if the posts were added later-- might be the primer/paint differences on the posts playing tricks.

Good mystery, but the serial combined with canti posts point to '81 miyata. Take out canti's and I'd be convinced it was a univega due to dropouts and head tube lugs. Perhaps factory used different head tube lugs and rear dropouts from the univega models just because.

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Old 04-21-19, 09:44 PM
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My first thought is about an 83 Gran Turismo. The fancy chain slap protector combined with canti brakes and above chainstay cable routing limit it to just 2 or 3 years. At any rate I agree with everyone else in that it looks like a Miyata or (Miyata made) Univega. IIRC both the Specialissima and the Miyata 1000 had cutout lugs that year. Diamonds for UV and M for Miyata. I don't see any cutouts so GT seems like a more likely possibility. The shop where I worked sold at least 10 Gran Turismos for every Specialissima. They are much more common.

If the frame is stripped and weighed, that'd give further indication.
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Old 04-22-19, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by panzerwagon View Post
This looks very much like a Univega gran turismo or specialissima frame of the early 80s (pre-1984). By 84, both those models had fork mounts and seat tube cage mounts.
High quality framesets built by miyata. Univega actually used to spec these to a higher standard than the equivalent Miyata frameset of the same year.
Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
My first thought is about an 83 Gran Turismo. The fancy chain slap protector combined with canti brakes and above chainstay cable routing limit it to just 2 or 3 years. At any rate I agree with everyone else in that it looks like a Miyata or (Miyata made) Univega. IIRC both the Specialissima and the Miyata 1000 had cutout lugs that year. Diamonds for UV and M for Miyata. I don't see any cutouts so GT seems like a more likely possibility. The shop where I worked sold at least 10 Gran Turismos for every Specialissima. They are much more common.

If the frame is stripped and weighed, that'd give further indication.
I'm guessing Gran Turismo, too. Details seem to jive with this one available on ebay right now:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Restored-Vi...d/153450974620

I won't really be able to dig into it some more until the next weekend or two.
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