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Bridgestone Kabuki

Old 11-04-20, 09:53 AM
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Bridgestone Kabuki

I am looking for assistance in identifying the year/model of this Bridgestone Kabuki. Thanks!!






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Old 11-04-20, 12:52 PM
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It's a Kabuki Skyway (SYD) ballpark age would be 1978-1982. The components look to be a little later, but I'm sure T-Mar will be along shortly to pin down the exact year and date it was built. (I have no idea how he can tell these things, but he does )

The Skyway was 2nd from the bottom of the lineup, but by no means is it a 'bad' bike. 'Techniart' sticker means it's a steel frame with cast-aluminum 'lugs;' a relative to the stainless-steel 'Submariner' and all-aluminum 'Superlight' Despite the novel assembly method, Bridgestone exemplified the conservative 'belt-and-suspenders' era of Japanese engineering, and it's probably over-built if anything.
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Old 11-04-20, 07:03 PM
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Perhaps a serial number? Easier to offer info with one.
I had a Skyway. Nice bike
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Old 11-05-20, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by wgb
perhaps a serial number? Easier to offer info with one.
I had a skyway. Nice bike
881062
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Old 11-05-20, 07:24 AM
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I'd place this Skyway circa, 1978, as they've eliminated the seat lug ears but still have the chrome plated fork tips. The original SunTour Honor and SunTour Spirt derailleurs have been replaced and it's been converted from stem mounted shift levers to down tube mounted shift levers, with later SunTour shift levers. The stem appears to higher than the minimum insertion mark. The serial number is incomplete or has been incorrectly transcribed as the first character is typically a letter.

The Technart frame process used aluminum lugs that were die cast around tubes to attach dissimilar materials such as stainless steel and carbon steel or aluminum and carbon steel. In the case of the Skway, it was entirely hi-tensile steel, with the exception of the die cast aluminum lugs. Consequently, the Technart construction was not necessary but it was also cost effective, eliminating the need for skilled and costly braziers. One issue with the Technart process was the relative brittleness of the die cast lugs, which caused an unacceptable failure rate on the cinch nut ears on the seat lugs, resulting in Bridgestone redesigning the frames and employing a seat post with a expander bolt system.

In 1978, the Skyway was 5th in a line-up of seven lightweight models. It had been elevated one rung higher, due to the inclusion of a 2nd Super Speed model, using the Shimano's Positron II derailleurs and Front Freewheel System. However, it would still be classified as an upper, entry level model. The original MSRP was $236.85 US.

Also, I should point out that while this bicycle was manufactured by Bridgestone and their name is prominently displayed, they were not the owner of the Kabuki brand. Traditionally, Japanese bicycle companies did not get directly involved with consumer sales, instead partnering with Japanese trading companies to handle exportation, distribution and sales. Bridgestone's trading company partner was C. Itoh and they actually owned the Kabuki brand. In essence, C.Itoh contracted Bridgestone to manufacture Kabuki bicycles. C. Itoh would eventually be eliminated as the middle man, with Bridgestone setting up their own sales and distribution division in the USA.

Edit: As previously noted, the 'SY' in the model designation on the top tube indicates SkyWay, while the 'D' indicates Diecast, referring to the lugs used in the Technart process. This would appear to be a holdover from early days, when Bridgestone referred to them as Diecast frames. The Technart buzzword wasn't introduced until the 1977 model year.

Last edited by T-Mar; 11-05-20 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 11-05-20, 08:17 AM
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Thank you very much for your informative response.

Iíve attached a picture of the serial number; canít tell what the letter is (or if it will add any more information from what youíve provided). It may be an ĎMí

I agree the stem is sitting pretty high, was planning on lowering it soon. Thanks again!
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Old 11-19-20, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
I'd place this Skyway circa, 1978, as they've eliminated the seat lug ears but still have the chrome plated fork tips. The original SunTour Honor and SunTour Spirt derailleurs have been replaced and it's been converted from stem mounted shift levers to down tube mounted shift levers, with later SunTour shift levers. The stem appears to higher than the minimum insertion mark. The serial number is incomplete or has been incorrectly transcribed as the first character is typically a letter.

The Technart frame process used aluminum lugs that were die cast around tubes to attach dissimilar materials such as stainless steel and carbon steel or aluminum and carbon steel. In the case of the Skway, it was entirely hi-tensile steel, with the exception of the die cast aluminum lugs. Consequently, the Technart construction was not necessary but it was also cost effective, eliminating the need for skilled and costly braziers. One issue with the Technart process was the relative brittleness of the die cast lugs, which caused an unacceptable failure rate on the cinch nut ears on the seat lugs, resulting in Bridgestone redesigning the frames and employing a seat post with a expander bolt system.

In 1978, the Skyway was 5th in a line-up of seven lightweight models. It had been elevated one rung higher, due to the inclusion of a 2nd Super Speed model, using the Shimano's Positron II derailleurs and Front Freewheel System. However, it would still be classified as an upper, entry level model. The original MSRP was $236.85 US.

Also, I should point out that while this bicycle was manufactured by Bridgestone and their name is prominently displayed, they were not the owner of the Kabuki brand. Traditionally, Japanese bicycle companies did not get directly involved with consumer sales, instead partnering with Japanese trading companies to handle exportation, distribution and sales. Bridgestone's trading company partner was C. Itoh and they actually owned the Kabuki brand. In essence, C.Itoh contracted Bridgestone to manufacture Kabuki bicycles. C. Itoh would eventually be eliminated as the middle man, with Bridgestone setting up their own sales and distribution division in the USA.

Edit: As previously noted, the 'SY' in the model designation on the top tube indicates SkyWay, while the 'D' indicates Diecast, referring to the lugs used in the Technart process. This would appear to be a holdover from early days, when Bridgestone referred to them as Diecast frames. The Technart buzzword wasn't introduced until the 1977 model year.

thanks again for the response. How can I adjust the saddle height on this bike? I donít see a clamp around the seatpost or on the frame. Am I missing something?
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Old 11-19-20, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mathews023
thanks again for the response. How can I adjust the saddle height on this bike? I donít see a clamp around the seatpost or on the frame. Am I missing something?
The seatpost is held in place with a quill, like the stem. Loosen the saddle clamp and pull it off and the post; there is a bolt head on top of the post, it works just like the stem.
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Old 11-20-20, 04:56 AM
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I have owned a few of the stainless steel tubed Submariners and they had the same die cast lugs and quill type seat post and they were heavy bikes. They were great around the sailboat because they were resistant to the forces of beach life. Unfortunately they did not feature SS spokes so I had to lace the wheels. I preferred the lighter Diamond formula which I still own. It featured reliable SunTour derailleurs and plain gage chromoly tubing with vertical dropouts. I rode my Kabuki for a few years when I wasn’t driving cars. Thousands of miles with nothing more than tune ups and an occasional flat. I stil ride the bike now and then. They are decent bikes.
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