Do you ever look at something and it instantly makes you happy? I just love this little bike, so much family history with it! Super excited my brother Greg got it brand new in the spring of 1982. He was so cute and happy that day. In the spring of 1983 I took Dustin out to the street and gave him a push on the Kuwahara, his first ride without training wheels. These are the moments that stick with you forever.
If you have a family heirloom I’d love to help you bring it back to glory. Or let me help you find that bike for your child like the one you used to have growing up. They are only young once and the memories last a lifetime, treat yourselves.
I don’t know how a bike loses all of its parts just sitting in a shed but that is how this restoration started out. The Dia Compe seatpost clamp somehow survived the poaching but that was it. A special thanks to “Ride On” Don Selby for the decals. A birthday gift many moons ago I kept safe knowing I would restore this bike one day.
Parts weren’t too bad to source but the headset was an oddball size. Luckily eBay came through and I found a NOS Tioga Beartrap II headset. The other score I found was a Win stem like what came on this bike new. I bought a vintage Maruishi cruiser and low and behold it had a vintage Win stem on it. Destiny.
I took the Uni seat off my brother Rodney’s Profile. It’s better suited for this bike ergonomically and aesthetically. It’s also felt right to have family parts on another family bike. As soon as I source some brakes to my liking the little Kuwahara will ready for another tour of duty. My wife is wanting to start a family of our own soon so at the very least I have a bike waiting in the wings.
This is one of my favourite photographs, Greg and his bike new in 1982. Baby brother Dustin just hanging out in his underwear taking it all in ha! He would actually end up putting more miles on the Kuwahara than Greg.
36 year reunion, same bike similar reaction. Greg isn’t known for being warm and fuzzy so it’s nice to crack a smile out of him.
Here is Dustin up at the lake giving the Kuwahara all it could handle, toughest bike I’ve ever seen. As kids we played outside everyday all day long. Dustin raced for over a decade and was a top ten National rider multiple times. In 1992 he and Greg tied in points for the Canadian National #2 amateur spot.
That’s Greg with the cardboard plate beside me on the gate in his first race, September 1982. There wasn’t any kids his own age to race that day so he got bumped up into my class. Greg went on to race for over 20 years and secured two National #1 professional titles in 1998 and 1999. Fiercely competitive and determined from day one.