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1986 (?) Kuwahara Sierra Grande

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1986 (?) Kuwahara Sierra Grande

Old 04-23-16, 08:21 PM
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1986 (?) Kuwahara Sierra Grande

At this point I am guessing the year and model, though from images I saw online - medium green metallic paint with a chrome uni crown fork and high flange Shimano hubs it probably is, which would make it near the top of the line at the time. I mentioned to the owner that it was a nice bike and asked if he would be willing to sell it since the bike had not seen much use- and even though it was hanging on the garage wall with the non drive side facing me - complete with a thick streak of long dried mud along the underside of the down tube it was original down to the Kuwahara branded knobby tires. The owner decided I could have it so while I await picking it up sometime this week I thought I would try and find out more about this model here if possible. I know it has biopace chain rings. Should be perfect for some local trail riding. Pictures to follow soon!

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Old 04-24-16, 08:34 AM
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The Sierra Grande was Kuwahara's top of the line ATB. It certainly sounds like the circa 1984-1986 version with first generation Deore XT. When 2nd generation Deore XT came out they went to the chainstay mounted U-brake for 1987 and 1988. When you get the bicycle it should be easy enough to tell the year. Kuwahara used an open format serial number, See my https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ber-guide.html
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Old 04-24-16, 11:05 PM
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I seem to recall there was the "Sierra Grande" as well as an XT version? I will definitely take a closer look later this week - I think possibly it would have the Deer Head derailleurs? I have no doubt it will need a complete overhaul after all of these years. Thank you for the serial number link, which will make it easy enough to get the year.
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Old 04-25-16, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by VintageRide View Post
I seem to recall there was the "Sierra Grande" as well as an XT version? I will definitely take a closer look later this week - I think possibly it would have the Deer Head derailleurs? I have no doubt it will need a complete overhaul after all of these years. Thank you for the serial number link, which will make it easy enough to get the year.
The "deer head derailleurs" are the 1st generation Deore XT derailleurs, which would place it 1984-1986. Yes, there was Sierra XT circa 1987-1988. It appears to be almost identical to the Sierra grande of this period.
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Old 04-30-16, 12:33 AM
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A few images of the bike as found, with the last one after a basic cleaning yesterday. Today I cleaned and repacked the front and rear hubs as well as head set - they certainly needed it! The upper pulley on the rear derailleur was so dry that I could barely back pedal so cleaning and lubing it as well as the chain returned everything back to normal. Tomorrow I hope to overhaul the rather loose bottom bracket - I wanted to ask about the crank bolt - it looks to be a 15mm head which means purchasing a tool.

The bike is much cleaner now after two days of removing dirt, grime and old grease/oil stains, hopefully I can find a good matching paint color for touch ups. For now I removed the rear Vetta rack and also took off the plastic toe clips - had Christophe straps at least. The pedals have plenty of grip without them. Also, looking at the lower left side of the seat tube I found the first two numbers: 5 04 so I assume this is a 1985 model year - with the Deore XT M700 group set it is I believe the top of the line for the year. I really like the details on the frame - and think the polished thumb shifters and chrome bull moose handlebars look great. Hope some of you enjoy the pictures - shots of it once detailed to follow. Kind of a shame it was not better looked after since it has a good number of scrapes and scratches but no dents fortunately.


































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Old 04-30-16, 03:30 AM
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That is a very nice bicycle !
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Old 04-30-16, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by VintageRide View Post
medium green metallic paint with a chrome (...) and high flange Shimano hubs
All things I have an innate weakness for...

Originally Posted by VintageRide View Post
Kind of a shame it was not better looked after since it has a good number of scrapes and scratches but no dents fortunately.
Dude- it's a bike that was built and intended for bashing around trails and trees and mud and water-plus it's been in a garage for 30 years... My High Sierra got more damage being shuffled around in the garage for 15 years than it did on trails. It's a freakin' GIFT that it's in such outrageously beautiful shape. It SHOULD have scratches and biffs and dings in it- but it doesn't, so you totally scored.

That's a phenomenal awesome score! I love old ATBs. This is right in the sweet spot of purpose built ATB components and long wheelbase cool.

This is a top of the line bike in barely used shape- when you hear people rave about Schwinn Cimarrons or early Stumpjumpers- this is in THAT league.

Congratulations!!!
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Old 04-30-16, 02:06 PM
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Yes, I know, I am such a nitpicker! I will still touch up the paint where possible and as I have been cleaning it I am definitely appreciating it for the fine machine it is. As a matter of fact there is a Show and Shine at Toxic Design Labs ( bike painting shop ) in Richmond which always has a very good selection of older mountain bikes on display, and I will hopefully ride the Kuwahara down there, about 10 miles or so. Wonder if I will see another one?
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Old 05-01-16, 12:03 AM
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A few pictures after further detailing today - best part was cleaning those knobby tires!













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Old 05-01-16, 08:20 PM
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Attended the bike show today and here are a number of images, some interesting examples of early mtbs.



























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Old 05-01-16, 08:27 PM
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Continuing on:
































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Old 05-01-16, 08:31 PM
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One more set:






























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Old 05-01-16, 08:58 PM
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Old 05-01-16, 09:44 PM
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I've been keeping my eyes peeled on CL for one of those fat fork Kleins but haven't ever seen one for sale.
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Old 05-02-16, 11:50 AM
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I believe it was custom made for someone - must be a very low production model. Here are two more images of it.






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Old 05-02-16, 11:56 AM
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Sneaking in one more picture of the Kuwahara, I have a pair of Kenda NPJ tires I should put on , as much as I prefer tan sidewalls ( these are all black ) the original IRC knobbies require more effort than I prefer at my age! I am seriously considering the Compass Rat Trap 26", they seem to be great tires, and of course, have tan sidewalls. This Kuwahara is fum to ride, very stable ( even hands free ) as well as maneuverable so with a tire change and most likely a pair of Ergon grips it should be much more practical. Then again, one could always change over to drop bars.....



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