We love a good/mad collector, so meet Eduardo Sanz who has more than a few motorcycles from his favourite decade.
OK let’s set our stall out now… we know we said ‘Back to the 80s’ but Eduardo Sanz also has a few machines from other decades too… mainly the later decade, some from the previous one, but you’ll see why when you read on. Collecting, it seems, can be addictive…
Our friend Eduardo recalls: “I remember that back in 1980 I was 16 and here in Spain something new was beginning in the motorcycle world. Just a few short years later – in around 1982 – I saw my first Japanese motorcycle, which was the Honda VF750. It was a revelation to me and for me this started modern motorcycling I will never forget the moment. The wheels were 16-inches at both ends, it had a square cross-section frame, not tubular like all the other bikes you’d see at the time and – best of all – the motor inside that frame was liquid-cooled. I was 17-18 at the time and I was interested in bike racing and the machines coming out in the early 1980s were looking more and more like those race machines that I loved. I was so very passionate about the Honda at the time but was too young and had no money to buy one as I was studying hard. Of course then came other machines, that were even more sporty and in some cases looked identical to race bikes, machines such as 1984’s Kawasaki GPz900R and (a year later) Suzuki’s GSX-R750 and Yamaha’s FZ750.
“When I started my collection in 1995 it was this that was in my head: I wanted to find these amazing machines which changed things so much for me and biking at the time. So, I began my collection when I started with the Yamaha FZ750, it was in 1995 that I bought it so it was a decade old even then, but it cost something like 20% of the original value – it was a bargain in my eyes! I had always loved the FZ so figured it would be a good bet as a future classic. Soon my collection grew with an original VFR750, Suzuki Katana and I bought a Kawasaki GPZ900R. From my original four I began to collect around two bikes a year. Some – like the Honda CBX1000 six-cylinder – were naked, old-fashioned machines, but most were sportsbikes. In the early 1980s – about 1983/4 I was studying in the United States and I used to love reading Cycle World, so you’d see the CX500 Turbo and the turbo bikes really made a hit with me. Over the years I’ve had to collect them all: so I have the Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo, I have the CX500 and the Yamaha XJ650 Turbo so I want the Suzuki XN85 and maybe the CX650 Turbo…Maybe, one day!
“I work in advertising and the media, so while I’m lucky to work in an environment I love, it is great as it means weekends are for the bikes and I’m running out of space and finding it difficult to keep them all going – you cannot, not use these machines can you? Therefore, I ride them all regularly, if not they start losing oil, liquids and the brakes get stuck so I have a rota system and ride five one weekend and then the next five the week after…
“I also had a web-page carrying many of the classic Spanish road tests of the time from Dennis Noyes. Dennis is so much a part of my passion for sports bikes. He is a very special writer and he lives in Spain. The website focuses on 1980s sports bikes and has a tribute to Dennis too. I love to share my bikes with people and to hear people say ‘wow’ and ask me questions about the various models and I think maybe one day when I’m retired I will dedicate myself to my collection. Although it needs updating after some years dormant, it is at: www.classiceightiesmotorbikes.com
“I’m often asked to bring one or more of my collection to an event or test of the latest version. It happened when the new VFR was launched and it was interesting to see how the machine had developed over the years, this was with Motos 1000 in Spain. They had four TV programmes all about my collection. I was also lucky to go to the GP Legends event in Jerez. I went as a journalist and it was amazing interviewing my heroes such as Kevin Schwantz, ‘Fast’ Freddie Spencer and Phil Read.
“With my love of racing I do look at my collection and see what influence this had on the sportsbikes of the time. And also it’s a reminder of what amazing racing we had back then – the two-strokes were so hard to ride. We now have many Spaniards racing and winning such as Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and before Dani Pedrosa but back then we only had Alex Criville as champion and he really only won as Mick Doohan was forced to retire. Sure we previously had Sito Pons and Juan Garriga but all others found it hard in 500s against the Australians and Americans so the best they could hope for was sixth, seventh or eighth, apart from Alex who was close to Mick Doohan.
“If you want to collect, my advice is: keep it standard. All my bikes are standard; standard exhausts, standard indicators, paint: everything. I often have to change parts myself but it is worth it as I want a bike that’s as if it has come off the production line. I look for places to get parts. For example, the Honda CBR600F from 1994 I have had its wheels painted a different colour, the screen was different and the rear licence plate guard was cut down. I had to make the changes to standard myself which took time and money. Sometimes it’s cheaper to find a bike standard as it can cost making these changes but the best investment is a standard bike.
“Sometimes I am lucky and get the right bike for a good price: such as the Yamaha FZR750R: the bike before the OW-01. This was a very limited-edition model and was brought to Spain for homologation for racing to sell – but many didn’t. In Spain they sold the 600cc and 1000cc models. A dealer in Spain went to the factory in Japan and saw six or seven of the 750cc machines there and ordered two. Back in Spain he put a licence plate from an EXUP on one and rode it, the other he didn’t touch. A year ago I found he was selling the two bikes as ‘classic Yamahas’ so I called him and had the bike which had little use – just three kilometres on the clocks – all for 6500 Euros. A bargain as it is worth so much more as it is such a rare machine.
“I would say my favourite ride has to be the RC30 as it rides so well and it means so much… it’s like a racing bike, it is so small and the engine is so good. OK, it is not so powerful but it makes good torque and like is like a racing bike compared to the ‘big camel’ which is the EXUP! And there is so much history with the model, it won the first two World Superbike championships and it is an icon, one of the most important bikes of the 1980s in my opinion.
“I do love 80s bikes, but 1990s ones too as this was when I started my collection in 1995 so this was this that was in my head and after all the RC30 spans both decades. This is why I have a few 1990s bikes in my collection too. The 1992 Honda FireBlade was such a big change to the EXUP that I had to have that in my collection – the Suzuki GSX-R750WT SRAD of 1996 too and the 1998 Yamaha YZF-R1. These and the likes of the Ducati 916 changed biking in the 1990s. I also have a YZF750R – but I wish it was the SP version, but maybe one day!”