My buddy for 20 plus years finally told me to come get the bikes. They are a '69 AT1E and a '72 Suzuki TS 400.
I first laid eyes on the pair 20 years ago. I knew the 400 from Dirt Bike Magazine. Rick Sieman wrote about the the TM 400, saying it was one of the few bike that actually scared him with it's light switch powerband and awful handling. I guessed that the TS is a TM with lights.
Anyone that knows the difference between the two, please let me know. I sent Mr. Sieman an email and am awaiting his reply.
I told my buddy Rick that I wanted the 400 that night, the first time I saw it. I gave him $500 about ten years later during a night of heavy drinking. Yeah, I took advantage of him during a moment of weakness, but, what are friends for?
Rick and his sister had a catering business for many years that they finally closed this year. Pueblo, Colorado is a dump and I am surprised that they lasted as long as they did. His sister can't find a job and is losing her home. The bikes had lived in her shed for 14 years.
He called me last week and told me to come get the bikes. The deal with the Yamaha is for me to make it run and sell it, giving his sister the money.
When we pulled the bikes out of the shed last Sunday, I got really excited. I did not take any pictures of the bikes in the shed because I am stupid. They were dusty, had empty boxes piled on them and looked amazing.
Flat tires, bad fork seals and the Yamaha had puked it's injector oil all over the cases at one point. I could see beyond these minor flaws and recognized the flawless bikes before me.
The ride home was spent with one eye on the road and one one the treasures in the back of my truck. Every car that passed me I expected the thumbs up from because they knew the gold in my bed.
No one gave a shit.
An hour of rain and six dollars at the car wash had the bikes showing their potential.