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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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July 2006 Mid Ohio



Flight prices seem to have increased in the last couple of years, July through to September is an expensive time to travel to the U.S. But with a few bikes already stashed in the U.S. I decided to clean out the bank and gamble on buying some bikes at this years Mid  Ohio “Vintage Days Swap Meet”- - but as H2’s in a poor state on ebay were selling for $5,000 before I left – It didn’t make this trip look too promising of finding bikes, plus the fact that this will be my longest trip ever to the U.S. and plans of covering some 5,000 miles in the next three weeks at between 12 and 17 miles to the gallon (at a now hefty $3.20 a gallon) made me realise that I need to start being a little more frugal, to this end I took  a tent along and planned on staying  in camp grounds along the way rather than hotels.


I arrived at Brum and boarded my regular “Continental” flight. I settle down for a glass of wine to lubricate my keyboard fingers before I try and catch a little bit of sleep, it seems that nowadays they only have FRENCH red wine aboard the flights – not the slightest hint of American and even the palatable Chillean has now gone . .. . time to change airlines maybe L And that was only the start  of  an eventful flight, after missing flights and spending over a hour on a runway I finally arrive in Michigan around midnight (5am U.K. time).


Next day I was all set to head to Mid Ohio but the darned  truck wouldn’t start! It had been struggling to start for a few months, I suspected lack of fuel but had little clue of where to start . . . . . until I called a pal off the message board! John(AtKens) suggested that it may be the fuel filter but was more likely to be the pump, I ran through the tests that he suggested and the pump seemed to be working fine so I bought tools and a fuel filter. Once underneath I saw the fittings to the filter were totally rotten and there was no way it would come undone without ripping the pipes apart, not only that but it was located  in a b@stard of a place, I called john back and he still suspected fuel pump, which needed a ramp to drop the tank and even then it would be a lousy job as all the fittings were again corroded (the truck had lived all it’s life in Michigan, where, like us they salt the roads in winter and the top of the tank was a trap for all that salt!) I called all local garages no-one could do it (or even more wisely didn’t want to!), I called John again and he told me it was a biatch of a job and there was no way I could drop the tank lying on my back under the truck I needed a ramp or I was going nowhere, after looking at the tank all mountings were rotten and no way it could be done at side of the road, I knew full well that the mounting bolts would shear and the pipes would also shear off rather than come undone! All looked like it was down the pan and as I was staring at the truck full of disappointment it occurred to me that there is always more than one way to skin a cat, off to wallmart and $20 later I am back at the truck and cutting the bed floor out .with the angle grinder I just bought! A hole in one! And the offending item is in view – but what a mess, it was a mass of rust and as I tried to undo the pipes they all sheared off, but it was off and I was quoted $250 for new unit, I bit the bullet and fetched it, but it was the wrong assembly! Luckily I did get the correct pump and it was $120 cheaper J




All back together and it fired right up – John was right it WAS the pump! I was somewhat relieved to say the least.


The next challenge was that I had to get my Honda dream going that I had just sold on Ebay and was delivering to the buyer in Tennessee - the news was no better there, the battery was flat, and it was pissing fuel out, fortunately I was already aware of this and swapped the float and needle, I also bought a new battery and it fired right up! Problem was that it was still not charging correctly, however, I load up and head out late but on the road! I am driving through severe thunderstorms on the way down south so I made it 200 miles and called it a night.


I arrived Mid Ohio in the early afternoon and was made welcome by the “Smokeriders Club” Mainly Suzuki Two Stroke boys but still I was welcomed with open arms, and offers of beer and food! After finding a camping spot I headed over to the swap meet to see what bargains there were, it was a long haul from the campsite (about a mile walk) and I was envious of the dozens of guys on small bikes of every kind that were nipping around as I made my way over in the 90+ degree heat. Once at the meeting it was apparent that I was a day too late to buy any “bargains” all the reasonably priced bikes had already gone to other traders that are allowed in a day early, a couple of Japanese guys had bought up all the Kettles, 900’s and smaller triples. I didn’t fair much better in the autojumble as the triple parts were few and far between. It was now late afternoon and I was beat – I wandered back to the campsite and was more than a little pleased to see my pal Cody who had brought along my 1965 B8 that I had bought off Ebay almost a year ago! The bike had covered just 900 miles in 41 years! It was last used some 25 years ago but with time on my hands I decided to see if it would go, I nabbed the battery off the Honda and purloined some gas off Jeff and after blowing up the fuel pipe to unblock the strainer fuel started to flow. I hit the electric start (yep, on a 1965 bike!) and within 20 seconds the bike was running! A quick ride around the site revealed it was far from happy, after cleaning and resetting the points I was in business – no more walking YEAH!



Friday was a late night spent talking to Jeff (Gootblatt) and drinking Two small bottles of wine and then half a gallon more of the stuff! I’m not sure if Jeff is a good talker or just a good listener but we had an enjoyable night


Saturday morning and not only was it in the mid nineties but I had the hangover from hell – all my own fault!, I was SO glad that I had a bike to ride, especially as YT was going to unveil the XTR machine this morning! However, on the way back to the swap meet the back tyre went flat, And with temperatures again in the low 90’s I was in no mood to change it but with the sweat coming out of me like a sponge I soon had the rear wheel out and walked to the swap meet in search of a new tube, my luck was in and soon I was back on the road just in time to collect Brad & Maggie and give them a lift to meet up with the guys.


YT duly unveiled his XTR project, the bike was a Triple but not in the sense that we would expect, YT and friends had a built an Extreme Triple Racer (Drag) the bike was based around a 1200cc Jetski motor with an amazing amount of development, not least the addition of Nitrous and a slider (?) clutch.


The afternoon consisted of walking around the pits and checking out the vintage race bikes, being treated to a display from a Police motorcycle team (who left the circuit with the lead rider riding up the road standing on the seat of his Harley with his arms fully outstretched – Impressive!)  and finally checking out the bikes in the auction. The only bike of interest was a fairly original H2a which I budgeted a bid of $3,200 on, as it approached $2,500 there was just myself and Ex Aussie bike dealer Michael of “Michaels Motorcycles” bidding, I hoped he would drop out but in the end he won the bike for $4,000 which I didn’t think was any great bargain - especially for a H2a. So, it’s back to the free beer, food and great hospitality of YT and the other GREAT guys from the NAKTC.


That night it was onward down South and a scenic campground somewhere in Ohio that was riverside and with only the sound of the animals and bugs in the trees!


Monday was a day of driving down South, I called the buyer of the Honda and was told that he had changed his mind and he didn’t want the bloody thing! So here I was with a bike that was worth more in England and which was taking up valuable space in my truck, I was beginning to wish that I had never set eyes on the darn thing!


I decided to check out a local junkyard in Kentucky, it seemed to be a little off the major highways and was worth stopping by, but it was obvious that after hearing my accent the prices went up! I bought a couple of items but the owner was not going to get rich off me.

 The Kawasaki Triples were very thin on the ground, (apart from a KH400) but for some reason the Suzuki GT380 & 550 models were plentiful at this particular yard, and if you REALLY felt adventurous you could check out the seats or carburettors stashed roof high in one of the old “freddie” buses in the yard.

 I asked the owner if there were any more yards worth visiting on my way down South, he warned me that if I went out into the wilds of Tennessee I needed to be wary of any junkyard flying “The rebel flag” or I may never be seen again – scaremongering or wise advice? Luckily I never found out because after another 500 miles of driving I have had enough and after a quick check of the map I see that Deals Gap is just 40 miles away, it’s getting late and rather than run up the mountain I decide to pitch camp by the lower reservoir, it was interesting to say the least as fishing boats were still trolling by at midnight. As the sun came up to yet another beautiful day I ventured into the warm lake for an early morning swim – FANTASTIC stuff, this was almost turning out to be a holiday rather than work J



 Another day and with the “wireless” access at McDonalds I managed to relist the Honda on Ebay in the hope that someone would buy it on the way down South or at worst on the way back up North., I went out for a beer and got back at midnight, checked the Honda sale and it wasn’t there, I assumed it had sold with the buy it now option but when I checked it wasn’t there either, I checked my messages and Ebay had assumed it was a scam listing and frozen my account (it was originally listed from England and was now being re-listed from the U.S.A.), by 3.30am I had managed to get through to live help at Ebay and they said they needed to call me on the number that I had registered with them – problem, it was an English landline number and I was now in the U.S. they then froze my Ebay account until they could call me back in England (which wasn’t going to be for a couple of weeks). I head on down South and

weds night was yet another riverside campsite, it turned out to be an “alcohol free” campground (Still in Tennessee) which was a novelty, I felt like a teenager as I looked both ways and poured my wine into a coke can!  But the campground was also a “tubing” start point where you could rent a rubber tube, float down river for 3 miles and then get ferried by minibus back up to the start, if time had allowed I would have had a go – apparently you are never too old for it as these pensioners were proving.







I finally arrive down in Florida and make my way down to Ed’s house where I again meet up with Tony Nicosia, no riding today but I get Tony to sign a T Shirt for Nipper.

I leave my little Honda with Ed Zunz in the hope that he can sell it, I buy Ed’s GT750 off him and after collecting another couple of bikes that I had bought I am almost full . . . . when I hear of a guy in Ohio that has a few triples  for sale. So it’s Monday, and I am stuck with more bikes to collect and no trailer big enough, I rent a larger U Haul trailer but when I check in the back there are no tie down hooks! After a little bit of thought it worked out that I would be as well to buy a good used trailer and then when I had used it to get back North I could re-sell it, the dilemma with a used trailer is that they get little or no maintenance, I found several but they all looked shabby, after checking the local small ads I found a 18 foot car trailer, it was virtually new so the tyres and bearings would be good and I could have a hassle free 1700 mile trip up North, I struck a deal and was confident that I could get my money back out of it when had I finally finished with it. The only downside with trailers in the U.S. is that many have electric brakes and my truck was not fitted with the adapter required, I was o.k. to tow the trailer unladen as it only weighed 1300 pounds. When I put a couple of bikes on it this may turn out to be a different story.


So, I hit the road North with just 3 bikes on the trailer and only 2 more in the pipeline, this trip was not being too fruitfull so far. “Westriverex” (Ric) of Ebay frame had been in touch and had recently had an influx of around 80 triples bringing his inventory to somewhere near the 120 mark – the only drawback for me is that Ric tends to draw top money on Ebay for his bikes so it’s unlikely that I could prise any bikes off him at a bargain price. Coupled with the fact that it would be a 350 mile detour it seemed unlikely that we would be meeting up.


I head on up through Georgia and into Tennessee where I collect Two H2 frames that I had to leave behind on last years trip. The owner gave me a friends phone number who use to be into triples, I gave him a call and headed over to meet him. Tom was a colourful character who Had been into triples for many years, he was now down to his last Two, a tidy H1a and an old beater of a H1a that had stood outside for a couple of years, whilst in the garden Tom picked a fresh fig of a tree and I chomped on my first ever fresh fig – unusual and not at all bad! So, we struck a deal on the H1 and freed off the stuck brakes and loaded it up on the trailer (this was destined to be the bike that Classic Mechanics restored and gave away). A friend in Illinois offered me a S2a so I could stop by on my way up to Chicago where I had bought a Z650 off Ebay. Things were picking up but were far from looking rosy.

As I head on through Kentucky I hear of a guy with three basket case H2’s for sale in East Ohio, I arrange to call by and my 1700 mile trip has just turned into a 2100 mile trip! So, it’s up through Kentucky and into Ohio stopping at various junkyards along the way but all to no avail. I finally arrive early afternoon at Herbs house in a lovely quiet and scenic part of Ohio, as always when you have plenty of land and covered storage the place was full of dozens of go carts, bikes and lawn mowers (when you have 10 acres to mow you get through a few over the years. I struck a deal and not only did I drive off with the Triples but a few other bikes as well! J


I Stayed overnight in Ohio and headed for Ric Seels the next day, He certainly had some triples . . . But I now had neither the room or the money to but any off him.


A day later I am backing Traverse City unloading the bikes and trying to work out how to get across Lake Michigan the fastest to collect the last bike – the KZ650, I was relying on the ferry but when I tried to book it it was fully booked up!  And with time rapidly running out I ended up sorting out a last minute 800 mile drive to Chicago to fetch the Z650. As this is a trip on a budget I again plump for a campground, there seems to be a small one a few miles off 131 that will do the job, after a few miles driving through farmland and woods I arrive at this isolated location to find it absolutely heaving and that I was issued with the last plot available! The campground had basic facilities and I suppose the big attraction is the large lake that people come to enjoy. I am on the road relatively early and hit the Chicago city limits around 11am, the Traffic is flowing surprisingly well with very little in the way of hold ups and bottlenecks – It’s Sunday morning and the bike riders are our in force, they tend to ride in bunches of either sportsbikes or Harleys, the riding style is totally different, it’s pretty common to see a pack of sportsbikes coming down the road with the riders wearing little in the way of protection and that is very understandable when it’s 90+ degrees out, however I am constantly wincing as almost every group of these riders has one or Two guys wheelying down the middle of them for  a serious length of time wearing just T Shirts and shorts!


I collect the bike and head South around Lake Michigan briefly through Indiana and back into Michigan Something that always annoys me in Michigan, and I don’t know if this is for profit or to encourage car useage mid week but petrol prices go up at the weekend, at this moment petrol is around $3.05 during the week and around $3.18 at the weekend and in Chicago it is a hefty $3.45 a gallon! One thing that I do know though is that I would like to go back 12 Months and be paying $1.89 a gallon – or even go back 7 years and be paying just 0.99c a gallon! (£0.46p)


A couple of the bikes I bought don’t have titles, so the only option is to spend a day stripping the H1, S2 & H2c down to ship them as spares. The container is ordered and duly arrives on my birthday – as always we have 2 “free” hours to load the container and it is VERY hard work.




and as I wouldn’t like to find a container full of damaged bikes I always put the responsibility of strapping the bikes down on myself, my pal Gary is the brute force that humps the bikes sideways and I do the contortionists act of trying to fit a strap to each corner and hold them in place, I am often confident that even if the container is dropped most of the bikes would stay upright, but you HAVE to use good quality straps and not the “Four for a Fiver” type made in China! This container was almost a record, it was loaded in 2hrs & 10 mins and I finally perfected the art by getting someone to take the driver to Burger King for lunch as the 2 hour deadline approached  - when he returned the container was loaded and ready to roll J

We sat down to a well deserved beer and food cooked by Garys wife  - - THANKS BARB!



Events have taught me that rarely does everything go smoothly with shipping a container, I had allowed myself 4 extra days in case anything went wrong, as it happens nothing did (shock horror!) and I have a weekend free to visit “The Buckley Steam and Small Engine Show”  . .  . Buckley is small town America at it’s best – Nothing ever happens there (apart from the Buckley Twins) and The engine show -  a huge park who’s only use is the 5 day engine show,  As a teenager I was fascinated by steam and engineering so a visit to the show was fascinating for me, I am use to old English industrial stuff – but American Industry in this neck of the woods was largely revolving around farming, there are hundreds of tractors and equipment from the late 1800’s and the turn of the century, if the weather hadn’t been so poor I  would have spent the whole day there.






A wonderful break from motorcycles and just great to see people so passionate about other stuff, small “fire every 30 seconds” engines, to the hand cranked corn shredders  - and the display of the “ultimate in John Deers” was impressive as well!



Another interesting trip comes to an end . . .



Keep One Wheel Down . . . ..    Rick