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kuwahara touring bike

Old 02-13-21, 11:52 AM
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jpjuggler
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kuwahara touring bike

I own this bike, (but this isn't my pic, but identical to wht i own.)

do folks think it is sturdy enough for a multi day camping tour?
https://bicycle-itis.com/used-bike/375-kuwahara-touring
thanks,
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Old 02-13-21, 12:12 PM
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Sturdy? Of course. That frame is a very good frame. It'll take another bottle cage and a front rack if you need more storage for your ride. I say go for it.

You don't say if you're going into hills and since you already have a triple on the front, how about a larger range on the freewheel/cassette for a cheap upgrade? Ps Why not change out the brake levers (again cheap upgrade) for ones without those extensions? You will be adding more weight to your load with camping gear and might have to stop hard. Those extensions don't seem to work as well as simply using the levers.

And lastly, have to ask about the forks, just me or do they look a bit bent back?
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Old 02-13-21, 12:36 PM
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Yes that bike is certainly sturdy enough. As noted above you might want to make a few teaks to the setup for comfort and safety.
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Old 02-13-21, 01:53 PM
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Show a photo of your bike , what model is yours? How long have you owned this bike?
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Old 02-13-21, 02:04 PM
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Just a minute, you said you have a LHT?
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Old 02-13-21, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jpjuggler View Post
I own this bike, (but this isn't my pic, but identical to wht i own.)

do folks think it is sturdy enough for a multi day camping tour?
https://bicycle-itis.com/used-bike/375-kuwahara-touring
thanks,
you already own the bike, right?
you ride it, you carry stuff on the racks, right?
shirley, you should know if the bike is sturdy enough....right?

only difference between riding around town with stuff on the rack
and touring with stuff on the rack is you don't gotta stop for so
many traffic lights.
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Old 02-13-21, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by WGB View Post

And lastly, have to ask about the forks, just me or do they look a bit bent back?
No, that is how they are. There are other old Japanese bikes with forks like that, Panasonic was the same I believe. Of course they may be the same frame and forks.
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Old 02-13-21, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Just a minute, you said you have a LHT?
Yes, I own a Surly Disc Trucker. Here's the story. Last summer my frame broke on my Steve Bauer road bike,. While I was waiting for the repair, I bought the Kuwahara just as transportation. its a nice bike, and it was in great condition. I haven't toured with it. For some time previously I had my eye on either a Surly or Trek 520 for touring, which I haven't done before. This January, I spotted a used Surly for sale and grabbed it. at 64cm, its big, but the kuwahara is also big at 63cm and fits me fine.
I'm happy to keep both bikes. But I know I can sell the Surly if I need to and recoup probably 100 percent of the money.

but yes, I was wondering if the Kuwahara is sturdy enough for touring, or if it was *just* marketed that way as it has touring in the title?

It has eyelets at the bottom of the forks but not any bosses on the middle of the fork. Does that matter?

I'm looking forward to learn and do touring. I'm a novice. thanks for all the info
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Old 02-13-21, 04:34 PM
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Thanks,
I'll go back to my point before, take a good detaled photo of yours, post it up. This way we'll know better about exactly what you have.
in the mean time, you can give details of the gearing etc
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Old 02-13-21, 10:47 PM
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Nice bike. Bosses mid fork do not matter. You can mount anything with P clamps.

In some ways you are ahead of the game. Japanese frames of that era were well made, you have eyelets for fenders and racks, a triple crank and your brakes can be upgraded quite a bit by adding V's and/or compressionless housings.

I think I get what you are saying about the disc LHT. While you like it as well, you know you could sell it for more than the Kuwahara.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 02-13-21 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 02-14-21, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Show a photo of your bike , what model is yours? How long have you owned this bike?
it identical to the photo i posted. the model is kuwahara touring,. I've had it for 9 months, and have used it for city riding.
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Old 02-14-21, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Thanks,
I'll go back to my point before, take a good detaled photo of yours, post it up. This way we'll know better about exactly what you have.
in the mean time, you can give details of the gearing etc
ok,i will take a photo of it.
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Old 02-14-21, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by WGB View Post
And lastly, have to ask about the forks, just me or do they look a bit bent back?
for sure bent back. cant say I've known that to be a 'feature' when new either.
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Old 02-14-21, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
for sure bent back. cant say I've known that to be a 'feature' when new either.
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Old 02-14-21, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jpjuggler View Post
ok,i will take a photo of it.
that would be great.

the reason is because possibly even before you were a sparkle in your mothers eye, I was touring around on a Kuwahara, still own it in fact, so before saying stuff, I want to know which model you have. It could be different than mine.
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Old 02-14-21, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Is that fork bent?
If it is bent, is it on purpose or just front end damage?
If its on purpose, what is the point? That isnt a design feature that has a benefit. It just changes the effective fork rake and the fork could have been raked to the desired amount to begin with.

Skeptical that this was a design feature.
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Old 02-14-21, 07:13 PM
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Super bike

Those Kuwahara touring bikes are strong enough to tour the world......you could tour Siberia on that and it would bring you home
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Old 02-14-21, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by homelessjoe View Post
Those Kuwahara touring bikes are strong enough to tour the world......you could tour Siberia on that and it would bring you home
from my experience touring on one model of Kuwahara, I'd have to disagree with you and if going to Siberia, I'd take the LHT....
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Old 02-14-21, 07:28 PM
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fork and more

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Old 02-14-21, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
fork and more

the LHT is quite a strong bike......but..it looks like you did tour Siberia on that Kuwahara or at least half way there........and if you still have it........admit it ...you love that old bike dont you
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Old 02-14-21, 08:46 PM
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Lots of good memories, so just have never wanted to sell it. Rode it the other day, but on the trainer.
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Old 02-14-21, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Is that fork bent?
If it is bent, is it on purpose or just front end damage?
If its on purpose, what is the point? That isnt a design feature that has a benefit. It just changes the effective fork rake and the fork could have been raked to the desired amount to begin with.

Skeptical that this was a design feature.
Basically every Kuwahara I have seen is like that. I remember them looking odd when they were new. It is accentuated by different angles of view.
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Old 02-18-21, 04:27 AM
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pics of my bike


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Old 02-18-21, 07:43 AM
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thanks, it helps to see the actual bike.
Interesting, as this model is earlier than mine, I suspect the frame tubing is different than mine, and so your bike might very well have different characteristics.

what is pretty much a given is that bikes from this era have more flex than newer touring bikes. Mine pretty much fit the stereotype- don't get me wrong, it worked well enough, but i noticed right away how newer bikes were less flexy loaded, and this is why the stiff aluminum touring cannondale s from the late 80s, 90s, etc were so well admired.
I'm a light rider, 140 tops, and when I replaced my Kuwa with an aluminum cross bike to tour with/ commute/fun riding, it was noticeably stiffer than the Kuwa, but not bothersome too stiff. The Kuwa does however have a special ride quality and give that is pretty neat, but mine has tubing that is quad butted, Japanese brand, so as I said, it may very well be different than yours.
Kuwa made a rare Expedition model, but I don't think this is yours.
The fact that the fork doesn't have rack mount holes seems to show this is different, and from my Caravan model. Mine is i think a 91, and i don't recall seeing them sold after that. They are pretty rare around here.

So really, between 6 spd vs 9 spd, and the more solid frame of a LHT, this is why I'd keep the surly for touring.
bikes of the 80s 90s had 126mm rear hub spacing also, and the hub quality etc of the surly will be better. The LHT cantis probably are stronger too.
Downtube shifting gets tiring in constant up and down riding, and in traffic, but again, my opinion from using it a lot.

basically, newer stuff improves, so sure you can tour on the Kuwa, we did and had fun, but stuff improves.

yours looks really nice, the bar tape and housing colours look good, and new looking hoods too.

good luck with your decision.
I get the economic side, touring bikes are a hot item now.
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Old 02-18-21, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
thanks, it helps to see the actual bike.
Interesting, as this model is earlier than mine, I suspect the frame tubing is different than mine, and so your bike might very well have different characteristics.

what is pretty much a given is that bikes from this era have more flex than newer touring bikes. Mine pretty much fit the stereotype- don't get me wrong, it worked well enough, but i noticed right away how newer bikes were less flexy loaded, and this is why the stiff aluminum touring cannondale s from the late 80s, 90s, etc were so well admired.
I'm a light rider, 140 tops, and when I replaced my Kuwa with an aluminum cross bike to tour with/ commute/fun riding, it was noticeably stiffer than the Kuwa, but not bothersome too stiff. The Kuwa does however have a special ride quality and give that is pretty neat, but mine has tubing that is quad butted, Japanese brand, so as I said, it may very well be different than yours.
Kuwa made a rare Expedition model, but I don't think this is yours.
The fact that the fork doesn't have rack mount holes seems to show this is different, and from my Caravan model. Mine is i think a 91, and i don't recall seeing them sold after that. They are pretty rare around here.

So really, between 6 spd vs 9 spd, and the more solid frame of a LHT, this is why I'd keep the surly for touring.
bikes of the 80s 90s had 126mm rear hub spacing also, and the hub quality etc of the surly will be better. The LHT cantis probably are stronger too.
Downtube shifting gets tiring in constant up and down riding, and in traffic, but again, my opinion from using it a lot.

basically, newer stuff improves, so sure you can tour on the Kuwa, we did and had fun, but stuff improves.

yours looks really nice, the bar tape and housing colours look good, and new looking hoods too.

good luck with your decision.
I get the economic side, touring bikes are a hot item now.
Thanks for the very detailed info. I really appreciate it. Any guess as to what year this bike is?
I weigh 195 so Im much heavier, but I hope the bike would be strong enough to hold my weight plus loaded panniers.
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