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- Location: Auckland
- Bike: DL650, DRZ250, DRZ400S,
Had a great few days on the drz250 down to Whakatane and back, just over 1,000kms. Included a lot of roads I have never been on, sealed and gravel, meeting up with fellow riders, a trip with parts well outside my comfort zone, great chats over coffee, good Thai food and a wet and windy ride back home. The bike never missed a beat even when I dropped it in a big puddle. Press the starter and off we go.
Massive thanks to @brainflex for leading me astray on some amazing back roads including some that stretch the definition of the word “road”
Starting at 0900 at Whakatane, we did:
SH2 to near Te Teko. Turned off at Braemar.
McIvor Road – epic scenic hill climb
Matahi Road (part of)
Rendall road which led to
Manawahe Road on which we find…
Porters “Road” – a challenge for me, everyone else seemed to breeze through it!
Wairoa Valley Road – 500m of loose and unpredictable sand
Pukehangi road (on which we were eternally thankful the gate wasn’t shut) epic straight sections (achieved personal best speed on gravel on the drz…still couldn’t catch the others!)
Rotoehu Road – stunning sealed road, great views, lovely curves.
Old Coach Road out to Paengaroa for gas and coffee…apologies to the nice ladies at the Comvita coffee shop for leaving quite a bit of muddy pumice on your floor….
Back up Old Coach Road to
Maniatutu road, at one point runs along the ridges with great views, hard to concentrate on the road. I would have stopped to take some pictures but was enjoying it way too much to stop. And back to the gravel…..
Back into Rotehu Road, mix of lovely flowing gravel and great sealed sections
Johnson briefly and then Hereford Park Road, which becomes Otamarakau Valley then
Campbell Road then onto the awesome
Pikowai Road and up up up to a lookout to end all look outs. They had just gravelled this and being at the end of the day we all had a bit of fun there. The last bit up to the look out had me off the bike for the last time that day (not the first!)
Back down Pikowai and onto the Matata straight on SH2, no decent coffee shops open so back to Whakatane about 5.30pm.
What a day. Something like 250kms of glorious roads, tracks, forests and views with bugger all traffic. Doesn’t get much better than that. And there are still roads there I didn’t do, but I will be back.
The weather gods intervened and Sunday turned out not so good. While I had planned to stay Sunday night I decided to man up and head home in the rain as the next day didn’t look any better. So we left Motu for another day. Hopefully it will still be there.
The trip home was interesting…wet from Whaka to Tauranga, then over the Kaimais into the strongest winds I have ever ridden through. I took the Old Te Aroha road so I wouldn’t have to deal with the traffic as well as the wind. The little drz was getting blown around all over the place and I found myself getting uncomfortably close to some very deep side drains (that looked more like canals). I spent most of the time leaned well over to the right at about 60kmh, right hand over the white line to give me some reaction time.
Eased up after Te Aroha and even had the sun visor down by the time I got to Auckland.
Some pictures of Porter Road and one of the bit of Pikowai up to the look out.