Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Motofest 2019

A big thank you to PC and Rich for this report and photos from the Motofest meeting at Hampton Downes a couple of weekends ago. The lads had a great time checking out all the rather exotic machinery on the track and on display. Paul and Alan de Lautour were also in attendance with Alan riding his XR14 RG500. Unfortunately it only made it through a couple of practice sessions before number three cylinder did a nasty.
Here is PCs report.  
Kim (TZR), Rich (On his new DL650) and myself (DL1000) headed up to Hampton Downs on the Friday very much looking forward to a couple of days of motorcycle racing that included a good share of classic stuff.

We headed up via the Parapara’s, Raetihi for morning tea/early lunch, then continuing North through National Park, Taumarunui and turning off at Otorohanga towards Ngaruawahia, taking in and advantage of all those good roads. Our final destination being the Ngaruawahia Hilton!

Fuel consumption was interesting for the 3 bikes when we topped up in Te Kuiti, some had already topped up prior! The big DL taking 13 litres, the 650 15 litres, that should improve as it runs in, and the TZR 16 litres in total for the distance travelled which is not bad for a 2-stroke!

The motel in Ngaruawahia, though an older establishment has been done up so very clean and tidy and reasonably priced at $100 each for separate rooms for us all for 3 nights! To add the R.S.A. Is right across the road so we were well looked after as far as refreshments and food went!

Hampton Downs is just 30 odd K’s up the road so an easy run up and back.

The weather was perfect, though it could be said too good as it was pretty hot watching the racing.

Paul and Allan Del Lautour we there, Alan running his RG500 that unfortunately nipped up a piston in a qualifying run.

The racing over the 2 days was awesome with some very close and exciting races in the formula 300 and Gixxer 150 classes with races within races and being able to throw a tea towel over groups. Often the lead bike coming onto the home straight was not the 1st bike over the line!

As far as the classics go, well it goes without saying, the sounds and smells alone just made it with one class being for 2-strokes only!

We decided to stay on after the racing on Saturday and attend the dinner and interviews with “The Legends” that were attending. This was well worth it at $46 and went on until 10pm.

This is a weekend that is well worth attending and recommended, a lot of fun and a good time in good company.

I grabbed a couple of photo, preferring to keep to the point and only take ones of bikes (classic 2-strokes) and not the attendees. Take note of the carbs on some of those bikes, you wouldn’t want to lose your step walking past them when they were running as you could be sucked in never to be seen again!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Big K has the numbers!

Last weekend was a busy time for the troops as some made there way up north to Hampden Downs for the Motofest, others were wandering around the South Island dodging fires and those of us who remained decided on a nice quiet ride over the Pahiatua Track to ride the Rongomai loop. The turnout was nearly a full Kawasaki affair with the XJ flying a lonely flag for Yamaha. Bruce decided to bring out his 1989  Kawasaki KR-1 for a spin and it was a nice generational contrast to Sir Als H2. The four of us set out from our usual starting off place outside Manawatu Motorcycles and headed eastwards to the track and after despatching a few SUVs Sir Al opened up the mighty H2 and we made our way up and over the hill. Bruce couldn't help himself as he got the KR1 on the pipe and disappeared off into the distance as he made the most of the excellent road conditions. Since the closure of the Manawatu Gorge road the Saddle Road and Pahiatua Track have received a lot of attention. The surface on the track road is the best I have seen it in years. It is absolutely brilliant for bend swinging when you have a clear road. The four of us certainly did and we all had big smiles when we pulled up to our first stop at Mangamaire.
The next part of our ride was just as 'sedate', but with a little more caution as we were very aware of  the intensive farming country we were going through with its fair share of animal movements, planned and unplanned! Mangaone road is always a great ride with its lovely mix of bends and following Sir Al on his H2 he was certainly pushing her along and making the most of the H2s generous ground clearance and power. Bruce was doing the same, but even more so as he made the most of the KR1s extra years of two stroke and chassis development. All to soon we arrived in Pahiatua just in time for the opening of The Black Stump Cafe.
 We were still smiling after our last lot of bend swinging as we supped our tea and coffees. Some of the conversation was around the great two stroke developments that happened between H2 and the KR1. If only those developments had carried on goodness knows where we would be today. KTMs development of its 300cc enduro bike certainly gives us some hope for a positive two stroke future for motorcycles. After having a good yarn we were soon on our way back over the track. With Ian on the W650 setting the pace at the front this time, we certainly didn't complete the last part of our ride in a quiet manner. When we reached the bottom of the track at Aokautere I think the smiles had become a permanent part of our faces. I hope those who went elsewhere over the weekend ended up with there share of smiles. I am sure mine is still there!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Andrews Garage

Over at the Blue Haze web site I have just put up a fresh post about a younger two stroke enthusiast who has been busy putting together a Yamaha RX125 that he acquired at the 'right price'. Rather than restore to original he is turning it into a great little urban cafe racer. Its great to see a younger generation with the skills necessary to keep heritage technology viable and then also adding some new skills to the mix. Its a pity some of the older bikes have crept up in value; taking them out of reach of the younger enthusiasts. I am sure Andrews' current effort won't be his last and I look forward to seeing the bike in its final form. Pop over and have a look at why he has spent so much time in his garage.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Mike Pero Southern Classic Levels Raceway Timaru 30th November - 2nd December 2018

After attending the two previous Pero Classic meetings a group made up of VJMC/Blue Haze members hatched a plan to make the trip south again in 2018. The group was made up of a race team and supporters. Dion Tornquist riding his Honda NSR250R  and Kim Delatour as mechanic made up the race team .
Bruce Currie  Suzuki GT750K,Barry Drummond  Kawasaki Z1,Paul Clemos Honda 400 Bros , Ken Fraser Kawasaki 500 and Gary Wright  Kawasaki GPZ100RX made up the supporters.
The group headed south on the Interislander Kaiatki 0900 sailing on Thursday 29th Nov. Once in Picton Kim and Dion with the race bike headed straight down SH1 to Timaru. The supporters headed down the Wairau Valley to Murchison and then onto Greymouth for the night. The weather was kind and the ride to Greymouth was done in fine wind free conditions.

The Friday morning dawned another fine day and the boys headed for Timaru via Arthurs Pass. A detour was made around the shores of Lake Brunner. A great ride but much of the road was unsealed . Gary found the  GPZ unsuitable for the marbly surface and headed back to the safety of the sealed road. The rest carried on, the bikes looking like they had been in the Paris to Dakkar by the time the sealed Arthurs Pass road was re-joined.

Brunch was taken at the Arthurs Pass CafĂ© then it was onto Christchurch for a visit to the Mike Pero bike display. Well worth a look for those have not been there. It was then onto Timaru. The decision to go down SH1 was not a good one. The road between Christchurch and Ashburton was infested with road works and long stretches of road were limited to 60 or 30 km/h. Once clear of Ashburton the  open road speed limit prevailed.

Digs in Timaru was at the Ashley Park Motel . The previous yeasr accommodation was at the Railways Welfare House . Unfortunately this has been sold which was a shame as it was ideal for a group like this.
Dion has a good practice day on the Friday and was looking forward to the commencement of racing on Saturday.
Saturday dawned cloudy with the forecast of 10% chance of rain. The rain did not eventuate. Dions bike was running well and each time out he reduced his lap times. He enjoyed the tussles with the riders in his section of the field.
The race classes had bigger fields than the year before so this boads well for the future of the meeting. The McIntosh Suzuki  ridden by Denis Charlett was again the bike to beat and would have won the day if not for Denis mistaking the white flag for the chequered flag in race two and pulling into pit lane a lap to early. Dave Freeman picked up the silverware on his Suzuki GSX1100.
Kevin MacGee from Australia road his YZR500 GP bike in the Field of Champions parade. This was a seriously quick bike. There was also two nicely prepared TZ750s in the parade. The bike that was really setting the racing alive was a Honda RC125 ridden by Daniel Jenkins. This was an extremely well prepared and ridden bike.
Race day on Sunday again dawned overcast with a 20% chance of rain. There had been some showers overnight and the track was damp in places first up. The Race committee continued the meeting as a dry track, the correct decision as the weather stayed dry. Dions times continued to improve and the grin got bigger.

On the Saturday night we had a few drinks with Mike Howard one of the Blue Haze / VJMC members who had moved south to Timaru. Mike had three bikes in the display tent. A Suzuki GSX750, Suzuki GT750L and a lovely little TS50. Mike has been asked by several people to name his price for the TS50.
The group was all packed up and on the road for Woodend stop over by 4:00. The scenic inland route via Geraldine was taken for this leg of the trip. Another good ride.
Kim made a detour to Rangiora to visit Mike Stein and collect his new acquisition. A Yamaha TZR250 3MA.
Monday dawned grey and misty so the wet weather gear was put on for the ride to Picton .As it turned out apart from a couple of light showers before and after Kaikoura it was dry weather riding. The sun was blazing once we had cleared Seddon
Apart from Bruces GT having the main power wire separate from the ignition switch, luckily not when the bike was on the road, no mechanical dramas were experienced.

Everybody had a great weekend and plans will be made for another trip south in 2019.
Anyone interested email Bruce at
PS we may be taking more track bike in 2019.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Love the Annie

Saturday 19th Ian Brayshaw, myself, John Byrnes, and Gary Whiting (all club members), and Bruce Andrews made the most of the calm and sunny weather and undertook a Gentle Annie ride. A great day ride when you live in the Manawatu, the Gentle Annie circuit is about 400 km taking in Taihape, and Hawkes Bay.
We left just after 8.30 heading up through Kimbolton and Rangiwahia on the way to Taihape. We were three old bikes; John’s Suzuki RE5 and my Kawasaki H2 from the 70’s, and Gazza’s Yamaha XJ750 from the 80’s, and two modern machines being Ian’s Kawasaki W650 and Bruce’s GS BMW.
Fuel and coffee were added at the Taihape BP station before the assent began. From Taihape up to the plateau is a great hill climb road going from tight twisties to open flowing corners. Once over the top the downhill through Kaweka forest (The Gentle Annie) to Hawkes Bay is tight and marks the half way point. The road then slowly opens up and after Willowford becomes faster with flowing sweepers and bends. A great downhill track which is often frequented by the boys in blue waiting for the unwary.
After a fuel top up on the outskirts of Hastings it was off down SH50 to Tikokino and The Sawyers Arms for a cold beer and late lunch at around 2.30. The temperature must have been up around 30 degrees. As always the food was good and we were entertained over lunch by a stag party group already worse for wear. The Groom to be was dressed up as a fairy. Fortunately the star turn, a rotund pale hairy naked bloke didn’t appear until the eating was over. The sights you see when you haven’t got a gun!
From here it was out to the main road and a cruise home with a stop at Dannevirke to top up the Rotary. An excellent day’s riding.

Sir Al