This article was originally printed in the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club monthly newsletter.

Travels with Tom, by Tom Bender

With my trailer hitched to the Dodge, I drove out of the shop and up to the house. George carried out the electric cooler packed by my wide with good things to eat. I followed with a change of clothes and my shaving kit. We put everything in its place in the trailer and were all set to leave for Newbern, Tennessee. It was 6:30 A.M. the Friday after Thanksgiving, cold and clear, and the sky was just beginning to lighten up. It looked like it was going to be a good day to travel. With tummies full of Gladys's good breakfast we were on our way.

I've wanted an 1000 SP Moto Guzzi for a long time; for one reason or another I've passed up several chances to buy one over the years. Now I was finally going to look at a blue and silver '84 model. My friend George Loy was coming along to keep me company.

Indeed it was a great day for travel, bright, warm sunshine, and a healthy tailwind. We made good time, with the cruise set on 65 most traffic passed us, and we rode along not having to alter our lane or speed for miles and miles. It seemed to take no time at all and we were in West Memphis, Arkansas fueling up. We'd only stopped once for a sandwich in a rest area. Two hours later we were 85 miles north of Memphis at Danny Whittle's home in Newbern, Tennessee. Now it was cloudy with a cold south wind, brrrr!

Danny proved to be a nice fellow, there were no unpleasant surprises, everything he'd told me about the bike on the phone was true. He has a garage full of BMWs one BSA and two more Guzzis in addition to the SP. I was beginning to feel better about this deal.

The Spada looked great and there was an extra gas tank and an extra Corbin seat included. The bike had several nice modifications, fork brace, fork gaiters, stainless steel brake lines, Dyna III ignition, aluminum timing gears, a complete Bub exhaust system, K&N air filters, straight air intake manifolds, and California II saddlebags. I felt one of the heads and it was cold, good, now I could see if it smoked when it was cold. It started right up and after about ten seconds idled smoothly, there was no smoke. It sounded good.

I put on my coat and helmet and took it for a ride. It ran like a sewing machine, shifted smoothly and had excellent brakes. The handling was great on the almost new Dunlop sport touring tires. Returning to Danny's house I checked the compression, 185 psi on both cylinders! I was hooked. Danny signed the title, I counted out the $100 bills and he and George helped me load it. He was happy, I was happy, and that's what you call a good deal!

After driving a little while George and I decided it was time for supper. The first place we stopped was having a power failure and couldn't serve us. The next place was all lit up and had about half a dozen pool tables, but the kitchen was under construction. It was beginning to look like we'd have to eat sandwiches out of the cooler again. I told George we'd try one more time then we'd see what else Gladys had sent. Eureka! The Blue and White Restaurant (I think it was on the north side of Ripley, Tennessee) was not only open but they had a good seafood buffet. With full tummies we proceeded on our way. About 9:30 we got a motel in Brinkley, Arkansas.

The next morning we decided to abandon the Interstate System and take the back trails to Gene's Moto Guzzi in El Dorado, Arkansas. We were on the road at ten after five. Once again it was cool and clear, a nice morning. After driving for an hour we stopped in Stuttgart, Arkansas for breakfast. Our next stop was at Gene's in El Dorado, alas, due to the holiday weekend no one was home. Checking the bike we found it had loosened up so we tightened the tie downs and headed on to Texas. The back roads were scenic, it was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the drive. We stopped at a schoolyard and after a picnic lunch from our cooler we proceeded home arriving at 3:00 P.M.

The next day I resisted the temptation to use the license plate from one of my other bikes and try it out. Monday I was rewarded for my honesty with a 70-degree day! I got the SP inspected and licensed in record time and enjoyed a nice ride. I'm really pleased with the Spada and hope to enjoy it for many years.

That's all for now, hope you all had a good Holiday Season.

P.S. Bob Nolan is doing great.

P.S. Ron Garcia have you thought about trying Miracle Grow for that shrinkage problem?

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