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Centurion Serial Number Database

Old 04-12-17, 01:48 PM
  #2151  
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another one! just into my hot hands and needs some love.. but in pretty decent shape-

KF510677

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Old 04-12-17, 02:05 PM
  #2152  
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Originally Posted by jetboy View Post
another one! just into my hot hands and needs some love.. but in pretty decent shape-

KF510677
Hey, I've seen this one before!
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Old 04-12-17, 02:54 PM
  #2153  
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Hayfork, that "mesa" is probably the remains of the original cable stop. Here is a photo of one from my 76 Semi-Pro:


Does the bottom look like yours? If so, the original probably snapped off at some point. (Accident, or maybe just a flaw in the metal.)
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Old 04-12-17, 03:55 PM
  #2154  
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Meant to do this a while ago -- I guess better late than never.

1976 Semi Pro (Orange): Serial: M5M04240 (Frame is mid-late 1975, but original Cyclone derailleurs and Mighty Comp cranks have date codes of '76)



1976 Pro Tour (Blue): Serial: MF10125 (No, it's not a typo. Appears to be missing the year numeral. Almost certainly a 1976 frame, as cranks and original components have date codes of '76. Also, the Tange fork has a date code of 6E (March, 1976)



1977 Semi Pro (Silver): Serial: M7E16403 It was used hard and put away wet. The chrome lugs had quite a bit of rust, but they cleaned up better than I would have expected. Currently a frameset, as I decide what to do with it.



1976 Semi Pro (Blue) Frameset: Serial: M6H03628 Really sad shape. Was clearly left outside for quite a while. I'm still trying to get the frozen stem out, and there is a decent dent in the top tube. Assuming I can get the stem free, I'll try rolling the dent out with some frame blocks. Will either get it powder coated, or consign it to indoor trainer use / hell.


Last edited by cdmurphy; 09-02-17 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 04-12-17, 04:52 PM
  #2155  
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
Meant to do this a while ago -- I guess better late than never....

1976 Semi Pro (Orange): Serial: M5M04240 (Frame is mid-late 1975, but original Cyclone derailleurs and Mighty Comp cranks have date codes of '76)

1976 Pro Tour (Blue): Serial: MF10125 (No, it's not a typo. Appears to be missing the year numeral. Almost certainly a 1976 frame, as cranks and original components have date codes of '76. Also, the Tange fork has a date code of 6E (March, 1976)

1977 Semi Pro (Silver): Serial: M7E16403 It was used hard and put away wet. The chrome lugs had quite a bit of rust, but they cleaned up better than I would have expected. Currently a frameset, as I decide what to do with it.

1976 Semi Pro (Blue) Frameset: Serial: M6H03628 Really sad shape. Was clearly left outside for quite a while. I'm still trying to get the frozen stem out, and there is a decent dent in the top tube. Assuming I can get the stem free, I'll try rolling the dent out with some frame blocks. Will either get it powder coated, or consign it to indoor trainer use / hell.
Thxs for the new data sets. Regarding the 1976 Pro Tour (blue), the serial number may be correct. While there haven't been many, this format has been seen before on Centurion and the 'F', being sixth letter of the alphabet, could indicate 1976. This convention was used by some Japanese manufacturers, such as Kawamura and Nissan.
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Old 04-12-17, 04:57 PM
  #2156  
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Nice stuff cdmurphy. I saw your thread on the orange restoration- are you going to try again with the silver and blue ones? you got the skills-

-j
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Old 04-12-17, 05:00 PM
  #2157  
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Another artifact surfaces.

1972 Centurion pamphlet catalog. (Images appropriated from overpriced eBay listing)







FYI @fleslider
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Old 04-12-17, 05:11 PM
  #2158  
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Thanks for all your work so far T-Mar. While it's possible the Pro Tour was manufactured by someone other than Miki, I kind of doubt it. All of the frame details are almost 100% perfect matches to those of my Semi Pros. The only differences are the lack of a fully chromed frame (looks to be just the rear triangle), and the vertical vs Suntour GS dropouts. The wrapover seatstay caps are very distinctive. Also, it used this tubing decal:

Which I've only seen on other Miki produced bikes from 1975-1977. (Acutally, I take that back. Sekine used them on some too.)

Does your database have any other Pro Tours from this era with this MFXXXXX format?
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Old 04-12-17, 05:37 PM
  #2159  
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Missing braze on derailleur chain stay housing stop

looks like your right about the missing stop
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
chainstay.jpg (11.1 KB, 370 views)
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Old 04-12-17, 05:55 PM
  #2160  
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I've been remiss in not participating!
I have another one of those '83 frames that became an '84 product (basically see that Sheldon Brown catalogue image):


Serial #: N3S0127 - Centurion Pro Tour 15 in Gold
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Old 04-12-17, 09:54 PM
  #2161  
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Originally Posted by jetboy View Post
Nice stuff cdmurphy. I saw your thread on the orange restoration- are you going to try again with the silver and blue ones? you got the skills-

-j
No, the chrome is too far gone for that kind of paint job. If anything, they might get powder coated, or cheaply painted to use as errand bikes. I might just sell them on, I haven't really decided yet. I got them both for a song, and I mostly wanted some of the black components off the silver one to use as backups for the orange one.

The blue Pro Tour is a keeper. The original​ finish is still pretty nice, maybe an 8-9 out of 10. I'm currently brazing a set of chromoly racks front and rear for it. I'll post a thread in a few weeks once they're finished.
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Old 04-12-17, 10:18 PM
  #2162  
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Sorry it was Page 87, has to post a couple 87's before we went to page 88

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Old 04-12-17, 11:39 PM
  #2163  
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miami vice bifecta! Those are the iconic ironman colors in Master and Expert. Most cleave to the magenta and yellow as the true icon, but personally the seafoam and white Master takes top billing as my favorite IM of all time.
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Old 04-13-17, 06:27 AM
  #2164  
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
Thanks for all your work so far T-Mar. While it's possible the Pro Tour was manufactured by someone other than Miki, I kind of doubt it. All of the frame details are almost 100% perfect matches to those of my Semi Pros. The only differences are the lack of a fully chromed frame (looks to be just the rear triangle), and the vertical vs Suntour GS dropouts. The wrapover seatstay caps are very distinctive. Also, it used this tubing decal:

Which I've only seen on other Miki produced bikes from 1975-1977. (Acutally, I take that back. Sekine used them on some too.)

Does your database have any other Pro Tours from this era with this MFXXXXX format?
That's just a faded 1970s Tange Champion decal that is missing some of the text.

Yes, there was a Pro Tour in my database, format MFxxxxx. It could go either way. I only raised it as another possibility, based on what I've seen. It's pretty easy for any manufacturer to clone a bicycle made by somebody else.
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Old 04-13-17, 06:31 AM
  #2165  
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Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist View Post
Another artifact surfaces.

1972 Centurion pamphlet catalog. (Images appropriated from overpriced eBay listing)...
FWIW, that same catalogue centre-spread is featured in The Dancing Chain and Berto states it is from 1975.
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Old 04-13-17, 06:55 AM
  #2166  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
FWIW, that same catalogue centre-spread is featured in The Dancing Chain and Berto states it is from 1975.
I'd certainly go with Berto's date over an eBay listing. I also think I spy a Suntour VGT Luxe RD on the Le Mans in the catalog, which I suspect would be anachronistic in 1972.
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Old 04-13-17, 08:48 AM
  #2167  
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Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist View Post
I'd certainly go with Berto's date over an eBay listing. I also think I spy a Suntour VGT Luxe RD on the Le Mans in the catalog, which I suspect would be anachronistic in 1972.
Yes, the VGT shown is the 4902 version, which would make the catalogue no older than the 1974 model year. However, the database has a handful of early 1975 Semi-Pro (as early as the 2nd fortnight). Given that Semi-Pro isn't shown in the catalogue, it would appear to be from 1974. Of course, the catalogue would have been laid out in late 1974, so there's always the possibility that the Semi-Pro was added to the line after the catalogue came out, but I'm leaning towards this literature being from 1974. It's definitely not 1972.
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Old 04-13-17, 11:23 AM
  #2168  
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Originally Posted by jetboy View Post
miami vice bifecta! Those are the iconic ironman colors in Master and Expert. Most cleave to the magenta and yellow as the true icon, but personally the seafoam and white Master takes top billing as my favorite IM of all time.
Thanks, to be honest my fav is the typical Miami Vice, but I was a big fan of them in 1987. I wanted a Magenta Expert and it was one of those that may have been possible, the Master was out of my range, but honestly the Accordo was reality for my 13 year old self in 1987.
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Old 04-16-17, 09:11 PM
  #2169  
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One of those unusual 1983 Elite GTs, with an 83 sn even though the model was launched in 84. Bought as a frame only, after it was repainted by Keith Anderson sometime in the late 80s.

N3P5562

Now it's my Cadillac build. Non-period XT derailleur because I found one for $20 at a closing bike shop, and it'll work with the wide range cassette. True mullet setup: 27" wheel up front with NOS centerpull, 700c rear with cantis. Tried finding a matching front fork for ages and gave up. Rides great. Vintage Dutch head tube badge seemed appropriate.

[IMG]1983/4 Centurion Elite GT repainted by Keith Anderson by Reid Echols, on Flickr[/IMG]

1983/4 Centurion Elite GT repainted by Keith Anderson by Reid Echols, on Flickr

[IMG]1983/4 Centurion Elite GT repainted by Keith Anderson by Reid Echols, on Flickr[/IMG]

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Old 04-18-17, 04:29 PM
  #2170  
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Reply

austin, one things for sure that is a high end model and those early 80s on Japanese were really the era I love. 85 being my all time favorite of models and components. I think Panasonic made the high end models and T-Mar might know. If so the panasonics I had same era were very nice and pro tour and pro touring from Panasonic look and have so much identical. Your friends got a real beauty!
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Old 04-18-17, 04:35 PM
  #2171  
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That is the the Premium of all the bicycles here. I was taken back when i saw yours 1979 Pro Tour with all the exposed chrome and the classy way you have it. My favorite in here. I had a nice 1984 but the earlier one was a little more strength I think- maybe the shorter top tube. Thanks
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Old 04-18-17, 04:51 PM
  #2172  
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
Thanks for all your work so far T-Mar. While it's possible the Pro Tour was manufactured by someone other than Miki, I kind of doubt it. All of the frame details are almost 100% perfect matches to those of my Semi Pros. The only differences are the lack of a fully chromed frame (looks to be just the rear triangle), and the vertical vs Suntour GS dropouts. The wrapover seatstay caps are very distinctive. Also, it used this tubing decal:

Which I've only seen on other Miki produced bikes from 1975-1977. (Acutally, I take that back. Sekine used them on some too.)

Does your database have any other Pro Tours from this era with this MFXXXXX format?
Miki does great work! I had a old Japan made KHS touring from 1983 ish and it was so clean. The tubing they used was Tange 5 if I remember correct. It advertised "parkerized" tubing treatment which was like Bluing for guns, but it actually had rusted more than usual I noted.
My theory is Panasonic made the 84 85 and on range till Taiwan. And I think someone else did the late 70's early 80's. The Miki work really was every little detail in that amazing KHS.
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Old 04-18-17, 10:11 PM
  #2173  
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Originally Posted by rgechols View Post
One of those unusual 1983 Elite GTs, with an 83 sn even though the model was launched in 84. Bought as a frame only, after it was repainted by Keith Anderson sometime in the late 80s.

N3P5562

Now it's my Cadillac build. Non-period XT derailleur because I found one for $20 at a closing bike shop, and it'll work with the wide range cassette. True mullet setup: 27" wheel up front with NOS centerpull, 700c rear with cantis. Tried finding a matching front fork for ages and gave up. Rides great. Vintage Dutch head tube badge seemed appropriate.

[IMG]1983/4 Centurion Elite GT repainted by Keith Anderson by Reid Echols, on Flickr[/IMG]

1983/4 Centurion Elite GT repainted by Keith Anderson by Reid Echols, on Flickr

[IMG]1983/4 Centurion Elite GT repainted by Keith Anderson by Reid Echols, on Flickr[/IMG]
That's beautiful!!! I love what you've done with it. Very classy bike. That champagne kind of color looks great on it too

Here's what my '84 Elite GT is looking like these days. Serial number: N4H8315. I'm absolutely in love with it, and it gets even better with every little modification I do! I didn't know I could love a bike so much!!! It rides better than I could have ever hoped for. Even with all of the extra stuff it has bolted onto it she comes in at only 29.8 lbs. as pictured here. That may sound like a lot to some, but for what it is, and what it has on it I was really happy to see it under 30 lbs. I've also become curious as to what manufacturer may have made my beloved Elite GT!






Last edited by AustinFitz; 07-08-17 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 04-19-17, 08:49 PM
  #2174  
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post

Does your database have any other Pro Tours from this era with this MFXXXXX format?
There are 3 others:

http://www.bikeforums.net/3023011-post111.html

http://www.bikeforums.net/10149667-post888.html

http://www.bikeforums.net/12193177-post1160.html from the UK
@RedRaleigh 's Centurion is in the UK, so it may be a European model.
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Old 04-19-17, 11:44 PM
  #2175  
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@Hummer, thanks for the research. I'd seen your second link before, but not the others. I wish there were some photos of the first one, as the second one appears to be a Super Elite, rather than a Pro Tour. #1 could be either from the description. It's interesting that #1 and #2 are only 7 bikes apart. That seems to lend support to the idea that whoever loaded the stamps just forgot or missed the year digit. My bike, like #1 and #2 is simply missing the spot for the year digit -- "MFXXXXX", not "M_FXXXXX" If my Pro Tour didn't have the leading 1 right after the "MF", it would be right in line, at only ~70 bikes before the Super Elite on link #2. Perhaps the 1st digit following the fortnight letter may have some significance, rather than just the ten thousands place on the serial number? I was under the impression that Miki was a pretty low volume, almost "boutique" builder. It seems unlikely that they would have been making more than 10,000 frames every two weeks.

As for the third link, further down in the thread, it appears that there was a poorly struck digit between the "M" and "F", possibly a 0 or 3. That would be consistent with it being an '83 or '84 model year Pro Tour, being that it has cantilever brakes, and the right fork crown for that model year.

Still no proof one way or the other on my Pro Tour, but I did contact James Black, who owns an almost showroom condition 1976 Pro Tour. (Link: 1976 Centurion Pro Tour | Architecture Burger) Mine is practically identical, with the only difference being silver lettering on my "CENTURION" downtube logo, vs. his in gold. He confirmed that his serial is of the format M6FXXXXX. While it's possible Centurion used two different suppliers for the '76 Pro Tour, it seems unlikely. They were an expensive, low volume frame. Based on the confirmation of James's serial number, and the similarity to my Semi Pros regarding lugs, seatstays, and many little details like dropout to stay mitering and finishing, I'm leaning strongly towards this being a Miki produced frame, where they just screwed up the serial # stamping. Perhaps some new serial numbers will shed some light on this in the future.

Last edited by cdmurphy; 04-20-17 at 08:17 AM.
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