Page updated 26-Dec-2010
Dirk Gidney

Dear Gus Kuhn Historians;

In 1970, while attending the Royal Henley Regatta from Canada , I found in the weekly Motorcycle Times, and purchased; a 1969 750 Norton Commando SS ~ with GK Stage II "Street Legal" tuning and upgrades.

The seller was a member of one of the European Royal families and lived in a substantial country estate in the Cambridge area. The bike had just received extensive front end repairs after his younger brother was allowed to try it and ran it straight into the gate at the end of the estate's long driveway, breaking his leg! Apparently this produced an immediate ultimatum from his Royal Parents back home to either get rid of the bike - in 2 weeks, or be cut off from their good graces and support.

The day I called he was down to 3 more days and was beginning to panic, as some agent of the family had shown up to make sure he didn't just hide it. My good luck, as the price was dropping by the minute! On the last day of his deadline, just after my crew (Ridley College Canada) won the 1970 Princess Elizabeth Cup, he picked me up at the Henley bridge in a brand new BRC Morgan V8, and rushed me to his Estate near Cambridge to pick up the Bike.

It was quite a day, and by the end of it he had cut the price by half, and thrown in everything "motorcycle" he owned. Helmets, leathers, panniers, rain suits, gloves etc etc.

Being barely 18 and somewhat distracted by the amazingly friendly and drop dead beautiful European model girlfriends he had pouring me champagne and fussing over how cute I was, I didn't really note what country it was he was a princes of. Not something we're used to thinking about over in the colonies I guess! Sadly no pictures of the prince, or his lovely entourage of European model friends.

He's out there somewhere though. Pity I was too distracted to even remember which country for sure. I always thought it was Denmark, or Holland, but when I looked at the Royal Family information on those countries there didn't seem to be anyone of the right age. It was 1970 and I was 18, he would have been 25-30 I'd guess. There are some mysteries to unravel, but if it all comes together it would be great fun to reconnect. I'm sure he would enjoy it, as he was quite nice and very enthused about my winning the Henley that day, and heading off on a young man's great adventure with his forbidden bike. The girls were too, and they kept pouring me champagne and planting lipstick on my cheeks. "Don't go, don't go." No wonder I couldn't remember a lot of the finer details after all that attention!

When I got back to Henley that evening my crew and their families were having a big and rather formal celebration party and I was late. But when I rode that princely red bike right into the middle of the garden party gathering and pulled off my helmet revealing my lipstick smeared face ~ everyone laughed and began to cheer! Everyone except my old man that is, who I don't think ever forgave for it. Back in those days people never knew what I'd do next, and I think they actually expected me to surprise them every once and a while. Looking back I think it was a perfect statement about being young and free and on top of the world. As all true Gus Kuhn riders are.

So, all these years later, can you help me figure out who he was and which country? Perhaps someone remembers a European Royal circa 1969-70 and the story about the brother smacking up the front end of a stage II Gus Kuhn Norton? The ownership papers checked out by the way, when I imported the bike into Canada. I know this story sounds like a perfect Con Game setup, but it turned out it wasn't.

I thank you in advance for your kind assistance.

Cheers, Dirk Gidney