‘Ow long’s the mot boy?’

I think it’s fair to say the last two years have fairly whizzed by ……it’s hard to believe that in September 2008 the Capo first wobbled out onto the Italian highways with its new ‘targa’ (registration plate). The next ‘revisione’ (MOT) would be in Sept 2010, two years away and no more than a passing thought. And now it’s here, dragged kicking and screaming into reality on a balmy Saturday morning.

I finish my second ‘wake-me-up’ brew, faffing about over documents and thinking about what to expect … is the old girl indeed as road worthy as I like to think? I hope so, I’ve spent a fair few hours over the past weeks checking this, fettling that and oiling the other. I’d be miffed if they do find anything … or would I in fact be offended, my rickety chair of motorcycle mechanical superiority kicked from under my feet … left dangling on the rope of the tester’s bureaucratic whim and devastating ability to empty a wallet quicker than a Vespa sump. No fear, I’m not having any of that! So to be safe, I’ve remapped the fuel injection for emissions and generally returned it to ‘factory’ condition. ‘I’s crossed and ‘T’s dotted, nothing left to chance, all very secret squirrel actually.

As I’d not been through this particular delight before, a neighbour kindly went along to pave the way. On arrival I handed over the ‘Carta di Circolazione’ (logbook) and we wandered off for a coffee – they don’t like being watched … I was told.

Coffee over (remember, they’re small cups!), we walked the twenty meters or so back to the bike, still basking in the rising morning sunshine. Time ticked on and a few cars came and went. A van went into the bay marked ‘revisione’ in big red letters – the only bay for revisione – the bay my bike ought to be in by now I thought. My neighbour and I chatted, each trying to hide the mild irritation that nothing much seemed to be happening to the Capo, despite the two minute promise, half an hour ago.

Then activity … a chap wanders out of the dark bowels of the office waving a logbook around, my logbook. Is this yours? Yep! 65 Euros please … and that was it, done. A little sticker attached telling me to sod off for two more years. That was painless. How were the emissions? Fine. Brakes? Fine … all fine in fact, nothing to worry about, a lovely bike … bye-bye.

So I thank my neighbour for his time and as he drives off, I get kitted up, clamber on board and lift the side-stand, it folds away leaving the little ‘x’ scratched on the tarmac … the little tell-tale mark I’d made just before wandering off for coffee.

Damn if the tester hadn’t parked it RIGHT where I’d left it …………

………. now that is skill. See you in 2012, Ciao, Ciao!