Kona Kapu 1997 - the unicorn

al-onestare

Kona Fan
If you've seen my builds, posts and social media stuff or had the pleasure (!) of chatting with me over the years, you might have concluded that I quite like Kona's and in-particular the 1997 range ;)

Ever since I first clocked eyes on the 1997 catalogue, I've been fortunate enough to acquire a fantastic collection of bikes, all documented here on this site. But, and you might be able to relate to this :LOL: , there's always been one bike that I really, really, REALLY, wanted.

The 1997 Kona Kapu.

I can't tell you how many times I've lusted over this picture.

d3J7Ot.jpg


The combination of colours is unique in the range and I've never seen a road bike, let alone a mountain bike, with a similar scheme. (If you have I'd love to know). The "happy go lucky" green, the yellow graphics, the grey of the forks, the white of the bar tape and the silver/butterscotch wheels, it really shouldn't work but it does. Super eye-catching and with the geometry, a rocket to ride.

The quest to find this particular model started back in 2010 and my wanted thread started in 2013, has clocked up over 36k views :shock:
viewtopic.php?f=43&t=239743 During this period I acquired a uber-rare pre-production model of the very first Kapu; originally launched for the 1995 range, this was a "1994" model. She's my Sunday special.

This particular model is rare. In the context of a "mass" production frame, there're uber rare. I mean so rare we've only ever seen 1 worldwide. This stunner was uncovered a few years ago and rightly the so, the owner (top dude) is keeping her for good. We'll talk more about it's rarity and possible reasons for this in future posts.

IRl7ER.jpg


I've created a network of Kona-heads and they've been super-kind to have their ears and eyes out for me. I've got my own search routine which I might explain in future posts, which I've been running and following pretty much every other day. So it was a total bolt from the blue (green?) last week that for the first time proper - after many false leads - I hit a direct result.

Craigslist can be a right nightmare to navigate but there, in broad daylight across the internet, was a genuine, 1997 Kona Kapu. I couldn't believe it. I still can't believe it. The ad had been up less than 12 hours and fortunately because it was based in Seattle, us early morning Europeans were only just seeing it (if you were searching hard enough). Again, for future posts, I'll talk more about how the deal was struck but after some serious heart palpitations, we agreed the price. She's currently heading to a UPS hub before she flies over the pond with delivery due next week.

She needs work, like most of our projects do and she is big. But she'll be mine and my quest (for now) complete. Here she is before she was packed up.

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So before I get into the details of the restore and build, can you spot the oddities? There's definitely a story behind this bike...
 

Pipmeister

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al-onestare":lbbmecst said:
So before I get into the details of the restore and build, can you spot the oddities? There's definitely a story behind this bike...
Err yes I can, and I have already mentioned this to you.... there appears to be a Columbus Decal on the Top Tube where there would normally be a Bici Strada Decal. It looks similar to the one on your 1997 Team Issue Explosif ;) .

It this a clue to its history?

Pip
 

MatBH5

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Brilliant! Well done on tracking this down.
Do you have the Mudshark fork? I’ve swapped the one from my Haole for a Columbus minimal carbon.
If you needed any reference measurements for the fork, or even a borrow... let me know.
 

MatBH5

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al-onestare":7e64xtxt said:
MatBH5":7e64xtxt said:
Brilliant! Well done on tracking this down.
Do you have the Mudshark fork? I’ve swapped the one from my Haole for a Columbus minimal carbon.
If you needed any reference measurements for the fork, or even a borrow... let me know.

I do here: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=278183&p=2075881

That said, what colour is yours?

Mine is silver grey, like in the catalogue.
 

Retro Spud

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Re: Re:

MatBH5":2y9qt16r said:
al-onestare":2y9qt16r said:
MatBH5":2y9qt16r said:
Brilliant! Well done on tracking this down.
Do you have the Mudshark fork? I’ve swapped the one from my Haole for a Columbus minimal carbon.
If you needed any reference measurements for the fork, or even a borrow... let me know.

I do here: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=278183&p=2075881

That said, what colour is yours?

Mine is silver grey, like in the catalogue.


Crickey Al
The planets have aligned here - better get and buy a lottery ticket quick
 

al-onestare

Kona Fan
Re:

<Kate Bush mode on>

It's here, it's here...

<Kate Bush mode off>

I've stripped it down and given it a quick clean to what you see minus the cranks as there're some sort of hollotech design and I don't have the tools to remove them. I added the 94/95 dog collar just to remove the nasty modern seat-clamp.

I'm a bit lost for words so I'll let the pictures do the talking

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Z0cmPM.jpg


Lh5fW9.jpg


Errr...the serial number... :shock:
 

Pipmeister

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W :shock: W,

Well the Serial Number is perilously close to your Team Issue Explosif.... and that Team Issue that came up for sale on e-Bay in Australia.

I'll delve deeper and get back to you.

Pip
 

Retro Spud

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Never had you down as a dog lover !

Given it looks like a Beagle don’t you take him/her out and have a ride at the same time


Stop skimping- We need more frame pics....
 
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