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#1 2012-07-12 8:04am

84pk
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SE Landing Gear Timeline

OK all you SE freaks, I am looking to document a chronological list of LANDING GEAR forks from late 81 thru 86. SE made a bunch of different variations to Landing Gear forks made in the USA during that period.  I don’t think any other manufacturer during that period compares with all the variations.
I will do my best to go chronologically so please don’t crucify me if I am off.  There are some definite question marks in the list.  I would like to finish this thread with an accurate chronological list and will edit this list when/if we can agree.   Once the list is finished or at least the best we can get it, I would then like get some feed back on the rarest and try to get a top 5 list. 

1.  1980
     a) -20"  solid dropout, unstamped
     b) -20"  3-hole dropout, unstamped
     b) -26"  solid dropout, unstamped cowboy-cut
2.  1981
     a) -20"  3-hole dropout, unstamped
     b) -26"  solid dropout, unstamped cowboy-cut
3.  1982
     a) -20"  3-hole dropout, unstamped
     b) -24"  solid dropout, unstamped, 6 ¼"  steer tube
     c) -24"  3-hole dropout, unstamped, 6 ¼"  steer tube
     c) -26"  solid dropout, unstamped bologna-cut
4.  1983
     a) -20"  3-hole dropout, unstamped, "lites" with smaller “LANDING GEAR"  die-cut decal
     b) -20"  3-hole dropout, unstamped
     c) -24"  3-hole dropout, unstamped, 6 ¼"  steer tube
     d) -26"  solid dropout, unstamped bologna-cut
5.  1984
     a) -20"  3-hole dropout, unstamped, "lites" with clear “LANDING GEAR lites"  decal
     b) -20"  3-hole dropout, unstamped, “standing gear"
     c) -20"  3-hole dropout, unstamped
     d) -24"  3-hole dropout, unstamped, 6 ¼"  steer tube
     e) -26"  solid dropout, unstamped bologna-cut
6.  1985
     a) -20"  2-hole double thick dropout, unstamped, "lites" with very small “LANDING GEAR"  die-cut decal
     b) -20"  3-hole dropout, vertical stamp, “standing gear"
     c) -20"  3-hole dropout, vertical stamp
     d) -24"  solid double thick dropout, unstamped, 6 ¼"  steer tube (factory issued)
     e) -24"  3-hole dropout, vertical stamp, 6 ¼"  steer tube
     f) -26"  solid dropout, unstamped bologna-cut
7. 1986
     a) -20"  2-hole dropout, unstamped, 4 ¾"  steer tube, "mini" with very small “LANDING GEAR"  die-cut decal
     b) -20"  2-hole double thick dropout, unstamped, "lite" with very small “LANDING GEAR"  die-cut decal
     c) -20"  3-hole dropout, vertical stamp
     d) -24"  solid double thick dropout, horizontal stamp, 6 ¼"  steer tube
     e) -24"  solid double thick dropout, horizontal stamp, 5 ½"  steer tube
     f) -26"  solid double thick dropout, horizontal stamp, bologna-cut

I will update this list as all you experts check in on chronology.  If you see an error and are 100% sure please say something like…“1b also needs to be in 2" 
If you want to add overseas 20"  forks we can play that but you need to be 100% on any additions.  I am not adding Murray or Spinner forks!
Let the debate begin…. cool

Last edited by 84pk (2013-01-09 4:17pm)


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#2 2012-09-07 12:14am

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

This is so great! Thanks!!

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#3 2012-09-07 12:50am

Scraplord
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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

1986`s had the vertical fork stamp. I own a 1986 PK Ripper that I bought new from the factory with a vertical fork stamp and every 1986 I`ve seen has been the same:
http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/se_racing/4004


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#4 2012-09-07 1:54am

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

^^^^ 85's

Last edited by daripper (2012-09-07 3:03pm)


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#5 2012-09-07 2:35pm

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

I bought my Floval Flyer in early 1982.  It has three holes in the drop outs.  I bought some landing gear forks for my PK Ripper in 1981 and again they had three holes in the drop outs. The three holes version were definitely out before 1983.

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#6 2012-09-08 5:54pm

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

getset wrote:

I bought my Floval Flyer in early 1982.  It has three holes in the drop outs.  I bought some landing gear forks for my PK Ripper in 1981 and again they had three holes in the drop outs. The three holes version were definitely out before 1983.

Hmm my understanding is that 20" landing gear came out in late 81.  Those definitely were solid drops.  I did recently see a survivor 82 quad at Brian Ps.  It had 3 hole drops.  Perhaps the 20" solid drop included 81 and early 82 but 3 hole drops were also available in 82.

As for 24 inch drops I don't have as much certainty. I have a loop floval survivor I bought from Haney.  He said it was an 82 for sure.  It has solid drops. Since the 20" 3 holes came after the solids, I assumed the same was true for the 24s.

WOW, I have never ever seen 85 landing gear on an 86 frame.  Very cool!!!


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#7 2012-09-08 6:09pm

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

I think you're going to find LG's truly start before late 1981, probably late 1980. And you'll also find that the solid dropout didn't span 2 years.

You been to oldschoolmags.com and downloaded some of the issues there for review?

I was able to find in March 1981 BMX Action an ad for ACS Zrims an SE with LGs. BITD, lead time was 60+ days, so, I think it's pretty easy to see they're out well before late 1981.

Last edited by markmc97225 (2012-09-08 6:22pm)


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#8 2012-09-08 6:13pm

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

The PK Ripper test from the June 1981 BMXA, they list the LG fork as 'NEW' and they had solid dropouts...so did the Ripper that was tested too.  My 82 chromo Quad has 3 hole dropouts but i would label it as a 83 due to it not being a looptail.

http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa427/Jhoffman81/PKRipperBMXA_6-81_p9.jpg

Last edited by OLDSKOOLPK (2012-09-08 6:17pm)


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#9 2012-09-09 6:56am

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

I combed a ton of 1980 mags.  Every SE I saw was running cycle pro forks.  I know the ACS add you are talking about.  Scot is powersliding on a bad boy blue loop quad with solid drops.  I have no idea about lead times for publishing.

Ok so we know for sure solid drops are 1981.  Anybody else thinking 1980?
What about 1982 for solid drops or is 1982 only 3 hole?


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#10 2012-09-09 10:57am

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

84pk wrote:

I combed a ton of 1980 mags.  Every SE I saw was running cycle pro forks.  I know the ACS add you are talking about.  Scot is powersliding on a bad boy blue loop quad with solid drops.  I have no idea about lead times for publishing.

Ok so we know for sure solid drops are 1981.  Anybody else thinking 1980?
What about 1982 for solid drops or is 1982 only 3 hole?

No way solid drops made out of 81. Heck, due to their rarity, I'd even toss out they weren't even 1981 forks, but, intro year only, of 1980. Maybe, just maybe they rolled into early 81.

Keep in mind, LG's were being designed and tested in 1979 on 26" bikes.

I've done tons of Cycle Pro/Race Inc. fork and early SE research, and have lots of it documented (not specifically LG's as I don't like them, but, more as info on the side). A PK with SN 20XXX (and no PK in the SN), so, as early as they come, has LGs with it. Looks to be all OG. We tag PK serials starting late 1979. So, how did that happen?

I think you're making one big oversight. Your model suggests there was suddenly one day, an LG assembly/welding line, cranking out forks on a daily basis. I'd say quite the opposite. SE stuff was backordered for MONTHS in 79/80. They overwhelmed Bastian's Race Inc capacity. It's why you don't see any alloy frames beside SE and RaceInc beyond 1978. SE essentially took 100% of his capacity. Cycle Pro forks went overseas to Tange in Japan in 1979 as another fallout of the SE contract at RaceInc.

I'd suggest that in 1979, some other shop somewhere, or, some RI guys, after hours (or when frame tubing ran out!), or more likely both, made LG's here and there. So, they trickled out for a long time, probably a good portion of 1980, slowly. But, no one had the capacity setup to crank them out daily. SE was selling 10K frames a year BITD, so, 10K forks is not a trivial capacity addition. So, that's what was going on in 1980 - someone was building/expanding capacity to get them online fully. That line came online by late 1980, and, at that point, the fork was finalized and started with the 3 hole drop. It's the only way you can explain solid drops and 3 hole drops being out on early PKs.

Also, take a look at any OG PK with a 2XXXX SN. Lots will have LGs. So, those are 79, or 1980 for sure. I believe a new California law in 1980 required a SN on a bike, so, that's why they started in late 79 - to get in the supply chain in advance of 1980. So, those 2XXXX PKs are the ones you want to find, and check. I know from the frame research the forks were all over the place. Cook Bros. Cycle Pros, JMCs, LGs with solid and 3 hole drops.

So, that's my best guess.


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#11 2012-09-09 11:03am

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

Scraplord wrote:

1986`s had the vertical fork stamp. I own a 1986 PK Ripper that I bought new from the factory with a vertical fork stamp and every 1986 I`ve seen has been the same:
http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/se_racing/4004

Thought the Vertical stamp was "85"?


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#12 2012-09-09 11:17am

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

RacenJason wrote:

Scraplord wrote:

1986`s had the vertical fork stamp. I own a 1986 PK Ripper that I bought new from the factory with a vertical fork stamp and every 1986 I`ve seen has been the same:
http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/se_racing/4004

Thought the Vertical stamp was "85"?

That's sort of the rule, but, if you have 2000 extra forks laying around with a vertical stamp, you use them.

We're so conditioned by the car industry to try and group things by year, but, not as effective in the bike industry, especially the earlier days.


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#13 2012-09-09 11:28am

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

No photo's ...didn't happen.

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#14 2012-09-09 5:16pm

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

Here is a pic of my Floval Flyer I got in 82.  I'm certain I bought it in 82 because I still have trophies from Summer of 82 that I won while racing this bike.

http://i873.photobucket.com/albums/ab298/getset31/seracing003.jpg

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#15 2012-09-09 5:35pm

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

markmc97225 wrote:

84pk wrote:

I combed a ton of 1980 mags.  Every SE I saw was running cycle pro forks.  I know the ACS add you are talking about.  Scot is powersliding on a bad boy blue loop quad with solid drops.  I have no idea about lead times for publishing.

Ok so we know for sure solid drops are 1981.  Anybody else thinking 1980?
What about 1982 for solid drops or is 1982 only 3 hole?

No way solid drops made out of 81. Heck, due to their rarity, I'd even toss out they weren't even 1981 forks, but, intro year only, of 1980. Maybe, just maybe they rolled into early 81.

Keep in mind, LG's were being designed and tested in 1979 on 26" bikes.

I've done tons of Cycle Pro/Race Inc. fork and early SE research, and have lots of it documented (not specifically LG's as I don't like them, but, more as info on the side). A PK with SN 20XXX (and no PK in the SN), so, as early as they come, has LGs with it. Looks to be all OG. We tag PK serials starting late 1979. So, how did that happen?

I think you're making one big oversight. Your model suggests there was suddenly one day, an LG assembly/welding line, cranking out forks on a daily basis. I'd say quite the opposite. SE stuff was backordered for MONTHS in 79/80. They overwhelmed Bastian's Race Inc capacity. It's why you don't see any alloy frames beside SE and RaceInc beyond 1978. SE essentially took 100% of his capacity. Cycle Pro forks went overseas to Tange in Japan in 1979 as another fallout of the SE contract at RaceInc.

I'd suggest that in 1979, some other shop somewhere, or, some RI guys, after hours (or when frame tubing ran out!), or more likely both, made LG's here and there. So, they trickled out for a long time, probably a good portion of 1980, slowly. But, no one had the capacity setup to crank them out daily. SE was selling 10K frames a year BITD, so, 10K forks is not a trivial capacity addition. So, that's what was going on in 1980 - someone was building/expanding capacity to get them online fully. That line came online by late 1980, and, at that point, the fork was finalized and started with the 3 hole drop. It's the only way you can explain solid drops and 3 hole drops being out on early PKs.

Also, take a look at any OG PK with a 2XXXX SN. Lots will have LGs. So, those are 79, or 1980 for sure. I believe a new California law in 1980 required a SN on a bike, so, that's why they started in late 79 - to get in the supply chain in advance of 1980. So, those 2XXXX PKs are the ones you want to find, and check. I know from the frame research the forks were all over the place. Cook Bros. Cycle Pros, JMCs, LGs with solid and 3 hole drops.

So, that's my best guess.

Great info mark! I was recently baffled when I saw an OG PK with a SN in the low 3's that was a garage find. It had a 3 hole landing Gear fork. It dated very early 1980 because the guy had the original receipt to prove it. I had always told people that landing gears came out in late 1981 and this proved that I was wrong (at least by a year) about that. I also raced in 1980 and in all the pics I have I don't see one set of landing gear. Most everyone that had a PK Ripper had Tange forks or Cycle Pro forks. So I'm thinking they are just somewhat rare in those years as very few could be manufactured like you said.

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#16 2012-09-09 6:04pm

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

Good read
Thank you

Interesting no Tuff forks have been mentioned


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#17 2012-09-10 11:07am

84pk
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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

I just pulled up a January 1981 bmxa which would have come out in December 1980.  The cover has RL jumping through a ring of fire on a PK with solid drop forks.  In the same mag is an SE add for a complete PK and Quad.  Both are running cyclepro forks.  I'll post the pics later. 

Based on this alone I would say 20" solid drops were made in late 1980 and all of 1981.  I can't find any pictures of factory riders with 20" Landing Gear in 1980.


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#18 2012-09-10 6:38pm

getset
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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

Well here is some additional info to consider.  In this BMXSOCIETY link Scot says the new LG's were in heavy production in 1980 and he suggests that soon after they started putting the holes in the design.  http://bmxsociety.com/topic/25392-se-fo … ear-forks/

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#19 2012-09-10 8:38pm

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

84pk wrote:

I just pulled up a January 1981 bmxa which would have come out in December 1980.  The cover has RL jumping through a ring of fire on a PK with solid drop forks.  In the same mag is an SE add for a complete PK and Quad.  Both are running cyclepro forks.  I'll post the pics later. 

Based on this alone I would say 20" solid drops were made in late 1980 and all of 1981.  I can't find any pictures of factory riders with 20" Landing Gear in 1980.

Jan 1981 magazine hit the stores in December. 60+ day lead time, so, the pics are likely from September or October. And then, he probably had that bike before then to practice on. That puts those forks out mid to late 1980.

As for the SE ad, that ad was run for most of the year. Same size ad space. Pre-computer days, ads didn't change much at all. That's how it was done. You bought X issues of so many column inches. Turned over one ad, and then let it run.

Besides, how often you see solid drop forks vs. 3 hole forks? No way they ran for a full year. The article notes LG's "soon" moved to the 3 hole drop.

If I had to put a date on them, 1980 only. Maybe dribble into 81. You just don't see enough solid drop forks to convince me that they were out for more than 3-6 months.

Last edited by markmc97225 (2012-09-10 9:04pm)


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#20 2012-09-10 8:50pm

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

Hit the 1980 PK's listed. The first 10, maybe 1 has solid drops. Maybe. A 5 year run of 80-84, 10% would mean 6 months.

Then, check this out, Christmas 1980 PK, with holed dropouts.
http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/se_racing/26159

So, if as the info from Scot is respected, and the holed drop outs replaced the others, then, having an OG bike with holed drops by end of 1980 means solid drops done.

Just nothing adding up that they made it out of 1980.


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#21 2012-09-10 10:43pm

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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

RacenJason wrote:

Thought the Vertical stamp was "85"?

That`s the current myth but I have never seen a 1986 that was known to come from the factory with the horizontal stamp.
Anyone own one?


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#22 2012-09-11 3:04pm

getset
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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

Mark, good info and thinking on the advertisements.  I agree that the ads probably were not being updated to reflect the new design the same way an advertisement today would be quickly updated.  Also, I'd bet all the pro riders got the first no hole version of the forks as soon as they came out and probably ran those for a long time, not updating them just because a newer version came out.  Basically the change was more aesthetic, it wasn't really like SE came out with a completely different/new fork.  I personally don't remember seeing the no hole version of the forks except for in the magazines and the pro riders using them.

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#23 2012-09-12 1:41pm

Rerun
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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

So where do the Tuff forks fit in?
I know somewhere in 79 but why and were they only for the race team or some such?
http://i853.photobucket.com/albums/ab97/rerun131/IMG_4615-1.jpghttp://i853.photobucket.com/albums/ab97/rerun131/IMG_4614.jpg


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#24 2012-09-12 2:00pm

MrRipper
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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

Wow! Those forks are sweet! Dibs!lol

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#25 2012-09-12 5:50pm

markmc97225
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Re: SE Landing Gear Timeline

Rerun wrote:

So where do the Tuff forks fit in?
I know somewhere in 79 but why and were they only for the race team or some such?

This was an LG timeline thread on dropouts/stampings, which to me has nothing to do with Tuff Forks.

I don't think they had any impact at all in regards to LG's. Sure, SE tossed some of their stickers on them for a short while, but, I can't see any impact TuffForks had on LGs.

Now, if you're talking SE, and their early fork usage, that's another topic. If you want to start a topic on that, then PM me the link, I'm sure I can come up with some tidbits from stuff I've come across. I just don't want to derail a thread.

Last edited by markmc97225 (2012-09-12 5:50pm)


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