It was a hop, skip and a jump: arranging something with regard to the import of tractors from Ukraine, nightly inter-European transports via the company with the beautiful name , its own coffee brand and superbikes. Old superbikes, to be exact.
Because where today we can buy motorcycles with over 200 horsepower and almost as many electronics as an F-16, there was a time when speed was much more adventurous. That started after the market-disrupting introduction of heavy Japanese four-in-line engines. From 1969 these machines set the bar incredibly high in terms of speed and reliability.
Take the FIM Superbike World Championship, the world championship based on production machines. Almost immediately there were ambitious people, happy spirits and passionate technicians who thought that it should be possible to go much faster with those thick four-cylinder engines. In the early days of the superbike, speed was really limited only by handling and the riders' assessment of their own chances of survival. These techies were not only talented Willie Wortels, but also became legendary names like Yoshimura, Beet, Moriwaki and Over. They rolled up their sleeves and came up with innovations.
Developments went by storm. Between successive races, the adjustments were sometimes so great that the driver had the feeling of starting from scratch again.
The stories from the early days of superbike racing are like a boy's book. Riding such nostalgic machines is a dream. Enter Chris van der Weide from Gendringen. Chris is the man behind that haulage company with that fancy name, but he's also a fan of early superbikes. He even owns a few of those machines (and uses a Suzuki Katana as a daily driver). Gendringen is now famous as a place of pilgrimage for superbike lovers.
Chris was looking for more space for his collection and decided to adopt an empty shop with his partner Esther. This is not only a place for his collection, but you can also find period motorcycle clothing and own brand coffee. It is more of a relaxed lifestyle and social meeting place than a repository for old stuff. Thus the Old Racingbike Garage was born,
What we came for was a story about the Kawasaki Z1000J in combat gear. But we will come back to that later in our unsurpassed monthly magazine Auto Motor Klassiek. Take a dirt cheap subscription, and you won't miss a single story. Chris? He is always open for a conversation about old superbikes or parts. Contacts with fellow enthusiasts are appreciated. Watch out: classic superbikes are becoming the new trend!