The term barn find is by far one of the most abused terms when describing an unloved motorcycle.
When did you last see a barn within the M25? The romantic phrase conjures up a motorcycle that’s been left for dead and all it will take is a bit of elbow grease to return it to its former glory.
The reality couldn’t be further from the truth and this rake of freshly discovered GPz900Rs are concrete proof.
Our sister website Motorbike Breakers heard of a GPz stash that was coming to market. A few phone calls later and they were off to investigate. I am one of the bike breaking duo and having bought, sold and broken plenty of these once ground breaking machines, so I was keen to take a gander.
Peterborough like London doesn’t boast too many barns within its city centre, but less than 5 miles out of the city and the fens once again dominate the landscape.
This was where the bulk of the collection had been plotted up. It wasn’t so much a barn, more a shanty town of old farm outbuildings that had seen their best days. Battling with the high tech security which was an old Oxford padlock and the door swung open to reveal the treasures inside.
Our seller had promised us 7 GPz900Rs, he immediately revised his opening gambit and said “I forgot about that one” whilst pointing at a very sad looking GPz.
Little pluses like this always help a transaction. The shed was damp and the roof was the culprit and very little or no attempt had been made to fix it or prepare the bikes for a stay here. Shame. What were once reasonable looking bikes had now been attacked by old Father Time and Mother Nature.
There’s always a positive lurking within any negative and thankfully every bike had its registration number attached and they all had keys too! Our vendor also confirmed that he had V5 logbooks for every bike. At around £25 to obtain a duplicate V5 document from those lovely folk at DVLA, these simple things add a bit of value and also satisfy those nervous buyers that read those ‘how to buy a bike’ articles trotted out by bike mags.
I had to ask him why he’d ended up with so many GPZ900Rs. He was open in his addiction and revealed that he had bought one back in 1984 and spent the year racing it in the production class. He’d even taken plenty of wins along the way. The model left a lasting impression on him which had lead him to buying these bikes over the years.
The pick of this bunch was the red and grey A7 model. It looked like it was the last one to arrive here, it will also for sure be the first to leave. After securing the inclusion of some other non GPz parts in on the yet to be agreed deal, we headed off to destination two to see the rest of the haul.
Another three GPz900Rs awaited us, all early models in various states of disrepair, lovely! Somewhere along the way, a very tidy Honda CBR1000F was also added to the lot.
The price was the next thing to be focused on. The seller had already given us a ballpark figure. Pricing projects is always a tricky one, there isn’t any real formula other than following your gut instinct and then bidding lower. A swift haggle took place that was followed by the seal of any deal a handshake. Deal done.
Several trips back and forth and the bikes were lined up for a school photo. There are two class of 1984 models, both on the once futuristic A plate! Other than the A7 the rest are all C, D or E plate models. The runt of the litter was a battleship grey one, which turned out to be a GPz750R….
With the prices of 80s Japanese bikes on the up the GPz900R, despite being one of the landmark models of the decade, still struggles to attract too much love. Thing is, it wasn’t too long ago that you could pick up no end of other 80s models for a song. Meanwhile back in Japan they love the things and there’s a very active custom scene where owners junk the original knitting needle sized forks and clumsy 16 inch wheel in favour of more modern dangly bits and wheels.
Over the next few weeks these will be advertised, will our punt pay off, or will we sling them in a barn for another few years?
Only time will tell.