March 3, 2016 at 8:53 am #11714
Rank: 50cc Rider
• Celebrating 35 years of the motorcycle that defines Adventure Riding.
• A dual purpose big bike Rally Saturday 16th April 2016 at Raglan.
• Great roads, stunning scenery, open to all brands.
• Choose your option, gravel, seal, or laid-back adventure.
• Knobbly tyres not required – guaranteed no cardiac trail bike sections.
• Test ride new BMW models G650GS, F800GS and R1200GS.
• Iconic GS models on display, from 1980 to the present day.
• Prize draws, BMW suits and premium tyre draws.
• Entry fee $95.00, includes; route, adventure options, Bavarian Barbeque, apres Rallye Dinner.March 30, 2016 at 11:26 am #11879
Rank: 250cc Rider
- Bike: R1150 GSA
is any one going on this ride? i have registered for it am looking forward to trying out the 800 and 1200 bikes in the gravel.i will be riding from Te Awamutu on the morning of the 16th if anyone is looking for someone to ride with.March 31, 2016 at 9:51 am #11881
Register here: http://kiwirider.co.nz/GS_RALLYE_OnlineEntryForm.html
I’m in, just paid my entry fee.April 15, 2016 at 10:32 am #12189April 17, 2016 at 4:51 pm #12295
Thanks to @john_nick and his team for an excellent event. I’ll get some photo’s up in the next day or so.April 17, 2016 at 5:49 pm #12299
There was a nice selection of machines at the GS Rallye.
Tony Guzzi’s R80 Dakar replica
A nice mix of older and newer airhead
Michael Dobson’s machine
Nice partially modified R80G/S
Old School Suzuki TS250
Attachments:April 18, 2016 at 10:54 pm #12326
A very happy looking @Colin-Landy
The first obstacle on the farm
Bikes on the farm
Attachments:April 19, 2016 at 6:56 am #12329
Michael J BreenParticipant
Rank: 400cc Rider
The 281km BMW GS Rallye last weekend was attended by well over 100 bikes; mostly BMW as one would expect. The organisers did a fantastic job planning rides for those who had no desire or skill to take their shiny bikes off sealed roads and at the other end; plotting lots of gravel and some sections of interesting single track (albeit somewhat short). I had expected to be the only Aprilia on the ride but was pleasantly surprised to see an early Pegaso along for the journey.
The roads traveled were not seriously challenging but, as it was a very nice day; the dust was at times chokingly thick.
I’d left my home in Sth Auckland with three friends all on old Honda Africa Twins. Two had ridden about 350 kilometres of gravel to reach my home and the other about 100km. We left Friday at about 3pm and our idea was to ride the Port Waikato to Raglan gravelled area in Western Waikato through to the sealed road that leads into Raglan. This area is but half of the gravel network encompassing some 1000km of unsealed roads in the area plus dozens of farms that can be accessed with permission from the managers: ( http://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap… )
Upon reaching the first gravel section in this area around 4pm, we found that it had just been graded and the absence of any tyre tracks made it obvious that we were the first vehicles through since grading. It was like riding on marbles and within about 10km, one of the Africa Twins had fallen. Not a biggie but the riders shoulder would hurt for the rest of the ride. I was leading in this section on the little RVX and in those conditions was soon way ahead and out of sight of the other three bikes.
I waited some way down the road and waited some more. Finally the first rider turned up and told me that another of the Hondas had had a wee rest on its side in that thick gravel. By this time we were losing light and still had at least 2 hours riding on gravel to reach Raglan. One of the riders other was ahead at this point and after another half hour he decided that it was getting too dark and cold to continue as we really wanted to get to the Bavarian Dinner and sign on before it closed. He fled the gravel using his gps set for sealed windy roads. The three of us waited for him but finally took to the sealed roads ourselves so we’d get there on time and finally arrived at the sign on and dinner just as they ran out of food! The nice folk at the club offered to make up a few orders of fish and chips for us which was accepted. The room was packed to the roof and, looking around, the average age would have been close to 60! That made me, at 56, a youngster!
I knew lots and lots of the riders there. Mike Esdaile was signing us all on and looking damn fine in his best clothes. John Nicholson ex Kiwi Rider and a giant in the off road scene here in NZ was the main organiser helped by a large hard working team team including his lovely sister Pauline and his old mate Vege of Kiwi Rider magazine. Rules were read, safety discussions were had to satisfy Health and Safety requirements and then the drinking began in earnest. A lot of beer and top shelf passed through my table and I wandered the room at times searching for more familiar faces. A little before midnight I decided to call it quits as the ride roll through was at 8am and I wanted to get up at about 6.30am to have a good hot shower and a meal before setting off.
The organisers were using paper roll navigation and all riders had been given their route sheets at sign on the night before. I have no room on my handlebars for that yet so decided to stick with my Africa Twin buddies and have them lead me through. We waited until almost the end before we left Raglan hoping that all the other riders would have swept the roads for us. That was kind of true but, as many were on big shiny expensive beemers, the tracks were still pretty thick in areas. First section around Mt Karioi (http://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap…) was very familiar to me. I’ve ridden this many times. The road is very narrow and climbs from sea level up and down 3-400 metres as it winds through lovely native forest. My gearing was 16/50 so very low for sealed road riding but bloody awesome for gravel and off road sections. We were under notice that roosting our fellow riders deliberately was not to be tolerated so I tried to upshift fairly quickly which helped enormously with traction on the grunty RVX. In sections where I had nobody behind, I had some fun spinning it up and sliding around corners. There were a few cars around (lots of tourists in this area) and some oncoming traffic so, in those tight corners surrounded by forest with bugger all visibility, you had to pick your moment to play carefully.
After the mountain section we headed toward more open and wider gravel roads. With little forest cover and lots of bikes in front; the dust could be nasty if you were heading toward the sun. Catching quite a few bikes by this time so we tried to pass them as quickly as possible.
Not long afterward we reached the first farm section. This was a virgin grass track laid out of undulating ground in very hilly country. By the time I got there, perhaps a couple of dozen bikes had been through and the bike tracks made route management easy. This is where the RVX lives and with that 16/50 gearing, I was having a ball. Some of t ruts created were pretty slippery with the clay surface and I found myself inside one that was just annoying. As I tried to drive up and out of it, the Kenda Big block spun up quickly and the back wheel slid out to maybe 45 degrees chucking me to the ground. Not a biggie, I wasn’t going fast. However, note to self: even slow falls like that can damage a radiator and mine had indeed been bent. It wasn’t leaking so I carried on and had a ball on the rest of the trail. As I popped out where some of the other riders were waiting on the gravel road; my radiator stone guard popped out and fell on the road. Someone must have been on my side: if that had fallen out anywhere else I probably wouldn’t have noticed and my radiator would have been exposed to all the flying gravel I was to encounter in the next 4 or 5 hours. I carefully pulled the radiator straight again and refitted the rock guard; all good.
Much of the next section through to Waitomo Caves (http://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap…) where lunch was to be, was very narrow and by now, crowded with bikes. We passed almost everything we came up on but were passed by John Goss and his mate Colin Landy standing up on their big R1200GS bikes. We weren’t going flat out at that time but Gossy is a great off road rider. He’s not the Chris Birch of BMW bikes but he’s getting up there; very smooth and skillful. Further on however, we were blocked by a bunch of bikes on a tight windy road who were throwing up so much dust we could barely see. We managed to pass a few of them and some pulled over but were stuck behind others damn near all the way to Waitomo.
After lunch we decided this time to be near the front and with the much lower traffic levels, were able to have a bit of fun spinning it up and going pretty damn fast in places. The ride over Pirongia Mountain (http://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap…) from Te Rauamoa Rd and Pirongia West Road was fantastic. I’ve ridden the route there many times and the surface is a white limestone gravel. Its stunning in the forested flanks of the mountain and for most of the time it was just the four of us riding together like a freight train. We were approaching a time limit though. The organisers had arranged for us to have permission to ride the hills on an access road where the local power board had a massive wind farm. We had no idea what the tracks would be like there but wanted to reach the foot of the road by 3pm or we’d be met with locked gates. Not far from the start, we took a wrong turn and rode around 10km up a bloody nice farm access road. At its dead end we realised we’d screwed up so turned around and raced back at full speed so we could do the wind farm.
We were on a mission and quickly came up behind group after group who were all despatched with speed so we wouldn’t be late. It was exhilarating riding that quickly and passing many bikes at almost double their speed sometimes.
Whew! We’d made it and the access road was a wide open loose metal surface with a steep climb to the top. I raced ahead and gave the Aprilia death sliding wildly on every corner relishing the freedom of being alone. With such width it was easy to play speedway and lay a big wide patch on the road most of the way around some corners. The wind turbines were gigantic and dwarfed the bikes. Much of the road was nice but not particularly challenging. The last section however, was interesting and must have caught some of the learners out. It was thickly gravelled and a VERY steep downhill. This was the kind of road you did in first gear with no throttle. Anyone silly enough to touch their back brake would quickly find the rear wheel overtaking the front followed by a slow motion fall and a slide that might not stop for hundreds of metres.
At the bottom of this and a few km down the road, there was supposed to be another farm track to ride. Unfortunately it had been cancelled..
We headed back into Raglan somewhat tired but feeling good. The ride hadn’t been very technical and there was nothing at all that came close to a real challenge for the Aprilia but we’d had a ball and met lots of fine folk on the way.
Prize giving followed and a meal for all. We all went to bed that night content, fed and buzzing from the ride.
I finally saw Bill Bibers R60 in Raglan the next morning and had a wee chat with him. Having had a 1973 R60/5 myself it was cool to see his scrambler interpretation and I understand how he won his prize for it.
The Aprilia now has 11,000 kilometres on the clock. It suffered a collapsed wheel bearing on my recent South Island trip but apart from that, it’s been awesome. I had a leak down test done a few weeks back and at 11/12% respectively for the cylinders; it’s all good and fine for quite a few more km yet.
Everyone loves the sound this thing makes and I got a few nice comments from some.
Nice to meet some of the folk here in person and to catch up with old friends too.
Here’s a link to my video of the farm section. I was having fun but didn’t want to tear the place up given the nature of the ride: https://youtu.be/PE5_QhWYGr4
Attachments:April 19, 2016 at 9:46 am #12332
Michael J BreenParticipant
Rank: 400cc Rider
Here’s a video of the Wind Farm Road. The extra wide angle and viewpoint don’t really show how steep the downhill was but those who rode it know.April 19, 2016 at 1:36 pm #12336
@michael_j_breen on his Aprilia
Onto the windfarm
Attachments:April 20, 2016 at 8:58 pm #12365
Views from the top of the windfarm.
The descent from the wind farm was VERY steep, so much so that even very experienced riders commented on it’s steepness.
Attachments:April 20, 2016 at 11:14 pm #12388
Rank: 250cc Rider
Eddie & Michael – Eddie good stuff. Michael excellent narrative and vids. Cheers OatersApril 30, 2016 at 12:09 pm #12569
Rank: 800cc Rider
- Bike: R1200GS
Good stuff guys, I wish I had the voice and the imagination to do a narrative like the one written here on my videos…
BTW, that steep downhill on the farm was allot more fun on my R1200GS… you can tell by the sound it had once I complete my video…
Here are some photos I took, I’ll post the video soon.
CheersMay 1, 2016 at 12:48 pm #12597
Rank: 800cc Rider
- Bike: R1200GS
As promised here it is the youtube video of this awesome day out.
May 1, 2016 at 10:30 pm #12600
Rank: 50cc Rider
- Bike: Being assembled in my bank account...
Everyone very friendly! Will be there next time for sure. =)
Also, thanks everyone for all the teaching and motivation! Joni the best!
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