Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Kuppa in Kimbolton

This months ride has come around very quickly. As the official winter time comes to end the lengthening days and daffodils popping up everywhere signal the arrival of spring. A group of us gathered at Manawatu Motorcycles on Sunday looking forward to a spin in the country to take in all the sights and sounds of spring alongside the sights and sounds of a few two stroke motorcycles!
Role call:
Dion Tornquist - Honda NSR400
Kim De Lautour - Yamaha RZ250
Alan Clark - Kawasaki 350 Avenger
Richard Kerr - Suzuki T500M
Gary Whiting - Yamaha XJ750
The Apiti loop was decided on as a suitable ride with a stop off in Kimbolton for a cuppa and popping into Manfield to have a look at the Victoria Motorcycle Winter Racing Series. Our first stop was for Al to fill up the A7 at Ashhurst so it could complete the loop without needing to be pushed or towed to a Feilding petrol station! With that task completed we headed up the Pohangina Valley enjoying the many fruit tree blossoms along the way. Alan was setting a great pace on the A7 with the XJ having to breath a bit deeper to keep up. I am always amazed at the pace the little A7 is able to keep up both up hill and down dale. Its easy to see why Graham Crosby is full of praise for these bikes with there disc valve motors and excellent handling (for the time). Watching Dion on his NSR400 following along behind caused one to think of the huge two stroke technological developments that happened between the years the two bikes were built and what might have been if that pace had been continued? After stopping for a breather at the Makoura Rd turn off and some bike swapping we headed off towards Apiti and briefly stopped for some more bike swapping. Dion offered me a ride on his NSR and I headed out behind Kim on his 'recently power valved' RZ250. We quickly opened up a gap with the others as Kim really exercised his right hand. A quick glance at the instruments confirmed the quick pace and as we swung through the sweepers and the tighter sections on the climb to Kimbolton with the NSR gearbox getting a workout to keep it in its power band. The quick steering 16inch front  wheel and stable chassis provided pin sharp handling as the occasional bump tried to spoil things. Two stroke motorcycling at its best! Definitely a different riding experience to the limousine like XJ!
Our stop off at Hansens was much appreciated as the air temperature was definitely a few degrees less than in town. Nothing like a hot cuppa to sip on as you glance over at a blazing open fire.Hansens seems to be a popular destination for Motorcycle enthusiasts and we were joined by the local chapter of the Triumph Riders Group. As enthusiasts do we got talking and a number of them have an interest in the Japanese Classics with some involved in restoring various road and trail bikes. Some cards were handed out and there is definitely a growing interest in the 'old Jappas'. After a good yarn we headed off to Manfield only to have confirmed what we had heard that the Alfa Romeo club was having a track day. After watching a few old Cortinas and Corollas go by it was time to head home with another good ride under the belt. Role on next Sunday!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

An Italian meets some Japanese

Clint sent me some photos from a rideout a few of the gang went on last weekend. His Katana is having a few issues at the moment so he brought his little Moto Guzzi out for a spin. Scones and a cup of coffee sounded appealling so all haste was made to Pilgrims Rest with the usual great scenery being supplied by the Pohangina Valley along the way. The little Guzzi impressed downhill but struggled a little up hill. To be expected really with all the RZs, T, RG and H2 it was surrounded with!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hondas nearly outnumber Kawasakis!

Our end of month ride was notable for a number of reasons. The day began with nearly a frost but with the promise of a wonderful sunny day. Manawatu Motorcycles saw the arrival of a range of motorcycles. The plan was to go for a run around the back of Pahiatua and Woodville and come back over the track and down to Shannon to meet up with the Classic lads from the Manawatu and Wellington. As happens  with anything older one of the fleet decided to break down by leaking petrol through its fuel tap. It was a shame as we were keen to see how Johns recently acquired Yamaha R5 would run but John made the call to replace his lightweight Yamaha with his 'not light' Honda GL 1000. The role call was
John McKeagg - Yamaha R5/Honda GL 1000,
Paul De Lautour -  Kawasaki 500 H1b
Kim De Lautour - Suzuki RE5
Dion Tornquist - Honda NSR 400
Dave Henwood - Honda XL500s
Bruce Andrews - BMW GS650
Alan Clark - Kawasaki 750 H1
Paul Clemoes - Kawasaki 400 S3a
Richard Kerr - Suzuki T500
Gary Whiting - Yamaha XJ750
Our first port of call was at the top of the Pahiatua track and with everyone accounted for we headed off down the other side for a quick stop at Pahiatua and then on to Mangatainoka. It was from here that we headed off around the back roads that brought us out just north of Woodville. Time was running out to catch the classic lads so another quick stop in Woodville had us on our way back over the track via the Ballance bridge. After  skirting around Palmy via Old west road we caught the convoy of classics just south of Tokomaru. A decision was made not to chase them as everyone was hanging out for a cuppa and we ducked off down a side road to the Horse Shoe Bend Cafe. We hadn't been there for some time and its location on top of a very high bluff looking up into the Tararua Ranges made for a very pleasant cup of tea. From here we headed back into town and dispersed with Dave making his way back over the track for the fourth time in a day and heading back to Masterton. Richard and I decided to try and catch the Classic lads at Ashhurst only to see them disappearing up the road.
Next time.
It was a great way to spend part of a Sunday. With the days getting longer and the daffodils beginning to emerge out of the ground one definitely feels more encouraged to get out and about. Winter hibernation time is over so come on out for a ride. We would love to see you
Roll on spring and summer!