The guys over at ECI hooked me up with a 2009/2010 Kuwahara Laserlite Team to play with for a couple of weeks. You may have seen that I reviewed the Kuwahara cruiser and the 2007 Laserlite Team, and thought they were pretty damn awesome for a complete bike. Actually, I'm surprised they aren't more popular, not because of the history of the brand name but the quality of the product and value for money.
So what's changed from 2007 to now? On the surface the main change from the 07 model is the paint and the decals. The nice matt black look with the silver and white stickers is a real winner. But there is a whole lot more to it than that. The 07 model had a rear end problem, where the chain would rub the frame, that's now gone, actually the whole rear end is different, they have gone for hydroformed tapered tubing. Not only is the chainstay well clear of the chain but the frame also feels stiffer and would be a little lighter too.
The laserlite comes loaded with nice parts like Funn stem and cranks, sealed cassette hubs with envy rims, cromo bars and forks. Both the pedals and the seat post were down spec'd from the 07 model but should still do the job. As I said last time the bars and forks are fine, but if you were going to customize anything on the bike that would be a good place to start. The handlebars feel a lot like the S&M Slams but are unbranded, if you are planning on doing some jumping you might want to look at some bars that you can rely on. The forks are a little heavier than most after market forks, so you could go for something lighter but it's not necessary.
I have always been impressed with how the bike feels right out of the box. It's a very comfortable ride no matter what the conditions. It feels great accelerating, cornering or jumping. It has great geometry for racing. My first test ride is always the backyard track, that's packed full of tight corners and jumps. On that type of track you rely heavily on a bike that is well balanced and easy to control, and the kuwahara laserlite is just that. It passed that test with flying colours, those Maxxis Holy Rollers have some good grip on the tight clay corners. The next test is the full size race track, and the Laserlite didn't let us down there either. It felt just as comfortable at full speed on the full sized race track as it did on the smaller track. The only thing I would want out of the kuwahara is an option for a longer frame, but that said the kuwahara isn't lacking in knee room, I didn't hit my knees once, it's just a perference thing. The Laserlite Team would suit most riders over the age of 14. If you are over 6 foot tall, however, you might want to consider something longer but the Laserlite could surprise you.
Overall the Kuwahara Laserlite team is a great looking bike, the matt finish, and decals of the frame are awesome.
A great complete bike for the intermediate level rider abs with just a couple of small upgrades it would be perfect for experts and pros too.
|Value for money:||5/5|
Check out www.kuwaharabmx.com for more info
Kuwahara is distributed in Australia by ECI (www.eciimports.com)
Reviewed by Shane Jenkins/bmxultra.com November 13 2009