Tuesday, September 29, 2015

27 September 2015 End of Month Ride

Sons of Anarchy Wannabe
There was a good turnout for the Blue Haze EOM September ride last Sunday. The Levin Car Show was on and we decided to take a leisurely ride down via Shannon. There were four 2-strokes and four 4-strokes. From the 70’s; Kawasaki H2a & A7 and Suzuki T500. From the 80’s; Honda VFR750 & NS400R, and Suzuki GS650 Café Racer & GSX1100. And from the 90’s; FZR1000 EXUP.

Line up of our bikes at the Museum Cafe, south of Shannon.

We stopped off at the museum Café for a coffee on the way down, arriving at the show mid-morning. American muscle car heaven would best describe the show. There were a few bikes in the show and a lot parked up like us, with Milwaukie Iron particularly well represented. Bruce, Rich, and I were the only riders wearing HiViz in a 10 mile radius. Black leather was definitely the look. Our token Bogan (Ian) was like a pig in mud, especially when he saw the Chrysler Valients! Dion saw more Leyland P76s than anyone else. Bruce thought there were more Bogans per square mile than anywhere in the Southern hemisphere – although we kept that fact to ourselves. The quality and quantity of the restored cars was impressive. 

Hotrod show in Levin.

We eventually re-grouped and decided to make our way home. We stopped at Shannon for a quick lunch and arrived back in Palmerston North around 3 o’clock. An enjoyable day and something a bit different from our normal rides. Bikes went well. Rich had some gearbox noise in 5th on the T500 prior to our first stop, which wasn’t heard once we started back on the road. Ian’s Café 650 was out for its first longish ride after some gearbox fettling and went well with the exception some throttle drag which has since been fixed. I was pleased to give the Avenger a run as I’ve changed 2-stroke oil and hoping for a bit less smoke (although the traffic behind did disappear from view as we left town). 

Late lunch back at Shannon.

Post by Alan + Photos by Ian

Monday, September 14, 2015

Love That Sound

Found this on the YouTube and couldn't resist putting it up. Turn up the volume and enjoy!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Around the Block via Rongomai

What to do with with a fine spring morning? Mow the lawn? Weed the garden? Nah.
"Just off around the block for a quick ride dear" "Won't be long". Might as well swing by Manawatu Motorcycles to see if any one else has a similar idea. Low and behold four other like minded  individuals were there raring to go! The bike roll looked rather limited with two Kawasaki H2s and three Yamahas present. Not a Suzuki or Honda in sight. The De Lautours had the Kawasakis covered, whilst Bruce took care of the two stroke Yamaha representation with his RZ350 whilst Michael and I the four strokes with my XJ750 and Michaels recently acquired FZ1000. He got it for the 'right price' as it was misbehaving itself so Michael was going for a spin around the block to see if he had resolved a few issues. More on that later. It was great to see Paul out on his splendid H2 and it certainly shone in the spring sunshine, whilst Kim was giving his H2 an overdue outing. A decision was quickly made to head east over to Rongomai and back up Mangaone Road to Pahiatua and then on to the Bridge Cafe for some food and refreshments. The trip over the Pahiatua Track was at a good pace that allowed us to take in a few changes to the landscape as we made our way up. Looks like some one is cashing in the pine trees which have been an important part of the track experience for many years. Should mean less damp spots on some great corners! The run down the other side was uneventful and before you knew it we were turning off for the run through to Mangamaire. This is where Michaels FZ decided to misbehave and after the rerouting of the fuel pipe from the petrol pump we were underway again. Michael decided on a cautious approach to the FZ was in order so he decided to make his 'block' smaller by heading directly to Pahiatua and the rest of us headed to Rongomai. This is a great road, but for some the great is conditional. Last time we went through here we followed in the 'hof steps' of a herd of cows being shifted from one farm to another. The debris from that ride is now the benchmark for a shitty ride! This time it was of no concern and we had a ball bend swinging all the way to Pahiatua. After a quick catching of breath we were on our way again heading towards Ballance Bridge. On our arrival at the Bridge Cafe we spotted Michaels FZ in car park and he had grabbed us one of the prime tables outside. Just as well as the place was really busy with people out enjoying the magnificent weather. All to soon we had to finish our ride around the 'block' and head home to lawns and gardens.
It was a great ride around the block and I have just checked the long range forecast, and guess what? Next Sunday is looking like I may need to pop out for another 'quick ride around the block'

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Strokers and Shafts to Hooterville

The weather forecast for the weekend was looking a bit iffy during the week, but by 10:00am Sunday morning a group of eight individuals fronted up to Manawatu Motorcycles for our August end of month ride out.  The precipitation was threatening but not enough to put us off for a wander up the Rangitikei to Huntreville to sample the delights at one of our favourite cafes. We were treated to a few drops of H2O as we left town and headed out towards Bunnythorpe, through Colyton and to our first stop at Cheltnham. It was great having Paul along on his Moto Guzzi 1000 Le Mans with its v twin bellow alongside Johns immaculate BMW 600 that just purrs along up the road. Ian was giving his GS450s another airing with its two into one exhaust bellowing out that lovely parallel twin sound. It was good to hear Richards T500 burble its way up the road in its usual unfused manner and then not to to far in front of him was Kim on the RG400 that had that other lovely Suzuki square four burble. The only other two stroke sound came from Dion on his ever faithful TZR. The inline four sounds were provided by Michael on his immaculate GSX750 whilst my ever trusty XJ750 rounded out motorcycle orchestra. The trip up to Vinegar Hill was cautious as the road was still damp in places from recent rain, but the pace was enough to enjoy the wonderful scenery along the way. All to soon we were parked up outside our refreshment spot where major purchasing decisions had to be made about the personal consumption of food and beverages. It was just as well the two Brucies were absent as the food cabinet contained only one raspberry custard square. If they had both been there the resolution of this problem would have been fascinating. We hear custard square politics are a serious matter and nations may one day go to war over them! After a good feed and watering along with solving all the worlds most serious problems through talking about motorcycles we headed home via all the backroads that run parallel to State Highway One. It was then off to Halcombe and through to Mount Stewart and then home. It was a great run and a great way to farewell winter and with all those daffodils everywhere spring has definitely sprung.
See you out there

Friday, July 31, 2015

EOM Ride July 2015

Blue Haze was almost taken over by Moderns and 4-strokes – horror of horrors!
Meeting at Manawatu Motorcycles on Sunday morning were Bruce S on his new Aprilia Tuono 1100, Ken on his BMW R1100R Rockster, myself on latest addition to the stable – Honda VFR800. From the 80s Ian on the Suzuki GS450S, Dion on his NS400R, Brian on a BMW K100RS. 70s bikes were Kim’s H2A and Rich’s T500.
Weather was looking good enough so we decided on the Rongomai route. A dash up the track, right to Mangamarie, out through Rongomai and back to Pahiatua. Lots of corners and roads dry and in fairly good condition. For me it was the first back road ride on the VFR and I came away very pleased with my purchasing decision. 
Bruce's new Aprilia looks and sounds stunning - the Iron fist without the velvet glove. The BMWs also provided something quite different for the Japanese bike enthusiasts amongst us. A completely different approach to 2-wheel design.  
We decided on the Black Stump at Pahiatua for refreshments. The proprietor pushed together tables for us at one end of the café and we enjoyed very good food and drink. Good value for money too.

After a bit of a natter it was back on the bikes and home over the track or through the Gorge. Another good EOM ride. 

Dion and I went to Ian's for a coffee and chat after ride and snapped a few photos of the 2 Hondas on the front lawn :)