As I am now fairly old er experienced with owning and looking after cars and bikes, I thought that a few hints could be useful. Ps instead of reading you can listen to this post on Spotify!!!
Many years ago in the UK I worked with a lovely guy called Jack and he owned a fairly old car, it was a Morris Marina I think (which shows my age of course)!!. BUT his car always looked good and proved very reliable so I asked him for some pointers and tips about how he kept his car in such good shape.
What he told me was very interesting and I decided to adopt some of his philosophy, and it goes as follows:
- Never forget that you put your life into the vehicle you are driving, and as far as we know we only have one life. And one car.
- The factory maintenance schedule is fine as a starting point, in other words oil and filter and brakes and stuff annually or every X kms. But think of your car or bike as the Forth Bridge, in other words she ALWAYS needs some attention and TLC! Start at one end, work to the other and then start over again. (For those of you who do not know the amazing Forth Bridge see Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forth_Bridge) And TLC is tender loving care, by the way.
- In this way you are always on top of anything that is needed and you do not risk to discover a problem many months later when it has perhaps got much worse, dangerous and or more expensive.
This approach is in my opinion very relevant to motorbikes in particular cos these days bikes have amazing performance almost like race bikes from a few years ago. Today’s sports bikes have 200 plus horsepower which puts massive stress onto the various components (wheels, tyres, brakes and chains mainly). I also keep copious notes in a small black book where I jot down everything I do with date and mileage cos my memory has always been dodgy.
My idea is to keep my car, van and bikes in a condition that if I need to leave urgently and drive to Milan (about 850km due north from Amalfi) then I can do so without worrying, indeed I like to keep them fuelled up too. I also keep a small bag in the car and van with some basic tools just in case (jump leads, tow rope, American tape, cable ties plus a few bits and pieces). Stop press: I recently purchased a Carly OBD2 scanner thingy as suggested by Sam Crac, see their web site https://www.mycarly.com/. I no longer travel without this wonderful piece of kit!!
Last weekend I travelled up to Fiorenzuola (near Piacenza) to see my 2 hooligans, a 1500 km round trip and my 15 year old S4 performed GREAT (phew!).
Here below are some of my current fleet: