Saturday, April 14, 2012
An Exmouth man is offering a reward after his beloved classic motorcycle was stolen.
Richard Soper, 63, was devastated when his 1940 Indian Chief, which he bought in 1971, was stolen during a break in at his Withycombe Village Road factory.
The break in took place on the evening of March 29, and the bike, which Richard had disassembled, was taken along with other factory items.
Richard is offering the reward because he believes the classic bike, of which there may only be a handful of examples in the country, will be difficult for the thieves to sell on, and he is trying to ensure its safe return.
Richard said: “Because it’s a rare bike, trying to sell it would be like trying to sell a rare painting or diamond – it would be very difficult for somebody to advertise or sell it without being noticed.
“I don’t want them to throw it out or bin it – I want to get the bike back.”
“It’s a lovely piece of engineering which I’ve owned for 40 years – I’ve enjoyed owning it, and I don’t want to lose it.
“It’s got great sentimental value, and the design and development of it is a classic part of motorcycle history. There were quite a lot of them at one stage but it’s now very much a rarity.”
Richard says Indian was the original American bike manufacturer, and led the way for companies like Harley Davidson.
The company went out of business in the 1950s, so its surviving bikes are highly regarded by enthusiasts.
Anyone with any information about the whereabouts of the bike, or about the break-in, should contact PC Lee on the police non emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number KE/12/736.