Last month I mentioned I had sorted my sidestand switch problems. Well for a while at least. Fortunately I had asked on the Moto Guzzi club forum how to bypass it (short the red and black leads together and ignore the brown) so when it stopped my engine half way home I knew what to do.

But unfortunately I didn’t have any wire cutting capability in my tool bag.

However the bloke whose house I had stopped outside did so that was sorted and side cutters were added to my tool bag and a proper neat fix done next day prior to setting off for the Saddle Sore RC’s Last Drop Rally. I was given the advice of using a hidden switch instead of just shorting the wires out as an added security device. Sounds like an idea for the future but I thought the name on the tank would be sufficient these days.

Whilst sorting the problem by the side of the road I had my hazard lights on. This is the fourth time I have used them in anger, something I try to get across to my fellow Guzzisti when they remove them when rewiring an old renovated Tonti framed Guzzi. Hazard lights are only an unnecessary complication until you need them. Especially at dark o’clock on an unlit road when you can put them on with the ignition off.

When I asked for the advice on the forum I was warned about possible safety and insurance problems.

On safety I have owned 2 Hondas, 1 Ducati and now 4 Guzzis. This is the first bike with a side stand cut out. I have ridden off with my side stand down before; the scraping down is quite distinctive and generally it stops when the stand flips up anyway. The bike which should really need it is my Le Man Mk111 to which I have fitted a big feck-off California side stand, or scaf(fold) pole as it is known. And even that flips up.  And the sweep with my left boot under the lhs silencer just before engaging first gear is now automatic, to avoid the embarrassment of the engine stopping because of that damn cut-out switch.

If you get on your bike without settling into it and getting its feel, even after just a pit stop, before giving it stick on our roads then you are an accident waiting to happen. On the insurance side if I crash because I have ridden off with my sidestand down I am an idiot and will probably not do enough damage to bother the insurers. And if some scrote steals my bike and does the same I look forward to seeing the claim, especially as it would contain said scrote’s name and address and signed confession. Even our police might just do something then.

Several months ago I recommended the EXPED 9 LW as a sleeping mat. I stored it over winter inflated but on its side. This resulted in the down filling falling to one side (something an intelligent person would have anticipated) and at the first rally of the year it was still comfortable but without the extra warmth. So after I got home I inflated it and left it on my spare bed. Shook it up occasionally and at the Last Drop the built in heater affect had returned. So don’t store the buggers inflated and vertical. But it looks like it and my new Snugpak Elite 4 are going to be needed this year because as of the end of May it is still cold enough to put a fire on at night.

I have now used the Satnav several times and whilst it is fine and fully up to the job, so is a £100.00 reconditioned car version in a tank bag (as electrical items either last forever or fail very quickly a repaired version is one that has had its failure already, at a lower price). I am also learning to use it as a tool, not as a substitute for thinking and am realising why people complain that they show road turnings too late, 70 yards at 25mph take no time, so I use it as a version of a route card and no more.

Ride Safe

An ancient Guzzisti

Ian Dunmore.

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