History and Models
Please click on each picture of the different models below for much more info, pictures and others details.

Kuwahara was founded in Osaka, Japan in 1918 by Sentaro Kuwahara. It was a family run business with help from his wife and eight children that made and sold bicycles and bike parts at first in his neighborhood, then growing and expanding more. In 1925 Kuwahara began to export bicycles and parts to Russia, China and Southeast Asia. Kuwahara closed their doors for business temporarily from 1940 till 1945 due to World War II. In 1947 Kuwahara reopened again for business and Sentaro Kuwahara became the first chairman of the board of directors of the first bicycle wholesale association in Japan. In 1959 the very first and small shipment of bicycles were delivered to the USA. Sadly in 1960 founding company president Sentaro Kuwahara passed away and his Son, Masao Kuwahara took over in his place. In 1962 Kuwahara sent it's first shipment of APOLLO brand sport (10speed or 12speed road racing) bicycles to Canada. In 1968 Kuwahara started exporting bicycles to the USA as private label bikes for other companies such as Schwinn, Takara, Puch, Concord, Apollo, Azuki and others. Kuwahara had never produced their own Kuwahara brand bike outside of Japan until 1972 when Kuwahara began developing BMX bicycles for the US, Canada, European and Australian markets. During the middle 1970's the BMX boom had started and Kuwahara was regularly exporting Kuwahara brand BMX's to these countries. In 1979 Takuo Kuwahara became the new (and present) President of Kuwahara. He started up a Factory Kuwahara BMX team each in The US, Canada, Europe and Australia. In 1980 Kuwahara also started developing and exporting Mountain bikes to Canada and Australia. In 1982 Steven Spielbergs hit movie E.T. featured Kuwahara BMX's and famous riders of those days including Bob Haro. Many famous riders raced for the Factory Kuwahara teams such as Gary Ellis, Clint Miller, Joe Baumert, David Cullinan, Lee Medlin, Leo Green, Matt Harris and Kevin McNealve. Kuwahara International was founded and Kuwahara road race bikes were used by the Canadian Olympic team at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea. Kuwahara's were also used by Germany, Switzerland, and Finland of the KUWAHARA MTB mountain bike XC team for the world cup. 1991 saw Kuwahara win it's first world championship UCI MTB series in Switzerland. In 1992 due to the escalating Japanese Yen, Kuwahara closed it's Japanese export business in Osaka and shifted that part overseas where it could be more competitive. Kuwahara International was then moved to Osaka, Japan where many interesting new bicycles were designed and won many awards around the world. In 2001 Universal Studios opened an amusement park in Osaka, Japan and Kuwahara set up a small exhibition for display. With the last remaining KZ frames from the 1980's Kuwahara re-released a reproduction model in the classic E.T colors. Kuwahara is still active today and very popular in Canada and other European countries.
Click here for more about the first model
First model
The very first Kuwahara BMX. Known as the Kuwahara bike or KE-1. Single gusset frame. Manufactured from 1979 until early 1980.
Click for more about the KZ-1
The second model which was improved with a lighter and stronger frame, better geometry for increased handling. Forks and frame made by TANGE. This bike should not be confused with the E.T. Elliot bike. The KZ-1 played an active role in the U.S. BMX scene and was a Factory Kuwahara that was made in Japan.
Click for more about the KZ-2
Same as the KZ-1 with slightly different components (cranks, pedals and stem) This bike was designed for heavier and larger riders who required a tougher ride.
Click for more about the ET Model


ET-1 or

Kuwahara's most famous model that was featured in the hit E.T. movie. It used a unique frame with KZ-1 style front double gussets and rear looptail style dropouts which were painted a two-tone color like the one Elliot rode in the movie. Different models were sold as well with a choice of components. There was also a cheaper low end version of the E.T. bike made using the Apollo frame sets. The E.T. Kuwahara was the most produced bike Kuwahara ever made.
Click here for more about the NOVA
The Nova went on sale in 1983. It was designed for high performance without breaking the bank. The first generation Nova had non oval tubing and looptail style dropouts like the E.T bike. The second generation Nova had similar rear drop outs like the KZ-1 bikes.
Click here for more about the LaserLite
The ultimate Kuwahara ever made. There were two versions of this bike....the early version with oval tubing and the later model with rounder tubing.
Click here for more about the Survivor 2.5
The Survivor replaced the Nova as the more affordable yet high performance Kuwahara. The Survivor used the same KZ-84 frame and was a slightly detuned version of the LaserLite to help keep some of the costs down for riders on a smaller budget but wanted a great bike.
Click here for more about the Apollo Kuwahara
The Apollo Kuwahara was a low price entry level Kuwahara that was half the price of the Factory Kuwahara bikes and sold by Apollo cycles made under license by Kuwahara.

This part is still under construction and I am trying to translate some history from Japanese
into English. Anybody who is a Kuwahara expert please help with this. More coming soon !!
Sorry if some of this English sounds weird, it is still under construction and I need help from
other Kuwahara experts. If you can help out or know of more information, please e-mail me.