Monday, May 19, 2008
Shock 'n' Roll
When you ride an older vehicle, it pays to have a decent relationship with the folks that fix 'em. In London we're lucky that there are five or six places that you can get a classic scoot fettled. One of these is Scooterworks, run by a laid-back Kiwi called Craig. Nowadays, Scooterworks is a hip cafe on Lower Marsh behind Waterloo station and a workshop in Bermondsey. When I first encountered him, Craig was trading from a (let's be honest) filthy lean-to under the railway at Crucifix Lane near Tower Bridge. Back then, getting anything done was a bit of a game of chance - you knew he'd do it, but not exactly when. The blind bend the shop was on made leaving it a bit hair-raising, too. He's much more organised these days - got a website and everything. There's always a couple of dozen scoots outside Scooterworks, from increasingly rare barn finds that Craig's brought back from Italy, to pristine restorations and all examples in between. They even do MOTs - something of a rarity for two wheelers, and a good thing for the classic scooterists. You need an examiner to know that the reason the throttle doesn't snap back on a pre-indicator model Vespa isn't because "It's Knackered" (as one bike shop told me). It's because that when you give a hand signal for a right-hander, you want to keep moving.
I took in 'Dino' - the PX - for an MOT today. It failed, needing a new front shock. To replace It, I thought I might as well get a posh gas-loaded shock. However, Scooterworks is the sort of place where they'll talk you out of something they know you don't need - even if they miss out on some extra cash.
"They look good, but the speed bumps knacker 'em within six months"
So, bog standard it is then. Eighty quid all in, including MOT. Sorted. It's the Sprint Veloce's turn tomorrow.