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.