Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Warming up

On Saturday I got a phone call with orders that I was riding on Sunday.  Colin had a hankering for a trip up the Turakina Valley and had already told Carl he was coming - he obviously needed some assistance so he didn't get into any trouble...

So, come Sunday morning, I opened all the vents on my gear and saddled up to go over and meet the guys in Bulls.  Naturally I was super organised, I had all of my gear and got away in plenty of time to meet them but left my camelbak on the couch...I remembered somewhere around Sanson...

On the way across I was in a line of traffic and spotted a low, racy looking thing ahead.  Knowing that there was car racing on at Manfield I nipped past some cars to check out the flash wheels.  And that folks, is how I dusted a McLaren...

In Bulls, I fuelled up and watched plenty of other bikes go past while I waited for the guys to arrive and get their juice.  It was already warming up.

Colin led us out of Bulls and onto the first sealed bit of Turakina Road and seemed pretty keen to get to the first gravel section.  Perhaps he just wanted to be in front and avoid the dust...

The trip up the valley was its normal spectacular self but yes, the dust was a problem and we did spread out quite a bit.  Being summer the road was pretty hard and the gravel fairly "marbly" under our tyres.  A lot of the corners were pretty corrugated too - the Tenere was not enjoying the corrugations with the traction control constantly kicking in and affecting drive.  It actually becomes a vicious circle with the power being cut, then coming on strong, only to cut again straight away - quite annoying and it definitely slows things down.  After our first stop I knocked it back to the 2nd setting and it was a lot smoother.

A fair way into it there was another larger group of Adv bikers coming the other way so there was a bit of waving as we avoided each other and ate more dust.  If it was anyone reading this, then checkout the video - you're famous...


Not far North of Rangiwaea School (see map) I had to pull over as the vibration had loosened off my GPS mount and it was flapping around hitting the gauges.  I decided that I didn't want either screen smashed...

One last gravel thrash caught me up to the guys at Tangiwai and we pottered into Waiouru for an early lunch.



After lunch Carl had to leave us - who has business meetings on a Sunday - but Colin and I forced ourselves to go in search of more fun.

After another tarmac squirt up the Napier-Taihape Road we turned off to take to the gravel through to Pukeokau and Taoroa Junction.  Once again Colin disappeared in a cloud of dust while I followed along behind hoping for rain...

More marbly gravel and corrugations had me having to stop yet again to sort out the GPS (I see thread-locker in the very near future) and let a bit of Colin's dust settle for me.  I also got the chance to start the cameras again and the batteries managed another 20mins or so before giving up.


I caught up to Colin at Pukeokau and after a wee chat led him the rest of the way through and back out onto SH1.

In Hunterville we stopped for fuel and I removed a (living) bug of some sort from my jacket before Colin informed me that we were not done for the day and led us back through to Turakina Valley again!

At one of the intersections on Turakina Valley Road we had another chat and I mentioned a little back road I knew that would get us back into Marton.  Taurimu Road was in much nicer nick than I remembered and once out of the bush there were some great views out across the Rangitikei.  As I was in front I made an executive decision to make a photo stop.  I was even quick enough to catch a picture of Colin in full flight.






About two corners later we said a final goodbye to the gravel and pottered on into Marton before heading for SH1.  Along the way a nice policeman showed off his Christmas tree but soon realised that he was looking at two well behaved, law abiding motorbicyclists and shut them down again.

Back out on SH1, we joined the Sunday arvo madness before pulling in at Sanson for a quick coffee.  Colin the exited stage right while I trundled back into Palmy in search of another cold drink...

Friday, February 08, 2019

Blog Comments V2

All righty then, I seem to have worked out my problem and can now comment from my new laptop...

It appears to be a Chrome extension called Ghostery (an ad blocker) and I think that an update (or perhaps fresh install in this case).  Selecting "Trust Site" or disabling the "Enhanced Anti-tracking" seems to do the trick.  Uninstalling also works...


Fresh ergs

So at just under 54,000km (that's 83,000km sooner than on the Connie), I've been forced to invest in a new battery for the Tenere.  I blame the previous owner...

For a few weeks starting the bike has been a little more feeble than normal (the bike has always sounded like it was slow cranking - two big slugs to spin I 'spose) and on one after work start it sounded particularly sluggish and the voltmeter wasn't reading as high as normal.  Luckily it hung in there long enough for last weekend's ride but when I went to start it on Monday it was another story...

Oh well, better now than half way into the TT...

Original
I did a quick check of the Tenere forum and discovered that once again, a battery with higher cranking amps was recommended and would also make for better starting.  Exploring a few NZ sites gave me a rough idea of how much the new battery was going to cost me and once I picked myself up off the floor I ordered one.

You'd think it out to be painted gold...
I got it home tonight and then tore into it. A pretty easy job, although I was a little annoyed at having to unbolt the RHS crash bar to get the battery in and out.  only slowed me up a bit.


But would it work...


Phew, the terminals are around the right way then...

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Blog Comments

Hi all

Yet again I seem to be having issues with Google/Blogger and blog comments.  I've yet to check on my other computer but on my new laptop I cannot comment on any blogs - including my own!

So, I'm not ignoring you - just smashing my head against a brick wall!

Now for some detail:

I'm permanently logged into my Google account and Gmail, Google Drive, Photos and Blogger (when blogging) all work sweet as - it's just when on a blog and trying to comment!



If there's a genius out there with the solution then I'd love to here it.  If it works I'll even be able to reply to your comment!

Here's my post in the Blogger help forum: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/blogger/INwaecCzAbU

Look forward to those comments...

Monday, February 04, 2019

Hot on the Ridge

I didn't get a ride in on Saturday, so yesterday was the day and the Tenere was the bike.  Leaving home I had great plans of a decent pootle to try out the new rubber (particularly the E-07+ rear) but in the end I didn't go as far as planned - but, that's getting ahead of myself.

I ended up leaving home fairly late in the morning (probably around 11:30) so one of the first things I did was stop in at the shop at Ashhurst to pick up some lunch - you must never miss the opportunity for lunch!  I stashed some sammies in my tankbag and inhaled a pie while chatting to C109 rider on his way to the Burt Munro Challenge - he was looking for Woodville...

With things hotting up I quickly got underway again and made my way out of Ashhurst and onto Valley Road before hitting the first gravel road - Zig Zag Road.  I can't blame the tyres, (I'll blame my headache instead) but I didn't really have my gravel mojo on.  It seemed to take me quite a while to get my eye in and I took things pretty easy, often being lazy and just using 3rd gear in place of several others...

Further on up the road (actually on Finnis and Ridge Roads) it was interesting to see some new scenery - there has been a lot of logging going on and the missing trees made for quite the different view.  You might be able to see the forestry work in the video.  BTW: the video looks a bit weird - I think Youtube didn't like it...


Anyway, I dunno if it was my headache or the temperature, but when I hit the turn-off to Te Awa Road I decided to take it.  This shortened up my ride plans quite a lot but it also got me down by the river where I stopped to have my horrible, stale sandwich...At least the water in my camelbak was still pretty cool.




At Kiwitea I went straight ahead so I could at least get another few minutes of gravel in before heading home.  I also chucked both cameras into photo mode for a change...



The fun starts here...




Cheltenham



Approaching the turn-off to Colyton a big, low, dark coloured beast pulled out in front of me and then proceeded to hold me up...




After one little blurp he chickened out by turning off (well, that's my story) and I carried on towards home.

With not far to go I noticed a bike behind me and it sure sounded nice as it went past when I turned onto Gillespie's Line.  Gotta love a decent sounding V-twin!


With the bike saying 29 degrees (it lies by a few degrees), it was nice to get home and lose my gear after a disappointingly short ride - never mind, Wednesday is a public holiday...

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Blog Challenge

Fellow blogger Sonja has issued a challenge to post 10 photos taken in 2018 on specific topics.  Geoff has already answered the challenge so now it's my turn...

1. In the city.
Ok, so I hate cities.  Yes, I'm forced to live in one, but I prefer to avoid all the business as much as possible.  But, Whanganui is a city right?  So here's some city bikes (they're only 150's after all) tooling around in the city...

Cemetery Circuit Boxing Day races

2. In the countryside. 
This is more like it!  And the Molesworth (NZ's biggest station) definitely counts as the countryside. 



3. By the water. 
Making my way down to Christchurch for the TT.



4. Something red
A bit of struggle but I believe that behind that red door is a red vehicle...
Rangiwahia

5. People. 
How about a bunch of Adv bike riding loonies off to visit some tunnels?

New Plymouth ride kick-off

6. Animals. 
Now what to put here?

Honey and her little cousin Sam

7. Plants. 
Trees are plants...



8. Something unusual.
An idiot riding 1,000miles in 24 hours on an R1?

Chris

9. Something funny. 
This awesome picture of Ross?



10. Best photo of the year.
Wow, this is a hard one.  And I reckon I may have got a few nice one's on the TT.  But I do like this one, just on sunset above Dunedin.



Edit.  A few more have taken up the challenge:

Steve
Dave
Richard

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Tar surfing

Last weekend Colin and I had a little TT planning session and he mentioned that we had better go riding this weekend.  So, on Friday night he contacted me and said that he and his mate Carl were coming up for a scoot.

The eagles beemwaas landed at around 9 and after a bit of messing around in town we headed off to hit the track.  

From Pahiatua we crossed over onto Pahiatua-Pongaroa Road for the run through to Pongaroa.  The roadworks and little bit of metal I slid on a month ago were still there but I can't remember the hawk from last time - it was a real close one and he made me duck.  Very close to having to fight him off and pluck feathers/talons etc out of my jacket...

BMW's ruining an otherwise perfect shot...

They're at it again
From Pongaroa we slithered our way on slippery tar and unmarked new seal out to the Weber turn-off and hung a right for Wimbledon.  The road out was its normal roller coaster of humps, bumps and broken up surface.  I think it's getting worse every time I ride it and it can keep you on your toes - especially when heading into a shady spot where you can't see what's coming up...

Riding north from Wimbledon to Porangahau it was more of the same although the road does improve the further North you get.  In Porangahau we stopped for lunch because fish and chips...

After lunch Colin was keen to ride Middle Road again so I led us out to Blackhead Road to start the ride up to Waipuk and Waipawa.  You might be able to notice in the video that Blackhead Road has the odd bump too, but it's got nothing on the Weber-Wimbledon section of 52.


In Waipawa we turned off to ride through to Patangata and onto Middle Road.  Middle Road is a cracker - it was a good thing Colin was with me to make sure I didn't get too excited...


Rather than ride into Havelock North we crossed SH2 and made our way onto SH50 to start the trip home.  The video below has my favourite part but with the temperature at around 28 degrees the roads were melting and the tar very unpredictable.  It's a little hard to see in the video but on the top (normally beautiful) corners the entire surface was slippery looking and you could definitely smell the tar.  It tends to slow you down a bit...


Hitting Tiko my fuel light decided to come on so my fuel calculator started working overtime.  I'm pretty sure I would have made Dannevirke (just not by the route we eventually took) but decided to play it safe and duck into Onga Onga.  The others thought it wasn't a bad move as the shop had cold drinks too.

I had another devious plan in mind to avoid the main road but unfortunately for Carl, he had to do a disappearing act as he had something on - pretty sure he would have been late...

That left Colin and I to take a slightly different route back to SH2 before quickly abandoning it for more back roads through to Takapau and Ormonville.  We had another quick stop in Dannevirke before turning off at Oringi to take the "short-cut" to Pahiatua.  Another quick squirt in blustery conditions over the track had us back over the ranges and into calmer weather in Palmy.

A nice little 475km jaunt to hopefully get my butt into shape for a little ride happening soon...

Saturday, January 19, 2019

That little stone...

The blighter in question
You may remember the little trouble maker above from my Four Points excursion.  It successfully stopped the LHS radiator fan and then because some idiot didn't remove the stone, killed said fan.  Arrrgggggh!

Anyway, I've dragged the chain a bit sorting the issue out but finally I tracked a second-hand one down in Oz - new ones appear to be made of gold or something...

it's like a little metal flower...
Oh, and maybe the writing on it on the other side means it's good for another 40hp?


Anyway, once here, I was pretty keen to get it on the bike.  So today I tore all the plastic off the LHS of the bike and went at it.


As you can see, everything is super easy to get at with plenty of room for XXXL hands...


Anyway, I got the old one out and (with difficulty) and then started the installation of the brand new second hand one.  In the picture above you can see one bolt on the left of the fan bracket.  Well, there also happens to be one on the right (and another easy to get one on the bottom) as well.  Try imagining me getting my fat hands in that gap to start a little bolt...

What's wrong with this picture?
As you can see, somehow the plastic on the RHS of the bike has come off as well...

Crap everywhere!
To get the little bolt in, I had to unbolt the radiator so I could make enough room for fingers and tools.  While I was there I also removed the original horn which has just been catching bugs since the Stebel was installed a hundred years ago...

Doing this made the job only just possible and gave me a fair bit more practice in pulling things apart.  I think that everything is now mostly where it should be...

Before installing the last piece of fairing I thought that it was probably a good idea to see if everything worked...


Yeah, the original one was noisy too - the RHS one is actually quieter for some reason.

Anyway, pretty pleased to have that sorted as it's pretty hot here at the mo and I'd hate to cook my baby.  Moral of the story: if you ever blow a fan on your radiator fans, check the fan before replacing the fuse and starting the bike!

Having got her warmed up I finished up my maintenance tasks by giving her some fresh oil front and rear.  I reckon she still sounds sweet as a nut with 154,000km on the clock now eh?


I might keep her...