Bike theft mars student's return to Yorkshire

MARK Bart has travelled in some of the most inhospitable places in the world.

Throughout his travels, his trusty Suzuki DR650SE motorbike came with him and Mr Bart experienced no security problems – until he arrived back in Leeds.

He left his distinctive bike parked outside the house of a friend he was visiting in the city's Meanwood district for three hours, only to return to discover the motorcycle had been stolen.

The Leeds University research student had put a steering lock on his motorbike, but it had been broken off when he returned on Monday evening last week and the bike was gone.

"When I came outside the lock had been broken off and it was gone. I'm gutted," Mr Bart said.

Mr Bart, who originally comes from New Zealand, arrived in Leeds two years ago after a 15,000-mile bike trip through Korea, Russia and Europe, with his girlfriend, Jane Keats.

The couple also went on a later trip through Spain and Morocco, and they had also been planning a trip to South America.

Mr Bart, 33, of Kirkstall, Leeds, claimed he had never experienced problems on his trips. He added: "I was just blown away by the hospitality of the people in Morocco. We were staying at people's houses, they invited us in for tea, everyone was so welcoming and friendly.

"I never once had to chain up my bike – even when it had luggage on it we had no problems. It was the same in Russia."

The bike, which is worth about 15,000, has a one-of-a-kind luggage rack and a sheepskin seat cover.

Anyone with information is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.