Sunday, May 11, 2008

KS601 Green Elephant

A legend in their own time. 1953 Zundapp KS 601 "Green Elephant" . Never thought I'd see one in person but here is one.
This is somewhat of a "Barn Find" as it is actually sitting in a barn. Has some after market fenders installed but a replacement set of original fenders are included. The bike found its way from Alaska to Montana years ago. Now it sits waiting............
According to the present care taker they only made 500 of these. Quite a bike, is only missing the tail light assembly. Bike also has side car lugs in place on the right side. Any body want to restore this old girl? For a nominal fee you can take it home and begin your restoration.
I took a tour of this gentilemans "museum" today and saw more old German iron in one place than I have seen for years. Let's see....There is a 1974 BMW R90S, a 1973 BMW R75/5, a 1974 BMW R90/6 (which I sold him), Three old Moto Guzzi Eldorados, A 1970's Ducati GT, four different side cars, a 1975 BMW R75/6, a 70 whatever BMW R100RS Moto sport, a BMW R100S, He must have about 8 other BMW's in various stages of restoration, and of course the "Green Elephant". Wow, what a collection. Looks like a life time worth of work to get them all done! I'll stick to my one or two bike at a time mode.
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Monday, May 5, 2008

Herr Heinrich

I ran a Craigslist ad a few weeks ago looking for a parts bike. This was kind of a fishing expedition to see what might surface. I didn't really have anything in mind but sometimes you never know what might come out of the woodwork. Well low and behold a young lady contacted me and said she had bought an old beemer project for her boyfriend and he had peeled on her. She said she didn't know anything about the bike and just wanted it out of her yard. It took two weeks for her to send a photo which took a long time to download. As the photo down loaded I immediately recognized what she had. I called her and told her I would probably take it, but how much? Well she said she had a $100.00 in it and hoped to get her $ back, but would take whatever I offered just to get it gone. Hmmmmm, $100.00! I thought about it for about one millionth of a second and told her I would be glad to bail her out for her $100.00 asking price. Now I am an ethical person and had a bit of guilt developing. I ran to Missoula to get the bike and she wasn't overly personable. Just snatched the money and closed the door. My guilt melted away quickly. The bike was pretty much a parts rig as it was rough. It was a 75 R60/6.
I ran home and that afternoon pulled what I wanted, the tank, signals, and a few odds and ends. The motor was mostly there but I had no idea of condition. I ran an ad on Craigslist at midnight that night and had a call at 8:00 the next morning. bike went away for $300.00. The buyer is an acquaintance of Rex Mongolds' from Miles City. He needed some frame parts, transmission etc. Above photo shows what he got for his money. Definitely $300.00 worth of parts.
I spent some time to analyze the tank and was surprised to find it pretty clean inside. It must have been covered as there was no gas cap. Also missing the tool box lid. This is a Heinrich tank from Germany. These were hand built and are somewhat hard to come by. I've seen nice ones go on E-Bay for a bit more than $100.00. Figured I'd never own one as they are quite rare. I had never seen one for a /5 but here it is mounted and gassed up. I peered into the tank and saw nothing bad. Blew it out with air and had nothing come out. What the hell let's mount her up. Napa provided a gas cap for $5.89. The tool box lid is another issue. Will probably never find an original one. will probably fab up something. The tank is sporting a flat black nasty paint job. no dents what so ever but a nasty looking mark on the upper right side, looks like a handsaw was drug over it. Nothing that can't be fixed though. This will be a great addition for the sidehack rig. Also mounted up the old Henry's floor boards. My wife thinks that the Heinrich tank is the ugliest thing she has ever seen. I tend to agree. But rare is good even if it's ugly!
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Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.