Friend of mine tells me, "you gotta come over and look at this KTM I just found in a barn."
"I'm slammed, I pass." I said.
Last week we are talking on the phone, and I ask him about the Katoom he mentioned.
"Man, you shoulda come over. An old friend passed away, his widow called and asked if I was interested in any of his motorcycle stuff. She was selling everything off and moving to Florida. I went over, and yeah, he had some pretty cool stuff. Mostly 70s and 80s riding gear. She took me out back and pointed to what was little more than a large shed.
I peek in the shed and it's mostly landscaping stuff. Mowers, weed wackers, every day stuff to keep a place up.
Then, I notice, in the very back of this broken down shack is a motorcycle, stood up on its rear wheel, nestled in a back corner.
And it's totally covered in bird crap." he says.
"Just getting to it was a job." He goes on. "Do you remember those 495 KTMs?"
"No, I don't." I admitted.
"Well, that's what it was," he went on.
"Effin thing was huge. Biggest dirt bike I've ever seen.
They were only made for 2 years. Supposed to be able to hit 120 stock out of the box.
Took me 2 hours and 20 dollars in quarters to get the bird crap off it at the car wash.
You know I'm a big guy, and I had a hard time throwing a leg over it. Called a few guys
to see if anyone was interested and it was like, nobody wanted anything to do with it.
Was told be very careful with it if I decided to ride it. Hell, yeah, I wanted to give it a spin but I bought it to move it.
Finally I called Ohio, and got thru to a guy at the National KTM distributor for the USA.
He was incredulous. Said heck yeah, if it's what you say it is, we want that bike.
I told them about the bird crap, and how the cases were blemished.
He said we don't care. We want that bike. We've been looking for one for a long time.
They had a guy show up at my door 2 days later, with a pickup truck and an envelope full of cash. Told me as we were loading up it's gonna sit in their front entrance, and run it at a few big events now and then. And if any more 80s show up call them. Apparently,
many of the KTMs of that decade, the 80s, were scrapped, or laid to rest to rot out behind a garage under a tarp while the Japanese marched on."
I thought about it for a moment, and lamented on how we should have got that thing running, and at least took it for a spin up and down the road.
"Yeah, you might be right. But then again, maybe not." He said.