Monday, September 26, 2016

EOM September Ride (More Suzuki TS400 fettling!)

Off into the mist!
Cheltenham hill catch up 
Kims ever faithful RZ250
Ians award winning VX800
Bruces great VF750
Who needs to go to church when you can kneel before a TS400!
A caption competition!!
Stormy Point
"Will I have enough petrol to get to Hunterville?"
"Where did you go on to reserve?"
Just a quick dash to the petrol station
Waiting for Sir Al to return from the petrol station
Will Sir Al have enough petrol to get home?
Mt Biggs School stop
After a very pleasant Saturday the first day of daylight-savings was overcast and a bit cooler, and probably contributed to a turnout of only 5 riders for our end of month ride.

However it turned out to be an enjoyable run, heading over to Hunterville via Vinegar Hill. The wind was a bit gusty at times with intermittent drizzle, but not enough to get really wet. The road was damp and required some degree of caution. Good for the skills.

The crew were Gazza on his ever faithful XJ750, Kim on the RZ250 naked (the bike not Kim), Ian riding his 800cc V-twin Suzuki, Bruce A V4 mounted on his ’86 Honda VFR, and I rode the recently acquired ’77 TS400 – Ian very kindly transporting a spare 5 litres of petrol in light of that bike's first longer run a couple of weeks back.

We had the usual generous feed & coffee at Hunterville before taking Rangitira Rd and heading home. The less traveled roads are always the most fun, and this back road and Porewa Rd had their own set of challenges with a lot of mud and other brown stuff to catch the unsuspecting.  Down toward Marton we turned off onto Kakariki Rd and made our way via Halcome to Mt Biggs Rd and our last stop outside Mt Biggs School, then home.
It was surprising how dirty the bikes were and some cleaning will be required. We travelled at around the 100 kph mark and I’m pleased to say the TS400 not only made it to Hunterville on one tank, but after taking on 8.1 litres of BPs finest made it home as well. Consumption has been reduced thankfully to a miserly 25.8 mpg (10.9 km/l). I had forgotten how much fun old trail bikes are to ride and really enjoyed it. Saving up now to go to Pahiatua sometime before Christmas.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fettling a Suzuki TS 400

Sunday a week ago the Manawatu Classic Motorcycle Club had their September club meeting and run. It couldn't have been a more perfect day with lots of sunshine and a great turnout with nineteen bikes on the run. After the meeting and following a cup of tea and biscuit we all headed out behind our leader for the run Clive on his trusty Honda CB400. Following behind him was a wide variety of bikes ranging in age from the fifties through to more contemporary times. At the back we had John on his BMW 6/600 as the sweeper making sure no one got left behind. In between were a wide variety of machines from the east and the west. Out for its first run with the club was Graham with his latest 'hybrid' machines. Still not sure what to call it. Is it a Horton or is it a Narley? Also out for its first spin was Sir Al on his recently acquired Suzuki TS400B and a friend of Graham T on his Yamaha Virago.
Clive led us out through Hiwinui and through to Colyton and out around the back of Feilding. This then took us onto Makino road and around to Pryces Line for our first stop and natter in the lovely sunshine. We then headed carried on along Mingaroa Road to Ngaio. It was here that we thought Sir Al was wanting to stop and have a look at the lovely daffodil display at Mt Lees Reserve. Little did we realise that the only reserve he was concerned about was the reserve on his fuel tap! Solutions were sought and John was sent off to acquire a petrol. In the meantime Dave found a coffee cup on the side of the road and filled it with petrol from his Tiger and the bets were on as to how far the TS would go? Would it make it to Feilding? The timing for Johns arrival with the petrol was perfect with the TS gasping for fuel on outskirts to Feilding just as John came into view.
With a thirsty bike quickly replenished we made our way to Murrays Bar in town to replenish the now thirsty people. A good feed washed down with a few ales and accompanied by yarn or two was a fitting end to a great ride.

PS.  A float in the carb with a hole in it was found to be the cause of the excessive fuel consumption with Sir Als TS. He reckons it is now the 'poster bike' for fuel economy! We shall see!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Perfect Winters Day Ride

Just a short post re our wonderful ride from last weekend. Six of us gathered at Manawatu Motorcycles for what proved to be a great run over the the Pahiatua Track return via Rongomai and the Black Stump Cafe! It was hard to believe it was winter but the snow covered backdrop was there to remind us what season we were in. The track was in very good nick and led to some spirited riding at times! Kim was out testing the latest addition to the garage and I can attest to the success of the test. With  seven and a half on the XJ tacho and Kim filling my nostrils with a two stroke aroma and through the haze I spied a rather large grin as the NSR flew by me at the top of the track. Also along for the ride was Bruce S on his ever faithful CBR and he brought along a work colleague, Charmaine on her Suzuki GS850. Dave R was out on his trusty Honda 750 as was Sir Al on his gleaming A7.  After a stop at Mangamaire we headed off to Rongomai with plenty of country sights and smells along the way. The Black Stump eatery was our choice for some great food and refreshments. We then retraced our steps over the track and back home.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Bit Cold and a Bit Windy but.....

Just got in from our end of month ride and as the title for the post suggests it was certainly a bit cold and a bit windy. The forecast indicated that rain should have been in the mix as well so having to put up with two out three challenging weather conditions turns the whole thing into a positive! In fact we enjoyed sunshine for our entire time and when we arrived at our favourite destination in Hunterville our positivity was reinforced further with a raging fire in our favourite cafe! What a treat. How cold was it? One of the locals arrived in town with his 4WD tray full of snow, and plenty more on the bumpers. Although the roads were certainly a bit damp on the outward part of the ride caution ensured that sphincter tightening moments were few and far between. By the time we had thawed out the wind had dried out the roads and so we took one of our backroad routes south through the wonderful Rangitikei countryside. The turnoff to Halcombe from State Highway 1 had us heading towards the Tararuas and home through the avenues of Cabbage trees. Mount Biggs was our last stop for a quick chat and farewells and then on to the warmth of home.

Bruce Sager had a great time on his re suspensioned TZR 250 which did a remarkable job in the windy conditions. Those power valves really do work. Bruce Andrews enjoyed all the work he has done on his re suspensioned VFR and was rather pleased it didn't rain. This meant he didn't have to go through the trauma of putting on his rain suit. (Watching him trying to put it on before we left had me regretting that I didn't video the procedure. I am sure it would win New Zealands Funniest Home Videos! He decided to give up in the end and chance it!) Sir Al had the H2 out for its first ride after  'surgery' on its internals and it seemed to pass its first test with flying colours. Ian rode his gleaming VX800 and was testing his new Givi box. Sir Al was questioning how well it was secured to the rack, but Ian very quickly revealed one way to use 1000 cable ties! As for myself on the XJ, it was another reliable run around our great motorcycling district and already looking forward to the next ride. It was another great ride to add to the memory banks with its mixture of mates, machines and countryside. Doing this on a motorcycle certainly makes the journey a more memorable one and makes one appreciate and enjoy some of the more important things in life!