Out of interest, how does one distinguish a kilaeu from an explosif of this era? Did the 93 explosif have the ribbed down-tube?
Yes, your frame has basically the same Tange Prestige Concept tubeset as the Explosif used from 1990-92, and that was carried on with the Kilauea from 1993-95. The Explosif went to the Tange Ultimate tubeset for 1993 and 94, and used the ribbed Ultimate Ultrastrong down tube. Some history here
if you're interested.
I agree about the forks. I had been trying to decide if it was worth restoring - it had been in my attic for years with a completely stuck seat-post that I had butchered. I eventually found someone who would melt it out with oxy, hence the dodgy blue respray around the seatpost. I built it up quickly with whatever bits I had to hand, just so I could try it out. It immediately felt like a classic Kona, although the steering was definitely screwy from the rockshox.
Obviously it depends on your likes and needs as to whether it's worth restoring. I have a 95 Kilauea with P2s and use that as my standard conveyance around town - went to Tesco on it earlier on. But you can just as easily go across country on it - a bit slower than modern bikes down hills obviously, but light and simple and overtakes anything up a hill.
Even though it isn't a suspension-adjusted frame, you could use a good fork like an earlyish Pace RC36, which has 70mm travel and an a-c of 430mm (say 415 sagged). Combine that with a 9-10cm stem and it will still steer well. Fit a 12cm stem and it won't. Fit an inferior fork and it won't. This could be a good option if you feel that a size 18 is on the long side for you. A size 17 may be your perfect size, but there's only 12mm in it on the top tube, and a shorter stem more than compensates for that.
My only concern is that you mention oxy. Seat posts should be cut out really. A steel tube that has been welded once shouldn't be super-heated again, hence all repairs are brazed rather than welded as the temperatures are lower. Not the end of the world, but for long life I would recommend getting a long and well-fitting post, so that it goes down into the tube well below the top tube junction, so as to minimise the lateral stresses on the top of the tube.
The only thing that makes me hesistate to throw a bit of money at fixing it up is that there's a fair bit of rust, and a nasty ding to the underside of one of the seatstays (pic attached). I think it's probably OK though. Other thing is a reckon it's a touch on the big side. I'm 5"8' with a 31" inside leg - just about OK?
Last question? Anything to choose between powdercoat and spray paint? I've got places nearby that will do both.
So - next stop is a respray followed by a pair of project 2's I think!!
Neither the rust nor the dent look particularly serious to me. Whichever way you get it painted, they will shot blast it to a clean surface first. You could get the dent filled at the same time. If you want to use V-brakes, it's a good idea to have a rear V-cable stop brazed on as well.
Powdercoating is cheaper and more practical, as enamel chips so easily especially if you ride hard off road. You need to make sure though that you use a company that knows how to paint a bike, masking etc, as those who don't will basically throw it in with a load of industrial bits and pieces that are just getting an industrial coating and it doesn't matter what they look like.
Sorry to go on a bit, going out to ride another bike now! Best of luck, hope you enjoy your Kilauea.
So in theory a nice paint job+ 92 Explosif decals(for own use) this would pass muster as a 92 Explosif ? Betrayed only by serial number ?