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The Nishiki brand was created for West Coast Cycle in Los Angeles by Howie Cohen. 1) 2) Nishiki mountain bikes were all made by Kawamura from 1982 → 1987 3) Nishiki also suppplied mountain bikes to Canadian firm Norco who then resold some of the same bikes into the US via Sekai.

In 1982, Cohen obtained the rights from Hollywood to sell Kuwahara BMX bikes with E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial name. 4) 5) Up until 1986, all Nishiki branded bicycles were made by Kawamara. Today, the Nishiki brand continues to exist to sell bikes in particular markets. For example, in the US, Dick's Sporting Goods uses Nishiki decals on their own department store imports, sold at their lowest tier.

Howie Cohen with Yukio Kawamura
Howie Cohen with Yukio Kawamura, 1964

1982 Nishiki Caribou

This is a dual branded bike built by Kuwamara for Nishiki and then given extra Norco decals for the Canadian market. The same bike can be seen on the Norco page.

1982 Caribou
1982 Caribou mtbr

1983 Bushwacker

This is a triple branded Nishiki, with Nishiki and Norco decals and whose catalog states that it is built by Kawamura. The same bike can be seen on the Norco page. 6)

1983 Bushwacker
1983 Bushwacker flickr

1984 Kodiak

This is another Norco Nishiki, as it has a sticker on the non drive side chainstay that reads “Mountain series designed by Norco.” By this time Norco had already fully branded their own Nishikis, so perhaps this is a transitional branding. In any case, the bicycle to the right was purchased in Canada. There are very few early US Nishikis with decent drive side pictures.

1984 Kodiak
1984 Kodiak bikeforums

1985 Barbarian

Nishiki had perhaps six mountain models by this point 7) Hopefully a catalog will show up to verify this.

1985 Barbarian
1985 Barbarian flickr

1986 Cascade

This has the very unique SunTour XC 3 Pulley (1986).

1986 Cascade
1986 Cascade bikeindex

1987 Pinnacle

Deore XT. The last year of Kuwamara production.

1988 Backroads

SunTour XC Sport 7000 (1987-88)

1988 Backroads
1988 Backroads facebook

1989 Pueblo

Shimano Exage Motion (1989)

1989 Pueblo
1989 Pueblo tropicar-guadeloupe

1990 Alien ACX

Richard Cunningham design8). Al and steel bolted together. Tange Switchblades, Deore XT.

1990 Alien ACX
1990 Alien ACX |worthpoint

1991 Manitoba

Shimano Exage 200GS (1990-91).

1991 Manitoba
1991 Manitoba pinterest

The Nishiki name, which is a type of Japanese brocade, was created by Kawamura Cyle, the original manufacturer of Nishiki bikes.
Much info from wikipedia
The Nishiki Serial Number Database is a good resource for dates and manufacturers.
Which begs the question: Did Nishiki sell Kuwahara muntain bikes, via Apollo in Canada, at the same time pushing the same bikes through Norco of Canada? See: bicycleretailer
Point of trivia, in 1992 Howie Cohen starting working for Gary Fisher and in 1994 brokered the acquisition of Gary Fisher Mountain Bikes by Trek Bicycle Corporation. See:
Bushwacker is a misspelling of bushwhack := to make one's way through woods by cutting at undergrowth, branches, etc.
ten models in 1989.
R.C. started Mantis and was the editor of Mountain Bike Action an Pinkbike.
nishiki/start.txt · Last modified: 2022/04/17 07:48 by mtbtimeline