BIKES OF YOUR LIFE
Refrigeration engineer Julian West has the hots for anything from Italian exotica to Spanish trials irons with a few Kawasaki triples too
JULIAN WEST’S interest in bikes was awakened aged 10 when he was given a Revell model kit of a Kawasaki 500 Mach III. Now 54 the retired refrigeration engineer from Lincolnshire lives in Eastanglia.
“At school I had mates who messed around local quarries on home-built BSA Bantam trail bikes and my interest grew from there,” says Julian. “I have only once been without a bike for a short period – when I bought my first car – and was very grumpy as a result.”
Julian’s riding career began when he was 14 in 1976 with a mid-1960s Raleigh Runabout, which he attempted to restyle in the manner of a speedway bike and lighten it to lift over a stile to get to a local field. He took to the road in 1978 on a Fantic Caballero 50, which proved unreliable and not as quick as claimed, easily matched by mates on Suzukiap50s andyamaha FS1-ES.
He moved up the biking divisions with a 1977 Honda CB125T in 1978 and a 1979 Suzuki GP100 in 1980. No photos of those survive so we take up the pictorial tale of Julian’s biking life in 1981 with his first 250.
Julian has owned and owns a good many modern motorcycles including a 2002Aprilia RSV1000, a 2004 RSV1000R, a 2008 Ducati 1098 and a 2010 1098 Streetfighter as well as a 2005 Triumph th ruxt on. yetPs-era machinery still has its lure, as evidenced by the current contents of his collection.
“Over the years I have loved owning and riding the classic Italian bikes that I used to read about in my youth,” he says.