And now we come to an interesting twist in this tale. On the 9th of November I got an email from George asking whether I’d bought anything for the Z yet and for me to give him my number.
By this time I’d put a bid on a rear brake plate, hub, sprocket and axle on the usual, as I thought that the, ‘lightweight, race spec, gp and Isle of Man TT derived rear axle’, was a bit much. It could do with a refurb’ as well so until myself and the cafe slug/phoenix etc etc* could handle it I thought it was best to find something less awesome and more down to mortal earth.
So George gave me a phone.
In fact right now I’ll give you a quick summary of who George is or at least as much as I know, I’m the narrator after all so I can lyrically wander down this path in any which way my size elevens take me, and they are taking me at this point to a description of George. So hold on to my hand if you will and join me...
George is a manny (some colloquialism now or perhaps local dialect) of older years. At a guess I’d put him between his late sixties and early seventies, he was however rather sprightly and fresh on it. He is one of those individuals who you hope you will grow up to be one day. He was older but still seemed hungry for life and all the little adventures that conspire to make it what it is, as long as you have the perception and desire to grab hold of them.
He had a mountain of stories and tales of bikes and projects and was the kind of person who, when he gave you advice you weren’t put out by it, but instead took it on as something more than merely an individual’s opinion. I’m the sort who when I meet someone interested in bikes or cars, or really anything mechanical or interesting in that way, will quite happily speak for the rest of the day and night. Stuff like that at the end of the day is rad and George was just done of stripping a 1150 BMW engine after a plastic something or other had broken up inside and caused all sorts of havoc, and was just after delivering my Z off to view a classic mini for a project. The beemer stuff was interesting as my Dad had a 1150 and now a 1200 and I’ve a few friends with GS’s both old and new as well. Anyway, I digress (again), George was a dude and I’m sure for someone is a bloody cool granddad, and if he’s not I’d quite happily adopt him in the role as I’ve ran out my self
So after our brief meander to the description of George we should get back to the phone call and the B road of this story, probably more of an unclassified road if we’re being honest really, or perhaps a track...
George had originally had two Z200’s that he’d come about in some way or other. He’d sold one as a complete runner previously and then I’d purchased the other one.... which was missing a few bits. The person George had sold or given, I’m not overly sure, the other Z to had for some reason given it back. George’s proposition was that I could buy this new Z and he’d buy my one back. He was going to list it on ebay with documents for £350 but was offering it to me for £250. His advice was for me to go away and add up roughly what it’d cost for me to get all the obvious parts for my Z to make it complete.
So I did and slightly scared (not soiled, that’s a whole other story) myself. My additions came out to be around about the £500 mark including the bike. That was however the obvious things and didn’t take in to consideration any of the unseen bits and pieces that always crop up. And looking back at the list now I can see that I’ve missed obvious bits from even that.
So George’s deal did sound like a good one, his Z was missing a headlamp, battery and indicators but otherwise was complete. George then sweetened the deal and suggested that I could keep any parts of my Z that I’d like, engine, forks etc and he’d take whatever was left, which would probably be mostly rust, and in this way I could then try and recoup some money back.
So I gave it some musing, talked it over with my brother bear and then decided to go for it. George suggested he take the bike over on his trailer with all the parts, I could take a look over it and if I was still keen he’d leave it with me and then come later on to pick up the bits I didn’t want. So a date was set, 11 o’clock on Saturday the 11th of November to be exact and we waited to see the new beast.
The day dawned bright and beautiful and George appeared as promised with the noble steed and interestingly a nose bag full of extra parts which were thought lost. The Purple Pimpernel was rolled off the trailer and pushed round the back. The breeze was shot and George departed no doubt on some daring crusade of mechanical intrigue and Rob, he being brother bear lately spoke of, and I sat on the new beast and made the usual noises. And then I took some photos...
Resized to 94% (was 1024 x 768) - Click image to enlarge
Resized to 94% (was 1024 x 768) - Click image to enlarge
As you young viewer can see, the motorcycle, resplendent in purple hue, was rather complete.
I later spoke to George again and confirmed I definitely did want the new monster and we agreed on a price of £175 for it. He went on to say that I could in fact keep my old Z and try and make some money back that way. What a gent, and I mean that in the normal society way and not the forum’s.
So the obvious question was flat-tracker or cafe racer style? The topic raged in the flat and with various other brethren of the Wee Z and in some ways it still does. However there are some issues. The owner who had the bike in between George’s tenure had begun to cafe it himself. In doing this he’d chopped off the seat locks, polished some bits and that was about it. It did rule out the simple idea however of chopping up the foam in the original seat and tidying the rear end up, which was a bit of a teary sadness.
Anyway that really concludes the history of the Wee Z or rather the Wee Zs. There has been movement and progress but this has been both sporadic and often in a sideways direction. The story however shall continue.
*insert favourite title/term of endearment/vicious slur here.