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

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Drop of a hat 2005 - Part 5



.It’s early September and I am heading back over the pond when I really shouldn’t be! The container of bikes only arrived just ten days ago and I really ought to be in England preparing them for sale. However, my flights are booked weeks in advance (due to my flight out of the U.K. being a return flight to the U.S.) so I can either lose the flight, re-schedule at $500 or so, or just catch the flight and turn it into a worthwhile trip.


The devastating hurricane “Katrina” had hit a couple of weeks back and as I landed in Michigan (after midnight) and I was soon reminded how alert the police are here as within 10 miles of the airport I was pulled over for an alleged crossing of the white line – the cop was O.K. I blamed the 22 hour trip - but it was a reminder that I had been pulled on the last four trips so I had better watch my step!


Next morning and I was shocked to see petrol was up to almost $3.30 a gallon! (£2.00) I know it still isn’t much by U.K. standards but it is almost double what it was 10 Months ago – Just imagine if petrol in the U.K. jumped to £8 a gallon in 10 Months! What I found even more ironic was that Europe had sent our petrol reserves to help out with the “katrina” problem and consequently the prices in the U.K. rocketed – but the price stayed high both in the U.S. and the U.K. This was not a good time to be taking a 1,400 mile drive down south in a gas guzzeling truck!


Once I found Internet access I learned that I had won a Café Style racer H2 off Ebay, which had been won with a sniped bid placed before I left, the dilemma now is how on earth do I fetch it from Minnesota, my schedule hasn’t allowed for a 1,400 mile detour.


I spend the day preparing and loading my truck for the long drive south, whilst wandering downtown for a snack I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this cute little racoon living in a water outlet in downtown Traverse City.



So next day I head off down south and called at Gary Seeleys in Battle Creek to collect MT1, another Ebay bike collected by Dave C in California and dropped off at Garys when Dave was heading across country from California to the races in Toronto in Canada – love it when a plan comes together, moving this Café H2 may be a bit of a problem though.




Another shock was the various prices of petrol and cigarettes on the way down south, petrol varied by as much as 50p a gallon and cigarettes varied by over a quid a packet – different States have different tax levies which makeup the difference, like England importing fags and booze from France, shipping cigarettes from Florida to the North is not uncommon. Cigarettes $5.50 in Mi and down to $2.50 in Florida.


2 days into my trip and I hear good news, Cody (scrambler) has sold a bike to a guy in South Michigan who is heading over to collect the bike and will be passing quite close to where the café H2 is, a few phone calls and the plans are coming together I offset the petrol costs and Mike Swistak will collect the bike for me, it gets even better as I speak to Mike and the following weekend he is heading up to Traverse City for a weekend break! How’s that for luck!


I stop at several breakers yards along the way and most have rusty remnants of triples but none have anything worth talking about, this yard in Kentucky had 3 S2’s in, I bought the gauges and some other items off them. I checked the engines and they were all locked up L




The same yard had this H1f that had obviously been there a VERY long time – so long in fact that there wasn’t a single useable item on it, what is heartbreaking is the speedometer reading 3,000 miles and the original tyres yet even the pipes have rusted through now L



 I arrived in Florida after stopping at 5 breakers yards – all had parts but nothing to get me excited.


A couple of H2’s appeared on Ebay just 70 miles from my location in Florida – they were described as having slight rust and a few “scratches” so what better than to take a Z1000 for a ride in the 80 degree heat to check them out? So, it’s on with the shorts and sandals, a helmet (although that isn’t a legal requirement in Florida – unless you are riding without insurance) and  I head up to Cedar Keys to look at the H2’s. What absolute piles of crap! The description said “Slight surface rust, Engines were running” You decide? :




The houses in this area are typically built on stilts as flooding is the area is very prone to flooding . . .  I just wish this H2 owner had a garage that had been built on stilts!


Totally of topic but  I learned that schools in the U.S. often start at 7.30 – 8.30am   which if you live out in the sticks means a morning “yellow bus” collection as early as 6.30am! Suprisingly in Florida a lot of schools have their own cop, a real gun toting cop with a real permanent base at the school! This isn’t to say that the schools have problems, it’s more of a community thing whereby the kids get to know the local cop and treat him as a friend rather than an enemy – sounds like a good idea to me!


I am staying at a small town called Dunnellon,  it’s by a swimming hole on the rainbow river, this river is pretty unique in that it originates from underground springs, the water is a constant year round 73 degrees temperature which coupled with crystal clear water it makes swimming a pleasure – just watch out for the alligators though!



Saturday comes and a ride out is planned leaving from “Triple Ed’s” house – As you may remember, Ed lent me a bike to take my test on and I sort of remembered he was 90 miles away – however after hitting the road at 10am for our 11am meeting I suddenly realised that he was 150 miles away so speed was of the essence! I managed to make the trip in and hour and fifty minutes – luckily the main Interstates are a little more lenient on speed limits and the 70mph limit on I75 can be flouted at 80 without blue lights appearing in your mirror every time you see a cop. One new problem for me occurred whilst riding in shorts (it was new because it is never hot enough or safe enough in the U.K.to ride in shorts!)  I found it it is a wise idea to trap any spare leg space of the shorts between the seat and you legs – imagine a hot day in the U.K. (I know, it’s difficult to imagine that! J) remember that bug infested windshield after that 70mph drive? Well, double the bugs, increase the temperature and imagine what was getting “funnelled” down the flapping legs of my shorts!



 So,  I arrived at Ed’s to see everyone waiting for me (sorry guys!) They seem amused that I have ridden down in short sleeved shirt, shorts and sandals! A quick chat and we head for a local feeding hole before heading out on a run.


I also get to meet the legendary Tony Nicosia



Half a dozen guys made the rideout, Ed was on a GT750



Others were on Yamaha RD’s.  The ride on lasted an hour or so and I had to stop at a gas station to get sunblock for my arms and legs it is very deceiving having that cool breeze on you while riding for 6 hours! I have to say that whilst it was great riding in this part of Florida the roads were B O R I N G ! Very little scenery with no hills or twisty bits.

Once back in Dunnellon and I see that my days ride out has covered almost 520 miles – just about the furthest I had ridden in a day for many years!



Rick Brett  (September 2005)