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1983 Kuwahara Laserlite  RSS Feed

#1 2014-09-28 8:57am

MickRich393
Pro Member
From: Kanagawa, Japan
Registered: 2010-08-29
Posts: 2866
Bikes: 7
For Sale: 2

1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

http://bmxmuseum.com//image/updated-kuwi-3-456053918b0.jpg http://bmxmuseum.com//image/updated-kuwi-3-156053961a0.jpg http://bmxmuseum.com//image/updated-kuwi-3-35605399d94.jpg http://bmxmuseum.com//image/updated-kuwi-3-856053a464f.jpg http://bmxmuseum.com//image/2nd-pics-1056053a8433.jpg http://bmxmuseum.com//image/6_copy73.jpg http://bmxmuseum.com//image/4_copy355.jpg http://bmxmuseum.com//image/5_copy102.jpg

1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

My grail bike!

I’ve wanted a Laserlite since I first saw one bitd. A kid in my hometown had one and I got to see it a few times but never rode it. When freestyle became popular he bought a CW Freestyler (which I subsequently bought) and the Laserlite was consigned to the back of his garage, never to be seen again.
Fast forward 25 years when I got back into the old school bmx scene, and the memory of that bike remained, which grew stronger in 2009 when I moved to Japan, the home of Kuwahara plus Tange, Araya, Suntour, Sugino and all the other famous Japanese brand names. I dreamed of stumbling on an old, abandoned Laserlite (or any Kuwahara) but although I saw some decent examples in the old school bmx shops and meetings I visited, the elusive barn find remained just that. I therefore bought myself an ’87 Haro Group 1 as my weekend rider and started looking for other bikes to satisfy that old school craving, though would always have a look at the latest Laserlite build or score posted online. One of the latter popped up in September 2013, a KZ-83 with oval tubes and original, if well-worn decals. The rims and bars had long gone and the seat post was stuck, but the Suntour stem and “broken arrow” clamp were still there. The bike then went up for sale but without overseas shipping, so I forgot about it. Then a few months later another ’83 popped up for sale, which turned out to be the same September frameset, now missing some more parts and sporting a small dent in the right, rear stay. On the plus side the seat post was free (the cause of the dent), it was sitting on some newly-built Z-rims and more importantly, overseas shipping was offered, so negotiations were started and a deal was made. So, after about 30 years coveting one, I had finally got my own Laserlite, which was also going to be returning home to Japan, 30 years after rolling off the Tokyo Kogyo production line, they being the company who fabricated many of the earlier Kuwaharas.
Since I had wanted a rider, not a carpet queen, neither the lack of original parts nor the dent was a problem, though the more I started looking for the parts I needed to complete it, the more I got sucked into buying things I hadn’t originally planned or budgeted for. Another complicating factor is being based in Japan, since a far greater and cheaper choice of parts is available in the US and Europe, so I have go through the added hassle and expense of shipping to Japan or alternatively, asking friends and colleagues to bring stuff over for me in their luggage.
Given the condition of the frameset and the fact that it was raced over in Massachusetts bitd, I wanted to go for the survivor racer look, with a bit of an America flavour. Ideally everything would be survivor condition but the bike has taken over as my weekend rider, so consumables were replaced but apart from the Panaracer tyres and tubes, Izumi chain, Shimano inner cable and Nitto layback, everything is from the 80s. I particularly like the battle-scarred Haro Tech plate that I picked up on here, to which I’ve added a few decals. The Laserlite black and chrome colour scheme is a classic but I wanted to add a little bit of red to accent the rising sun decals. It's not a factory-spec example, but I couldn’t afford one of those 30 years ago and still can’t now, so am just going to enjoy riding my grail bike as much as possible!!
A big thanks all the members on here who helped me out with parts, especially Vazquizzel for a) selling the bike to me b) building the Z-rims and c) shipping the bike back to Japan, plus Natsukashi BMX and Screamin’ Wheels, both in Tokyo. Much appreciated guys!
Parts List (updated Sept 2015)
Laserlite KZ-83 frame (Serial #T3C**** made by Tokyo Kogyo using Tange tubing in March 1983) with matching Laserlite forks;
Tange beartrap headset;
Suntour Power stem and headlock;
No-name bars (Japan stamped) now replaced with MCS Pro bars;
Tange grips;
’83 Dia-Compe MX1000 brake caliper with matching Tech 3 lever;
Clark’s Powerglide outer rear brake cable with new Shimano inner;
ACS Z-pads (NOS);
Suntour “broken arrow” seat post clamp;
Nitto seat post (re-issue);
Shotgun 2 seat;
ACS Z-rims;
GT hubs;
Asahi spokes;
Panaracer Knarler Knobby (20 x 1.75) tyres (re-issue) with new tubes;
MKS BN10 pedals (now running Shimano PDMX-15s);
Takagi 180mm opc;
Tange BB;
SR Spider;
Sugino chainwheel (44t)
Shimano MX-30 freewheel (16t);
Izumi chain (new) with old school chain tensioners/adjusters;
Haro Tech number plate;
Og Kuwahara stem pad with non-Kuwi California-lite frame and bar pads;
Red dice caps.


http://bmxmuseum.com/img/view-bike-in-museum.gif

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#2 2014-09-28 9:02am

Axel10
BMX Archaeologist
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-03-25
Posts: 8329

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Cool bike cool


If you think that you are too old to Rock & Roll - then you are.

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#3 2014-09-28 9:08am

justapok
Expert
From: France
Registered: 2012-12-15
Posts: 587
Bikes: 6

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Nice build, simple and effective smile
Well done cool


20" before dishonnor

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#4 2014-09-28 11:45am

rmeneses
Pro Member
From: Kalifornia
Registered: 2014-02-21
Posts: 1034
Bikes: 10

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Quintessential Kuwi…Awesome job there.


"Stupidity should be painful"

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#5 2014-09-28 6:15pm

Jayrev67
Pro Member
From: Pittsburgh, PA
Registered: 2013-08-06
Posts: 418
Bikes: 85
Website

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Cool story, cool build and good to see you have your values straight by building a bike to ride! No offense to the carpet queen owners. The Kuwahara Lazerlite was the bike I raced in 1983 after buying it new from Pleasant Valley Bike Shop in Dutchess County New York. Such a cool bike with the ovalized tubes integrated chain tensioners and really nice chrome- it came with great spec'd parts as well. Definitely a grail bike for a lot of us.


Stay Strong-Ride BMX
[img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Jx0gyQ5-_1k/UqXuWSew9ZI/AAAAAAAAJhM/-gR8xMx_7b4/s760/whistle800.jpg[/img]

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#6 2014-09-29 5:54am

MickRich393
Pro Member
From: Kanagawa, Japan
Registered: 2010-08-29
Posts: 2866
Bikes: 7
For Sale: 2

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Thanks for the comments guys! You should buy and build another one Jayrev67! wink

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#7 2014-09-29 8:59pm

jrzavala
Pro Member
From: South Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2013-02-15
Posts: 107
Bikes: 2

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

A most excellent build! I really like your approach to this build...simple yet makes a statement..a pure race bike! Love the color scheme, not too much color(s) or flash...made for the dirt track!

I have to commend you on this build! The black color ACS Z-rims & NOS pads are over the top! Let's not forget to mention the Haro Tech plate, with just the right amount of "battle scars"...This truly is a quintessential BMX racer and an instant favorite, move it to the top of my list of favorites!

Again, congrats on a job well done! A way cool bike that makes me way jealous!


"Trust but verify"

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#8 2014-09-30 6:15pm

bigc1979
Museum Newbie
Registered: 2010-04-22
Posts: 21
Bikes: 11

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Nice!!


Looking for Torker yellow pads with blue lettering!!
looking for Gold set of SE rims!!!
Looking for harp group 1 stem in neon green!!
Looking for pro neck in gold stamped pro neck!!!

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#9 2014-11-02 6:02pm

sabel
Pro Member
From: Malaysia
Registered: 2007-01-12
Posts: 701
Bikes: 3

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

awesome selection mate.. i love laserlite too.. i hope this wont take long to finish.. anything survivor will make me love it soo much..nice kuwahara laserlite.. and nice person to know..

regards

sabel

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#10 2015-06-06 6:17am

MickRich393
Pro Member
From: Kanagawa, Japan
Registered: 2010-08-29
Posts: 2866
Bikes: 7
For Sale: 2

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Recently swapped out the old, bag-of-nuts-sounding Suntour freewheel for a chrome Shimano one, and the bike now not only sounds but rides much better too! That was put to the test when I rode about an hour to the annual Happy Bike Meeting in Komazawa Olympic Park in Tokyo. This is probably the biggest, and I think the best old school bike meeting in Japan, and the good weather ensured there was a good turnout of bikes. Here's a link to a few pics:-  http://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=648071

Plus here's one of the new and improved (even though you can't notice it) Laserlite! big_smile

http://uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/47558/happy-bike-meeting-2015-02059578dd582.jpg

Last edited by MickRich393 (2017-07-01 4:56am)

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#11 2015-06-06 6:18am

MickRich393
Pro Member
From: Kanagawa, Japan
Registered: 2010-08-29
Posts: 2866
Bikes: 7
For Sale: 2

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Here's a better pic:-

http://uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/47558/happy-bike-meeting-2015-13959578d0782.jpg

Last edited by MickRich393 (2017-07-01 4:53am)

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#12 2015-06-06 7:04am

turdburd
Pro Member
From: Inland Empire,SoCal
Registered: 2013-12-02
Posts: 935
Bikes: 3

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

A classic chrome and black build always looks great. Like the way you used a few red parts for contrast. Using Takagi opc's also hits a soft spot with me.
  Thanks also for sharing the Tokyo ride pictures.


Aba Ca-13 1982-84  #926 #547 #123

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#13 2015-09-25 6:31am

MickRich393
Pro Member
From: Kanagawa, Japan
Registered: 2010-08-29
Posts: 2866
Bikes: 7
For Sale: 2

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Have recently made a few more changes, some practical, some aesthetic, though hopefully all good! First up was some older chain tensioners/adjusters which are a better fit for the dropouts and the condition of the bike as a whole. Next are some silver Shimano PD-MX15 pedals. I loved the look of the red MKS peds, even though the red didn’t quite match that of the DC brake-set, but the main problem was comfort. They may have been good for short races bitd but they’re bloody uncomfortable for cruising around on now! Thirdly, I’ve finally replaced the no-name bars that came with the bike with some big, old, MCS Pros in survivor condition. Last but not least I changed out the padset. I originally went for a red Cal-Lite padset to off-set the black and chrome but the ones I bought were just too nice for the bike. I already had the og and faded-black, Kuwahara Cal-lite stem pad and managed to find some Cal-lite frame and bar pads to go with it. Sorted!

So nothing major, but just a few subtle changes which make me much happier with the bike. I’ve lost a bit of red but like to think that less is more! smile Here's an updated photo and I've also added some more above.

http://uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/47558/updated-kuwi-3-559578f1016.jpg

Last edited by MickRich393 (2017-07-01 5:01am)

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#14 2016-02-10 8:50pm

Walkerbmx
Member
Registered: 2014-08-29
Posts: 49
Bikes: 5

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Sweet ride.

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#15 2016-02-11 3:52pm

MickRich393
Pro Member
From: Kanagawa, Japan
Registered: 2010-08-29
Posts: 2866
Bikes: 7
For Sale: 2

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Walkerbmx wrote:

Sweet ride.

Thanks man! Glad you like it.

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#16 2016-12-17 12:14am

MickRich393
Pro Member
From: Kanagawa, Japan
Registered: 2010-08-29
Posts: 2866
Bikes: 7
For Sale: 2

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Have recently discovered a race track not too far from where I live, so yesterday I rode the Kuwi there for a few laps, and of course a few photos!

http://uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/47558/midoriyama-kuwa-35854f27c78.jpg

http://uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/47558/midoriyama-kuwa-45854f2a42e.jpg

http://uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/47558/midoriyama-kuwa-55854f2c0c3.jpg

http://uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/47558/midoriyama-kuwa-115854f3137d.jpg

http://uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/47558/midoriyama-kuwa-185854f2df2d.jpg

http://uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/47558/midoriyama-kuwa-165854f37872.jpg

http://uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/47558/midoriyama-kuwa-95854f34d64.jpg

http://uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/47558/midoriyama-kuwa-65854f3b13d.jpg

The padded, white seat is not a permanent change, just a temporary one to help with the 26km round-trip!! big_smile

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#17 2016-12-17 5:29am

turdburd
Pro Member
From: Inland Empire,SoCal
Registered: 2013-12-02
Posts: 935
Bikes: 3

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Cool to see you getting some track time on the bike.


Aba Ca-13 1982-84  #926 #547 #123

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#18 2016-12-20 5:39am

MickRich393
Pro Member
From: Kanagawa, Japan
Registered: 2010-08-29
Posts: 2866
Bikes: 7
For Sale: 2

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Thanks! Yeah, it was good to roll back the years. smile

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#19 2017-02-04 7:50pm

MickRich393
Pro Member
From: Kanagawa, Japan
Registered: 2010-08-29
Posts: 2866
Bikes: 7
For Sale: 2

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

I recently found out that the "T" before the serial number doesn't signify Tange but another Japanese company, Tokyo Kogyo, who did fabrication work for Kuwahara and other companies bitd. That means that my Laserlite was made with Tange tubing but welded up by Tokyo Kogyo. I have therefore amended the description to reflect this. smile

Last edited by MickRich393 (2017-02-04 8:21pm)

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#20 2017-02-12 9:41am

ChromeCruiser
Pro Member
From: KungFu, PA
Registered: 2017-01-06
Posts: 276
Bikes: 7
For Sale: 5

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

I raced a KZ-1 in 1983, thanks for sharing!


"Ignore insulting tongue, duck provoking blow, wear travelers cloak that permits you to endure" Kwai Chang Caine
"River seeks its own level, it won't fight the rock, it flows around it, rock becomes a refuge in the river" Master Po
"If one lives its a certainty he will die, what will happen will happen whether one is a afraid or not" Kwai Chang Caine
"All creatures one with nature, no life insignificant, become a cup empty of yourself full of oneness" Master Khan
"Body dies but the journey goes on, soul sees always, nothing dies that was ever something" Kwai Chang Caine
"If a man dwells on the past he robs the present, if a man ignores the past he may rob the future" Master Po
"When you cease to strive to understand, then you will know without understanding" Kwai Chang Caine

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#21 2017-02-12 9:45am

KuWa FS
Pro MemberKuwahara Freestyler
From: Colorado
Registered: 2009-04-30
Posts: 5657
Bikes: 7

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

MickRich393 wrote:

I recently found out that the "T" before the serial number doesn't signify Tange but another Japanese company, Tokyo Kogyo, who did fabrication work for Kuwahara and other companies bitd. That means that my Laserlite was made with Tange tubing but welded up by Tokyo Kogyo. I have therefore amended the description to reflect this. smile

I would like to hear more about this!!

PS  Awesome to see you out riding and enjoying your kuwahara!  big_smile


Well if you still don't believe you best get up and leave
Do what you must do, but this ain't the place for you

Kuwahara, its the best!!

When I'm dead, i'll stop riding bikes.

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#22 2017-02-13 2:16am

MickRich393
Pro Member
From: Kanagawa, Japan
Registered: 2010-08-29
Posts: 2866
Bikes: 7
For Sale: 2

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Thanks for your comments guys! smile

KuWa FS wrote:

MickRich393 wrote:

I recently found out that the "T" before the serial number doesn't signify Tange but another Japanese company, Tokyo Kogyo, who did fabrication work for Kuwahara and other companies bitd. That means that my Laserlite was made with Tange tubing but welded up by Tokyo Kogyo. I have therefore amended the description to reflect this. smile

I would like to hear more about this!!

This thread should help to explain things, or at least the comments by Moonster do:-

http://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=598043

Like many I guess, I'd always understood that a T-serial meant Tange-made, whereas it looks like it actually means that Tokyo Kogyo made them, in the case of my Laserlite, with Tange tubing. I'm therefore assuming that if Tange actually made/fabricated/welded the frame themselves then it would have a Tange stamp like this:-

http://uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/47558/tange-bb58a1867552.jpg

That's only guesswork on my part. Interesting stuff though!

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#23 2017-04-04 6:09am

HaroPeteAussie
Museum Newbie
From: Perth, Australia
Registered: 2016-09-02
Posts: 20
Bikes: 3
Website

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

Cool bike, even cooler story!


A giraffe's coffee would be cold by the time it reaches the bottom of it's throat, ever think about that?....... No, you only think about yourself!

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#24 2017-04-04 3:06pm

MickRich393
Pro Member
From: Kanagawa, Japan
Registered: 2010-08-29
Posts: 2866
Bikes: 7
For Sale: 2

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

HaroPeteAussie wrote:

Cool bike, even cooler story!

Thanks mate, appreciate it! smile

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#25 2017-12-05 12:21am

CEROXER
Pro Member
From: MEXICO " WALLVILLE "
Registered: 2014-04-03
Posts: 1798
Bikes: 35
For Sale: 17
Website

Re: 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite

NICEE. smile


NEED TO BRAKE A CURSE.....LOOKING FOR A KASTAN KEX OR PRO "S" MODEL-  F/STRUT FORK 20" OR 24 "

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