Classic bike roars back to its past

A MOTORCYCLE shop has welcomed an old friend back for a visit - 44 years after saying farewell.

Tom Potter

A MOTORCYCLE shop has welcomed an old friend back for a visit - 44 years after saying farewell.

The beautifully restored 1964 Honda C100 motorbike recently made its way back to Davey Bros Motorcycles, in Ipswich's Alan Road, for an MOT - looking as good as the day it left the showroom.

The bike had been lovingly renovated by Neil Kidby who bought it for a mere fiver.

Now £700 of repairs later the C100 looks immaculate.

After buying the bike privately, Mr Kidby was told by a friend that Ipswich's Davey Bros may have sold it because when the shop opened in 1960 it was the only Honda dealer in East Anglia.

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Mr Kidby, 48, of Westholme Road, said he enjoyed taking the newly restored C100 back there for an MOT.

The Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club (VJMC) member added: “It was a strange thought really that 44 years ago, almost to the month, this bike was new and in the very same workshop being prepared for its working life. There can be very few bikes local to us with such a documented past.

“Its history is the only thing that saved it though. The sensible thing would have been to not restore it but it's proved very worthwhile.

“The last owner rode it to death until it caught fire. People told me it couldn't be restored, so I thought that was a good enough reason to try.”

Former owners, Neville Whittle, from Hadleigh, and John Crook, of Upper Layham, were also there to see the old bike roll up to the showroom.

Mr Whittle proudly rode the C100 for 30 years before selling it in 1997 to Mr Crook, who owned it until Mr Kidby took it off his hands.

Mr Whittle said: “I used it for a lot of years and even took it down to Eastbourne with my wife on the back.

“It did a lot of miles until we had two children and it just wasn't suitable anymore.

“I didn't really want to get rid of it but we were stuck for space.”

Mr Crook, 67, said: “I used to use it for getting to work and running around but one day it caught fire.

“I stopped riding it and as time went by decided to post a message on the VJMC notice board.

“Then I heard from a lovely bloke called Neil who wanted to repair it.”

Has your vehicle got a fascinating history? Write to Tom Potter, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Motorcycling records

American Gregory Dunham constructed a rideable motorcycle that stood 3.4m tall to the top of handlebars, 6.1m long and weighed 2.9tonnes. It was powered by an 8.2litre V8 engine and had tyres that were 1.88m tall.

On August 2, 2003, Billy Baxter reached a speed of 164.87mph while riding a 1,200cc Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle unsighted at RAF Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, UK.

The longest motorcycle ride through a tunnel of fire was successfully completed by American Clint Ewing and measured 60.96m long at Universal City, Los Angeles, on 27 January, 2008.

SOURCE: Guinness