Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Shake down

After all the fettling (and spending) it was time to give the WR a run and checkout the new gearing and tyres.  A message from Oldbeer on Adventure Rider inviting me to coffee on Sunday seemed like a good omen, so Sunday was the day.

I met up with Oldbeer in town, skipped the coffee but did have a bit of yarn about bikes, routes etc - as you do.  I also forgot to take a piccy of his Vee...

Oldbeer was keen to do the scenic route around Pohangina and Rangiwahia to Mangaweka so I decided to show him the way out there before leaving him to take the sealed route while I hit the gravel.  First up was Finnis Road.

As you can see, things seemed to be working fairly well even if there was a bit of skittering around on the corrugations screaming up the hill.

From the top of the hill I simply followed the Ridge all the way through to Apiti.

I played around with the Garmin camera a little too, having set it up so that I can use the powered mount on the WR.  I won't be worried about batteries on the Dusty - just SD cards...

Rather than stopping in Apiti, I carried on onto Makoura Road and even went a little (100m) off road to check out the creek at the bottom of the hill - shoulda taken some pictures at the creek but left the camera back at the bike...

Water, dead ahead...
The next section of Makoura Road is delicious gravel all the way to Pohangina Valley East Road but I needed more gravel than that so turned right onto Pohangina Road with plans to ride as much gravel as possible.

There was even a brand new bridge to try out.

At the turn-off for Totara Reserve I didn't and stuck to the gravel of Pohangina Road.  This bit is always fast and the Tenere really snots it through there.  I decided to see how Mighty Mouse would fare and flipped on the video.  Trouble was, I somehow had changed the video mode to some type of time lapse mode.  I could have uploaded all 8 seconds (damn that WR can fly) of it but decided to slow it down just a little...

Kinda gives the same effect as when I painfully stitch all those thousands of photos together from big rides - it's just a lot easier...

Arriving in Pohangina for the second time that day I decided that needed to carry on eating as much gravel as possible so I repeated the "Hill Climb" again and then did Zig Zag Road, Midland Road and Spur Road before returning to Ashhurst for a quick bite and then home.

A nice little 170km pootle ahead of the big event...
Tyres 👍
Gearing 👍
Brakes 👍
Clutch 👍
Camera 👍 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Mouse Maintenance

With the Dusty Butt not very far away at all, the WR has been getting a fair bit of care and attention - first all those farkles and now some actual maintenance!

One of the things it need was a warrant of fitness, and unfortunately the knobblies the bike had been rocking weren't exactly legal and the front tyre was basically evil on the road or hard gravel.  So I needed to do something about that...

Motoz Tractionator Desert H/T
After perusing various forums and obtaining quotes I decided to opt for the Motoz rubber over Dunlops.  They look nice and aggressive eh?

So off came the the old knobblies and the wrestle with the new tyres began.  But this time I had a few new tools to try out.

Valve puller
One thing that I'd hated when fitting the knobblies, was trying to push the tube's valve through the hole in the rim.  The front was hard because the rim is so narrow (can't get my big mitts in there) and the rear is tricky due to how damn strong the tyres are.  This cheap little valve puller worked a treat.

Next up was getting the tyres on.  Generally you need at least one extra hand than what people generally get supplied with but someone has thought about this too.  Enter the bead buddy.

This shiny (WR blue) little piece of aluminium does a great job of holding the tyre on the bead while you attack the bead elsewhere with ya levers and just the two arms you were born with.  I've seen reviews on Youtube where they reckon that sometimes you need two of these to make things easy but I had no problem with just one - once again, it worked as advertised.

And then, a little while later we had this:

Next up I changed the front pads and even ended up bleeding the front brake after a little whoopsie.  Unfortunately I seem to have lost some photos of this so you don't get to see my $13 brake bleeder in action.  At least I've got brakes now.

Next up was chain and sprockets.  The front sprocket was a little worn and the chain starting to look like it'd done some work so everything had to be changed.  I also took the opportunity to gear the bike down just a little bit to make it slightly easier in the very slow stuff.  Riding the bike now it's quite nice, pulling away very nicely and yet still being able to hit 1**kph.

We had intended to change the clutch plates out but seem to be having difficulties getting the correct plates.  I still haven't gotten to the bottom of this yet but we have had the current ones out and they're actually looking ok so will do the trip and a lot more work yet.

Here's a few pics of us fluffing around with the clutch.

And the last job yesterday was to drop the oil out and change the filter (no pics) after taking the bike for a little 176km jaunt to test everything else out.

176km taken out of the top of the tank
And now there's just one thing to do - get down to Farlie and let the ride begin!

Monday, January 13, 2020

Just another KTM rider?

On Friday night Colin rang to tell me that he had a visitor.  And he wasn't just some mate or random off the street but a bloke from Austria spending 7 weeks touring NZ on a hired KTM.  The KTM was supplied by some geezer who apparently can pedal pretty handily...

Yeah, that brake lever is a little bent now...
We hatched a bit of plan on Friday night and I met up with Colin and Roland in Sanson for a trip up Turakina Valley Road.

We set a pretty good pace on the first sealed section of Turakina Valley Road, avoiding quite a lot of wind downed branches and the odd bit of loose metal before running into Nev and his mate just before the first bit of gravel.

After saying gidday, we tore into it.  Well, talk about dust Trev!  The road was very hard and dry with plenty of marbly gravel to slither around on.  My worn out rear wasn't liking it too much, especially in some of the nastily corrugated corners.  I stopped to turn-off the TC and this helped a little but it was still pretty "interesting" in places.

Not a lot of water at the mo
Good advice...
I was playing TEC with Colin leading the way and the dust kept us separated quite a bit but I eventually caught Roland when we came across a farmer moving a mob of sheep.  We had warned him about stock on the road (particularly dopey sheep) and he was taking it cautiously.  I slipped past him and showed him how to push through the mod - they were going the same direction so we would have been behind them all day if we didn't do this.

Eventually we got to that nice corner where you can get a decent shot of Ruapehu and stopped to show it off to Roland.

Photos taken we retraced our steps a little to take Owhakura Road to start to make our way down Fields Track.

We had a little excitement in there for a while (more marbles) but the ride down on the windy seal to Kakatahi was fun.  At the turn-off to Whangaehu Vally Road we stopped again to show Roland the weird hole in the rock.

The ride down the valley was similar to Turakina Valley Road and there is more seal but it is a really nice, picturesque little valley with plenty to see.

We returned back to Sanson via Fordell for a cold drink before I went my way and the other two another way.  A pretty decent ride (although pretty warm and I definitely could have done without the dust!) and I hope Roland enjoyed it.  He is now in the South Island picking up some of the magnificent Adv rides down there before returning to do more of the North Island.  I'm pretty sure he'll enjoy himself...