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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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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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Smoking in the mountains


Many of you reading this will be familiar with “Tomcats” American Triples message board, I myself have been largely involved with Toms boards since the early days. Over a fairly long period of time I had made a lot of friends along the way, many of them I had met on my trips to the U.S. but usually this was person to person. The “Deals Gap” meeting in the smoky mountains in Tennessee seemed like an ideal opportunity to get to meet a large number of guys at what was reported to be an ever growing event. Financing such a trip would be costly but if was able to offset the cost by collecting some Triples to re-sell then it may well be possible. By early 2004 I had purchased the stock in Michigan and with room for more bikes in the container I set about acquiring some H2’s – Ebay is one of the easier ways but the logistics of getting all the bikes into One place was a little daunting to say the least. As I had now bought my own truck it seemed logical to collect the bikes myself and also take in a visit to Deals Gap at the same time. Along with the bikes that I had bought in Michigan there was a fairly stunning 1973 H2a that was begging to be ridden for the first time in 30 years. . . . . Easier said than done!

            I searched various companies in the U.K. and none would Insure me to ride a bike in the U.S.  I then tried companies in the U.S. but none would insure me without a  Michigan drivers licence! Time would not be on my side to take the Michigan drivers test – My good friend Gary “K” in Nth Mi didn’t have any motorcycle insurance and so I was left with a bike and no way to ride it! I rather cheekily asked regular “board” contributor “Gary” in Sth Mi if he would do me a massive favour and insure the bike in his name for me, for this to work I had to sell him the bike so that he was the legal owner and could register the bike his name. Gary saved the day and agreed to do me the BIG favour! Whilst registering the bike I thought that for the extra $30 I may as well go the whole way and get a private plate J

            So, the final plans were made, fly into Michigan, collect the  H2a, head down to Ohio collect a H2c, then down to Virginia to check out a large breakers yard, from there to Deals gap in Tennessee, then to Florida to collect Two H2’s that Triple Ed was storing for me, from there it would be up to Kansas, to collect a H2c, then up to Duluth in Minnesota to collect a H1 – seems simple enough – but the distance involved was over 5,000 miles and I would have to average 500 mils a day EVERY day with a trailer and up to 6 H2’s on board. My small pick up truck has already got 140,000 miles on it, it would be towing/carrying more than double its designed weight, I was far from confident that I could achieve that average. There were Two major flies in the ointment, The H2c in Kansas and the H1 in Duluth, If I could avoid these Two then I would save around a thousand miles. In for a penny . . .  In for a pound -  I asked another board member “Scrambler 73” (Cody) if he would do me a huge favour and collect the bike from Duluth and bring it to the gap, he didn’t hesitate and made the 300 mile round trip to collect the H1 just before he headed the 1100 miles down to the gap!


The plan was starting to come together, I had arranged for my truck to have a full service (probably the first one for 5 years) so that I would have a little more peace of mind on this long trip. I arrived in Michigan late at night on the Monday before the meeting, the Tuesday was spent with Gary “K” removing the 32 year old brake fluid from the H2a master cylinder, I say “fluid” but it was FAR more like Demerara sugar – so much time was spent trying  (and failing) to bleed the brakes that I had no time to see if the bike even ran! Luckily I had a New Old Stock master cylinder that I threw in the truck as we loaded the bike, hooked up the trailer and prepared to head south!



Demerara sugar anyone?




Thanks to Gary I was grinning from ear to ear with my new tag!


So, the journey begins, the first leg is South to a small town in South Ohio, it’s just over 600 miles to my destination where I was due to collect a “rough” H2c – and rough it was!  It was as bad as expected but I was hoping for better, the bike (at under a Grand) was One of these dilemmas of do I break it or do I restore it ? I’ll worry about it later – but  for now it is in the trailer and coming with me to Deals gap.


The next day is a mere 350 miles so I take a detour in Virginia and check out a wreckers yard that I first checked out 8 years ago – VERY little has changed! Some bikes have moved and most have more rust on them now.


as I leave the wreckers  take a wrong turn and end up in deepest darkest Blue ridge mountain country – the truck is not happy as we climb up a gradient for mile after mile- through the clouds and into the back of the beyond, anyone who is out in their yard stops and stares! – By the time I finally get back on track it is VERY dark and I am driving through winding mountain roads and to be honest I don’t have a clue of where I am or where I need to be . . . . . Thank heavens for my constant companion “Streets U.S.A.”  and of course my laptop and sat nav! – eventually after driving through hills and mountains for well over an hour and only seeing 2 other vehicles I stumble across The Camp Ground – right where my Sat Nav said it was! The 350 mile trip turned out to be 540 – but what the hell I am at my destination and I am met by a few familiar faces and some new ones that seem genuinely surprised (and pleased) to see me!


A reasonably early night was had by all (if you call 2.30am early) but highlight of the night had to be “Wink”  looking at me like I was an alien and asking in a drunken(?) slurr  “ Hay,  uuR, Bee, ware djou lurrn to speek inglish mairn?” 


Friday dawns and it is time to get the H2a out – The story with the H2a is that it was stolen in 1974, when the bike had just 3,400 miles on the clock – the cylinders, pipes and other cosmetic items were removed and then the parts were replaced as an insurance claim. For some reason the owner never collected the bike and it only covered a mere 20 mile road test before Larry shut his shops and took the bike to Nth Mi. 


So, as the bike had not run for quite literally 30 years - it seemed like he best idea was to remove and strip the carbs and see how bad they were. My luck was in as there was very few problems once the bowls were removed, we also changed the master cylinder and took bets on how many kicks the bike would take, I am pleased to say it took just THREE kicks for the motor to burst into life for the first time in 30 years! The first ride was just a mile or so to check out that nothing was going to drop off, it seemed to be running fine. A quick kick of the tyres finds that the 30 year old air sis still holding them inflated - they don't appear to be cracked and they have FULL tread - What more can I ask for  ?  . . . O.K. Maybe new tyres with a nice sticky compound would be good!


The being Mr Nice guy didn’t last for long as the poor old bike was then pushed far and beyond what most bikes would normally take in regular use - half way down the mountain I pulled up at a “scenic view” to see that the nice NEW disc bake was now a dark blue colour J  I suppose that I really ought to have checked the tyre pressures and tyre condition – but what the hell it was going as fast as the other guys without even trying!







A 3,000 mile disc brake in pristine contition . .


A 3,012 mile disc brake  -  a rather different colour L


"Winks" H2c Chop



Jim Knights trailer . . .  Cleaner and neater than my workshop!



Moo and Lane try their best to convince Wink that this is how FRESH air really smells!



“Alan” from Florida turned up at the Gap on his GT750 – a nice guy but one with a poor sense of direction – his last trip  to the gap was Via California -  which would be understandable if he lived on the west coast – Alan lives in Florida, The gap is due North but Alan loves riding his GT so much that his 800 mile trip to the gap turned into a 5,000 mile trip via California!



So much occured during the weekend that it would take many pages to report it all – My own personal highlights of the weekend were:


Lane (rngdng) donating a steak to me ( I was looking at just bread and butter for my evening meal)


Wink giving me a special bottle of Green “Boons Farm” wine and then opening a bottle of both Blue and Red\Boons and then proceeding to mix the Two until he had the perfect match for H2c Purple!


The ride down the Cherehola was the highlight of the decade – I deliberately started off at the back of the pack an just got faster and faster during  the 15 mile ride down the mountain (yes on 30 year old tyres) after passing the “leader” I got even faster and with the adrenalin rushing I just though that as much as I moan about my job I REALLY do have the best job in the world – Here I was in 70+ degrees on dry roads racing down a mountain in America with a bunch of other like minded nutters!




After a brief break for lunch we headed back to the gap – It seemed like it was now payback time as a couple of my pals started to push up the pace – finally, common sense kicked in and it dawned on me that being in a strange hospital bed in a foreign country may not be a wise idea! I’ll give credit where it due and say that there were Two GT750’s that passed me and although I could have pushed myself and stayed with them I would have been close to both mine and the bikes (tyres) limits!


My H2a half way down the tail of the dragon – the full size picture is worthy of a place on my office wall – superb scenery



The "Gang" at the top of the Cherehola




With the drastic rise in the cost of gas in the U.S.  some riders have been looking at different methods to transport their bikes there. Or was it that he took One of the 312 bends a little too fast?


Saturday night saw more Bar B Q ues  (Thanks for the Grub Jim K) and Mr Aylor had brought along some tapes from our early U.K. rallies – a good time was had by all eating and drinking, I was fascinated as I hadn’t seen a lot of that early Triples video  footage for MANY years & it was comforting to see so many old friendly faces.


Sunday morning dawned and we all said our goodbyes - my H2a had covered just under 500 trouble free miles during the weekend . . And that "full tread" on the tyres?  Well, somehow they were now down to the wear limits!


I set off down through Georgia and into Florida, down to Sarasota to Ed's house to collect the Two H2's that he had stored for me.


Riding a bike in Florida was a new One to me – there are no helmet laws but thankfully (and wisely) there is a law that states that eye protection must be worn at all times – after once being almost knocked out by a moth in the face I seriously doubt that I will ever ride without eye protection ever again. Although I have to confess that I did take   Ed's S3 400 for a brief trip around the estate without wearing a helmet.   



A ride out with Ed to see the Alligators was interesting, as was riding his GT380, I have to confess it was a nice ride but didn't seem quite as sprightly as the S3.


 So it’s out of Florida, through Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri and on  to Kansas. In truth the bike is Kansas was a little disappointing, it was a H2c but was running rough and looked the worse for wear – I took some solace in the fact that everything along my trips seems to happen for a reason. The trip back was planned through Iowa but with constant tornado warnings and plenty of visible signs of tornados it seemed a little bit wiser to head back lower and through Illinois and Indiana. I have to say that I was extremely lucky in that I was always either ahead of, or behind the tornados.

I was ahead of schedule and decided to take a couple of hours out to look for bikes and parts. Within 2 hours I had found a couple of “Barn Fresh” H2’s, several other interesting Japanese bikes and also a an “Ex”  1966 – 1980 dealer that closed in 1980 and still had his entire inventory from when he closed! Yet another spot on the map to visit in the future.



Those of you with an engineering back ground will appreciate what this poor little truck went through, firstly the trailer wheels are biased towards the rear – meaning that of the four bikes in the trailer only one and a half are rear of the axle which is putting a pretty heavy strain on the towing hitch to such an extent that the hitch was dragging on the ground . . . until I flipped it by 180 degrees!   - Coupled with the 2 bikes on the rear of the truck the rear springs took a severe workout, but, the 4.3litre V6 motor hardly struggled with the load.


So, 5,000 miles into the trip and I am crossing the Michigan border, the old GMC has been doing pretty well to haul it’s full load at a constant 60 – 75 mph, fuel consumption wasn’t great too great at 12 mpg but I figured I could make it back on a couple of tanks of fuel and although no where near empty I pulled off the freeway and filled up with fuel. As I left the gas station I saw a sign for a “Scenic View” of lake Michigan, I pulled into the national park and on a slow ride down a hill whilst looking at the lake the front wheel decided to come off!





Hmnn, Well, I say front wheel, but what had actually happened was that the top wishbone ball joint had come adrift and the wheel sort of flopped off! And this is on a vehicle that 15 mins earlier was doing 70mph on the freeway – I’ll never say I am unlucky ever again.  Quite literally a minute later a State Trooper turned up and phoned a local wrecker for recovery – 6 hours later (and a MUCH lighter wallet) and I am back on the road.


Once back at Traverse City I visit a local bike meeting at a local bar, 95% of bikes are Harley but several people comment on the H2, Traverse is largely a tourist town with the population trebling in the summer Months, it’s a quiet town about the size of Ilkeston but I was amused to see the headlines on the local TV news is that lights on a railroad crossing on main street were stuck on red for 4 hours causing a traffic jam!


So, Another 5,500 miles under my belt, 3 new States visited and not a single traffic jam encountered or the sight of a single burned out car! – Guess who is not looking forward to landing back in England?

More soon . . .


Rick Brett