Across the world...then stolen in Leeds

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IT'S called 'Ted'and has been parked in some of the world's most inhospitable and dangerous places.

But nothing happened to Mark Bart's treasured yellow Suzuki DR650SE.

That was until he came back to Leeds.

The 33-year-old University of Leeds research student was visiting a friend in Meanwood last Monday evening.

He left his distinctive bike parked and locked up outside his pal's home for three hours when he dropped in after work.

Mark said: "I would normally chain it up but I was only planning to be there for a couple of hours and there were no lampposts nearby.

"But I did put a steering lock on. When I came outside the lock had been broken off and it was gone. I'm gutted."

The bike had a one-of-a-kind luggage rack that he spent three months designing then building himself and a distinctive sheepskin seat cover.

The New Zealander first came to the city in 2008, after a 15,000-mile bike trip with his girlfriend Jane Keats, 30, through Korea, Russia and Europe.

They later went on another through Spain and Morocco.

Despite security warnings, Mark said he never experienced any problems whilst on any of his trips.

He said: "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."

In 2008 his garage next to his Kirkstall home was broken into three times, with golf clubs and a push-bike stolen.

Mark added: "I've always had security concerns here and ever since the break-ins I've always chained my motorbike to the floor of the garage".

He and Jane had been planning a South American trip with his "reliable friend" which is worth around 15,000.

Mark said: "It's real worth is more sentimental to me. I've called all my bikes Ted – it was written on the first one's number plate.

"I'm just really hoping that I'll get it back."

Call Stainbeck Police Station on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Leeds Civic Hall.

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