Lost love: Yamaha XT500

Imagine the scene. Saturday, 6am, you have a thumping head after more than a few beers on Friday night and you are woken up by a very noisy motorbike.

Turn the clock back 40 years and a young Paul Macaree is working out how to have an undisturbed Saturday morning lie-in after a night at the pub.

Unfortunately, a friend has a 1978 Yamaha XT500 with a SuperTrapp performance exhaust and a Lectron flat slide carburettor. That made the big four-stroke single-cylinder trail bike more powerful and even noisier!

“It was owned by a friend of mine, Tim, and me, being 19 or 20 years old, used to go to the pub on a Friday night.

“Every Saturday morning Tim came past my front door on this thing that made such a racket that could rattle the house and wake the dead.

“There’s me with a hangover being woken up at 6am and I couldn’t get to sleep again,” he explains. “So I bought it so he couldn’t wake me up any more!

“I was so annoyed at being woken up that I went round to his house and asked what chance there was of buying it because I really fancied one. Once I had parted company with the money, I told him why I had really bought it.”

But the bike that had once been a nightmare for Paul proved to be a dream machine.

“It turned out to be a lovely bike. It was such a thumper with so much torque. What wheelies it could pull and I used to take it off road too.

“It was difficult to start and had a decompression lever.

“Everything could be hanging off it and it still went. But you couldn’t go anywhere quietly.”

But all good things come to an end.

“A year and a half later I sold it when I was buying a house.”

It also proved to be a good buy because Paul paid £500 for it and got all his money back when he sold it.

“It went off into the distance and I never saw it again.”