This story is about the bike that made me want a bike again…..
The short back story….
As a young boy who fought to purchase his beloved 1989 HK-II viewtopic.php?f=6&t=143697
in 1990 only to lose her for the third time towards the end of 1993, I moved on to replace the Fisher in late 1993 by an M900 equipped Extreme Attitude (build thread to come), this bike like its predecessor was ridden extensively through 94 & 95 before sitting 18 months out while I was living elsewhere only to be stolen a couple of months after we began commuting again in 1997.
This time the bike uninsured was unable to be replaced and I simply forgot about bikes as life took over. Fast forward to 2002 / 2003 in what seemed an eternity not owning or evening thinking about bikes where I was rudely and suddenly jolted when a good friend of mine turned up one day with his K2 mounted to the roof of his car.
It was so striking it looked so purposeful no nonsense and at the time appeared like the next generation of bikes - so far removed from the fat Aluminium tubed bikes I had so hankered for in the early nineties that perhaps sported the latest pair of Manitou's.
My Welsh mate was a late nineties adventure racer who came from a running background and had a few years travelling around racing through deserts, dense bush and doing all sorts of crazy things as the sport was carving itself a niche and a formula. Anyway the story goes he was racing somewhere (I'll need to check) in 1998 and a mate of his was a sponsored rider who rode the bike in question. He mentioned he liked it and promptly purchased it at the end of the season.
A couple of years later and he emigrated to NZ. We would catch up regularly and every time I saw his bike it would make an impact on me and I usually told him. Eventually it got to the point that if I hadn't seen it for a while I would enquire as to its well being. Anyway the phone rang in early 2006 and he mentioned that he was considering selling his bike and he was aware of how much I liked it and that he would like to offer it to me first as although it was now old and outdated it was still a good bike and he wanted it to be loved.
I hadn't even thought of buying a bike but quickly agreed and soon took delivery. Then for a while when he would come to stay he would enquire as to how it was doing.
It was only ridden occasionally as I was training 10+ times a week as a runner so I didn't have much time or energy left over. Every time I took it out over the next few years it always attracted plenty of attention despite my mates bikes usually being a lot nicer, but they were seemingly invisible.
Unfortunately I don't have a lot of photo's of it how it was, but the drive train, although in reasonable condition was starting to show a little bit of wear with the odd gear slippage under load. Meanwhile I decided to give my HK-II a small birthday tickle up to make it useable and it soon spiralled out of control and after a full repaint and a NOS Deore II group set later I had fallen into the retro bike pit of despair….
As most of you still reading can relate to one thing just kind of led to another and before long I felt that this bike should have an XTR gruppo and that it wouldn't look too bad….and would be a good improvement over the XT that it was sporting and I had found some supporting images and literature that suggested many of these did indeed roll around on XTR.
I realise these aren't everyones cup of tea and over the years they have become a rather heavy (if not indestructable) relic from a wayward era but there's something about it I just like.
Photo below cicra March 2007.