Friday, October 17, 2014

Three Kawasaki H2s out for a Spin

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

Are the 80s the New 70s?

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 Winter Ride 2014

Spring already! This year is going way to fast. After we gathered together at Manawatu Motorcycles we decided to celebrate the last day of winter with a ride up into the hills to find some snow. Along for the run for the first time was Alan from Levin on his Yamaha RZ350. Bruce was accompanying him on his tricked out RZ with Kim and Alan on there H2s and myself on the XJ. Our route choice was around the Apiti loop with a coffee stop in Feilding. It was a great run through the valley with the sun shinning and as we climbed up towards Apiti the snow covered peaks formed a beautiful backdrop countryside. We had an extended stop at Apiti where it was a shame to see the hotel closed and up for sale. An unfortunate sign of the times. The run down into Feilding was great until we hit Kimbolton where we got into economy mode withal those lovely long straights. A great cuppa and chips at the Essence Cafe had us on our way home with another head full of wonderful motorcycling memories and a reminder of why we keep these old Japanese motorcycles on the road.
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

2014 Manawatu Classic Motorcycle Show

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.