Friday, 31 August 2012
Thursday, 30 August 2012
I've decided to go and do my stall and promote the mag again at the Italian Car and Bike Day, Honington, Kent - this Sunday 2nd September, from 9am onwards. All profits are for the Kent Air Ambulance so I reckon that's as good a reason as any to get my arse out of bed at 6am, and it's a bonus if I sell any mags and chat to some interesting like-minded people. PLus I haven't really been oput and about this year so a day out will be good. In past years the show has been great and worth the effort - the forecast is dry too!
I think I'll bring down my old Guzzi Stornello Scrambler and Gilera 150 to decorate the stall with, the S3's just too heavy nowadays. Come down if you're in the area and say hello - sadly Issue Five won't be printed up yet but I'll have all other back issues with me.
All details, times, directions here: http://www.honningtonevents.com/italiancar.htm
Photos from past events here: http://italianmotor.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/italian-car-and-bike-showand-ferret.html
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
I recently saw a Guzzi Lodola of little value and of need of restoration on an Italian website for sale, and was interested in possibly buying it. The photo (above) was dark and of crap quality. I emailed and asked if politely if it would be possible to see more photos of the bike in question as the single photo was dark and of poor quality. The email conversation went like this:
Me: "Hello, I am interested in the bike for sale. Do you please have any more photos of the bike you could send me?
Him: "The photo I have put up is of a bike identical to the one I'm selling. You can come and see it if you're interested."
Me: "Thanks but I'm in the UK, though I do have friends and relatives in Italy to sort things out in case I buy the bike (me trying to be reassuring). Do you have some photos of the actual bike you are selling?"
Him: "There's that photo and that's all. The bike I'm selling is all covered up to protect it. It takes time to do all that, and so then if you don't buy the bike, I'll have wasted a lot of time. The bike is identical to the one in the photo".
Me: "Fine, thanks, forget it."
Him: "If you want to see it you can send one of your relatives to Bologna to see it."
I didn't reply, but was wondering to myself - if I send someone to Bologna to view the bike, would he not have to open it up all the same? And does he really think that someone will buy a bike based on looking at a murky photo of a similar bike?
Sunday, 26 August 2012
Friday, 24 August 2012
Monday, 20 August 2012
Though my own real passion is for Italian bikes, I do of course like plenty of other types of motorcycles too, and am lucky enough to ride a varied selection for my day job.
This is the oldest motorcycle I've ever swung a leg over - a 1912 Triumph 3.5hp 'free wheel' 500cc model. I had the pleasure of riding it recently and am presently writing up the words. What an experience - you have to re-think everything you knew about riding bikes, though of course the principle is the same. Just learning the levers is a test for the mind.
How about foot-operated advance and retard, no gears, decorative brake, primitive foot clutch on the right that allows you to keep the motor running if you stop, and the requirement to quickly find the ability to find a sweet running spot for the motor with air and fuel levers?
Fantastic. Thanks again Dorian...
Saturday, 11 August 2012
I've been listening to a lot of Iron Maiden recently on YouTube - I don't know why because I didn't really like them back in '82/'83 because I was into punk, and it was uncool to like 'metal'. These two are classics though...
Wednesday, 8 August 2012
The beers (Vale Wychert - a fine ale) were consumed in the evening, but next morning we had to sort out his bike so he could get home again. The wiring from the start switch (which also includes a kill switch) had completely welded themselves together. Why? Isn't it odd that after more than 30 years of existence, this wiring just said 'fuck it, I'm going to burn', and it did. Adam had a spare at home, but he had to get home first, so we cleaned, bodged and did a neat little wiring job to plug the switchgear in. Sadly, at he last moment, the two wires going into the switch block decided they too wanted to self-destruct, and they just came out. And could we find how they went back in? No. We tried for an hour, the two of us, with all the tools necessary available to us, but we failed. Gave up. The little, stupid, simple, Italian lego-bright switch defeated us. It sat there laughing at us in all its colour and glory.
So he couldn't start the bike from the switch. Instead we rigged up an insulated wire, cable tied it to his mirror, and off he went. Our plans to go out for a ride together were spoiled as we'd spent all morning trying to fix his bike instead.
Come to think of it, every time I see him we end up fixing (or not as it seems) HIS bike...
Whenever non-Italian bike owning people, and people who haven't owned older Guzzis in particular, have wheeled out the old cliche' "yeah, Italian electrics are crap", I've always been a little defensive and and counter-replied, "no, the components are good, it's just the wiring between them that doesn't work". But after seeing this type of meltdown like this more than a few times now, maybe I'm more of an opinion that Italian electrics really are shit. Or maybe it's just us that we're shit mechanics?