After doing a good deal of reading I am of the thought that these beautifully made bikes are far more common in Canada than they are in the US and many people are surprised to find that this very old company built more than BMX bikes and outsourced for many companies including Schwinn.
It was not until the late eighties that Kuwahara branded their bikes with just their name as prior to that we had Apollo road bikes and dual branded Apollo / Kuwahara mountain bikes.
I see lots of these at our shop:
A friend rides a 1987 touring model that is built on an Ishiwata triple butted frame and two of the regulars ride the same model and year of mountain bike... both are exquisite and were originally equipped with Suntour / Sansin high flange cartridge bearing hubs with 36 / 4 cross spoke lacings.
Another fellow just built up a 1985 Apollo Kuwahara Cascade that has to be one of the prettiest bikes I have ever seen and their looks only seem to get better as time goes by as their paint finishes are exemplary.
Kuwahara also supplied road bikes to the Canadian Olympic teams.
My Cascade was built in 1987 and was the crown jewel in their line as it was a full on expedition / touring model with braze ons for everything, was built on a quad butted and lugged Ishiwata frame, and the parts spec was as good as it got. My friend told me he wanted to buy one in '88 but could not afford the $900.00 price tag
I have converted mine into a fixed gear / drop bar tourer and just finished building up the new back wheel with a double stepped fixed hub... I will have to change the front hub to a matching high flange model with a similar 4 cross pattern at some point. The bike could be restored to original as I have all the original parts including the chain stay mounted spoke holder but love the way the bike is set up.
On the commute...
One more... before the new wheel went on.
So... who else has some Kuwahara Apollo ?