Why would you go to Imola or Bjoellie to go on a classic hunt? After all, is Belgium closer? So that seems like a great plan. Despite the fact that it is rather late. The appointment is made with a final "toast!" We are stranded in Couvin on the western foothills of the Ardennes. At a wet survey round in a local pub, it appears that the Belgian car and motorcycle run is in the hands of gypsies. These gypsies are pariahs that are tucked away in remote areas and inexplicably inhabited homes. So we just have to search in places where nobody is.
As we drive into the yard of a terminal farm, we are greeted by a hysterical dog on a chain that has made grazes around its neck. A resident who looks like he has just been dug up comes out full of suspicion and behind him. He sees two heavy, unshaven men with a big old American and a tandemrasser. But our appearance and transport make him assess us as successful counterparts. We report that we are looking for old motorcycles. "Ahh. J'en ai une dans la grange. Venez! ”
We walk through the farm where a shaky stack of consumer electronics leans against a wall. Why wouldn't anyone have two hundred CD players? An old man is messing around with a riotgun. There is also a benefit package of double zero hail patterns on the table. Always handy when the barn door is stuck.
Some young women are walking. It reflects the children and toddlers. There are food scraps everywhere. Half pizzas and liter boxes of fruit yogurt. There are also many indoor flies. The three of us drag out a sanding corner and with a proud owner's gesture, our host points to a more than mischievous Honda CB 200. The thing is also orange brushed too.
The elder with his riotgun has come to stand curiously. It seems useful not to show our disappointment. The orange mold is charged for 20 euros. We are waved goodbye. A vague car breaker with a morning cone later reports that he does not have any motorcycles, but does buy the Jaguar of the Queen of England.
The number plate of the former Mk II is marked with "Queen Victoria Road" as the address of the previous owner. That owner was called JW Smith. We let the man have his illusion. Later that week during our classic hunt, on a real motorcycle run, we find a lot of old English and a few Japs. The sloper is not a seller. Even worse: his dog is not on the chain. But life is beautiful when you speak French. And everything will be okay.
In the twilight we happily lift a greasy feeling CBX block and two almost terminal Suzuki T20s on the hanger and we drive away while the dog snarls at our tires. The next day makes clear what the twilight and our greed had hidden: a dripping fist-sized hole in the crankcase of our six-cylinder. A case of 'end exercise connecting rod'.
We decide to spend the rest of the week hunting on terraces instead of on motorcycles. You go to Belgium for cholesterol and beer. Not for the classic yacht.