Monday, May 06, 2019

Scrubbing in

So I had this new tyre to sort out...

Speaking to Colin on Saturday he had a hankering to give his GSA some exercise and yeah, I had to try out my new hoop so we needed a plan...

"Where do ya wanna go Colin?"

"I don't care, I want to go for a ride on the GSA."

"Ok, some gravel and some corners then..."

"That will do."

Sorted then...

Actually, there was slightly (only slightly) more thought put into that and after receiving a call on Sunday morning confirming that a GSA was en route, I mounted up and pootled over to Sanson to meet the BMW rider.

It was probably somewhere near 11 (yawn) by the time we left Sanson and made our way to Fordell and then across to Mangamahu Road for the start of the trip up through Mangamahu and Kakatahi.  Along the way there were the odd damp and slippery corners to deal with and the new rubber did let me know that the road was slippery - nothing too serious but enough to dial it back a touch.

I'd added the liner to my jacket (it's supposed to be getting cooler nowadays) but plenty of corners and slower travelling meant I was getting a little warm so a stop just before the gravel was in order.  We both also took care of some other business before I flicked on both my cameras and we started flipping stones.

I was fairly conservative on the new rubber, trying to get the feel of it but the gravel was actually fairly hard packed with not a lot of metal on it.  Sometimes this is more tricky than if there is more metal down - it's a little more like riding on marbles as the stuff will move around under you whereas slightly deeper (not too deep) stuff seems to hold together better letting you hook up a bit better.  Well, that's kinda how I remember it anyway...

Up over the Burma Hill the road was very corrugated which isn't a lot of fun.  Colin and I both agree that turning off the traction control is the order of the day for this sort of stuff.  The traction control kicks in continuously and actually makes forward progress a lot more difficult and definitely not as smooth.  You get in this endless loop of wheelspin when the weight comes off tyre due to the corrugation, followed by the traction control kicking in, then it gives you traction again only to kick in again straight away.  Bikes with big torque possible are more susceptible to this too.  Turning the traction control off (unfortunately I need to be stopped to do this) at least keeps constant power on and keeps you moving, even if it allows wheelspin - the pilot needs to sort that out...

Once back on seal we clambered up out of the valley and pulled over to check out the mountain (Ruapehu).

Back on the bikes again, that mountain was still looking good:

In Ohakune we stopped for a late and leisurely lunch and I did some rough fuel calculations that convinced me that maybe I'd possibly almost make Whanganui with what was in my tank so if I didn't lose another bar on the gauge by Raetihi then we wouldn't stop for gas but carry on down the river road.  Sounds like a solid fuel plan...

So naturally, I lost that bar on my gauge about 5km down the River Road just as we were getting stuck into it.  Oh, well, some more maths was employed and I was still confident...

The road was fantastic!  Well, it usually is but, but this time around the road was also pretty clean of slips, metal and mud - this certainly encouraged us a little.  In Pipiriki we made a quick stop to turn on the cameras again and Colin settled in behind me.

Now class, time for an assignment.  On our trip we came across (and often had to avoid) a huge variety of wild and not so wild life.  I dare you to watch the two long videos and see what you can spot...

Not long before the end of the River Road my fuel warning finally came on so the rusty maths was pressed into service again.  By the time we reached Upokongaro I thought that a trip into Whanganui for juice was probably a sensible idea - I would hate for Colin to have to push me to the gas station in Turakina...

So, in Whanganui I purchased some horrendously expensive Super from the BP and the next bit is for Geoff:

  My last fill had been in Eketahuna a month ago (damn, that means nearly zilch riding) and I put in 19.58L for the 348km I'd travelled.  That rusty maths (well, actually a spreadsheet) calculates 5.69l/100km for the tank.  This is slightly less than my normal average but not bad considering the type of riding we'd been doing.  And yeah, theoretically there was another 3.5L in the tank - I would have made Turakina easily.

From Whanganui we straight lined it to Sanson where a BMW rider was forced to stop again for some reason...

And then it was time for said BMW rider to turn-off and head in a different direction to me.  I got home somewhere around 5pm after a damn good jaunt.  Might have to do it all again soon...

Right, so how'd you go on the animal census?  This is what I remember avoiding:
  • numerous cattle & sheep
  • goats
  • a pig
  • a rabbit
  • a dog
  • several peacocks
  • several pukekos (didn't increase the Tenere's pukeko tally)
  • a brazillian other birds
  • at least one Harley rider...


  1. Nice work. You did better than me on the animal avoidance, lets just say the Manawatu is now short one Magpie. He won't bw flying into any else's back wheel anytime soon. Like Colin'd GSA. How long has he had that?

    1. Not quite sure how long he's had it - he changes his bikes every other day ;) It's got over 10k on it so maybe 6 months?

  2. That mountain sure is impressive even from a distance. Nice day out mate.

    1. You betcha Steve! Nice temperature too.

  3. That's impressive range and economy, given the size of your engine and the mix of roads you travel on mate!

  4. Nice weather. And that mountain! I miss mountains!
    How was the new tyre? Plenty of guys use the GPS over here and have good things to say about it.
    You may remember I went a K60 Scout on the rear of my BMW, at which you scoffed. So far so good but just wondering if you were referring to it’s wet weather performance? That centre section looks a bit wide but also a lot like a Mitas E07 centre which I found quite handy in the wet, on sealed road. I’d like to hear your thoughts as you probably have more experience/exposure to them than I do. I was thinking I could put some cuts through the centre strip to allow the water somewhere to go if it’s a wet weather grip issue? Cheers. Dave.

    1. Hi Dave, sorry for the delay in replying.

      Probably too soon to say a lot about the Motoz. Would like to try it on a few more different road surfaces. The centre ridge may be a concern but if you look closely at the pattern ( the ridge is not too wide and the gaps in the tread (alternating each side) either side of the centre are pretty regular possibly helping that grip in deeper gravel (as long as you can sink in a bit). Best go for another ride...

      Definitely wasn't impressed with the K60 in the wet and yes, the centre ridge does affect gravel performance. The front K60 also had a tendency to wander around on tar when pushed.

      The E-07's (particularly the Dakar version) are an outstanding tyre. Even the + version which I wasn't as impressed with (longevity wise) was good. On the last day of the TT, Colin and I were riding in seriously wet conditions - loads of standing water, bucketing down. We still were not mucking around (dispatching others on road bikes with road tyres) and I had no issues with wet weather grip at all. They can also be punted pretty hard in the dry - we made some pretty good progress at times on Sunday ;) 19,000+km out of front is pretty good too ;)

    2. Thanks for the reply mate. I had a Tractionator MkI on the front when ai bought it and it was terrible on the tar. I have kept it for full off road in case I do a mostly dirt tour but I had to put something better on so went a K60 Scout. The GPS looks the goods though.

      I had the E07 on the rear previously and was pretty happy but wanted to match the set. I’ve been pretty happy with the front K60 so far. The rear is fine in the dry but am yet to do dirt and wet tar. If it is going to be sub-par I might take to it with a cutting wheel and add some sipes across the centre ridge to allow water to escape. It might not be good for the life span of the tyre but better than chucking it altogether I guess.

    3. I can smell that cutting wheel in action already ;)

      The Motoz did pretty good yesterday on a variety of gravel types. In the deep, freshly graded stuff it wasn't marvelous (but no tyre is really good at that) but was good on everything else.

      Colin liked the look of it last weekend and got some for the KTM. Unfortunately he got a different version - very chunky jobbies. So he had plenty of grip but I'm guessing he's going to est them up pretty quickly...

  5. Beautiful snow capped mountain in the back ground ... and once again a impressive ride (in my books!)

    1. Yeah, love the mountain! Nice little pootle ;)