Sunday, June 26, 2016

Warrens GT380 restoration

What a treat for those of us who decided to splish splash our way through our June end of month ride. We can report that Warren's restoration passed with flying colours which included the rain test, the 'will it make it further than 10kms from home' test and 'is it still as cool and as much fun as I remember it' test. The sound of those spannies rasping their way up Valley Road is an aural treat that brings back those heady days from the recent past. Ian, Warren and moi meet at Manawatu Motorcycles with the promise of plenty of liquid sunshine for our ride. We decided on a short run out around Pohangina and back to Ashhurst for refreshments. Our ride out there via Fitzherbert East Road proved to be very damp, but as we pointed our bikes up the Pohangina Valley the weather cleared. Sitting behind Warren as he pushed the 380 along is one those moments when you know you are in Blue Haze Heaven. We retired to the Fusion Cafe and enjoyed a cuppa and a bit to eat outside in a brief moment of sunshine.

An excellent way to spend the morning and I bet Warren is now looking for a nice winding dry road opportunity to check out the ground clearance! If he is I am going to make sure I am in earshot.
See you out there.


PS. Warren said this was originally an L model but it now has an M tank. He has completely rebuilt the motor from the crank up.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Team Blue Haze Racing!

Petrol. Check!

Getting into the zone


Tim had a good day to

At speed!

Race 2 was much better than 1

Another 10 kph with all these stickers, especially the front one!

Caption please!

Workshop Manager Kim

definetly looks the part
Still going strong! (Yes, the bike!)

Popped out to Manfield today to check out Team Blue Haze Racing! The second round of the Victoria Motorcycle  Club Winter Racing Series was on and Dion was out there doing it on his Honda NSR250. Alongside him was Tim on his Honda CBR600 with Kim acting as workshop manager! By the time i arrived at the track everyone each class had had a race. Dion was semi silent muttering under his breath something about petrol! Apparently his NSR is so highly tuned it only needs the occasional petrol fume to go fast. After discovering this was not so, the tank was 'topped up' and the next race went much better. It was great to see Dion out on the track giving it a go and judging by his reaction from the second race he was having a great time. It is certainly not as easy as it looks and us armchair racers have to admire those who go and do it.
The smell and sight of a two stroke was not confined to Team Blue Haze Racing as around the pits there were plenty of RG and KR 150s. These were doing sterling service giving many there first taste of racing. The other NSR on the track was Glen Skachill on a very quick NSR300. At the other end of the scale Rich turned up for a look/see on his 1969 Suzuki T200. It is still doing sterling service getting him to and from work on a daily basis. So there is plenty of life left in the old stink wheels for the foreseeable future!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Chocolate Box Winters Day

Caption please!

Where to from here?

The Ruahine Ranges

Cheltenham Hill turnoff

Stormy Point lookout

Mount Ruapehu

Mount Taranaki

This guy has an RGV in his garage. (We are still trying to workout what he was doing with his tooth brush)

The Apple Pies are the same size as the Custard Squares

Dion's is keen to get home to find a place for his shelves

Not in a hurry to get home to mow the lawn
Memories of the last few weeks liquid sunshine retreated to the back of the mind as a group of us made the most of a wonderful winters day. The frosty start to the day signaled a cautious approach to the roads, but also indicated a fine day. By the time we had gathered together at Manawatu Motorcycles the day was starting to warm up, so a ride towards the mountains was decided with our destination being one of of our favourite eateries in Hooterville. Home of the famous custard square. The roll call for the ride included two v twins, one v four, one cross frame four and two twins. A further breakdown would be three four strokes and three two strokes. The two strokes certainly attracted plenty of attention to themselves as we left via Rangitikei line on what was to that point a cloudless day!

Richards T500, Dion's RGV250 and Kim's RZ250 gradually blended back into the clear and calm day as we headed off towards Bunnythorpe with Ian in the lead on his VX800. Sir Al wasn't far behind on his VF800 and yours truly playing tail end charlie as we then proceeded on to Colyton and then skirted around the back of Feilding to our first stop at the top of the Cheltenham Hill for our first stop. The view over to the snow covered Ruahine Ranges was chocolate box worthy with that wonderful icing sugar look. We decided our next stop had to be Stormy Point and sure enough the view to Ruapehu was crystal clear and Mount Taranaki was easily seen.

Having completed our tourist duties the Vinegar Hill twisties invited us to indulge in a little bit of bend swinging. This section of road can prove to be very frustrating if there is a bit of traffic on the road, but much to our delight the traffic was very light. I followed Kim on his RZ250 down the hill and he was certainly giving the pipes a good clean out! It might be time to throw some RZ350 barrels on for those hills Kim? Sitting in behind me was Dion on the RGV and before long he was heading off into the distance. I couldn't let that happen so I dropped down a cog and the old XJ gave chase and locked on to his tail. There is nothing better than listening to a high performance two stroke on the pipe and smelling that wonderful two stroke wiff as you barrel up Vinegar Hill. Magic

Turning left at the top of the hill had us pointing down the road towards Hooterville and a quick scoot down State Highway One had us outside custard square heaven in no time at all. The pies, coffees, chips, sausages and sandwiches arrived in no time at all. With the sun streaming in and warming us up many a tall tale was told and whilst some in the group were intermittently jumping up from their seat to see if the police check point was still in operation (can't imagine why?) It was decided a quick trip to Mike's second hand traders was in order. Mike usually has a lineup of interesting vehicles for sale out the front, but not this time. Dion and Ian managed to find some interesting shelves for sale that Mike would deliver to Palmy free of charge. Dion was muttering something about a place to store lubricants. I am assuming they were for the garage. What Ian was going to do with his I don't know. The two of them certainly left with a big smile!

With two sets of shelves and no Police checkpoints it was now time to leave town via the 'back roads'. We hadn't been down the western backroads for a while and the heat of the day should have dealt to any damp spots by now. These squiggly backroads are definitely a far more interesting ride than down State Highway One and for some members they put a little bit of distance between them and those funny cars with the lights on the roof. These backroads intermittently pop out on to State Highway One so it was with some amusement that one of theses pop out moments had a Traffic Safety car on duty. We were obviously being very safe because he took no interest in us as we briefly joined the highway and then ducked down our final squiggly bit. Mind you there was a lot of intense mirror checking for a while and as some felt their wallets increase in size again we got back into some more good old bend swinging. The final putt putt down SH1 was uneventful and we were soon turning off and heading for Halcombe and on to our last stop at Mt Biggs School.

We all agreed that it had been a great ride and that the next day like this we should go further afield. Lets hope for more weather like we had today so we get out and enjoy this wonderful countryside of ours on some great motorcycles with great company. After all those scenic biscuit tins and chocolate box contents are going to taste so much better with memories like we had today!