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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:05 am 
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Moto GP
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Is there a list somewhere about of the frame and engine numbers for the T500 by year ? The only one I've seen is here, and it seems to be incorrect for 1968, 1969 and 1970. I'm pretty sure the numbering start point would have been 10001 rather than an odd number like 12518 as shown. Muzza has a list on the ozebook site, but it doesn't cover anything prior to 1971.

Thanks ! 8-)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:49 am 
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Yes, Ian, I would also think that the series starts with 10001 and the END number for the Cobras is 12518. That amount of Cobras produced would be about right....or close enough to that number.
As to the -II and -III numbers I have nooooo concrete numbers as such. For some reason, I've not seen ANY service bulletins from that era. Maybe there were no field service problems ?? :lol: :lol: Doubtful !!!

However applying a little deductive reasoning, if you work backwards from the R models which supposedly start at 36414, that would give us a "gap amount" of 23896 units.
Dividing that amount by 2 gives us approximately 11950 units for each of the -II and -III model years.....which is very close to the number of Cobras produced in the first year.
So then, the -II production run starts with 12519 and runs to about 24460 and the -III run starts at 24461 and runs to about 36411.....and THAT number is very close to the number stated on that website in your link. That's the best guess I can come up with on the available info.
Other opinions, SWAG's etc entertained..... :D

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:51 am 
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Anyone else ?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:22 pm 
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Location: Decatur, AL
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Bikes owned: 68 Cobra, 69 T500
I have a Cobra in my garage with a VIN of 13734. So I suspect the last number for a cobra isn't 12518.
Image

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:27 pm 
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Agreed, Frank. A LOT of the info available on the internet on those pre-1971 bikes is partly correct......sometimes......or just plain wrong.
I don't believe that we'll EVER find a definitive and factual answer for this question.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:40 am 
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Moto GP
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Frank T wrote:
I have a Cobra in my garage with a VIN of 13734. So I suspect the last number for a cobra isn't 12518.

And mine is 13233 - and I think also was originally the same colour as yours - is that a respray, or original ? It looks great ! I think it was called Candy Gold 2 ?

I'm wondering if the 12518 number was the last T500/5 ? 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:13 am 
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Location: Decatur, AL
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Bikes owned: 68 Cobra, 69 T500
oldjapanesebikes wrote:
Frank T wrote:
I have a Cobra in my garage with a VIN of 13734. So I suspect the last number for a cobra isn't 12518.

And mine is 13233 - and I think also was originally the same colour as yours - is that a respray, or original ? It looks great ! I think it was called Candy Gold 2 ? I'm wondering if the 12518 number was the last T500/5 ? 8)


Thanks. I believe the bike was originally blue but when it arrived in my garage it had been painted black. The body work you see was a spare set and was painted by PM.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:02 pm 
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Moto GP
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Just circling back to this topic again.

I recently found another chrome panel tanked Cobra - so a T500-I style Cobra - with frame 14271 and registered as a 1969. When I look at the various sites and also Rick's earlier comments, it looks like a possibility is:

- 1967 T500/5 from 10001 till some number - likely not higher than 11000 - had a 52 inch wheel base (short swing arm), chrome panels on the tank, button seat, rounder side covers and oil tank and deeper valanced rear fender. Also, the muffler cutout for the rear nut matched the short swing arm, so the exhaust is specific to this one model.

- 1968 T500-I - longer swing arm giving a 57.3 inch wheel base, still with the chrome panels on the tank, button seat, rounder side covers and oil tank and deeper valanced rear fender up to at least 14271 - assume about 16000

Image

- 1969 T500-II - stainless seat trim, new style tank, stretched side covers and oil tank, shallow rear fender, carbs reduced from 34mm to 32mm - first frame number likely around 16000 and last frame number around 28000 ?

Image

- 1970 T500-III - addition of luggage rack to tank and 'GT' style rear grab bar seen on the 1972 GT750 - possibly first frame number of around 28000 and last frame number of 30845

Image

After the 1970 model year it continues to be confusing as of three sources I've checked there is no agreement - a guess is:

- 1971 R, 30846 - 46462 (build number of 15616)
- 1972 J, 46463 - 59578 (build number of 13316)
- 1973 K, 59779 - 68082 (build number of 8304)
- 1974 L, 68083 - 74161 (build number of 6079)
- 1975 M, 74162 -90728 (build number of 16567)
- 1976 A, 90729 - 104421 (build number of 13393)
- 1977 B, 104422 - 106765 ? This is the highest number I've seen so far (build number of at least 2343)

The above assumes that the numbering was contiguous.

For the earlier models between 1967 and 1971 it would be nice to get some photos of factory original bikes just to try and identify the model, with the frame numbers just to get a better idea of when the model changes actually did happen. For example, I have yet to actually see a 10 fin barrel, although several sites and the Motorcycle Classics magazine state that was standard up till late 1969.

Thanks ! 8)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:38 pm 
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The 6 I have all fall within the year / number you have posted

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:57 pm 
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Thanks ! And your's are R's and J's ? Not earlier ?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:32 pm 
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Very interesting research. The two comments I have are:

1. The short wheelbase Cobras number in the the hundreds as I've seen Cobras with VIN above 10251 with the longer wheelbase. In fact the one short wheelbase Cobra I have seen in the flesh was in Paul Miller's possession and I wish I had the presence of mind to write that VIN number down at the time. I do recall it was a very low number. Somewhere in the 100 bike mark I believe.

2. Paul was also of the opinion that the '69 was a shorter production run than the Cobra or the '70 T-500 III and as a result was the hardest of the Titans to find in complete condition. I tend to agree with him based on how many 68's I see on Ebay or Craig's List versus the '69. The diamond pleat seat top and the winged "S" tank were both single year items. Plus I'll admit I am a fan of the candy gold color from that year.

I'll have to jot down my VIN numbers for reference's sake. We really should set-up a registry of VIN numbers of some sort except I know many have concerns about these being public knowledge.

Jim


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:32 pm 
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diamondj wrote:
We really should set-up a registry of VIN numbers of some sort except I know many have concerns about these being public knowledge.

Thanks Jim - I'm not sure I see the need of a registry as such, as all the ones 'in the middle' are niether here nor there really, but I would like to know when one model ended the the next one started ! :wink: I suppose it would also be useful to know what the engine serial numbers were at the change over points as well.

I understand that at least some of the earlier ones actually did have matching frame and engine numbers. Can anyone else confirm that ? I do know that they were still fairly close in the late 'B' models - my 1977 model frame and engine are only 178 apart. 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:03 am 
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The list for 71-79 for Canadian imports is:
http://www.suzukicycles.org/countries/index.html?Canada-imports_1970-1979.shtml~isoraami

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:41 am 
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Yes, that was one source I had come across previously, but the problem with that 'Canadian' list is that if you look at it closely, it isn't ! :wth: It is actually global manufacturing numbers. On the plus side, it does generally match other lists I've found - but none of the ones I've been able to locate so far have the detailed manufacturing data on 1968 through 1970 - other than a sort of aggregate number indicating that perhaps 20,845 had been built prior to 1971.

Given the level of interest in the T500 model globally, I'm surprised better quality data isn't available. :?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:56 am 
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Location: Decatur, AL
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Bikes owned: 68 Cobra, 69 T500
The VIN on my '69 T500 is 22298.

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