Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Yella farkles

So as Geoff predicted, with a new bike there are always farkles and so it has begun...

But, I'm fairly certain that things shouldn't get too out of hand.  The RMX needs to stay light and at this stage there are no plans for full luggage, extra lights or even heated grips...

The first farkle that I had to have was simple:


Naturally I bought these as they were a nice shiny yellow colour...

Yeah, right.  It was easier than that - not having them on a bike that just might "fall over" at some stage is silly.  Add to that the protection you get from things like tree branches and gorse bushes then they are worth getting for sure.

As I've been pretty close to death with some sort of man flu plague lately, it took me a little longer to get these sorted.  In fact it took me two goes at it.  It was far easier after watching a Youtube video that showed me I needed to trim a bit off the the throttle tube to fit them...






And they're yella!

Next up, was not really a farkle but a necessity.  The bike came with some great riding gear but it also came with a stuffed battery.  Yeah, she fires up ok on the kick-starter but if I wanted to do that I might have got an RMZ instead.  I'm old and unfit with short legs (multi-handicap, must get a sticker) and don't want to be stuck in some mongrel place and needing to use my boot - a button wins every time...

Colin had just replaced his WR's battery and had stumbled across some lithium-iron jobbies on Trademe.  These seem to get mixed reviews but having not tried one and enticed by the light weight I decided to give one a go.  Check out the size difference - and it's at least half the weight!



Due to the size difference, they supply some sticky backed rubber so that the battery will fit nicely in the bikes battery box/compartment.  Here's what I initially did to make it fit.



In the end it was sitting slightly too high so I took off one layer off the bottom, add a little more on one side and slip just a small piece under the rubber retaining strap to make it nice and snug under the seat.

But would it work?  Remember how I was dying of the plague?  Well, unfortunately there was quite some in-depth investigation before we remembered that some Suzuki's need their clutches pulled in when hitting the starter - go easy on an ill person...

Anyway, the main thing is that she is ready to rock and there just happens to be a trail ride on Sunday.  I really need to kick this bug!

Monday, July 13, 2020

Yella Terra

Oops, I did it again...

Yep, spent too much time on Trademe and ended up buying something that is just a little bit scary....



After a couple of trail rides on the WR, I decided that it wasn't the best tool for the job.  The WR is fantastic as my lightweight Adv bike but at 135kg standard and with the addition of a larger tank, luggage racks and a decent skidplate it's probably nearer to 150kg and that is a lot of weight when you're in some truly gnarly stuff.  More power and torque would be nice too...

Enter the RMX.  Apparently it's 123.5kg ready to rock and with 50 odd hp, not short of ponies then...

On Saturday, Dad and I got in the ute and headed North to Cambridge to pick it up.  It was mostly a pretty nice day with some superb views of the mountains.  Dad drove the camera (sometimes this required a lowered window) while I kept the ute out of the ditches.

Just a little ice on the windscreen...





At the seller's place we met the security who's modus operandi was to distract trespassers by insisting that they pat her.


I was then introduced to the Yella Terra and even had a little pootle up the driveway.  And yes, it was just a pootle as I didn't want to dig up the grass/driveway (or fall off and injure myself straight away).  What it did confirm was that the bike has instant ergs, plenty of torque and makes a wee bit of noise...

Excitement over, the bike was loaded for the trip back and we vamoosed.  The views were at least as good when we hit the desert road so we had to stop for some more photos.





And eventually after a nearly 800km day, we were back home to introduce the new bike to the rest of the stable.



On Sunday morning I fired it up prior to completing my first oil and filter change.  The battery is currently dead (knew this before buying the bike) so I had to remember how to start it the old fashioned way.  And no, I didn't actually get it first kick.



Yes, you barely touch the throttle and the donk spins up fast...

And now for the usual farkling before the first trail ride.
  • New battery
  • Bark busters
Luckily the bike came with some really good protective gear (and I have some MX stuff) but I'm also going to get some armour, possibly boots (a pair came with the bike but they are slightly too big) and maybe some googles...

Can't wait for the first proper outing but am pretty sure that there will be a slow old guy there taking things easy...Am I crazy or what?

Monday, July 06, 2020

2020 Snow ride

I'd been waiting for this one all winter - a good snow dump to go and explore on Mighty Mouse.  My first two snow rides on the V-Strom and then the Tenere were fun but I had to end the Tenere ride earlier than planned due to a bit much snow and ice and not wanting to drop the Tenere while out on my lonesome.  With the WR that sort of shenanigans are no problem!

Finally, on Wednesday night last week, the Central North Island got hammered by a cold blast and both the Desert Road and the Napier-Taihape Road were closed.  It's the Napier-Taihape that is the draw-card.  Glen even posted up some enticing pictures from Mangaweka/Taihape.



Now, what we should have done is taken Friday off work...

Unfortunately, I did have to work but managed to talk Colin into heading up on Saturday and he in turn talked his work-mate Andrew into joining us.  Unfortunately, Glen couldn't make it๐Ÿ˜ž

Colin and Andrew trailered up and I took the mouse up on the back of the ute to meet them in Taihape.  Unfortunately Colin's WR had a dead battery so rather than bringing up his 1090, he pinched Jenny's XT250 to give it a little exercise...

After parking up outside Glen's place we saddled up, gassed up and made tracks.

Pungatawa Road (just off Spooners Hill) took us on seal until we turned off onto Kotukuraeroa Road.  While checking out Google Maps prior to the ride, I'd spotted this road as a possible short-cut and chucked it into the GPS.  When we got there the road sign said no exit but we thought it was worth a peek anyway - occasionally you get lucky.

A nifty little bit of gravel got us to a corner by a woolshed with three possible options: left, right or back the way we came.  With gates on both the turn-offs we thought we might be out of lucky but while yakking about it, the farmer came out from his shed and let us know that yes, it was a paper road and he had no trouble with us taking it - mint!

So, through the first gate and we were into it!  First up, we had to get past a big mob of sheep before hitting gate number two where the road became a grassy track for a bit, and then mud...

I nearly fell off in the mud a few times, but it wasn't due to the mud.  I was following Colin and the little XT was getting well out of shape in the slop and he was all over the place.  Not only did Colin have to deal with this excitement but he had to put up with me laughing my head off at him.  I kicked myself that I didn't have the camera on...Colin was happy that he left the KTM at home.

After that great diversion we had a little bit of tar to take us to Taoroa Junction and our usual photo-op stop.

Yep, that's a Colin on a XT250...


No snow yet

A short race on great gravel got us through to Pukeokahu with just the odd bit of snow on the sides of the road.  Last time on the Tenere, I didn't even get this far so I was a little disappointed with the amount of snow about.  Never mind, we were having a blast anyway.

Onto Matawhero Road and the race was on again.  It's a pretty wide-open bit of track with good visibility so we were just about hitting the speed limit and sliding around just a tad in some of the deeper gravel - little bikes are an absolute ball!

After a few road name changes we finally hit a decent amount of snow on Mangaohane Road, time for some more pictures.

Someone might just have finished picking up his bike...








While we were mucking around, Andrew decided to ride up a small snow covered hill, we thought it might be worth catching on camera - just in case...









After the non-event, it was just another magic piece of gravel with added snow and ice before we finally summited at the top of the Napier-Taihape Road.  Time to break out the thermos and have some lunch.








After lunch it was time for the return trip.  It was just as good as the trip out but we were really surprised at the amount of traffic on the road.  Usually we're lucky to see more than one or two vehicles but this time around there were a number of cars coming our way, along with a petrol tanker(!) and another group of bike riders out having fun.

Just the one stop on the way back.




My favourite of the day

Back at Taorao Junction we took a different route back to Taihape.  This involved a number of little gravel roads and one navigation error.  It didn't matter, all the gravel roads were in beaut condition and we were having a blast.  It probably only took us just over an hour (including the picture stop) to do the 70 odd km back from the Naper-Taihape Road.

Still pumped from the ride, we loaded up and then started our trip back down SH1 - somehow it's not so bad in a ute with the heater on...Another stop for refreshments in Hunterville and it was time to say seeya to the other guys as they carried on South and I pootled off home to Palmy via another stop in Feilding.

What an outstanding day out on the little bikes - everyone should have a 250!

Too finish, here's some of my video.  Unfortunately I had the camera aimed a bit low (I still hate helmet cams) but you'll get the idea.