Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Four Seasons in One Day

Sunday April 20th dawned overcast in the Manawatu and a group of 7 optimistic riders headed north to Taihape via Kimbolton and Rangiwahia. The roads were wet and we were getting peppered with occasional showers. The plan was to ride over to Hawkes Bay via the Gentle Annie road. After a stop at Taihape for petrol and a hot coffee, we headed off toward Moawhanga and up onto the Central Plateau. As we climbed the sky cleared and the road dried and a we enjoyed a great ride over one of the best motorcycling roads in our region. After the descent to the Kaweka forest (the part of the road originally known as The Gentle Annie) the temperature started to rise and a stop at Omahu was required to remove extra clothing layers. From there a short run into Hastings for petrol and then (eventually, after a short tour of Flaxmere) onto SH50 and down to Tikokino for lunch at the Tikokino Country Hotel. The food was good and the service quick, and we sat outside enjoying the warmth of a Southern Hawkes Bay autumn day. After lunch it was down to Dannivirke, where those of us with wet weather gear should have put it back on! As we headed toward Woodville it became obvious we weren't going to get home dry. The temperature dropped, the wind howled and then about 15km out the hail hit. Then it poured down. By Woodville it was too late to get the rain gear out and we headed into the Manawatu Gorge in very poor visibility. Surprisingly, we emerged from the George into patches of blue, and made it home on dry roads about 4.30.
Between us we had a mixture of bikes from the 70s, 80's, 90s, and modern era. All the bikes went well.
This is definitely a ride we should be organising more often. Well worth making the effort.
Riders & bikes; Ian GSX600F, Paul Moto Guzzi Le Mans, PC Honda Bros, Kim & myself on Kawasaki H2s, Evan KTM Duke 690, and Bruce BMW GS650.

Report from Sir Al

Monday, April 14, 2014

A 1992 Yamaha TZR 250 3XV8 out with the classics!

It was good to catch up with the Manawatu Classic Motorcycle Club today with a few of us popping along to there monthly meeting at the Manawatu Vintage Car Club followed by a a Track and Saddle run. There meeting was full of tales of trips around the East Coast, attendance's at rallies and events all over the lower half of the North Island as people made the most of the prime time of the year for getting out and about on a motorcycle. This included a brief report on the VJMC rally in March. After the meeting formalities we had a quick cuppa where we caught up with a few of the members who shared there passion for motorcycles that all seemed to include a Japanese motorcycle or two in the mix. All to soon we were being hustled out the door to get our bikes on the road. I quick run through town had us heading towards the hills and in no time at all we were up the top of the Pahiatua Track. we were quickly down the other side and hugged the ranges down to the Balance bridge. All ways a nice little run. We were soon at the base of the Saddle road and making our way up to the next stop at the Windmill farm lookout. You could definitely feel a chill in the air from the south easterly and it was good to have it at our back as we headed down the hill to our final destination at the Ashhurst Inn. More yarns were shared over a variety of beverages and food concluded with people heading back into town at around two 2:00pm. An excellent way to spend four hours on a Sunday!

PS. It was great to see Bruce turn up with his latest purchase for the ride. It was certainly a contrast to the rest of the bikes on the run. His Yamaha TZR is certainly a stunning piece of machinery. What I hadn't realised was how exclusive it is and like Kims bike they really are an example of how good a two stroke sports road bike can be. It is easy to see why these 80s and 90s (2000s to if one includes the Aprillia RS250) are appreciating in value very rapidly. Here is something I found on line to whet ones appetite even more!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An Autumnal Wander

A few of the crew headed out into the Rangitikei for a bit of a wander at the weekend and ended up in Hunterville for a coffee. Looks like the weather treated them well with plenty of sunshine. This is a great time of year for riding air cooled two strokes with that 'coolness' adding a few more horsepower I am sure.  It looks like Ians bike was the token four stroke! Good to see the lads getting out there and riding the bikes as intended!
A big thank you to Ian for the photos.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

March End of Month Ride.

Last Sunday saw a good turnout for our end of month ride. It was good to see Paul De Lautour back in the saddle of his GT 750 after a very long hiatus due to a persistent cough. Driving around in that South Island air in his E Type Jag for a few weeks must have done him a world of good. We also had PC along on his cackling LC and Janet on her affable Kawasaki ER (Come on Janet, drag out the Bros for a run!). John McGegg turned up on a very smart Yamaha 650 Special and next to him at the Manawatu Motorcycles lineup was Kim on his TZR250 3XV, Ian on his semi naked GSX 600F, Michael on his award winning GSX 750 and myself on the XJ. Bruce had his BMW out for a spin and Sir Al on his Aprillia and eventually Bruce on his lovely red VFR750. We decided on shorter run as people were wanting to head off for other Sunday activities ( has that baby arrived yet John?) so a quick squirt over the Pahiatua Track and the Saddle Road had us heading into the Fusion Cafe at Ashhurst just under an hour later. The roads were in an okay condition, but we are still waiting for the promised upgrade to the Saddle Road or is this it? I hope not. It certainly called for some caution! We finished off with a good chat over tea and coffee and we were on our way to other destinations just after midday. Sir Al and I finished off our ride with a run down Valley Road to Colyton and then home.