Sunday, April 24, 2022

Terrorizing Takapari

After having a blast on the yellow bike last weekend, I decided that maybe I'd like to see if it was still as much fun this weekend.  I then managed to persuade Rhys from work and Colin to join on WR's - Rhys borrowing mine for the day.  The idiots took the bait...

Come Saturday morning and Rhys only just bet Colin to my place where all that was required was loading the RMX onto the ute and the other guys going in search of fuel.  I took the direct route out to the bottom of Takapari Road and once again somehow managed to persuade the others to go via Pohangina so they could have a wee gravel warm-up.

I beat them out to the bottom of the hill, had the bike unloaded and was just starting to get my gear on when I started hearing some revs approaching.  It took a while but I could hear them for ages before they arrived with grins already plastered on their faces.  Yeah, WR's are a blast!

Geared up, we hit the gravel up to the first gate.  I played tail-end charlie and had fun sitting behind Rhys who was riding fairly well for someone who hadn't been on a bike for a few years.  The RMX was a hoot on some of the gravel corners.


The next leg was the squirt up the farm track to the top gate.  Once again I stayed at the back for a while until Rhys made a slight navigational error (gave a bank a bit of a scare) and I snuck past and chased after Colin.

Missing a WR somewhere...


We waited for a few minutes wondering what was keeping Rhys and then:


Is that dirt hanging off the bike?

Well, it turned out that Rhys had had a little bit of excitement back at one of the gates and ended up hitting the ground fairly hard.  He managed to dislocate a finger (which he fixed straight away) and pick up the odd graze along with getting the wind knocked out of him.

We sort of commiserated (and also gave him a bit of stick) with him and let him have a bit of a breather for a bit before he said he was up for the next bit.

The next bit is the climb up to the corner where we usually stop for photos and it includes those 4WD churned up bits.  These were also fairly muddy and slippery from rain the day before and we also had to get past three 4WD's on the way up.  They were great though and saw us coming and then let us through easily.

Unfortunately, I somehow started the camera recording in hyperlapse - doh!


One of the things about the 450 is that it goes fairly well and eats up most terrain up there fairly well too.  This meant that I may have got away on the other chaps just a little.  It did enable me to get a few cool shots of them making their way up though - I really like the ones as they are crossing the ridge.







Rhys looking good up on the pegs

Here comes Colin!

Time to take in the scenery:







On the next wee leg to the hutt I finally managed to persuade Colin to have a spin on the yellow bike while I tried out the sofa on his WR.  I think it went well enough for him...

At the hut there were already some 4WD's and we let them know about the other three on their way up so that they knew to expect them.  Shortly after they left (and while we were enjoying a snack), the other three vehicles arrived and we spent a bit of time yarning to them.


Seeing as there were three of us to help each other get out of trouble, we decided to head on past the hutt and check out the track a bit more (I'd last done this about 25 years ago).  The 3 4WD's tagged along too.

The first bit involved a reasonably steep and rocky descent which was no issue but the next uphill was a different story.  The track split off to the left or right and taking the left one we quickly came unstuck in some fairly soft (not muddy) rock and dirt.  The 450 proved very good at digging holes in this stuff.

We did a 180 and dropped back to the bottom for another try on the right side track.  Colin got away first and disappeared up the track with a Pajero chasing him.  Rhys and I went next.

Nearing the fork in the track the Pajero was blocking my way (actually backing down for another crack at the climb) so I was forced to go left again and hit the soft stuff again.  I quickly got bogged down again and Rhys and I had a bit of a go at trying some different paths but we seemed to always end up getting stuck again.  

Looking up the hill we could just see this sort of thing continuing all the way up the hill.  Maybe if we could have had a good run at it with plenty of pace we might have got up it but it was also fairly rough.  I'd pretty much had enough of getting stuck, stalling the bike and lifting it around (even with Rhys' help) so we ended up parking up to take in the views and wait for Colin.


Back at the hut is was my turn to ride Mighty Mouse so that Rhys could have a bit of fun on the 450.  Heading across the tops, I got away on the guys again and managed a few more action shots:




And then it was time for the downhill.  I was a bit more careful in the slippery bits this time with the WR not quite having a front tyre as good as the RMX's and the rear brake peddle a little hard to find for some reason ๐Ÿ˜‰.  There was also an added hazard of a dick in a Hilux not stopping or pulling over at all for us - check it out on the video.


Safely back at the bottom, the RMX was loaded back up and we trundled off back to my place for a drink and a debrief.  Yet another great day out playing in the dirt and mud ๐Ÿ‘

Monday, April 18, 2022

More farkles...

 Yes, there has been farkling...

One of the most important items I wanted to get sorted on the T7 was the GPS.  Before the bike even arrived I splashed out on another (this makes 3) holder for my 595 but then waited until the bike arrived before sorting a mount.  I should really have done a bit of research and got the amount underway too...

Anyway, the T7 comes with a hand little cross bar above the dash for things like GPS and phones etc.  But to get the holder onto the bar requires some sort of mount.  Ram mounts were an option but are expensive and tend to put a bit too much vibration into things - this is ok for a lot of applications but occasionally I might want to look at the GPS screen.

So, after trolling the internet I stumbled on a Rally Raid product that I thought would do and then bought the Chinese knock-off (or perhaps even the real thing direct from China?) and got it here for less than price of shipping the Rally Raid item...

Initially I just bolted everything up and gave it a go.  You can see how that went...

Looks good

Hang on...

Ahhhh...

Not ideal..

That big GPS and the silly fat bit on the bottom of the holder are just a pain.  Time to make something - Uh-oh...

Copying my idea from on the Super Ten, I chopped up a bit of the same bread board and made up a little spacer to go between the mount and the holder, allowing the GPS to be mounted up higher and be tilted so that I could actually see it...

Much betterer

Could have cleaned the screen before taking this pic - could have...


One ride down and everything is groovy with the mount.  I may eventually pull it off again and give it a tidy up and a lick of paint.  Or, I'll probably just go riding instead...

This week a couple of more packages arrived.  The first one was a headlight protector (yeah, Chinese, but less than a quarter of the price of the Yamaha option).

This fitted up pretty easy and I quite like the look of it.  There is a reasonable gap between the headlight and the guard so if something big hits it then I'd say the headlight won't get damaged even if the protector is written off.




Next up was another cheap little wind deflector for the screen.  I have one of these on the S10 and it is great.  I can mostly ride visor up year round, which is what I like to do - particularly on gravel.  With the stock screen on the T7 I find it hard to ride visor up once the speeds get much over 50-60km/h.


The quality of some of the fittings on this one (the ones that attach it to the screen) don't seem to be as good as the one on the S10 and I'm not too sure how well this is going to work out on the smaller screen on the T7.  Time will tell and there is something else on it's way that may help too.


Anyway, I'll need to ride the bike (damn it) to find out how good the little deflector is and maybe try a few different positions before the final verdict is made on it.

Well, that's it until the next parcels arrive...

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Quads, bikes and clay...

Recently, a certain KTM/BMW rider did the sensible thing and bought another Yamaha.  Trouble is, it somehow has got four wheels.  Oh well, at least it's a 700 - just not quite the right 700...

And it needed to be taken out on its first excursion and to which I somehow got persuaded to come along.

So, yesterday I loaded up the yellow bike and made the trip down to Waikanae.  The weather forecast was good, so naturally I ran into rain about halfway down...Good thing I was in the ute.

Arriving in Waikanae, the quad was loaded and we headed off to the carpark on the Western side of the Maungatoks.

As we left the car park the weather appeared to improving and the end we had no rain.  But of course, that rain had fallen earlier to make things interesting...

Colin lead us up the first bit before waving me past, telling me to stop at any intersections.  Sweet as, off I went and pretty soon was slithering all over the place on wet clay or exposed rock.  Exciting stuff.

We ended up poking around all over the place before a quick stop at the Orange Hutt for a snack and a chat with some 4WD drivers.  It was good to see a few families out enjoying the tracks and some young fellas on their cheap little trail bikes having fun.

Anyway, off we went again and now Colin really started leading me astray, picking some more and more tricky and/or overgrown trails.  His quad seemed to handle things fairly well and I actually enjoyed some of the more technical riding when we clambered up steep rocky tracks or had to take to the bush to avoid some ruts that would drown an elephant.  The rocks in the slippery creek crossing were still slippery and a pain...

Out on a more major logging track I had a major moment (one of a few).  The track was pretty hard but also very wet and muddy from all the truck traffic.  Colin blasted off up the hill so I naturally had to give chase.  Giving chase involved a wee handful of revs in third gear and the rear wheel pulling out to overtake the front - while still maintaining a pretty fast pace up the track.  Picture a bike totally sideways but somehow still moving forward...

I can remember thinking that this was going to hurt but must have grabbed the clutch and somehow got myself out of trouble.  I decided to treat that bit of track with a little more respect - for a while...




Colin approves of the 450

Sort of making our way back to the Orange Hut, Colin decided that we need to check out a section called "the Ruts" - I wonder why...

We managed to avoid a lot of the really gnarly stuff but soon came across the 4WD guys trying to drag a stuck ute out.  The little bloke in the photo with Colin had great delight in pointing out the stuck vehicles and was really keen to watch us go through...

Little bloke and winching wagon

Partially submerged ute


Safely through the ruts we got back onto some more decent tracks and I particularly enjoyed one climb where I was able to really give it to the RMX and even hit 5th for a short burst.  Man, does it go and man, does it get you pumped.  At the top of the hill it was time for coffee and hot cross buns ๐Ÿ˜




A bit more larricking around and we were back at the car, slightly sweatier and slightly sorer than when we'd left.  Awesome fun and great to get out on the dirt bike!