inventories but on reflection it does seem that nearly all of these bike builders are from Italy. Perhaps
it was an inbred fear of being conquered by Hannibal that these names came to the fore as Roman
defiance stood up to Carthage ?
Could this have caused the problem ?
My own experience of things Italian has for the most part been good as they make excellent shotguns
and firearms and I have always used Beretta for all my shooting needs. All my riding boots are Sidi
and once again Italians make excellent footwear. However, when it comes to things of an electrical
nature things are not quite so rosey ! Here I can quote from my short lived time with my, lovely to look
at, Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint. A truly beautiful car with elegant lines, plush cream leather interior, an in
line 6 with three carbs giving really sporty performance and all finished in metallic dark purple. The
beauty sat in pride of place on the Officer’s Mess car park and on foggy October mornings as I
ventured out to drive to the Squadron with everything covered in early morning dew that ******* thing
was never going to start ! Come back at lunchtime when all the moisture had burnt off and it started
first click of the key ! More recently my MV Augusta F4 1000 would be well behaved if the battery stayed
well charged but would get very sulky if it wasn’t left on the battery minder.
As I seem to have a lot of Elephant visitors to the surgery I decided to try and get to the bottom of it. Is
it the name ? What is the Italian fascination with the Pachyderm? Trying to think of other
manufacturers who used animal names I can only recall the AJS Porcupine (a nasty prickly beast)
and a whole load of birds from Honda with Blackbirds, Nighthawks and Firebirds coming to mind
and of course the Goldwing. Some other British offerings were the BSA Bantam and the Triumph
Tiger, Tiger Cub and theTerrier. Other than that Britain had mainly military names from James with
The Cadet, Captain and Commander, while BSA became intoxiated with the heavens with Shooting
Star, Gold Stars and anything else coming out of the skies.
Two Patients waiting in the Surgery Office
To continue this in depth research I sat one of the Elefants down to probe my thesis on Italian
electrics and see if I could discover where the problem lies with Ducati Elefants, Cagivas and of
course the SWM Jumbo.
“Jumbo, Dumbo, Fatty, Big ears…… I HATE it !”
My patient soon broke down in tears and told me all the woes. Didn’t like her name as it implied,
slow, clumsy and heavy… and robust was all she would go for. Found it difficult to start the day and
was gutless and after a long journey was reluctant to continue. Poor eyesight was frequently
mentioned as after running for some time the headlights would become very dim and a lot of
flatulence would occur with misfiring as a common symptom. Flatulence in an Elephant is to be
avoided at all costs!
“After 50 miles the lights dim and we can’t see a thing!”
So after all my research on the subject I have written a book, a copy of which is produced below with
a “Hannibal” flavor on how to get the best out of your Elephant.
Using my “A” initial for Antony in the title
From all the studies it would appear the guage of wiring used in most things Italian is of a too small
variety and insufficent current is going where it needs to due to all the added resistance. Remedies
seem to be a heavier guage wire for the starter system, a better battery and an additional wiring loom
solely for the lights. With regard to the flatulence problems a general lack of power won’t help and
neither will fitting OEM plugs straight out of the box without “gapping” them first ! New plugs from
NGK come gapped at 35 thou and these babies need 23 thou !!
Infestations of Elephants are rare, but if you are plagued with these beasts we do offer an
erradication service for a fee. No sprays have been found to be effective so we will gladly come and
collect them and dispose of same in a humane way via ebay.
….. And finally if you are going to use every color wire in the rainbow try and use a system that has
some logic to it such that only reds and blacks go to the battery! Your elephant will respond to some
TLC and given time, it too will think it is a motorcycle.
Early therapy, soon it will think it is one