Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blowin in the Wind

Just a quick post from our end of month run today that saw five of us heading out into the countryside. Any thoughts about a quiet cruise through the dales and meadows was quickly dispelled as we hit the wind on the outskirts of town. I sure was pleased to be back on the XJ with its extra weight and power. Richard was out in front on the Titan with a nice 5 to 10 degree from vertical straight line lean on as we headed out Kevin Grove road. Ian on his GSX, Al on the H2 and Bruce on the VFR had a similar lean which set the subdued riding tone for the rest of the ride. After passing through Hiwinui Rich had us trying a new Ashhurst bypass that saw us onto Spur road and onto the main drag up the Pohangina Valley. We then turned off up Valley road and into the head wind and headed for Colyton. This was a great run and the XJ stretched its legs a bit into the wind and one could really feel the benefits of the new fork seals and oil in the front end. Rich on the Titan was feeling the head wind as I looked in the mirrors and saw him chinning his tank (he told me later he was in fourth gear to!). The run through Colyton and the back of Feilding saw the wind gathering strength and as we headed up to Stanway. It was at this time Ian disappeared from our mirrors. A bee had made its way into his helmet and after eye balling it for a few seconds he decided it was an unwelcome passenger and stopped to let him find his own way back to the hive! Our stop at Stanway led to a consensus that the wind was a bit over the top so we took the short cut to our cafe stop at the Woolshed Cafe and went by the more direct route through Halcombe and on to Sanson. Sanson was so busy with the Sunday markets plus all the North South and East West traffic seeming to converge at the same time. It took us a while to get across the intersection and head the couple of kms to our final destination where we were greeted with even more wind as a squall came through. It was certainly good to get out of the weather and enjoy a cuppa, scone and great conversation. Bruce and Rich gave us some wonderfully simple tips on how to find air leaks in your motor!

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Wee Stroll up the Turakina Valley!

A few weeks ago a few of us headed west for a spin up the Turakina Valley road. With the old XJ still in need of fork seals for a warrant I rolled out the little KH250 for wander around the countryside. Manawatu Motorcycles had a nice line up of bikes with a mixture of moderns, old school, two strokes and four strokes. There was a healthy contingent of lads from the Nua with Roger on his Walter Wolf RG500, Bruce on his RZ 350 and Tony on his recently purchased KTM Adventure bike. The Tu lads were represented by Rich on his T500, Kim on the H1a, Al on the Aprilia and myself on the KH. Our trip west had us going along the main drag to Mount Stewart and down the backroads to Turakina for a top up at the gas station. Along the way Rich spotted a barn find at what turned out to be at one of Martons local eccentrics. Apparently 'Lord Lucans' estate has many such treasures on it. Roger left us here and headed back to the Nua. A shame,  as he would have had a ball on the mighty Walter Wolf with what was ahead of us.
The turn off from the state highway had us in Fordell in no time. As we headed inland the open country very quickly changed into a more hilly landscape with the road becoming windier as we got closer to our coffee and custard square stop in Hunterville. Hunterville  arrived all to quickly and the little KH needed a top up along with its rider. Our run home through Vinegar Hill had the little KH running on two cylinders just before Cheltenham. Pulling the plug out revealed some lovely round balls embedded between the electrode and the outer casing of the spark plug. A new plug went in and a leisurely ride with the left hand hovering over the clutch had us home without further incident. Richard popped around later in the afternoon and he had the head off and all was revealed. It looked like it was still on standard pistons but the right piston definitely coming apart on the edge. Time to do the top end, but nearly thirty thousand ks out of standard pistons isn't to bad?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Long and Winding Road

Sunday of Wellington Anniversary weekend seemed like an ideal time for the Blue Haze to go on an 'extended' ride. The plan was to go over the track, through Mangamaire and Rongomai, onto Route 52 to Pangaroa for lunch. Then an afternoon trip to Waipukarau via Wimbledon and Porangahau. The home leg would be through Takapau and Ormondville to Dannivirke for coffee, and back to Palmerston North.
There was a good turn out of 12 Blue Haze and Classic Club members. Bikes included 2 Yamaha TZRs (Kim and Dion), Honda VFR (Bruce S), Honda Bros (PC), Suzuki GSX600 (Ian), Kawasaki H2 (me), BSA A65 (Bruce), and BSA 500 (John R), MotoGuzzi LeMans (Paul), Kawasaki ER6 (Janet), Triumph Speed Triple (John L) and BMW GS (Bruce A).
After a detour to Eketahuna for petrol we worked our way round route 52 to Pongaroa for lunch at the pub. Unfortunately the wind was raging and the more exposed sections were a bit unpleasant, taking the shine off what is always a great ride. The pub lunch at Pongoroa is legendary and generous to a fault. Enough fuel to walk home on in the event of a breakdown!
After lunch 7 of the group headed back to Pahiatua to make a shorter day of it. From accounts given the trip over the Puketoi Range was quite hazardous with very strong gusts. The remaining 5 (Alan, Bruce A, PC, Janet, and Ian) took the road through Wimbledon and Porangahau to Waipukarau. After a petrol stop it was down the plains to Takapau and on back roads to Ormondville. Almost. The nav system on the H2 was a bit off the mark and we found ourselves on a dead-end gravel road missing Ormondville altogether. However a little back tracking and a turn off took us back onto the Weber Road about 15 minutes out of Dannivirke. While it added a bit of time to the trip it was good riding. After a break at Dannivirke we pointed homeward down the main road, arriving back in Palmerston Nth about 6pm.
A good day riding with good company and some new roads to experience. Doesn't get much better for an old joker on an old stroker.