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RADBMX.CO.UK  |  Technical & Reference Section  |  Tech and Restoration  |  Kuwahara Laserlite
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Author Topic: Kuwahara Laserlite  (Read 2167 times)

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Offline Avro

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Kuwahara Laserlite
« 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:

* P1020092.JPG (241.3 kB. 1066x800 - viewed 52 times.)
Wanted: Rhino III or Shimano frame set

Online Quadog

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2017, 03:25 PM »
well cool look forward to seeing it finished 👍
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Offline BMX1973

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #2 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.
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Offline MartyC

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #3 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:
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Better to crash and burn than fade away

Offline bobafett

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2017, 11:09 PM »
Gonna look sweet  8)
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Offline griff

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2017, 11:48 PM »
Look forward to seeing it built Peter
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Offline monkian

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2017, 05:22 PM »
Come on Peter, pull your finger out mate  ::) ;D ;)
Wanted: SR MP-131 Pedals :)

Offline Avro

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #7 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:

* P1020093.JPG (244.87 kB. 1066x800 - viewed 45 times.)


Behind the head tube, chrome is very thin and peppered with tiny pitting:

* P1020101.JPG (541.95 kB. 1066x800 - viewed 44 times.)


Top tube, trying to show the bubbling beneath the chrome:

* P1020096.JPG (143 kB. 640x480 - viewed 363 times.)


Top tube again:

* P1020100.JPG (382.88 kB. 1066x800 - viewed 49 times.)


Bottom bracket area, not too bad, some chips and pits.

* P1020097.JPG (133.5 kB. 640x480 - viewed 361 times.)


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.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 11:43 AM by Avro »
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Wanted: Rhino III or Shimano frame set

Offline boofy44

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #8 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.
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Offline BMX1973

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 08:04 PM »

I would leave the frame as is. Bit of polish should do wonders. 8)
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Offline monkian

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #10 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 ;)
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Wanted: SR MP-131 Pedals :)

Offline in2bmx

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2017, 10:17 AM »
Looking good Peter  :daumenhoch:

I'd keep the Chrome OG   :daumenhoch:
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Offline Avro

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #12 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.
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Wanted: Rhino III or Shimano frame set

Offline monkian

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2017, 01:31 PM »
Christian (Hunterdubber) has some original decals for this if you're interested ;)
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Wanted: SR MP-131 Pedals :)

Offline Midschoolfool

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2017, 01:36 PM »
Autosol is incredible on chrome.
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Offline griff

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2017, 12:40 AM »
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Offline Mikku

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #16 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:
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From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Offline Avro

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #17 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.


* P1020146.JPG (295.1 kB. 800x1066 - viewed 41 times.)


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.


* P1020148.JPG (275.72 kB. 1066x800 - viewed 43 times.)


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.
Wanted: Rhino III or Shimano frame set

Online Quadog

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #18 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 👍

Offline Mikku

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #19 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:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Offline Avro

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #20 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.


* P1020186.JPG (539.86 kB. 1066x800 - viewed 44 times.)


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.


* P1020191.JPG (405.97 kB. 800x1066 - viewed 43 times.)
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 02:56 PM by Avro »
Wanted: Rhino III or Shimano frame set

Offline Avro

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #21 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.

« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 12:57 PM by Avro »
Wanted: Rhino III or Shimano frame set

Offline Avro

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #22 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.


* P1020196.JPG (308.01 kB. 1066x800 - viewed 38 times.)


* laserlite04.jpg (229.13 kB. 900x1222 - viewed 37 times.)


* laserlite07.jpg (228.39 kB. 900x1239 - viewed 36 times.)
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 01:06 PM by Avro »
Wanted: Rhino III or Shimano frame set

Offline BMX1973

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #23 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.


Offline Avro

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Re: Kuwahara Laserlite
« Reply #24 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
Wanted: Rhino III or Shimano frame set

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