Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Horsepower meets Horsepower in Foxton!

Here are a few photos from a lovely ride three of us went on last Sunday. This time of year provides some of the most pleasant motorcycling weather of the year with warm(as in not hot!) and settled weather and blue skies. The old aircooled twostrokes just love this with fewer worries around middle cylinders on triples and a nice crispness to the throttle from jetting thats just lean enough! Pauls H1a looked wonderful out in the sun and Bruce Currie on his trusty Suzuki GT750 provided  a great aural accompaniment through his expansion chambers as I followed along behind on the XJ. Bruce had made the trip up from Wellington for the ride leaving his place at 7:00 am this morning. He passed comment on digging out his thermals as he felt the approach of winter through his summer gear he had on. He certainly gets around on his GT with two trips south in the last six months to the Bert Munroe and recently to the VJMC Rally in Hamner. He has covered 20000kms on it over the last few years and is looking forward to getting his K model on the road shortly. A good reminder that these old Japanese bikes still have no trouble cutting the mustard as everyday bikes.
As the morning warmed up we headed on out and decided on a jaunt around the back of Feilding and eventually ending up in Foxton for a cuppa. Our first stop was Stanway Hall where we meet an interesting chap out for a bike ride who had a couple of 70s British 'show' bikes at home that he doesn't ride. A Trident and one of the last BSA Lightnings made. Both bikes are orignal and under 10,000 miles. Seeme to be very interested in getting an old japanese bike to ride. The more the merrier! Mout Stewart was our next stop and we made plans for a back road route down to Foxton. Went through Glenn Orua Taikorea and on towards Highway 56 and towards Himatangi. We turned off down to Wylie Road and headed towards Foxton for our cuppa. The windmill is a great spot to stop and watch the world go by. This morning the Foxton Horsedrawn Tram Society were running rides with a couple of Clydesdales pulling it along. Not something one sees everyday. Many jokes about horsepower meeting horsepower. After feeding and watering ourselves we headed home with the tripmeter ticking over 150km under the wheels as we got back home.  Who would have thought 150km return to Foxton but more importantly some more wonderful memories that remind us why we have such a passion for restoring and riding these old Japanese Bikes! 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Christchurch Classic Japanese Motorcyle Group Show

Mike from the Classic Japanese Motorcyle Group in Christchurch sent through some photos of the winners from their show last weekend. Love the peoples choice! A big congratulations for running such a sucessful show. A lot of bloody work, but all for a good cause! Heres Mikes email

"Hi Gary,

Yes, we have had a busy weekend down here in CHCH. The show went off without any dramas and the verbal feedback from attendees was all positive. We had over 750 paying people through the door. Family groups swelled those numbers and the place was humming all day. Once again, it was a pleasure to talk to guys from all over the place and hear tales of riding the bikes back in the day (are we getting more cautious - or more sensible - as we age???). I am always amazed at the depth of knowledge that is out there. Two exhibits of note were a 1959 Lilac 125cc (shaft drive V-twin) and a just completed 1969 Honda CB750 Sandcast. The quality of exhibits and especially the group winners was to a very high standard and I think we did ourselves proud with the event. A real positive is that the interest within the public is still high which bodes well for the event's future.
I shall flick you some photos of the category winners in the next day or so - the Best in Show (people's choice) was unexpected! We will also send a link to all photos once posted on the website and we will again be producing a CD of the bikes on display.


A reminder that these guys have a wonderful website, so keep an eye out for more photos!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2013 New Zealand VJMC National Rally

I thought I might throw up a few photos from this years VJMC Rally in Hamner Springs. Like some, I was unable to go this year, but a contingent from the Manawatu headed down for the weekend of  1st - 3rd March and a good time was had by those who attended. Judging by Pauls photos the ride down and back was picture perfect and one of the highlights of the rally was a visit from the New Zealand Stig. A big thank you to Judy, Ross and Angela for organising another great rally. Word is that planning for next years rally is well under way with notice of its location and time being advised fairly soon. Angela sent out a news letter with the rally winners and she also signalled some upcoming  events for 2013. Mark them on your calenders. Thanks to Paul Clemoes and Barry Drummond for the photos.

2013 National Rally

The National rally was held over the weekend of 1st -3rd March at Hanmer Springs. We stayed at Hot Springs Hotel, the accommodation, meals and facilities were top class, the weather was kind to us and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves.

We had an organised ride on Saturday to visit Stoney who has a very interesting collection of all manner of things, very entertaining!.

After dinner on Saturday night we had a surprise visit from the Kiwi Stig a version of the Top Gear celebrity. He handed out prizes and had his photo taken with all rally participants. To see the photos go to kiwi stig and click on the VJMC link.

Then winners of the Various Classes were as follows:

Best Yamaha Murray Smith RD250.

Best Suzuki John McKegg GT750J.

Best Honda Dean Sole XL500.

Best Kawasaki Ross Charlton 1972 H2.

Members Choice was a dead Heat between Paul Clemoes Yamaha LC350 and Ross Charlton’s Kawasaki H2.

Upcoming events:

Barry Sheene Memorial Post Classic Race Meeting at Hampton Downs at Labour weekend 2013. We have a tentative offer of space to display about 30 bikes. As soon as more details are available we will let everyone know as well as we will look into what accommodation is available at a reasonable rate for the weekend.

The Gumboot get together in Taihape in November organised by Trevor Opie. We will print more details and contact details in the near future.

Wellington area club rides or get togethers. We would like to have occasional rides on Sundays, anyone who has any ideas on where they would like to go give Ross a ring on

04 9058 179.

Any other areas want any ride or event advertised just send us an email with the details and we will get it out to members.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wanganui Cemetery Circuit 2012

For many of us in the lower North Island, Boxing Day is an annual pilgrimage to Whanganui. We have been doing this for up to 40 years plus with some of the troops still taking to the tarmac on the other side of the hay bales but most of us happy to take photos and eat hot dogs. Now an important part of the ritual is to jump on our rejuvenated bikes and head on over and be part of a celebration of motorcycles and motorcycle road racing in its most fundamental form. On the street. The 9:30 departure from Manawatu Motorcycles included Barry (and little Barry), Bruce Currie from Wellington, along with a strong contingent of twostrokes from Levin. Bruce on his RZ350, Roger on the RG400 Walter Wolf and Alan? on his RZ500. The usual suspects from Palmy turned up with the De Lautours riding their fleet of GT750 Suzuki, H1b Kawasaki and the Yamaha 250 some where in there as well. Dion brought out his RG400, Richard on his trusty T500 and Alan Clark was on his Aprilia Pegaso. It was a special day for Alan De Lautour who had brought his Pat Hennan RG500 bike down from New Plymouth to be a part of the parade that celebrated his time on the circuit in the 70s. I wasn't able to be there, but a big thanks to Kim for taking some photos on the day. He has taken some great 'paddock' photos of the twostrokes that were racing on the day. Some great bikes and racers from the past still doing the bussiness.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Woodville Display for the Coast to Coast Motorcycle Run

Our meeting spot at the Ashhurst Garage
Getting ready to head through the Manawatu Gorge
A great line up!
And the ground shook!
Christmas Parade was a part of the day
A lovely XJ650.
When I grow up I am going to have one of these!

I have managed to snatch a bit of time to do a quick post on a display some of us participated in just before Christmas. The Manawatu Classic Motorcycle Club invited us along to share a display with them as a part of the Woodville Lions Club Coast to Coast run. It is an annual fundraising event that starts at Himatangi Beach on the West Coast and finishes at Akitio on the East Coast. Its a great way to spend a day on a motorcycle riding through some wonderful roads accompanied by 400+ riders. We were part of the lunch time display at the Woodville Domain where you could munch on your lunch and peruse the Classics but also enjoy the annual Christmas parade for a bit of variety. It was an interesting sight seeing all the bikes rumble into town. A great variety of bikes provided us with an interesting walk around as well with a few older Jappas amongst them. A big thanks to the Classic guys for including us and also to the Lions Club for providing us with a great lunch. Looking forward to next year.