Monday, April 27, 2015
April end of month ride
A very good and unexpected turn out for our EOM ride this month. And what a picture perfect day for a ride it was. We also had a good variety of bikes; three ’72 750s – Dave’s CB750, Paul’s GT750, and my H2. Still in the 70s were Rich’s T500 and Mike’s GSX750. From the 80’s were Dion’s TZR, Bruce’s VFR750, Ian’s GS450S, and Brian riding a BMW K100RS belonging to his mate Ken. On modern bikes were Bruce S on the Aprilia Tuono, Russell on a BMW GS650, and Ken on a BMW R1150R Rockster – a bit different for the Blue Haze boys.
After a bit of a catch up we headed out of town and through Ashhurst and up the east side of the Pohangina Valley around to Apiti where we stopped for a break. At this point Dave and I swapped bikes for a while, which for me meant finally riding a Honda CB750 four – the bike that really captured my imagination in the early 1970s. A very smooth bike which did seem quite sedate after the H2, but then the additional 40+kg might contribute to this. Dave has owned this bike from new, which makes it a bit special.
From Apiti we made our way up to Rangiwahia Rd and turned right and headed off through the twisties. This is always a favourite track for us and it looked great in autumn colours and at one point we were riding through a shower of leaves falling from trees lining both sides of the road. We stopped again at Pembertons (?) Corner to regroup, and then took the Mangamako Rd to Ohingaiti. This is also a great set of corners with a huge drop down to the river at the Ohingaiti end. Onto SH1 to Hunterville for coffee and Kai. Afterwards it was the mandatory look through MJ Trading, then on the bikes and taking the long way home. We travelled via Rangitira Road to Rata, Porewa Road to SH1 and then Kakariki Road to Halcome, on to Mt Stewart and home to Palmerston North.
A really enjoyable days riding. Bikes all went well. Doesn't get any better than that.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Always good to get in a longer ride on a long weekend. This year we decided to head out to Pongaroa for an Easter lunch at the pub.
There were 7 keen riders assembled at Manawatu Motorcycles at 9.30. Bruce A on his Honda VFR. Alan on his Honda VF1000, Kim on the H2A, Mike on his immaculate Suzuki GSX750, Ian riding his Suzuki GS450, myself on the GSX-R, and meeting us at the top of the Pahiatua track was Bruce S after a problem with the TZR 1KT meant a trip home to collect his stunning Aprilia RSV-R Factory.
Although it had rained heavily in the early morning, we were lucky to have dry roads for the whole day. Our tour took us over the first part of the Pahiatua track and then turned right and on through Mangamaire onto SH2 and then left into Hamau-Rongomai Rd. We then went right on Mangaone Valley Rd and made our way to Alfredton and then Route 52 to Pongaroa. This is a great ride in the dry and provides a seemingly endless series of corners to enjoy. As usual we stopped at Tiraumea School for a breather, then on to Pongaroa.
The Pongaroa Hotel was hosting the Annual Easter Pongaroar Hunt, and as we sat down to lunch and a beer, the pigs and deer started arriving.
After another generous Pongaroa Hotel lunch we vacated the parking spaces and headed for home. Our track was over the Puketoi range, through Makuri and on to Pahiatua. This is another road full of corners although with quite a bit of loose gravel to watch for. A quick top up for the Aprilia at the Pahiatua BP and then over the hill to Palmerston North.
The bikes went well. Alan had some fuel pump problems on the VF and Bruce is planning to fit a new rear shock to the VFR (this ride highlights any shortcomings in suspension). I enjoyed a bit of time on the VFR and as per previous rides I cannot believe how good this almost 30 years old bike is. Ian’s GS450S is another bike that always surprises with its turn of speed and ability to hold on the hills. It appears superbly agile (with Ian riding it) and shows just how good a 44HP parallel twin can be.
I really enjoyed my ride on the GSX-R and was surprised how well it coped with the road conditions. Its stress free handling, steadfast braking, and howling exhaust note contributed to a very pleasant days riding.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Those of us in the Blue Haze are interested in all types of motorcycling, but we do have a bent for two strokes. Its not everyday Palmerston North is home to probably one of the rarest two stroke motorcycles in the world but you get to see it and hear it in action for the first time on the Blue Haze blog site! Warren and Stan Turner have been working on this 1954 Jawa Perak Type 11 Tutor training motorcycle for a while now because as you can imagine some parts are hard to find. They had it on show at the Manawatu Classic Motorcycle show at the end of last year and it created a lot of interest. Its great to see Warren encouraging the next generation of motorcyclists with his son taking the 'learner' role in the video!
Looking forward to seeing Warrens next restoration which is a Suzuki GT380. I am sure it is being done to same standard as this Jawa Perak. Congratulations to Warren and Stan for a job well done and keeping our motorcycle heritage alive and well!