Friday, October 31, 2014
This year Bruce A and Bruce S, Kim, Dion, Dave, Rich, and I made the trip to Hampton Downs for the classic racing. We stayed at Ngaruawahia again and in contrast to last year enjoyed a picture perfect day for the ride up. We travelled via the Parapara road to National Park and Taumaranui, stopping at Horopito (Smash Palace) on the way. If you’ve never stopped to check this out it’s worth a look. From Taumaranui it was on to Te Kuiti and Otorohanga, then the back road to Ngaruawahia and the Arrow Lodge Motel. Across the road from the motel is the RSA where we enjoyed a beer and a meal each night.
A pleasant day was spent at the track on Sunday with good racing, open pits, and a lot of interesting machinery in the bike park. In fact the bike park was a major area of interest for most of those attending judging by the number of people wandering around and photographing the bikes throughout the day. A most enjoyable evening was spent over a few snorts and a meal at the RSA.
Monday morning greeted us with dark skies and it wasn’t long before the rain started. At times it became torrential. We stopped at Angel Louise café in Raetihi for a late lunch (good food and service) and then back down the Parapara to Wanganui and then home.
Our bikes for the trip – VFR750F (Bruce A), RG400 (Kim), GSX1100 (Dave), NS400R (Dion), H2 (Alan), and Aprilia V4 (Bruce S). Rich was 4-wheel mounted, and DRY! No real problems with the bikes which was great considering their age and riding all day in the rain on the way home.
Hope to do it again next year.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Last Sunday mornings ride was special. It wasn't so much the 1:3 two stroke to four stroke ratio, but having three H2s on the road together at the same time. Paul De Lautour, Kim De Lautour and Sir Al had there H2s lined up outside Manawatu Motorcycles under a windless and sunny spring sky. Alongside him was a mixture of other makes and models. It was great to see Bruce on his Yamaha 3MA. A bike he has been working on for a while now. It certainly has a sound all of its own and also out for a spin was Dion on the recently restored Suzuki Rg400 with Richard carrying the 70s Suzuki two stroke flag on his now sweet running T500. Ian brought out his Suzuki GS450 with my Yamaha XJ750 being the other 'token' four stroke. A ride over the track and out to Hopelands at the back of Woodville was the chosen route. Coffee stop was to be Danniverke and a return home along Topgrass Road and over the Saddle. The bottom of the Pahiatua Track was greeted with a low lying dense mist as three H2s, an Rg400 and 3MA opened up. Those of us at the rear of this peculiar localised phenomenon were pleased our headlights were already on as we made our way up the track with the peculiar haze clearing half way up the track. It was then on to Pahiatua and north to Mangatainoka and a hard left out towards Hopelands. After a bit of wandering around through some lovely country we arrived back out on the main drag and on up into Dannivegas for a cuppa. The return through Topgrass was definitely more interesting than State Highway Two with our next stop being Ashhurst after a spirited ride over the Saddle Road. They are certainly doing a lot of work upgrading the western side of the Saddle Road with Kim bemoaning "They are taking away our corners!" The surface is definitely going to be much improved and when the Manawatu Gorge is out of action next time it will certainly make a big difference.
It was definitely a great morning out and about on the old bikes. There were a whole host of sights, sounds and smells that you can carry in your memory as you get on with the rest of your life and then looking forward to the next time you can do it all again!
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Five of the lads went out for a spin last weekend and an interesting observation from one of the participants was that he had the only seventies bike amongst them. It is inevitable that as time moves on the pool of classic motorcycles grows and with a widely accepted definition of a classic being 25 to 30 years + all these bikes fit the criteria. The good news is that one can still pick up some of these bikes at relatively good price at the moment so hopefully the pool of classic enthusiasts will grow. With the proposed reforms of the vehicle registration system seeing New Zealand following overseas standards the 40 year old + 'vintage' registration will become 30 years. This should see even more interest in the 80s bikes.
Dion and Kim have been beavering away sorting out an RG400 and the arrival of the plastics has put the final touches on the project. Dion had his NS out for an airing whilst Bruce has his VFR plastics back from the painter in a lovely pearl white. Ian and Al were the 'twins' with Ian out enjoying his GS450 and Sir Al had the only chromy amongst them with his A7. By all accounts it was a great ride over the track with the coffee stop at the Bridge Cafe being a great intermission.
A big thank you to Ian for the photos.
Monday, September 8, 2014
Last Wednesday saw some of us out providing a funeral escort for Richard Kerrs son Patrick. We accompanied him from his home in Kelvin Grove to St Marys Church along with four hot rods. A big thank you to the Blue Haze lads, but also to the Kruzin Kustom guys and Warren. Warren came along thanks to Angela Wells (thanks Angela). Richard and Gail says a big thanks to you all. It not easy when your children go before you and this gesture has provided some great memories for the family.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
It doesn't seem like its been four years since the last show! But it has. The Manawatu Blue Haze was well represented alongside fellow VJMC members from Wellington. It was good to see Bruce arrive with his K and L Waterbuses. (We hear a J and and M are on the way as well!). Barry turned up with his treasured MVX250 (check out this bloggers reaction to seeing it) and Kenny Roberts RZ350 with Ross bringing his immaculate Blue H2 to round off the southern contribution. The local contribution consisted of Paul De Lautours H1c, Kim De Lautours RE5, Dions NS400R and KH400, Sir Als A7, Richs mighty T500, Daves CB750, Michaels GSX750 and Ross Andersons GPZ750 Turbo also joined the line up. In the room next door it was good to see Murray Cross had dug out his McIntosh and GT750R and John McGegg had a really nice Honda XR500. It was great to see the Japanese bikes well represented amongst the VMX and Trials sections of the show. The many other British, American and Italian bikes of all ages made for a wonderful show. Amongst them was Ross Charltons recently restored Triumph TR6 and he won the best 60s trophy with it. Congratulations Ross. Another congratulation needs to go to Michael for best Japanese at the show with his Suzuki GSX750. It really is better than factory new! Some of us had a second look on Sunday morning after the boot sale and then wandered off for a Track and Saddle ride to round off a great weekend. Our informal get together after the setting up on Friday at the Speights Ale House was short lived as our group was to big for the restaurant. Ian suggested Breakers just up the road and after some scepticism we headed up and were pleasantly surprised. A good night was had by all. All and all a great show and a big thanks to the Manawatu Classic Motorcycle Club for running such a great show.