With the copy deadline approaching for this issue I half-heartedly asked if there were any demos available. I was told yes — the brand new V100 Guzzi which is call the Mandello. Deep joy. I have been waiting for this bike to come out for over a year. The Eagle Has Landed (as you film buffs will chuckle at) — the eagle is the iconic symbol of Motto Guzzi, in remembrance of one of the founders who was in the Italian Airforce in the First World War and then sadly died after starting the Motto Guzzi factory. The factory is still in the same place at Mandello Del Lario in the North of Italy.

This is a funky looking sports tourer perhaps in the RS1250 BMW mould. However Guzzi always do it differently. 

There is a huge range of bikes available for any biker to choose from. Many are brand loyal and others like to chop and change. The brand loyalty of Guzzi riders is akin to Harley riders. They hardly ever come up for sale, secondhand as they are kept by owners for yonks. I had a brand new V11 sport for 9 years.

Off to Mo-Tech in Newcastle and Neil was casting concerned eyes at the sky as it had been raining off and on in a very wet March. It had taken them ages to clean this demo bike which had only 58 miles on it on its last run out. I assured him that it wouldn’t rain.

The striking white basic model (the S has electronically adjustable Ölins suspension, heated grips, quickshifter). It’s a very clean low and slim bike on first view. Gold cast alloy wheels really set it off together with a single sided swinging arm which neatly hide the shaft drive but with those huge two transverse V-twin gold and carbon fibre covered pots sticking out beside the knees and now liquid-cooled. That 1042cc DOHC engine is a big part of the bike and everything revolves around it — it’s not shy and it’s not hidden away. Being shown around the controls as I sat on the bike, the TFT was an engaging one and interestingly I got to grips with it straight away which was some feat for me. We agreed “ride” mode of ride/tour/rain/sport. The cruise control looked particularly easy to use. Little touches impressed: the single-angled tire valves on the wheels; the sign on the handlebar clamp proclaiming this was a V100 Mandello made by Moto Guzzi with the year 1921 on — heritage — and the attention to detail including the daytime running headlamp in the shape of an eagle. There is much more if you carefully look round the bike.

Off through the crowded streets and a decision to head West for better weather. Characteristic engagement of Guzzi gears but none the worse for that at lower speeds. After getting out of the traffic which was a breeze to go through on a big bike, the V100 was yearning for the open road. I bashed along the A69 West towards Hexham but decided on a whim to turn off and head South on the A68 which is a great swooping and fast road which I thought would suit this bike. A little spit of rain and I managed to sort out the electrically adjusted windscreen straightaway on the TFT display. I was looking forward to engaging the rain flaps on the side of the fairing just above the knees which I’d heard so much about.

The back passed the Hipkin acceleration test, motoring up steep gradients in fifth and sixth gear without pausing for breath. I was having great fun swinging round the bends and the peaks and troughs of the A68 when the heavens opened. Marvellous. Perhaps it was the same weather had I test rode it straight from the factory in Northern Italy in March!

I switched so easily to rain mode I surprise myself, on the go, and lo and behold the Thunderbirds like rain flaps extended. I was officially a stealth bomber pilot now! The combo of the flaps and the extended screen created an excellent protection against the rain by which time it was “stotting” down. After 20 minutes or so of this even with the best rain protection on I thought it might be time to pull over to avoid the spray of the big lorries passing in the opposite direction on the A68. The Manor House Inn at Carterway Heads hover into sight so I pulled in. A log fire, cracking cup of cappuccino and an irresistible triple choc brownie with ice-cream was the saviour as I made my notes up. As soon as I’d finished, the sun came out and the rain stopped. If I’d continued I would have had to look out for Noah’s Ark.

I decided to swing around and go back down the A68, accelerating downhill on those lovely curves, crossing the A69 and then back up the A68 North for as far as I wanted to go to prove this bike’s mettle. Swinging it around again I came back and then took the Military Road through the Heddon on the Wall which is another glorious run on a bike like this. A69 and back into town and it was all too soon that I had to hand back the keys. I offered to and did help wash down the bike because it was “hacks” by then. Washing your bike always brings out an appreciation of its finer points and this was no different. 

I commented how easy this bike was to ride. I actually forgot about my riding position and comfort because it simply wasn’t an issue and it was only when I got off I realised how comfortable and involved this was. The start-up was the usual big Guzzi growl/bark and rumble and the old trick of blipping the throttle in neutral causes the bike to sway to the left and back. On my run downhill on the A68 I was double de-clutching it for the heck of it as I used to on my own V11 Sport and it became a really involving, all senses engaging, ride. That description together with the uniqueness of this type of bike and its heritage is probably the selling point. It is not an anodyne riding experience. I couldn’t use all of the 108 bhp but I think you will agree the photographs make you want to look twice at this bike. You certainly don’t want to think twice about arranging a demo — get on down there!

Mark Hipkin is a Partner/ Head of the Personal Injury and Civil Litigation department. He welcomes your e-mails or calls on the law (or your biking experiences) at wbay@aldersonlaw.co.uk or call 0191 2533509.

Mary was born and has lived all her life in the North East of England. Her first interest was science and she originally studied Biomedical Science at Northumbria and worked in the scientific research field and the NHS, before studying part time, again at Northumbria University, to obtain her degree in Law. Since then she has enjoyed a varied career covering many different areas of law, before specialising in Children Law, which she has done almost exclusively for the past 5 years.

Mary loves reading and history and at a weekend can often be found at one of the many historical sites the North East has to offer and has even been known to play video games when she can find the time.

Chris was originally a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives from 1997 and qualified as a Solicitor in 2001.

He has over 25 years experience in private client work comprising Wills, Trusts, Probate, Powers of Attorney and other Court of Protection Work such as Deputyship applications. Chris has been a Partner in several firms in the North East, being Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate.

He brings a wealth of experience to his role and works closely with clients, providing them with a service tailored to their needs

Susan was born and bred in the North East, spending all of her working life in Blyth. She qualified in 1981 and, after some years at Alderson Law, began to specialise in family law, covering both private and legal aid. Susan was a member of the Law Society Family Panel and an accredited Resolution specialist, specialising particularly in private children law and domestic violence.

Susan took part-retirement in December 2018 but still works as a Solicitor here at Alderson Law. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, walking, reading, and spending time with her family. She has also been a Brownie leader for over 40 years.

Originally from East Yorkshire, Jasmine moved to the North East in 2012 to study at Northumbria University undertaking the M Law Exempting (BPTC) course (the only undergraduate course in England and Wales which incorporates the Bar Professional Training Course), graduating in 2016 with a First Class Honours and a Very Competent in the Bar Professional Training Course. Prior to joining Alderson Law Jasmine specialised in RTA Fraud in a Personal Injury firm, before moving to another firm to work as a Family Law Paralegal.

In 2018 she joined our team as a Family Law Paralegal and before qualifying as a Solicitor within the Family Law Department based at our Morpeth office. Jasmine represents clients in a wide range of matters including; divorce and matrimonial finance, disputes regarding the arrangements for children as well as parents who are subject to Local Authority involvement both before and during Court proceedings.

In her spare time Jasmine likes visiting the beach, going to the gym, watching live music and looking after her pet rabbit.

Julie is a highly experienced property solicitor. She studied Law at Northumbria University and, after qualifying in 2000, went on to work at national and international firms prior to joining the team at Alderson Law in 2017. She works alongside her clients, advising on residential and commercial property development, property investment, portfolio management, property finance, landlord and tenant, easements and restrictive covenants.

Fiona is a specialist private client lawyer providing advice and assistance with wills, trusts, tax planning, probate & estate administration, lasting powers of attorney, court of protection and elderly client work. Having previously worked with a number of Newcastle-based firms listed in The Legal 500, Fiona brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. She is a full member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), the association for specialists in family inheritance and succession planning.

Fiona grew up in Northern Ireland and studied law at Durham University, and has remained in the North East ever since. She enjoys spending time with her family at their cottage in Northumberland.

Mark Hipkin, partner at Alderson Law LLP, has been advising businesses and claimants since he qualified as a solicitor in 1982.

Mark’s passion is for representing claimants on two wheels in complex, serious and catastrophic motorcycle, scooter and cycle injuries, but he also has extensive experience of acting for claimants in many other personal injury areas including occupiers and public liability work and accidents at work. He specialises in challenging and complex cases. Mark always puts the client first, looking from the first day of instruction to obtain the best and fairest outcome for a claimant, no matter how long a case may take. He is a fan of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and early neutral valuation as alternatives to litigation. Sometimes, however, litigation is the best option, together with the necessary drive to see every matter through to a fair conclusion.

Mark also, having started his own business, advises business clients, often with motorcycle-, scooter- or cycle-related businesses and also deals with complex commercial disputes, professional negligence cases, and general civil litigation.

Mark likes to spend what free time he has with his family and practising Tai Chi and Tang Soo Do (Korean Karate – in which he is a second Dan).

Having worked in family law for over 25 years, Julie is a highly accomplished specialist in her field. She has a vast body of experience in dealing with family law, from divorce and related financial issues to complex child-related cases. Julie was the first person in North Tyneside to achieve the status of an accredited advanced family law specialist, and is a member of the Law Society Advanced Family Panel, which demonstrates her experience in complex contested family cases and other subject-specific matters.

Though multi-talented and highly experienced, Julie’s particular speciality is in complex ancillary relief (financial settlement) claims and complex residence and contact disputes.

In her spare time Julie enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family and three grandchildren. She attends clients at our Whitley Bay and Blyth offices.

Tracey is one of our Partners and qualified as a solicitor in 1997. Throughout her career she has had a varied caseload undertaking matters in most areas of civil and private client law. Tracey can assist clients in a wide range of matters including: Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney, Debt Recovery, Residential and Commercial Conveyancing as well as Licensing and Landlord and Tenant matters.

Tracey is one of our most senior practitioners with over 20 years of local experience, having graduated from both Newcastle University and Northumbria University. When not in the office she enjoys walking, cycling, and cooking with her family.