Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Corsicaworld"

Corsica is one of those places that you don't really hear much about, until you enter a particular sphere (that of motorcycle summer holidays) and then it comes up A LOT.

There are endless articles, trip reports, tales, legends that all pretty much say the same things. Some of these things are true, others are more reflective of a person's fears and perceptions than anything else.

Still, when something is so popular and when the acclaim is so widespread (this applies to locations as it does to anything else, a motorcycle, a watch, a restaurant...) my instinct is to give it the bras d'honneur because obviously I'm better than everybody else.

But over the years I've come to understand that we all more or less equally suck, and that if something is popular, then it's not because the masses have figured out something I haven't, it's because it really is good, and people like it when things are good, easy and reliable: that bike really is faster and easier to ride, that restaurant really does do good food, the Rolex Submariner really is a cool watch.
And Corsica really is paradise on earth.

Back in 2011 three of us went over on three heroic Hondas, having no expectations of what we'd find. We didn't do anything special to prepare, Witold had done some advance recon on certain routes, but that was about the extent of it.
No special equipment and really no idea what to expect; because of that, it was a moment of pure discovery, frankly with fairly low expectations going in, precisely because of all the hubbub that we'd heard over the years.
It's fair to say that day after day that trip left us gobsmacked, and we knew we wanted to go back for more.
The following year we added two more friends and switched rides for 80% BMW, 20% Honda. There was a moment of quiet realisation that we had grown up, and that we now understood the appeal of the Bavarian airheads. Our second visit to the island was a resounding success, with higher mileage, new places and an even deeper appreciation of the experience.

Sure, there are beautiful beaches all around the island, but mountains and forests are what that place is really all about. Monte Cintu is listed as an "ultra-prominent peak", and there are plenty of high altitude spots that offer spectacular scenery and plenty of portals to other dimensions.
Ghisoni is apparently one such place, and we had been through Vergio during the Korsikatreffen. At 1477 meters, that had already seemed very impressive so I really would love to find out how high we can get, if you know what I mean.

We haven't been back all together since that time, and after one of those winter talks when you daydream about sunlight, long warm days and bikes in a campsite, we all conceded that maybe it was time we went back again.

So, with all the humility we can muster in the face of fate and its sense of irony, the plan is to go, the four of us, with our airheads and have a grandiose experience. Now, no sooner was I done typing that, that we already lost Gianluca, and that's too bad. The others are more or less ready and I hope they truly want to do this. I would like to think that I can go, but I probably won't be able to in the end. At this point I'm just putting this up because it would feel like a waste of time having written all this only to throw it away.

I don't know why I bother anymore. Anyone wanna buy some motorcycles?


Monday, April 10, 2017

My my, what big cylinders you have...

Do you remember Marco's BMW?
It started life as a very early R45 and went through several iterations, evolving with time as a lot of garage-built bikes tend to do.
It had gotten to a pretty good stage, with 650 cylinders, the final transmission off an R80, new Asatek shocks just to name a few of the many improvements that were made to it, but then some electrickery  went wrong, causing the ignition module to fry, timing was all over the place and the engine basically ended up needing a full rebuild after it almost completely self destructed.
Long story short, Marco was able to acquire the 980 motor that had already powered Witold's G/S as well as his R45000, so we know that it runs very well. 
Now it's in Marco's bike and looks fantastic. There are still a few things to do, but this is finally well on its way to being done.
For starters, Marco decided that the Asatek shocks weren't actually working all too well for him as they're just a bit oversized for this bike, so he swapped them out for a pair of softer TSK.
Let's not forget one thing here, this bike has tackled Corsica, the Alps and Abruzzo without ever feeling like it was out of its depths.
I'm looking forward to finding out what this thing can do now...

Friday, April 7, 2017

The warm South beckons.

I'll do my best to be there, together with a sizable group from Rome; I need to get the Norton ready...


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Important reminder:

it's finally Spring again! The sky is blue, nature stirs itself from its wintery slumber and daylight saving time is in effect, so to those of you who can, I say "GO RIDE!"


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Ogling my chopper...

I know that this blog really ain't what it used to be, but rest assured that all is well at the garage and I may even be able to get back in there a bit more often in the very near future; at least to tidy up, take stock of what each bike needs (surprisingly little as it turns out!), and prepare for the three outings planned for this year.

Last time I was at the garage I started looking around and made a plan; then I fixed a few small details on the Sportster that were annoying me, and once I was done with that I took the cover off the BSA and reveled in its glory. It really is a beautiful motorcycle (I suggest you click on the photo to look at the full-size version):

You may remember that uncle Fester had already sorted out the broken gas tank mount last year, so the bike is pretty much good to go again; I'd like to go ride it a little bit before I take it on one of the aforementioned three outings, more than anything just to re-acquaint myself with it. So I've started by doing an oil change, checking the battery (it's dead, not surprisingly, I'll need to get a new one), the usual stuff.

Somewhat worryingly I found a fair bit of metal particles in the oil, the magnetic plug in the sump looked like a Christmas tree when I pulled it out (nod to Brian...). They are very fine particles, and the magnet obviously caught them so I won't worry too much about it. It goes without saying that the right thing to do would be to fit an external oil filter, but I don't think I'll do that just yet.

Before I actually start the bike, I'm handing it over to uncle Fester again for a special project, hopefully it'll turn out great (and it should be reversible, just in case anyone is worried about ruining those perfectly proportioned lines...); I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy new year.

Behold, as our Great Leader rides bravely into the future!

Let us all follow him fearlessly and hope we can actually go motocamping again this year...