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H2 for sale  H1 for sale S3 For Sale S2 for sale S1 for sale 1969 H1 for sale KH250 For Sale KH400 For Sale  H2 for sale  H1 for sale S3 For Sale S2 for sale S1 for sale 1969 H1 for sale KH250 For Sale KH400 For Sale 

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Phone: 0115 9131 333   Mobile: 0797 0120000 

 

Whilst the landline (0115 9131333) is still in use, it is RARELY answered -

Please use the mobile number - It costs the same to you as any mobile call - no matter where I am in the World.

If I am away in the U.S. then you can call my U.S. cell : (001) 231 499 9965  (but I will be AT LEAST 5 hours behind GMT) - Or the U.K. Mobile +44 7970120000

 

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Drop of a hat... 2000

If Drop of a Hat Ď99 was spur of the moment then Drop 2000 is spur of the nanosecond! If you remember last October I bought a very rare  Coyote mini bike in Los Angeles that various shipping companies refused to ship due to the fact that it had once contained petrol! I also had a W1 sectioned engine in Orlando that was stuck there with Araldite! As it happens another Coyote mini bike appeared on EBAY at the end of June, I was of course very interested and so were many other people, a call to the vendor revealed that this bike was just 15 miles from my first Coyote (I guess this was something to do with the original Kawasaki Importers in California being in Santa Ana?) Subsequent phone calls had me agreeing to buy the second mini bike for cash and removing the bike within a week! After agreeing these terms I suddenly remembered that I had a rally coming up in Two weeks time and all the organisation that went along with that!

As this was a VERY busy time for flight bookings, I was lucky that my friends at Virgin managed to secure a flight from Gatwick on the 30th June and returning from San Francisco on 11th July arriving home jet lagged 36 hours before the annual rally - stupid ? Who ? Me? Why ? Doesnít everyone turn up at the airport without knowing if they can get a car or lodgings or connecting flights ? I checked the car rental companies in Orlando and most were fully booked due to the holidays (independence day!) Finally I got hold of "Rent a wreck" who had a vehicle. As it happened the first flight out of Gatwick was delayed by 6 hours which left me with the prospect of landing at Orlando at midnight with no bed for the night and to make matters FAR worse it was July 4th holidays in the U.S. and flights, hotels and transport was pretty well all used up.

One piece of good news was that I managed to get in touch with a guy in Atlanta that had a brand new "in the crate" purple H2c Ė and he was considering selling it so a few hundred miles detour from Orlando was in order. Also, another guy with H2ís in Atlanta dropped me a mail from the bulletin board and invited me over for as drink. So as I sit typing this in the Gatwick departure lounge I wonder just what exactly is in store for me ?

On landing at Orlando (11pm) my worst fears became reality, the car hire was closed for the night! So, what do I do? Do I grab a cab to an airport hotel at $150 a night (or so the taxi drivers tell me) or do I go further afield? As it happens I chose the latter, the bad part being the taxi fair of $50 (£30)! Next morning it is another $50 ride back to the car rental at the airport, I canít help feeling that I have been taken for a ride and not in the taxi sense! The car from "rent a wreck" is not bad and will be pretty cheap to run. I head north to the other side of Orlando to meet up with a guy that I bought a sectioned 1966 W1 engine off on the Internet last November. All goes well he turns up with a well packed but very "fusty" 1966 W1 genuine factory sectioned motor! It turns out that this guy was the first Kawasaki dealer in Orlando and this sectioned engine was offered by Kawasaki to a few chosen dealers. He told me that a kid almost lost his finger in the cylinder, so he took the engine off display and put it at the back of his garage for 30 years! I am soon heading back to the airport to the Virgin Cargo depot, the guys there are great and within the hour the paperwork is done and I am on my way to look at a H2c in Atlanta Georgia. The 500 mile trip to Atlanta cost less in gas than the 20 minute taxi fare at Orlando airport, Having said that the Americans are up in arms as gas is now $1.85 a gallon (£1.20) the further north I travel the cheaper the gas is, and by the time I am in Atlanta it is down to a pound a gallon.

The new H2c was advertised in "Walnecks" a couple of years back and the guy turned down $9,000 for it! Once my trip was planned I spoke to another couple of people in the U.S. that knew of the bike but had never seen it. The guy actually bought the bike brand new but never got around to riding it and it had never been assembled. After a little searching I found the guys house and there was the bike still in the opened crate in his garage. The bike was still firmly fixed to the crate, the bars were clamped to the wooden frame, the front wheel was exactly where it should have been and the block of wood holding the headstock in place looked as if it had never been off. The bike was covered in a deep coating of dust and once the dust was removed there was . . . . .deep rust! Dissapointment is an understatement, donít get me wrong the bike was in near where as bad as the new bikes I saw in Michigan, but most of the chrome had green flecks, and where there was no access the rust was well through the chrome. The front of the fuel tank also had a couple of small chips where something had fallen onto it and where whatever had fallen it had also leaked as there were streaks of something in the paintwork. Itís difficult to say what the bike was worth, I have several bikes in better condition, so just how much is a wooden crate worth? As I was up in Atlanta I made a detour to see a guy called Sam who has recently been posting some messages on the Internet board, Sam is keen on triples but has only been into them for a couple of years. He has a nice H1a and a tuned H2c. The "C" sounded really crisp as he started it up in the quiet neighbourhood. Thanks to Sam and the Internet I was able to secure a booking for my onward flight to L.A. later in the week. There was a severe problem though in that they could not take a definate reservation as my Credit card had a non U.S. address - Just something else to worry about.

I head North to South Carolina which is one of the areas that I have feel could be largely untouched in the old Kawasaki market. A pile up on the freeway sees me turning off at a town called Spartanburg. With time on my hands curiosity finds me following a sign to the BMW factory and museum. The new BMW factory is stunning, huge and clean looking, it is where they will build the Z3 roadster and new 4 x 4, unfortunately it is deserted for a weeks shut down. I peer through the windows of the museum and see works race bikes and cars galore. If you are a BMW enthusiast this has to be one of the best displays in the world.

Back into Spartanburg town and I find a hotel for the night. The town has a large black population and I am treated to several surprises in the evening. Firstly South Carolina is a "dry" state on a Sunday, which for a confirmed alcoholic like myself was decidedly worrying! The guy on the hotel desk hands me a card and says I can get into a local bar/club as a member. The car park is interesting with half a dozen Harleys, I walk through a pleasant outside bar that is starting Karaoke and into another bar that has TVís with car racing etc on. I order my drink and suss out that the middle aged, pot bellied guys on the next table are the Harley owners, my ears overhear a torrent of F***ing N*gg*r this and N*gg*r that and just what they could "do" for the girls in the next bar! I finally see first hand what the term "redneck" relates to . . . I am not impressed! A look out of the window sees a rare sight, a gang of maybe a dozen or so black guys, helmetless, T shirt and short wearing, belting up and down the main street on plastic fantastic sports bikes, I just wish I was on one myself! More shock is to come as a few seconds later three black GIRLS ride by on "Ninjas" again helmetless, wearing sunglasses, vests and shorts! In truth I call it an early night as overhearing the tossers on the next table make me feel ashamed to be male and white.

The next morning I donít feel too great, I am lucky to have a day where I can take my time and own pace to head North, the morning news tells me that South Carolina has today banned any video gaming machine, tens of thousands of them are now redundant - Carolina is a strange state!

So itís a dull and wet (but warm) day in Spartanburg South Carolina (80 degrees outside though) after a good breakfast I call a few friends in the U.S. and look forward to a partial day off checking out the local bike shops. A look round my hire car reveals a small coil spring embedded in my front tyre which is looking decidedly soggy, rather than blow it up I venture to the local tyre shop where they relieve me of fifteen quid to fix the flat. A new problem is my digital video camera is now out of film and it seems that nowhere stocks them, I have tried around 8 places in the last Six hundred miles but a guy suggests a "Best Buy" store just three miles away. My luck is in as they sell the tapes at a reasonable Six pounds a piece, my luck is out however as I go out to the car and see that the rear tyre is now flat as a H2 on unleaded fuel! Across the parking lot there is a "Sams Club" tyre store, I limp across to be told that they canít fix it as they didnít supply the tyre! I am given directions to another tyre shop where due to the 4th July holiday I have to wait a few hours to have it fixed, still, gives me time to type up my exploits eh ? So, I have covered 5 miles and had two punctures, not a good start for the day so fearing a "third" event I do a few miles and head for a motel.

Next morning I wake up VERY ill, not too sure even now if it was food poisoning but I have to head the 500 miles back to Florida which was in no way a pleasant trip. One thing that did amuse me however was coming along the freeway at my normal 85mph to almost run into the back of a Lincoln continental doing a mere 45MPH! I glared at the driver as I passed to be met with the sight of a fully grown Leopard in the passenger seat sitting there large as life licking itís lips! Only in America!

I arrive back in Orlando ahead of schedule and find a motel close to the airport to check into, at $39.95 a night! I am now convinced that the taxi on arrival well and truly ripped me off by taking me 10 miles away and charging me $50 and just to rub salt in the wound I gave him a tip as well!

The flight to Los Angeles was pretty uneventful, again in hindsight I learn that if I had booked a return flight it would have cost me less than the one way ticket Ė work that one out! I leave the airport and I am stunned by the volume of traffic, I have been to a few airports in my time, but none compare to this. 

A call at the local "rent a wreck" sees me driving off in a sort of Escort type hatchback, itís battered and old but goes well. Once on the freeway it is apparent that you either keep up the pace or suffer the consequences. A huge percentage of cars have battle scars, wheelnut marks and rubber burns down bodywork are common, and if you donít start moving as soon as a light turns green you will get a nudge, driving in L.A. is not for the faint hearted! Within a few miles I have seen half a dozen Z1000P cop bikes, there are also a few new BMWís and I guess this is due to the new BMW plant being set up in the U.S. no doubt this was part of the deal. Like most major cities L.A. is largely scruffy and manic. I find my first destination without too much trouble, the coyote is not quite as good as I hoped but it is largely original and apparently it runs! The owner bought it in a yard sale for a tenth of what I am paying him, however I think it will be the only one in the U.K. and itís a part of Kawasakiís history so I am still a happy chappy. The Coyote was produced in 1968 and is basically a Kawasaki 125cc lawnmower engine on a frame with wheels and a huge drive sprocket! A 15 mile drive finds me at the home of the second mini bike, rather than leave both bikes in the back of the car in a motel car park I unload the first bike and arrange to fetch it in the morning. While I am in LA I head the 30 miles out to Camarillo where Fran Golden who runs the American triples club lives, unfortunately Fran is working late so we donít get to meet up.

Next morning I head back to fetch the mini bikes and end up in Beverly Hills! Even after all these miles in the U.S. I still struggle with their road maps! The two bikes are eventually loaded in the back of my little "rent a wreck" Fiesta hatch and I head onto the busy freeway back to the airport. The guys at Virgin cargo are again very helpful, the only obstacle is the fact that there is no "title" (log books) to the bikes, I have to travel to customs and try to get some form of clearance to take them out of the country. They are sympathetic and seem to agree that as the bikes have no frame number and cannot be used on the road then they should clear O.K. but no one is prepared to sign any forms to that effect so I wrap them and keep my fingers crossed.

The "rent a wreck" lot is in a very dodgy area and I am rather worried about staying in a motel around there the night. However, a short ride up the road and the whole scene changes, the streets are clean, the people are smart and I see a "travel lodge" I enquire at the desk and they have a room . . . $160 plus tax! I get the price down to $110 plus tax but even this works out at eighty quid for the 11 hours rest! I take a drive out at night and as the sun goes down on the Santa Monica boulevard I start to change my mind about LA, some parts of it really are nice. Busy, but nice! A good nights sleep, an early start, and I am heading for the airport on the way to San Francisco.

After a pretty good nights sleep in Santa Monica I have a lie in until 7.30am, I take my jalopy back to Rent A Wreck ( $75 (£50.00) for two days) and at 9am I am at the airport for my 9.45 flight. A look of horror comes on my face as the lady explains it is a 9.45 PM flight! It suddenly becomes VERY apparent why we in Europe use the 24 hour clock! I am pretty certain that when I booked I was given two choices, an 8.30 flight and a 9.45 flight, no mention of PM. But, the lady on the counter was great, she booked me a flight on another airline, which would fly at 10.30am . . . If it hadnít been delayed by fog at San Francisco! So, another few hours sitting in an airport lounge, the only highlight of which was when all the alarms started sounding, doors automatically locked, security came running with guns drawn to find . . . some Japanese guy who had sneaked out onto a balcony for a cigarette, was he terrified ! (LA Is a non smoking airport). 

Once down in San Fran I am impressed by the huge construction of the new concrete metro system for the shuttle to the rental car outlets. But I am far from impressed when we reach the rental desks to see that the queue for HERTZ stretches a hell of a way. . In fact it takes longer to get a hire car than it took for the flight from L.A. to San Fran! (Seriously). Once in the car I hit the freeway and a dead stop . . . So? I just turn the stereo up - guess I am getting use to the U.S. freeways?

Just over an hour later and I arrive at Dave Cís place, a few of you will remember Dave when he was an impoverished triple owner back in the early Eighties. . Well, hard work and determination has changed a lot of that, Dave is now a successful company boss in the U.S. And as the door to his splendid house is opened I can only look on in awe as a H2b and a í69 H1 stare me in the face! A couple of í70 H1ís are in the dining room to my right, and as I move on into the lounge? I am faced with three H2 road bikes and five GENUINE works race bikes! Just total and utter awe and admiration are my only sensations as I struggle to take it all in! (O.K. so maybe just a snippet of jealousy as well J ) A dazed climb up the stairs reveals THREE Denco bikes in the master bedroom.  Who says money cannot buy happiness ? How many more things could be better in life than waking up and looking at a H2? (I suppose Cindy Crawford would be close - but no cigar!). A wander out to the garage finds another stash of Kawasakiís. A H2c, a Nitrous H2, A Four cylinder H2, H1c, a Z1r Turbo, A couple more "R"ís under restoration plus Dave's regularly used H1r & H2r.

The Saturday afternoon was spent chewing the cud and all credit to Dave he hasnít changed a bit, work and play are different ball games and as we wander down to the savour the local hostelries and am pleased to report that he would still be hanging in there with the best of us at the annual bash! Unlike myself who merely sniffed at the first Two pints! Let me explain, I am very partial to a nice cider (Stowford Press is nectar!) so, always willing to try something new I plump for "Pear Cider". UGH! Is my only word for it, I have to say I didnít get half way down the glass, I am just glad we donít grow enough pears in the U.K. to make that particular brew! So, what else is on offer ? Razz Berri Pale ale . . . Razz? As in "going out on the razz" getting drunk, enjoying yourself? Iíll have some of that! Nope, Razz Berri as in Raspberry UGH! sickly and putrid are being kind to these alcoholic beverages (I am reluctant to use the word BEER!) Three sips and I was finished I can only relate it to pouring a pint of lager into a bag of red jelly babies and drinking the resulting syrup!

But, after a wander to another pub we find a lot of life and a very nice 7% pale ale which after consuming several pints saw a couple of old prats mucking about like teenagers again! After a night on the town I am happy to report that Dave C would still stay up with the best of us at the annual bash! (Which was in fact was to be proven at the Southern Rally!)

A boozy bleary bloodshot Sunday morning saw Dave persuading me that I really ought to try his race bikes on the local road . . . stupidity gave way to common sense and I found myself sat aboard his race H1r and heading off down the road in my shorts, sandals and my special "safety" NIKE hat! Luckily I was sober enough to have a little common sense left and doubt if I hit 60mph. I then had the race H2r forced on me.  Oh god! Few bikes have stunned me like this one did, I wound it up to 7,500 it was fast, it hit 8,000 - my hat flew off and I hung on for grim death! This bike is a rocket, coupled with a raise in the road and I was pointing at the sun! I can only thank my lucky stars that I was still hung over Ďcos if I was sober then that bike would have been heading for the gas station and then to downtown San Francisco!  I sat aboard the bike stunned. Can life ever get any better? I have to say it did! A ride later in the day over to an old acquaintance saw a line up of race bikes equally stunning as Daveís - but with a bonus Ė in the next room were certainly the most perfect collection of low mileage H2ís in the world! I am talking of a handful of 1971-1972 H2ís, several of which showed less than a thousand miles on the clocks. One bike in particular was being "disposed" of on EBAY that week, going over it with a fine toothcomb revealed a couple of minor faults, how these had occurred in such a short road time was the subject of some serious detective work! Those of you that follow the EBAY sales will know that this 880 original mile bike was sold to another collector in the U.S. for $10,500 (£7,000) A bargain! That bike will double in value in the next few years. It has been said before but I stick by my guns that a bike can be restored many times but it is original just once! I can count on one hand the happier hours in my life than spending that afternoon with a trio of true Kawasaki experts talking H2ís! An early night saw me devoting some time to rally planning.

Monday morning and it is head for home time. I head towards San Francisco with the intention of doing the "tourist" stuff for a couple of hours, strange thing is that I see the road to Dan's place and turn off, luckily for me he is in and far more to the point he is pleased to see me! We wander over to his other location where he has another eleven bikes that are also in stunning condition, over the next hour I photograph Dan's "original" bikes for reference and am totally convinced that Dan really is the foremost authority in the world on Kawasaki bikes from the 60ís and 70ís, whilst I may just have the edge on the H2 marque Dan is the Oracle on the whole Kawasaki field. After dropping the new Hertz Rent a car off ($95 (£63) for Two days). I head for the flight home a very happy camperÖ.. Until I land in the rain and realise I have the Coyote bikes in customs (which will be closed when I land) and the annual rally going ahead in 36 hours jetlagged time... funny old life innit ?