SN deciphering

Below is an excerpt from the Bikeforums in which forum member TMar shows his finding of deciphering Serial numbers for Asian country built bikes. the excerpt below has what pertains to Centurion Bicycles.  If you are fans of other make bikes that were probably built in Asia and are looking for a decipher of the SN please check out the link at the bottom. I am posting the information here for completeness and posterity sake.

The guide is not necessarily comprehensive, as it only represents what has been collected and decrypted. The level of confidence in the decryption is high, unless otherwise stated. Contract manufactured brands are cross-reference to the manufacturer. The nationality of the brand owner ( pre- 1990) is stated in parentheses. Anybody having any further data, insight or corrections can contact me via the forum's private message process. Hopefully, it is self-explanatory with the use of the following legend:

 

Manufactures and their SN schema:

CENTURION (USA) had multiple factories that built the bikes for Centurion they can be: F (1), Katakura, Matsu****a, Mikki, N(1), Tano, U(1).

F(1): Fymmxxx(xx) Unknown manufacturer. Format seen mainly on 1980s Centurion and Diamond Back, so may be Fairly, a known supplier to Western States Imports. 

KATAKURA (Japan): KMyxxxxx Format easily confused with Kawamura.

MATSU****A/NATIONAL (Japan): yMxxxxx

MIKI (Japan): MyFxxxx

N(1) (Japan): NyFxxxx Manufacturer unknown. Some members believe that the 'N' prefix designates National but given that Panasonic and the Japanese manufactured Schwinns that came from Matsu****a/National do not use this format, it seems unlikely.

TANO (Japan): not yet decoded

U(1) (?): Uymmxxxxx Manufacturer unknown. These codes start appearing on Centurion and Diamond back models in the very late 1980s. It is known that China Bicycle Company started supplying entry level models to Western State Imports at this time, just before acquiring WSI in late 1989 and this would appear to be the logical manufacturer but bicycles with this S/N format have been reported with Made in Taiwan labels and CBC was located in China.

Legends for Underlined data fields

F indicates an alpha character designating the fortnight (i.e. A= weeks 1-2, B=weeks 3-4,....Z = weeks 51-52)

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
1,2 3,4 5,6 7,8 9,10 11,12 13,14 15,16 17,18 19,20 21,22 23,24 25,26

 

N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
27,28 29,30 31,32 33,34 35,36 37,38 39,40 41,42 43,44 45,46 47,48 49,50 51,52

 

M indicates an alpha character designating the month (i.e. A = January, B= February,... L = December)

A B C D E F G H I J K L
Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec

 

Y indicates an alpha character designating the year . The year that corresponds to a particular alpha character can vary significantly. The specific convention will be listed under the manufacturer entry. 

mm indicates two numeric characters designating the month (i.e 01 = January, 02=February,..... 12= December)

y indicates a numeric character designating the last digit of the year (i.e. 1 = 1971 or 1981, 2 = 1972 or 1982, etc.). With such codes, you have to determine the decade based on frame characteristics, components, etc.

yy indicates two numeric characters designating the last two digits of the year (i.e. 81 = 1981, 82= 1082, etc.)

xxxx indcates a numeric characters designating the sequential frame number within a the fortnight, month or year. This number string is typically four to six characters in length but can vary.The guide is not necessarily comprehensive, as it only represents what has been collected and decrypted.

Some Examples: 

Example #1

1980 LeMans with SN: N0H2264

can be broken down this way

N Denotes the unknown manfacturer that built the bike but it is known they stamped an N
0  indicates its a model year that ends in a 0 Centurion was started in 1969 so it could be 1970, 1980 and as they were stopped after 1989 there was no 1990 models in the US (other countries still had them not sure the SN info for the non U.S. Imports. Given the componets and the graphics its a 1980 built which could be a 1980 or 1981.
H indicates fortnight week H which was week 15 or 16 which would be around the last week of March or first week of April. given it was made that early in the year it is probably an 1980 model. if it was made toward the end of the year then it would probably the next years model

2

2

6

4

Sequential numbering of frames in the given time frame

 

Example #2

1987 Ironman Expert SN:N7B6800

N Denotes the unknown manfacturer that built the bike but it is known they stamped an N
7 Denotes year ended in 7 so 1977 or 1987. Given its a Ironman it has to be 1987
B

 

 week 3,4 of 1987 makes it at the end of January in 1987.given color scheme it is a 1987 Model

6

8

0

0

Sequential numbering of frames in the given time frame

 

Example #3

1987 Ironman Master SN:N6M9100

N Denotes the unknown manfacturer that built the bike but it is known they stamped an N
6 Denotes year ended in 6 so 1976 or 1986. Given its a Ironman it has to be 1986.

M

 week 25 -26 of 1986 makes it at the beginning of July in 1986.given that there was no Master Ironman in 1986 the bike is a early 1987 Model

9

1

0

0

Sequential numbering of frames in the given time frame
 

 

 

bikeforums.net Asian serial number decphering post 

 

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