Readers’ Rides: Michael’s 1990 Kuwahara Tiger Restomod


Readers’ Rides: Michael’s 1990 Kuwahara Tiger Restomod

When Michael saw Lucas’ submission a few weeks back, he decided it was time to send us his recently-completed project: a 1990 Kuwahara Tiger restomod. This project was very involved, so let’s check out the bike in detail below!

Hey The Radavist! After thoroughly enjoying the post on Lucas’ 1995 RockRider restomod, I thought I’ll throw another restomod from Germany in the ring.

This is about my once very unloved 1990 Kuwahara Tiger: The bike – before it came into my hands – was initially left to rot on a random Berlin street corner along with a bogged down seatpost and bottom bracket shells, chipped of paint, and all sorts of terribly abused relics of what once was a very capable mountain bike. The broken components aside, it did not show any structural damage, though.

Yet I couldn’t withstand this nicely lugged, Japanese quattro-butted Ishiwata steel frame, so I took it home and did, what this page thought me to do: Put a totally unreasonable amount of time and resources into a project that ends in me having another bike that’s just about 5% percent different from my other bikes. The frame itself was for free though, so I had that going for me…

I started with removing the seatpost, as this seemed to indicate the further success of this project. Spoiler: I did not listen to the signs the stuck seat post sent me and after trying all the moderately violent options, I ended up using sodium hydroxide in order to melt the seatpost out of the seat-tube (H U G E  M E S S – I’ll never ever gonna do that again). After that, the removal of the corroded bottom bracket shells, the rear cable-stop and the pump pegs were almost meditative.

After that, I gave to frame to my frame builder in order to remove the rear u-brake bosses and put on cantilever bosses on fork and seatstays to accommodate 650B wheels. I also had some additional mid blade braze-ons on the fork in order to install a lowrider if necessary. We also re-cut any thread of the frame and added the option of internal dynamo-cable routing on the fork.

Next was removing the old paint and repaint the whole thing.

Components-wise: Its a wild mix of stuff I had lying around and other stuff that I painstakingly sourced throughout the internet. In the end,  that came together way better than I ever could have imagined.

Build Spec:

  • Frame: Kuwahara Tiger with 650B cantilever-mod
  • Wheels: rear: DT Swiss Hugi240 hub with a Ryde Andra rim, front: Shutter Precision SV9 also with the Andra rim
  • Tires: Panaracer Gravelling 650-48mm for the summer, in winter I put on a pair of Rene Herse’s 48mm Juniper Ridge
  • Transmission: Microshift 2×9 bar-end shifters, Ultegra front derailleur, Shimano XT (1st gen., I believe) rear derailleur
  • Crank: Shimano XTR FC-M900 with 46/30 T.A. chainrings and a 103mm Neco titanium bottom bracket
  • Brakes: Avid Single Digit Ti
  • Seatpost and stem: Velo Orange
  • Saddle: Rivet Pearl
  • Lighting: Supernova E3Pro and E3 Taillight
  • Handelbar: Richey Venturemax WCS



We’d like to thank all of you who submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared here at The Radavist. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!