September 4, 2017 at 6:55 pm #19282
Rank: 1000cc Rider
- Location: Wellington
- Bike: BMW Supertanker, R80 & Velorex Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
The weather forecast for this one was always suspect. Various people expressed interest, then fell away. I was happy to ride up myself, but Richard was keen so we had a quorum.
Drizzle out to Porirua, then dry, but with threatening clouds, & not warm enough to see the wet weather gear coming off.
Met Richard just after 9.00am at the Waikanae coffee cart. He was riding a Kawasaki ZX 636 ex track bike, on 17” rims shod in Shinko 805’s. At the time I thought that it was a good job I’d decided not to include the paper roads I’d looked at earlier….I’ve ridden with Richard before on the WAR ride & into Sutherlands Hutt – but the different name from that other site threw me.
First coffee at ‘The Horseman Cafe’ at Shannon, gas for Richard at Asshurst, then on to riding the ridges above the Pohangina Valley.
Along Finnis Rd / Ridge Rd until London Ford Rd. This section was in much better condition than I experienced last time I rode it. Compacted gravel, a bit damp, plenty of traction, no big gravel mounds in the centre of the road, & no traffic. The 636 loved it, & was leading.
Across to the Kimbolton / Rangiwahia Rd, through the twisty section along ridge lines again, to Peep’o’day Rd. During this section Gus developed an annoying miss from idle throttling on. The float bowls were clear & the float heights seemed okay. I jetted lean at sea level, & wondered if the height here had crossed a threshold. But really didn’t expect that. Oh well, look at it at lunch.
Met a big Higgins truck on a corner here, on-coming. Took to the grass on the right side of the road to avoid him. I think he was as startled as I was. Took him a while to pull up. My fault entirely, but it wouldn’t have mattered if I had been on the extreme left side – he still took up the whole road. The road just afterward was big loose gravel. Fun times on the 636 I expect.
Through Upper Pakihura Rd, Mangapapa Rd, Mangamako Rd, & out near Ohingaiti via Otara Rd.
Flat Hill for coffee & burgers. Ended up fighting multiple Pakistani women on a bus tour who wanted to use the mens loos. The carb issue was resolved here. A screw that should have secured the slide diaphram to the slide had decided a different location would be good, & was intermittently jamming the slide. Internal to the carb, so no danger to the motor. Just annoying. An easy fix, not sure how that loosened.
SH1 to Taihape for fuel & then on to the Kiwi site. Heavy rain from just before Ohakune. Saw Tony On his TDM900 at the front gate. Last rode with him in 2010 over the Old Whanga Rd when he had a DR650.
The site itself was a quagmire from entrance to the paddock. Next year the organisers are promising a gravel track into it. That’ll also likely limit the damage to the paddock.
We aimed to camp near the top of the site. As it happened we got most of the way up & ran out of traction. The first attempt to set up was in the pouring rain, which actually worked in our favour, as it soon became apparent our first pick was going to become a stream in the rain. And later we discover we would have had noisy neighbours. So we ended up camped just up from that, near a fence line.
Intermittant rain discouraged camp cooking, so hot dog & fries for dinner from the onsite catering. The band was good from outside the Marque. Bed at 10.30ish, slept for a couple of hrs, then our neighbours got noisy & I was awake until after 3.00am.
Fried up some sausages for breakfast, in bread, with tomato sauce. Breakfast of champions. Saved the bacon & eggs for Sunday.
Saturday was supposed to be a day ride (either Turakina Ski Field or River Road) but I couldn’t muster the enthusiasm, so we ended up slothed around at the rally site looking at bikes & avoiding the events. A few BMWs & MotoGuzzis caught my eye, but it seems not as many interesting bikes are coming in, perhaps because of the mud. In the end there was too much standing around, & my back started protesting.
Serious dirt sidecar…
This thing shit it’s gearbox before making it to the hillclimb. Getting bit too serious maybe
The burnout competition was nr the Marque – the old location was renamed Lake Staples.
Met a few people I knew, so did a bit of catching up (Glen, Linda, Paddy, Wobbly, & Norm to name a few).
Did a bit of camp cooking for lunch & dinner (Kaweka heat & eat & Uncle Bens rice), so avoided peeling to much money out to the onsite catering.
The band Saturday night was loud. So LOUD initially the speakers kept switching down. Unfortunately for them, the audience numbers were down – perhaps because people partied Friday night, & after a day of drinking… Good heavy rock, & the guiter player was awesome. Maybe I am also getting old.
Bloody cold night, sleety icy drizzle & rain. But a better nights sleep
Sunday morning, I couldn’t be arsed cooking breakfast in the rain. Packed up a wet tent, & exited the site behind the tent thru the fence line (the wire unclipped) straight onto the track out. Good spotting, Richard.
Just as we were leaving a Mark_S clone KLR650 rocked up. Almost exactly the same as he had his bike set up – Recluse clutch, noisy exhaust, big tool box on the rack. I noted the plate no down, & checked, but it turns out it was just a replica.
Big breakfast & coffee at Utopia Cafe in Okahune. Met DazzaDM there with the family, doing father’s day brunch.
Three options for the ride home. Took the easy one – Turakina Valley Rd down to Hunterville, more coffee & caught up with more friends, Vinegar Hill thru to Feilding, gas (& oil) there, then split from Richard to ride into PNth to catch up with mum & dad (fail). Home by 4.00.
Absolutely hammered today, so a quiet day cleaning up.
A couple of side notes. In planning this ride, it was amazing how many roads Google Maps & Basecamp had wrong. Like Kaweka Rd, which is shown as a through road, but is actually a paper road for a portion of it. I’ve been caught before, & check on the satellite view where I am not sure.September 5, 2017 at 9:45 pm #19324
Rank: 800cc Rider
- Location: Auckland
- Bike: R1200GS
This is great stuff. Too bad I could not join! Thank you for sharing.
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