It’s been a month since the last time I touched the 1980 Fuji Feather BMX bicycle. Today I had time to throw on some very sought after, black Mitsuboshi Silver star Competition II tires, a sleek Sugino SP-G1 BMX stem, Dia-compe 2-bolt seat clamp, black anodized aluminum seat post, black anodized aluminum handlebars and the very cool Fuji Seamless YFC saddle or seat as we call it in the BMX world. And let’s not forget the Black OGK Mach grips…
I’ve got the majority of the parts laid out with a few decisions to make along the way.
One of the very distinct parts on the Fuji Feather Professional BMX bikes is the Tange Meriter headset. These are semi-sealed and were a very high-end part in the mid and late 1970’s.
When acquiring a Tange Meriter headset one of the most often damaged parts is the top-nut. I must have 10 headsets and probably 5 good top-nuts, 2 bad top-nuts, and 1 unusable. If you ever find these top-nuts at a swap, buy them!
Another very distinct part to the Feather Professional BMX is the curved Ishiwata fork.
I had heard about oxalic acid and its power to remove rust from bicycle as well as many metal parts. In my research I also found out the active ingredient in Bar Keepers Friend is oxalic acid. It just so happens that I had just received a rather rusty Fuji Feather Professional Ishiwata BMX fork and have a bottle of Bar Keepers Friend under the kitchen sink.
So, here’s what I did. I got a large plastic bin I had purchased at Costco some time ago. I put one cup of Bar Keepers Friend in the bin and then filled it with hot water until the fork was completely covered. I carried the bin outside to let it sit for a few hours. Before walking away, I couldn’t help but pull the fork out to see if any thing was happening. Sure enough, with the wipe of my finger rust was already coming off! I was looking forward to the result!
3 hours later I began to lightly scrub away the rust with a Scotch Brite blue non-scratch sponge. Below are the results.
I recently acquired the 1980 Japan’s Bicycle Guide catalog and low and behold there was the Fuji Feather Professional BMX Ishiwata fork. Listed as Ishiwata Model 79-4 on page 87. You can find my original post regarding this fork here
It’s taken years to finally find an official picture of the Nitto B702 bars listed as the stock part on the Feather Professionals from 1980 on. But finally, here they are! I found these in the 1980 Japan’s Bicycle Guide catalog which is a goldmine of vintage Japanese bicycle parts.
The B702 handlebars, with the distinct concave crossbar, look very similar if not identical to the aluminum WIN branded handlebars that seem to be more common to find. Next task is to pick up a set of the WIN handlebars and see if the stated measurements match.
One of the most distinguishing features of the Fuji Feather Professional is the Ishiwata fork. They are so unique there is no mistaking the fork if you happen to discover one. However, most the forks I have been able to acquire are too worn at the dropouts and the “Ishiwata” text engraving is gone.
It seems many people replaced the original forks with something after-market. I’m not sure if this is due to breakage or the unusual geometry. Both the frame and fork tubing of the Fuji Feather Professional were stamped and manufactured by Ishiwata Seisakusho Co. LTD. in Japan.