Torker Frame Serial Number Guide

One of my goals with this Blog is to pass on information I’ve collected. Since day-one of my entry into vintage BMX collecting, I’ve been frustrated by the lack of accurate information on the various bikes, frames, parts, etc. that are attractive to the collecting community. When I had questions, most of the answers I got were based on guesses, gossip, 30-year-old foggy memories and hearsay. As a reporter and a 20-year member of the bike industry, I knew the answers I sought were out there. So, I began researching and reporting—I actually talked to the people who made and sold the stuff I was collecting. Two of my first goals were to decipher the serial numbers Torker put on its frames and to better understand Torker’s corporate and product histories.

What follows is the serial number guide I’ve complied based on the accumulation of scores of Torker serial numbers over a 3 year period.

A few months into collecting serial numbers (SN), I had a theory on how Torker’s system worked month-by-month. At the time, however, I overlooked a few details and couldn’t make all the number fit my theory. I also had a few odd-ball numbers (still do) that exist due to: 1. Misread/inaccurately reported SN; 2. Poorly stamped SN; 3. Factory Mislabeling; 4. Unreadable SN; 5. All of the above.

As it turns out, my first theory was dead-on. Those few odd-balls not withstanding, I’m 90+% sure I’ve cracked the code from May 1978 when the Low Profile and Big Bike production began to October 1984 when the original U.S.-based company went bankrupt.

Prior to May 1978, Torker seems to have used the “standard” BMX SN system that many companies used. I have only two SNs from that time, but I am pretty confident of how they work.  The two I have are  T877188 and T977270. My best guess: “T” for Torker, month (August and September), year (1977), frame production number (188 and 270).

Starting in May 1978, Torker went with two letters (T? or ?T)—a “T” for Torker and a second letter corresponding to the month of production. The first letter in the series is “A” for May. Next is the production number of the model. The final letter represents the frame model. For example: TJ 3344 L = February 1979; the 3,344th frame in the model series; “L” for Low Profile (L.P.) or, The 3344th L.P. was made in February 1979. One caveat to this is if Torker used a letter to identify the model through 1978. I only have two SNs from 1978 and neither has a final letter.

The first series starts with “TA” in May 1978 and ends 26 months later in June 1980. In July 1980, a new series starts with “AT” and runs 26 months to August 1982. The model production numbers continue sequentially through both systems.

In September 1982, Torker switched to a new system starting with three letters TZZ to TAA. Around this time, Torker also changed its product line, dropping or changing all previous models and/or names. For example, the L.P. was renamed the 280 and all mild steel models were eliminated. The SN system, however, remained the same, with the exception of the three first letters and that it started at the end of the alphabet rather than the beginning. For example: TRR 8122 = May 1983; the 8,122 frame in the model series; no letter for 280. Frame production numbers started over from “1” with “TZZ.”

Most SNs end with a letter. The letter identifies the model. Those SNs that lack a final letter are either L.P.s or 280s, depending on when the frame was made. Torker dropped the “L” when it discontinued the Big Bike (B). At the same time, Mild steel L.P.s went from LM to M.

Previously, I wrote that a frame with the SN on the BB was made prior to 1980. As I collected more SNs, I began to question this theory. I now believe this is incorrect. Indeed, Torker used the SN on the BB early on, but it used it until mid-1980. From about that time, depending on the model (but there is no obvious solid date) the SN was put on the right, rear dropout. Using the SN location to date your frame should be avoided. The best way to ID your frame is to use the SN code that follows. These codes also can be found on my web site: http://www.fortyfour16design.com.

This serial number on the right rear dropout says the frame was a mild steel L.P. Long and it was made in October 1981. It's the 100th mild steel L.P. Long made by Torker.

My research is only on the frames made by Torker in its own factory in Fullerton, CA, USA. I do not have any research on frames made in Asia after the Oct. 1984 bankruptcy.

I must thank the guys who put together the Haro frame registry. Their work made this job much easier.

Here are the date codes followed by the model ID codes:

TA=May 1978

TB=June 1978

TC=July 1978

TD=Aug. 1978

TE=Sept. 1978

TF=Oct. 1978

TG=Nov. 1978

TH=Dec. 1978

TI=Jan. 1979

TJ=Feb. 1979

TK=March 1979

TL=April 1979

TM=May 1979

TN=June 1979

TO=July 1979

TP=Aug. 1979

TQ=Sept. 1979

TR=Oct. 1979

TS=Nov. 1979

TT=Dec. 1979

TU=Jan. 1980

TV=Feb. 1980

TW=March 1980

TX=April 1980

TY=May 1980

TZ=June 1980

AT=July 1980

BT=Aug. 1980

CT=Sept. 1980

DT=Oct. 1980

ET=Nov. 1980

FT=Dec. 1980

GT=Jan. 1981

HT=Feb. 1981

IT=March 1981

JT=April 1981

KT=May 1981

LT=June 1981

MT=July 1981

NT=Aug. 1981

OT=Sept. 1981

PT=Oct. 1981

QT=Nov. 1981

RT=Dec. 1981

ST=Jan. 1982

TT=Feb. 1982

UT=March 1982

VT=April 1982

WT=May 1982

XT=June 1982

YT=July 1982

ZT=Aug. 1982

TZZ=Sept. 1982

TYY=Oct. 1982

TXX=Nov. 1982

TWW=Dec.1982

TVV=Jan. 1983

TUU=Feb. 1983

TTT=March 1983

TSS=April 1983

TRR=May 1983

TQQ=June 1983

TPP=July 1983

TOO=Aug. 1983

TNN=Sept. 1983

TMM=Oct. 1983

TLL=Nov. 1983

TKK=Dec. 1983

TJJ=Jan. 1984

TII=Feb. 1984

THH-March 1984

TGG=April 1984

TFF=May 1984

TEE=June 1984

TDD=July 1984

TCC=Aug. 1984

TBB=Sept. 1984

TAA=Oct. 1984

Model Codes:

B = Big Bike (from May 1978; had rear-facing dropouts; previously the MX)

BM = Mild Steel Big Bike

E = Eddy King Replica (European BB)

L = L.P. (Low Profile)

No Letter = Standard L.P.

LM = Mild Steel L.P. (1978-1979)

M = Mild Steel L.P., 1980+

0 (or O) = Long L.P. (has longer top tube (19”)

0M (or OM) = Long Mild Steel L.P. (has longer top tube (19”)

No Letter = Standard 280 (from Sept. 1982)

0 (or O) = 280 Long, (has longer top tube (19”) (from Sept. 1982)

0X (or OX) = 280 Long (has oval-hole gusset and 19” top tube) (from some time in 1983)

P = Pro XL, late-1983, (has longer top tube (19.5”), Haro/Redline-style gusset, butted tubing and 1 1/8” down tube)

SC = 24” cruiser (Small/Short Cruiser)

C = 26” cruiser (Cruiser)

R = Mini

RP = 1984 Mini Pro (Only known frame belonged to Factory Torker rider Craig Bark)

F = Haro fremaes (F = Freestyle?)

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33 responses to “Torker Frame Serial Number Guide

  1. Fatastic as a Aussie factory Torker rider still with my bike this is excellent

  2. I have a Torker frame with two different numbers. TK-200 and WV0c09847.Could some tell me what year this is.

  3. Without seeing a photo and knowing more about the frame, it’s tough to say. But my guess. . .It’s Asian-made. I have done no research on bikes made outside the US and/or after 1984, so I can’t really tell you much more than that. Sorry.

  4. this information does’nt show any thing about my serial #I wish I could send a picture.

  5. i have a torker bmx and numbers are OT 807 O.i worked it out that its a 81lp long from your info.are these frames rare?do you know how many were made?cheers

  6. skizzi,

    That’s a nice frame. Not rare, really, but uncommon enough. Not super desirable, but enough. I have had two of them. Just sold one–OT 785 0. I ride the other (QT 1009 0) all the time. Good frame set. I’m unsure of the numbers. A couple to a few thousand, maybe, before they were renamed the 280X. 280X is basically the same frame until mid-1983, but different stickers.

  7. thanks for the info dude appreciate it 😉

  8. Can any one tell me if the frame I have is a torker. It has a double top bar , and the number is stamped in the back drop out. the number is T6110116. I can’t find out what it is, the front three quarters of the frame is chrome and the back quarter was painted.

  9. Sorry srniethmuth, I have no clue. There were lots of double-top tube frames in the 1980s. Could also be a Redline or Haro freestyle bike.

  10. hi mate … sorry to be a pain am sure u r bored of these questions, but leaning on your experience did any frames possibly go letter/number/letter … ie T4J ?

    Cheers in advance
    Kev

  11. can you tell me about my serial number – OGW9Jo478. It is on a Haro Freestyler. what year was it made and was this one made in the usa? thanks.

  12. Marcelino Santos

    As promissd, this is the Torker TFX ’98 serial: WV8A00342. Bike is all chrome. Frame, fork, crank legs, stem and bars are matching genuine Torker. I’ll appreciate any info or details can provide about it. i also have photos. Let me now if I can send them and how. Thanks.

  13. I have a torker frame with sn ET 2815 what is a fair market price?

  14. Hard to say. Depends on a lot of things. Could be $50. Could be $400. Need more info.

  15. Looking at a Torker to buy and they are selling it as an 1983, however has the round hole not the oval one…..as far as I know the 1983 has the more oval like hole? I asked for the ssn and this is what he gave me…467-69-0288….looks like a frickin social security number??? The bike is listed on e-bay….do you know of any serial numbers like that?

  16. I think that is an SSN, which is what you said you asked for. SSN=social security number. SN=serial number. Oval holes came out in late-1983 or 1984 and are typically on the 280Xes and Magnums. Not the best of Torker’s work. I would avoid the oval hole-gusset frames. I think the pre-1982 bikes were better. One exception might be the 1983 Pro Xes, which are bigger and ride quite nice.

    I am selling a 1980 LP Long frame and fork. It’s very early (number 50) and quite a nice rider. http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/torker/42165 It’s also on eBay.

    May also sell a 1981 LP frame and fork in blue. http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/torker/47406

  17. I’m interested in the blue one..

  18. hi there, just wondering if anyone can help with a torker serial no. there’s two on the bottom 1st is (1f 001) and under that is (f8081767) i think its an 88 540 air but i was just seeing if anyone could confirm, cheers luke

  19. i have a toker or haro not suer hear are my s.n D S 6O 946894 hop it helps

  20. Hi, my serial is similar to Travis. It is DS 51 023311
    I have looked at so many pics on the inter net and they are very close but a little different. Please help!

    [IMG]http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u63/mezna03/Snapbucket/E74E718B-orig.jpg[/IMG]

  21. hi im trying to date an old torker frame and im having no luck T6010836 any idea? thanks

  22. Hi, just looking into the torker frame I own. It is a SN: SD50505155. Similar to the ones Travis and Aaron had. Couldn’t find anything in my searches. It seams to be a mid-late 80’s or early haro from what I could tell.

  23. Hey, I have a Torker2 frame with the SN: 6X0117 How do I find out what bike it really is? I have pics of it but not sure how to send you them to you. Based upon pics the frame matches the 540 air. Could you please help?

  24. Sorry Aaron G and Thomas and others, I have no idea what your frame are. I only researched the Torkers made by the original founders up to 1984. This article is about those frames, only. The Torker 2s were made later in Asia and have a serial number system I am not familiar with. Any Torker with a serial number other than those posted here, is outside my expertise. Good luck.

  25. i have sn TT1240L is that dec79 or feb82 it also has flat break bar and 2 post for rear breaks i bought it that way used in the early 80’s

  26. Hi, I have just got what looks like a genuine Torker Pro X but has an odd serial number “TII 0341 X” which seems not to adhere to the above research. it is 100% identical with the small gusset under the main down tube, Flaired(Bent outwards at the bottom slightly) rear drop outs and engineered head tube and BB, it also measure 19.5 inches along the top tubes.

    Any ideas

  27. Hi ~ This article is a great resource and I certainly appreciate you taking the time to put it together. I Just thought I would throw my serial in as a reference, or if you or anyone ever decide to put together a registry. 1983 Pro XL (If I am reading your number info correctly) Serial # : TLL 060 P *did the XLs have any kind of special decals?*

  28. I have a Torker Jester frame and the numbers are TK-TFX and the other set of numbers are WV0C10265 The frame is blue with chrome fork . What year is it ????

  29. Hello, forty four 16, I have the Holy Grail. Torker #1 LP. I received from the owner of Torker when I was a kid racing in southern California. What kind if value would you think it has.

  30. I have a Torker with serial #: TSS 3145 O. My best guess is that it is an April 1983 Torker 280x Long Model. Does that sound right? Here are some clues….It’s low profile, round hole, has 19.5″ top tube, american bottom bracket, chrome finish, serial is located on dropout, flared head tube, no extra mounting tabs or brackets – not even a kickstand mount, I think the seat tube is 7/8 but it may be 1″, and it has a flat brake mount bridge. Am I close? Any help?

  31. Great site! Thank you for putting this together. I wanted to add my frame that I admit has me rethinking my memory. I am the original owner of a 280x?, which I am in the process of restoring (having a blast too!), which has the code: TNN 71070 O

    The thing that seems odd is that it has an oval hole and by your guide seems that it should be an “OX”. Now my brain was already blown by the fact that I “remembered” getting the bike in 82, which seems impossible now since it shows it’s a 83… so maybe it’s not a 280x… which means I need to change the decal set out. 😦 Any help? Does the 280x need the “OX” code?

    Thanks again for putting this site together.

  32. Thanks for all the info. As I understand, HT= Feb ’81 The full stamping on my frame is HT 384 0 – I assume 384 = production number, what’s the 0 for? Thanks!

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