Kona Kahuna 2003 Full Suspension

4.33/5 (51 Reviews)
MSRP : $899.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (51 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brandon Tooper

Date Reviewed: June 15, 2013

Strengths:    I got this bike from my dads friend, even though it was used this bike performs great. I re-did all the wiring and housing on it and soon going to do the brakes.

Weaknesses:    not disc brakes

Bottom Line:   
Kona Kahuna is a Great bike and i would recommend this to my friends and you

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by chustig a Weekend Warrior from Lonsdale, MN

Date Reviewed: May 5, 2009

Strengths:    Seems like a tough bike (except for wheels), turns quickly,

Weaknesses:    WHEELS!!! Shimano cable disc brakes are a little weak, but do the job with two fingers hard on the front, Float rear shock

Bottom Line:   
I pretty much learned to ride trails on this bike. I have crashed it a bunch and is has held up. I think the wheels are made out of wimpium. No problems with the Mavics.

If I sit on this thing on anything but light bumps, it bucks me off. I'm certain I have the preload set correctly. Maybe if it had a rebound adjust. No problem though, really, because I'm an aggressive rider and I'm always standing unless I'm resting.

The fork is not so bad. Not very adjustable, but it is what it is. At least it is air and has oil in it.

I have gotten to the point where I can ride this thing pretty quickly (I think, anyway). I can ride it pretty aggressively, but I would like to ride harder and with more confidence. I'm looking at moving up to a 2008 Stumpy FSR Expert so I can ride even harder (Fox suspension with more travel, brain, hydraulic discs, 3 lbs. lighter, etc.), but I will keep this thing. Never know when I might need a spare bike. Plus it has sentimental value. We've been through a lot together. I push it hard, and it pushes me hard back.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Murphy-Hanrehan

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   The Gravity Lab (now

Similar Products Used:   None, my first and only off road bike since I was a kid.

Bike Setup:   Stock except for Mavic Crossride wheelset

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ralbach a Cross Country Rider from clemson, sc, united states

Date Reviewed: March 28, 2009

Strengths:    Everything.... I really love this bike. For the money i payed, i couldnt ask for anything better. I have friends that have Gary Fisher bikes and the like....all i have to say is that this bike is miles ahead of those pieces of crap. My bike has fallen (with me) off of a 10 foot cliff and came out with nothing more than scratches on the seat. (although i cant say the same for myself) The bike gives me way more confidence than i should have at my level of riding, but i'm not sure thats a bad thing. The components are great for the price and fit the bike very well. The only other comment worth mentioning is that i only way a little more than 100 pounds, so i can probably get away with more than the average rider.

Weaknesses:    Cheap front fork.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great bike if you can find one. Its a wonder they were ever put out of production. I have no complaints.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Isaquena

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   EBAY!!!

Bike Setup:   Bone Stock... my plan has been to replace parts with better ones as they break, but unfortunately no matter how much i beat the crap out of this thing... it just soaks it all up.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dave a Weekend Warrior from Hooksett, NH USA

Date Reviewed: October 1, 2008

Strengths:    Kona - Stand Behind their products. Kona Replaced the rear triangle which developed hairline fracture after 5 years of use. Provided original sales receipt and Serial Number. Bicycle Bob's Seacost NH did the repair work. Cost me $25.

Weaknesses:    Original brake and wheel components. Shimano discs and M485 hubs. Have replaced brakes with Avid Mechanical and wheels with Shimano XT with Center locking XT discs.

Bottom Line:   
Enough said - Kona - Purchased bike at beginning of 2003 and the bike still gets plenty of use with some hard rides here through 2008. Bike has been outstanding and has held up. As you can see as the components have worn out have been replacing them with upgrades. Estimate $750 spent over the course of 6 years for component upgrades and maintenance.

Bike rides like new..................

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   which one

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Bike Barn ManchVegas

Similar Products Used:   Bikes in similar price range. None had disc brakes.

Bike Setup:   Current setup. Original plus now Avid brakes, XT hubs with XT center locking disc brakes, XT top normal rear derailer, and rear shock with 2007 Fox Float R with pro pedal.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rachel a Cross Country Rider from Sydney, NSW, Australia

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2007

Strengths:    Great geometry for jumps, doubles and safe descents. Good suspension for smaller (2-3ft) drops. Light with the setup I've got on it, at least compared to other dualies I've ridden on the same trails- probably 'cos they were for D/H (which itself says something about this bike's capabilities). Very strong- not surprised that some big blokes have had a fair go on this bike (but not sure I'd use it for D/H, especially for higher rider weights). Fast. Easy to pressure up the rear shock and reduce pedal bob if you're heavier or want to commute on the road. A very satisfying ride.

Weaknesses:    Longer top tube and shorter frame height than on say, the same respective frame size Dawg, means sore knees on long, steep descents (especially for girls or blokes with relatively longer legs). But this you can get used to, and I'd rather this than going over the bars.

Bottom Line:   
Great frame and rear suspension. Lots of potential to alter over-the-counter setup and turn this into a competitive XC Racer.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   (Frame only) E-bay

Similar Products Used:   Kona Dawg.

Bike Setup:   XC. Psylos front forks.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mitch Stapo from kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Date Reviewed: November 21, 2006

Strengths:    Well so far so good, the bike is light (i replaced the heavy coil with a lighter fox float) and reasonably strong, it gets me up the hills and isnt to bad going down

Weaknesses:    well i geuss a weakness would be that my brother snapped a kahuna under warranty and i ended up with the replacement frame.

Bottom Line:   
a kahuna is a great cross country bike but i advice you not to ever do big jumps on one or you could snap it and end up in emergency care at the hospital for 2 hours.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Twin Peaks (bukit kiara)

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   the only other bikes i ve had are a giant yukon (a begginers hardtail) and a Lerun (a cheap ****** bike that wasnt the best even in its dreams).

Bike Setup:   Fox float shock, marzocci bomber forks, xt (front)and deore (back) deralers, and more

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bryan a Weekend Warrior from Denver, Colorado, USA

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2005

Strengths:    Great overall bike and can really take a beating. Former football player, big guy - started riding this bike at 360 lbs. and it took it all in stride. Now that I'm down 130 lbs it rides even better. Good full suspension bike. Spend the extra dough to upgrade some of the components (especially the Shimano Deore to XT) - brakes, wheels and pedals most definitely.

Weaknesses:    Some of the standard components are a little weak but like I said, upgrade them and this is an awesome bike for the big guys!

Bottom Line:   
Great bike, good value. Highly recommended.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Green Mountain

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle Pedler

Similar Products Used:   Specialized, Trek and Cannondale - can't remember the exact models but they were in the same price range and all felt like they couldn't handle a clydesdale rider.


Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Chad a Weekend Warrior from Nashua

Date Reviewed: March 29, 2005

Strengths:    Great value for starting rider looking to break into the full suspension market.

Weaknesses:    The mech. disc have to be set up exactly per the instructions or they won't work. The bike wieght seem high for what you get!! The rims wiegh alot and you can feel it on the hills. Also the rims went out of true quickly and I had to have the LBS lock tight the spokes. I also wish it had a 100mm fork.

Bottom Line:   
Its a great starter full suspension. I can't say anything bad about how it rides but my last bike had a solid front fork!! If you are getting into riding and want a cheap full suspension with disk brakes this is the bike for you. If you've riden awhile and want something more out of your riding I would pass on this bike. In the end, I wish I had hunted the used market and got a better frame package for alittle more money.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Northern Kingdom - VT

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Bike Barn - ManchVegas

Similar Products Used:   Mongoose Alta

Bike Setup:   OEM spec'ed

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Logan a Cross Country Rider from Durango, colorado, USA

Date Reviewed: February 13, 2005

Strengths:    has great handeling, and is a great overall bike for a average biker.

Weaknesses:    bad componets, small tires

Bottom Line:   
this is a pretty good bike except for the fact that the componets are weak and can damage easilly. I hae rode this bike hard and it has held up pretty well, but i think that you could buy a better bike for the money

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Hassel free sports


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Dave from Hooksett, NH, USA

Date Reviewed: October 21, 2004

Strengths:    Overall durability.

Weaknesses:    Shimano mechanicals lasted 2 months (didn't like the mud). Switched to Avid:) Heavy - Need to replace wheelsets - very poor and week - back wheel didn't take long to get outa wack - rider only 160lbs.

Bottom Line:   
Spend a couple extra pesos to get that next step up in the kona arena. You'll get a lighter bike, with clipless pedals, a better wheel set, and it won't come with the horid shimano disc's.

Like the frame and it will hold up and get lighter with some component upgrades.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   which one

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Bike Barn


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mark a Weekend Warrior from Singapore

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2004

Strengths:    When i fisrt got the bike i thought that it was awsome, I could pull big jumps and survive, well sorta. I thought everything was great then...

Weaknesses:    as said before i thought the frame was tough as nails until i jumped off a small set of stairs about a foot high and the frame sanped IN 2 at the WELDING!!!! I spent 2 hours in hospital, but luckelly everuthing else on the bike survived.

Bottom Line:   
i understand that this bike is awsome value and IS a pretty tough frame, just watch for cracks in the WELDING because my dads frame cracked as well but his was fixable. Buy this bike if you dont jump... If you do, buy the coiler or the dawg.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Bike Setup:   WHat BIKE?!?!

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by b a a Cross Country Rider from brooklyn, ny

Date Reviewed: August 15, 2004

Strengths:    Good name-brand component setup, albeit bottom-of-the-line, at a comparatively inexpensive price. Great looks.

Weaknesses:    Sun Mach IV rims. They either have metal burs inside or are just poorly built, a flat every time out. A little on the heavy side at 31+ lbs. (16")

Bottom Line:   
This is my first mountin bike. At a fairly advanced age (49), I decided I wanted to try some off-road fun. I decided how much I wanted to spend (C $1000), and started reading reviews online. Then I hit all the bike shops in and around Brooklyn and Long Island (nobody carries everything) for some test riding. I actually liked the feel of the Giant and the Marin, but the Kona had better components than the Marin, and had the looks all over the Giant and was cheaper. The black and silver just looks so sweet! After riding for a year and swapping out those awful Sun rims, I think I made the right decision, although I don't really have anything to compare it to, as this is my first mountain bike. However, it has held up to all of the spills I have taken, and I can tackle every uphill and downhill I have encountered. So, if you don't mind the weight, and you can't afford a more expensive bike, I recommend the Kona Kahuna. It looks great, and you can always upgrade later.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   rocky point

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   cyclepath, wainscott, ny

Similar Products Used:   Giant NRS 3, Marin East Peak, Trek Fuel 80, Gary Fisher Sugar 4+ ('02), Schwinn Moab DS2 (ugh!), Specialized Rockhopper FSR Comp.

Bike Setup:   Mostly stock except: Mavic X517 rims, Specialized S-Works SL Control/Master tires, no-name flat bars, Ritchey seatpost, SDG Satellite Landing Strip saddle.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by jason orr a Weekend Warrior from portsmouth, nh

Date Reviewed: July 17, 2004

Strengths:    Built classic Kona tough

Weaknesses:    Rear suspension connecting rod needs better design.
Rock Shox front fork Stinks. This had been corrected on later bikes


Bottom Line:   
I'm impressed by the frame toughness. This was my first real mountain bike and I got into the sport thinking that I would only go out on it once in a while. I now ride as much as possible and beat the heck out of the frame ( much more than it was designed for I'm sure). I've had very little problems with the bike as a whole but if I had to do it over I think I would get a higher end Kona with better components and more travel.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Fort Rock

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $899.00

Purchased At:   Papa wheelies

Similar Products Used:   1st bike.


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ryan Charlston a Downhiller from New Zealand

Date Reviewed: June 27, 2004

Strengths:    Strong Frame, disk ready hubs and forks. The riser handlebars are great!!! The kona saddle is really comfortable for 70K + rides.

Weaknesses:    The rear shock

Bottom Line:   
This an awsome bike for someone like me (15yrs-55kgs) who used to do downhill but needs a bike that can handle the ups with the other people i ride with but still be able to hit the large jumps and come out alive. i give this bike 5 flaming chillies!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Big Muma,Freeride'n

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Bike Barn

Similar Products Used:   marin shorline trail.(Crappy componentry)

Bike Setup:   so far only some redline platform pedals but when i get some money i will get hydraulic disks and a better rear shock.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bob S. a Cross Country Rider from K.L

Date Reviewed: May 24, 2004

Strengths:    Great durible frame, takes large abuse from me and the 4+ ft. jumps I do. I really enjoy having the bikes but there were a few things i had to change.

Weaknesses:    Haven't really found any so far, except for the wheels that slightly reseble tacos now, I had to change those and the back shock!!!(So HEAVY!!!!!!)

Bottom Line:   
I actually like this bike better than the giant, i don't like giants much... The bike is great for the cost, I'm starting to get a bit annoyed with the Vannilla shock, it weighs so much. The forks are defanitly worth changing because if you weigh over 60KG you will probably break the HEAVY DUTY spring like i did. Other than this the bike is great, even if you do vaugly resemble a free rider.
SPREAD THE GROVE!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lightning Ridge, Bukit Kiara

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Giant Nrs 3 XTC Team (SOOOOOO Expensive!!!!!!!!!!)

Bike Setup:   Mazzocchi MX Comp+ETA, Yeti speed grips (Ahhh, heaven on handlebars), Shimano SPD clips and Shimano Deore Mechanical Discs.

Reviews 1 - 15 (51 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Any Kahuna riders out there?

Hi all, longtime lurker. Wife and I been shopping around to buy her a bike. We've rode different bikes from just about every major brand (Spec. Camber Comp; Marin Nail Trail; Giant Talon; Jamis Dragon 650). Yet, for some reason we come back to the '14 Kahuna DL, the budget requirement is fulfilled w ... Read More »

2014 Kona Kahuna DL or 2014 Norco Charger 9.1?

Hi everyone----I'm looking at one of these two bikes as my next purchase. They're very close in specs, with the Norco having an SLX rear derailleur vs the Kahuna's Deore rd, otherwise they're pretty much Deore all the way. The Kahuna is notably more expensive---around $300. Can anyone weigh in on ... Read More »

shocking must-see Kahuna 29er pedal question!

sorry couldnt resist,stupid Yahoo is rubbing off on me.. got my first 29er, the Kona Big Kahuna... race Sport class, always dead last but still hv fun..but i found im much better bike handler on 5/10s with flat pedals...but lose certain percentage climbing and on the flats not being clipped in.. ... Read More »

Read This: Of Old Barns & Unicorns - One-Of-A-Kind 1996 Kona King Kahuna

If you want to read an interesting story about a truly lovely, truly unique bike, go here: [url=http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=291534&sid=c4dc1ae3f54739a471f4421018f4b810]READ THIS: Of Old Barns & Unicorns - 1996 Kona King Kahuna | Retrobike[/url] It's here in the US, and ... Read More »

140 fork on kona kahuna?

Looking to upgrade the fork on my 2012 kona kahuna. Aiming to get more travel and a bit more slacked out. On the stock 100mm fork it has a 70 hta. Trying to make the bike a bit more all mountain capable, as I am riding less XC now a days. I am eyeballing a fox float 34 140mm. Will going to a 1 ... Read More »

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