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dubplatestyle

Navajo Racing Products

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Navajo_ad.jpg

 

 

Here's some excerpts from my discussions w/ Steve Lyttelton.

 

 

Hi Steve, First of all, let me thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and shedding some light on Navajo Racing Products.

 

  Navajo was started in 1983 by my dad, Tom Lyttleton in Tempe AZ.  He originally purchased Blazer which was owned by David Gerston.  David was an exceptional welder and fabricator for all things, he could figure out all the technical stuff in his head instantly.  The bikes were awesome and still till this day I ride my Navajo Pro along with my boys.  We even hit the local track here in Houston from time to time. Navajo manufactured a mini, pro and cruiser frame.  Plus we also made forks and a few different types of handlebars.  We supported a small factory team that even had members of the Navajo Nation.  The company ended up folding a few years later, but it was a lot of fun while it lasted.

 

 

navajo_frames014.jpg

 

 

Judging by the similarities between Blazer & Navajo frames, I kind of had a feeling David Gerston had a hand in Navajo, but I never knew to what extent. When the company began, was David handling manufacturing duties or was it simply that he sold all the designs, jigs & tooling to your father?

 

  When my father moved from Cincinnati to Arizona, we became real close with Merl Mennenga (Founder & President of the ABA) and through Merl, was how we ended up meeting David. I may have mistakenly indicated that we purchased Blazer from David, but mainly it was just the physical assets and such (tubing, jigs and tooling).  Even though we had our share of input, David remained on to do all the design and manufacturing for Navajo.  He was a great technician and an incredibly hard worker.”

 

Blazer never developed a fork when they were in operation, so I was wondering if you could possibly share how the Navajo fork came about.  Also while we're on the subject, another Arizona company (Harborlite) had a fork that was almost identical, but instead of the typical Navajo solid drop-outs, the Harborlite ‘sew-up’ fork had a small half circle in the drops. Was it possible that Navajo manufactured these for Bicycle Harbor? 

 

  I believe David was solely responsible for the development of the Navajo fork and you’re also correct that we manufactured forks for Bicycle Harbor/Harborlite. We might have even manufactured some handlebars for them as well. (I've copied my father to this email so he could correct me if I’m wrong)

Near the end, when it started to become difficult to support company operations, we attempted to contract manufacturing through GT. Everything was beginning to look on the up side, but ultimately Gary Turner turned out be untrustworthy in the end!  Without the GT deal we just couldn't continue on with the brand.”  

 

 

Harborlite Sew-up Mini Fork 

 

Harborlite sew-up fork (seadooit) B.jpg

 

Harborlite sew-up fork (seadooit).jpg

(Pics courtesy of Seadooit)

 

 

Navajo Cruiser

 

complete.JPG

 

forks.jpg

 

rear tri.jpg

(Pics courtesy of Ray Beard)

 

 

 

 

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This is great, somebody deserves the BMXsociety Research credential I'd say!

 

And I know you've been digging if you came up with Raybeard pics!

 

:cheers:

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Damn - I haven't touched base with Ray in a few months .... Thanks for the reminder

 

And nice digging on the Navajo info - the only ads I remember from them were in the ABA brochures and smaller periodicals. They never got much noteriety on this coast, but I always loved the logo and color scheme, and geomotry of they're design .... (Never did have the op to ride one tho)

Funny how both Navajo and Rebel were both Texas brands - if that isn't a case for irony .....

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Excellent. Now, more of you other members, go forth and do the same.  Go out and dig, and bring back to the site, this type of knowledge!!!

 

Good work, stuff like this is always appreciated.

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I love that dubplatestyle ID'd this fork in Bourke's thread, then opened this one to add more info about a brand many of us never heard of.  

 

Incredible piece of knowledge.  Thanks for sharing this.  

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Thanks everyone! I knew you guy's would appreciate it. Hopefully in the near future I will have more to add, I really wanted to hear a bit more about the factory team and their involvement w/ the Navajo Nation. For some reason, that fascinates me. Maybe it's because of the political correct times we live in, where the portrayal of an 'Attacking Indian' or 'Redskin' is deemed a negative stereotype against Native Americans. While in this case, they seem to have co-existed.

 

 

 

Navajo Ad.jpg

 

 

Navajo Ad 2.jpg

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"Funny how both Navajo and Rebel were both Texas brands - if that isn't a case for irony ."

 

 

I wouldn't really consider Navajo a Texas 'brand', but it definitely rose from the ashes of Blazer. If I remember correctly, Dave Gerston is an Arizona native and returned there after he had a falling out w/ Mike Maberry (co-owner of Blazer). There's also a Rebel connection as well, but the specifics are a bit more murky. Before Brock Bruce moved manufacturing to Kingsport, TN (Cycle-Craft), Rebel frames were manufactured for a short period of time in Arizona. I have a strong suspicion that it might have been through Dave Gerston.  

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from memory, they're about 4". These might be fork decals, since they had to be short because of the bend in the legs. but, I don't know.

 

how big are the bar decals?

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a couple of my decals

 

attachicon.gifnavajo_decals.jpg

 

Found me 2 on Ebay a couple a yrs back...would give ANYTHING for a complete frame set for mine. Well, the fork is taken care of anyway...

 

& those were the fork decals above

Edited by bullitridden

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thanks for posting this info....now i know i have a harborlite sew up fork!  

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did anyone here buy that Navajo frame from ebay last week?  I believe it was in Australia.

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Was it listed as a Navajo or as something else? The reason I ask, I just picked up a Harbor-Lite 'mini' frame w/ an interesting set of forks. It's a sew-up fork, but the bends are quite different than the version we're used to seeing. It has Navajo 'styled' drops (so it's missing the cut-out), a 'capped' steer tube & a neat little modification so they can accept a 20 1/8" wheel set. 

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snapped some screen shots for reference.

$_57.JPG

$_57-1.JPG

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 10.31.34 PM.png

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Here's a pro sized Navajo frame & fork along with some NOS decals and a copy of an original brochure.  The frame & fork was repaired in IL.

DSC_5839 (1280x848).jpg

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DSC_5836 (1280x848).jpg

  • Like 3

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