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Interesting old Kuwahara Caravan Tour

Old 06-10-20, 07:10 PM
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RoLo50312
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Interesting old Kuwahara Caravan Tour

I happened to notice a Brooks saddle for sale on FB for $20 and then realized the listing said the bike and saddle were a package deal for $20. I wanted the saddle and not the bike but took both for $20. Now that I see the bike I realize that under a layer of grime, grease, and filth itís actually in really good shape. It needs tubes and tires and probably bar tape but other than that it seems really good. It does not seem like a high end bike but with just a bit of cleaning and tuning (and tubes, tires, and tape) I think it could actually be a highly serviceable bike - perhaps for a college kid or a commuter who doesnít want to ride a pricey bike around. I was originally going to keep the saddle and donate the bike to the co-op but it seems like it may be a shame to do that - maybe I should clean it up and sell it intact? Maybe $100 or $120? I have plenty of tubes and tires around but would need to buy some bar tape. So far cables looks pretty good but I will need to inspect them. Honestly Now that I see it I would definitely clean it up and keep it to ride but itís a 54 - just a bit too small for me - I normally have a good fit with a 56. If I clean it, tune it, and repack bearings could be pretty nice? Iím curious what others would do - keep saddle and donate bike or fix it up and sell?


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Old 06-10-20, 07:31 PM
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Here are a few more pics



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Old 06-10-20, 09:51 PM
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Nice find!

You got a whole lot of bike for 20 bucks...
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Old 06-10-20, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
Nice find!

You got a whole lot of bike for 20 bucks...
Thatís what I thought, but now I have to figure out what to do with it - this wasnít on my radar and I donít have a good sense of a fair value if I were to sell it. See what I get for looking at FB marketplace LOL
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Old 06-11-20, 08:54 AM
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For a fairly nice touring model with racks and fenders $100-120seem a bit low.nicely cleaned andserviced readyto ride you could likely get $250 in the current market it would be more but DT shifters and 27in wheels will holdprice down some.
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Old 06-11-20, 01:16 PM
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You could probably get $100 for it "as - is" and, it makes more sense to leave it alone. You'll never recover your investment after a complete overhaul with new consumables.
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Old 06-11-20, 01:37 PM
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Does the purple tubing sticker below the seat hold anything discernible? It actually seems like a nice frame, considering the lugs, multiple eyelets, and sloping fork crown.
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Old 06-11-20, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
Does the purple tubing sticker below the seat hold anything discernible? It actually seems like a nice frame, considering the lugs, multiple eyelets, and sloping fork crown.
the sticker was not discernible. All I could make out was a CH and the rest to the sticker was missing or the letters were faded away. If I had to guess I would say it could have been a bike shop sticker that said ďCHICAGO ......Ē. Iím going to start a new thread because I just realized it has a wacky 48/38/18 triple yes 18. The cassette is a six speed 13-30. In examining the crankset it appears as if the 18 is an adapted granny gear so extreme that would only work with the 30T cog in the cassette. I havenít seen anything like it and hope someone can tell me what the heck it is ó like am I really supposed to be able to get this tuned to work in all gear combos from 48-13 all the way to 18-30??? Seems to defy logic and mechanical possibility.
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Old 06-11-20, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
Does the purple tubing sticker below the seat hold anything discernible? It actually seems like a nice frame, considering the lugs, multiple eyelets, and sloping fork crown.
That's Kuwahara's 'CHROMEMOLY' decal. You saw them a lot of Kuwahara built Apollo. There were several versions of the decal. They weren't all "3 tubes butted" like in the attached photo. Given the era and intended use, this one could very well be plain gauge.
​​​​​​​



.
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Old 06-11-20, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
That's Kuwahara's 'CHROMEMOLY' decal. You saw them a lot of Kuwahara built Apollo. There were several versions of the decal. They weren't all "3 tubes butted" like in the attached photo. Given the era and intended use, this one could very well be plain gauge.




.
Itís remarkable the knowledge that is floating out there! I wouldnít have figured this out. Thanks!
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Old 06-11-20, 06:20 PM
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As a nicer Tourer from the early 80's it likely has full medium strait guage chro-mo. Very good chance there is some tubing info on the steering tube of the fork if you pull it.
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Old 06-12-20, 04:17 PM
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It is a nice early '80s (1983?) touring bike with racks. Good demand for them out there. They are versatile. I would keep the saddle, but I have others to replace it with on that bike. The saddle is worth $50+. That bike cleaned up and serviced should bring another $175 to $225, or at least $150, without the Brooks and front racks. That is without adding a "pandemic" premium to it. You can give it away, or sell it cheap. Then somebody else wil sell it for $250. You could also try trading it for a decent bike your size. $20 for that is a seriously nice score to a C&V guy.
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Old 06-12-20, 05:25 PM
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Good deal and a very sellable bike. Hereís how Iíd work this one in my hood:
-Keep or sell the saddle separately. Iíd now consider this a free bike.
​​​​​-Purchase a $20 saddle on eBay that will show great.
-Sell the front rack separately
-Iíd disassemble and clean working around what needed replacing (i.e. Cables, housing and tape)
-Invest $40 in cables, housing and tape as needed.
-Hopefully keep tires, chain and brake pads. Youíve got some room if you need to replace something.
-Take killer pictures of a great bike.
-List locally at $185 and be willing to accept $160.
Youíll never recover the value of your time but for some of us, thatís not the objective. You will end up with a few extra bucks, learn a little and take satisfaction in salvaging an old bike that puts a smile on the face of the new owner.
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Old 06-12-20, 07:53 PM
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Value depends on where seller is located. Might sell higher in good market. I'd bet $300+ in Toronto.

Usually Brooks sell well on this site for over $60 and that cool crank set might be real popular on here as well. I bet you could climb anything this side of the grand canyon with that 18....
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