Mike Pero is a huge personality in the New Zealand motorcycling community. His support for racing and other activities is very well known, with one of his latest being the opening of a motorcycle museum in Christchurch. It is no ordinary motorcycling museum with its primary focus being on Classic Japanese bikes from the sixties through to the nineties. Located in a suburban area of Christchurch, it is relatively easy to find down a short driveway with parking at the end. The staff are volunteers who along with Mike have put a great deal of effort into setting up and running what is a wonderful collection of bikes from what some of us consider a golden era of motorcycling. Many of the bikes belong to various people, and it was pleasing to see one of the bikes on display was from the Manawatu, with Murray Crosses Kawasaki McIntosh on display. Another bike that attracted my attention was the Toads infamous Yamaha RD350 with its 70s racing patina still intact. A few years ago, a group of us travelled down from Palmy to the CCJMG show where many of us enjoyed 'Toads' Yamaha in the show.
As luck would have it, 'Toad' turned up to give his bike some two stroke attention to preserve the crank seals and carbs. He backed it up to a sliding door and after a while managed to improve the ambience of the museum with some wonderfully authentic RD sounds and smells. We started reminiscing about that wonderful RD 350 habit of the throttle jamming open in damp weather with Toad telling some great racing stories around using the kill switch as backup throttle when it did this. Whilst this conversation was happening, John from Motorcycle Movements pushed in a couple of Mikes TZRs that had just spent some workshop time getting ready for the Southern Classic in Timaru. Very nicely turned out with much excitement from everyone for the event. All to soon we had to make our exit after handing over a Blue Haze card to add to the growing collection of contacts of fellow enthusiasts. If you are ever in the vicinity of Christchurch or passing through, it is well worth the stop.