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  1. #1
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Kuwahara Count: Much Nicer Than Expected!

    I bought this bike yesterday, and I have to say that I'm impressed with it. I especially like the spoke holder on the chain stay. Also, I like the cranks and the chain rings. As it is, there isn't much information on Bike Forums on this bike. I presenting it for future reference.

    I included an "After Picture" in this post. More "after pictures" can be seen in Post #29.


    After Picture:



    Before Pictures:








    Last edited by bikemanbob; 01-30-12 at 08:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Looks to be in very nice shape. That spoke holder is an elegant approach to protecting the stays from chain slap.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  3. #3
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The serial should have a format where the first two numbers denote the year and should be located on the seat tube above the non drive crank arm... guess is that it is early to mid eighties by the parts which are all very nice.

    It is a great looking bike and if it is anything like any other Kuwahara from this era, you have found yourself a rather excellent and well made machine.

  4. #4
    I like beans eippo1's Avatar
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    Nice looking bike. That would make for an excellent foul weather rider.
    You got it buddy: the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

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  5. #5
    rain dog mainstreetexile's Avatar
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    Sweet bike! Looks like a sport touring model with the dual front eyelets and the awesome spoke holder.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sauze's Avatar
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    Looks great and a bit older (nicer?) than my Kuwahara Tourer

    (old crappy pic)


  7. #7
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eippo1 View Post
    Nice looking bike. That would make for an excellent foul weather rider.
    It won't explode in the sun either.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post

    It is a great looking bike and if it is anything like any other Kuwahara from this era, you have found yourself a rather excellent and well made machine.
    Thank you. The bike is slightly too small, but I'm going to try to make it work. When the opportunity to buy presented itself, I didn't expect much. However, after having time to examine the bike, it is very nice!

  9. #9
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    Very nice!
    What size wheels is it sporting?

    Cheers,
    Chris

  10. #10
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris W. View Post
    Very nice!
    What size wheels is it sporting?

    Cheers,
    Chris
    Thanks. The wheels are 27".

  11. #11
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    IMHO Kuwahara was one of the best builders in Japan during the 1980's. It is a shame than so few of their bikes sold over here under their own name (they did make bikes from time to time for Centurion and others).
    "Where you come from is gone;
    where you are headed weren't never there;
    and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."

  12. #12
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balindamood View Post
    IMHO Kuwahara was one of the best builders in Japan during the 1980's. It is a shame than so few of their bikes sold over here under their own name (they did make bikes from time to time for Centurion and others).
    Interesting information! Good to know. From what I can see, it looks constructed very well.

  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balindamood View Post
    IMHO Kuwahara was one of the best builders in Japan during the 1980's. It is a shame than so few of their bikes sold over here under their own name (they did make bikes from time to time for Centurion and others).
    They sold a lot of bike in Canada and even provided bicycles for the national racing team here and wonder if their production agreements with Schwinn included some non competition clauses.

    You can't swing a cat here without hitting a Kuwahara... literally.

    I have have an '87 Cascade and '88 Shasta which were sold as all mountain bikes but are really touring bikes fitted for 26 inch wheels.

  14. #14
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    That is nice! Even the rear reflector mount is nicely designed. Judging by the hoods/tape, the bike has seen some use, but you'd never know it by looking at the paint. I can't see the front end of the spoke holder. Are the spokes fastened to the frame with nipples? And is that factory drillium on the chainrings?
    -Randy

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  15. #15
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The drillium is factory work... was quite prevalent in the early to mid eighties.

  16. #16
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
    That is nice! Even the rear reflector mount is nicely designed. Judging by the hoods/tape, the bike has seen some use, but you'd never know it by looking at the paint. I can't see the front end of the spoke holder. Are the spokes fastened to the frame with nipples? And is that factory drillium on the chainrings?
    The bike has seen minimal use. The tires are original and show little wear. As to the spokes, I believe the nipples are used to fasten the spokes to the frame (I don't have it near me at the moment).

  17. #17
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
    Looks to be in very nice shape. That spoke holder is an elegant approach to protecting the stays from chain slap.
    I haven't looked too closely, but I haven't found a flaw in the paint. The spoke holders would work well in protecting the chain stay.

  18. #18
    Senior Member cooperryder's Avatar
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    Very nice bike.

    The Kuwahara built Nishiki's I have had very a nice build quality.

  19. #19
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Kuwahara's paint work was always top notch and really stands up well over time... have seen well used 25 year old Kuwaharas and Apollos that show very little degradation to their finishes.

  20. #20
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Kuwahara's paint work was always top notch and really stands up well over time... have seen well used 25 year old Kuwaharas and Apollos that show very little degradation to their finishes.
    I just lubed the hubs, bottom bracket, and headset. Also, I put a coat of wax on the bike. The paint is spectacular! The earliest the bike will be done is later today. When I finish it, I will post pictures.

  21. #21
    Unreasonably tall member non-fixie's Avatar
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    Nice! I don't recall ever having seen any Kuwahara branded bike in Europe, but I can see from your pictures how this would have been a pleasant surprise. Looks well built and hardly ridden. The spoke holder is really cool.

  22. #22
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemanbob View Post
    I just lubed the hubs, bottom bracket, and headset. Also, I put a coat of wax on the bike. The paint is spectacular! The earliest the bike will be done is later today. When I finish it, I will post pictures.
    In looking at what must be thousands upon thousands of older bicycles from a huge number of manufacturers and builders would say that the finish on Kuwahara and Apollo bicycles is really second to none.

    This is a Kuwahara / Apollo Siera Grande that I picked up a few years ago and you can see by the before that it was not a garage queen and had been ridden and used a good amount...



    But after a basic wash and wax it still looked like new underneath the grime and had no blemishes...


  23. #23
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about the rear brake, but looking at the front brake, it looks like there's enough reach left in the brake to switch to 700c wheels, if you ever want to.

    That's a very nice bike. It's a mid-level model, which is one of my favorite types. You get maximum value along with excellent ride and reliability.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  24. #24
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I'm not sure about the rear brake, but looking at the front brake, it looks like there's enough reach left in the brake to switch to 700c wheels, if you ever want to.

    That's a very nice bike. It's a mid-level model, which is one of my favorite types. You get maximum value along with excellent ride and reliability.
    Thanks Tom! I've only taken it for a short ride to see if I could make the frame work. The frame is 21". I prefer 22"/23" frames; but with a longer stem and seat post, I'll make it work.

    I don't mind 27" wheels; and for the most part, I can't tell the difference.

  25. #25
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Quick Preview!

    I haven't got this excited since the last bike I overhauled!

    Except for a small paint chip on the stay from a kickstand , the paint is great!

    Last edited by bikemanbob; 01-27-12 at 04:12 PM.

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