Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Watched some great racing and had a lot of fun trying to get some decent photos. Great to see the the Britten out on the track even if it was just idling around the course. Particularly enjoyed the motards and the classic side cars - plenty of action there. A great way to spend Boxing Day!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
At the moment I'm using the handle bar mount which came with the unit and which is supposed to be on the left hand side but as my heated grips controller is there then they had to go on the right hand side. It's not in too bad a position and is not quite as "in your face" as it looks in the pictures - when riding you have to look down to see the screen. I still think that I'll end up with a different mount more centrally located to get it more out of the way.
I'm really looking forward to putting it to the test on a decent ride (next year's Southern Cross for one) and it should be great for rides like the Grand Challenge.
Friday, December 19, 2008
They had a one and a half hour head start and I had no idea where they were going so the chances of actually catching them were reasonably slim but I did know where they were intending on finishing up. As it was only just after 7:30pm, I figured that they would still be riding rather than parked up at the Ashhurst Cafe so I decided to hit the track, run through Balance and then the gorge before trying the Cafe.
I had a great ride over the track and through Balance but when I rolled into Ashhurst there was still no sign of them so I headed for town to check out a couple of other possible spots where they may have stopped instead. On the way into town I only saw one other bike and it was a certain green Kwaka heading home - nobody else in tow.
After a quick lap around town checking out a few watering holes I finally gave up and headed home. A nice little ride to wind up the week and probably the only chance I'll get to go out on the bike this side of Christmas.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
After pottering over on the Honda and topping up the tank, I headed to the racecourse to see what was happening. When I turned up there was probably only a dozen bikes there and I still wasn't sure if this meant that the ride was on or not. I quick word to a Ulyssian soon had that sorted out so I deposited my toy and grabbed a drink & Bar-bee lunch before quickly buying a badge before they all sold out.
After hanging around waiting for about an hour there was finally probably over 100 bikes and Santa led us through town on his trusty Beemer (he always seems to ride a BM??) and on out of town. At Turakina we turned inland more and headed on towards Marton. It's a great ride through here and Santa kept up quite a good pace - nice to see that he appreciates a corner or two.
Once in Marton the ride was due to stop for refreshments but I decided to carry on and came home via Halcombe and Mount Stewart. Another great ride to make a total of three for the weekend - it must be summer!
Mark and I headed out to Himatangi at around 9 and joined up with a lot of bikers along the way. Parking up at Himatangi we soon ran into Brian, Horse and a few others while we registered and milled around waiting for a start. While registering a certain red Connie also turned up and parked next to me.
Leaving Himatangi we took the boring route up to Sanson and then into Fielding where we stopped so that Mark could top up the Bandit before heading on to Ashhurst, the Saddle and into Woodville for lunch. Along the straights past Colyton we had our first experience with the usual idiots that like to come out for the ride and have to pass everyone else regardless of any safety concerns.
Coming into Woodville was a very slow process as all the bikes had bunched up and were crawling - I even got stuck behind my old K6 Bandit, 2-up with a couple of mods since I traded it. It was here that I noticed that my temperature gauge was getting a fair bit higher than normal and I couldn't hear the fan (thought it was because of all the other bike noise). When I pointed it out to Mark he looked down and said that he could see that the fan was not turning. No sooner had he said that the high temp warning came up on the bike's screen. I quickly got out of the traffic, went up a side street and parked the bike with a fair bit of worry kicking in.
Once stopped I pulled the seat off and started looking for fuses, hoping that this would be the cause of my problems. I found the correct fuse but had a bit of trouble getting it out. Luckily the old man had popped down from Napier to check out the ride and he was able to pull it and confirm that the fuse was toast. We replaced it with one of the spares and hey presto the fan was back in action.
After this wee drama we grabbed our lunch and then snuck out of Woodville a bit early to stay clear of the main bunch of bikes. We had a fantastic ride over to the beach as the roads were dry and in better than normal condition. We passed a few slower riders and got to Akito before the big rush for cold drinks and a bit of a breather.
Not long after we stopped the rest of the bikes started rolling in and it was entertaining checking out all the different breeds (bikes & bikers) that turn up for the ride. There was even a picture of our bike's (parked up in the pouring rain) from the 2007 ride stuck to the shop window. One of the organisers mentioned that there was over 500 bikes so a pretty good effort and plenty of money raised for the helicopter.
Mark, Brian and I flagged the prize giving as we had to be back in Palmy and had a great ride back through Weber & Danniverke only stopping at Woodville to gas up the Connies before arriving home at around 5pm. A great day out riding and my 8th Coast to Coast badge to add to the collection.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Parking up at Ashhurst to wait for kick-off I had the chance to meet a few people I hadn't seen on the rides before and it wasn't long before quite a selection of bikes had arrived and the route was planned out.
We ended up heading through the gorge (a nice run with no traffic to hold us up), through Balance, out through Mangamire and back into Pahiatua for a drink. The weather was absolutely perfect and even the low sun was not too much of a problem.
Following the drinks break most people went their separate ways and I followed Sam (SV1000) back over the track and into Palmy. He set a nice comfortable pace and it was a really nice ride back into town. Great to have the Honda back and some great weather for riding!
Hope the weather stays nice for the Coast to Coast tomorrow...
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.
Life may begin at 30, but it doesn't get real interesting until about 60mph.
You start the game of life with a full pot of luck and an empty pot of experience. The object is to fill the pot of experience before you empty the pot of luck.
If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.
Midnight bugs taste just as bad as noon time bugs.
Saddlebags can never hold everything you want, but they they can hold everything you need.
It takes more love to share the saddle than it does to share the bed.
The only good view of a thunderstorm is in your rear view mirror.
Don't ride so late into the night that you sleep through the sunrise.
Sometimes it takes a whole tank of fuel before you can think straight.
Riding faster than everyone else only guarantees you will ride alone.
Never hesitate to ride past the last streetlight at the edge of town.
Never do less than 40 miles before breakfast.
One bike on the road is worth two in the garage.
Respect the person who has seen the dark side of motorcycling and lived.
Young riders pick a destination and go. Old riders pick a direction and go.
A good mechanic will let you watch without charging you for it.
Sometimes the fastest way to get there is to stop for the night.
Whatever it is, it's better to do it in the wind.
Two lane Blacktop isn't a highway; it's an attitude.
When you look down the road it seems never to end, but you better believe it does.
Winter is nature's way to tell you to polish.
Motorcycle boots are not comfortable for walking. That's why they are called "motorcycle Boots."
People are like motorcycles; each is customized differently.
Sometimes the best communication happens when you are on separate bikes.
Good coffee should be indistinguishable from 50 weight motor oil.
The best alarm clock is sunshine on chrome.
A friend is someone who'll get out of bed at 2:00AM to drive his pickup to the middle of nowhere to get you when you are broken down.
Catching a yellow-jacket in your shirt at 70mph can double your vocabulary.
If you want to get somewhere before sundown, you can't stop at every tavern.
There is something ugly about a new bike on a trailer.
Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don't. Some can't. Be careful.
Don't argue with an 18 wheeler, a bus or even a car.
Never be ashamed to unlearn an old habit.
A long ride can clear your mind, restore your faith and use up a lot of fuel.
If you can't get it going with bungee cords,wire and electrician's tape it's serious.
If you ride like there is no tomorrow, there won't be.
Bikes parked out front mean good chicken fried steak inside.
There are old riders.There are bold riders. There are no old bold riders.
Always replace the cheapest parts first.
You can forget what you do for a living when your knees are in the breeze.
Patience is the ability to keep your engine idling.
Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out the car window.
There are two types of people in this world; people who ride motorcycles and people who wish they could ride motorcycles.
Never try to race an old geezer; he may have one more gear than you.
Gray haired riders didn't get that way from pure luck.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Original Kneeslider article: 2008 Kawasaki ZG1400 Concours Recall - The Kneeslider
Saturday, December 06, 2008
I met up with a few of the usual Friday night ride crew and headed over to Fielding where the ride started from. We parked up, got badges and waited for the arrival of Santa on his Honda (Rudolph was riding pillion).
The ride was a simple one through to Halcombe, back in behind Fielding, across to Ashhurst and finally ending up at the Awapuni Hotel where toys were donated, sausages eaten and drinks drunk. The next one is the Wellington one tomorrow - don't know if I'll be doing it just yet but it looks like they should definitely have good weather for it.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Original Kneeslider article here: http://thekneeslider.com/archives/2008/12/03/cardboard-motorcycles-and-scooters/
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I met up with Sarge and the others at Ashhurst and after a bit of chin wagging we headed off over towards Colyton, Cheltenham and finally Vinegar Hill. The road was in good nick with just the odd bit of hot tar to look out for.
Once we got back to SH1 we stopped for a bit of a natter before turning around and doing it all again but in the opposite direction. This time though we stopped in at Cheltenham for a cold drink and some more yarning before finally heading for home.
On the way back Sarge & I swapped bikes (he'd been hassling AFC for a demo ride and hadn't managed to swing it) so I got to sample the FZ-1 on the way into town. And what an angry little beast it is! A very willing and snarling engine in a very tight package. Very easy to ride with it's great riding position and wide bars. Even the little screen was surprisingly effective at deflecting the wind. Great fun!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I wasn't actually planning on riding today as I've got stuff to do around home but Brian rang me at about 20 to 11 and said he & Chris were heading down to Masterton at about 11 and would I be keen? Well, I sorted myself out and headed off around to Brian's. I got there just after 11 and saw that the house was all shut off - damn, I've missed them.
So I took off, got some gas and headed off over the track and then around to Mangamire - taking the route that Brian had mentioned on the phone. Never saw or caught them up so I kept on going quietly down to Masterton. When I got there I did about 3 laps of the town looking out for them before I had to stop for a cold drink (hot work today) and some lunch.
After my break I headed on out onto Route 52 through to Alfredton, Pahiatua and them home. To say that this was a great ride through here is a massive understatement! The weather was fantastic, great scenery, the roads in good condition and absolute joy to ride. It was just one of those great rides! So good that I never got around to stopping for any pictures so you'll have to make do with some of a bug-splattered bike & helmet (helmet clean before I left). Yep, summer's here alright!
Oh, and BTW: when I got home there was a message on my phone. Turns out Brian was still getting ready to go when I turned up at his place...
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Dave had worked night shift the night before so we had the gentlemenly start time of 11am. Leaving Ashurst we headed throught the gorge and south to Pahiatua. Here we took to the back roads continuing south towards Masterton. About 15mins out of Masterton we came accross a young girl that had just crashed her car. On a straight bit of road she had managed to hit the bank on the wrong side and the car ended up on it's side in the ditch. She was a bit dazed and had a couple of minor cuts. We checked her out and waited for help to arrive before continuing on to Castlepoint.
We made it to the coast just after 1pm where we had a late lunch before attacking the great bit of road that would take us back to Masterton again.
We stopped for a quick fuel up the back to Ashurst via Mangamire and the Pahaitua track, arriving just before 4pm.
Other that having to deal with the car accident it was a good day out with warm fine weather and some good roads to ride on.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Tonight's route was a quick squirt over the saddle, through Balance, and onto Mangamire before heading back over the track into Ashhurst for drinkees & snacks. As mentioned before the weather was perfect although the low sun was a bit of a pain at times. The bugs were out in force too.
All in all it was a great ride with about a dozen or so bikes and a great way to wind up the working week.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Well, I'll just have to do it myself. That's me, the one all bundled up checking out Andrew's leather jacket. (I decided to post this pic seeing as I'm still upset at Dad and cause Andrew let me do this blog).
Anyway, I can't wait til Dad can take me for a ride on his big, noisy Bandit...
I headed out of Palmy over the Pahiatua Track, through some very sorft tar going down the other side then out through Mangamaire. Once I was back on Highway 2 I truned towards Masterton but a couple of k's down the road I turned left and out onto the back roads that would eventually take me back to Pahiatua. Then I followed the main roads back through the gorge and home.
Only a short run but I got some fresh air and blew out a few cobwebs.
On another note I purchased some Oxford heated handlebar grips on Trademe and they turned up in the mail. Shouldn't need them for the summer but they will be on before the Southern Cross next year. I must be getting soft!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
On other bikes where I had a headlight switch I did tend to run with the lights on but then again I've been hit 4 times by car drivers and each time my light has been on. Having a light on will not stop a car driver from choosing to "not see" or ignore a bike...
No amount of rules & regulations will stop stupid people from doing stupid things - be the master of your own destiny and do not trust anyone else on the road!
Britten Pre-Cursor V1000
BEARS Britten V1000
‘World’s Fastest Indian’ Movie Replica
Len Perry’s 1929 Velocette
Hugh Anderson’s 1961 Manx Norton
Dr Rodger Freeth’s 1985 McIntosh Suzuki
Robert Holden’s 1995 Ducati Supermono
1988 BMS Ducati Special (Fast n’
1983 ‘Plastic Fantastic’
1982 Aluminium Monocoque
Buckley Systems GP500 Racers
Thomas Norton Desmodromic ‘Mini-Manx’
BSA MC1 ‘Look-alike’
1974 Ducati ‘Green Frame’
1904 ‘Wall of Death’
1952 Vincent1000 Speedway Sidecar
Ice Speedway Racers
Longtrack Speedway Racer
Flat-track Dirt Racer
Ben Townley’s 2004
1958 JAWA MX
1965 CZ MX
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
A bike for everyone!
"A big bike that looks this good is something worth smiling about, too. It was rare that I arrived at any destination without admiring looks and conversation. Kawasaki says that only around 1 percent of Concours 14 buyers are women, but I don’t see any reason why an experienced sport-bike rider wouldn’t consider upgrading to the Concours with its precision handling, high styling, and
I promptly rang the bike shop and asked if I could pick it up on Friday...
...and got laughed at - damn, I was serious! Basically it's just going to depend on parts availability - anything ex Japan will be 2 weeks. I'm hoping that Honda NZ has good stocks of VTR bits...
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I had all of about quarter of an hour to wolf down some lunch and get my act together before he turned up and we headed off to meet up with the rest of the group. Once at the launching point we ran into a few people we knew including the guy that used to own my VTR (Brian knew him) and Robin, another Connie rider from Levin.
The ride itself was a fairly simple potter around the back of Halcombe & Fielding before heading over through Colyton to Ashhurst for coffee. It was however very hot work (shoulda taken the liners out of my gear) and Brian and I headed home from Colyton where I finally got to the lawns...
A quick, short little ride that brought the weekend's tally up to just over 1,100km.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
What I think is the worst of the damage is to the RHS radiator where the fairing was rammed into it. Coolant everywhere so I couldn't ride her home so Brian had to come and rescue me with his trailer. Otherwise, the fairing is pretty much toast on both sides, the screen is cracked, LHS indicator gone, a wee scratch on the LHS muffler (which has been pushed in closer to the center of the bike), clutch lever & mirror and that's about it.
Insurance claim is already sorted with the car driver accepting liability etc. It just remains to be seen as to how long before she's back on the road. Really annoying but the worst accident I've had in 20 years...
More soon when I hear from the insurance company/bike shop.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
The good thing about them is that they do block the wind noise and therefore the ipod does not have to be on very loud. They are also pretty comfortable if in properly - not sure about on a 1,000km day but maybe I'll give that a shot too.
The only issue is getting them in properly and having them stay there. If they're in properly they tend to stay in but if not they can work their way loose - as the left one seemed to do. The only other thing is that you cannot hear a thing anyone says to you - unlike when wearing ear plugs. I'm also not sure what's better for your hearing: music on quietly or ear plugs???
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Leaving Danniverke we headed out through Matamau, Makotu and Ormonville before taking the back road past Takapau and into Waipuk. Then we turned further East at Waipawa to take us to Patangeta (it absolutely bucketed down through here) and up Middle Road to Havelock North and finally Napier.
After a nice hot lunch with the olds and a bit of mucking around with the bikes in the shed we suited up again for the ride home. After gassing up in Hastings we hit highway 50 and battled with the wind all the way back. More showers also added to the excitement.
Not the best day for it but still a nice ride - be even better once we see some proper summer.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Just a quick post here to say that the
The route was reasonably tough this year and took me to a few places where I'd never been and the weather certainly added another element to the challenge.
Perhaps because of this of the 104 people who registered for the ride, 30 did not finish. This includes those that crashed out, broke down and pulled out due to weather or knowing that they would not have enough time to complete the run.
One who did not finish due to a crash was a riding friend, Steve. Steve had a low speed fall on Route 52 north of Wimbledon. Luckily he got away with a broken collarbone and is now resting at home. It certainly was not nice coming around the corner and seeing him sitting on the side of the road with his bike over the bank. Get well Steve and I hope the 'busa is not in too bad condition.
That's about all for now - I'll do a more detailed write-up for the website at some stage.
More pictures here.
Friday, October 10, 2008
A great bit of road for having a play on but plenty of care required in places with metal on the road and the remains of small slip etc. A couple of wee stops allowed the group to reform we all road into Fielding together before stopping at a local watering hole for drinkees and the odd yarn.
Nice ride and I was pleased to discover that the VTR's high beam is quite good (had my doubts due to it's size). I'll miss next week's ride as I'll be sitting in Turangi resting up before the start of the GC - oh damn.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
As it turned out Andrew got crook and couldn't make it so I was off on a solo expedition. The weather wasn't great with wind and rain forecast, but I had already decided I was going regardless.
An early breaky and I was off, filled up the bike on the way into town, then headed around to Breakers for the sign in and kick off. When I got there about 4 other bikes were already there. I paid my money, they recorded my odo reading and as the other guys weren't showing much sign of leaving I decided head off.
The first check point was Inglewood so it was off to the Naki I went, not the most exciting ride but easy K's to clock up early. A guy on a Harley that I had seen at Breakers passed me at Ohakea and instead of sticking with him I let him go and continued on alone. Somewhere between Wanganui and Waverley my morning cup of tea needed to get out so I had a quick pit stop to water the weeds. I'd left Palmy at 07:07 and was in Inglewood about 09:30 I got gas, had a quick drink then was off again.
The weather had looked a bit damp ahead and I tossed up stopping to put the wet weather gear on but decided to continue until it got real wet. Once I got away from civilisation I upped the pace a bit and was soon attacking Mount Messenger, the road was wet so I had to take it a bit easy. After that it was the Awakino gorge and onto Te Kuiti. I had calculated this to be about half way so it was good to know I was on the down hill side. Heading through to Whakamaru and the second check point the roads were once again wet with the odd shower to stop me getting too hot.
I pulled into Whakamaru at about 12:15, the guy on the Harley was just leaving, so he hadn't got away on me much. I had a drink and bite to eat and as I was leaving the next group pulled up.
I had hoped to get all the way back to Palmy on a tank but was going to see how things went. Down the back of the lake I got to cover the ground at a good pace with the roads dry and the weather improving, then it was onto Mananui and the western side of the mountain and into the Paraparas. I enjoyed this bit and the road was in good condition considering all the rain over the winter. I was soon in Wanganui for the second time in a day.
I decided to keep going and see how my petrol supply held up but it wasn't long before the gauge was flashing and I knew I would be pushing it to make it to Palmy so had a quick fill up at Bulls. I was back at Breakers at 16:08, nine hours and one minute after leaving with 810km in between.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Due to the windy conditions, the ride was cut short and we simply headed through the gorge, then back through Balance and over the track back into Palmy. It was quite windy through Balance and there was quite a bit of drizzle. I had issues with my visor fogging as I was wearing my old shoei which has no anti-fog insert fitted. Visibility got worse coming down the track as it was quite foggy - not a lot of fun.
The ride ended at the Brewer's Apprentice where I departed due to my cold and also wanting to be fit and ready for the 800km ride today - alas, as I write this I'm still fighting the damn bug and given the weather conditions I've bailed on the ride. Hopefully Mark has a good ride and writes it up...
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
It's a second hand bike with about 5,000km on it but has an aftermarket muffler which gives it a nice little growl and some trick carbon (or carbon-look) goodies. I've only pottered around town on it and it is definitely great for this - very small and narrow, great for getting into tight places. It also gets up and goes quite well.
The riding position is a little weird - a slightly racy position for your legs and then low but wide handle bars. These wide handle bars and the total lack of weight (I'd just gotten off the Connie after all) make it a piece of cake to chuck around. The clutch is very light but the gear lever felt like it had quite a longish throw (stuffed up a couple of up-changes by being a bit gentle on it) but otherwise the little motor is quite nice. Didn't think much of the brakes as they needed a bit of squeeze - though once again I'm used to some pretty serious stoppers on the Connie and pretty reasonable brakes on the VTR.
All in all though it's quite a nice little bike and would be a great commuter - especially in larger cities where motorway riding is required. Probably pretty economical too with it being a small injected twin. Nice...better give it back tomorrow...
Sunday, September 28, 2008
- October 4: the CDMTC's 800km in a day
- October 18-19: The Rusty Nuts Grand Challenge
- November 8: The Capital 1000K cruise
- December 13: The Woodville Lions Coast to Coast
Not much a ride distance wise but I had a blast on the Honda over the saddle and then headed through to Balance. My first surprise came when I rounded a bend to find a caravan parked in the middle of the road. I managed to avoid it and then got my second surprise - the fuel light on the bike starting to flash.
From here on I took it easy - I'm still unsure of the range of the Honda once the gauge starts flashing. I managed to make it back into Palmy ok and put 16L in the tank before heading back out to Linton to catch up with some friends for a bit before heading home to put the bike to bed.
Summer is on it's way...
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Yep nice day again so no excuse not to get out and go for a ride. Met up with about a dozen Kiwi Bikers in town and then headed out through some of our delicious back roads. Good to give the Honda some exercise. Stopped off at the cafe by Balance bridge and then pottered home all the while managing to not get a ticket. Good stuff.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
As we were missing a few bods and everyone other than me had already ridden nearly 200km we decided to abandon the full route and just see where the day took us.
We left Palmy just before 8am and headed out the back of Halcombe
Leaving Wanganui we hit the Paraparas and had a great ride through to National Park. The road was more often than dry and a great deal of care had to be taken as there were fresh slips to go along with the usual storm damage and stock. Quite chilly going through National Park too.
A quick top up for the bikes and we continued off up
We took the Kinloch turnoff and wound our way onwards to Taupo. We stopped here for another quick pitstop before tackling the Napier-Taupo. And here's where things went a bit pear-shaped. Not long off the plains we came around a corner with a bit of steam on and there was a mufti-cop! Yep, you guessed it, he got me (TEC) while the others escaped. Great way to ruin a ride! My first ticket in 17 odd years...
After this I was separated from the rest of the guys and I only caught up to them when they became stuck in traffic. I quiet ride the rest of the way to Napier where we stopped in at the olds for a coffee before Steve and I headed back home via Highway 50.
Not a great end to the ride but otherwise it was a good day out on the bike with about 720km clocked up in preparation for the Grand Challenge.
More pics: http://picasaweb.google.com/andrew.l.thomson/130908AWeePootle#
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Awesome - two weekends in a row I get
I got on the SV at Porangahau Beach and road it back up Route 52 to Waipuk. This is a primo ride with plenty of nice corners to throw a sportsbike at.
Getting on the SV, I noticed that the ride position is pretty similar to that of the VTR - the bars may be a little bit lower and also feel a little wider. Seat comfort was a much of a muchness and weather protection was also similar - the standard screen of the SV was pretty good compared to the Givi one on the VTR.
Riding off and naturally you know it is V-twin - the same lumpy sort of power delivery although the motor seems to smooth out a bit more than the VTR once there's some revs on. The fuel injection is very smooth and helps the quick response from engine even if in a high gear with not many revs on - to me this felt better than the VTR. Once steaming along the bike feels very relaxed just like the VTR and it is easy to speed - the standard pipes are a bit louder than the VTR's but definitely not noisy. As we were not riding hard and didn't try any top gear roll-on comparisons or anything it's hard to say which bike had more go (although the SV should win here), let's just say that the two twins offer similar performance and it's the kind that puts a big smile on the dial!
It took me quite a while to get used to the steering damper - especially in slower corners. I haven't ridden a bike with one for a long time and you forget that you need to put in a bit more effort to get the bike through the corners. I also felt (again because I'm not used to a damper) that it damped out some of the "feel" from the front wheel. It was good however, in the bumpier corners where the VTR would have been a bit twitchier, the SV held it's line a bit better. Dad had been playing with his suspension settings (softening them up) and it was in these bumpier corners where the bike felt a little soft in the rear. The brakes were fine although I never had to use them hard.
Looks: well, the SV has a more modern look to it and is nice in black but they're pretty similar in that they both have minimal fairing's so that the motor can go on show. The SV is perhaps the more aggressive looking and that probably fits as it is the "sportier" package of the two. Twins are fun!
As the old man's new bike is an SV I had to take the Honda so that it could be a day out for the "twins". I left Palmy knowing that I was leaving earlier than Dad so I decided to take in some back roads rather than sticking to the boring old main road. First up was the Saddle and it is in good nick at the moment so it was a lot of fun heading up the hill until I got up into the mist. Luckily the mist wasn't that thick and I didn't have to ride by braille to get up to the lookout at the windmills. Quite neat seeing the windmills "stir" the fog.
From here it was more back roads into Danniverke and then another turn off at Matamau took me out through Ormondville to Takapau and finally to Waipuk where the old man had just arrived when I got there. A quick top up with gas and coffee and we headed off on Route 52 to Porangahau - a great piece of road.
At Porangahau we swapped bikes and pottered out to the beach before turning around and retracing our tracks to Waipuk - but this time trying out different steeds. Back in Waipuk we had some lunch and then headed South again. Dad turned off to Onga so he could enjoy Highway 50 back to Napier while I pottered across the plains.
After a quick stop in Woodville I took the Balance turn-off and headed home via the Pahiatua track. Nice little Sunday ride - and I've now clocked up over 1,200km on the VTR.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Okay, so I got to go from my VTR to Murray's GSX-R and back again in one little ride, so what's the difference? What do I think? Well it was a pretty quiet little potter on the GSX-R but it was definitely nice to ride her again.
Firstly the riding position: they are both quite similar in that they have that sport's bike crouch but the on the GSX-R this is more pronounced and your feet are much higher and the bars are a bit lower. To me this makes the VTR just that little more comfortable and the better bike for longer distance rides - not something that either of them are really designed for.
What about the donks? Well, obviously this is where the differ the most. The VTR with it's 110hp V-twin and the GSX-R with it's larger 4 cylinder breathing with the aid of Yoshimura jets & headers and bellowing out of one of Brendon's Pro-muff mufflers - you've gotta be looking at somewhere around 140hp I guess. The GSX-R also makes do with one gear less than the VTR and is designed to be revved a bit more than the twin.
Surprisingly though the GSX-R motor is very well mannered - she didn't feel like she was going to bite even with a few revs on the dial but definitely sounded the part - gotta love that sound especially on more aggressive down changes. Cruising along at about the speed limit the bike also feels like it's going faster than at the same speed on the VTR. I put this down to the more buzzy motor (more explosions happening than on the VTR) and perhaps the difference in rider protection offered by the windshield. Not a bad thing - helps stop the speeding when it's perhaps not the place for it...
Cruising along the GSX-R feels every bit of the extra 30-40kg it has over the VTR but this is not a bad thing. I'm now pretty used to riding heavy beasts and they tend to feel a lot more planted on the road. This extra weight and what is probably better suspension than the VTR would probably make the GSX-R better behaved in bumpy corners and also perhaps a bit safer in the wet. Overall it felt great motoring down the road and was a lot of fun to ride.
Looks? Well, judge for yourself but personally I like the look of both of them but think that the GSX-R is showing it's age very gracefully and is still a great looking bike. I'd also have to say it's a better looking bike than the newer GSX-R1000's and Murray has truly kept this one in as new condition.
So would I have one? Well, if I was a zillionaire with a big shed (or sheds) it'd be great to own a truly classic superbike but I'm not and can only just justify the two I've got now. So if I could have had the VTR or the GSX-R for the same money? A tricky question but I think I would still have taken the VTR. Already having a four in the shed it is really nice to have something else which is totally different and that v-twin just puts a big smile on your dial!
The weather has finally taken a turn for the better and both days of this weekend have been rain free! I didn't get out on the bike yesterday but today had the chance to head over to Wanganui to participate in a Charity Ride (raising funds for child cancer) organised by the local Triumph owner's group.
We had a quick drink in town before heading to the Caltex service station where the ride was leaving from. There were already a heap of bikes there and upon registering I was about the 95th rider to register. In the end I would say that well over 100 bikes attended - the nice day must have helped!
Leaving Wanganui we made our way back towards Palmy on the main road before turning off into the Turakina Valley. There's some great roads out the back here (although watch for the one's that turn into gravel) and we even took a couple that I had not ridden before. Eventually we popped out onto the main road just south of Ohingaiti where the ride ended for lunch and prize giving.
Pemberton before heading home via Kimbolton etc. The road through here was pretty good considering the foul weather we've been having but there were still plenty of places to watch for gravel - not to mention two slips across the roads.
The ride back from Pemberton to Kimbolton was truly awesome with me tagging in behind Brian for a while before eventually passing him just before Kimbolton. At Kimbolton we stopped briefly to wait for some cyclists to go past and from here on I was lucky enough to bring the GSX-R home.
Fantastic to have the good weather back - looking forward to some great spring riding!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Check out this link: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=303243. An awesome write-up from an Aussie touring the back roads of the South Island. Gets ya all very keen!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I ended up fitting some +50% bulbs which as the name suggests are supposed to give about 50% more light for the same wattage. They were really easy to fit compared to the mission it's been on some of my other bikes and I was keen to try to get some pictures of any difference in light output.
This proved pretty hard - not sure if it's the camera adjusting for the bright light or what but the picture of the lights on low beam seemed to come out best showing what looks like a brighter light. In reality you can definitely see the difference (actually tested this with one of each bulb type in) and the light is very white. Now all I have to do is play with the heights a little and I should be set for about ten hours of darkness...