Missed it

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid 160,000 milesAnd so the moment came and went without fanfare after a year of lockdown, no trips back and forth to home in Italy, no big holiday rides here in the UK. A year where mileage clocked up painfully slowly, the Capo sitting idle way more than doing what it does best – eat miles and promote smiles!

In the end, it was on a big fat roundabout on the outskirts of Oxford that it rolled through its 160,000th mile. No one stopped and applauded, no one  cared. No fanfare, no brass band. Even I was too busy navigating the mindless Wombles I shared the road with to notice the moment. Only as I accelerated away on the dual carriageway did I see the display roll over to 160,002, the aftermath of what should have been a jolly nice photo opportunity. Bugger.

F4240 Hex …….. or 10^6 in old money if you prefer

While some of you may find the following post trivial or questionable and others may think it as anal as colour grading belly button fluff ………. I sincerely and unreservedly, don’t give a flying duck. KarlB March 2016

“Neither the mouse nor the boy was the least bit surprised that each could understand the other. Two creatures who shared a love for motorcycles naturally spoke the same language.”
Beverly Cleary, The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Honda SS50I seem to recall it was back in 2007 that I read a piece in a UK bike magazine, in which the journo waxed lyrical about documenting a riding time-line ….. Laying out your bikes, accidents, countries visited, mileage etc. since you first threw a leg over a bike to the present day.

I admit the idea was intriguing. Our bookshelves held all manner of manuals*, dockets, documents and diaries from every bike I’d owned and company/despatch bike I’d worked. It took about 12 months on and off to go through everything and assemble it onto a spreadsheet. The end result was quite surprising, the only missing information seemed to be loan/courtesy bikes and training school instructor/student bikes I’d ridden when not using my own. So it’s fair to say the number twinkling on the screen was several thousand miles short, this counteracted very nicely with the fact that bike odometers are woefully inaccurate and over-read. Bottom line – I felt the overall mileage displayed reasonably reflected my riding to that date.

Each following year the spreadsheet was updated with the Capo’s mileage and each year it never really looked like it changed much – until this year. In late January I realised I only had a few miles to go, so a reminder was stuck on the Capo dashboard – When the odometer hits 90,898 – you’ve done it fella.

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid rider reaches 1,000,000 miles

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid rider hits 1,000,000 milesThat day has finally arrived. On a nondescript little back road the Capo rolled to a halt, I switched off, fumbled for the camera and took a moment to look around and reflect on the years, roads and miles that led me to this point ……………. all 1,000,000 of them.

*Each bike since my first Honda SS50 has had a Haynes, Clymer or genuine workshop manual from day one – not one of them has ever been dealer serviced. Each has the mileage on purchase, mileage at upgrade or repair and final mileage when sold added in the fly-sheet. The Capo is the first bike to be totally digital – manual, parts lists the whole nine yards.

Eighty-eight thousand, eight hundred and eighty-eight!

Disposable_cameraMany years back I started to carry one of these disposable cameras on the bike. Usually ratting around in the top-box with all manner of junk, it was their just in case of …… Well I’m sure you get the idea. Instead it ended up being used to take a picture of the speedo whenever it passed through an ‘interesting’ odometer reading – 12345, 22222, 33333. Sad I know, but it became a habit.

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid hits 88,888 milesTaking a photo of these mileages has stayed with me and where possible I still take a snap of the dashboard if it’s convenient/safe to do it and of course, if I remember! This time around it was a biggie, the one that would use up all but one segment of the entire odometer – 88,888 – I wasn’t going to miss this one.

And so on a beautifully warm day with January knocking on February’s door the capo rolled to a halt just south of Penne and the picture was taken. The Capo’s running wonderfully and I’m (slowly) losing a bit of weight and feeling better for it – I have a feeling this year might just be the year we crack that 6th digit!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Abruzzo Gran Sasso