Happy Christmas!

Christmas Eve as the sun sets behind the Gran SassoYes it’s almost that time again – nuts, turkey, sod all on telly and a splash of booze as well! Santa of course came early this year with all my in-laws buying me a lovely mountain of Capo spares ….. absolute Aprilia heaven! 🙂 Thank you all!!!!

Of course the New Year will be tinged with sadness as the dashboard repairs stop at the end of January, but something has to give way so I can concentrate again on Motorcycle Instructing as well as moving on with other projects – the big-bore engine needs finishing, the dashboard isolator needs building and testing, while the new ECU interface loom sits all forlorn until I can afford to buy the M800 ECU, but then each year you have to have something to strive for – maybe they’ll happen, then again maybe they’ll just have to be moved on down the line or put to one side completely, who knows. Sometimes in life the doors just open and sometimes you just can’t find the damn keys!

I’ll end by saying a special thanks to all the folks who have let me loose on their precious dashboards and to the emails and occasional phone calls from Capo owners worldwide – I hope I helped in some small way and look forward to meeting some more of you through 2015. Jan and I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Capotastic New Year! Oh and how could I forget The Andy’s, Manuel, Steve & Andrew (Aus) and StuO …… you guys rock!

ACIM (Aprilia Caponord International Meeting) VI – 2014

Aprilia Caponord International Meeting 2014 - San MarinoAfter thrashing out our diaries for 2014, Jan and I have managed to keep the 11-13th of July free for  ACIM VI 2014 – held this year in San Marino (Italy) …… and so the registration has been duly submitted to the organisers. 😀 😀

So we’re looking forward to plenty of pics, video, laughs and good conversation over the weekend in a spectacular part of Italy. We really hope to meet up with some of you over the weekend and finally put a face to a name!

Tax-idermy … the art of being stuffed

UK tax disksLet me tell you a little story …. Back in 06 I bought an ST1300 and a couple of weeks later while out with students, I got pulled over by Mr Grumpy the police officer with a charisma bypass. It seemed that his ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) had flagged my bike as not having a valid tax disk. So I pointed it out to him – nice and readable on the front fork leg. He wasn’t interested because “The computer says ………”

The nice lady at the DVLA office (now closed) in Oxford verified it was genuine and that it was all just a silly computer error – that cost me time and fuel to go and sort out, not to mention the embarrassment of being pulled over in front of paying students!

Now the same government will be doing away with the printed tax disk in October, no doubt sucking up the extra millions it saves on printing and distribution. Oh of course we’ll get a receipt when we pay, one that we now have to print out ourselves at our own expense and presumably carry around with us just in case we come across ANPR wielding cyber-cop again …. and would he believe you anyway, because “The computer says ……..”

And let’s not forget one thing, this is the very same government department that shoved its collective fingers in its ears and hummed the la-la song in total denial that they were losing the motorcycle entitlement off licenses being returned for address changes etc. Only when this involved some folks with impeccable and verifiable backgrounds (police/paramedic & motorcycle instructors) were they shoved far enough into a corner to have to admit (begrudgingly) that maybe, possibly they were in the wrong …. but “The computer says …….”

So next time you get pulled by an ANPR wielding digital-do-gooder it’s you against the creaky-leaky government database and you know who’s side Robocop is on.

“The computer says ……”