Wednesday, May 29, 2013

5 Brave Souls Risk the Rain and get Sunshine

As I was unable to attend the end of month ride Sir Al has kindly provided a report.

Which way?

A stop at Turakina

Tidy original XT
RG in tourer mode

There's nothing like a J-bus

Another Suzuki triple


Big bore 300 KR engine

Waiting for Kai at the Red Lion

Sunday 26th May was our VJMC / Blue Haze end of month ride. The sky looked threatening, but 5 hardy types (and me) turned out at Manawatu Motorcycles at 10am. Rich riding his faithful T500, Kim on the H2A, Paul on the J-bus, Dion on his RG, and Brian on the Yamaha XT600 trail bike. I was odd man out on the modern.

We decided to head west and Dion organised a visit to Wayne M's collection of bikes in Whanganui. A good decision as we enjoyed a pleasant day's ride under mostly blue skies. We took as many back roads as possible there and back. Wayne's collection of restored, part-restored, original, and un-restored bikes was interesting, particularly the Lucky Strike Yamaha RZ500LC, and a collection of Kawasaki KR 250 tandem twins in varying states. These very trick machines hold a special interest for Dion as he's spent many happy hours scratching around the back roads on a KR, and of course many more trying to start one! He climbed on and gave it a few kicks for old-times sake. There were KX 250 and 420 motorcrossers, and a KX being turned into a track bike. For something different a rare 3 cyl 2-stroke Suzuki car. These may have been called a Fronte (?), and have the air-cooled triple rear mounted with a fan driven off one end of the engine and shrouded to blow air over the engine. Wayne has Banshee snail chambers which will be adapted to fit the little car. Should be interesting.
We left Wayne's around 1.30 and headed to the Red Lion pub for refreshments before returning to Palmerston North. An interesting day out for all, and Wayne is keen to bring the RZ500 out on some of our rides in the future.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Golden Summer Part 3. Out with Classics and Apiti Loop

With the shortest day a month away and the forecast showing snow in the mountains it is probably a nice time to cast ones mind back to the summer just gone. It was a cracker for us motorcyclists, but the same warm (hot really) conditions were not good for the farmers in the form of a drought. The photos above are from a couple of runs some of us did in February around the region. The first run was out with the Manawatu Classic Motorcycle Club where we went the 'back way' to Totara Reserve via Pohangina township. The short gravel section was very dusty as you would expect with the dry weather, but definitely a pleasant run with feeding and watering at the Ashhurst Inn topping off a great morning out. Our second run was one of our favourite loops through Apiti and Kimbolton. We were joined by Ross Charlton and his English friend (sorry, I have forgotten your name)from Wellington on their moderns. After a quick run over the Pahiatua track and Saddle Road had Bruce heading back home due to other commitments and the rest of us meeting the lads at Ashhurst for the run up to Apiti. As always, a great run with with the usual caution around loose gravel, and in no time we were ensconced at Hansens in Kimbolton enjoying coffee and cake.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

An H2 Returns to the Fold

The forecast for the weekend looked rather grim, but as Sunday got closer it changed rather dramatically for the better. Summer was back! As we gathered at Manawatu Motorcycles our destination had already been determined. The Victoria Motorcycle Clubs first winter series meeting was on so a shortish ride finishing up at Manfield to enjoy the action. The roll call was Clint on the Katana, Dion on  his ever reliable NSR400, Alan on his faithful Kawasaki A7, Bruce on the very quick FZR 1000, myself on the progressively more rattly KH250 and last but not least Kim on his H2. Its been a wee while since Kim has been out on a bike due to a few bones in his hand misbehaving and breaking then not realigning properly. Its good to see him and the mighty H2 back together again on the road. Alan lead us out of town to Ashhurst where we then headed on down to Valley road and back into Feilding. Judging by the smokescreen from the others ahead of me the old right hands got a good workout and we very quickly got to our destination of Manfield. It really was a perfect day for racing with no wind and the temperature around 21 degrees. After having a look around the pits it was time to have the traditional hot dog (I am sure they are getting smaller). We had a chat to a chap who had a very tidy Honda XL500 set up for the road and alongside it an Alchemy Ducati. You don't see many of these around. The only other two stroke road bike in the park was a very tidy Suzuki RGV250. Not many two strokes out racing apart from the 150s. One that did get our attention was a very tidy Kawasaki KR1S. The lads struck up a conversation with the owner and he was having a few issues with disappearing water and no leaks. Dion professed knowledge of such things and so the spanners were out and the tank was off and it quickly became apparent that a KR250 was different to KR1S. It was good to have chat to a fellow two stroke enthusiast and it sounds like it is becoming easier to get parts to keep these wonderful bikes on the track and on the road. Can't wait to see Dion and Kims RG400 hit the track (not literally) to add to that fast disappearing variety of two stroke sounds at Manfield. Hard to beat that two stroke square four sound. The Blue Haze will be supporting them by donating our supermarket petrol vouchers. (They will need it). Those RG400s suck the juice. (Must be petrol and water cooled) After watching and listening to the KR1 circulating  for a while it was time to head home. Some of us headed over to Clints new pad on Stoney Creek Road for coffee and muffin and to view his rather wonderful man cave. Looking forward to a Blue Haze BBQ sometime there.