Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Three for Taihape / Gumboot Rally 2011

Saturday 29th dawned overcast but without rain, so Don, Dion, and I decided to head to Tiahape for a flying visit of the VJMC Gumboot rally. This is an annual event that draws VJMC members from as far afield as Tauranga, Hawke’s Bay, and Wellington.
We met at Manawatu Motorcycles and then headed up to Apiti via Pohangina. We stopped for a break among the Day Breaker rally crews, ready and waiting for their cars to arrive. Then it was up to the main road and on to Rangiwahia. This is a one of our favourite roads with lots of great corners and little traffic.
Having recently fitted new Hagon shocks to the A7 I was very pleased with the improved handling, and thought we were setting quite a pace until Dion finally got bored and shot past me on the NS400R, disappearing into the distance!
After a short stop at Rangiwahia I was entrusted with this gorgeous machine for the ride through to Mangaweka. I found it deceptively fast with great brakes and handling. 72 HP from 400cc is quite something in a 160kg package.

We stopped at the DC3 café at Mangaweka (home of the world’s best toasties) and after coffee it was on to Tiahape. I new it might be tight for fuel on the A7, but had visions of a long push when switching to reserve coming down the Mangaweka deviation. Thankfully we just made it; the average fuel consumption for the morning being 32 MPG.
A number of attendees were already settled in with some having arrived on Friday. Barry Drummond rode his 1964 Yamaha 250 up from Paramata, Ross Charlton brought his Suzuki GS450 twin up, and Murray Smith an interesting looking RD350. The Hawke’s Bay crew arrived on Yamaha 2-strokes; 2 x RD-LCs, an RZ350, and an RD400 no less. Ian Beech rode his Kawasaki 750 outfit up from Palmerston North; great for carrying the odd bottle of beer. There was also quite a gathering of modern / relatively modern machinery, including Don’s Triumph T100.  

Dion and I headed off at 4.30 just as a few splashes of rain started. We rode out of it quickly and had a good trip back via Vinegar Hill. Don stayed on for the BBQ, but torrential rain meant staying the night was the best option.

Perhaps next year we should make the effort and stay the night.  

Thanks to Alan for the post and photos

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