After finding the stripped earth strap kindly left for me by Millennium Motorcycles I was sure that my trouble was over with old (new) Stevio. Even though it was lashing down this morning I was enjoying thrashing down the M61 leaving a vast rooster tail as I powered through the stair-rods. 'This is more like it' I stupidly said to myself as I neared the Horwich exit.
The deafening silence that followed was my reward for judging the bike on 10 minutes riding. I manage to coast to the exit and as I stopped I could smell the unmistakable aroma of frying electrics. 'Oh bother' I murmured to no-one in particular. I delicately tore the seat off but the fire must has run out of steam by then.
A call to the Aprilia breakdown service confirmed to me that they are completely useless as they did not have my details even though I was holding the certificate in my hand. They agreed to pick me up but I may get a bill later. After a 1.5 mile push and an hour in the Reebok Stadium McDonalds I was picked up by a Good Samaritan who took me to Shorrocks in Penwortham. They were confused, but a healthy dose of 'I don't care' and I'm not taking it home' they let me leave it there.
The Moto Guzzi Customer Care (for the terminally confused in the community) don't seem to be able to translate 'refund' or 'replacement' into Italian but telling them that I am a freelancer and the 4 breakdowns had cost me over a £1000, along with quoting the Sale of Goods Act 1994 seemed to concentrate their minds.
I am pushing to get the bike either totally replaced of get my money back. So that should explain why, on the 19th June 2009, I will be travelling to Skye on a very noisy Cagiva Elefant which, just by standing in the garage and starting when I want it to, has grown in my estimation a thousandfold. I've even rigged up the fuel taps so that I can use all 25 litres of the tank rather than doing 20 miles on reserve and only fitting 17 litres in the tank!?!
In summary it seems that, whilst MCN/Bike/Ride seem to think that Piaggio have done wonders for Moto Guzzi is seems apparent that they have ruined a good solid motorcycle marque by making it out of scooter components.
PS I have bought all Skye travellers a Long Way to the Pub T-shirt. Sizes were all guessed!!!!