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Mystery Yokota

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Mystery Yokota

Old 03-07-12, 03:01 PM
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This site is like the CIA I can't even send a private message so if Jharrington
ever comes back will you please reply. I have no idea why everything is so secretly in the bike world. Please email me because I probably will not check back here.

I have a Yokota Yosemite I bought 26 years ago. Can you tell me a little about its history.
Thanks
Larry
knykid-one@yahoo.com

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Old 06-26-14, 08:35 PM
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Yokota

I found my Yokota in the bike store in Mill Valley, CA back in 1988. What's really strange is the bike blue book only shows them being made/sold in 1993-1994. It's a great bike and has been with me through all sorts of riding all these years - used more for transportation while I lived in San Francisco and off-trail since I moved back to Minnesota (not to mention only being able to ride 2/3 of the year now). Expect it to hold up for many more years.
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Old 06-26-14, 08:36 PM
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I'd like some history as well since the Blue Book says Yokotas were only on the market from 1993-94. I bought mine back in 1988.
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Old 01-28-15, 01:44 PM
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Here is a bit of info on the Yokota Legend. Got mine in late '89 or '90. Have a letter from Yokota in Santa Clara explaining why Tange #2 instead of specced Tange #1 (availability).
Used to ride it a lot - it replaced a '73 Raleigh SuperCourse and was far superior. Still have all original equip except the saddle and tires/tubes.
It's still a good bike and in good shape but don't ride it so much anymore since I got older and shorter rides - recently inherited a '97 Cannondale Mtn Bike and ride it mostly as a "city bike".

I found my old "Yokota Cycles '89" catalog with pics and specs of their bikes. There was a Challenger with full Ultegra components, what looks like a curved main tube and weird handlebars - it was their top road bike; the Legend was their "best buy"

Catalog says Yokota founded in 1932 by Mr. Hiroshi Yokota. Say they were 2nd largest frame mfgr in Japan in 1989 with 100000 frames/month selling to private labels and, I guess, decided to come out with their own brand name in late 80's.

Cheers,

Jimmy
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Old 07-28-16, 11:01 PM
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I have the Yokota Legend, same color as the one in the pic. Bought it new Arlington TX in '89 and still ride it about 250 miles/month. I've been through several bikes and always come back to my beloved Yokota. It is balanced perfectly, it's super light weight, a pleasure to ride. I would never sell this bike.
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Old 11-29-17, 01:22 PM
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I may as well jump in to the discussion now. I have bought 2 Yokotas. The first was a mixte frame and fork built with Tange tubing tubing and forged drop-outs (I sold it). The second an El Capitan built with Tange Cro-Mo MTB tubing. I still have the bike - it is the one of the lightest steel MTBs I have ridden.
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Old 12-07-17, 09:09 PM
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Reply to a Mystery Yokota

Hi, my name is John Harrington and I was the founder of Yokota Cycles USA in 1988. Back in those days, Mountain Bikes were the hot item but whatís a bike company without road bikes? The Legend was one of the top end models. There was one more expensive model called the Discovery, but it was more specifically a Tri Model with a curved top tube and upswept handlebars. So the Legend was really the top of the line road bike. The frame design came from my background as a Category One Road and Track racer as well as being a Custom Frame builder. I used the same frame geometry that I used when making Road Racing Models for Athletes. So I know the bike handles well. Itís very stable going straight but very quick in the turns. The first year that Yokota Bicycles hit the market was 1989. As I mentioned above, the market was really centered on Mountain Bikes so 1989 was the only year Yokota sold road bikes, so your Legend is pretty rare. I guess these days, it would be considered a Retro Bike. I left Yokota in 1993 and went to work for Easton Sports to create a Bicycle Division manufacturing Bicycle Components from Aluminum and Carbon Fiber. Yokota had a distributor on the East Coast (Owned by Reid Rowlandís) named Stricky Wholesale and he marketed a line of components called Dirt Research. Strictly Wholesale took over the distribution of Yokota Bicycles in 1993. Unfortunately I'm not sure the Bicycles survived past 1994 with Strickly Wholesale. I am very happy to see these models still exist and are being used. Please enjoy the ride and thanks for sharing the pictures!
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Old 12-08-17, 07:21 AM
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My recollection is that the triathlon/TT above the Legend was called the Challenger.
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Old 12-08-17, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Jharrington
Hi, my name is John Harrington and I was the founder of Yokota Cycles USA in 1988. Back in those days, Mountain Bikes were the hot item but whatís a bike company without road bikes? The Legend was one of the top end models. There was one more expensive model called the Discovery, but it was more specifically a Tri Model with a curved top tube and upswept handlebars. So the Legend was really the top of the line road bike. The frame design came from my background as a Category One Road and Track racer as well as being a Custom Frame builder. I used the same frame geometry that I used when making Road Racing Models for Athletes. So I know the bike handles well. Itís very stable going straight but very quick in the turns. The first year that Yokota Bicycles hit the market was 1989. As I mentioned above, the market was really centered on Mountain Bikes so 1989 was the only year Yokota sold road bikes, so your Legend is pretty rare. I guess these days, it would be considered a Retro Bike. I left Yokota in 1993 and went to work for Easton Sports to create a Bicycle Division manufacturing Bicycle Components from Aluminum and Carbon Fiber. Yokota had a distributor on the East Coast (Owned by Reid Rowlandís) named Stricky Wholesale and he marketed a line of components called Dirt Research. Strictly Wholesale took over the distribution of Yokota Bicycles in 1993. Unfortunately I'm not sure the Bicycles survived past 1994 with Strickly Wholesale. I am very happy to see these models still exist and are being used. Please enjoy the ride and thanks for sharing the pictures!
Thank you for coming to the Forum and posting.
It's good to have the direct scoop.
Still in the bicycle industry?
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Vintage, modern, e-road. It is a big cycling universe.
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Old 12-10-17, 06:57 PM
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Re: Tom and Gary

Originally Posted by trackmarks
Thanks! I shot an email to Tom, maybe he can be of some help...
Tom only made one ATB frame for me. It was the Top end Mountain bike. I also know Gary Yokota, itís just a coincidence with his last name. He had no involvement with Yokota Cycles, USA. But he is a very talented guy!
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Old 12-10-17, 07:00 PM
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Correction: Challenger

Originally Posted by T-Mar
My recollection is that the triathlon/TT above the Legend was called the Challenger.
You are correct, it was called the Challenger. Which was an unfortunate model name choice. Had the road bike continued I would have had to change the name due to the tragedy of the Space Craft of the same name.
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Old 12-10-17, 09:10 PM
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Just adding my Yokota Terminator, it's been moved on to a new owner...
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Old 12-12-17, 03:07 PM
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^^^^ That's a radical design.
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Old 12-12-17, 03:15 PM
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Yes, it seems like every other ATB manufacturer was copying the Nishiki Alien's elevated chainstay concept, circa 1990
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Old 04-22-18, 05:01 PM
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Hello, just bought a bike yesterday that I had never heard about, it’s a Yokota and am so happy to have found this forum. I was surprised the way this bike looked so good for the price, it’s well built and rides beautifully. If some one has some info about this model please let me know. Serial number starts with HD9050
I love the bike and not getting rid of it. Any idea on the value of one of these?
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Old 04-22-18, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Manuelpaz33
Hello, just bought a bike yesterday that I had never heard about, itís a Yokota and am so happy to have found this forum. I was surprised the way this bike looked so good for the price, itís well built and rides beautifully. If some one has some info about this model please let me know. Serial number starts with HD9050
I worked at a shop where we sold Yokotas, and they were good value bikes, at least in the higher end of the range. But lack of name recognition made them a harder sell than better-known brands. So we did not sell a lot of them.

No idea what the serial number might mean.

Originally Posted by Manuelpaz33
I love the bike and not getting rid of it. Any idea on the value of one of these?
If you aren't getting rid of it, its value to you lies in whether it brings you the satisfaction you want. Don't worry about its money value. That only matters if you're going to get rid of it, and if someone wants to pay you to take it. What you can agree on to close the transaction is its "value."
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Old 01-01-19, 10:32 AM
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I have the Yokota Yosemite bike...it was given to me as gift, new.....somewhere around 1991. It was sold as a 'hybrid' bike....which has a very different meaning now. Being half road bike and half pseudo mountain bike, describes it perfectly. I have more miles on this bike than any other of my bikes. Probably because of nostalgia, but everything works on it spectacularly. ...the brakes, the shifters etc. It's not fussy...it always delivers...unlike my Trek mountain bike which falls 'out of tune' if not ridden. Mine is black, never crazy about the color but it is what it is.

Thank you John H. for all the nice yrs with this bike!!

Kevin
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Old 01-01-19, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghrumpy
I worked at a shop where we sold Yokotas, and they were good value bikes, at least in the higher end of the range. But lack of name recognition made them a harder sell than better-known brands. So we did not sell a lot of them.

No idea what the serial number might mean.

If you aren't getting rid of it, its value to you lies in whether it brings you the satisfaction you want. Don't worry about its money value. That only matters if you're going to get rid of it, and if someone wants to pay you to take it. What you can agree on to close the transaction is its "value."
I totally agree...this is a bike to ride and enjoy if you like the feel and the components. It's not a bike to flip, make a fixie of or worry about its value. The limited yrs that it was sold and in relatively low numbers makes them unique.

I have a Schwinn Le Tour that is pretty bland as far as component go...it has the appropriate alloy components to make the bike light, but nothing newsworthy. The bike was sold in the mid-range category. Almost too tall for me and yet this bike begs to be ridden. Sometimes bikes will surprise you, given how they are constructed and with the components they have. I consider both the Yokota and the Le Tour to be sleepers.

Kevin
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Old 01-01-19, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Real1shepherd
I have the Yokota Yosemite bike...it was given to me as gift, new.....somewhere around 1991. It was sold as a 'hybrid' bike....which has a very different meaning now. Being half road bike and half pseudo mountain bike, describes it perfectly. I have more miles on this bike than any other of my bikes. Probably because of nostalgia, but everything works on it spectacularly. ...the brakes, the shifters etc. It's not fussy...it always delivers...unlike my Trek mountain bike which falls 'out of tune' if not ridden. Mine is black, never crazy about the color but it is what it is.

Thank you John H. for all the nice yrs with this bike!!

Kevin
Pictures and serial number would be very much appreciated. My recollection from this era, is that the Yosemite was a mid-range ATB. The original Yokota hybrid model from this era was the Mariposa, later joined by the Awanhnee Croos (sp?) and Tuolomne Cross (sp?).
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Old 01-01-19, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
Pictures and serial number would be very much appreciated. My recollection from this era, is that the Yosemite was a mid-range ATB. The original Yokota hybrid model from this era was the Mariposa, later joined by the Awanhnee Croos (sp?) and Tuolomne Cross (sp?).
My then wife and kids bought the bike for me, so I wasn't there. They said it was described to them as a 'hybrid'. ATB is much more accurate, but maybe they got confused in the salesperson's description because perhaps, he used the word 'hybrid' in his spiel. It certainly isn't a mountain bike by most all definitions and certainly not a 'hybrid' by any definition I've seen. Be happy to post some pics and see what the serial is. Would the date code be in the serial?

I'm a little foggy on the exact yr......

Kevin
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Old 01-06-19, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
Pictures and serial number would be very much appreciated. My recollection from this era, is that the Yosemite was a mid-range ATB. The original Yokota hybrid model from this era was the Mariposa, later joined by the Awanhnee Croos (sp?) and Tuolomne Cross (sp?).
Here are some pics of my bike. I was in a hurry, so didn't look for the serial....is it stamped underneath the BB? All original except for the seat, pedal buckets, handles and various doodads attached.

Kevin



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Old 01-07-19, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Real1shepherd
My then wife and kids bought the bike for me, so I wasn't there. They said it was described to them as a 'hybrid'. ATB is much more accurate, but maybe they got confused in the salesperson's description because perhaps, he used the word 'hybrid' in his spiel. It certainly isn't a mountain bike by most all definitions and certainly not a 'hybrid' by any definition I've seen. Be happy to post some pics and see what the serial is. Would the date code be in the serial?


I'm a little foggy on the exact yr......


Kevin

During this era ATBs and hybrids looked alike. Most cyclists consider the determining factor to be wheel size. ATBs came with 26", while hybrids were typically 700C/28". Things would blur further with the recent introduction of 29ers.


Most serial numbers typically contain the manufacturer's identity, year of manufacture and month of manufacture, though it is often coded, to a degree. However, I think you are spot on with 1991 being the year. That looks like a Shimano Deore DX component group, which is consistent with the 1990-1991 Yosemite, but those low profile cantilevers brakes didn't come out until the 1991 model year. Still, I'd appreciate the serial number for confirmation and to try determining who was manufacturer of these bicycles during this period. TIA.


BTW, for the future, I'd suggest that you take the full bicycle photograph from the drive side. It allows members to see the drive train components, which are useful in identification.

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Old 01-07-19, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
During this era ATBs and hybrids looked alike. Most cyclists consider the determining factor to be wheel size. ATBs came with 26", while hybrids were typically 700C/28". Things would blur further with the recent introduction of 29ers.


Most serial numbers typically contain the manufacturer's identity, year of manufacture and month of manufacture, though it is often coded, to a degree. However, I think you are spot on with 1991 being the year. That looks like a Shimano Deore DX component group, which is consistent with the 1990-1991 Yosemite, but those low profile cantilevers brakes didn't come out until the 1991 model year. Still, I'd appreciate the serial number for confirmation and to try determining who was manufacturer of these bicycles during this period. TIA.


BTW, for the future, I'd suggest that you take the full bicycle photograph from the drive side. It allows members to see the drive train components, which are useful in identification.
I'll take a pic of the other side and post. Again, is the serial stamped underneath the BB? I've never had any reason to hunt for the serial before on this bike. This is the smoothest shifting bike I ever had. Most times I can't hear it shift, just feel the difference in resistance. That particular Shimano group is/was nice in function.

Kevin

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Old 01-07-19, 11:07 AM
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Doing some research on the Shimano Deore DX....that group was only made between '90-'93. The XT being the top with the DX second tier. However one guy observed that there were only minor differences between the two groups....like gold lettering on the components and ceramic pulley bearings for the XT. That doesn't exactly give me XT 'envy'......I like the DX just fine....lol.

The DX group seems to be more valuable than the bike. Reminiscent of the Raleigh International that usually had its Campy group stripped off because the frame wasn't racy enough.....making a completely OE International hard to find now.

Kevin
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Old 01-07-19, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Real1shepherd
I'll take a pic of the other side and post. Again, is the serial stamped underneath the BB? I've never had any reason to hunt for the serial before on this bike. This is the smoothest shifting bike I ever had. Most times I can't hear it shift, just feel the difference in resistance. That particular Shimano group is/was nice in function.

Kevin
While the underside of the bottom bracket shell is the most common location for the serial number, it can vary depending on the manufacturer and/or year. Other common locations include the bottom and top of the seat tube, rear dropouts and head tube. If there is plastic cable router under the bottom bracket shell, it can sometimes hide the serial number. If you can't find a serial number, we can always resort to component date codes. Thank-you for taking the extra effort. It is very much appreciated.
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