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 :)

Monday, July 13, 2015

12 July 2015 MCMC Ride

 The Manawatu Classic Motorcycles Club had there monthly meeting and ride yesterday so Ian, Sir Al and myself were part of the rumble that left the Vintage Car Club rooms at 11:00am for a wander around the countryside. Although a little chilly we headed off into a wonderful winters morning that had us heading through Bunnythorpe, through to Colyton, Valley Road  and back to the Ashhurst Inn. Caution was required as there was still a bit of mud on the roads from the many slips as a result of the 'deluge' a few weeks ago. The run was fairly uneventful except for Mr Griffiths drawing a lot of attention to himself with some wonderful backfiring sounds and visuals coming from his baby Norton. Apparently the flames looked quite spectacular from just behind! The Ashhurst Inn was a very busy place and although it was a wait for the food the conversation around the table made the time fly. Fish and Chips seemed to be a very popular choice!

It was a great little run and perfect for the bedding in of my new front tyre on the XJ. Great to see Ian out and about with his GS650 cafe racer/brat project. It was his first decent run on it and seemed to go really well. Not sure about the seat though! Sir Al had the H2 out for a spin and all that chrome looked great gleaming in the winter sun. Johns BMW 600 was at its purring best alongside a range of 'moderns' and not so moderns. Loved following the BSA twin up Valley Road with that wonderful British twin sound coming out of the peashooter pipes.
The daffodils are sprouting and the days are getting longer so lets hope for some more days like yesterday. See you out there.

Gary + Ian

Monday, June 29, 2015

28 June 2015 End of Month Ride

Middle of winter and a good turnout of 6 riders for June's EOM ride. It ended up being a short but interesting trip for a couple of reasons; Firstly Dion had his Honda NS400R back on the road following a top-end rebuild and the fitting of a set of JL chambers. And secondly we had a shed raid to view Dave T's new collection of old bikes and parts for some upcoming projects.

Dave recently acquired a job lot of old Suzuki and Honda bikes and parts. The most interesting and with the best prospects, were a Suzuki GS1000G and GSX1135EF. The EF looks to be around 1985 to '87 and was mostly intact. Suzuki claimed 124 bhp (at the crank) for the EF when new, so they must have been really quick. Their reputation suggests considerably more HP can be extracted, so it might make Dave a good 1/4 mile bike. The GS1000G is a shaft drive tourer from the early 80s with a little over 90 bhp and weighing in at around 250 kg dry! Would make a great tourer. This bike is also mostly there although is running a different set of carbs. It will be interesting to see the progress on these two. Would make a good series of articles for the website Dave.
There were also a couple of '70s Suzuki 2-stroke twins and 2 small Hondas. Parts bikes you might call them. Possibly fished out of the Cook Strait. 

Dion's NS400 has enjoyed some deserved pampering while he was doing the top-end overhaul. With the plastics removed it is quite obvious why Honda had a reputation for the best build quality in the 80s. Wheels, brakes, frame, swing arm, nothing looks worn or aged. The bike ran faultlessly first time out and sounded great with the chambers fitted. That addition has a twofold benefit for the NS; they should help the engine to develop more power and the three chambers weigh the same as one of the original exhausts, which amounts to a 13 kg weight saving. 

After a good poke around Dave's collection and a cup of coffee for the lads we headed out to Colyton and through Valley Road to Ashhurst and then various routes back to Palmerston North.