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Technical & Reference Section => Tech and Restoration => Topic started by: Avro on October 03, 2017, 02:01 PM

Title: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on October 03, 2017, 02:01 PM
*waves*
Collecting and restoring parts is a time consuming business! I am getting there with my Laserlite; I just need to save up some cash for the rechrome of the handlebars (there is no chrome on these!) and maybe the frame, as it is bubbling on the top tube and denuded behind the head tube.
A place saver but also to say *hi* and still busy with BMX!
A little teaser:
[attachment=1]
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Quadog on October 03, 2017, 03:25 PM
well cool look forward to seeing it finished 👍
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: BMX1973 on October 05, 2017, 09:01 PM
Getting a nice collection of parts there  :daumenhoch:

Saw a Kuwi Post and Pads the other day on ebay.
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: MartyC on October 08, 2017, 10:46 AM
One of my favs from bitd, looking foward to seeing this and your restored anodised parts coming together  :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: bobafett on October 08, 2017, 11:09 PM
Gonna look sweet  8)
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: griff on October 08, 2017, 11:48 PM
Look forward to seeing it built Peter
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: monkian on October 09, 2017, 05:22 PM
Come on Peter, pull your finger out mate  ::) ;D ;)
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on October 10, 2017, 11:38 AM
I have had another close look at the Laserlite frame and think that I am, perhaps, being a fuss arse.
Some photographs, but it is very hard to adequately show the condition.

Behind the head tube before:
[attachment=5]

Behind the head tube, chrome is very thin and peppered with tiny pitting:
[attachment=1]

Top tube, trying to show the bubbling beneath the chrome:
[attachment=2]

Top tube again:
[attachment=3]

Bottom bracket area, not too bad, some chips and pits.
[attachment=4]

I think I can leave the frame og and, with a little work, it would still be very presentable. The top tube bothers me most. I would put it in a citric acid bath and stabilise the pitting but the bubbling?

Things to remember:
I need to get the handlebars rechromed anyway, I am considering getting a pair of rims chromed and I need a seatpost chromed for another project.
I never had this bike as a complete.
My restored and re-anodised parts are great but not to a professional standard, they are very good but still. So the whole package will never be concours.

Opinions very, very welcome.
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: boofy44 on October 11, 2017, 06:43 PM
The bars are chromed so they'll need de caroming and polishing first.They were painted black over chrome when I got them years ago and never got round to trying to give them a good polish.
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: BMX1973 on October 11, 2017, 08:04 PM

I would leave the frame as is. Bit of polish should do wonders. 8)
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: monkian on October 12, 2017, 09:42 AM
I'd keep the original chrome. It's not too bad really. Nothing wrong with putting nice parts on it ;)
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: in2bmx on October 12, 2017, 10:17 AM
Looking good Peter  :daumenhoch:

I'd keep the Chrome OG   :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on October 12, 2017, 08:17 PM
Going to give the frame a citric acid bath and very good polish, it will be fine.
This means I can begin the build with only the handlebars and the rims to sort out. Sorry, saying 'there is no chrome' on the handlebars was something of a hyperbole; let's just the say that the chrome is poor and covered in tiny pits and no ammount of polishing will restore them. I can de-chrome them myself so can save a little there.
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: monkian on October 19, 2017, 01:31 PM
Christian (Hunterdubber) has some original decals for this if you're interested ;)
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Midschoolfool on October 19, 2017, 01:36 PM
Autosol is incredible on chrome.
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: griff on October 20, 2017, 12:40 AM
Peek is incredible on chrome.

Fixed :teef:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Mikku on October 20, 2017, 05:35 AM
^^^ ;D ^^^

The chrome on your Laserlite is show quality compared to mine! A bit of polish and you'll be good to go! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on November 28, 2017, 05:56 PM
*Hallelujah*
I have made a start on the build and about time too. I have become so obsessed with date codes, correct this and that, to the extent that I could not bring myself to begin until everything was right. Bored of that now! Time to start.

A new set of decals have been sourced and applied; as correct as my obsessive research has concluded to be so. I have also decided that I hate applying decals. I agonise over placement, alignment etc. I become almost petrified. I have had to develop my own technique to overcome my obsessive nature! I begin by finding the best set of original advertisments and/or pictures I can find. I then, with the aid of a chum, sticky labels, biro and vernier calipers, find the centre line of a given tube (my Tioga Rhino Charge was very tricky in this regard but that is another story). With one end of the decal partially freed from the backing paper I apply it to the mark, then remove the rest of the backing paper and allign the rest of the decal by eye. Seems to work without too much fuss. I still do not like the job.

[attachment=2]

Anyway, decals applied and on to simple assembly.
Hatta MX100 alloy headset fitted. This was a used item bought off the museum. It was still hanging onto some gold anodising when I received it. Unfortunately I can not anodise it black due to the steel bearing inserts, they seem very well seated indeed so I let them be. I have had to paint headset parts as required.

Suntour Headlock and Suntour Power Stem installed, all correct so far.
Suntour 'Broken Arrow' seatpost clamp and Laserpost installed, looking even better.
The bottom bracket is Tange with a CV170 spindle. In the year or so that I have been collecting/restoring parts for this lovely bike I have yet to see a Sugino sealed bottom bracket come up unless attached to Sugino 400 cranks. I have watched several of those sets sell through ebay, everytime well beyond my means so I have had to compromise. This Laserlite will be getting Suntour VX cranks, I am happy with this as they look the beans. Will it play on my mind that I do not have the 400's, yes: that is how I tick. Needs must and compromises have to be made.

[attachment=1]

I am currently working on the wheels. Suntour sealed hubs are thin on the ground but I have some lovely HF Shimano MX25 hubs I plan to use. Trouble is there is a Shimano 333 freewheel attached to the rear hub that I can not budge. I laced a rim to it just to try to remove it but no. I took the wheel down to a local tyre shop, BIG air hammers, it would not budge at all. Thinking I will have to dismantle the freewheel and try to split it off the hub. Shame as 333 freewheels feel lovely.

Hopefully more interesting progress to follow, particularly when the handlebars come back from chrome.
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Quadog on November 28, 2017, 07:04 PM
looks like it's coming along nicely can't wait to see it finished theyve got to be one of the best looking frames ever made 👍
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Mikku on November 30, 2017, 09:14 PM
One of my grail bikes bitd and now that I finally have one, I smile every time I ride it! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on December 18, 2017, 02:31 PM
A lot has been going on in the man-cave lately regarding BMX. I have so many side projects on the go that it can be a little overwhelming; trying new things, experimenting etc. More about those in time. I have also started to fill in some blanks for some of my builds. Today I scored a set of Nitto bars, I think SX bars?, from this site. These are for another build which pretty much completes the parts list with the exception of a left-hand DX brake lever in silver. The bars are a compromise but a good one. Other scores I will share soon as the builds progress. I digress, to the Laserlite.

Today I built the wheels for the Laserlite, the first set of wheels I have ever built so well-chuffed. Lacing is actually easy peasy it is the fiddling about afterwards trying to get the imperfect perfect that drives you potty.

I have had to compromise a little and use Shimano MX25 high-flange hubs. I bought these ages ago and the rear came with a Shimano 333 freewheel attached, bonus I thought until I came to try and remove it. I laced a rim to give leverage: nothing. Local tyre shop and air hammers: nothing except a mashed tool. In the end I had to cut and spread it to remove. Fortunately the threads were fine. I have painted these as the steel bearing seats will not budge preventing me from anodising them.

[attachment=2]

I had planned to get the rims chromed but the quotes I received for the job were out of the question. Instead I have stripped and polished them. They were a rather scabby gold set with very bad brake surfaces and a couple of nasty flat-spots. The flat spots have been much improved with various persuaders. The usual procedure of palm sander, wet and dry and various grit polishes later (hours and hours) and they look super. One step closer to completion.

[attachment=1]
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on December 27, 2017, 12:54 PM
At a bit of a loose end today so thought I would do a little to the Laserlite. I am still waiting for the handlebars to return from chrome, once they land I will be able to complete the build. Not a lot of progress but something to show at least.

Suntour VX cranks installed with new repop VX end caps and Suntour chainring bolts. I have a sealed in bag set of chainring bolts but this bike is taking on a rather 'lightly used' look, which I am liking a lot, so I have gone with a very nice used set.

The chainring is Sugino 44T which I anodised black myself.

Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on December 27, 2017, 01:05 PM
...I have also fitted the brake, a 1983 Dia-Compe MX900 with the new for 1983 'Centron Centraliser'. This innovation was actually specified for the Laserlite as detailed in a test in BMX Action Bike dated June 1983. Some sources also say that the caliper was also an MX900 but I do not know for sure.

The caliper was restored by yours truly. I anodised it black in my kitchen and fitted a new quick release, the rest of the hardware is og simply put in a citric acid bath and then into light oil. It fits so well with the other 'used but very nice parts' this build is getting.

[attachment=3]
[attachment=1]
[attachment=2]
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: BMX1973 on December 27, 2017, 01:56 PM
Taking shape now  :)

How did you anodize the chain ring with the teeth staying polished. I know they came like this originally but credit to you yours looks great.

Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on December 27, 2017, 02:30 PM
Keeping the machined teeth clear of anodising proved too difficult. I tried professional anodising masking tape: failed. I tried liquid mask: failed. Multiple attempts with both techniques. I will return to the problem one day.
In the end I anodised the whole piece and then stripped the anodising from the teeth with a fine paintbrush and caustic soda.

http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,189845.0.html
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Mikku on December 27, 2017, 11:15 PM
Good work! This is going to look great! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: bobafett on December 29, 2017, 10:03 AM

I anodised the whole piece and then stripped the anodising from the teeth with a fine paintbrush and caustic soda.


Wow  :shocked:

Fair play - that's dedication  :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: CustardLips on December 29, 2017, 11:44 AM

I anodised the whole piece and then stripped the anodising from the teeth with a fine paintbrush and caustic soda.


Wow  :shocked:

Fair play - that's dedication  :daumenhoch:

I did a gold Sugino a few yrs ago... won't be doing it again.  :LolLolLolLol:
It's a proper ball ache.  >:(
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on January 15, 2018, 03:13 PM
The handlebars, Laserbars of course, are back from chrome and very, very bling. Shout out to Chromefix in Birmingham for a super job again. So on with the build.

O.G.K. Cobra grips on. These are a little hard so I did try to soften them by soaking in mineral brake fluid for a week. To be honest it made no difference at all except that they continued to weep brake fluid for weeks afterwards. They are fine anyway, I just wanted to try it out, not as if there are many about after all.

The brake lever is a 1983 Tech 3 which I anodised myself. The cable is as close as I could find. It is nos Dia Compe stamped but undated. It is from a batch from a seller in Australia who claims they are late '80s and were for domestic Japanese consumption. No idea, but I am very happy with the silver/clear look.

[attachment=3]

The saddle took some searching for but one popped up on the museum and I insta-purchased. The bike was going to get a black Elina Lightning Bolt seat but Elina Aero Turbo is the correct beastie, P.D.N.P guts too. It is rider but very nice rider, looks better in the flesh.

[attachment=1]
[attachment=2]
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on January 15, 2018, 03:28 PM
Tyres, tyres, tyres. Perhaps the trickiest things to get, and am not going to hold out for the correct IRC tyres, so I thought I would go a little left field. A pair for very nice yellow Stadium tyres popped up a few months ago, I can not remember where but it may have been close to home as it were. I liked the idea of the yellow contrast to the black parts and the reflected yellow of the lightning bolts on the pad set. Now fitted I like it a lot which is handy as they were not cheap!

[attachment=4]
[attachment=1]

Sprocket is a 1983 16T Suntour and the chain Izumi.
Pedals Suntour XC II, the cages I restored and anodised in the kitchen, my first experiment with home anodising and they turned out lush!
The pad set is repop. I do have a set of yellow pads, which may be og, but I am not sure. I will try to take some photographs outside tomorrow if the weather is half decent with both sets fitted. Hope you like it!

[attachment=2]
[attachment=3]
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Taipan on January 15, 2018, 06:12 PM
I know its your bike and you do what you want but for me those yellow tyres are not working at all cant see what they are doing for the bike? there freestyle tyres and that kuwi is an out and out race machine,get some comp III's on it whatever age (I know comp II's are big bucks but they have re popped them now I know) just my 2 penneth but I really do like that bike  :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on January 15, 2018, 09:35 PM
The Stadium tyre was just that, for indoor stadium races. It later became the choice for freestyle (whatever that is!). This Laserlite is oval tubed '83, it rocks stadium races!
Seriously, I knew the tyre would ruffle feathers, it is not an obvious choice. Please wait for the outdoor shots and the yellow pads before making me  :'(
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: CustardLips on January 15, 2018, 10:19 PM
Sorry but i agree... think it needs black tyres.  :-\

Very nice otherwise... really like Kuwi's.  :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Mikku on January 16, 2018, 07:26 AM
Lots of the earlier KZs rocked yellow tyres or at least Iíve seen plenty that have/do. Iíll wait to see the pics as yellow pads might help to balance out the look, likewise yellow grips and/or a yellow seat! Then you could sell that crappy, old Elina to me! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: in2bmx on January 16, 2018, 08:40 AM
Yup . Lovely looking bike ..  But i'd try black tyres too ..  But try the yellow pads it might work  :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on January 16, 2018, 01:25 PM
Lots of the earlier KZs rocked yellow tyres or at least Iíve seen plenty that have/do. Iíll wait to see the pics as yellow pads might help to balance out the look, likewise yellow grips and/or a yellow seat! Then you could sell that crappy, old Elina to me! :daumenhoch:

Funny you should say that, I do have a suite of yellow parts I have been collection for another build. The parts include yellow Tange grips, yellow Lightning bolt seat amongst other lovely bits. Although I really do like the tyres on this bike, I agree that more conventional black knobblies would look the beans and be very classy if a little obvious. I will be back, thanks for the opinions and thoughts it really helps to keep the enthusiasm up to carry on posting.
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Mikku on January 16, 2018, 01:51 PM
Yes mate, definitely keep posting! You could always do 2 versions: one yellow and one black, then run a poll to decide the winner!! Alternatively just ignore us old farts and build your bike the way you want it! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on January 16, 2018, 08:36 PM
The yellow parts suite is dedicated to an upcoming build so I can not do a yellow build.
It was a miserable day here today so no photographs outside. I did try the yellow Kuwahara pads and the look was the same.  I doubt I could find IRC Racers at a price I could afford so alternatives sought; I will try the 'Comp II' copies although I suspect the same peeps who disliked the Stadium tyres will dislike the copies too! Meh, I will fit and see. I know it will look more conventional but....
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: login_user on January 16, 2018, 08:54 PM
looking good. The hard work is worth it.
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: CustardLips on January 19, 2018, 08:25 PM
I've nowt against repop tyres... og ones are hard to find nowadays.  :-\
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on January 22, 2018, 12:46 PM
Today I took delivery of a pair of 'Comp II' copies to try on the Laserlite. Blimey, they look far better in the flesh than in any pictures I had seen. The sidewalls are a nice honey/amber colour and the whole package feels really good. I am very surprised to say the least! Hands up, I was wrong. You just can not beat classic looks and lines. If tomorrow is fair I will get the outdoor shots, the 'Man-Cave' is a little tight for decent shots! So much work in this build but all worth it!
[attachment=2]
[attachment=1]
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Glynnyboy on January 22, 2018, 01:08 PM
That looks so much better and those tyres will take plenty of pressure without the worries.
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: in2bmx on January 22, 2018, 01:33 PM
That looks so much better and those tyres will take plenty of pressure without the worries.
I Agree with Glynn ..  That looks better to me ..  :daumenhoch: :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Taipan on January 22, 2018, 02:14 PM
Now that looks the mutz nutz fella!  :4_17_5: :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Mikku on January 29, 2018, 05:53 AM
Have just seen this over on the Museum and very nice it is too, though get rid of those Stars and Stripes!! :Great_Britain: :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: griff on January 29, 2018, 01:33 PM
that looks the bollux  fistblump
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Avro on January 30, 2018, 12:07 PM
Finished and very pleased:
[attachment=1]

On to the next project.....
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Quadog on January 30, 2018, 02:35 PM
Looks great one of my favourite bikes 👍
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: in2bmx on January 30, 2018, 04:38 PM
Very nice that . Great build  :4_17_5:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: BMX1973 on January 30, 2018, 04:43 PM
Looks so fast  :4_17_5:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: boofy44 on January 30, 2018, 10:13 PM
Looks good Peter nice to see my old one finally completed after I fecked about with it for 12 years.
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: CustardLips on January 30, 2018, 10:44 PM
Looks much better Peter.  :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Swivel on February 01, 2018, 11:08 AM
Sweet! I love a Kuwi  :smitten:
Title: Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
Post by: Taipan on February 01, 2018, 12:04 PM
Did you get the Comp II's from the uk? if so who has them?  :daumenhoch: