Friday, June 27, 2014

Service with a smile, and a shine!

It was high time for the annual check-up.  The bike was last serviced just before the 2013 Blogger to Blogger Tour.

All the riding during and after the tour, and into this season, takes a toll.

Over the winter my go-to dealership, Alex Berthiaume & Fils, Montreal's oldest motorcycle dealership, went through some changes.  The business moved to Montreal's north shore and is now located somewhere in Laval.

As part of the move, they sold off the Vespa business and the premises on de La Roche street to Mécamoto who now operate the Vespa business as Vespa Montréal.  Same shop, some familiar faces, some new faces, same great service.  More Vespas are sold from this small shop on the Plateau, than anywhere else in Canada.

François Desmarais, who now heads up the Vespa Montreal service department, really impressed me with his courtesy, frank manner, and above all, competent and thorough servicing of my Vespa.

It didn't come cheap, but with a friendly discount and some goodwill, the bill was under $800.  Yes I know that's a lot, but when you only have two wheels to rely on, peace of mind ranks very, very high.  I could certainly do some of the work myself, but there's no way I could match the knowledge, experience and competence that François and his team bring to the table.

In the end the bike needed a new front tire, rear brake shoes, a new exhaust manifold, a new drive belt, new rear wheel bearing, new spark plug, and the usual replacement of fluids and filters, as well as all the related tune-up adjustments one comes to expect.
When I picked up the bike, Paul Brunette, Vespa Montreal's sales manager (and the guy who did more to get me rolling on Vespas than anyone else on the planet, from tolerating my too numerous chatty visits to the dealership in the years before I purchased, to recommending the type of bike I needed to start off, to encouraging me to rent one for a test ride), surprised me by detailing the bike.
When I picked it up it was purring like a kitten and was as spiffy as the day it rolled off the assembly line in Pontedera in 2010.  No charge for the thorough clean-n-shine, just a handshake, a beaming smile, and a thank you for my business.

You can't beat that!

Thanks to Paul, François, and the rest of the team at Vespa Montreal.  You guys rock!


SonjaM said...

Glad to hear that you have a reliable shop to go to for Vespa maintenance. In Vancouver the only good one had shut down, and the other didn't have a good reputation. I also trust our local dealership (now Offenburg, the guy who helped with Bella's "immigration"), with the necessary maintenance, and we have not been disappointed. 800 bucks sounds a bit over the top, but looking at the bike, it seems you got a brand new one for that price. A job well done.

David Masse said...

Sonja, I saw on your blog that Roland was riding a black GTS. Is that a new bike or a a temporary arrangement?

I should have paid more attention to your bike in Italy. Does your GTS have ABS and traction control, or is that a new thing for 2014?

Unknown said...


as Sonja said, there is no reliable Vespa shop closer than Seattle. The best shop in Western Canada shut down due to "politics" and the non support of Vespa themselves whom didn't honour their dealer contract and allowed the inferior dealer to remain in business. With no dealer support I could not even consider owning a Vespa here.

Your bike looks ready for another tour, except that you probably don't want to get it dirty. Looks really clean for an $800 wash job. The other incidentals were thrown in . . .

Riding the Wet Coast

SonjaM said...

David, that actually wasn't Roland, and it wasn't his ;-) We have old fashioned Vespas. The ABS thing is new for 2014. Not sure if its any good though.

David Masse said...

Sonja, unlike Brandy, Brad, Bob and Richard, the mad cycle crew, leaps of faith and jumping to conclusions are my go to exercise routines.

Tell Roland he'd look dashing on a 2014 black Vespa GTS with all the bells and whistles.

David Masse said...

Ah yes, the infamous Vancouver Vespa saga.

Think of the fun you could have hauling your bike and doing your own wrenching :)

SonjaM said...

Better let sleeping dogs lie... still recovering from the inter-continental moving cost ;-)

David Masse said...

{tiptoes softly out, eases the door shut}

RichardM said...

Wow! I don't think I've ever spent that much getting anything serviced…

Anonymous said...

Hi David ,
Vespa looks great mate.....good to know you've got a decent vespa agent.
Out of interest how many miles have you put on her .....what was the mileage on purchase and current....I should know some if this being a scoot commute follower;)

Trobairitz said...

Sweet. Worth the price of admission. Fixed up, race ready, and shining like spanking new.

David Masse said...

25,000 kms when I got it, 36,000 kms now.

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