August 14, 2016 at 8:26 pm #13449Box.a.BitsParticipant
Rank: 1200cc Rider
- Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
Given all the anguish about the weather in the lead up to this ride, the weather was surprisingly civilised. There had been all sorts of warning about potential cancellations due to an expected ‘Tempest’. This was fully supported by the weather forecasters, who I have noticed have become very conservative – almost the weather equivalents of ‘Repent, the Apocalype is nigh’.
I like Hubert Kriegels statement & acceptance – ‘if it rains – I get wet’. I was actually really looking forward to a wet muddy ride – on a chair it’s harder (but not impossible) to fall off…
So prepared for the worst, but expecting better, I met with Wayne at Caltex Rimuatakas at the very civilised hr of 10.00 am. No sign of any BMWOR rider prepared to embrace the dirty end of the spectrum, though a few oil & water head GSs did waft past just as we were about to leave.
Wayne decided the KTM needed to taunt a Merc, so left me behind before we hit the Rimutakas – but then he has experience with the sidecar buggering solo flow on left handers before, so… I have to say the Rimutakas is brutal on this chair. Fun though. Probably good for building inner thigh & upper body strength & fitness.
Coffee & scones at Martinborough at the Village Cafe, as we were 20 mins early at the scheduled meeting point. Really, that’s the way that civilised runs should be managed. We were on a BMWOR run, & so we had standards to maintain. Bill managed to find us there. He was mounted on his very nice R60 ISDT replica. Sounds gorgeous. Unfortunately the other BMW owners didn’t manage to find us. Not to worry. We’ll see them at the Pub.
I let Wayne & Bill lead out Hinakura Rd. Best not to startle them with the outstanding handling prowess of the sidecar on seal. A wee regroup at the intersection of Hinkura & Moeraki Rds. Not that we got separated at all… I was surprised to find out that Wayne hadn’t ever been out to this piece of the Wairarapa. We’ll have to organise another ride to allow him to explore the Wairarapa coast.
The start of the gravel. I demurred on leading from here, but couldn’t resist from the gate at Ngakouri Rd.
Probably frightened the stock. But at least that got me far enough ahead to be able to take some photos as the guys came through. Now I know how Bart feels. At least parts of the road are slow enough that my camera can keep up.
The road was in excellent condition. If anything, the road was too well swept. Instead of being able slide, I was getting too much grip on some of the corners.
Got a couple of rain splats here, that might have been melted hail. But that was our lot for the day. No wind. ‘Tempest’. Hmmm.
After the Summerhill Rd gate, I nearly missed a corner when I realised that Bill was right behind me & was giving chase.
Later, coming down downhill thru some coarse gravel, the bike started to run onto one cylinder. I thought it might just be a bit of crap in the fuel, & was sure it’d just blow thru. After all, Airheads just don’t break down. They have a quality reputation to uphold. But about a km down the road, it hadn’t resolved it’s self. So I thought I’d better stop, & speak sternly to the bike about it’s behaviour. It quickly became apparent that the bike was pissing petrol, & that something was missing from the bottom of the carb. I must have hooked the float bowl clip with the bottom clip of my boots, & that’d dropped the float bowl – a km up the road. I turned off the fuel & waited for Wayne & Bill to catch up. Oh the ignominy…
Fortunately, Wayne was able to pillion me back up the road. I must congratulate Wayne. I am a very reluctant pillion (I’ve been terrorized by a prior experience with a former KLR owner). He was very calm & accomodating.
We found the float bowl sitting sweetly on the left hand track of the road, back where things started running rough.
Back to the Chair. Fortunately the gasket was hanging on the clip, so we had all the bits to reassemble things. But I still had issues with gas leaking, so popped the chair up onto the right cylinder to check what was going on. This apparently created a great photo opportunity (too good for Wayne to miss) of Steve’s arse pointing out from underneath the chair. Well how else are you supposed to fix these things? Seems to me that popping the chair in the air is only logical. Seemed to amuse Bill no end though. Apparently Urals don’t do that.
Not very flattering…
By the end of the ride Bill & Wayne seemed to have hit it off well. Holding hands seemed a trifle excessive on a first date though…
Relatively uneventful ride down to Gladstone Pub. Still missing the phantom BMWOR, but that’s all to the good – the pub was fairly busy.
In keeping with Oater’s original plans, we then did the whole thing in reverse.
At the beginning of that run, nearly had a side swipe with a Dodge Journey on a particularly narrow piece of road. She didn’t slow down, & didn’t move to give me any room. I was already across as far as I could be, on the left of the road. I reckon she missed having a stripe from a BMW cylinder by about a cm. Honestly thought I was history.
Polite people don’t talk about the emergency defecation situation…
Funny how the return run always seems to take less apparent time. Didn’t get to go out to the coast because time was moving on, & the day was cooling. Back to Martinborough, fueled up (still getting used to the little tank on the chair), then over the hill (a bit busier), & back to Wgtn. Arrived home just on dark. To find out that the run had been cancelled.
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