In the late 80's I had the opportunity to buy into a small part of a collection that was being sold. There was a problem in that I would need to buy 2 bikes in order for the sale to go through. I did not have funds for 2 so involved a friend who thought it might be a good appreciating asset. As did I. So we bought two bikes and split the cost.

This bike was one that I had thought I would one day like to own. I saw it as possibly the final incarnation of the good old Triumph Bonneville - albeit in 750cc form. I did not dislike the current colour scheme designs, and the red on black was iconic.

There were refinements such as MkII Amal carbs and electronic ignition that I figured could only be wise improvements over the older setups.

Unfortunately, these two bikes were brand new. They had never been run nor had fuel in their tanks. They were happily in pristine condition despite having been imported to NZ from America subsequent to having been uncrated there.

The problem now was - if the bikes were started, they would no longer be brand new. If we were going to capitalise on the fact that they were brand new and thus worth a prettier penny than we had paid, we simply could not start them.

For several years we cleaned them and turned the engines over to circulate some oil, but there was nothing else we could do but look at them.

I must say, they were very easy to look at, and it seemed to be an enormous privilege to now own two brand new examples of bikes that we could never have afforded when they were made, and which were no longer being made, and here they were.

I was pretty happy with that scenario.

They began to gather some interest from collectors, but they were also undecided as to what their potential future might be. Keep them new or just use them..?

Other matters took over.

My friend wanted to get his money out as he had other plans. As I could not buy his share out we decided that perhaps they might sell best as a pair, and we pursued that possibility.

It transpired that a deal was possible if I part exchanged a basket case Trident. I figured I could rebuild the Trident and realise my profit in that way, whereas my friend would at least get his buy-in price back. As that was the best offer - we took it.

I still wish I had kept one of them..