It’s been a busy week at Adventure Ride. It started off well and I had the pleasure of sharing the trails with some great people but I’m sat here typing this instead of driving down to Cornwall to take part in the Land’s End Trial.
One of my customers enjoying the view from the Burway after a long day in the saddle
I’d done a lot of work getting the Ossa ready for the Land’s End sorting out the various issues and broken bits in preparation for entering the 350 mile event. I should mention at this stage that I’ve received absolutely no support from Ossa UK who appear to have disowned the bike [more of this later]. Having done all the prep and fitted auxiliary lighting and an illuminated road book holder I felt all was well and took it for a quick test ride to bed- in a fresh chain. It developed a misfire , refused to idle and cut out on descents which, due to the compression, would lock the rear wheel on loose surfaces. A plug change resolved the problem briefly but it soon returned suggesting something more serious was amiss. On a modern bike with EFI and engine management there’s not much you can do in a home workshop to trace or fix a fault of this nature. I must confess to having reached the limit of patience with the bike and thoughts of nursing it through the night on a long distance trial finally sapped all my enthusiasm and I threw it in the van and dropped it off at the local Ossa dealer. Ian at Trials and Tribulations [who , it should be pointed out, is in no way responsible for any of the ongoing issues with the bike, which came direct from Ossa UK] is going to try and sort it today but I have a feeling it won’t be fixed in time for the trial and I’ve resigned myself to a DNS.
Strange to tell but in all the years of doing the Land’s End , Exeter and Edinburgh trials on a variety of 30 year old bikes I’ve had a modicum of success and only had two mechanical failures . Since converting to modern bikes last year I’ve failed to complete the past three events. I’d hoped the acquisition of a new Explorer was going to end the run of unreliability but instead it seems to be contributing to it!
My motorcycling buddies have been observing the Ossa shenanigans with morbid fascination and I think were surprised when I said I was going to enter it in the Land’s End. I can already hear a resounding “told you so…”
But where do we go from here? I really like the bike and want to stick with it and as far as I can see , all the issues can be fixed. The problem is , I’m not getting any help or feedback from the importer to the extent where there seems little point in emailing them anymore. When I collected the bike, Ossa UK made it clear the warranty only covered parts, however, in the official documentation [which came with the bike from Ossa in Spain] it clearly states the warranty is for parts and labour. I’ve also been told the warranty doesn’t cover plastics [mudguards, side panels etc] but again this seems at odds with what Ossa Spain say . The warranty states cosmetic deterioration is excluded – understandably given the nature of the bike – but nowhere does it state a failure of a plastic part is not covered by the guarantee.
Next week I’m going to contact Ossa in Spain and hopefully we’ll be able to move forward with a clearly defined plan, in the meantime I’ll be interested to see what the diagnostics tell us at Ian’s shop.
Out and about last week, note the Touratech road book holder mounted on the ‘bars, essential kit for long distance trials