In the July 2106 issue you did an article on people who have restored older bikes in unlikely parts of the world. Well let me introduce you to my bike and I: it’s a 1975 Kawasaki KZ900 and I live in Berlevåg in Norway.
If you’ve never heard of Berlevåg, I don’t blame you. It’s a tiny place about 1500 miles north of Oslo, right at the top of Norway and close to the Russian border. If you go any further north you’re Father Christmas.
In the winter it’s usually about -20° C and between November and March we might get half an hour of twilight a day if we’re lucky. The winds reach speeds of 20 metres per second too, so when it’s like this no one rides a bike – we use snowmobiles.
In the summer it’s light 24 hours a day, and that’s when the Kawasaki comes out as my daily ride. A few other people have bikes here, but new ones – the nearest person to me with a Ps-era bike is 350 miles away.
I bought the KZ900 in 2003, just before the price of old Kawasakis went through the roof. The two-tone paintjob was already on it, which I’ve kept – it still confuses people around here. I’ve rebuilt the cylinder head and a few other engine parts; the engine is bulletproof. In the summer I took it on a 3000-mile round-trip with my daughter Lisbeth on the back – it didn’t let me down once. Lisbeth got the bug and we’ve since got her a little old Zed for her 16th birthday.
I’ll never sell the KZ900. In fact, I’ll probably be buried with it.