Not a brick bat in sight and Annie celebrates with a beer!!!
For the last week the key in my ignition has felt loose so after some email discussion with Rick the Royal Enfield dealer in Tassie, I decided to contact the Royal Enfield dealer in Montpellier in southern France. A few emails later and a phone call to them, prompted by Bernie and Shayne, I have the bike booked in and a guarantee they have the replacement ignition.
Easy ride to the dealers and they ride the bike through their showroom, mostly Indians, to the workshop out the back. One hour later, all done and I'm on the road again.
But not for long, the bike stalled, I started it again with difficulty, went another 500 m and it stopped again. I'm on a freeway!! No phone and no one looks like stopping. After about 15 mins, and it felt like 2 hours, a car stopped. Oh gosh! My knight in shining armour steps out, phone in hand, and he's speaking English. Jackpot. And I was thinking thank goodness I have a sleeping bag because I could be here all night.
He rings the French automobile association, I gave him the number as I am a RACT roadside assist member I can get help in most European countries. Eventually after Police, highway breakdown and auto association all got involved the bike is taken to the nearest bike shop. Jackpot. While waiting on the roadside I discover my knight is a paratrooper in the Army, part time McGyver and Ducati owner who knows the guys at the nearest bike shop.
The Royal Enfield guys said they'd come and get me the next day, it's already 7 pm by this stage. Frederique from Moto34 said he'd store my bike overnight and asked the mechanic to run me around to the local motel. Jackpot. they had wifi and I spent the night emailing Rick again, bodyguard George and Dr Rob to try an second guess the problem and possible solutions, then I went to sleep, sort of!!
I walked back the next morning and went with the bike back to the Royal Enfield dealer.. the first thing the mechanics did was open the fuel cap, and a big whoosh happened. Jackpot. When they replaced the ignition barrel they also replaced the lockable fuel cap and the lockable under seat access so I would only need one key for all three locks.
It was very funny when I pointed out my bike has a carburettor, they had fun trying to pronounce that in French, then I showed them my choke, well they'd never heard of one of those on a motorcycle. All bikes in Europe have to have fuel ignition, not carbies. Ten minutes later my bike was ready to go, with the original fuel cap. All done.
So bouquets to
Rick at Mountain Engineering
bodyguard George on the Gold Coast
Dr Rob in Rome and
my knight in shining armour who shall remain nameless
Frederique and his mechanic at moto34
Bernie and Shayne for making me make a phone call to Guichards to confirm booking
Virginia, the English receptionist at RE dealer, that was a stroke of luck when I made the call
Eric and Max at Giuchard Motos who were involved in initial emails
the happy guys out the back, including the young fellow who picked up my bike
and Thierry, Guzzi riding in-house upholsterer, who bought me lunch and a beer!!! (Alcohol free)