Italians do it their way

I’ve just read your article on the RAID MV Agusta in the September issue.

It brought a smile to my face as a few years ago my mate, Graham Salter, and I encountered similar bureaucracy. We were riding the Moto Giro D’Italia; Graham on an old Trident and me on a 650 Matchless.

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Riding along down a twisty road with a very long drop to the bottom, Graham’s rear numberplate came off and flew over my head down the valley.

As we were not long into the trip we decided to fit a cardboard one and reported this to the local police station/palatial HQ. Met with what can only be described as the best uniformed women and men police officers we’ve ever seen – then it started.

After explaining in our best Italian-ish, forms were pointed at and documents thoroughly inspected, as were both bikes.

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Much chatting, pointing, rubber stamping and phone calls later, we were thinking we should have just kept on riding. Two hours later with a wave of the hand, we went away none the wiser for what had just happened.

Later in the day, at a T-junction coming out of town, there was parked a fully police-liveried Lamborghini Diablo with two female police officers outside the car looking at us.

Off we went, only to find a speed trap 100 yards down the road with a couple of bikes pulled up receiving tickets. Very easy as you were trying to believe what you had just seen further back – entrapment Italian-style in the best possible way.

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To round off the day we had a police motorcycle escort through a town and onto a magnificent hotel in the hills. Minutes after the police got off their bikes, their top boxes were opened, hats and guns put in the box and beer taken out!

What a trip, only in Italy.

Steve Sawyer

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