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Thread: Kuwahara Duke

  1. #1
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Kuwahara Duke

    I came across this road bike recently. I decided to post it here because there is very little about this badge on Bike Forums. This is only the 15th thread with Kuwahara in the title. The model is the "Duke". I really like that name, it sounds like power, strength, but its attached to an entry level road bike. It's an 83 or 84 based on the Suntour front derailer date code (ZD) and the serial number, 83-9-165283 that is found on the bottom of the seat tube. The components are entry level, chrome rims, chrome bars, stem shifters. The brakes are standard Dia-Comp center pull. The shifters and front DR are Suntour. The rear derailer is probably a replacement as it is a Shimano 400FF, but it is period correct. The freehub is a 6-speed. I think the paint job is real classy and in very good shape. I've got several entry level bikes so I don't think I'll hang on to this one. But I wanted to post it here for information.
    I've read several bits of information about Kuwahara. They are better known for the BMX and Mountain bikes they made, but they did make road bikes. Other bits of info say they are still in business, but it's not clear to me who they are now or what name they're using. I also read they are frequently confused (in the US) with Kawamura who made Nisihiki frames. I'm certain, they are not related to Kawamura.
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  2. #2
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    It almost looks as if the model name was a personal addition by the former owner--or can you tell that it's a decal?

    East Hill
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    Kuwahara is currently producing bicycles under there own brand name. In the past they produced models for Apollo, Azuki, Concord, Puch, Schwinn and Takara among others. They are not related to Kawamura. It's a simple case of all Japanese names looking the same to Anglophiles.

  4. #4
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill
    It almost looks as if the model name was a personal addition by the former owner--or can you tell that it's a decal?

    East Hill
    It looks like an original decal to me, but I'm not 100% sure. If it was added by the owner, they did a good job. There are two identical decals, one on each side just like you would expect to find from the manufacturer.
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    I actually have the same exact bike with the Duke decal on it. I would say it's a manufacturer model but I've not found much information on the bike. I was just looking for an inexpensive bike to make a fix gear.

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