THE Pope and Harley Davidson aren’t often likely to be mentioned in the same sentence.

But a Poole man has been involved in an unusual assignment – helping to deliver two motorbikes to the Vatican.

Recently-retired Pope Benedict XVI signed one of the bikes, along with Willie G Davidson, grandson of Harley Davidson’s co-founder William A Davidson.

One will be put in the Vatican’s museum, while the other will be auctioned off.

Karl Makey, 55, from Poole, and his colleague Alan Davis, from Gloucester, took the bikes to the heart of the Vatican, along with an oil painting.

Karl said: “I work for a company in Gloucester called We Move Bikes and we do big events for Harley Davidson. We’ve just done the 110th anniversary event in Rome – there were 11 trucks involved.

“People come to these things from all over the world.

“We were asked to take one of our vans to the Vatican. There were two bikes there – one is staying in the Vatican museum and the other is being auctioned off, with the money going to the Catholic church.

“We had to get it inside the Vatican and the security going in was major.”

The Pope later accepted the bikes and the painting and did a blessing and although Karl said he was not a religious man himself, he said the experience was quite something.

“It was a humbling experience. It was security on a level that I’ve not seen before – it was unbelievable.

“The inner sanctum of the Vatican is quite awesome and I shouldn’t think there are many people who get to see that side of it,” he added.