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Kuwahara Plucks Three Pre-Grands Pickups

November 13, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Kuwahara Picks Up Three Before Grands

In a tasty bit of pre-Grands scoop, News has learned that Factory Kuwahara has added three new faces to the tent, who will be suited-up and ready to rip for the Green and Yellow, come first round in Tulsa.

TP Todd Parry comes over after 22 months on the Madera squad. TP is currently sitting NAG 2 in 46-50 Cruiser and NAG 8 in 46-Over Expert, and will bring the new colors to a battle royale in two of the most contentious classes in the building (so be sure to stay for the very-last main event of the weekend; it NEVER disappoints).

On the pre-Grands switch, TP told NEWS:

Todd Parry joins Factory KuwaharaI am grateful and excited for the opportunity Troy and Kelly Daniels have given me to ride for a company with such a long history in BMX as Kuwahara.

I will do my best on and off the track to uphold the winning tradition that all the Kuwahara riders before me have worked so hard to put in place.

Adding to the new-face-flav are 28-35x/26-30 Cruiser crusher, Mark Shaw and 12x jammer, Jarren Able. Here’s some background Kuwa sent over on them:

Mark Shaw
Mark Shaw joins Factory KuwaharaI started racing at the age of 8 and have been hooked ever since. For 2016 I will be stepping up to the 28-35 expert class as well as continuing to race 26-30 cruiser. I recently left my home in Arizona and moved to Seattle to continue my sales career with Rockstar energy drinks. When not I am not working or riding I like to spend time with friends and family, go to concerts, bowling, golfing, or just hang out at the local pub. I am very excited to be a part of the Kuwahara family and excited to see what the 2016 BMX season will bring!

Jarren Able
Jarren Able joins Factory KuwaharaJarren started racing just before his 7th birthday. BMX was supposed to be his “2nd” sport to his Martial Arts where he is a Black Belt in Taekwondo. Once he got his first win, it became his #1 passion. He shot up to expert almost immediately and has been going hard at it ever since. He loves the energy of a big national, traveling and all the cool people he has met from all over.

Backing that up, Kelly said:

We are excited for the 2016 season with the addition of Todd, Mark and Jarren to our already-stellar roster.
Kuwahara is ready to MAKE SOME NOISE–on the track and in the stands!

Be sure to seek-out Kuwahara at the Grands to learn more about the team, and their frames, complete bikes and pitwear.

Links

Kuwahara USA Website






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Kuwahara Teams Up With Cape Crusader

July 21, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Willem LeBelle joins Kuwahara Factory

Willem LeBelle, the dude we have taken to calling “The Cape Crusader,” based on his home turf of Cape Cod, Mass, recently joined forces with the superheroes of the Great Northwest at Kuwahara. Word is the 12x is training hard, spending time pushing sleds and powering-up at Shawn DiPrete’s “DiPrete Strength & Power.”

Here’s some further 4-1-1 on The Cape Crusader:

Willem started racing BMX in June of 2014, and while he’s had a short career so far, he is Massachusetts state champion, district 1–with just under 14,000 points, and qualified for the 2015 World Championships in Belgium. His goal this year is to earn top 10 NAG, and to join the 20,000-point club.

Willem enjoys racing at nationals, but when there’s nothing on the schedule, he races at Egg Harbour, NJ and his favorite track, Chesapeake BMX in Severn, MD. Since Willem’s first BMX race, he has had three “BMX” life goals – Compete in the Olympics, Become World Champion and be the “face” or star racer for Kuwahara when he grows up!

You can imagine how stoked he was when the opportunity to race for Factory Kuwahara presented itself.

Pretty impressive stats on the board so far, having just started racing a little over a year ago. And a straight-A student, to boot! No doubt the support from Troy and Kelly at Kuwahara, coupled with ongoing training from Shawn will be a huge help in taking Willem to where he wants to be. Congrats all-around on getting together.

Links

Kuwahara USA Website

DiPrete Strength & Power on Facebook

Kuwahara Adds Hutchinson Family

May 20, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Hutchinson Kuwahara Pickup

Just-ahead of the Music City Nationals, Kuwahara has a hot-tip on some hotshoe pickups. The Hutchinson family of Ohio. Three riders, and a dialed-in dad who has managed a successful team before (Liberty BMX), all showing up in the Kuwa-colors in Nashville.

Here’s a little bit on the Hutchinson fam:

Graydon (10x) has been racing just under three years and has made a name for himself on the local and National circuit. His passion for racing has earned him multiple State titles, Gold Cup plates, and most recently NAG #5. When he’s not carving berms and clearing big doubles, he plays hockey, baseball, and other competitive sports.

Myles “The Boss” (8x) is the fun-loving kid of the family who is just out to have a great time with his friends and family at the track. Make no mistake, when he’s in race mode, he can pull some big moves, landing him on five national podiums last year.

Laura, a hockey player by trade, took a try at the new Hutch family sport. A year and a half later, she would finish NAG #3 in 31-35 Ladies Cruiser. Laura was out for most of the 2014 season having her 1st baby, Alise Hutchinson who arrived on Christmas eve.

Gray “Big Hutch” is a retired, Active Duty Soldier, who manages his family’s BMX fun. He’s a USA BMX Certified Coach and spent last year as TM of Liberty BMX, taking the team to the National #2 Trophy Team spot. Gray has a long history of riding bikes from racing, to ramps and street riding.

Factory Kuwahara Team Manager, Kelly Daniels told News:
“With a growing contingent on the East Coast, the Hutch’s were a logical choice. You can bet Kuwahara will be running some serious team sheets back-East.”

The BMX News Nikons will be sharply-focused on the Hutchinsons in Nashville, so keep an eye on the story and photo coverage for more on this story.

Links

Kuwahara BMX Website





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David Archibald Joins Factory Kuwahara

July 12, 2014 by · Comments Off 

David Archibald on Factory Kuwahara

Here’s some factory team news leading into this weekend’s Las Vegas Nationals. 41-45 Cruiser star David Archibald from Washington State has shed the black-out kit in favor of Kuwahara factory Yellow, Green and Black.

Ahead of his first race in the colors this weekend, News obtained these photos of Arch getting some time in on the new bike. Here’s what he told us about the joining up with the Kuwie clan:

I was looking to get back on the factory scene, Kelly and Troy Daniels have been very supportive of me in the past few years, and I have always looked up to Troy, as a racer, back in the day. Kuwahara was big time in the 80s with Hall Of Fame riders. Given that history of excellence, and the great people involved in the program, I feel privileged to wear the Kuwahara name. Las Vegas will be my first race for the team, and I am looking to continue the chase for the amateur cruiser title with Kuwahara.

In its modern incarnation, Kuwahara is a creature of the Northwest, revived nearly two years ago by former Kuwahara factory flyer, Troy Daniels, and his wife Kelly. All stuff you know, we’re sure, but just in case you’re joining the program, already in progress, or just got sprung from a Turkish prison, we thought we’d mention it anyway.

Speaking of Troy, here’s what he had to say about getting David on board the program.

I’ve known Dave since he was about 10 years old & he was as intense then as he is now. I remember Dave riding his bike to the track – sometimes I would give him a ride home. Fast forward 30 years and I found out that he is still racing & is as dedicated as ever. He is the one of the longest card carrying ABA members still racing! Since bringing Kuwahara back to the USA in 2012 we’ve had several discussions about what an asset he would be to our team – we finally made it happen!

We love it when a good plan comes together!

Keep an eye on the results from Vegas this weekend, and as the 2014 season marches toward Tulsa–we’re sure David’s name will be up top in 41-45.

Bike Check

David Archibald Kuwahara Bike Check

Frame Kuwahara Pro 24
Grips: ODI
Bars: Crupi
Brakes: Shimano
Number Plate: Potter
Stem: ESP
Headset FSA
Fork: Answer Dagger
Hubs: Stealth
Tires: Tioga
Rims: Sun Envy
Cranks: Shimano
Sprocket: Shimano
Seat Clamp: Salsa
Seat Post: Thompson
Seat: XCL
Pedals: Shimano
Bottom Bracket: Chris King
Chain: SRAM
Uniform: Fly

Links

Kuwahara USA Website





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Throwback Thursday: South Park

July 4, 2013 by · Comments Off 

BMX News Throwback Thursday South Park

The 1982 NBL Grands at South Park was one of the most memorable BMX Races of that era. At 263 motos, it would rate as a medium-sized national today, but it left almost 2,000 riders and their families with BMX memories that would last a lifetime.

As we pack up the BMX News rig for the haul East to The USA BMX Stars & Stripes Nationals, we thought that we’d serve up this Throwback Thursday tidbit from sister site, BMX Action Online–the 10-page story and photo coverage of the 1982 race, with photos by Bob Osborn.

The iconic cover photo of Greg Grubbs, is one of my personal favorite BMX Photos, and you can bet I’ll be perched on the last turn this weekend, waiting for the chance to snap something half as good.

Some of the brands you’ll find in the PDF linked below are still in full effect today. Redline, Kuwahara, GT–all still in our viewfinder at every race we go to.

Watch for BMX News coverage from South Park, starting Friday night, and throughout the weekend.

—Mike Carruth

Links

Download the BMX Action Online “Short” of South Park 1982 (PDF)

Follow @BMXNews on Twitter for Updates This Weekend





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Kuwahara Rising Sun Weekend

June 26, 2013 by · Comments Off 

BMX Racing News - Kuwahara Rising Sun Weekend

If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, point that GPS to the “Track of the Rising Sun” (aka Columbia Basin BMX in Richland, WA) this weekend. Kuwahara USA has put together a megawatt BMX Weekend that promises to be all-kinds of fun. Two clinics, three races– including a midnight race celebrating the 13th anniversary of the track. You will also get plenty of hangaround time with a couple of the Kuwie-crew’s prime movers.

Jeff Upshaw and Alexis Vergara will be on-site to make the weekend fun, and informative. We know how awesome Jeff’s clinics are, and have heard, through the Nor-Cal BMX grapevine, that Alexis also brings a BMX learning experience riders get a lot out of.

Check the image above for the details.

Links

Kuwahara USA Website

A Throwback and a Go-Back for Upshaw

December 20, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Jeff Upshaw Back on Kuwahara

You might think the photo above is a “Throwback Thursday” homage to our friend Jeff Upshaw. Well, it is and it isn’t. It IS a throwback…the photo was taken February 14, 2009 at the NBL Columbus Fairgrounds race. Here we have Uppie leading an Elite Men’s moto, decked in the colors of his new sponsor of the time, Kuwahara. And see…nice transition to the news of the day.

Fast-forward almost four years. Kuwahara made their exit from the US market…then, just last month, announced the brand was coming back to US shores under new ownership, and with a new plan for BMX market superiority.

In the spirit of gettin’ the band back together, Jeff and the Kuwahara USA peeps got to talking, and decided to bring the sizzle back for 2013. Jeff has been spending much of his time with everyday life, selling cars at a Ford dealership in Ohio (quite successfully, we are told). But BMX has never been far off Jeff’s 2-do list, and he gets out to the Dayton Indoor with frequency, to keep his flow flowing and his skills upshizzle-sharp.

No firm plans on which races Jeff will be hitting (as you remember from an earlier BMX News story, he is racing A-Pro at the moment, so lots of options), but we wanted to bring you the news of Jeff’s return to the team. it’s a solid story of good people coming together to make it happen for a long-beloved brand.

We also managed to get the 2013 Kuwahara team roster along with the Upshaw lowdown.

1. Jeff Upshaw – A Pro

2. Sienna Fines – 13 Girls

3. Phillip Keiser – 19-27 Expert

4. Bart McDaniel – 46-50 Cruiser & 41+ Expert

5. Eric “E-Dogg” Schreiber – 41-45 Cruiser & 41+ Expert

6. Alan Porter – 46-50 Cruiser & 41+ Expert

7. Chris Jeffery – 46-50 Cruiser

8. Scott Woodworth – 41-45 Cruiser & 41+ Expert

9. Troy Daniels – 46-50 Cruiser

Plus a few young hotshoes in the works!

We thinks there’s gonna to be a lot of Kuwahara yellow in those 46-50 cruiser main events. Congrats to Jeff and the whole Kuwie crew.

The latest and greatest Kuwahara product will be hitting the shores and the stores in the next month or two, so keep your eyes here on BMX News for the latest. Meanwhile, give their website an eyeball or two.

Links

Kuwahara USA Website

Kuwahara BMX Comes Back to USA

October 31, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Kuwahara BMX comes back to US Market

For most of us on the North American land mass, Kuwahara is a dearly-departed BMX brand name, taking its place on the shelf with other head tube badges we used to rock, until we no longer did.

It’s strange, too, because while Kuwahara has been absent from our corner of the BMX universe, they have been selling strong in Europe, Australia, and Asia. The world, does, indeed, go on without us, I guess.

In fact, French supercross star, Laëtitia Le Corguillé famously piloted a Kuwahara to many a World Cup win these past few years. Without fail, each time we saw her, someone commented “man, she needs to get on a more modern bike.” She was, but just not according to our radar.

Kuwahara was huge in the US BMX scene in the 1980s, when bike industry legend Howie Cohen brought the Japanese brand to America, via his Everything Bicycles distribution company. EB was one of the strongest, and most ardent proponents of BMX racing product in the world, and Howie’s master salesmanship, and “win/win/win” operating philosophy made things wonderful for distributor, dealer and consumer.

In the early 80s, Kuwahara was the name sponsor for the ABA Grands, and for years, they fielded a Factory team that had some of the era’s hottest pros and amateurs in the jersey.

As BMX racing and freestyle began to sputter out in the early 1990s, Howie and EB made their exit from the Kuwahara name in the USA. The brand was dormant here until 2006, when a new group came in to relaunch the brand.

Ryan and Natarsha Birk, (now of Answer BMX fame) came on to lead the sales and marketing duties, and the brand had hotshoe representation on the track from Matt Pohlkamp and an early-teen Justin Posey.

Sunk by “Safety”

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was a law that was due to take effect in 2009 which, among other things, would require extraordinary laboratory testing of products marketed to children. The law sought to stamp out lead-based paint and other harmful chemicals in products that children might come in contact with. And while it makes sense to protect children from the harmful effects of lead based paint and chemicals, the manner in which the law demanded manufacturers perform the testing (including testing of all products already on US retail shelves, and in warehouses around the world) made many manufacturers abandon the US market, and made others form gargantuan lobbying efforts to repeal the already-signed law.

On December 11, 2008, BMX News reported the announcement, by Kuwahara, that they were withdrawing their products from the US market, effective immediately. Christmas orders would not be shipped, and Ryan said they got a lot of mail from understandably-upset customers who would have no Kuwahara for Christmas.

In the end, enforcement of the law was suspended until the US Government could figure out a more reasonable approach. The resulting regs made it much easier for manufacturers to comply with the law without putting themselves out of business.

New Day On The Way

Kuwahara BMX USA cover of BMX Action Magazine 1984
Fast forward four trips around the sun, and the brand from the land of the Rising Sun is back on our shores. This time around, it’s former Factory Kuwahara racer from the Seattle Area, Scott Woodworth, who is at the helm. Riding shotgun with some involvement in the new effort is another Factory Kuwie name, Troy Daniels. Troy hit the cover of the January 1984 BMX Action (above) on his new Kuwahara 24-incher from the 83 NBL Grands in Nashville (yes, it used to be Mid-December before you found out what happened at the NBL Grands in early September).

Coming in hot will be two models to start with, the high-end race Lachesis (pronounced by most as “Lak-esis”), and the very approachable Clotho. Trivia: In Greek mythology, Lachesis and Clotho were two of three daughters of Zeus (the other being Atropos)–the three spun the so-called “thread of life,” which was responsible for the destiny of humanity. Pretty serious stuff when you gate up aboard that kind of legend.

Lachesis will be available first in a frame-only offering, to be joined soon after (early Spring 2013) by a complete version of both models.

Kuwahara BMX USA racing jersey by Race Day Designs
Scott and Troy will be bringing the bikes out to the USA BMX Grands to show off what they have coming to market, and to get folks re-acquainted with the Kuwahara brand. We will keep you informed on their progress as things unfold, as well as a forthcoming team effort who will be rockin the above jersey by our pal Brad Cloutier at Race Day Designs.

Links

Kuwahara BMX USA on Facebook

Coming Soon: kuwaharausa.com Website





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