Central Italy has been struck by yet another earthquake, this time a magnitude of 6.6. I’d just sat down at the computer with the first cup of tea of the day, when at 07:40 the house began to shake.
Unlike the two earthquakes last week (26/10/2016 – magnitude 5.5 & 6.1) that struck in the evening, this one set objects rocking, pictures and mirrors moving on the walls and all manner of strange noises emanating from the structure. I bolted for the door! It was most surreal to see trees, fences and power/phone lines and poles swaying and the car rocking on its suspension. Likewise, Jan had made it to the upstairs door at the same time having been rudely awoken!
As I write the injuries are few and thankfully no fatalities. Many of the villages at the epicenter were already mostly evacuated from last weeks events. Unfortunately, structural damage has devastated some villages such that they’ve almost been wiped off the map. In Norcia the basilica of San Benedetto has been destroyed. Damage has also been reported in Teramo, l’Aquila, Chieti and as close to us as Brittoli and Civitella Casanova – only a few kilometers away.
Yes I put my hand up …… it was all my own fault! I just had to go and mention the Sagem coils in the last post. A real tweak on the nose of Murphy’s Law if ever there was one!
The other day I had to pop along to the shops and being a lovely warm sunny day it was definitely a job for the Capo, besides I had the Innovv K1 camera system fitted and this would be an ideal time to try it out. The first sign that something was amiss with the Capo was a slight hesitation, a stumble just off idle. That and a slight misfire occasionally – more a sensation through the seat than anything else.
Once back in the barn I had a look at the Innovv DV recorder – No stored video, nothing! What the hell? Then the penny dropped ….. The Innovv worked fine with the engine off, but fire it up and it had a complete meltdown and either turned off or froze. It looks like some serious interference at work. With the seats off, I realised there was a faint intermittent ‘tick, tick, tick’ to be heard over the exhausts from the battery/coil area but I couldn’t see anything. So I waited until dusk and tried again – bingo! – A nice intermittent flash of HT from a rear coil to the subframe. That’ll most certainly mess things up quite nicely.
With one Sagem definitely now duff I decided to retire both remaining ones. After all, 111,000 miles isn’t too shabby! To keep all coils the same I thought I’d order three TechAutos – two as replacements to match the two already installed and one as a spare, just in case. So back indoors, fire up Flea-Bay and almost fall off my chair when I see what TechAutos are up to! Here’s a screenshot of their latest pricing for 3x coils. Hmmm……
…… So I fired off an email asking about availability and real-world prices – and after four days, never heard back from them. I decided that with outstanding customers service such as that, I would go elsewhere and buy Renault V6 coils! In fact for the last realistic price I recall seeing for three TechAutos coils I can buy six Renault coils. Now the old girl will get a nice new full set of coils and HT leads plus a new set of Iridium plugs ….. hopefully that’ll keep her happy for a few thousand miles!
After 22 days away on the Capo I returned with a little more than I bargained for, not least a crick in the neck and a stinking cold! On the way up I met Gianluigi at the Italian/Swiss border and talked some serious Capo bling for an hour. Then rode through sunshine, drizzle, rain and freezing fog before reaching Oxford. On the way back we were treated to high winds a stunning moon-rise and some amazing early morning scenes with low-lying mist. All in all, a real slice of what Europe/UK has to offer bikers this late in the season!
The original fuel cap was replaced with the Oberon keyless unit a few days after reaching Oxford …. it took about 10 minutes in all. It looks good, works fine and I’m no longer worrying about getting into the tank! That’s the only work done on the Capo for the whole trip – 3,000 miles – key-in, ride off. No drama, no breakdowns. In fact the last two original Sagem coils are still sparking just fine after 110,503 miles!
With the panniers emptied, it was a great opportunity to restock on spares for the workshop – front wheel bearings and seals (used the last set 9 years ago!) a clutch pushrod bearing (16004), clutch diaphragm and a couple of sets of clutch master cylinder seal kits from FPE Seals Ltd. Service parts stock is now replenished with extra oil/air filters, a spare pack of DPR9EIX-9 Iridium spark plugs, red rubber grease and more Scottoil as I seem to be going through a couple of litres a year! A HUGE bag of stainless screws, nuts and washers from Jason helped balance out the panniers (cheers matey!) and last but not least, the remaining electronic parts to finish off the BMW Brake Light System (clone!) that was started in spring.
But undoubtedly the highlight of the pannier contents is the Innovv K1 dual channel Full HD camera kit. This has been loaned for review by Jim smith at AMI (Abbey Motorcycle Instructors) who should be fitting a second kit to one of his Instructor bikes over winter. I’m really looking forward to fitting this kit and putting it through its paces. In fact I’ve already been running the system on the workbench and making a comparison of video quality compared to the GoPro Hero 3+ and power draw etc ……. full review coming soon, watch this space!