• A Starting Guide

    by Published on 16th January 2010 17:30     Number of Views: 1270 

    It's not always easy to figure out a frameset and identification is all the more difficult for several reasons.

    1. You have a frameset decalled incorrectly.

    2. A frameset that was used for a number of models (1st gen Pacer 500, 1st gen Super Viper or 4th gen Viper).

    3. No original decals at all.

    4. Same decals used for a number of models (Mini, Medium or Senior Pro)

    5. Date of frame does not coincide with initial year of release (1982 Silver Streak originally released in 1981)

    6. Customised (re-painted frame, different parts)

    To assist you along use the following workflow which will hopefully help

    NB - make a note of any minor differences on the frame you are trying to identify, such as a chainguard tab.

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    Firstly locate the serial number, which is located on either

    1. On the inside of the left rear dropout (KOIZUMI)

    NB - serial format VM ???? are currently under investigation which you can keep track of here

    or

    2. Underside of bottom bracket (AKISU)

    NB - serial formats Letter, Letter, Letter - Number, Number, Number will be a MX

    Once the year is identified you can now use the cronological order to identify the model, though please note the following.....

    1. Framesets were known to be used for multiple models in the same year (e.g. Pacer 500/Super Viper)

    2. Framesets manufactured in a previous year used for an newer model for a later year

    3. Overlap within the same year (e.g. Pro/Senior Pro)

    4. Some were manufactured over a period of years (e.g. Silver Streak, 1981 to 1983 with serial starting either 1, 2 or 3).

    What I would suggest is double checking the geometry, such as the top tube length.

    Framesets that were used for additional models can create added difficultly unless they are in their original form or unique (such as colour/year of manufacture). You may need to decide from a restoration point which model to complete.

    If you get to a point and you are stuck, use the forum where there is a host of members always willing to help.

    .....and remember the team frame and fork sets were no different in serial format or geometry than ones destined for the retailers. They were simply taken from the production line and applied with 'Gold' backing decals.

    Another interesting comment which Sandy Finkelman mentioned was that in some cases DiamondBack would decal up another frameset as say a Silver Streak to meet demand. This can make it a little confusing if someone has a Viper frame but with Silver Streak decals. I've often seen bikes titled as one model but actually something else, though in some cases this has been either down to the owner using an alternative set of decals or has been incorrectly advised.

    The only true way of identifying a model is serial number and geometry.

    N.B - It's also worth noting that there were various models that were manufactured by the same company which overlapped. Take the 2nd generation Pro range, this was available between 1981 to 1983 when the Harry Leary (1982) and Silver Streak (1981) were released, but would have all had a serial format such as 2X......., this is where geometry and frame build characteristics assist in the identification.