SPOKANE, Wash. -

In the recovered property room at the Washington State Patrol district office on the West Plains stood a powerful Honda XL250 motorcycle.

It's powerful, for the year it was made.

The state patrol recovered the bike when someone bought it and wanted a title for the Honda. Troopers searched for the original documents at the courthouse and discovered it was stolen.


"Spokane County actually had to go look at it on microfiche to find the original report," WSP Trooper Troy Briggs said.

The motorcycle wasn't just stolen, it was stolen 37 years ago. Troopers tracked down the man who originally registered it and gave him a call.

On Thursday Don Arndt answered that call and he was stunned. When the 62-year-old finally saw the bike he picked off the showroom floor when he was 22, he chuckled with excitement.

"Oh my gosh. I can't believe it, it looks just like the bike I had 40 years ago," Arndt said.

Arndt says his Honda was taken out of his back yard in the Spokane Valley in 1975. He owned bikes before, but never bought another after his XL250 was stolen.

"I gave up on ever seeing it again a long time ago," Arndt said.

Arndt, a wastewater treatment plant operator, says the motorcycle is in much better shape than he expected. He plans to restore it.

"I'm thrilled, better late than never. It's back with me again," he said.

Some men in their 60s buy motorcycles to feel young again. Arndt's waited since he was young, to get that youth, and bike, back.

"I don't want to lose it now," Arndt said, smiling as he tied the bike down on his truck.

The person who recently bought the bike in will not be charged because investigators determined it had been sold several times over the last 37 years.