Chamoson, Switzerland - Motorcycle Repair with a View
Monday, Oct 2nd

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The little town of Chamoson east of Martigny and just west of Sion in the Rhone River valley had the distinction of having a Ducati motorcycle shop. It was completely hidden, and took us 45 minutes to find, even though it was a tiny village.

Looking up into the vineyards in the foothills

Looking down across the vineyards to the valley below

"Le Garage du Chamoson"

This shop specialized in custom-made modifications to racing bikes; very cool stuff

Serge Favre and colleague; very helpful

You can tell I like photos of grapes

For motorcycle techies only: there was a problem with the clutch receptor

(see fuller text explanation below)

The offending part, which had to be replaced

I was having great difficulty finding neutral, and a VERY tight clutch, so much so that my left hand was sore at the end of the day. Well, I noticed the level of clutch fluid was getting low and was getting understandably concerned. A clutch giving out on hairpin turns in the Alps is not a good thing to have happen.

So we looked in the Ducati dealer book and found a a dealer in the tiny vineyard town of Chamoson, Switzerland in the Rhone River valley east of Martigny. This guy knew his stuff. Turned out the seal around the clutch receptor was bad and causing the fluid to slowly leak out.

A simple matter of replacing an O-ring, right? Wrong. On the 2001 model ST2, the clutch receptor was redesigned just so slightly that the O-rings from previous years did not fit it. Sacre bleu! Que faire?

The only thing they could do was to install a clutch receptor from previous years, which then would fit the O-ring they had in stock. Three hours of labor to diagnose and fix all this, all on a bike with only 1300 miles on it! This should not happen!

These were cool guys, though, and they only charged me one hour of labor plus parts -- about $140 US in total - then wrote a letter to Ducati exlplaining what had happened. Will try to get it all reimbursed from Ducati at some point. I am keeping the old (new) parts just in case.

I promised to give the guy a plug, so here goes. His name is Serge Favre at the Garage du Chamoson in Chamoson, Switzerland. Email address is sfandem@bluemail.ch .... Thanks, Serge!!

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