Husband and father of two, Neil McEwan fulfilled his dream of owning and restoring each member of the Kawasaki 450mph club before sadly passing away earlier this year.
A Kawasaki GPz11000, Z750 Turbo and a GPz900R are on display at Newcastle Kawasaki in all of their original glory, thanks to Neil’s dream of owning and restoring each member of the ‘450mph Triple’ club.
“The bikes are beautiful and so was he. He was a perfectionist and that’s why the restored bikes look the way they do. They are on display at Newcastle Kawasaki because Chris Hirst (Director of Kawasaki Newcastle) was a friend of Neil’s and having the three motorcycles together is quite rare, so Neil was very happy to have them on display there. When the bikes come home eventually, they will be kept within the family because they are a part of Neil and I don’t think I could sell them,” said Neil’s wife, Janine.
Neil was tragically diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease two years ago at the age of fifty. “He was a passionate man who just loved life,” said Janine.
After coming across the 1984 ‘450mph Triple’ Kawasaki poster that refers to the combined top speed of all three models, Neil longed for the trifecta of iconic motorcycles. Neil purchased his brand new Kawasaki GPz900R from Kawasaki Newcastle at twenty years of age.
Having managed to meticulously restore his Z750 Turbo before he was diagnosed, Neil’s close friends contributed to restoring his outstanding GPz11000, rounding out the magnificent collection.
“Neil’s GPz900R was definitely his favourite. He took me for a ride the day that he asked me to marry him on the 900 so it is very special to us,” commented Janine.
“I first met Neil when he purchased his brand new GPz900R from us about 30 years ago and he has been a good friend ever since. He was a rugged and tough type of guy, who was into lifesaving and rugby, but he was also extremely likeable. He was the consummate tradesperson who was always willing to have a go and push the envelope,” reflected Chris Hirst.
Having assisted with the restorations to some degree and being long-time friends, Chris is honoured to have the Kawasaki trio on display in the Kawasaki Newcastle showroom.
“I’m tickled pink that Neil asked to have his motorcycles displayed in our store because everyone is getting to see his achievement. They have become a real talking point in the store. People have asked if Kawasaki have started making these again because they look brand new, but the old chaps like me talk about how we used to own one of these motorcycles. These are prime examples that reflect the durability and reliability of Kawasaki motorcycles,” said Chris.
Kawasaki Newcastle have a profound history in motorcycle retail, servicing and development with a focusing on racing. “Like all of our customers we get to know them well and we form a relationship. We take an interest in what they do so when they tell us about their motorcycle projects, we share the passion and enthusiasm. Being a franchise for 35 odd years, you get to know people and seeing their life evolve is very rewarding,” said Neil.
If you would like to see these inspiring motorcycles in the flesh, visit Kawasaki Newcastle at 5 Lang Road, Broadmeadow, NSW, 2291.