what you see in the picture is our bike on the Stelvio Pass, the greatest road in the world. I call her “Chierichetta la settima” in English it’s something like “Altar-girl the 7th”. Sophie is calling her Titin, which I am also beginning to use :/
I don’t think altar girls exhist anymore, if I recall properly, my cousin Rachele used to be one, and I also believe a mate of my cousine Francesca, also probably an altar girl, had a mini cooper called Chierichetta when I was just a kid, the idea striked me and I thought it would be a good idea to continue the tradition. No copyrights after all. I started naming my vehicles Chierichetta, followed by succession numbers.
Chierichetta la prima (altar-girl the first) has been an Italjet Formula 50, my first ride when I was 15y. Good looking but awful scooter. Followed by an Italjet Dragster 50, Suzuki Katana 50, a much better scooter then its precessors, a white Golf diesel second series, my first car. Chiericetta la quinta (5th) has been my favourite of all, an epic Vespa Sprint Veloce 150, a perl on two wheels which everyone enviyed so much which it’s been stolen the same day my first nephew Oliver was born. That helped a lot to clam down the anger. We had an Audi A3 during our days in Milan, Sophie’s girl, which we got rid of before leaving for this trip because there is no point in cars. So the seventh, is our BMW G650GS.
It’s my first bike, the one I bought just to make some practice in order to get the driver licence. I always thought I would change her after a bit, and get something more powerful. But then Sophie started thinking she would also take the licence, and so we kept her.
She is a third hand bike from year 2011. A girl sold it to me in Milan, and the plate is from Bologna. Altough I often (…always) feel she is slow, she has been great in the past year and a half. A couple of battery issues at the begin, but after that she has been going beautifuly. Slowly but beautifly.
She has done 37.000Km (was at 24k when bought and 61k today) already in just 15 months, and already been all around the Alps, including Stelvio pass, Gran Paradiso, Swezerland, Col Iseran, Cote Azzur, most of centre north Italy, through France, UK, she also flew to NY and after a coast to coast she is now in Mexico, while writing.
I like BMWs, as bikes. They are pretty things. But I struggle to make sense of some of them, and all the circus around the brand. And the whole expensive service, accessories and spares issue is just bloody boring, and I wasn’t aware of it.
Said that, everyone during this trip has been giving compliments about her. You have to give credit, never a single struggle in any weather condition or any type of environment including mountain passes between 3500 and 4000 meters, deserts and dirt roads loaded with two passengers, filled up side panniers with extra dry bags on top and back case. We are heavy, but no matter what, whe is going for it…
We’ve fitted a central stand, which lost a screw, and BMW in San Diego wanted 15$ for replacement, apparently a little component shaped as a cylinder is unique for her. I went straight in a hardware shop, and used a bunch of spacers as replacement of the cylinder. 2$.
Head light plastic protection, skid plate, ABS sensor protection and some gel pillows because the seat is incredibly unconfortable. How could BMW let that shitty sit come out of their factory?
We’ve also bought GIVI side panniers second hand, and their frames brand new. We changed the exhaust with a Leovince, which is just annoyingly noisy, but Titine is a bit more brilliant in acceleration. Replacing the double original exhaust with the new one created a space on the right under the sit where we’ve fitted 2 tubes which usually contain 2 bottles of wine 🙂
650cc and 50hp only. But she feels like she is never going to stop. I like Titin, I’m glad we are doing the trip with her instead of buying something bigger (I was strongly considering KTM 990) or renting a HD in the USA.
Just hit the road with whatever bike you have, and see what’s going to happen…