Newbie to Old School BMX

Author:  rhino_mac [ Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:34 am ]
Post subject:  Newbie to Old School BMX

OK, here's my first post - please be kind! :-)

I used to ride BMX in the early 80's - Unfortunately we weren't well off enough for something like a Haro or a Kuwahara so I had a Pirhana MK2 and raced at Poole Panthers BMX track. My parents bought it from Merry Cycles - the only place you could buy BMX in Dorset and Neil Merry now owns Hotwheels, the UK importer! I still see him from time to time..........

I'm thinking of buying an old school BMX now I'm well into my 30's and can afford the bike I wanted when I was 10.

I'm trying to decide on whether to buy parts and put a bike together, or buy a complete bike. As a complete beginner, I'd appreciate any advise or experience people have had that are in the same position as me. I'm tempted with building one up as I've had experience finding parts all over the world for an old 2 stroke GP replica motorbike.

I really fancy something that my friends has back in the day that made me a little envious. Perhaps something like a Kuwahara in Chrome, or a Haro or Skyway. At the time I always wanted a Diamond Back - a friend had a Viper but that wasn't quite what I'm thinking. Definately a bike from the early 80's - I had a new GT in 1990 and it just wasn't the same.

As I say, any advise or suggestions (particularly piccies) would be appreciated as I'm stuck with where to start.


Author:  perry [ Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:38 am ]
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fill yer boots

Author:  losidan [ Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:50 pm ]
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there is an absolutely mint kuwahara frame going on rad at the mo...if i had the money....

Author:  BENDYCAT ELEVENTEEN [ Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:40 pm ]
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the more you want it - you know the more it's gonna cost :lol: :lol:

B :wink:

Author:  rhino_mac [ Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:29 pm ]
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Well, I've decided - gonna do a Kuwahara.

First parts arrived today - a Suntour Arrow seat clamp and a Suntour Headlock (NOS - still in Blister Pack!).

Some way to go I think......................

Author:  BENDYCAT ELEVENTEEN [ Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:53 pm ]
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there worth, it it but £££ :lol:

good luck mate - show pictures of how it's coming along in a thread :wink:

B :wink:

Author:  losidan [ Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:21 pm ]
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look forward to seeing that when done

Author:  rhino_mac [ Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:18 am ]
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Well, I've bought the frame and bars. It's a 1983 Kuwahara Laserlite KZ83. I have a loooooong list of parts to locate but I guess the most important will be:

Kuwahara Laserpost
Laserlite Forks or Tange TRX
Redline Flight 400 cranks
Suntour XC2 Bear Trap Pedals
Araya 7X rims in crome

But to be honest, the frame/bars have skint me this month so I'll have to hold on till next month before I begin my search for more expensive parts.

So I build it into a "rider" more quickly, I was thinking of putting modern Flight cranks on it until some mint 400's come up. Any thoughts on this? Is this sacrilige? The 400's have a built in spider but the modern ones are just arms? Can I buy a Sugino spider and use this with the modern flight cranks? Any help appreciated

I'll start a new thread when the frame arrvies and post pictures of the build as it happens!

Author:  BENDYCAT ELEVENTEEN [ Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

you should be able to use a spider with the modern flight cranks as they have the same fit

the 400's are going to be big money

around 70- 120 for 7x in mint chrome

forks 45 for trx in mint and the laser lites will be hard to find and cost when you do

pedals are around but come in a different price's

post ££ when around

it gonna be a nice bike if done to carpet queen and not ridden - you can get cheaper parts if it's for a rider - and don't forget this is your bike so you can do what you like with it :wink:

riders can be very nice and look the part - just don't leave it any where or another old bmx might ride it of thinking that it's just some chav ridding it and a shame to let it go to him and he might want to do it up himself :lol:

have a look here at some parts

cheers B :wink:

Author:  rhino_mac [ Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:50 pm ]
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Thanks for this - great help, especially the link to parts. I can't believe I threw out a 1980 Haro Lightning plate about 5 years ago when I moved house. Idiot!!

I reckon it'll cost the guts of £1200 by the time it's finished if I source all the right parts.......maybe a little more if I restore the chrome. There's no hurry to do it but I'm tempted to give the old school racing a bit of a bash. I'm only about 2 miles away from Iford BMX track. I'll have to decide what to do with the restoration based on what I'll do with the bike - no point in rechroming if it's going to bash round a track!

Cranks look expensive. I'll go with the Tange forks and a cheapy lay back post until I can find the real deal. Should keep the costs down until the parts come up. Still, it's fun looking!

Author:  Raymond_mole [ Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:24 pm ]
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Welcome to the club Mr Mac.

Looking forward to the old skool race scene down at Iford. Count me in when it starts up again.

I dragged the Ripper out of its resting place the other day and realised it needs a lot more work doing to before it see's a track again.

Here comes more wallet punishment :wink:


Author:  rhino_mac [ Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:20 am ]
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Ahhhh, Mr Mole!!!

Get yourself over to for Ripper parts! I've "almost" got everything for the Laserlite - just need...........................

...............chain, crank, pedals, heatset, brakes, tyres, tubes, seat, pads.

Actually, there may be some way to go yet!

But seriously, I sourced some really hard to find bit like the seatpost and wheels/hub from there for very good prices. Very helpful chaps indeed!

I'm into it for £700 now! and today's the first day since I won the frame I've not bought anything. Don't tell the wife!

Looking forward to Iford - should be a crack!

Author:  showtime [ Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:23 am ]
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Laserlites had Tange TRX forks fitted (in most cases) which can still be found in NOS condition for sensible money! just add the correct stickers & go :wink:

the TRX were the slightly ovalled forks
the perfectly round forks were off the KZ1 & are Mega rare & Mega expensive!

Author:  rhino_mac [ Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:45 pm ]
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Thanks for this.

I got a NOS set of Tange TRX's from Alans BMX recently, and graphics from Del from RadBMX so I'm sorted thanks!

Only a set of Flight cranks and a couple of other bits and bobs and I can start putting it together!

Author:  oldschool [ Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:33 pm ]
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PK RIPPER nuff said :lol: :D :twisted:

Author:  skidmark [ Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Kuwahara


I noticed you're after the ET bike "Kuwahara".

I think I can help you there. I don't have the bike, but I've got a small wicker picnic basket and a stuffed ET doll. If you cut the flaps off the picnic basket and strap it to the front of your bike it would be very realistic, looking just like the film!

Let me know if you're interested. In return I'm looking for a 6 Million Dollar Man action figure with Bionic Eye, which must be in working order.

Author:  rhino_mac [ Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:11 pm ]
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Right, I've finished the Laserlite! Sorry for the huge post, but I put up a thread on RAD and have just come back to this one. Piccies and spec below:

In the end I wasn't thrilled with the condition of the frame so I had the frame completely restored and rechromed including repairing the damaged drop outs:

From this:


To this


And from this:


To this:


That set the tone for the build and I decided to build one as close to factory spec in NOS or reconditioned parts as possible. Particular issues were the OGK Cobra Grips, Elina Aero Turbo seat and finding a mint 400
flight crank with the correct bottom bracket and end caps.

Correct sealed bearing Sugino bottom bracket


Show mounted only 180mm 400 Flight Cranks in mint condition, NOS Sugino chainring, NOS Itzumi chain and mint XCII pedals with NOS cages


NOS Chrome Araya 7X, NOS Suntour Sealed Bearing hubs built using NOS Chrome Asahi spokes and a NOS Suntour 16t freewheel, all original factory spec. NOS Tange TRX forks.



This is the finished bike:



Since these pictures have been taken, I've added the chain adjuster to the drive side and got the XCII decals on the pedals.

Final spec ended up as:

Kuwahara Laserlite Frame (show chromed)
Kuwahara Laserbars (show chromed)
Kuwahara Laserpost NOS
Tange TRX Forks NOS
Suntour Powerstem in black NOS
OGK Cobra Grips
DC Tech 3 Lever NOS
DC Brake Cable NOS
DC MX1000 back brake with self centre device
DC Brake Blocks NOS
Elina Aero Turbo Saddle
Suntour Arrow Seat Clamp
Sugino 400 Flight Crank (show bike mounted only)
Sugino Sealed Bottom Bracket
Sugino Chainring bolts
Suntour XCII Pedals (mint bodies, NOS Cages)
Araya 7X 20 x 1.75 Chrome Rims NOS
Suntour Sealed Bearing Hubs NOS
Asahi 194mm Chrome Spokes NOS
Asahi Black Spoke Nipples NOS
Comp 3 Rainbow Label NOS in 2.15/1.75 Fat/Skinny combo
Chain Adjuster NOS
Repro Padset

I had to use low flange hubs to build up the wheelset but I've finally tracked down some NOS high flange ones in red. I'm getting them re-annodised in black with new decals, then built up onto another set of chrome Araya 7X's I've got along with new 184mm Asahi spokes. This means the only thing not original factory spec is the tyres. So if anyone has a NOS or minty set of IRC Racer 80X skinwall tryes, I'm interested.

Hope you like it - it's my first build and it's been a real labour of love. Don't ask how much it cost (I had to remortgage the house for those cranks).

The only problem is that I'm still left without a rider so I'm looking at either a Diamond Back or a Redline to bomb around the local track on!

Author:  Jamiedyer [ Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Kuwahara

Stunning build mate. 8)
Sit back, pull up a chair and a beer and bask in its glory.
Remember the next ones a rider :wink:


Author:  BENDYCAT ELEVENTEEN [ Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:07 am ]
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wow she a beaut :shock:

what was the cost of the re-chrome

top end work and a bloody great job done there 8) :wink:

glad to see the cloth on the rock :wink:

cheers B

bring it to the london charity run :wink:

Author:  Raymond_mole [ Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:09 am ]
Post subject: 

Mr Mac that looks the cats nads.

Are your hubs ready for the anodisers? Got a job lot building up here just awaiting your little babies.

Great build dude


Author:  BENDYCAT ELEVENTEEN [ Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:23 pm ]
Post subject: 

Raymond_mole wrote:
Mr Mac that looks the cats nads.

Are your hubs ready for the anodisers? Got a job lot building up here just awaiting your little babies.

Great build dude


leave my nads outer it :lol:

Author:  kaiser [ Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:28 pm ]
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Awesome job 8) 8) another little bit of my childhood back :)

Author:  reanimation [ Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:49 pm ]
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What an awesome turn around. Total childhood dreams!

Tell us more about the chrome job its an amazing resto!

Author:  jake7877 [ Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:59 am ]
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nice job done

Author:  rhino_mac [ Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:17 am ]
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For anyone that might be interested, the Laserlite is now split down into parts and is for sale on RadBMX. The fun was in the building/restoring and now I keep tripping over it in the dinig room. Might have a look around and build an old Diamond Back as a rider!

The for sale thread can be found here:

For those interested in the chrome job, it was done by Alderney Plating, Thrush Road, Poole, Dorset. They repaired the rear drop outs and chromed the frame, bars and black chromed a Hatta MX2 headset as they are unobtainium now. All in for £200.

The original thread on RadBMX detailing the restoration/build can be found here for those that are interested!

Author:  reanimation [ Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:06 pm ]
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I joined Rad to take a peek at the wares FS, I had no idea the bits were worth quite so much. not dissing at all cos I'm sure its worth it but it was just a big surprise despite knowing that this stuff is well lusted. :)

Awesome bike hopefully someone can build it up as well as you again.

Author:  rhino_mac [ Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:01 pm ]
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Scary prices indeed. Somebody warned me a Laserlite would be expensive to build and they weren't wrong!!

Still, the one thing with rare expensive hard to find parts is they get snapped up pretty quick when they get put up for sale. Most of the bike is now sold.

Next one will be a rider, not a show pony!

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