Kawasaki Z1 1973, best in show winner at Stafford show, October 2012. Owned by Dave Orritt
Kawasaki Z1, genuine UK specification one (only 40 examples were available from Kawasaki in 1973).
It'd previously been used for drag racing by the first owner and the frame had been strengthened around the headstock, under the tank and across both side ‘V’ frame joints. I spent a lot of time and de-strengthened the frame to factory specification and dressed the metalwork. I prepared the frame and all blackwork and painted the frame with cellulose paint to match the factory finish.
As for the engine, it needed a full rebuild and was completely professionally prepared to original standard and presentation, using genuine Kawasaki parts.
The bike restoration was finally completed at the beginning of 2011.
During 2012 the bike was photographed and featured as the cover model in Kawasaki Z1 Buyers Guide published by Veloce.
It was entered in the Stafford show in October 2012 and was displayed on the VJMC stand in the main hall. It won best in show.
Ray Bourne’s Kawasaki H2A was built in late 1972 before being exported to America, crashing into a Colorado pond and then brought to the UK where steelworker Ray, from Walsall in the West Midlands, bought it in 2009.
Husqvarna 180 546cc, best in show at Bristol, February 2013. Owned by Rodney Hann
The Bristol Best in Show award went to Rodney Hann's 546cc Husqvarna 180. Rodney carried out a full restoration between 2002-04. The frame, V-twin engine and gearbox are Husqvarna's own manufacture. Husqvarna is one of the oldest motorcycle manufacturers, as it started making motorcycles in 1903.
This bike was brought to England around 1970 but never used. It was taken in part exchange for a Rover machine wanted by a Swedish enthusiast. It was advertised for sale in 2000 and I was the first person to respond, and luckily a deal was done. The machine was virtually complete and in good condition and all tinware was sound, but the bike needed a full restoration.
Yamaha RD350-based special, 1981, winner at the Newark Bike Bonanza, June 2013. Owned by Chris Thompson
Chris's Yamaha features a 427cc ‘Banshee’ engine, giving 86bhp. It is equipped with 35mm carbs, V-force reeds, Dent exhaust pipes and a Ganx radiator. It has a Suzuki GSXR400 front end, an RGV250 swinging arm and numerous other nice, bespoke details, including a beautifully finished, hand-stitched seat. Colours – and the paintwork is stunning too – is a homage to Kenny Roberts.
Chris finished it in 2011, but it’s taken the next two years to get it to run as he wanted. He said; “I’m really happy with it now. The engine is temperamental but that’s to be expected because of its state of tune. My biggest problem is that as it’s a special, it never seems finished and I’ve kept doing more. I’m worried I’ll eventually ruin it!”
To that end, Chris has done another RD special, this an equally stunning – but not quite finished – slightly newer YPVS. When that’s done he’s got an RD50M to do, and a slabside GSXR750.
Chris: “I had 10 years out of bikes, what with family commitments and such, but now I seem to be more involved than ever!”
BSA A50 Royal Star, 1969, winner at Netley Marsh Eurojumble, September 2013. Owned by Brian Winslow
The bike was exported to Kuwait from new for the armed forces and re-imported in 2007, with owners in Sheffield, Dorset and Hastings until Brian found and bought the bike in 2010. He's been working on it ever since and has plans for it in the future including a re-chrome of the fuel tank.
The bike's had a total ground-up rebuild, with many new parts, including the clutch, wheels and chromework.
Brian rides many classics and wanted the BSA as a road, not show, bike. Indeed, he rode it to Netley!