Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tool Kit in a Bottle

Whats with the lawn mower Dion?
Three generations of twostrokes
Just needs a Kenny Roberts signature 
Always a nice little stop
Time for a cuppa
Labour Day looked like a good opportunity to head out for a ride around the district. With many of the troops off doing other activities over the long weekend a hardy bunch of four of us lined up at Manawatu Motorcycles. And hardy we needed to be with a gathering wind strength and chill factor we headed out towards Pohongina for our first stop and then back through the flowing curves to Colyton. The T500 was in its element with its long and low profile sweeping through the corners and looking in the rear vision mirrors, the usual smokey accompanyment wasn't visible. Hopefully the addition of some Wynnes Engine Oil Stop Leak might delay replacement of the crank seals. Alan on his trusty A7 was giving his new Hagon shocks a workout whilst Bruce was seeing if his now completed paint job on the RZ made his bike go faster. Geoff on the KR150 was enjoying the sights and sounds of old two strokes as he continued to impress with the performance of 150ccs of recent two stroke technology.  After skirting around the back of Feilding to our next stop at Stanway the conversation was around "Where did Spring go?"and the cooling temperature had us looking for a hot cuppa. We made our way through Halcombe and back to Feilding a cafe. We had one unintended stop before we arrived with my side cover flapping around in the breeze and minus the knob. Nothing like the old T500 vibes for unscrewing things. Luckily I have a spare at home that I picked up from the local Suzuki dealer for a whole $12 (ex Japan!) Geoff carried on home and we joined a growing number of locals refueling after the previous nights rugby revelry. It was a great little ride and a nice reminder about all the great roads we have close by. The only downside to the ride is the tool kit in a bottle sort of worked, but not enough to avoid the motor coming out of the T500. Time to roll my sleeves up!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Caption Competition II

Popped into Manawatu Motorcycles the other day and Kim showed me a very interesting newspaper clipping from the not so distant past. This is Alan on his Kawasaki A7 at Manfield having not such a good day. I bet he was hoping that this was well behind him! To celebrate its discovery lets have a caption competition. Look forward to your contributions
 My caption would go something like.....
 "Mr De Lautour maintains that his fall was deliberate and his way of introducing a new form of personal expression to the world that he calls 'kinetic planking'".
Update: Upon good authority, the bike in question is a Yamaha TR2. That lovely front brake gives it away!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spring has Sprung a Honda NSR 400

It has been a while since I last posted, but things happen in ones life that require all of ones time and attention. Paul and I would like to thank all those who have expressed there condolences with the passing of our mother. Like all mothers, she had always been concerned about her children's safety, but as my brother and I have ‘matured’ and continued our interest in motorcycles she was always interested in what the Blue Haze were up to. It was great to talk to her about the great roads and countryside we traversed but more importantly the company we shared it with. For me it is a timely reminder that life needs to be lived to the full and for me part of that is riding old Japanese motorcycles with like minded souls. So get out to the shed and get that bike on the road! 

The last month has seen some great weather during the weekends which has had some of members out and about. The month started out with a great afternoon run up the Pohangina Valley and return. Dion turned up with the latest addition to his stable, a Honda NSR400. He has had this on his wish list for some time and with the departure of his KRs and GT250 his shed now had room for such a machine. Also along for the run was Alan on his H2, Bruce on his RZ350, Kim on the RE5, Don on the GT500 and myself on my XJ750. The road was in its usual condition; that is watch out for loose gravel on certain sections and by keeping ones speed down the vistas with snow capped peaks could be enjoyed a little longer before they disappeared for summer. The first stop at Totara Park had Dion removing his helmet with a Cheshire cat grin. As we stood there admiring the lines of the NSR with its Rothmans crest (imagine paying money today to buy a brand new motorcycle that advertises cigarettes!) next to Alans H2 the jump in technology between them is amazing. Both put out just over 70 hp using two stroke triple motors, but one does it with 400cc versus 750. Imagine where things might be now if they had continued developing large capacity two strokes? We were soon back on the road and heading past Pilgrims Rest towards the ranges then headed in a westerly direction just past Umutoi.

Our arrival in Apiti had us making a decision about where to feed and water ourselves, and the Apiti Tavern was chosen for a change. We usually arrive in Apiti in the mornings before they open so this was a first, and what a great place. Next time we come we will bring our tennis rackets as it looks like the Apiti Tennis Club and local pub are one and the same. The locals were great with some appreciation shown for our ‘old jappas’ which was a nice change from those ‘potato potato bikes everyone has these days’. One of the locals turned up on his old Trumpy that looked like it was his daily transport but last registered in the sixties. A great place to enjoy some refreshments and local colour. Bruce and Alan departed early for the return home so those of us left retraced our tracks back down Pohangina Valley. Another great run and Dions smile was even bigger by the time we said our goodbyes and headed home.

Last sunday proved to be another perfect day for a ride so a group seven decided to forgo a sleep in and turned up at nine at Manawatu Motorcycles. A run up to Hunterville via Mangamako Road to Ohangaiti and down to Hunterville. This is a first for some and Mangamako Road proved to be a great choice with some great flowing corners and scenery. The return south via Vinegar Hill included meeting ‘Wayne/Brent’ going the other direction on his GSXR at a rate of knots that would have won Crosby a 500GP race. Check out his video to see what traveling from Stormy Point to the top of Vinegar Hill in 9 minutes and 27 seconds looks like. This included a compulsory stop near Rewa! See if you can spot the troops @ 48 seconds. Thanks for getting in touch and leting us know about your video.

Roll call
Kim De Lautour - Suzuki RE5
Paul De Lautour - Suzuki GT 750
Dion Tornquist - Honda NSR 400
Ross Charlton - Suzuki 1200 Bandit
Bruce Sagger - Suzuki T500
Paul King - Yamaha XJ550
Alan Clark - Kawasaki 350 A7b Avenger

Update: Dion has just popped in for a cuppa and has pointed out that his bike is an NS 400R, not NSR 400.