Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Monday, September 02, 2019

Checking things out...

Last week I finally got the fork seals done on the Tenere and on Thursday someone suggested that they'd need to be tested properly...

Look Ma, no leaks...
Sunday was the first day of spring and that just happened to the day we picked.  It was nice to see that the weather gods played along with the calendar too...

I met up with Colin and his mate Brett in Sanson again and we had a coffee while we waited to see if any exotic wildlife would turn up.  Well, we were disappointed on the wildlife score so decided that we'd better go for a ride instead.

It seemed to have been ages (I think about 2 weeks for Colin) since we'd been up the Whangaehu Valley after sampling a little of the sealed section of Turakina Valley, we turned off up Mangamahu Road.  Shame about the weather.






As you can tell, I had the camera running but with it only taking a photo every 10 seconds it unfortunately missed a really spectacular sight.  Rounding a corner, I disturbed what must have been around a dozen peacocks which immediately took to the air to avoid the big blue Yammie bearing down on them.  They sure look pretty with all the colours and actually get off the ground and out of the way pretty easily.  Ok, so not an elephant, but still pretty cool.  I won't bother to mention all the sheep and goats out on the road....

Riding along, I was thinking that the Tenere was handling pretty damn nice now that it had some oil in the left leg and when we hit the first bit of gravel I found that it handled that fairly nicely too.  Colin mentioned something about us not slowing up much when we hit the gravel.



Brett on his shiny GS





The road was still in pretty fast condition fanging pootling up over Burma Hill, with just a small section of rougher stuff and a tiny muddy section in it's normal spot.


Busting out onto the seal of Fields Track we dodged more woolly mums and their lambs before turning off onto Owhakura Road for a mint gravel hill climb which dropped us down onto Turakina Valley Road again.

The ride out of Turakina Valley Road to Tangiwai was nothing short of a blast.  Smooth, hard gravel meant nice average speeds and some fun rear wheel steering out of corners.  Oh, and the mountain looked pretty good too.  Dammit, I need to go back there already...


Settling down a bit, we pottered into Waiouru for lunch and some fuel.  Yes, the day was starting to look halfway decent too.



After lunch it was time to introduce Brett to another of our favourite gravel loops.  This meant a wee jaunt over part of the Napier-Taihape Road.






A hook to the right and we were back into the gravel again.






Yes, the gravel was still pretty good going and still having to try really hard (and failing) to come up with any complaints about the weather.

Good dog






Further on up on Pukeokahu Road, the narrower road slowed us up a little bit but still no complaints from this guy.







Taoroa Junction was the end of the gravel for a while as we made our way back onto SH1 to start heading home.  Just North of Ohingaiti, SH1 was starting to suck and there were monkeys out on the road doing stupid stuff so I decided to throw in another diversion for the lads.

Otara Road got us to Mangamako Road but instead of turning left to take the seal to Pemberton, we went right 'cos I knew there be gravel thattaway...

The gravel was a bit deeper through here and it came as a bit of a shock to the system after the magic stuff we'd been on earlier.


I did get to go after a few rabbits though - there were a heap of them having some sort of gathering within the space of about 10m.


Eventually the gravel petering out, dumping us onto Vinegar Hill - oh damn!  One last little bit of excitement ended with a quick stop to say seeya to the guys before I made my way to the olds for a Father's Day catch-up.



A very satisfactory first day of spring!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Well I'll be bashed!

Some time ago (around 85 days actually) and after scouring the internet for options, I pulled the trigger on a bash pad/skid plate for Mighty Mouse.  The standard setup being fairly flimsy had me a little worried about bouncing off stuff like rocks and logs.



Anyway, the new one was coming from Turkey of all places and it definitely had found its way onto a slow boat.  So much so, that I'd chased it up multiple times with the seller being very good at replying to emails and eventually even refunding me.  And then I came home one night last week to a courier's delivery card.  At first I couldn't even think what the item might be - I couldn't remember ordering anything lately...

After a bit of head scratching I finally clicked and thought - could it be?  Well, after picking up the package it was reasonably obvious...


Anyway, time to get it on.  I thought it would be easy...

The little alloy plate was held on by four small allen head bolts which the previous owner had been thoughtful enough to round out (just like the ones on the oil filter cover).  Lovely...

With the aid of a hammer (taping gently on the allen key), I got the two bottom bolts out but the two tops ones didn't want to budge.  So I got serious...

The good thing about a little dirt bike is that there's not a lot of precious plastic fairing parts and other spag to get in the way of some more serious activity.  Yes, I'm talking power tools...

My little disc grinder quickly zipped off the bolt heads and I was able to unscrew the remainder of the bolts with some vice grips - phew!  The little plastic protectors unbolted no problems.

One of these things looks a lot tougher than the others...
As you can see from the pics, the bash pad came with some nice rubber strips which go between the plate and the frame.  I've read how some WR owners complain of noise from their bash pads so perhaps this is the idea of the rubber strips.  Anyway, on they went.


Then it was just a matter of bolting the plate on.  One thing missing from the kit was a couple of washers, the bolt holes on the front of the plate are easily big enough for the bolt heads to pull through.  I scrounged up a few from the shed (although will hopefully find some better ones at some stage) and also used a little thread locker on the bolts and that was it, job done!




Now she's ready to bounce off all sorts of stuff, unfortunately on a quick trip around the block, I couldn't find anything to test it on...

Sunday, July 28, 2019

FRDC MC actually riding...

A little ago I put out a note at work to see if I could drum up some interest from the bike riders at work at getting together for the odd pootle.  I managed to be successful in my drumming and we got pretty good at having coffees and talking about bikes but it took us a wee while to get organised for a ride.

Well, today we fixed that.



A decent bunch of us on a variety of two wheeled machines met up at work to go do coffee...

The route I'd planned was a pretty short little ride across to Feilding via some local back roads.  It was only around 100km but then that is around 4 times the distance if you take the main road...

We set off not long after 9:30 under a really nice sunny (can we call it spring day?) skies and made our way across to Ashhurst.





Then it was out to Valley Road, dodging cyclists who were all over the road, for the run through to Colyton.  I got a little bit excited climbing up the hill and even though there was the odd slippery and slimy bit managed to have a bit of fun with Steve tucked in behind on his nice CBR.





I think Brent may have enjoyed that bit as well...


From there we made our way out to Cheltenham only to miss my intended turn-off to Makino Road.  Nevermind, it gave us a chance to stop for another photo before finding another road to get us back on track to Stanway.



More back roads had us avoiding Halcombe and finally dropping down into Feilding to go in search of caffeine.  A nice little outing for our first ride as a group.  There is even video...



We may need to do this again...