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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Splashing around...

...and neglecting the poor old Connie :(

Today was supposed to be the BRR Adv ride but the ride got cancelled as we've had a lot of "weather" (and today's forecast was not pretty either) so I had to amuse myself with a short little ride that took me in and out of more "weather".

To kick things of I decided that it was time for a Yamaha to collect a tag and picked up the old tag in Awahuri on my way to Halcombe.


Somewhere (possibly near Halcombe) I picked up another picture for the new tag...

Tricky!

Could have been the tag too...
Now it was time to find some gravel.  I carried on towards Stanaway looking for a short gravel road that crosses over towards Beaconsfield that we'd ridden once before.  The first road I went down wasn't it but got me onto Makino Road so I rode past Colin's place to see if he was around but there was no car there so I turned around and retraced my steps back to Stanaway Road.

As it turns out the next road (Junction Road) I turned down wasn't the one I was looking for either but at least it was gravel and a little longer.




Once again I ended up on Makino Road and I used this to get me over onto SH54 for about a kilometre or so before I turned off onto Beaconsfield Valley Road.  This road starts out on tarmac before finally turning to fast gravel and then slow gravel.  It was good fun but I wore a fair bit of rain and visibility wasn't the best...





Turning onto Waituna Tapuae Road and feeling a little damp I said goodbye to the gravel and started heading home.  Back on the tar and in "wet fast cruise" mode I found quite a bit more rain which was very keen to make friends with me so I hunkered down, turned the grips up and pushed on.

Eventually I out-ran the rain and a pretty nice little cruise back into town and as I write this the bike is safely in the shed and the rain has caught up to me again...



Saturday, May 14, 2016

A quick skid

With a BRR Adv ride coming up soon and not having done much gravel on the Tenere yet, I was keen to get out today to get in some practice.

Before going for the ride I did a little bit of work on the bike.  First I added some 3M protective vinyl to the bikes tank and then I rigged up a camera mount on the crash bars.  I used a GoPro mount that I'd bought for my mountain bike and a little piece of Subaru radiator hose for the job.



Leaving home I crossed town and rode out to Bunnythorpe before turning back towards Ashhurst until I hit Watershed Road.  Watershed Road eventually turns into gravel so I slowed up and started trying to get my head around gravel riding again.

Yes, it was windy!

Leaving the tar
Watershed Road and Zig Zag road had quite a bit of gravel on them and possibly had a grader over it recently and it was a little spooky in places with the heavier bike and fairly average 90/10 tyres it's running.

Finis Road turned out to be in better condition and I enjoyed the ride down into Pohangina.


The next neat bit of gravel I tackled was Pohangia Road which was a real blast (see video).  Rather than carry on up the valley I turned off and rode down to reserve for a nosey.




And then I decided to head home - but which way to go?  Well, the gravel of Pohangina Road was good on the way in, so it'd probably be fun in the other direction too right?  The video below shows both legs of the fun little journey.


The rest of the ride home skipped the gravel but still involved a lot of wind!  It was nice to have had a nice little ride after a week of work and not very bike friendly weather.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

It has begun...

Yes, with a new bike in the shed the farkling bug has hit hard and there has been quite some progress...

One of the first things I ordered was a bottom ring for the tank so it could accept my SW-Motec tank-bag.


Before fitting it I did another little job to tidy things up...



And then the mount went on like child's play...


Works!
Then another old farkle was added to the front brake reservoir so that the GoPro has somewhere to park.


This was all prior to the BRRBT ride and since then things have got a whole lot more serious.  One of my priorities was to fit my PC-8 fuse-box and get all my electrical goodies sorted.  This necessitated some nudity...

Whoops wrong side but at least I found the radiator...

All sorts of stuff that you don't want to be mess with...
Before tearing into this little (yeah, right) job I consulted the web and the place where other S10 owners located their PC-8's was as in the picture below:


I had a good look at this and was a little concerned that water might find it's way into the unit as the fairing is designed to funnel air into this area and I figured that it'd probably funnel water under certain circumstances.  Probably not the best idea...I parked this job while I waited for Dad to pop over and take a squizz and carried on with the next job.


I decided to add a bash pad to the bike not because I intend to be crossing logs or bouncing off boulders but because the oil filter looked like it was a little vulnerable poking out the front of the donk.  I chose a Givi unit as it was readily available here in NZ and as a bonus, a lot cheaper than the Yamaha or Touratech options.  Fitting was fairly straight forward but Givi could perhaps make their product slightly easier to fit with some more clever design eg nuts welded to the back of items to make it easier to fit the bolts.



Not long after finishing this Dad turned up and wondered why I was adding weight to the bike as opposed to removing it...

We then set to work finding the ideal location for the PC-8.  We ended up sacrificing the toolkit (which only holds a handful of basic tools) and then fitted the PC-8 after wiring in the accessories.  One thing I did was remove the heated grips from the battery and run them off the PC-8 so that they were on a switched circuit to prevent a flat battery if accidentally left on.  As I still don't have a GPS mount (dramas here), any spare wiring was run up the inside of the fairing and tied up to await the final installation.  We also tested a few of the accessories to make sure everything was working before putting the Ten's clothes back on.



The final job of the weekend was to add even more protection in the form of crash bars.  once again Givi items were chosen.  Some pretty serious wrestling was required here but I got there in the end.

Bling!




Ready for action now...

...but more farkles to come...

Monday, May 02, 2016

May BRRBT

Yesterday was our monthly Black Top ride and for reason I decided that I'd better try out the new beast on some back roads...

Purdy!
Rocking up to the garage meeting point there was already a fair few riders waiting for the kick-off and I wasn't the only one sporting some new tarmac eating tackle.

Terry's mint Cross Tourer
We also had a few BRRBT newbies on all sorts of two-wheeled creations.



Leaving Ashhurst we pootled through the gorge and even had to stop at some traffic lights where there was some work going on.  We turned off just the other side of the gorge onto Gorge Road (not sure why its called that) for our first little squirt along some back roads.

It was a great little ride to kick things off but there's a poor old pukeko out there who I think would disagree.  I tried to avoid him but perhaps he was suicidal or thought that the big blue Tenere was a bigger, sexier looking pukeko...


Next up was a little bit of Makomako Road before we turned off to take Mikau Road through to Mangamire and then SH2.  Another nice little run although spoiled a little by some road markers recent stuff-up - a big long line of slippery paint - check out the video to see the whoopsie.

After a short stretch of SH2 we turned off again to take in Hamua Rongomai Road which took us over to Magaone Valley Road and back in the direction of Pahiatua.


Instead of riding into Pahiatua we carried on around some more mint back roads through to Jacksons and Oringi to again pop out on SH2.

Robin representing Concours riders today



Terry and Barry

Colin and his mighty Wee
Another short ride up SH2 saw us in Dannevirke for an early lunch.  After lunch we lost about half the bunch as they had other things to do but for the remaining gang it was time to head further East towards Weber.

Rather than take the Weber road directly out to Weber we took in a small loop on Waitahora Road.  This was another neat back road but it did introduce us to some pretty blustery conditions and also to some woolly hazards...

We ended up on Weber Road for a few more km before I lead the gang astray on a detour to the Waihi Falls.  With 4 out of 5 of us on Adv bikes of some description I thought that a little gravel wasn't going to upset everyone too much...


Oh yes, it was a fun ride into the falls...





Suzuki parking only...
The team may have enjoyed the short 4km or so of gravel into the falls but weren't as keen to take more gravel out on 1 of the 2 possible options I mooted so we retraced our steps and then made our way to Pongaroa.  Just out of Pongaroa the wind got very strong and we were getting blown all over the place.  I pulled over at my bridge to warn the others that it would be worse as we climbed up over the hill and dropped into Makuri.  in the end we decided to chicken out and made our way back to Pongaroa and then turned South on Route 52 for the alternate route back to Pahiatua.

After more delicious corners and just the odd bit of wind we ended up  in Pahiatua where Colin waved me off as he headed home via SH2.  I decided to take in part of the track before testing out the Tenere's gravel manners again on Tararua Road.

I didn't see the Pukeko again on Gorge Road so maybe he was tougher than I thought and limped off home (yeah, right) but the twisty corners were still there and I had a nice little ride back through the gorge to Ashhurst and then home.  A nice little ride of around 370km and all done on one tank of gas made me a happy a camper!