Soonki Lee's "historic" Suzuki motorbike has travelled across the border from North Korea to South Korea. It's seen more of the world than most would ever dream of.

But It had never been stolen. Until it arrived in Napier. In a little more than 12 hours, the bike, registration B2JFS, was gone.

Lee arrived in Napier from Wellington at 6pm on Wednesday and by 7.30am on Thursday his Suzuki DR650 was gone.

Lee reported the theft to police at 8am.

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"I've been travelling around New Zealand for 32 days on the bike, and done about 9000km," he said.

"It didn't happen anywhere else and it happened in Napier."

The treasured bike which was stolen in Napier. Photo / Supplied
The treasured bike which was stolen in Napier. Photo / Supplied

Lee said the bike held a special place in the hearts of the Korean community, which is why he decided to buy it from Kiwi biker Jo Morgan's son's friend six months ago.

"This was the very first bike that crossed the border from North Korea to South Korea.

"The Suzuki belonged to Jo Morgan and she was the one who travelled from North Korea to South Korea on the bike," he said.

The bike's rego is is B2JFS and it was stolen from Napier in less than 24 hours. Photo / Supplied
The bike's rego is is B2JFS and it was stolen from Napier in less than 24 hours. Photo / Supplied

Lee got his hands on the bike through TradeMe and paid about $5000 for it.

"I went to Jo Morgan's house to get the bike," he said.

In the book Kimchi Kiwis: Motorcycling North Korea, Kiwi motorcycle adventurers Gareth and Jo Morgan talk about being frequent visitors to South Korea before they were invited to North Korea in 2012.

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They told the North Korean authorities of their wish to ride their motorbikes the length of the Korean Peninsula, as the fitting climax to a ride they were planning along the Road of Bones, the Kolyma Highway in Siberia, Russia.

The North Koreans were willing to help — and in 2013, the Morgans' dream came true.

They made their way around the Kolyma Highway, the main road of the Soviet gulag archipelago and they crossed the demilitarised zone between the Koreas, one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world.

Lee, who is a beekeeper in Auckland, is a seasoned biker who has travelled from Seoul to Portugal on a bike, although not the same one.