The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle
Chris Hudson's 1986 Yamaha FZ600. Photos courtesy Chris Hudson.
Back in Scotland, around ’87-ish I spent 2,000 hard-earned quid on an FZ600. Ten days into owning it I was doing 115mph up and down the M90. It had me thinking: this isn't going to end well. In a rare counterintuitive moment I decided that racing other bikes round and round in the same direction would be safer, sold it and spent the proceeds on a ratty LC350 with Microns, Scott leathers, red and white Alpinestars boots and went to the track. Umpteen visits to Knockhill did not a Mackenzie make me but that’s another story. Truth is, the FZ left a big space in my heart. Thankfully 25 years later eBay threw this up on my screen and I got it for the exactly the same price except in dollars and from Bakersfield, California, not Dundee, Scotland.
It ran and looked a little rough but a carb rebuild, fluid replacement, new screen, stickers, rev counter and some selective powdercoating (the original pipe and subframe) later, it’s no pride of the ball but from 12 feet away she’s still got the looks to find me in the garage for no reason other than to sit and stare.
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