Sunday, August 12, 2018

More videos and photos from the 2018 Manawatu Classic Motor Cycle show.

A wander through the rest of the show certainly provides a convincing picture of  the health of the motorcycle scene in the Manawatu and beyond. The two halls were littered with machines for all sorts of motorcycling interests. One concern for those of us into our heritage motorcycles is who  the next lot of heritage motorcyclists are? Our young people live in a complex world that demands there attention in so many different ways, so it was great to see evidence of younger enthusiasts (as well as young at heart as well of course!) interest in motorcycling in different parts of the show. The fact that the increasing value of classic motorcycles is going the same way as our housing prices is a concern. So it was great to see young people coming up with solutions to pursue there interest by getting into smaller capacity machines like scooters and step thrus. We have all been there, and seeing BBJ (Bantam Boy John) in front of an impressive row of said bikes, it is a real reminder about how important these smaller bikes are in the scheme of things. It is something us Blue Hazers might need to encourage with a couple of tiddler runs a year?
If you want to see who the winners of the different categories, pop over to the Manawatu Classic Motor Cycle Clubs website
A great show and once again a big thank you to the Classic club for organising it and thanks to the people who contributed there bikes and finally to the public for coming along!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Manawatu Classic Motor Cycle Club Show 2018

It was great popping down to the Manawatu Classic Motor Cycle Club show at Barber Hall over the weekend to view the nearly 300 bikes on display. It was only a few weeks ago the crew were concerned that the 100 entries they had in hand wasn't going to be enough! It sounds like the last week saw a rush of exhibitors turn up. The variety of bikes was wonderful to see and it certainly makes one appreciate how many different genres of motorcycling their are. The variations certainly attracted the punters in and great to see a range of demographics supporting and appreciating the show. It must have been a difficult task for the judges but pleasing to see a prize come our way with Barry's Pointer picking up a trophy. The Blue Haze Manawatu/VJMC certainly contributed some interesting bikes to the show and pleasing to see a whole lot of other 'unfamiliar' Japanese bikes come out of local garages and maybe living rooms! One comment from one of the punters was the noticeably larger numbers of Japanese bikes one now sees in these types of shows compared to five years ago. To be expected I suppose, and a reflection of the number of baby boomers taking an interest in heritage hobbies. During my youth motorcycles were still the primary transport for a lot of us growing up in the sixties, seventies and early eighties. The deregulation of the economy by Roger Douglas and company  mid eighties certainly released a tsunami of cheap Japanese import cars and motorcycles very quickly became solely recreation vehicles for many.
Prize winners amongst our group were;
PC: Best 1980s for his Honda CX650 Turbo.
Bruce C: Best Japanese for his Suzuki GT750K.
Barry: Best Unique Motorcycle for his Pointer.
A big shout out to the Classic Club who put on such a great event.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Where did the rattles go?

A couple of weekends ago a gaggle of five of us leave Manawatu Motorcycles for points north. For this ride it was great to see the return of Sir Als Kawasaki H2. It certainly looked bright and shinny in the morning sun. A real chromy! The top end has just been refreshed with a rebore, new pistons and rings. Also, a set of Hagon shocks have been added to help the back end behave itself for when Sir Al does his wheelies and fish tail starts! This ride needed to be a 'gentle' running in ride with a mixture of throttle work. A run to Hooterville via Vinegar Hill met the chosen criteria so we headed out of town along a well worn path that took us to the top of the Cheltenham hill via the back of Feilding for our first stop. Ian had brought his DR 400 along for spin, with Kim fronting up with his lovely (cough cough) Rothmans Honda NSR 250. Dave T came out for a spin on his grunty GSX 1100 and yours truely on the ever reliable XJ 750.
Our next port of call was our favourite cafe in Hunterville, Hunters Cafe and Motel. It is a great place for a feed and judging by the parade of gumboots outside the entrance the locals seem to think the same. It certainly was nice sitting out in the sun enjoying our food and beverages but we had to make our return. Sir Al thought it would be a good idea to top up the H2 before we headed home and his exit to the petrol station seemed be missing something in the audio department! A strange whirring sound that was very uncanny coming from an H2 having got so used to the usual rattles! Those new bore clearances sure must be tight!
All to soon we were heading out of town for our usual back road return following the Rangitikei River as closely as one can whilst also avoiding State Highway One. Dave left us and headed home to Feilding at Mount Biggs and Kim headed home with Sir Al, Ian and myself stopping off for a quick natter. After a quick conversation around how the world would be a better place with more people riding heritage motorcycles we headed home to attend to more mundane matters. It is certainly great to see another chromy back on road and we are all looking forward to having a few more join Sir Als H2 in the near future.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

A 1980 sky blue DR400S turns up!

Our end of month ride ended up being a 'beginning' of month ride this last weekend with the crappy cold, wet weather proving not very enticing for a ride amongst the troops. An improvement in this last weekends weather saw a whole three of us make an effort to go for a spin and it proved to be a very enjoyable wander around the countryside punctuated by some interesting stops along the way. When one of the crew turned up with a new bike it is all the more interesting! Ians return from his holiday in Rarotonga (poor thing) was heralded with him fronting up to Manawatu Motorcycles on a 1980 Suzuki DR400S. With minimal kms, it looks well and truely ready for some serious riding. It also signals a growing 'trend' with some of the group wanting to spend there motorcycling time on adventure rides. It certainly encourages you to take into consideration a whole other set of less traveled routes and destinations that the likes of an XJ 750 might find too challenging at times.
Ian's bike is certainly one that was part of a maturing trend in the eighties that had seen the Japanese grow the number of bikes in the off road market. Many of us spent a lot of time learning very valuable motorcycling skills at places like the gravel pit at the bottom of Albert St. It should be no surprise that VMX is hugely popular and that adventure riding has also grown in popularity. It has been fascinating to see its development, and the origins of many of the current adventure bikes have their beginnings way back in the seventies and eighties. Ian's' DR is certainly a part of its DNA with it being a single four stroke, long travel suspension and being relatively lighter than its road going cousins.  As the cc numbers crept up the marketing bods soon latched on to the profits to be made with adventure bikes. If you have a look at the current crop of single four stroke adventure bikes they are not far removed from those eighties bikes and one often wonders if they are still using much of the old eighties tooling for these bikes.
As we headed out of town we were wondering how the DR would cope with the open road. I am pleased to report it did very well. It had no problems keeping to the open road speed limit and at times exceeding it. We had decided on a familiar route that took us out to Aokautere and along to Ashhurst. Valley road came next with a few damp patches to be wary of as we came to our first stop at Colyton. All was well so along the back of Feilding to Makino Road and out to our next stop at Stanway Hall. We then made our way to back towards the Rangitikei River and eventually finding our way to Vivs Kitchen in Sanson. The carpark was full as always with the noticeboard proudly announcing the 100,000th Cream horn had been sold last week! Thats a lot of cholesterol! It was nice to see they have an extended outside area with curtains and a much appreciated outside heater.
We then thought our last stop before home should be to check out the Vic Club Winter Series at Manfeild. We were expecting to see Dion out on the track, but great to see Tim punting the CBR around on a rather cool and damp track. Not a nice day for it, but great to see the junior class full of new and young riders out there doing the business along with the other classes. It was a great ride out and about and all the more so with Ian bringing his new bike out for a play. It was interesting to see how his bike very quickly attracted some attention at Manfeild with the guy in the coffee caravan coming over to reminisce about his younger days on such bikes. It is all part of the experience of riding and enjoying our wonderful old bikes.