Bob Pickett investigates..
Dorset has fantastic roads to ride and great destinations to visit. Corfe Castle; Tyneham Ghost Village; The Tank Museum; Clouds Hill (Lawrence of Arabia’s cottage); the Hardy Monument; the Cerne Abbas Giant; and the Jurassic Coast Road are all within an hour’s ride from Gillingham (with a hard ‘g’, not to be confused with the one in Kent), a former Saxon settlement just south of the A303.
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Riding those roads and visiting those venues, you’ll be in need of somewhere to stop for a drink and maybe a bite to eat. So how about doing so in an award-winning cafe? And while you’re there, check out some new bikes and clothing… and go and see some Great Crested Newts in lovely Italian gardens. Welcome to Moto Corsa Motorcycles.
Housed in a former brewery, Moto Corsa Motorcycles is a bit different from most major modern dealerships. Holding five franchises – KTM, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta and Royal Enfield – there are new bikes of all capacities and styles, from retro roadsters to high-performance adventure sport machines and everything in between.
Venture upstairs to the recently revamped and restocked clothing and accessories department and you’ll find five rooms filled with apparel from carefully selected brands. The Helmet Sky Lounge is a high point in every sense of the word. The Taste of Dorset award-winning Cafe Corsa serves freshly-prepared food throughout the day, with plenty of extra seating in the Italian gardens at the rear of the showroom.
Moto Corsa was founded by Mike Russell de Clifford (or Mike RDC as he’s widely known) in 2004 and originally based near Wimborne. Initially, the business specialised in Italian motorcycles from the 1970s and 80s, including Moto Guzzi, Laverda, Benelli, Ducati, MV Agusta and Cagiva – hence the Italian name. A move to larger premises in Ashmore in 2012 enabled more franchises to be taken on and Moto Corsa expanded into its current showroom at The Old Brewery in Gillingham in 2017, retaining the Ashmore building for the parts and servicing departments.
Moto Corsa is based in the North Dorset town of Gillingham, just four miles from the A303 trunk road that links London the the West Country. Dating back to Saxon times, it’s grown into a large town that remains relatively unknown, sitting on a quiet B-road running to the nearby tourist attractions of Shaftesbury.
Gillingham does, however, have a rail service on the mainline from London Waterloo to Exeter.
Surrounded (about an hour’s ride to each) by Warminster, Salisbury, Dorchester and Taunton, Gillingham, and hence Moto Corsa, is perfectly located as a starting point, mid-point stop or end destination for many of the famous landmarks Dorset has to offer.
As popular with locals and also motorcyclists from far and wide, Cafe Corsa was voted best independent cafe in the Taste of Dorset Awards, and if you’ve ever visited you’ll understand why. From freshly-prepared locally-sourced coffee to daily specials, and great biker breakfasts, Cafe Corsa offers service with a smile in a comfortable environment, with extra seating in the gardens to soak up the sun.
Address: Showroom, Clothing & Café Corsa
The Old Brewery, Wyke Road, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 4NW
Phone: 01747 811 196 (Option 1 – Motorcycle Sales & Clothing, Option 5 – Café Corsa)
Moto Corsa Motorcycles is so confident in the quality of the motorcycles it sells, and the after-sales service it provides, that it offers a FREE lifetime warranty on all new machines over 750cc.
The lifetime warranty starts as soon as the standard manufacturer’s warranty expires and provides the same level of cover.
Parts subject to wear and tear, such as tyres, chain and brake pads, are excluded.
There is no charge for this service and the Moto Corsa Motorcycles Lifetime Warranty lasts for as long as you (the first registered keeper) own the motorcycle, regardless of how many miles you clock up.
In order to qualify, the motorcycle must be serviced by Moto Corsa Motorcycles as specified by the manufacturer and must at least have an annual service. When due, the annual MoT must also be provided by Moto Corsa Motorcycles.
That’s because it stands by the quality of its workmanship, but can’t be held responsible for work carried out, or parts fitted, elsewhere.
Moto Corsa doesn’t stop there. When you buy a new motorcycle, you get free MoTs for life; free indoor bike cover; a free tank of fuel; and if you pick up your new bike on a weekday, a free breakfast for two in Café Corsa.
So both rider and bike leave fuelled up!
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