BMX Bikes / L / Le Turbo / 1983 Le Turbo Grid 5
1983 Le Turbo Grid 5

1983 Le Turbo Grid 5

I was alerted to this bike through my friend Hendrik in Bloemfontein, who gave me a call one day and excitedly told me about an old man he'd found in Bloem, who still had old stuff stashed away from after closing his bicycle shop many years ago. Among his stuff were four Le Turbo Grid 5 BMX bikes from 83, still unbuilt and in their boxes. So myself and my friends, James and Chris (who are also on this site) snapped up one each. They built up their's, while I decided that at least one of them has to stay in the box. Things like this really don't happen here often. 

The Le Turbo brand was only in South Africa, so I don't think it was seen anywhere else in the world. When we were kids, we saw it as a bike that was on par with the Redline 600A and Diamondback Silver Streak. The frame I'm told is a Tange frame, which also appeared on certain Prolite models in Australia and the Ross Predator also looks very similar. The bottom of the range was the Grid 1 which had a Hi-tensile steel frame, then as the numbers go up, we finally reach the top of the range Grid 5. This one is an earlier model which has the Redline-type gusset, while the later 84 model had no gusset and an aero tubed frame. My one friend Nesh has one, so I'm hoping that he'll post it up. The Le Turbo, along with the Western Flyer (South Africa) Kamikaze, were the top bikes to come out of SA back in then 80s. I have also been told that the original owner of the Le Turbo company is still here in Johannesburg, so I hope to track him down and get the history of the company and the bikes, since the Le Turbo Bicycle Company closed in the early 2000s, when they went more towards road racing bikes. 

Thanks Hendrik for making this great find possible. You are a true bru!!!!

Submitted by kuwasakid

  • Race
  • Company: Le Turbo
  • Model: Grid 5
  • Wheel Size: 20"
  • Headtube size: 1"
  • Details Parts list: Frame: Tange All Chromoly Fork: Tange TX500 Handlebar: Nitto stamped Le Turbo V-bar Stem: Nitto MX 8 Brakes: DC 890 F/R with centering devices and MX3 levers and DC plastic cable holders and cable Grips: O.G.K. (like on the ET Kuwahara) Cranks: Sugino Chromoly One-piece with Sugino Spider & 44T Chainwheel Chain: Izumi Black/Silver Pedals: KKT SMX Seat: Elina Ultralite Seatclamp: DC hinged in black Rims: Araya 7X Hubs: Suzue Low Flange Loose-ball Tires: Knarler Knobbly with National tubes