I headed off towards the gorge and some pretty dark looking clouds. After pottering through the gorge (slip on the road and down to one lane in places) things started looking a bit better. The sun was out and the roads were starting to dry out.
A quick stop in Danniverke for fuel and a quick glance at the blue sky's out towards the coast and my mind was made up - off to Weber, Wimbledon and then Waipuk. The road was pretty dodgy heading out to Wimbledon: wet, greasy and the usual broken surfaces so I took it pretty quietly getting to know the bike and trying to remember the road. It was also pretty windy across the tops but at least the rain stayed away.
Cruising north towards Waipuk from Porangahau the sun really came out and I started getting pretty warm. Ended up lowering the screen to it's lowest position to help get some breeze over me. By the time I got to Waipawa my tongue was hanging out and I had to stop to get a drink and take off some gear.
Now for some real fun. Turning right at Waipawa I headed on to Patangata and then onto the great Middle Road. This is a great ride taking you right through to Havelock North and this is the second time I've used it to get to know a new bike. It starts off nice and open with fast flowing corners which then start to tighten up a bit the closer you get to Havelock. A good chance to learn about the bike's handling and brakes. In a word - unbelievable!
Stopped in Napier to show the bike off to the olds and top up my tank. I left Napier at about 3 and on the way over to Hastings had to wave at another Concours going the other way - me thinks these bikes are gonna be popular. A quick top up in Hastings as I was still unsure of the range I'm going to get from a tank and then off down Highway 50.
I love this road and am pretty familiar with it so it was great to take the new bike through there, though a little hard to behave at times. Once off Highway 50 I just pottered home quietly and had the bike safely tucked away in the shed by 5 with probably 400 odd K's added to the odo. Top day and Top ride! Wonder what the weather's going to do tomorrow?