Monday, October 10, 2016

Blue Haze Racing all go! (Well, most of the time!)

Bugger! (John W)
Faster you basta.......  (John W)
First go on wets (John W)
Tim gets the big tick!
Whats making all that noise?
Action Man
"I will be joining you very soon Valentino"
Very sticky rubber!
Great pan with a blurred background! (Cliff W)

The completion of the Winter series a couple of weekends ago saw some mixed results for the Blue Haze Racing Team. Time on and 'off' the track was put to good use to fine tune the operation. Tim is using a new starting device to give Kim a rest from pushing a TD2 around the pits before races, and once sorted it should be just a a couple of the revolutions of the back wheel to get it fired up.
Dion meanwhile continues search for the limits of man and machine! This included a little excursion to examine the grass at the end of the grand stand straight. As his manager said, he had a wee setback when he fell off in a corner due to "running out of talent". As you can probably surmise from this comment Dion is in the hands of a sympathetic manager who is looking forward to him 'bouncing back in no time!
The good news is the fettling program for riders and machines is continuing on with Blue Haze Racing making its debut at Hampton Downs at the end of this month. A contingent of supporters will be travelling north in convoy to support them! Alan is also going to head up from New Plymouth  to race his RG500 XR14 so it should be a great weekend away filled with crackling two strokes and its accompanying aroma .
Whilst out for our EOM ride in September and talk about fettling Sir Als TS400 grew quieter, Kim started a discussion about the Mike Pero Southern Classic at the beginning of December in Timaru. This years event looks like a cracker with a number of significant two stroke race bikes and riders from the seventies and eighties in attendance. Hopefully some of the crew can pop down this year, (Barry from Welly has confirmed he is heading down) but Kim is proposing that the Blue Haze Racing team and supporters load up a minibus and trailer with bikes and head on down next year. Sounds like a great idea and with the team using this year as a 'development year' to fettle the machines and riders!  Kim as the manager/mechanic/coach/dogs body/chief head shaker is working hard with the team to pull the package together ready for trip south next year.
A big thank you to John W for the great photos of Dion on and off the track and my son Cliff who was trying out some sports photography for the first time.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Summer Days II.........

Sitting in front of the computer with the heater on or looking outside at yet another damp day, one casts ones mind back to those wonderful summer days when just about every weekend you could go riding with few concerns for adverse weather. Many of us took those opportunities and managed to spend a few hours wandering around our abundance of great motorcycling roads. This wandering seems to have the effect of making one hungry and thirsty, so a variety of eateries are also sampled along the way. Here is a selection of those summer wanderings!
First up was a quick squirt over the Pahiatua Track to the Bridge Cafe and good to have Barrys boy Danny along for the ride on his well used FZR 250. The homeward ride was over the Saddle Road.

Next was another wander around the Pohangina Valley that had us sitting in the Fusion Cafe enjoying some great food and refreshments!

Next was a wander down to Foxton due to inclement weather everywhere else and a great cuppa and Kai at the interestingly named Dutch Oven cafe! I got to have a ride on Sir Als H2. I was reminded how raw and torquey these beasts are. Great fun.

Next was a scoot around the Rangitikei with a stop off at Daves work. They make seed drilling machines and export them around the world. Fascinating technology that doesn't disturb the topsoil so crops are far more productive.

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!