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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:10 am 
Posh Mark
Posh Mark
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:49 pm
Posts: 5981
Location: As far from the city as you can be ....
Same dropouts as my 1999 Caldera:

Image

Ignore the disc tab though :-)


Regardless of whether it was a Kilauea, Explosif or Hot its a nice looking steed :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:57 am
Posts: 6
Thanks guys! I apologize for the misleading/poorly worded thread title. At first, when I started this thread, I wasn’t 100% sure that the bike was a bona-fide Hot; I had very, very strong suspicions that it was one of the last Hots, but I wasn’t 100% certain. At this price £123, or 200 beans in my neck of the woods, I would have been extremely pleased with an Explosif. The fact that it is indeed a Hot is a bonus…

----------------------------------------
Reynolds 853 Opposite Oval
Reynolds 853: full oval/opposed oval/taper oval
----------------------------------------

After chatting via e-mail with Kona I’m positive now that this is the real deal. In my first e-mail to Kona I simply sent them the frame # and nothing else. I was hoping they had a database that would allow them to retrieve things like: size, color, model, dealer, build date, manufacturer etc. No luck though, in fact they thought the number I gave them was missing at least one digit. I replied by sending them additional info: badged as a “Hot”, 18.6” from center of BB to top of seat tube, 13cm head tube, Reynolds 853, ovalized down tube, Kona dropouts. Then I asked them if it was one of the last Hots welded-up by Altitude or Enigma. Kona replied by asking for a picture, the guy mentioned that he was running with the custom bikes back then and said he could nail down the age from some of the small details like dropouts, cable placement and decals. So, I sent them a raft load of pictures and received a very interesting response:

The bike was welded-up in Taiwan by Hodaka, it’s one of the absolute very last Hots ever made. The dropout was exclusive to the factory that also builds the bikes for their XC race team, builds shocks and wheels for a lot of the other component brands. He also said that they were the nicest custom frames too; mentioning that he ran that program for the dealers till it ran down and these frames had a way nicer finish than any of the Enigma, Altitude or any other steel builders they had on tap; pretty well level with what came out of Titanium Sports.

To this, I replied by asking if it is a bona-fide Hot and not a fake. I also asked if it was from a batch of bikes with Reynolds 853 + directionally ovalized Columbus MAX down tubes. The answer:

It’s a full Reynolds frame, they also had a Bi-Oval air hardening down tube. It was too expensive for most production bikes but it made it into the custom lineup. The bike is for sure a real Hot, if it was an Explosif it wouldn’t have that down tube.

_________________________________

To those wondering about the serial number: KH89083

My wild assed guess, stab-in-the-dark at deciphering it would be: Kona Hot 1998 19” number 083 in the batch. Perhaps someone else with another 1998 Hot could confirm?!

Again, the thread title was poorly worded and for 200 beans, I would have been very happy with an Explosif…

For me, 18” would have been better, 17” would have been ideal.

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:19 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7305
Location: Hove
That's a very interesting addition to our fund of knowledge. One of the partners in Enigma came on here at one point and gave us a few details of their involvement, beginning in December 1996. They were contracted to build two batches of frames, not one frame at a time, so it clearly makes sense for the orders that Kona received in 1998 to be fulfilled at Hodaka.

The only truly custom aspect of the deal was the paint in any case, and I would guess that the KH frames were still shipped to Bellingham, Washington State, for Tony @ Velographics to paint them to customer requirements. The standard deal covered one colour - multi-colour like Doug's above, came extra.

Hodaka is a huge Giant factory, and in my experience it has high standards. Enigma is no doubt a fine little company, but it is tiny - it just goes to show how strong is the pull of the 'US-made' tag that Kona would give its custom contract to such a small and newly-formed company in preference to Hodaka in the first place! Add to that that 853 is very difficult to work and you have probably got the best end of the deal there.

My guess about the serial is that K stands for Kona custom, H stands for Hodaka, 8 stands for 1998 and 9083 is the Hodaka control number (standard Hodaka serial numbers have four-digit control codes at the end). My 98 Explosif is H8A2 7042 - i.e., Hodaka, 1998, possibly February, control code 7042.

I am puzzled about the 18.6" seat tube. 13cm is the head tube length for a size 19, and all my Konas have the seat tube length equals the size. Not just thereabouts, exactly. So where did your missing 0.4" of seat tube disappear to? And could it be linked to the mysterious sudden loss of Altitude experienced in Chico in 1996? The plot thickens.

PS
If you amended your thread title, more people might get a chance to look at your beautiful acquisition.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:23 am 
East Midlands AEC
East Midlands AEC
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Location: Derby, UK
Quote:
If you amended your thread title, more people might get a chance to look at your beautiful acquisition.


done :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:42 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:36 pm
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Location: Yorkshire, England
Anthony wrote:
...
My guess about the serial is that K stands for Kona custom, H stands for Hodaka, 8 stands for 1998 and 9083 is the Hodaka control number (standard Hodaka serial numbers have four-digit control codes at the end). My 98 Explosif is H8A2 7042 - i.e., Hodaka, 1998, possibly February, control code 7042.


Just noticed this post and interesting it is too.

Since I know mines made in the same place
My 1997 Explosif same dropouts etc, but MAX OR
H7B3 1271


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:25 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:12 am
Posts: 2461
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Anthony wrote:
If we look at Kase1983's Kona of the Month, which I think everybody must agree is a 98 Hot, we see the same dropouts as the 97-onwards Explosifs and Kilaueas.


Actually Kase1983's 98 Hot has Ritchey drop outs as shown in other photos.

A mix of Ritchey and standard Kona drop outs were used on both the 97 and 98 Hots.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:31 pm 
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Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
crusty wrote:
For me, 18” would have been better, 17” would have been ideal.


Well I like many others would be happy to take it off your hands for the price paid :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:32 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7305
Location: Hove
andrewl wrote:
Anthony wrote:
If we look at Kase1983's Kona of the Month, which I think everybody must agree is a 98 Hot, we see the same dropouts as the 97-onwards Explosifs and Kilaueas.


Actually Kase1983's 98 Hot has Ritchey drop outs as shown in other photos.

A mix of Ritchey and standard Kona drop outs were used on both the 97 and 98 Hots.

I think they had whatever was lying around. Funnily enough, this one of Mr Zero's has rack eyes as well as standard 97-onwards dropouts.


Attachments:
1998 Hot frame size 18 in special green.jpg
1998 Hot frame size 18 in special green.jpg [ 64.4 KiB | Viewed 752 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:41 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 6:41 am
Posts: 3402
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Thought I had better finally answer the question.........TREASURE!! :D :D


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