Re­frig­er­a­tion en­gi­neer Ju­lian West has the hots for any­thing from Ital­ian ex­ot­ica to Span­ish tri­als irons with a few Kawasaki triples too

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Bikes of my life - EDITED BY ALAN SEE­LEY

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.

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