Steve Stanton from Ropery Road, Gainsborough, was reunited with his beloved Kawasaki KH-250 motorcycle – 30 years to the day that he first bought it
Since then, he rebuilt the bike to a prize-winning standard.
The 50-year-old self-employed lawnmower repairman and dealer took home the award for the Best Kawasaki in Show at the Lincoln Japanese Classic Bike Show.
He says that finding the bike again was nothing short of miraculous, and getting it back on the road was a very personal and meaningful journey.
“I first bought the bike back in March 1980 from TC Noble Motorcycles who were in town at the time,” said Steve. “I worked for them for a few years when I was 13.”
“It was a great and reliable bike, then I sold it in the summer of 1987 because we were moving and had to get rid of my three bikes at the time.”
He continued: “It was the only bike I’ve ever really regretted selling. It’s the first bike I ever bought and it’s my favourite.”
Then, after many years, Steve didn’t think about his treasured bike until 2008.
“I just started to wonder if it was still around,” he said.
“I looked it up with the DVLA and found out that it hadn’t been taxed since 1991, so I just thought that it had been scrapped.”
However, Steve didn’t give up, and soon his search started to get him somewhere.
He continued: “I kept looking on Ebay to see if it was up for sale, and I joined some internet forums and clubs for this particular type of motorcycle,” he said. “I was just asking if anybody had seen it or owned it in the past.”
“I kept checking every few months, then eventually a guy sent me an email saying ‘I know where your bike is _ it’s dismantled in my garage!’ The really strange thing is that it was exactly 30 years to the day I first bought it. I was just amazed and really pleased.”
In December last year, Steve started putting the bike back together.
“It was quite hard because I hadn’t worked on a bike like this since I had it originally and some of the parts were quite hard to find,” he said.
“I would just work on it for a couple of hours each night because it’s difficult to do it around work, and it eventually all paid off.”
By June, he was finished, and says the sensation of getting back on his old favourite can’t be beat.
“It just felt incredible to get it all back together and up and running,” said Steve.
“I found it really surprising just how much getting back on it took me back thirty years. Everything from the sound of it to the way it rides just brings back memories.”
To reassemble the bike of his youth was one thing, but to win the award for Best Kawasaki in Show at the Lincoln Japanese Classic Bike Show made his journey all the more meaningful.
“I didn’t expect to win anything,” said Steve. “There were over 180 bikes in the show altogether and I thought it was a great reward for all of my hard work – I’m very proud of it.”
Steve added: “Finding this bike was quite a personal thing and it meant quite a lot to me. Having worked at TC Noble’s as a lad and then to have enjoyed reading the bike so much in my twenties, to go full circle, rebuild it and win an award just feels fantastic.”
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