Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Murupara Meanderings Part 2

So after a chilly night in our chilly motel (perhaps we should have left the lights on for the extra heat) we topped up the tanks on the bikes and made for the Forgotten Highway.  

This was another change to our plans and was due to the accommodation shortage taking us a bit further away from our planned Sunday jump-off point.  Never mind, the FH is always a great ride...

Overnight there'd obviously been the odd shower but it was a lot warmer so no frosty bits to worry about as we headed West towards Whanga.  But man, the roads were pretty slippery in places anyway - the shiny tar combined with crap covered wet roads really did curb our enthusiasm.  It wasn't until we hit the gravel that we got some better grip...

Out the other side of the tunnel and roads started to become a bit dryer and while I did have a wee look for another gravel loop, we stuck to the main road before stopping in Whangamomona for coffee and a fantastic scone.

Hitting the road again, the slipperiness factor was starting to reduce and we finally saw another couple of bikes coming the other way - both adventure bikes naturally.

Further up the road we came across an interesting sight crossing (I think) the Strathmore Saddle.  A whole heap of itty-bitty scooters coming the other way and parked at the summit having a breather.  Not sure what they were up to - there have been a few charity scooter rides lately but they could just have been nutters...

By the time we hit Stratford the roads were pretty dry but we actually had a few (very few) spits of rain - the only hint of cloud moisture for the whole weekend!

From Stratford we turned South and carefully cruised on down to Kai Iwi where we turned inland again to go in search of gravel.  Rangitatau East Road is always a good ride and the gravel was pretty much perfect.  There was so little gravel on the road and it was so hard packed that I actually treated it a bit like seal with gravel on it ie. perhaps with more caution than it warranted.  Still a mint ride in to the Kauarapaua Road turn-off.

Kauarapaua Road may be a bit slower but it is really neat.  It's a pretty narrow and slow road that eventually takes you through to the northern side of the Whanganui River.  For some reason I didn't get it all on video but you can see Colin and I taking it pretty quietly, looking out for traffic and also treating the sometimes slippery road with a wee bit of respect.

By now both the bikes needed a drink and the riders needed a late lunch so a stop in Whanganui pretty much ended our great weekend of riding.  Colin turned off at Sanson and I puttered on home to Palmy to unload and go break the dog out of her doggy motel.

One awesome couple of days riding some neat roads in perfect winter weather!

Tenere looking happy with itself

Shinko looking good with just over 1,000km under it


  1. Always happy days on the Forgotten Highway - nice one Andrew! Does the big top box aft of the rear axle affect the handling at all? I know that some F800's as well as a few other models can get what ammounts to a tank-slapper under some conditions.

    1. No hassles at all with my top boxes - never have had any on any of my bikes that have had them (Bandit, V-Strom, Connie and Tenere). The Tenere is a tank. I'm totally convinced that big Adv bikes make the best road bikes - especially here.