Kona Ku Serial Number List - update 23/12/23

al-onestare

BoTM Winner
Kona Fan
Update June-22

Pip is currently enjoying the great universal single-track. He had a great send-off which you can read about here: https://www.retrobike.co.uk/threads/phillip-pipmeister-mock-kona-guru-and-legend.443234/

His friendship is the greatest legacy he leaves us with but we must not forget the incredible resources and knowledge that he documented locally and shared here on retrobike, not least the Kona serial numbers and related information.

From today, I will administer the work he started. My current plan is to spend an hour a week updating the lists with any new entries or confirmed related data / information. The same criteria applies as before, so if you'd like to have your Kona Ku added to the list, please follow these steps before PMing with your details or questions:

1. Must be an Kona Ku
2. Have an eligible serial number, found on the bottom of the bottom bracket
3. Provide photographic evidence, preferably as the current owner
4. Check the bike and serial number isn't already on the current list (note if the record was unconfirmed previously, new details are welcome)


Big thanks to John for helping configure this and as ever - a huge thank you - to all current and past Kona-heads including Pip. Without our collective knowledge, none of this would be possible 🥰

To make finding the lists and associated data a little easier, this first post will contain the master data.

Don't forget the other registers!

Kona Titanium frames & bikes: https://www.retrobike.co.uk/threads/kona-titanium-serial-number-list-update-08-06-23.464733/
Kona Hot: https://www.retrobike.co.uk/threads/kona-hot-serial-number-list-update-june-22.446740/
Kona Caldera: https://www.retrobike.co.uk/threads/kona-caldera-serial-number-list-update-june-2022.446749/

So without further ado...

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Red - confirmed with picture, Blue - good source, but TBC, Black - only quoting from forum post or advert.

Kona Ku Serial Number List:

1995:
Easton Elite Program Taperwall 7005.
According to a Kona Timeline, the 1995 Ku was built at Altitude Cycle Technologies, which opened its doors in April 1994.
Serial Number Format: KU###.

1996/97: Easton Elite Program Taperwall 7005.
During 1996, Altitude built the 1996 Ku, and most of those with 1997 livery – i.e. frames that were sold with the 1996 Cable Stop arrangement, but had 1997 Decals.
Serial Number Format: Early KU####, Later K096MM###.

1997: Easton Elite Program Taperwall 7005.
Enigma took on the Kona contract from Dec 1996; initially to build 100 Kus (and 100 Hots). Their frames are the true 1997 Ku – i.e. frames that were sold with the 1997 Cable Stop arrangement and had 1997 Decals.
Serial Number Format: KU97MM###.

1998: Columbus Altec2 Megatube 7005.
Enigma also built the Columbus tubing 1998 Ku, which seem to be in addition to the quoted initial quantity of 100 frames.
Serial Number Format: KK8M###.

1998: Hodaka built at least three 1998 Ku - in a similar situation to the Hodaka built Hot frames. Tubing unknown, but likely to be Columbus Altec2 Megatube 7005.
Quote from Dan Capek at Kona Tech, “There were very few Columbus ones made; they were a sponsor for our team at that point and they’d send us various tube sets to try for our production and custom models.
Quantities ranged from 2 to 20 for a run. Also they were shared out among various builders like Altitude and Enigma and even our Taiwan factories so we could get feedback from a variety of sources on the tubes.”

Serial Number Format: H9A00###.

If it is of interest?..... I could add my documented list of other Kus that I have on file, for which I have no serial number. Then there is also my documented list from the “Hall of Shame” where "Fake" Ku frames have been concocted!

Confirmation of a genuine Ku is the lack of the small Chain Stay Bridge Tube, which is a feature of all 1995 – 1998 frames, excluding the few built by Hodaka.

1995
KU015 16” 1995 cable routing, 1995 decals - Lilac (formerly Blue), (Chapeau! Velo formerly LDP)
KU041 18" 1995 cable routing, 1995 decals - Dark Green to Dark Grey, (Kona Guy, Facebook)
KU055 18” 1995 cable routing, 1995 decals - Metallic Green / Yellow Front & Stays, (Sandor via F.B)
KU148 18" 1995 cable routing, 1995 decals - Black (@GhettoDog )
KU178 19” 1995 cable routing, 1995 decals – Yellow, (al-onestare via Dylan)
KU206 18” 1995 cable routing, no decals – Egg Shell Blue, Powder Coated from new direct from Altitude, (CarlosKenneth)
KU401 (unconfirmed possibly KU101) 20” 1995 cable routing, 1997 decals – Burgundy c/w mainly Blue, but one Yellow decal, (Breezy)

1996/97
KU0121 19” 1996 cable routing, 1996 decals – “Team Orange”, (Monsieur Paul)
KU0153 18” 1996 cable routing, 1996 decals - Champagne, (e-Bay Community 28-05-2012)
KU0160 18” 1996 cable routing, 1996 decals - Burgundy, (formerly Pip's, now jez-4-bikes-max)
KU0186 18” 1996 cable routing, 1996 decals - Stars ‘n’ Bars, (Magas’s Mate)
K09606012 18” 1996 cable routing, 1996 decals - Stars ‘n’ Bars – welded ‘96 June number 12, (Magas)
K09606058 18” 1996 cable routing, 1996 decals - Stars ‘n’ Bars – welded ‘96 June number 58. Original purchased date: 27/02/9, (Ernie)
K09606046 19” 1996 cable routing, w/o original Kona Font decals - Flat Black – welded ‘96 June number 46, (Bikerguync)
K09606051 18” 1996 cable routing, 1997 Decals - Black – welded ‘96 June number 51, (Bobby Wong)
K09606064 - 19” 1996 cable routing, 1997 decals - Matt Purple with Matt Yellow Flames - welded ‘96 June number 64, (Charlie Best (B!ke at Petersborough Community Cycling Hub, Ontario) via Sándor)
K09606065 18” 1996 cable routing, 1997 decals - Burgundy with Yellow Flames – welded ‘96 June number 65, (Dylan)
K09606075 18” 1997 cable routing (pair of single Top Tube Front Mech and Rear Brake Stops), 1997 decals - Matt Purple with Matt Yellow Flames – welded ‘96 June number 75. Seller claimed K09696975, (rosk0pp e-Bay)
K09606107 18” 1996 cable routing, 1997 decals - Black – welded ’96 June number 107, (Customstandards)

1997
KU9702049 19” 1997 cable routing, 1997 decals - bright Orange – welded ‘97 February number 49, (Markwashington, Ductape)
KU97020## 16” 1997 cable routing, 1996 HOT decals - Stars ‘n’ Bars – welded ‘97 February number ##, (Craigslist USA)
KU9702050 19" 1997 cable routing, 1997 blue decals - Metallic Blue (similar to 1997 Kilauea SE) - welded '97 February number 50 (Guigui58 )
KU9702051 16” 1997 cable routing, 1997 decals - Chartreuse - welded '97 February number 51. Original purchased date: 18/02/98, (al-onestare via Social Media)
KU9702052 19” 1997 cable routing, 1997 decals – Purple with Yellow Polkadots – welded ‘97 February number 52, (Ryan Norgart)
KU9702057 16" 1997 cable routing, 1997 decals - Metallic Red with Metallic Green/Gold flames with Yellow edging, number 57 (Delvin McPherson). Cracked headtube.
KU9702085 17”, 1997 cable routing, 1997 decals - Happy Go Luck Green (1997 Kapu) - welded '97 February number 85, (Peter John Furzer)
KU9702089 20” 1997 cable routing, no decals – Paint stripped; was Esse Blue (1998 Manomano) with 1998 decals – welded ’97 February number 89, (Craigslist via H1v9a8c8 )

1998
KK88031 18” 1998 Eggshell Blue sparkle – welded ‘98 August number 31, (3DV_MTB (Joe))
KK88036 18” -1998 Black with Blue Flame c/w Red surround – Welded ’98 August number 36, (Craigslist via Mortonm)
KK88044 18” 1998 Banana Yellow – welded ‘98 August number 44 (was Pip's)
H9A00490 ?" 1998 Mustard Yellow - Hodaka, 1999, Control Code A, October, 0490. SN picture only so unable to confirm size and if Ku (@Catmanwalking)
H9A00496 18” 1998 Mustard Yellow – Hodaka, 1999, Control Code A, October, 0496. Warranty replacement, (al-onestare via social media)
H9A00505 16” 1998 Mustard Yellow - Hodaka, 1999, Control Code A, October, 0505, (Lynn_T)
H9A00511 16" 1998 Bright Green - Hodaka, 1999, Control Code A, October, 0511 (Franceso), hard to make out second 1
H9A00527 17” 1998 Eggshell Blue sparkle – Hodaka, 1999, Control Code A, October, 0527, (al-onestare via Kona Guy)

Pip
 
Last edited:
1998 Kona Ku:

Has anyone seen one of these rare frames in the flesh?

From what I can gather, it was the final year of production for the Ku.

It differed from the 1995, 1996 & 1997 models with its construction from Columbus Altec Megatube 7005 Aluminium.

I can’t yet find an actual picture of the 1998 Ku, and the only photo of this tubing that I can see is on the 1999 Kona Haole & Kapu.

Columbus%20Altec%20Megatube_zpsgpobllcp.jpg

Columbus%20Altec_1_zps9ift2yqk.jpg


Wow those tubes are certainly mega, and this large size was referred to by kaledi on page 5 of this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=51590&start=0

Pip.

Edit to alter title 02/08/19
 
Re:

Bumpmeister:

A couple of other Ku owners on this site are interested in collating the serial numbers with a view to forming some sort of register.
See my Wanted 1998 -->

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=337374

To this end, we may find out more regarding when and where the Ku frames were fabricated.

I’m not sure how to organise this. I assume that I would require the appropriate forum permission to use a voting poll type scenario.

Well it’s only a few, but it’s a start:

Mine – KU0160 (1996 burgundy-ish) Goodness knows this format differs from others.
Ernie - K09606058 (1996 Stars ‘n’ Bars) Presumably welded in 1996 June number 58.
Markwashington - KU9702049 (1997 err… bright orange?) Presumably 1997 February number 49.
AND, that odd Stars ‘n’ Bars Ku that had 1996 HOT decals with a 1997 serial number and cable routing! - KU97020--
Sadly we don’t have the last two digits, but still a low figure. viewtopic.php?f=4&t=335874

Pip.
 
Re:

A few of you may have read this piece by now, but I’ll pop it in here for continuity. It’s an interesting account regarding a 1998 Ku from a member called kaledi , who sadly hadn’t visited the site for over 4 years now:

Quote, “I visited Vancouver and travelled down the coast to Seattle and Portland in the summer of 1998. En route we stopped for a night in Bellingham, which is very close to Ferndale. Anyhow, in one of the local bike shops I was enthralled to see a Kona Ku frame, brand new. Now it is a long time since 1998 but the overiding memory I had of this frame was the size of the tubes and the colour scheme.
Is it possible that some Ku's had more oversized tubes compared to the Kula, because I'm sure the top and down tube were considerably bigger than the Kula available at the time, which was also in the shop.
The second striking thing about this particular frame was the paint job. I recall it being several colours, but most impressive was an a glitter effect around the head tube working down and across the down tube and head tube respectively.”


The only non-catalogue picture of 1998 that I can find is the “Lichen Green” example that Anthony posted on here 4 years ago.

Ku%2098_2_zpsbmfutwmj.jpg


If the example above is 17” and presumably has a 110mm Headtube, then there is definitely less gap between the Top Tube and Down Tube compared to my Ku that has a 110mm Headtube.

Also note what seems to be a Columbus tubing decal on the Seat Tube on the 1998.
Ku%2098_3_zps01yvops9.jpg

Ku%20Logo_1_zpshhxgznnb.jpg



........I’ve also just noticed that we have another serial number in the same format as mine. It was referred to in that 7 page thread that I linked in my 1st post – it’s just after the 4 pictures that Anthony posted up. It’s a little confusing to which year the guy is referring to (and we can no longer ask him as he is now banned!), but I think he is talking about a 1995 model.

Geoff wrote:
That first one Anthony posted looks like a 95 to me, assuming decals are original.

theboy: Banned User
It was bought in 1996 from a bike shop in Colorado, the decals are original, its frame number KU015.

I reckon this points toward my assumption that those built from 1995 - 1996 before Altitude Cycles took on the contract have a different format - possibly sequential for all of their output? These frames preceded the KU Pre-fix that appears to be on those built by Altitude Cycles when they took over sometime during 1996?
Ernie’s K0 (zero) pre-fix somewhat deviates from the Altitude Cycles format, but it’s fairly close to the others that we have seen.

So we have a Blue (possible) 1995 with the serial number - KU015.

Magus tells me that he will allow his 1996 Stars ‘n’ Bars Ku serial number to be on here - watch this space!

Pip
 
Re:

Well the waters are clearing – I think!

The frame that Magus owns was imported into Austria at the same time as Ernie’s - AND they both have the same format frame number. There is another (I’ve seen all 3 pictured together), which we may yet get the number from.

Anyway, one more for the list:

Magus - K09606012 (1996 Stars ‘n’ Bars) Presumably welded in 1996 June number 12.

Pip.
 
Re:

KU15 is my wife's. It's no longer blue as the paint was shredded when I picked it up 5 years or so ago:
 

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Re: Re:

LDP":19qupa28 said:
KU15 is my wife's. It's no longer blue as the paint was shredded when I picked it up 5 years or so ago:

Thanks for that - just to clarify; in the thread below, you referred to Mrs. LDP's Ku frame with the number KU014

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=286002

Was this frame the blue one that was posted by Anthony below, and referred to by theboy, despite having the frame number KU015?

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=51590&start=0

Pip
 
Re: Re:

pipmeister":170zc4bn said:
LDP":170zc4bn said:
KU15 is my wife's. It's no longer blue as the paint was shredded when I picked it up 5 years or so ago:

Thanks for that - just to clarify; in the thread below, you referred to Mrs. LDP's Ku frame with the number KU014

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=286002

Was this frame the blue one that was posted by Anthony below, and referred to by theboy, despite having the frame number KU015?

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=51590&start=0

Pip

Yes, they are both 1 and the same: KU015. I misquoted KU014 in my thread (now edited) :facepalm: I even went to the bike suite to check the s/n :oops:
 
Re:

Rightyho, we have another for the list that I found doing a Google Image search as suggested to me by Ernie.

This appears to be what is looking like the early format of numbers; the 1995 models, and those presumably built in 1995 for the 1996 catalogue. It is still possible that these were fabricated by Mountain Goat.

This quote from Anthony (Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:43 pm) referring to another Ku on eBay & Marketplace Watch:

“Well from our researches, I think it most likely that this Ku was welded together by a former Mountain Goat welder. After Jeff Lindsay closed Mountain Goat in 1995, he started a new business called Altitude Cycles in 1996 and they took on the Hot and Ku and the Caldera (if any Calderas were actually built) before they closed towards the end of 96. Enigma Design and Manufacture took over the contract from December 96, but my guess is that means they built the 98 models.”

Anyway, this one is just a few digits from mine.

e-Bay Community 05-28-2012 - KU0153 (1996 Champagne).



http://community.ebay.com/t5/Archive-Ou ... -p/2681047

Pip.
 
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