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The Airheads Run – Wairarapa – Sun 23rd Oct '16

Home Forums Sidecars Sidecar Rides & Events The Airheads Run – Wairarapa – Sun 23rd Oct '16

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  • #14960
    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    • Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Just after the Pink Ribbon Ride last weekend, Michael & Norbert mentioned they might be keen on a Takapari Rd / North Range Rd expedition. However given that is so weather dependent, the ride quickly evolved into a Wairarapa run.

    Given the intent to take solos, I thought I’d better get Gus running. That’d be the 1st time out since Feb. Getting him started was no real issue, & I took a quick shake down run out Ohariu Valley Rd. Great to be back on a solo. Handled nicely, but things just weren’t right engine wise. I had been wondering if I’d bent a valve at the Makiro Ride, as he hadn’t run well since then – parking upside down, down a gully is never a good thing. A quick compression test gave the proverbial good news / bad news. The good news was the suspect side was fine. The bad news is that the ‘good’ side had low compression.

    So I was always going to be the the odd man out on this run, on the sidecar.

    I’d been needling Mark to get his Airhead up & running for a while – he’s been distracted with a house move. I finally got some traction with a definite ride suggestion. But disappointingly, he was sitting on his bike just out from Kaitoke with a disconsolate expression on his face. His bike’s running issues had also not been totally resolved, & he was just texting me his intent to turn around & go home. Fortunately I interrupted that, we swapped tank caps for the better quality (but worn) sidecar one, & things were fixed. The marvels of interchangable BMW parts. We suspect a fuel venting issue.

    A quick run over the Rimutakas helped confirm that diagnosis – or at least that the intermitant issue was going to stay away for a while. Like all such issues, it’s probably waiting to come back at some much more inconvenient time.

    Spotted Michael & Norbert at the Everest Cafe (Featherston), just finishing their coffees. But we pressed on, given we were late meeting Wayne at Martinborough. Topped the tank at the BP.

    Coffee & a herb & cheese scone at Village Cafe. Spotted Chrome22 just about to head out on his ill fated ride to Tora & White Rock.

    So the ride participants at outset were Mark (R100GS), Michael (BMW Hybrid), Norbert (R100GS), Bill (R60 ISDT replica), Iona (KLX250), Wayne (KTM950SM), & myself (R80 sidecar).

    I thought the day was supposed to be 18+ degrees & sunshine, so dressed in layers, prepared for the heat. But I never took off a layer until near the end of the day. There was rain on them thar hills, Fortunately we never got to sample it. Strange how the Metservice gets things wrong.

    Iona & Bill

    Bill & Wayne





    When we were on seal, I acted as Tail End Charlie. I can keep up with the others provided there aren’t too many tight left handers. But I led thru’ Hinakura to Admirals Rd, followed by Iona. Sidecars & light bikes rule on Gravel. This section was even better than the last time, in that the pea gravel had made it to the surface. Last time there was just too much traction for any lurid slides.

    There was some discussion on ‘where next’ at the end of that – I’d thought we’d take in Homewood Rd – but there were other plans for roads around Eketahuna. Given the promise of more gravel, I accepted that challenge. Iona left us to it.

    Took in a circuit round the back of Masterton. South & North Roads round Mauriceville, using a paper based GPS system, & onto a really great little piece of gravel, Bowen Rd. Narrow, 2 track, grass growing down the middle, little use. Perfect. That ends at Mangaoranga Rd, out to Eketahuna, to the pub for a drink & something to eat.

    More backroad out closer to the ranges. I let Mark have a go on the sidecar in gentle gravel, & seal. He didn’t kill himself, so that’s a good thing. Then onto Pukehoi Rd – Kopikopiko Rd, the highlight road of the day for me. They are logging in there – so not a ride to do mid week at present. This eventualy couples with Nikau Rd round the back of Mangamaire, & onto the Pahiatua track.

    Coffee at Shannon, then slabbed it back to Wellington. Home round 5.00pm – the traffic wasn’t too bad.

    Great day. 402.7kms point to point (GPS measured)

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    Bugga ! Didn’t know it was on. Bike in bits anyways ……. Looks like a Good Time was had by All.

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