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Redline early 80's frame comparisons

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Been meaning to do this thread on how to differentiate between early 80's MX-II and MX-III (Series Three) frames from various manufacturers. The US, Japan, and China (Taiwan at the time) all made Redline frames. Main points of variation include the bottom bracket, dropouts, seat stays, and weld quality and placement. These areas are compared below to help provide a quick reference when determining which frame you have. A US made MX-II frame and fork are also compared to clarify differences between MX-II and MX-III (or series three) frames. So a total of four frames are examined here:

US MX-II (1981)
US Series 3 (1983?)
Japanese Series 3(1983?)
Taiwanese (Giant) Series 3 (1984).

BOTTOM BRACKET:
US & Japanese MX-II - note squared off tube cut & plain serial number stamp (no oval or hot dog border around serial)
Jaf_1.png

US MX-III (Series III) – Oval Redline stamp and serial number. Square tube cut retained.
Jaf_2.png

Japanese MX-III (Series III) – Oval Redline stamp, letters preceding serial, and squared off downtube cut.
Jaf_3.png

Taiwanese (Chinese) Giant-Made MX-III (Series Three) bottom bracket – rounded down tube cut and less-sano welds. Also note – hotdog Redline stamp to left. No serial number on BB.
Jaf_4.png

US/Japanese MX-II inner BB – solid tubing all around.
Jaf_5.png

US MX-III (Series III) inner BB – note holes cut for seat tube and down tube but not for chainstays.
jaf_6.png

Japanese MX-III (Series III) inner BB – Holes cut for all four connecting tubes to lighten frame further.
Jaf_7.png

Taiwanese (Chinese) Giant-Made MX-III (Series Three) inner BB – all four holes cut same as Japanese.
Jaf_8.png

DROPOUTS:
US/Japanese MX-II inner dropout. Note location of welds to stays at bottom corner and top middle.
Jaf_9.png

US MX-III (Series III) – Inner dropout – Similar welds with the addition of one weep hole on the seat stay.
Jaf_10.png

Japanese MX-III (Series III) – Messier welds but same basic location/size. Note two weep holes on inner stays.
Jaf_11.png

Taiwanese (Chinese) Giant-Made MX-III (Series Three) inner dropout – top weld in different location and both are more of a spot weld. No weep holes on side of stay tubes (these are now on the tube ends)
Jaf_12.png

US/Japanese MX-II outer dropout & stays. Note solid ends.
Jaf_13.png

US MX-III (Series III) – Outer dropout – Solid stay ends and sano welds.
Jaf_14.png

Japanese MX-III (Series III) outer dropout (almost identical to US)
Jaf_15.png

Taiwanese (Chinese) Giant-Made MX-III (Series Three) – GXXXX code on right dropout.
Jaf_16.png

Taiwanese (Chinese) Giant-Made MX-III (Series Three) – Note weep holes on seat/chain stay ends & serial number on dropout.
Jaf_17.png

SEAT-STAY/SEAT TUBE:
US/Japanese MX-II – Seat Tube has no keyhole, just straight cut. No seatstay gusset.
Jaf_18.png

US MX-III (Series III) – slight keyhole cut in seat mast and seatstay gusset added. Gusset has straight edge.
Jaf_19.png

Japanese MX-III (Series III) – Also has seatstay gusset but with slightly concave edge. Pronounced keyhole cut on seatpost mast cut close to welds.
Jaf_20.png

Taiwanese (Chinese) Giant-Made MX-III (Series Three) – Pronounced Keyhole cut higher up/shorter at seatpost mast and no seatstay gusset. Two weep holes at rear brake bridge/crossbar.
Jaf_21.png

FORKS:
US/Japanese MX-II Fork – one weld on inner fork dropout.
Jaf_22.png

US/Japanese MX-II Fork – three welds on outer dropout.
Jaf_23.png

US MX-III (series III) outer dropout – three short welds.
Jaf_24.png

US MX-III (series III) inner dropout – one weld at end of dropout.
Jaf_25.png

Japanese MX-III (series III) Fork – outer dropout, three long welds.
Jaf_26.png

Japanese MX-III (series III) Fork – inner dropout, one semi-long weld ¾ of the way to the end of the dropout.
Jaf_27.png

Taiwanese (Chinese) Giant-Made MX-III (Series Three) Fork - full weld down outer dropout.
Jaf_28.png

Taiwanese (Chinese) Giant-Made MX-III (Series Three) Fork – One weld on inner dropout.
Jaf_29.png

US MX-III (Series III) – has oval Redline stamp and caution sticker (not sure if all had this sticker though).
Jaf_30.png

Japanese MX-III (Series III) fork/headtube – Also has oval Redline stamp, slightly deeper stamping quality.
Jaf_31.png

Taiwanese (Chinese) Giant-Made MX-III (Series Three) Fork/headtube –Has vertically oriented hotdog Redline stamp near threads.
Jaf_32.png

Feel free to add info or correct me if you've got other data.

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Really impressive. Wonderful and thorough information. I love to learn anything with bmx history and its much appreciated

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awesome collection of information. Thanks a lot for pulling it all together.

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For reference. Redline MX-II with made in USA decal on the underside of the downtube. Serial number 350821. No Hot Dog, only serial number. USA made MX-II.

 

DSC00075.JPG

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Great info on a lot of stuff I had always wondered about. Might want to change the last picture to the Taiwanese fork though. Thanks for taking the time to compile all of this.

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MY pleasure gang, glad you all find it helpful. And thanks for the heads up on that last image mrraceinc. Fixed it.

 

Cheers

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killer info36_2_25[1].gif

 

 

do you know the manufacturing years of each?

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Just FYI, at some point I am going to go into your post and host all the pictures here. This to0 good of info to have the pictures hosted off-site and disappear. I will notify you once I am done to make sure I didn't mess anything up.

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Thanks for taking the time to do this tedious process.

 

:OSThumbsUpPeace[1]:

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That's a lot of great info there. Nice work.

We had some MXII frames made down here in Australia too. I'm not sure on those details though.

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killer info36_2_25[1].gif

do you know the manufacturing years of each?

I think that these are the years:

MX-II is 1981

US and Japanese MX-III's are 1983

Giant MX-III is 1984

 

Just FYI, at some point I am going to go into your post and host all the pictures here. This to0 good of info to have the pictures hosted off-site and disappear. I will notify you once I am done to make sure I didn't mess anything up.

That would be great Spur. Thank you. Glad you find the info useful.

 

That's a lot of great info there. Nice work.

We had some MXII frames made down here in Australia too. I'm not sure on those details though.

 

Post em up if you can get details COASTY. That is an important omission.

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man_wow.gif

 

what... someone is doing research on a (supposed) research oriented site??!!

 

Good one, Jaf. Really. :cheers:

 

 

A corresponding timeline would be a nice addition, as TrulyOdd mentions.

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Thanks Steve, finally got this done lol. I did add dates to the original post.

 

healeyracer, as far as I know the theory that a Redline stamp == overseas manufacture was never confirmed. But I'm hoping some veteran Redline collector can clear that up as well as any serial number related info.

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Thanks Steve, finally got this done lol. I did add dates to the original post.

 

healeyracer, as far as I know the theory that a Redline stamp == overseas manufacture was never confirmed. But I'm hoping some veteran Redline collector can clear that up as well as any serial number related info.

 

Yeah it's really foggy on numbers too. And the veterans have had disagreements too. Some say that imports have the letters before the serial number, others say some US versions did as well. Then some guys are firm that letters are imports, stamps are imports, and anything after 1980 is almost certain to be Japan. My personal relines I have are pre 80 and only serial numbers with no stamps, so They SHOULD be US made...I hope. The Japan made stuff ir nice too... But I prefer US Genuine Redlines... even though the Japan ones are genuine, but just not made by US craftsman. Similar with guitars I used to collect.. BC Rich... all US handmade 70's and 80's.... But the craftman were mostly Mexicans...they did beautiful work. In the end it's what makes you happy though.

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Aussie made Redline MXII's were made at Gardner Engineering on the Gold Coast. Made between 81 and 83. They have a "Redline" oval stamp and a 4 digit serial #. Pretty much all I can find.

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Lots more good info, here is another Redline info thread I started a couple years ago.

 

http://bmxsociety.com/topic/49686-70%E2%80%99s-redline-serial-numbers-vs-years/

 

 

The one thing that needs to be added though is that all Japan made frames had the serial number with the date code letters "RI" 1979, "RJ" 1980, "RA" 1981, "RB" 1982, etc. etc. The date code letters were from the Kawamura factory and these were all sold as complete bikes.

 

The USA made frames after mid 79 had the six digit serial number "340xxx" "345xxx" "375xxx" etc. etc. and had no stamp, and were all sold as frame or frame and fork sets. The only complete USA made bikes were bike shop built, not factory built.

 

 

 

 

I always thought anything stamped redline was Japan made or later tiawan made, Also anything after 1980 was no longer US made....??

 

The hot dog stamp was around 81 and the oval stamp started around 82 on Japan made frames, but the bars were stamped as far back as 79ish

 

They made frame and forks in the US through 83 or 84, but the completes made in Japan were just such a better deal that they just didn't sell near as many USA made frames and they just phased them out.

 

 

That's a lot of great info there. Nice work.

We had some MXII frames made down here in Australia too. I'm not sure on those details though.

 

Aussie made Redline MXII's were made at Gardner Engineering on the Gold Coast. Made between 81 and 83. They have a "Redline" oval stamp and a 4 digit serial #. Pretty much all I can find.

 

They also had some Aussie made frames without a serial number, and some with serial numbers in the 30000s

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wow I think I finaly now now what model my old used REDLINE I got around 83/54 was. thanks for posting the good info.

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