In­ter­na­tional resto

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Letters -

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.

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