Monday, April 14, 2014
It was good to catch up with the Manawatu Classic Motorcycle Club today with a few of us popping along to there monthly meeting at the Manawatu Vintage Car Club followed by a a Track and Saddle run. There meeting was full of tales of trips around the East Coast, attendance's at rallies and events all over the lower half of the North Island as people made the most of the prime time of the year for getting out and about on a motorcycle. This included a brief report on the VJMC rally in March. After the meeting formalities we had a quick cuppa where we caught up with a few of the members who shared there passion for motorcycles that all seemed to include a Japanese motorcycle or two in the mix. All to soon we were being hustled out the door to get our bikes on the road. I quick run through town had us heading towards the hills and in no time at all we were up the top of the Pahiatua Track. we were quickly down the other side and hugged the ranges down to the Balance bridge. All ways a nice little run. We were soon at the base of the Saddle road and making our way up to the next stop at the Windmill farm lookout. You could definitely feel a chill in the air from the south easterly and it was good to have it at our back as we headed down the hill to our final destination at the Ashhurst Inn. More yarns were shared over a variety of beverages and food concluded with people heading back into town at around two 2:00pm. An excellent way to spend four hours on a Sunday!
PS. It was great to see Bruce turn up with his latest purchase for the ride. It was certainly a contrast to the rest of the bikes on the run. His Yamaha TZR is certainly a stunning piece of machinery. What I hadn't realised was how exclusive it is and like Kims bike they really are an example of how good a two stroke sports road bike can be. It is easy to see why these 80s and 90s (2000s to if one includes the Aprillia RS250) are appreciating in value very rapidly. Here is something I found on line to whet ones appetite even more!
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
A few of the crew headed out into the Rangitikei for a bit of a wander at the weekend and ended up in Hunterville for a coffee. Looks like the weather treated them well with plenty of sunshine. This is a great time of year for riding air cooled two strokes with that 'coolness' adding a few more horsepower I am sure. It looks like Ians bike was the token four stroke! Good to see the lads getting out there and riding the bikes as intended!
A big thank you to Ian for the photos.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Last Sunday saw a good turnout for our end of month ride. It was good to see Paul De Lautour back in the saddle of his GT 750 after a very long hiatus due to a persistent cough. Driving around in that South Island air in his E Type Jag for a few weeks must have done him a world of good. We also had PC along on his cackling LC and Janet on her affable Kawasaki ER (Come on Janet, drag out the Bros for a run!). John McGegg turned up on a very smart Yamaha 650 Special and next to him at the Manawatu Motorcycles lineup was Kim on his TZR250 3XV, Ian on his semi naked GSX 600F, Michael on his award winning GSX 750 and myself on the XJ. Bruce had his BMW out for a spin and Sir Al on his Aprillia and eventually Bruce on his lovely red VFR750. We decided on shorter run as people were wanting to head off for other Sunday activities ( has that baby arrived yet John?) so a quick squirt over the Pahiatua Track and the Saddle Road had us heading into the Fusion Cafe at Ashhurst just under an hour later. The roads were in an okay condition, but we are still waiting for the promised upgrade to the Saddle Road or is this it? I hope not. It certainly called for some caution! We finished off with a good chat over tea and coffee and we were on our way to other destinations just after midday. Sir Al and I finished off our ride with a run down Valley Road to Colyton and then home.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Thought it was time to put pen to paper (so to speak) and through together a report on the 2014 VJMC Rally held at Tatum Park, just south of Levin. Michael on his GSX 750and Kim on his H2a made there way south for Friday evening , and by all accounts a good night was had by all. The big news for the weekend was the anticipated arrival of Cyclone Lusi with all sorts of mayhem apparently on the way. Our arrival on Saturday morning had a really good tailwind assisting our ride south. Rich on his T500, Sir Al on his H2, Dion on his TZR and myself on the mighty XJ arrived to find the display organisation well under way. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours surveying a wide variety of bikes ranging from the sixties through to the nineties and catching up with their owners as stories and restoration tips were exchanged.
The judges definitely had there work cut out for them with some spectacular bikes on show with much anticipation as to the outcomes of there deliberations. All was to be revealed later that evening after our ride up to Mangatainoka for lunch. Although the wind was strong the only rain we encountered was as we made our way over the Pahiatua track where caution was required around some of the sphincter tightening shiny corners that are becoming all to prevalent on our roads. Chasing Barry on his future 'cult classic', a Honda MVX 250F, was fun, with the bike showing some great pace going up the track. After pulling into Tui HQ and finding no bikes the penny dropped that we were to meet at the old pub down the road called the Dudley Arms Tavern. The line up of bikes outside looked impressive and the burgers and other food was excellent and good value for money. As some headed back to Tui HQ for a tour of the brewery, a pose of us headed to one of our favourite cafe haunts for a coffee. Alas the Bridge Cafe was closed due to a power cut so we headed through the gorge to Ashhurst to find a similar scenario there. Next stop was back into Palmy to the Rendezvous cafe where thank goodness the power was still on!
The run back down to Tatum Park was uneventful and after parking up the machines outside our accommodation, everyone put on there best black Tee shirts and jeans for the formal part of the weekend. We had an excellent main meal and to top it off the pudding included a wonderfully decorated cake to celebrate the VJMCs 25th National Rally with Ross picking up a special prize for attending all 25 rallies. It was great to see a couple of the local lads pick up prizes with Kim receiving the most original seventies with his H2a and Michael for best Suzuki. The band Angela organised for the evening was excellent as they played a lot of great tunes from the 70s and eighties. Unfortunately it all came to a premature end with, you guessed it, another power cut. Sunday morning found us hovering around the dinning room at 8 with the smell of bacon and eggs wafting out the kitchen. A very hearty breakfast was had by all followed by the packing and loading of bikes for the journey home.
It was great spending a weekend with bunch of people who have the same passion for old japanese motorcycles. This passion came through in the way people shared there stories and expertise. A big thanks to Ross, Judy, Angela and Barry for all the work they did to make this a great weekend.
I look forward to eating some of the 50th VJMC anniversary cake!
Monday, March 10, 2014
Have just got this in from Ian who headed down to the Polished Rockers on Sunday with Dion, Kim and Bruce. It looks as though a few of the Wellington crew had bikes in the display as well. Lets hope the Wellington crew can turn on the same weather next weekend for the Rally! (I am sure you can Barry, I hear you are pretty close to the man upstairs!)
Check out Ians Facebook page as well for more photos.
and the Polished Rockers Facebook page,