Friday, May 27, 2011

Sir Al wins the chocolate fish + What Could have Been!

From Blogger Pictures
From Blogger Pictures
Yamahas take on a four cylinder two stroke 750

From Return to Hunterville
Good old Suzuki actually put one into production!

Alan correctly guessed the bike as the prototype sucessor to the H2 built in 1971. It was to be a square four 750 but got canned for all sorts of reasons.Some believed it was because the test rider was killed on it, (apparently this is bad luck in Japan!) whilst others have suggested the new emissions laws saw it stopped. What a huge shame though. What hoot it would have been blue hazing the countryside on one of these. Yamahas prototype is the most widely known one and many thought this was a photo of it but at least good old Suzuki followed through with their belief in large water cooled two stokes, (and rotors). Interesting to note that Neville Doyle was given some fours to play around with by Kawasaki.
From Blogger Pictures
From Blogger Pictures
"The Trapezoid 750/4 photos and part of the article were from a story Brian Cowan did for REVS with pix from Greg McBean.
"I got the 'scoop' because I asked Neville the right question.
"British MCN had speculated on it - saying it was a square four.
"So I asked Neville, was Kawasaki developing a 750 square four?
"He said 'no'.
"So Cowan and I pondered this for a while, and next time I called Neville, I asked: "is Kawasaki developing a 750cc two-stroke four cylinder race bike
of ANY engine configuration.
"He paused, then said 'yes'.
"We talked some more then he offered us the exclusive, if we would send someone to Melbourne.
"So I sent BC and Greg and voila...
"It was fitted into a KR750 chassis and they were trying to develop that at the same time Greg was racing the KR250 & KR350 in 1978. They also had the KR750/3 for Internationals and in between all that Neville was trying to get the 750 4 sorted.
"I understand they had some vibration issues that caused some problems."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Wee Pootle to Hunterville

From Return to Hunterville

From Return to Hunterville

From Return to Hunterville

From Return to Hunterville

At the beginning of the month a small group of us decided that the weather was to good to stay at home so why not go for a ride! Upon arrival at Manawatu Motorcycles our destination was quickly agreed upon and so we set off for Hunterville. It was good to have Paul Clemoes along for a ride on one of Johns bikes, the mighty GT500. We hear Paul has some interesting bikes nearing completion in his garage? John arrived on his Waterbus with Alan on the A7, Kim on the frugal RZ250, Paul on the dayglo orange H1b and myself holding the four stroke fort with the XJ750. We took our usual route out through Colyton and the back of Feilding with our first stop at the top of the Cheltenham hill. It was then on to Stormy point to enjoy the view across the Rangitikei country side to Mount Ruapehu and through the windy bits to Vinegar hill. The Hunterville cafe provided us with the usual cholesterol enhancing food at the right price along with the waitress's jovial banter. The caption competition was judged and Kawasaki tanks topped up we headed out of town in an easterly direction. For us State Highway one is to be avoided as much as possible with the back roads providing interesting scenery and road conditions. This little route takes one out towards the Rangitikei River and around to Rata with a short run down SH1 and back along another back road and coming out a few Kms short of the Kakariki turnoff. Feilding was or final stop before heading home. It was a great morning out in some very lovely autumn weather in the company of some great old bikes and most importantly in the company of others with a similar passion.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mystery Bike?

From Blogger Pictures
Have been doing a little bit of cruising around the web (as you do) and came upon a very interesting photo. I have photoshoped the tank and side cover badges. Tell me what you think it is and the first person to get it right will get a chocolate fish. Entries to

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Two strokes are alive and well! The only problem.....

Barry Drummond just sent me a photo of a large capacity two stroke motor. We thought we had seen the last of them in the eighties. All we need now is a suitable chassis.....
"Attached is a common ships 2 stroke diesel engine.
The bore is 96cm and the stroke is between 2.1 metres or 2.8 metres,
depending on the model and application. This is the first 12 cylinder.
Now they make 14 cylinder version. Also in 6 and 9 cylinder versions.
A small engineering calculation puts each short stroke version,
cylinder capacity at 3.142 x (96/2)2 x 210 = 1520225.2 cc.
Or just over 1,520 Litres per cylinder.
So you see. 2 strokes still do rule !!"
Regards Barry Drummond.

From Blue haze design stuff

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Great East Cape Adventure

Bruce and Alan have recently completed a three day trip around the East Cape with Alan on his H2 and Bruce on his trusty BMW 650GS support vehicle. (Just kidding Alan) I would say that the roads around the East Coast haven't seen an H2 for many years.I hear that Alans daily dose of whiskey and Voltaren have recently been reduced to every two days as his hunched back and bow legs begin to straighten out! Dr Smith and ACC are very relieved. A big thank you to Alan for the report.

From Bruce and Als excellent adventure

From Bruce and Als excellent adventure

From Bruce and Als excellent adventure

From Bruce and Als excellent adventure

From Bruce and Als excellent adventure

From Bruce and Als excellent adventure

Bruce came up with an idea of a trip around East Cape. Sounded good and we made plans for a three day tour. Bruce rode his GS650 and I loaded up the trusty H2. We headed off at 6.30 on a cloudy Saturday morning and rode to Dannevirke via Topgrass road, then on to Takapau and took the back road to Waipukurau. We turned off at Waipawa and followed the Elsthorp – Patangata road on the coastal side of the Tukituki River through to Havelock North; this is a great ride through rolling sheep & beef country.

We caught up with the rain at Havelock and it was full wet gear until Gisborne. At Wairoa we headed off inland on the Waikaremoana road, stopping at Te Reinga to look at a spectacular waterfall. This was a great twisty road but required caution as it was wet, covered in leaves in places with loose gravel on the bits that didn’t have leaves! We stopped for a coffee and a bite at Gisborne, and headed off for Tolaga Bay just as the rain started again. There must be a shortage of “loose gravel” signs up the coast as there is only one sign put out every 100km or so, and someone has thrown a shovel full of gravel across every sixth corner! Tolaga Bay is a slice of 1970’s New Zealand. We had a cabin overlooking the beach at the motor-camp. Went into town for the best feed of fish-n-chips I’ve had in a long time, had a wander out on the famous pier and turned in early. Fell asleep to the sound of waves crashing, a salt-laden sea breeze through the open window, and the thought that the H2 might be rusting away as I lay there.

Up at 6.00 and brewed a coffee, and went for a walk down the beach. Sunrise was spectacular. A breakfast of bacon & eggs supplied and cooked by Bruce and then into town and gassed up. Sat in the sun for a moment and watched a mother and son ride their horses through town. We headed up to Tokomaru bay. Not too much in the way of straight roads on the east coast so every bit of the ride is fun with plenty of 35, 45, and 55 kmh corners to keep you honest. And then there’s the gravel on every 6th corner. After brewing a coffee it was off again and inland to Ruatoria. This was not what I expected of a place with the reputation that was built around it (didn’t even get shot at). From here it was out to Te Araroa. Fortune smiled on us and we arrived just in time to fill up before the pumps shut. A delightful old gentleman helped us and said he closed at 1pm on Sundays so he could enjoy his ½ day a week off! Felt a bit guilty riding around doing nothing. We sat in the sun and enjoyed a toastie, and our day was made when a little fellow of about three years old gave us the East Cape “nod”. He had it down pat, not a hint of expression. After lunch we took the gravel road out to the cape lighthouse. The day was hot and we opted not to make the tramp up the hill in our bike gear.

We left Te Araroa and followed the coast road east towards Opotiki. There are more 35 and 45kmh corners than 65 and 75, and not too many straight bits. The only moment for me was opening up the H2 to pass a caravan coming into a 45km corner, only to find it was a “sixth” corner with a shovel load of gravel thrown over it. The corners continue all the way down to Te Kaha and the scenery is outstanding, often looking down through Pohutakawa trees to small bays and blue sea. By late afternoon visors were becoming opaque with salt spray and sun-strike made the tight corners interesting. We finally reached Tirohanga Bay camp and unloaded the bikes, then headed into Opotiki for a pizza.

Next morning it was bacon & eggs for breakfast and then on the road and heading for Whakatane via Ohope. At Whakatane a glitch in the H2 nav system (“follow me, I know where we are”) meant a tour of the residential areas before we headed off to Rotorua on SH30. We stopped at Lake Rotoma and brewed a coffee just in time to don wet weather gear for the remainder of the trip. We decided to head down to Taupo after we were told of snow on the desert road when filling the bikes up at Rotorua. Lunch was at Taupo looking down the lake at ominous looking snow cloud. At Turangi we heard the desert road might close, so opted to go the National Park route instead. We were joined by Ian on his bandit 1200 also heading to Palmerston North. As we climbed out of Tokaanu we encountered huge wind gusts and rain, and then around National Park sleet. The snow was down and paddocks were white, and this was the scene until Taihape. The road seemed fine and we pushed on at a good pace, the old H2 out front. We fuelled up at Taihape and then over Vinegar Hill and home.

Bruce and I covered 1600km over the three days, and it seemed like we had all four seasons as well. The H2 performed faultlessly. Fuel economy was good, but rider comfort was not. Perhaps 350 km a day is enough on the older bikes. The BMW is clearly designed for the long haul and Bruce never seemed any worse for the experience. Personally I looked forward to a Voltaren and a whisky at the end of each day.

And did the H2 survive? Absolutely! It comfortably kept up with Bruce’s GS and returned around the 50 mpg mark. The entire trip was completed on less than a tank of oil, and no gearbox oil was used. The bike was always stable, fun in the twisties, and had plenty in reserve when needed. The only issues were seat comfort after an hour of riding (there isn’t any), the loud squealing of the front disc, and a problem with the indicator switch self activating. H2’s always create a bit interest, and this trip proved no different; a couple of guys at Tologa Bay camp even asked for a ride by to hear the H2 sound. I think H2s might be as rare as three legged horses up around the cape!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Caption Competition results

There has been a great response to the caption competition and I will run another one soon. The judges had quite a task chosing the prize winners as they munched there way through generous portions of bacon and egg pie at a cafe in Hunterville on Sunday. In fact the task was so intense for some they required two coffees to complete the judging.
Unfortunetly the prizes are currently unavailable. One of our generous members (Rusty) was going to donate them from his secret lockup out in the country near Kimblton. He has kept it so secret he hasn't been there for at least 10 20 years to make sure no one followed him to take his valuable collection of 70s Japanese bikes. He was getting ready to visit this sacred sight to collect the prizes and decided to consult google maps to check the route and to his horror he discoverd on the satellite overlay that the shed had disappeared. Consolling the member with amber fluids at the Rose and Crown went a little way to easing some of his pain. However all is not lost and the winners can still collect their prizes by accompanying the member to the Kimbolton tip to assist with an archelogical dig to retrieve not only their prizes, but also the rest of this important collection of bikes to add to our motorcycle heritage.

From Pilgrims Rest return

The lucky winners are:

1st Richard Kerr: "Bloody 2 strokes, its not even running and you can still see the level going down."

2nd Ken Jenkins: “Cut the legal jargon Bruce, to fill this baby up again do I really have to prove I have substantial carbon credits.”

3rd David Genday: "That’s where the money goes"

Just to finish off I have made a "Wordle" that highlights the most frequent words used in your captions.

From Blue haze design stuff