Sunday, March 29, 2020

Captivity Day 4

Best show the cursed battery tender setup...

For the Tenere I used the "pig-tail" that came with the tender and hooked it up to the battery, you might just see it amongst the spaghetti factory...

And then I made up my own one for the Connie from bits and pieces in the shed.  I ran it up under the fairing and into the glovebox for easy access and waterproofednessness...

I stuck the little homemade tag on it so that I can tell it apart from the other plugs in there as it is not fused and hot all of the time...not sure if I like that idea 😕

Both pig-tails plug into the tender nicely so I can swap bikes easy as.  For the WR, I'll just use the crocodile clips that also came with the tender.

And here it is working (hopefully).

That little green light is telling me that the Connie does not need charging.  The Tenere is the same...

And now for the world's saddest photos...

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Captivity Day 3

Yay, it's the weekend!

Visited the bikes.  Fired up the Connie and Tenere to see how their batteries were doing - both were fine.  Plenty of fuel in both of them too...

Got the new tender hooked up to the Connie and installed the leads onto the Tenere as well, a very sad day 😭

Looking forward to the day when I can finally rack up the few hundred km needed to get the Connie past the next big milestone...

Friday, March 27, 2020

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Captivity Day 1

How's about a favourite picture?

Port Jackson - Coromandel
This one seems to scream freedom...the first big trip on the Tenere.  The 2016 Four Points Compass Rally.  What could have been a quick little 2,691km was stretched out to 4,378 when I planned it so I could stay as close to the coast as possible.  I actually missed a few opportunities to keep to the coast but it was a great ride - even if the weather turned to kak at the end.

There's probably some more like this stashed away in the archives...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Hunkering down

Well sort of...

Thanks to modern technology I'm able to do as much work as I like from home!  Gee, the interweb is a wonderful thing!

Anyway, I was thinking that while the bikes are parked up I may as well try and make some regular posts on what's going on or maybe just some cool bike vids (so not mine) or something bike related...

I'm gonna try and keep the posts positive but perhaps we'll get some negatives out of the way first:

  • It's unlikely that I will turn a key on the bikes for a ride for a month.  I'm so glad that I re-registered the WR for 2 months just for Saturday's ride...
  • I doubt that I'll be able to get some bike parts in for some maintenance on the WR.
  • It may make it tricky to get the NI1600 ride done in time before the deadline in October - winter is not really the best time for one of those...
  • The minimum amount of time rego can go on hold for is three months so I can't save any money there either.
  • I've purchased my first battery tender :(
  • Weekends just aren't going to be as much fun...
And that's enough of the negative for now 'cos it is going to be worth it if we eradicate this poxy virus!  Perhaps April will see the worst of this winters weather?

In the meantime, stay safe anyone and don't get any ideas about nicking one of my bikes!

Security never sleeps!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Fishers and the 42

Not a moment too soon and just before the whole country goes into lock-down three WR's went on a little ride...

Ever since I bought the WR I'd wanted to take it up to National Park and ride both Fishers Track and (more importantly) the 42nd Traverse.  Way back in '14 I was dumb enough to tackle both of these rides on the ole DL - this truly was an adventure.  You can check out my write-ups at the links below:
So, how did we decide on last weekend?  Well, it appears that Chevvy has well and truly over his mishap on the Dusty Butt and while chatting to Colin and I on FB he burst into print with a date - the 21st of March.  And not to appear to be wusses, Colin and I had to give the idea the silly blue thumbs-up.

In the intervening few weeks before the ride there was plenty of discussion to match our increasing anticipation and eventually the day dawned - early...

Just before 7am, a Land Cruiser and trailer found its way into my driveway and soon after Mighty Mouse was loaded up with his 2 bros for the trip North.  We were soon on our way but did manage to find a coffee in Sanson to keep us fortified for the 2 hour drive.

Arriving in National Park, we unloaded the bikes and started to get our gear on before noticing a cafe not 50m from where we were parked.  After more refreshments were purchased from a hospitality professional who wasn't, we finished getting our act together and attacked Fishers Track.

Fishers Track is a really good warm-up in preparation for the longer and slightly more technical 42.  Starting out on a wee gravel track, you eventually end up on a dirt/grass track that winds its way up and around a hill before dropping back down the other side and spitting you out on another gravel road.

Along the way there are a few gates to negotiate, banks to avoid riding off and mountain bikers that you're not supposed to run off the road.

The Chev
There's also the odd view to be seen should you decide to stop for a mo.

We must have been the first people through on the track, because rounding one corner, Colin disturbed a hind having a late breakfast.  Unfortunately, I didn't capture it on video even though Colin pulled aside and told me to chase after it.  Deer are pretty fast and quite happy to take to the scrub when threatened.  This all happened somewhere around 18:30 in the horribly jerky (hey, it was bumpy in places) below:

Dirt track finally gave way to some fast but dusty gravel and we finally got to use a few more gears on our way to the monument at Ohio Road.

After mingling with mountain bikers we rode a short bit of seal to Kawautahi Road where we had great fun on more fast and duty gravel which eventually tightened up as it climbed over a hill before dropping us down into Owhango right on lunch time.

Guess what is inside that van...
So after lunch it was time for the big event!  I was really looking forward to the more challenging riding, knowing that the little WR would be a far better tool than the poor old V-Strom.  I was imagining slips, rocks, wet and slippery clay, the mad scramble up the rock face, oncoming 4WD's and general carnage...I was to be slightly disappointed...

While the ride was absolutely fantastic, there has been a lot of work done on the track and it was a far easier ride than last time.  I still did think to myself in a few places that I'd been mad to take the DL through - I don't think I would again even with the track improvements...

Somewhere along the way...
One thing we were careful of was the oncoming vehicles.  We already knew that we might see some 4wd's as we'd seen them heading North earlier in the morning.  Colin knew one of the guys and had called him to see where they were going.  Also, we chatted to some guys at the start of the track and they also warned us of plenty of people using the track.

So, Colin led us off at a pretty sedate pace and this proved to be a good plan as we did meet some other bikes (petrol and pedal powered, 2 and 4 wheeled).  The bikes were ok but one clown in a side-by-side came around a corner sideways and at a great rate of knots at one stage - he got a bit of a yelling at...

Same spot/different angle - can you tell we didn't stop for many photos?
The highlights for me were those tricky bits - the water crossing (where the DL took a nap), closely followed by the rock face (daunting on the DL) and then a few more steeper climbs and descents were all fun and all a piece of cake on the Mightiest of Mouses...

Once again the video is horribly jerky but the crossing and rock face (looking a lot easier than it did 6 years ago) are at around 21:40.

After those trickier (fun) bits we upped the pace a little and it was great fun chasing Colin uphill in and out of ruts, trying to pick decent lines etc.

We finally crested a bit of a rise into an open area with tracks all over it and wandered off down a little side track to see where it went.  It was a short excursion as we came across a gate and decided that we'd better not go any further.  You can see this side trip on the map at the end of the blog.

Returning back to the 42, we had just a few more km of pretty open riding to get us out to Highway 47.  But we were not finished yet.

Colin took a left instead of a right and then off the seal again to check out John McDonald Road and the ride into the Pokaka Mill Campsite.

The road in was mostly quite wide and fast gravel that eventually tightened up a bit as we neared the Okupata Caves.  We stopped at the Caves and took a wander down to have a looksee but were a little bit disappointed - the caves appear to be filled with boulders or perhaps collapsed.  Oh well, something a little different.

After the clamber out we rode into the campsite itself to check it out and then turned around to ride back out to take the seal back to National Park and the waiting cruiser.

A coffee stop in Waiouru followed by diesel in Sanson were the only stops on the way home and I was unloaded and parked up before 7pm.  A fantastic little adventure and probably the last one for a wee while now :(

Oh, and I didn't miss the extra 750cc of the Vee and definitely not the extra 100kg or so!

I already want to ride the 42 again...

Sunday, March 15, 2020

When Willie S rode a WR...

You have some weird conversations on facebook sometimes...
Shall I ride the WR this fine summer’s day?
For it is small and its horsepower merely adequate,
When there are other bikes available to ride this day
And worst of all I could be seen off by a mate.

Through bogs and up hills it must climb,
Deep gravel and deeper ruts must be skimmed;
Its merry little heart will be called upon to chime.
Through blackberry and gorse left untrimmed.

But of course the rider’s smile shall not fade,
With faith in his steed and good rubber to trust;
He will cross streams and charge up the grade,
Safe that his decision was most certainly just.

So long as there is fuel in the little banshee
The mighty little 250 is the bike for me.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Saving seals

Nope, I haven't joined Greenpeace (although I do like the aquatic blubber bags)...

When mucking around loading the WR's up on the Dusty Butt (and yes, before the event as usual), I noticed a bit of a leak from the RHS fork seal of Mighty Mouse.  As there wasn't a heck of a lot I could do about it I chose to ignore it for the next 1,500km of pounding...

Back home and needing to do something, I decided to have a crack at it myself.  I'd hear of Seal Savers/Seal Doctors before and thought that maybe, if I was lucky enough, they might work for me.  Eventually a courier turned up with one for me and I put it on the bench and forgot about it until I spotted a video on one of the WR Facebook pages caught my eye:

In case you don't want to watch the video, the guy in it previously used a seal doctor on another bike where it did not work but then he did it on his WR and it did work.  50% strike rate then?  Oh well, I'm game.

After removing the fork guard I carefully slid the dust seal off the fork - I was a little worried about damaging either the seal or the fork so yeah, I was careful.

You can probably see a bit of crap around the dust seal but it's pretty hard to see anything wrong looking up at the fork seal itself:

Anyway, just like in the video I was careful keep things clean as I went and then snapped on the Seal Doctor.

Then it was gently up under the seal and around you go to try and remove any crap from in between the seal and the fork leg.

I did it a couple of times but as you can see didn't really get any crap out (just a little oil), again just like in the video.  Those dust seals must do a pretty good job then.

The last thing I did was use the other end of the tool to cleanout the dust seal.  Snared some crap this time around!

And then, after another good clean with a rag I refitted the dust seal and put the guard back on.  So, has it worked?  No idea yet, better go for a ride...

Obviously, I'm probably down a little on oil in that leg so I'll check for leaks again after a ride and then maybe I'll learn how to change the oil in both legs...

Crossing my fingers...

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Sight seeing

Today was a cracker of a day and as I hadn't ridden a motorcycle since Monday I needed to fix that.  I also had a hankering to check out North Range Road on Mighty Mouse.

I got away from home just after 10 and after putting a whopping 9L into the WR scrambled my way up the track (no stop-go men like on the TT) and hit the gravel after turning onto North Range Road.

A short squirt got me to a nice spot for a couple of pics looking out over Palmy.

A few minutes later I crested the rise and began the drop down into the start of the rougher sections with all the mud holes.  This time around there was a lot less water as we've not had a lot of rain lately and I didn't drown or get stuck at all.

At the gate at the bottom of the rough stuff I tried out another 4WD track going up over (and avoiding some bogs) a wee hill.  It went fairly well thought there was a very steep decent down the other side which had me taking a wee bit of extra care.

After the next section of windy and sometimes muddy track I popped back out onto the gravel road again and stopped for some more pics.

The road now was more open and I got to use all of the gears occasionally before getting to the top of the downhill section into Balance.

Whariti in the distance
As you can see from the video, I took it fairly easy going down the hill as there were a few mountain bikes and other vehicles around.

My next stop was in Woodville for a quick lunch before tackling the climb up to Whariti.  This was my first time up here on the WR and it was a blast.

On the lower parts there was a bit of decent graded gravel that was quite nice to slide around on and the little bike handled the scramble up the rougher stuff near the top with no issues.  I bet I was quicker up there on the WR than on the Ten...

Riding down off the hill, I took it quietly and just enjoyed the views out towards Woodville/Pahiatua.

At the bottom of the hill I had a decision to make - which way to go to get home?  Well, it was either seal over the Saddle or Track or return the way I'd came over North Range Road...guess which option won?