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Motorcycle and Bicycle Transport travel Yamaha and Suzuki

A bike trip, down to the south of Spain this time.

My lovely Yamaha FJR1300 cannot wait to stretch her long legs. We have booked a week in a lovely place near Malaga and I was thinking of taking a flight, fast and easy of course. BUT I really prefer a trip by bike and I love Spain, so I have booked a ferry from Civitavecchia (near Roma) over to Barcelona and then I will ride down to Malaga, about 1100 kms so either a long day or perhaps 2 days with a B and B on the way, I will decide nearer the time.

Taking the motorway all the way (instead of the ferry) would be a 2300km ride each way from Roma so I decided on the ferry which takes a painful 20 hours but hey, too much motorway also becomes very boring. So I have opted for the sea route. I did the same trip a few years ago down to Alicante and really enjoyed myself, I know a wonderful place to eat in Valencia which is about half way down through Spain. Perfect.

Below are a few pics from previous trips, with various Yamahas.

Categories
France Hotels Motorcycle and Bicycle Scooter Transport travel Yamaha and Suzuki

Another rapid van trip through Europe…

Last week I headed north, destination the UK where I was due to deliver 2 motorbikes to my favourite bike shop where they would be sold. So I prepared my trusty Mercedes Vito van, checking the tyres plus oil and water and packing the 2 bikes snugly into the rear, luckily they are both slim bikes so this was not difficult.

Well my schedule is now quite well rehearsed, I left Roma at 5am Sunday morning with a hotel booking in lovely Chamonix in my pocket, 815 km north in the French Alps just the other side of the Mont Blanc tunnel. I love the Mercure Chamonix and as I have stayed many times they usually give me a free upgrade plus a VIP free drink when I arrive, large cold beer if possible please!

The next morning at dawn I left the hotel and headed north. The French motorways are fantastic and in general very free flowing. And for the first time I was travelling with the new European Telepass which covers Italy plus France, Spain and Portugal so I did not have to stop and pay for the French motorway tolls, I just go through the designated Telepass lane. Progress was so good that I stopped for lunch, fuel and a van wash near Reims and I then decided to crack on for Calais as I always travel with an open ferry ticket, so I get onto the next ferry.

Onto the P&O Ferry and over to the UK and then just a short trip up to Cambridge, some food and then an early night!

Categories
Amalfi Coast France Motorcycle and Bicycle Race Scooter Training Transport travel

Motorcycle road safety courses for all….in English or Italian.

I have been buying, repairing and riding motorcycles since I was 14, and I still learn something every time I go for a ride. Whilst a car is relatively easy to drive, at least from A to B, a bike is really complex and totally not easy to ride also because it will fall over easily, a car cannot fall over (almost).

My best mate runs one of the best Yamaha dealerships in the UK and other mates run the biggest Yamaha and KTM dealer in Europe, and I visit and chat often with these guys as well as others and I also visit Trade shows most years, EICMA etc. I also work with a bike race school for many years so I have loads of experience of bikes and riding, but I am always learning.

The concentration required to ride a bike is at least 10 times that required to drive a car. If you don’t feel like riding the bike today DONT, cos 80% is fine for a car but not for a bike, you need 100%.

So now I have started my own riding school, based on simple stuff theory and then practice, using my bike for me and you use yours, individual tuition OR at most 2 or 3 riders with similar levels of riding experience and ability. Contact me if you wanna try, and lets improve your riding together. And ps I am not a bike snob, I have a moped, a scooter, a Quad and some bikes so we can use anything on 2 wheels, the technique is more or less the same, SAFETY FIRST.

As Freddy Mercury sang, “Keep yourself alive” and this is our motto. And Stop Press, I have just purchased a lovely Honda CB500 for teaching purposes, pics to follow.

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Amalfi Coast Audi Motorcycle and Bicycle Scooter Transport Yamaha and Suzuki

Selling off some of my fleet. Sob.

So the time has come to part ways with my cherished Audi A5, as well as some of my bikes. Garage space is one problem and cash flow is another as I now work part time so I have much less income of course, thus I have decided with a heavy heart to offer my lovely A5 to a new owner.

I kind of “adopted” the (2008) A5 Coupe four years ago when I found her in the corner of a used car parking lot near Roma looking very sad, scruffy and unloved. Indeed, she had been badly neglected and sat on four bald tyres and had scars all round, damage from careless parkers and door openers. The interior trim was also worn (the cloth was semi bald on the drivers seat) and she was dirty as hell. They wanted 20k Euro so I offered 15k and as I walked away the guy followed me so I knew that I should have offered less……

Long story short, I bought the car and started a labour of love to restore her to her original condition. You can read the story elsewhere on here, suffice to say that I now badly need the garage space so I must reluctantly let her go to a good home. She is in fine fettle, fully restored, looks wonderful and goes like shit off a shovel, I will post a pic below.

My old Honda VFR800 (2007) could also be up for grabs for the right money, as could my beloved restored 2010 Yamaha Giggle, pics below. Let the bidding begin…..

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Amalfi Coast Car service Motorcycle and Bicycle Repairs Scooter Transport travel Yamaha and Suzuki

An amazingly talented tyre fitter and mechanic who can service, fix or repair almost anything on wheels….

Since I moved house from Roma to Tramonti I have had to restart with all of my contacts to look after my car, my van, and my small fleet of motorbikes. This was not easy as I had lived in Roma for more than 20 years and starting over is never simple, Roma is a huge city with loads of choice whereas Tramonti is a small town in the middle of nowhere. “Tramonti” means between the mountains, as it is perched on the top of a mountain between a town called Angri and the Amalfi Coast, near Salerno.

BUT. In a fairly short time I have managed to find some amazing guys and the most amazing so far is Leo Cioffi at Pontone, a tiny town near Ravello. See https://www.autocioffi.it/. Leo is officially a “mere” tyre fitter and he works on his own in a small and cluttered premises just off the main road up to Pontone. I first met him when I damaged a tyre on my old Audi A5 (I managed to hit a rock on the road and tear open the rear tyre, what an idiot). He had to order the replacement Pirelli P Zero 19″ (I bought 2 and changed both tyres, they were half worn) as he did not hold these in stock, 2 days later he called me and I returned to have them fitted.

Not only was he chatty and friendly (and a good Italian coffee is always available) he was also fast and efficient and did a very thorough job. I noted that he went the extra mile without extra charges which I liked immediately so I realised that he was a good contact. Indeed, since then we have become mates and he has done loads of work for me on my van, scooter and Quad and he is always fast and efficient and works REALLY well, the quality of his work is amazing. I have seen him turn his hand to almost everything from trucks to tractors to Vespa scooters to wheel barrows as he also works for the next door family car business and is called upon to fix everything.

What a great discovery!!! And his prices are much less than Rome prices and his knowledge and standards are amazing.

Categories
Amalfi Coast KTM Motorcycle and Bicycle Race Repairs Scooter Yamaha and Suzuki

New plan! New motorcycle sales operation. Watch this space

Ok so now I am established in my new property in the Tramonti region of Italy, and Tramonti is very close to the motorway. So what now? I am in touch with the guys who own and run the excellent dealership Celestini in Civitavecchia and they are not only an excellent Yamaha and KTM dealer, they are also distributors and they operate a fleet of vans which deliver bikes to smaller dealers in the bottom half of Italy.

So my idea is to become a Celestini sub dealer for Yamaha and KTM new bikes and perhaps even second hand bikes too.

Categories
Amalfi Coast Car rental Motorcycle and Bicycle Scooter travel

Why you should never rent a scooter or a Quad when you are on holiday (unless you are a regular biker and you dress with at least jeans and gloves)…

I saw an article on the Independent web site recently discussing the dangers of renting when on holiday overseas, see here. The Guardian reported almost the same sad facts. The articles report that of course when you go on holiday your defences are down and you are vulnerable to accidents given that you do not know the local road uses and customs and on two wheels you are very exposed to everything.

This was evident to me without reading these articles. On the Amalfi coast there are many scooter rental companies and so in the summer months you can see the visitors buzzing around the place. In all cases the uses are given a helmet of course, and then because of the heat they dress for the beach so shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. And of course these small scooters are either 125 or 150cc so they can get up to 80kph, and given also that most renters are not experienced riders then you have a dangerous and explosive mix, bringing great danger.

The roads along the Amalfi coast then make their own contribution, as the roads are narrow, potholed and in the summer months carry alot of visitors as well as commercial and local traffic. And if it rains they become very slippery of course.

I therefore suggest that only experienced riders should rent these bikes and then of course wear at least jeans, gloves plus a jacket so that a small spill does not have serious consequences!! If you fall off at just 10kmh you will naturally put a hand down to break your fall, and your hand will bear the scars for weeks to come……

Categories
Motorcycle and Bicycle Race Repairs Scooter Transport travel Yamaha and Suzuki

A visit to one of the best bike dealers in Italy, Celestini at Civitavecchia

I have known these guys for many years, since Alessandro was racing in the R6 Cup and he used to come to Magione for some training with Run x Fun. His father Sandro  was a very talented scrambler and he started his bike shop in Civitavecchia back in 1982 and the activity has grown into what today is surely one of the biggest dealer/distributors in Italy. Look at their web site here.

The father Sandro runs the place, Alex the elder son works in the lovely workshop and follows their race activity and his brother Gian Luca works all over the place and follows the Moto Club, so they are all very heavily involved in the business. They sell from their lovely shop (they are official KTM and Yamaha) and they also run a distribution business for the south of Italy with several vans, serving the smaller shops.

WONDERFUL guys and lovely business, well worth a visit cos there is a good bar next door!!

Categories
Amalfi Coast Hotels Hotels, villas, appartments and B&B Motorcycle and Bicycle Transport travel

Two new electric-assisted bicycles for Hotel Aurora

We just supplied two lovely bicycles to the Hotel Aurora Amalfi, for use by their staff and clients. The bikes are made by Torpado, an Italian manufacturer, and they are very robust and well made, and supplied and customised by our great friends in Roma Cicli Franchi. These E bikes have a large lithium ion battery on the rear carrier which give the bikes an autonomy of about 60 kilometers between charges, in normal or average use. Or once a month, whichever comes soonest.

The hotel staff and management seem very pleased indeed with these bikes and they already attract alot of looks and attention and questions, an added bonus. The idea is to give an extra service to the hotel guests and we have not yet decided how much we will charge to our clients. We are waiting for insurance cover and then we must write a disclaimer which the client will be asked to sign before using the bike.

What do you think??

Categories
Amalfi Coast Car rental Car service Motorcycle and Bicycle Repairs Scooter travel Yamaha and Suzuki

Our new property!!!! Finally we have the keys

We have been searching for a suitable property for about two years, on and off, and we have finally found the property of our dreams!!! Last month we exchanged contracts and took possession of a stunning garage in lovely Polvica, which is one of the 13 small towns which make up the area called Tramonti. The location is perfect for the Amalfi coast, Tramonti is 6 kilometers inland from Maiori, which is them 6 kilometers up the coast from Amalfi.

The properties are actually 2, one very small “house” which is actually a single room with an outside toilet, plus nearby the amazingly modern and large garage. The house was purchased only to enable the purchase of the garage as only a resident is allowed to purchase the garage. The garage is amazing!! It is large and almost new, about 6 metres wide and 8 metres long PLUS it has a bathroom with a shower too. And upstairs on the garage roof there is a garden with a lemon tree plus a kiwi plant, and plenty of space for a BBQ and sunbathing!!!

We have already started to have work carried out by some local builders to ensure that both of the properties are in perfect condition, then I will take some pictures to add to this blog. Great news indeed!!