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Pat-A-Lar

Skyway K-Serial.

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So a few months ago I was offered the chance to buy back the only frameset I ever regretted selling. I jumped at the chance to have her back in my small collection.

 

So here she is in her second version...

 

1982 Skyway TA Frame and Skyway forks (K001522)

RedLine 401 Cranks/Chainwheel with DD spindle

Tange BB & HS

Shimano DX Pedals

GT Pro Bars

Amé Bubble font grips

Tuf Neck Tiger Stamped Stem

Elina Seat

Suntour SeatClamp

Shimano DX Lever

MX1000 Caliper with Shimano blocks

Tuff 2 Looseball wheels

Zeronine Plate

 

New Comp 2 and Snakebelly for riding

Original CyclePro Snakebelly and Comp 2 for Show.

F3813120-CC73-445C-AEDD-81F5535962D7.jpeg

80E49968-1490-44C6-B6A8-0471E2ABB8FA.jpeg

Edited by Pat-A-Lar
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so what is the K serial?  Japanese made?  I don't know anything about Skyway frames. 

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A K-Serial frame is a prototype Japanese made frame built in 1982 before the official release of US made frames in 1983. The serials did not have a date code, just a ‘K’ serial which would read ‘SKYWAY K001522’. The usual Skyway BB stamping from 1983 onwards would include a date code and would look something like ‘SKYWAY USA 8-83’ followed by a unique serial number. I’ve included a picture of both.

66434BD6-9038-40D4-B37D-44A3A65D50F9.jpeg

472428AF-78C2-4143-B246-F7628ADDCE44.jpeg

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That is interesting that the frame would be prototyped in Japan then produced in USA. At a time when the reverse was well underway, that seems odd.

 

Other than the place of manufacture (and serial listing) are there other differences? (Geometry, weight, materials, etc?)

 

Also curious about the "looseball" Tuff wheel designation. I am thinking standard ball bearings installed without the bearing races? A known low friction trick. And if so was that sold by Skyway or an end user modification?

 

Oh and your bike is very nice!

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How many K-serial prototypes did they make? I know over the years I've seen a few.

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Hey Curt, to be honest I don’t know if there are any differences between an 82 and 83 onwards models. Regarding the looseball Tuffs, I’m not sure what you mean about low friction trick? As far as I’m aware, all Tuff 1’s, Tuff 2 Steel Hub & early Tuff 2 Alloy hub are all looseball from the factory.

 

Reilley1, I’m not sure exactly how many. In fact, it had never crossed my mind. I’m going to find out though.

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I found this info online...

 

BMX Plus! december 1982 : The official word from Skyway was that the company worked on the development of the frame for over one year. Initially; according to Craig Raudman of Skyway, once the decision was made to produce the T/A frame, it took quite a search to find someone to produce the unusual tear-drop shape they needed. After looking everywhere in the United States, Skyway finally turned to Japan, where they found two factories capable of producing the special chrome-moly tubes. The Ishiwata Seisakusho Co. Ltd. of Japan ultimately won the job, and we must say, the job they did was flawless. There were two ways to make the odd-shaped tubing. It could be drawn through a die in the desired shape or, as in the case of the Skyway tubing, it could be drawn round then shaped in a forming die. Once the tubing was dialed in, welding it all together in the right angles became the next step. The trick for Skyway was to figure out geometry that would work as well for the huge Andy Patterson as it would for the quick and nimble pro, Bob Medrano. According to Craig Raudman, countless hours of cutting and redesigning went into the prototypes. With the .geometry finally nailed down, Raudman hopped a plane for Japan to get the final manufacturing specs on the tubing settled. As of this writing, the frames are being completely produced in Japan. The forks are welded then shipped to this country, where Skyway gives them special treatment which involves annealing, re-heat treating, and plating. According to Craig, this is done in order to assure and verify that the fork is up to spec.I found this info....

 

And a list of K serials that are known. There could be more out there....

 

K 0037 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0041 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0044 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0069 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0088 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0108 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0118 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0133 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0137 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0165 curved brake brdige - chrome

K 0186 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0216 curved brake bridge - chrome

0226 curved brake bridge - chrome NO K stamp

K 0246 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0247 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0264 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0299 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0306 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0426 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 0447 curved brake bridge - chrome

KB 00512 curved brake bridge - chrome

KB 0524 curved brake bridge - chrome

KB 0529 curved brake bridge - white

KB 0558 curved brake bridge - chrome

KB 0632 curved brake bridge - chrome

KB 0673 curved brake bridge - chrome

KB 0690 curved brake bridge - chrome

KB 0740 curved brake brigde - chrome

KB 0771 curved brake bridge - chrome

KB 0808 curved brake bridge - chrome

KB 0810 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 00877 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 00933 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 00957 curved brake brigde - chrome

K 01013 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 01031 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 01134 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 01144 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 01177 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 01233 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 02840 NOS frame - white

K 01288 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 01298 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 01323 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 01349 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 001522 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 01638 curved brake bridge - white

K 01846 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 001900 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 001907 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002046 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002056 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002097 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002143 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002175 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002180 curved brake bridge - white

K 002248 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002356 curved brake bridge - white

K 002395 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002397 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002406 curved brake brigde - chrome

K 002423 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002443 curved brake bridge - white powdercoat

K 002458 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002484 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002654 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002671 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 002792 curved brake brigde - chrome

K 002852 curved brake bridge - chrome (rechromed)

K 003033 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 003181 curved brake bridge - chrome

K 004268 curved brake bridge - chrome

 

I’d like to know what KB means too.

Edited by Pat-A-Lar

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With that many K models out there, wouldn't a better description be "Japanese Made TA" rather than prototype? 

 

Maybe it's just semantics, but to me, the word prototype implies a small batch of items that were manufactured to be tested out by select riders.

 

Not trying to sound like a dick, it's just that the term gets thrown around quite a bit.

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For what it’s worth, I’d be inclined to agree with the “Japanese-made” description as prototype to me suggests something made for pre-production testing. Regardless, this is a sweet (re)build Pat! I love the Ishiwata stuff, having had a Ross MX-Time made with Ishiwata tubing.

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prototype

noun

pro·​to·​type | \ ˈprō-tə-ˌtīp
\
Definition of prototype
1 : an original model on which something is patterned : archetype
2 : an individual that exhibits the essential features of a later type
3 : a standard or typical example
4 : a first full-scale and usually functional form of a new type or design of a construction (such as an airplane)

 

 

A beautiful early example. But I do agree "Japanese made is more like it because the production numbers seem to be in the hundreds. prototypes are not made in the hundreds. Let alone sold in quantity. This is the only collector hobby I know where whenever someone "dosen't know" or "isn't sure" the tag "prototype" is added. IMO all that does is spread confusion.

 

Sorry for the rant. not intended or aimed at the OP. Just my brain leaking again. :wacko:   

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What took you so long? :-)

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