Expect the Unexpected!
It was November last year when the UNEMCC did it's border to border run. The ride had been planned for sometime and all the normal suspects were up for a it. That would be from Drake, in northern NSW to Cann River in Victoria. A good run all mapped out by the RC - 'Rocket'.
It all went swimmingly until riding down the Gibraltar Ranges on our way to the second night's accommodation at Squeakygate Retreat, Ashby. My Kawasaki 900 Vulcan died. I guessed the offending item (incorrectly as it turned out) was the battery. A ride on the NRMA truck and new battery, and she all good again... we ride on. Next day 20kms or so and she died again... clearly not the battery. Turns out to be a stuffed stator. That will put a dampener on your day in anyone's language. So the boys continued onto Cann River via lots of interesting roads, and had a wonderful time. For me, back on the NRMA truck and weeks later bike is fixed.
So now I am back at Squeakygate, hosting guests as per normal, and cursing my luck. A German couple (Host and Julia) happened to be staying that night on their way north... all very normal. We started talking bikes (still cursing my luck) and I asked if they would like to see what's in my shed. They both liked the idea so I showed my collection, minus the Vulcan. They were both interested in the Mantis (chopped 1978 Honda 4 F2, definitely not standard Honda specs) and seemed to know a lot more about it and the Yamaha SRV in the corner, than I expected. This stuck me as odd that they were both so knowledgeable.
Then they fessed up, they own a business called Classic Superbikes (https://www.classic-superbikes.com/) in Germany. They do this stuff for a living. They buy second hand Classic Superbikes and then do a serious reno on same, returning them to basically brand new. There are always gorgeous bikes for sale. My current fav is the Yamaha XS 1100 2H9 at Euro 6990.
But there's more! We had a discussion about my 'bucket list' plans for the Isle of Man and sourcing a bike in Europe. Host was happy to source whatever bike I want (likely a Guzzi 1100 EV) and prepare it for me to ride away on arrival at his workshop in Leiferde, north of Hamburg... and when I am ready to go home down under, to ship it back for me. How awesome and unexpected is that... and all because the stator on the Vulcan went 'knee caps to the sky'. I now have a dam fine plan for a few months in Europe, including the Isle of Man, when this dam virus thing allows such to happen. It's wonderful when the totally unexpected turns out to be a huge bonus.
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