My original bike, bought June 20th 1975.
KawasakiTriples were a range of 2 stroke 3 cylinder bikes built from the late sixties into the early eighties, starting with the original 500cc in 1969.
A 250, 350 and 750 were added to the range in 1972 then in 1973 the 350 was uprated to a 400, in 1975 the 750 had it's last incarnation then the remaining models were given the KH badge.. KH250, KH400 and KH500.
The 250 and 400 only, being produced into the early eighties.
This is the very first disc, which I have now put (a copy) back on, 8 quid,that was a weeks wage!
These are two very early Polaroid's taken at home around 1975 - 1976, This is the original colour scheme ...Halibut blue! she was still 250cc at this time, the backrest was a permanent feature and still lives my the garage.
Did a tour of the south coast in 75 and 76, then in 77, we travelled the south coast and went to France for the first time, just as far as Calais. The gearing was fiddled to make touring easier in 78 and then the 250 pots were swapped for 350 in 79 and the gearing upped again.
France 1978 somewhere in the Loire Valley, still 250cc and Blue at this time,
In 1978, I met Tom & Vicky from Birmingham on an RD and Stuart from London on a Honda near Souillac and we travelled together into Andorra and Spain, parting at Lloret de mar, I toured the french riviera to St Tropez and St Maxime for a few days before the long slog home on the RN roads (very few Autoroutes in those days).
I did a similar run in '79 and '80 complete with girlfriend, Adding Italy and Switzerland in the '80 ride. I later splashed out on a full fairing, this also still lives in the garage, it made touring a lot more comfortable.
Each trip added about 3000 miles in a fortnight. We needed a holiday to recover from the holiday! By 1980 the clock was up to 37000, in the last 20 years its only gone up another 10,000.
I managed to dig up a few more pics......
The Marina at St Tropez, Just to the left out of sight are all the boats where those that have, can watch those that haven't... and vice versa, of course, I am now a parking fine fugitive from here.
Typical French town square any time any day, this one somewhere in the south, can't remember where.
Camping Valira in Andorra La Vella, it's amazing to see just how much things change when you go back time after time, I always stayed here. Looking on Google Earth shows that it is still there too.
Just outside Calais on a return journey, just as well too, the two stroke oil window was empty and a mortgage was needed to buy the French stuff.
In the Eighties I had my own place so, my bike lived indoors. It was a little awkward to get in and out so she was in for winter and out for summer but no daily swapping around, she was also stripped and lived on cardboard sheets for a year or two, that kept the dust off the carpet though!
Home at last 1979, still got the yellow laquer on the headlamp.. does anyone bother these days?
Life on the bikey front was quiet but very comfortable during the eighties, It was a little difficult to get her in here, but getting out again was easy... downhill (stairs) y'see. The neighbours must have thought I was nuts.
Did the whole South of France thing again in 87 but cheated a little this time and caught the overnight train to Perpignan, this was 7 years later at Valira again, Exact same spot, same bike, same tent, no fingers!
Some more pictures taken 97/98 outside home with Jane's Bee em. In '99 we found the Triples Club and had several good rides out, we did over a thousand miles, Scarborough in May, was one of the very first places I ever went in July 1975 with my new bike!
Finally, she gets her long awaited restoration...
This is the 'Before' Picture, not looking too shabby, but tired, I owed it to her.. Her restoration began in 2000 after the Classic Kawasaki Northern Rally, we got home and I took the front wheel off, there was no turning back.
I had done many things to her in the past, mostly deterioration prevention, but this was going to be different........... her first actual Restoration.
Many things had been filled to cover Kawasaki's crap welding and bracketry, The things you do when you're young. Original nuts and bolts were binned back in the seventies and replaced with a CDS screw kit in a tub!
Absolutely everything (and I mean everything) was stripped right down to it's underwear.
This was bleedin' hard work, with only a few per evening done, filed lengthways then spun then lengthways again, then with finer emery cloth until a final polish with wire wool and plate. Nipples were also plated then put in a yellow chromate solution.
Some parts during their rebuild and refinish, all except the chrome and paintwork were restored at home by me. These were all plated and some yellow chromated at home.
These were all restored at home, wiring, all the internals stripped to the tiniest components. Metal mountings, screws, plates, springs and ball bearings were zinc plated and then given a little bit of new grease and reassembled.
She was starting to come back to life but then the restoration stalled due to a house move and lack of finance so she looked pretty much like this for almost two years.
And there is the final result, it has been well worth the wait and very satisfying to have put her back almost as God intended, she went to the Southern Rally for the first time ever and won 1st prize Standard S Series, however, she the was the only contender.... it would have been nice to have had some competition though.
Here are some more Pictures, taken March 2008..