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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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Email: kawaparts@aol.com 


Nuthall  -  Nottingham  -   England
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" . . .  2004

I will start this story on a sad note, some of you will recall my trips to Canada were to see a guy that use to be a Kawasaki dealer in the early 70’s, you will recall how he had  nice collection of old Kawasaki’s and Harleys, and cars and planes and tractors and so forth – this was the guy that had the  Z1r turbos (including a NOS One!) Well, sadly Jim passed away towards the end of last year. Before I go on I would like to tell you the circumstances of his passing. Jim was in his 70’s and early on last year he had a heart attack which could have been cured by a heart bypass, unfortunately Jim had other family members pass away as a result of the same operation so Jim opted to take the “tablet” cure for his ailment. It would appear that all was progressing well and Jim was back doing his favourite pastime of flattrack racing his Harley. It was at one of these race meetings that Jim failed to negotiate a bend and hit the wall resulting in his instant demise, not a nice thing to witness but it seems apparent that Jim had a heart attack on the straight and failed to get into the bend – if that was the case then all I can say is what a fantastic way for a guy that loved motorcycles to end his time!

            So, late last year, Jim’s daughter Kim got in touch and we started to discuss what was going to happen to his NOS parts etc. Obviously this prompted me to take a look at the current dollar exchange rate and I was pretty shocked to see that the pound was worth around 1.68 dollars a bit different from the 1.43 dollars that  Steve an myself experienced 14 Months ago on our bike buying trip. In fact when I started to think about it, the HUGE NOS stock in North Michigan had actually dropped in price (In real terms) by 25,000 Dollars! I kept an eye on the rates over Christmas and the rate increased up to 1.80 – the stock had now dropped by 37,000 dollars, I made enquiries about a loan and when the rate went to 1.82 I took the plunge, borrowed the money and agreed to buy all the NOS stock! A flight was booked and another adventure begins.

            As I was heading to the U.S. I decided to take along some U.S. guys Tach & Speedometers and parts that they had ordered (Along with a large sum of funds to buy the N.O.S. stock) As I filled in the Immigration form I noticed that all sums of money over $10,000 had to be declared . . or it could be seized and the carrier thrown in jail! I assume this is to cut down drug trafficking etc Surely it can’t apply to buying old motorcycles – after all I am just helping the U.S. economy! I filled in the form which asked “Are any items you are carrying not going to leave the U.S.A. with you” – I put down : Restored Motorcycle meters  - U.S. Residents property. As I arrived the customs hall there were several posters warning of the implication of not declaring any stocks, bonds, cash, travellers cheques or money orders etc to the customs. I went to the gate and the lady asked me about the meters, I tried to explain that they were not mine but U.S. residents had mailed them over to me and I was just saving them the postage back .. BIG mistake! She sent me over to the interrogation department where they emptied all my bags and carefully  cut open the meter packages and asked me how I got into the meters etc I was cr*pping myself to say the least as they went thru virtually everything! Now I really DID feel like a drug smuggler a very relieved Mr Brett was released to make his way to his next flight to Detroit.

            Detroit was interesting in that the plane had to do few laps whilst a blizzard cleared up and then landing to sub zero temperatures and several inches of snow was a novelty to me, I can only assume that the pilot made an error as we headed towards a convoy of snowploughs on the runway, it was certainly a first for me to be in a 757 doing a 180 on a runway!

It turns out that the Canada deal was a non event, they had not had sufficient time to sort out all the New and used parts – I will hopefully be going back in a couple of Months time. So, rather than drive the 250 miles from Detroit to North Michigan in the snow and ice and hazardous conditions I plump for a flight instead. This flight was novel, a small plane that holds around 50 passengers it has to have it’s wheel dug out of the snow, we then had the pilot tell us we were Two people overweight and Two folks had to get off, then we were too badly iced up to fly and had to get into the de-icing queue. As the old turbo prop seriously struggled to take off in the blizzard I was more than a little concerned that the old bus would hold together I have never heard such a row from the engines of a plane or felt such vibration as we struggled to climb up into the sky if all the passengers had screamed I wouldn’t have heard them over the racket! But, as we vibrated and screamed North and levelled out the din of the engines died down to an almost tolerable level, a guy sitting next to me made light of the situation, he apparently catches this plane all the time and knew the plane was struggling with the weight and snow etc. We chatted away and he asked me what I was doing in Michigan, I told him that I collected old bikes and he told me of a pal of his that also had some old “Rice Burners” in his barn – He didn’t know what make they were but he gave me his number. We finally landed at a small airport in yet another blizzard, as we skidded to halt at the terminal I half expected to see Indiana Jones come out of the cockpit!

            Next morning I gave the number on my card a call to find that the guy did indeed have 5 Jap bikes, a Goldwing, A GT550, Two Yamaha 750’s and  . . .  a 1974 Z1! The bike was described as a good runner but needing work. So, guess where I am heading first day ? Yep, a 140 mile trip North in pretty appalling conditions to look at a Z1.

The trip was interesting to say the least, I stayed off the main interstate for a lot of the way and was bemused to be overtaken on the inside by Snowmobiles on several occasions, the further North and the more the snowmobiles to such an extent that they were queuing at the gas stations!









 It seemed so strange to see groups of 10 or more people belting along the trails and at the side of the road, during the space of an hour I must have seen over a hundred of these snowmobiles .. .. and they are not slow, I would guess that a decent snowmobile does over 70mph, which is why the Police also ride them - Sirens & Blue lights and all . . . as this poor snowmobiler found out!

Once back on the main freeway North and the diving conditions were becoming atrocious, there was one lane of deep slush and the other was semi clear, this didn’t stop the occasional 4 x 4  coming past at crazy speeds spewing slush everywhere, many of these 4 x 4’s are towing trailers with up to 6 snowmobiles on, it wasn’t long before there was a smash . . . and then another upside down with snowmobiles strewn everywhere.

Finally my Laptop SatNav guided me to the Z1’s home down a long driveway deep in snow, I got out of the car and was almost knee deep in the stuff as we headed to the barn to see the bike. The bike was in a sorry state, 4:1 pipe, painted black tank, torn seat with rotten base, rusty wheels & forks, K&N’s, it hadn’t run for a couple of years, and it was a Z1a (1974) “How much” I asked? “Well, I can clean the carbs out and fit a battery  and I would get around $700.00 for it in the spring on Ebay” I offered him $400 for it which he flatly refused all the time cursing Ebay but realising that very same Ebay will be the saviour if my own BIG deal comes off! A deal isn’t going to be had with the bike so I just have a nosey around the barns with the guy as he uncovers a 1961 Corvette, a 1973 Corvette and several other interesting vehicles. In fact after looking at various property prices in the U.S. I can only gasp as I find out that the chap bought the property 12 years prior, it consisted of 3 LARGE pole barns, 1 large house and 2 smaller houses and 127 acres of land for the princely sum of $60,000 . .  a mere £34,000!!!

            It’s getting dark now, jet lag is setting in and I decide to head for the tourist resort of Mackinaw, well, it IS a tourist resort in the summer! On this winter Saturday night there are just Two of 20+ hotels open – but it is a VERY good quality hotel (Hampton Inn) and for the princely sum of £45 a night I am a Happy Camper,  a burger and a beer and I am sorted. It's quite scenic to look out over the frozen straits of Lake Michigan.

            Sunday dawns and it’s back down South through yet more snow and blizzards and past more accidents on the freeway, the first One is a pair of snowmobiles that have come off a jacknifed trailer and through the roof of the towing 4x4! After having been there for 3 days and racked up another 500 miles I was seriously considering buying my own car for use in the U.S. If the big deal goes ahead it would mean another Two or Three Trips to the U.S. this year which could mean another $2,000 in car hire charges, so I stop and pick up a “cycle trader” and also a “truck trader”. There are no bikes for sale that interest me (other than a Suzi GT750 with 2,000 miles on it for £2,000) It becomes obvious that 4x4 vehicles hold their prices very well and 4x2’s are cheap – so who needs a 4x4? I stop off at a dealer in Traverse City that has a 1999 F150 pick up truck for sale, reduced from $8,000 to just $5,500! It’s a manual but obviously I am use to that, 70,000 miles but that is also no problem, I ask the vendor if he’ll take 5,000 cash for it he seems to agree but suggests that I try it out first.

I try to pull out o the parking lot, the clutch appears to be slipping up the tiny gradient, it then dawns on me that the wheels are just spinning in the snow and ice, I feather\the throttle and get to the main road as a break in the traffic appears I pull out slowly with the wheels a spinning, the truck is broadside and it becomes all to apparent why there has been a $3,000 price cut! With  a 5 litre engine and 2 wheel drive this truck would need a couple of pallets of bricks in the back to drive any distance! Bear in mind that this entire area is snowbound from November to March and you see why a 4 wheel drive truck is essential. It’s quite a large city but the snow is relentless and most roads are constantly snow covered. My search for a truck continues but 4 wheel drive vehicles always carry a premium.

I travel over to see Larry and confirm that the deal is on, it appears to be full steam ahead but there is a fly in the ointment in that Larry wants the bikes moved out within 48 hours! I agree and ponder over my latest problem. Where can I take them and who can I get to move them and bear in mind that it is minus something or the other and the worst snowstorm of the year so far! If you remember on One of my previous trips I had briefly met up with a guy called Gary that collected Z1’s, he had a couple of pole barns that would be suitable as temporary accommodation for the bikes, I called round to se Gary and he agreed to let me store the bikes with him.

Next problem was labour and transport, I searched the “Traders” and the internet and all the 4x4’s were over priced, One however appeared that was high mileage (140,000) and quite reasonably priced, I figured that I was only going to do maybe a thousand miles in it this year. I called the girl and she told me it was her fathers truck that he had given to her, this instantly tells me that if she got it for free then she may be willing to move on the price, the exhaust was blowing but it looked to be a nice truck and had the tow bar and hook up for the electric trailer brakes which all added to the value, a quick haggle and I got the 9 year old truck for $1,700 less than the asking price of  $5,500 (£2,800). After trawling the local hire shops I found a suitable trailer to use and finally booked a U Haul for Gary to drive.

The snow was falling thick and fast as we headed out to Larrys . .

In fact it was the day of the worst snowstorm of the year as we had to do some serious digging just to get to the pole barn where the bikes were stored

Finally we get into the barn to reveal the booty :

2 x NEW H2b’s

1 X 3,000 mile H2a

1 x 3,000 mile H2b

6 x New F7’s

2 x NEW Z400’s

1 x NEW KD125

2 x W2TT’s

A New Green H2b in crate

A Brown H2b out of crate

A 3,000 mile H2b "demo" bike

 The “as new” H2a, 3,000 miles. This bike was stolen and had the top end and pipes pinched. The insurance paid up and in 1975 this bike had a new top end, new carbs and full set of new pipes – it has covered 120 miles since then!


SIX new F7c's - One crate is opened for the first time in 30 years! Larry is shocked to see a blue bike – he thought that all Six were Silver!

Two new KZ400's

A new KD125

A 1968 W2TT

A 1969 W2TT

             We finally get the bikes loaded and head back for the slow drive back to Garys, Two trips and we have done the job, a LONG and hard day but at least Larry has his wish and the bikes are moved. The next day I go back to Larrys to take photos of some “choice” items, my plan is to put some of the best stock and bikes on Ebay to try and recoup as much money as soon as possible. When I get to Larrys he informs me that he now wants the stock out as soon as possible we don’t see eye to eye on this as we had a gentleman’s agreement that I would have 6 Months in which to move the stock  . . . . .that will take a little more planning but can possibly be done on my next trip out in March or maybe the one after that in May?Some of the spares ? Well, plenty of N.O.S tanks for most Z1's - Plenty of pipes for the triples, NOS seats and a large inventory of other stuff . .

There was a serious amount of NEW stock to move on the next trip . . .

The trip back down to Detroit was fairly uneventful, other\than snow all the way and several vehicles coming to grief, the plane was delayed for 50 mins whilst they de-iced it but I am getting use to that now – only problem with that was that I landed in New York 12 minutes before my next light and had to be taxied across the airport. I landed in England to what we consider cold weather, in fact the very next day we were hit with a couple of inchs of snow that ground England to a halt – quite amusing when I had just left a state where 2 -20 inches of snow a DAY is the norm and the roads have snow on them for MONTHS of the year! It’s all par for the course over there and most people drive accordingly, the little old ladies still drive to the shops in their Cadillac’s and almost everyone leaves the car\engine running to keep warm while they nip into the shops – what’s the chances of doing that in the U.K. and coming out to find that your car is still there ???


Rick Brett