One last long run before winter …….

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Metz StrasbourgAfter 22 days away on the Capo I returned with a little more than I bargained for, not least a crick in the neck and a stinking cold! On the way up I met Gianluigi at the Italian/Swiss border and talked some serious Capo bling for an hour. Then rode through sunshine, drizzle, rain and freezing fog before reaching Oxford. On the way back we were treated to high winds a stunning moon-rise and some amazing early morning scenes with low-lying mist. All in all, a real slice of what Europe/UK has to offer bikers this late in the season!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Oberon keyless fuel capThe original fuel cap was replaced with the Oberon keyless unit a few days after reaching Oxford …. it took about 10 minutes in all. It looks good, works fine and I’m no longer worrying about getting into the tank! That’s the only work done on the Capo for the whole trip – 3,000 miles – key-in, ride off. No drama, no breakdowns. In fact the last two original Sagem coils are still sparking just fine after 110,503 miles!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid FPE Seals clutch master cylinderWith the panniers emptied, it was a great opportunity to restock on spares for the workshop – front wheel bearings and seals (used the last set 9 years ago!) a clutch pushrod bearing (16004), clutch diaphragm and  a couple of sets of clutch master cylinder seal kits from FPE Seals Ltd. Service parts stock is now replenished with extra oil/air filters, a spare pack of DPR9EIX-9 Iridium spark plugs, red rubber grease and more Scottoil as I seem to be going through a couple of litres a year! A HUGE bag of stainless screws, nuts and washers from Jason helped balance out the panniers (cheers matey!) and last but not least, the remaining electronic parts to finish off the BMW Brake Light System (clone!) that was started in spring.

But undoubtedly the highlight of the pannier contents is the Innovv K1 dual channel Full HD camera kit. This has been loaned for review by Jim smith at AMI (Abbey Motorcycle Instructors) who should be fitting a second kit to one of his Instructor bikes over winter. I’m really looking forward to fitting this kit and putting it through its paces. In fact I’ve already been running the system on the workbench and making a comparison of video quality compared to the GoPro Hero 3+ and power draw etc ……. full review coming soon, watch this space!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid INNOVV K1 full HD dual channel camera kit


How to make 21 days fly by!

Abbey Motorcyle Instructors - Milton ParkI’m finally back home for a rest. Oh, did I forget to say I was going back to blighty for a few weeks? Well it was three weeks of fog, frost, rain, sunshine and snow! To be fair, the last two weeks settled down to some semblance of normality after mid-morning. While I shivered and cursed the fog and way-to-fast traffic, Jan held the fort in Abruzzo. She did brilliantly and had a fine time in vastly better weather!

On this trip I was primarily tasked by AMI with training Alan, the new instructor. Alan has an impeccable riding CV, having served for many years in the London Motorcycle Paramedic unit and being responsible for rider training. Would he cope well though with the initial learner end of the spectrum?

Well on my last day I was proud as punch to present him with his first DSA qualification, the ‘Down-Trained’ certificate, which allows him to teach CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) and work with post-CBT learner 125cc riders. It’s just the first rung on the long ladder to DAS qualification as he well knows, but his determination, skill and knowledge have set a firm foundation on which to progress. Good luck Alan, your card was well earned and I hope to work with you later in the year, and thanks Jim for the work!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid AS7 AutoswitchOn a Capo note, I finally managed to bring back an AS7 Autoswitch for the fog lights. You can read more about fitting and operation here – it works brilliantly!

I also briefly met ‘Training Man’ and his partner (Paul & Anna) from the AF1 Aprilia forum at a local bike café. His Capo was the only bike in the car park – until our motley group of school bikes turned up! Nice to meet you, maybe see you at Bristol Italian Day next year …….

So it’s back home to nature running wild as spring sets in. Time then to refuel the strimmers, saws and tractor and get stuck in to sorting the land out ……. but first, one little ride out on the Capo, Jan won’t notice!