Sunday, January 19, 2014

First Track and Saddle for 2014

Here are some photos and a video from our run last week over the Pahiatua Track and the Saddle Road via Mangamaire. The weather was looking a bit dodgy but after a brief discussion we thought a ride around 'the block' with a cuppa at the Bridge Cafe was in order. There were a few sprinkles along the way but the roads were mostly dry.  I threw the Gopro on to Sir Als Aprilia and you can check out the video for some great on board clips.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

First Ride of 2014

Thursday 2nd January saw five of us head North for a day's ride. Those lined up for the ride were Kim on his Yamaha 3VX 2-stroke V-twin, Ian on his Suzuki GSX600F, Paul Clemoes who brought along his beautiful Yamaha RD350LC, Janet Clemoes on her Kawasaki ER-6, and myself on the Aprilia.

We headed over to Whanganui via Halcolme and Marton, and had coffee at the Red Lion. Then some fun riding up the Parapara Road to the Field's Track turn off. Here a sign told us the road was closed due to a slip, but we decided to give it a try and had no problem getting through. The track is a narrow twisty ribbon of road with wandering stock and long grass up to the road's edge. A relaxed pace seemed the best approach.

We stopped for lunch at the pub at Ohakune, and decided to make the trip home via Taihape. Once out on SH1 we were passed by the obligatory group of open- piped Harleys (lane splitting on a two lane road), and after a refuel at Taihape we carried on south and turned off at Mangaweka heading through to Rangiwahia. From there it was onto Kimbolton, another favorite stretch of tarmac for the Blue Haze. This time there were mobile chicanes in the shape of pottering SUVs to be negotiated. We stopped to stretch our legs at Kimbolton, and unfold Kim from his racing crouch! Actually the 3VX proved a very capable mile-eater and surprisingly frugal in cruise mode for a 250 stroker, and reasonably comfortable according to Kim. Paul kept a watchful eye on the LC's tank throughout the day as it had the greatest thirst. The 4-stroke 600 / 650s were miserly by comparison. We had no issues with machinery and pleasant weather, dry roads, and good company made for an enjoyable day's riding.

By Sir Al

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Another Van Ride!

For those of us who have air cooled two strokes a bit of coolness in the air is always welcome. The previous nights rain signalled a passing front and a southerly change for the morning. Not to hot and not to cold! Upon fronting up to Manawatu Motorcycles in the morning on the mighty (thirsty!) KH250, it was pleasing to see a nice line up of not only two strokers, but a nice contingent of air heads as well. The decision was made to do the Apiti loop. For most motorcycling mortals this is an easy mornings ride, but for wrist happy middle aged KH250 with a tired top end owners, range becomes a critical concern. Naturally this terrain is mostly hilly with a wonderful twisty road. Not really conducive to getting the maximum range out of a tank.  The usual tactic is to make sure one leaves Ashhurst with a full tank, and then to fill up again in Feilding. One can stay within the 100km safe zone. For this run I made the decision to do try an 'economy run' and see what range I could get before the air to petrol ratio became close to 100 to 0, so my fill up at Main Street BP was going to have to be it. Kim our resident Kawasaki triple expert guesstimated Bunnythorpe would see her go on to reserve. So with his sound advice ringing in my ears we set off and Ian by default filled the role as our token four stroke for the morning on his GSX600F. The absence of smoke billowing out of his exhausts set him apart as we left the city limits for Ashhurst. Bruce had joined us from Levin on his RZ350, Sir Al had the Avenger out for a run, Dion was giving his NS400 its first run after the Hampton Downs ride, Rich on his T500, Kim on his H2a.
Road Captain Kim had set our first stop at the Camp Rangi Woods turnoff. It was a great run from the Raumai Bridge through to the turnoff with a few of us arriving ahead of the others. The reason for there tardiness became apparent with Kim informing us that Dions front valve stem had gone astray and he was lucky to stay upright. Ian and Dion joined us soon after with Dion on as a pillion and the NS parked up in a friendly farmers driveway ready for a pick up later. Our next port of call was Apiti and arrived there in no time at all. The road was in good nick and it looked as though the council had the road swept recently so we really enjoyed the run. We parked up at our usual spot at Gasoline Alley (That doesn't have any gasoline) and after a chat headed for our last stop at Hansens in Kimbolton. This is another good run with a mixture of open and tighter corners. Bruce and Sir Al had their 350s on song. After a snack and some refreshments it was downward run to home along the Kimbolton and Cheltenham straights. By this stage the KH hadn't gone onto reserve so I decided to miss the usual run into the North End BP in Feilding and headed off to Colyton with the rest of the troops. I managed to make it to within 1km of Bunnythorpe. Kims reputation is intact if not enhanced as the guru of all things triple! After punching a few numbers into the calculator it looked like just over 30 mpgs. It confirms the triples dual cooling method. Air and petrol.
It was a great ride and just the sort of thing Santa might do if he wasn't so busy at this time of the year.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!