Sunday, October 28, 2007
So off I went and took it pretty quietly through to Danniverke where I stopped for gas. When I pulled into the gas station there were a number of bikes gassing up including another Concours with a KTM Adventure for company. No idea who they were or where they were going as they took off before I could even say gidday.
Back out on the road to Weber I got a little reminder to take it carefully when I saw a couple of fat lambs grazing on the side of the road. There were also 2 sets of road works to navigate before Weber. I wasn't the only one out as a group of Beemers with a little kwaka in tow went past going the other way.
Leaving Weber and turning off onto 52 I started to get a few spits of rain - just enough to remind me that I should have cleaned my visor before leaving home. The road through to Pongaroa wasn't in too bad a condition but where it was wet it was also quite slippery. Leaving Pongaroa and still heading south on 52 I had to pass a huge tractor with dual wheels on who was taking up 95% of the road. The road through here isn't too bad although there is still a lot of repair work needing to be finished off. There is also places where the crappy repairs are getting broken up by the traffic.
I stopped once briefly about 10km south of Pongaroa to take a quick piccy of the road condition before continuing on avoiding at least 3 more sheep and one large hare.
I finally turned off 52 onto Pa Valley Road to take me back into Pahiatua. Once in Pahiatua I stopped and had a quick bite to eat and say gidday to some riders that had come through from Hawkes Bay. A quick gouge over the track and then home.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
The ride back took us again into Masterton where the little bikes topped up and we said seeya to some of the riders heading off in different directions. Once out on the main road we started to get a bit blown around as the wind had come up a bit. The pace was kept low to avoid tickets and to stay with the L-platers.
We eventually turned off the main road to head through Mangamire and then onto the track. Very windy conditions coming over the track but the learners coped really well and when we stopped at the bottom of the track they were very happy at completing a reasonably long ride in the company of other riders. Good to see how keen they were and will hopefully catch up with them again on another ride.
All in all, a great way to fill in a Sunday!
A few more pics here.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Will add more when I see them.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
A lot of people have said things like "a good rider doesn't need ABS - their reactions are better and they can brake harder without ABS." Well I always doubted this and still believe that ABS is worth whatever premium the manufacturer charges for the option. But I've now had the ABS come on three times while riding the Concours and have good and bad experiences.
Firstly the bad. Twice now I have come up to a corner and had the ABS come on when it shouldn't have and so increased my stopping/slowing distance. On both occasions this was on road surfaces that were very bumpy: the first time the road had lots of little bumps and the second time was on the Napier-Taupo road on a corner where there are actual judder bars in the braking zone (who's dumb idea was that?).
What I believe happens is that the bumps may be enough to take a bit of weight off the front wheel and so allow the brake to slow it to a speed which is less than that of the rear wheel. The ABS computer thinks "heck the wheels locked, off with the anchors." Hence the increase in braking distance. Repeated bumps only make matters worse with repeated activation/deactivation of the brakes. On the "judder bars" my braking only really happened once I was clear of the bumps and darn nearly into the corner. Not exactly "safe."
But now for the good. On the Grand Challenge I had to hit the picks pretty hard on a wet road. The ABS kicked in but was very smooth in it's operation and braking performance was more than enough to slow me up for the corner. Excellent - I think that I may have been in trouble if the bike had the same monster brakes but no ABS to back them up.
So, on the whole I think that ABS is definitely worth having especially on a heavy bike with awesome brakes - I don't think I'd like a bike with such powerful brakes and no ABS, it could be a recipe for disaster in the wet or if the rider is not paying attention. I think that they only way to get around the problem on bumpy roads is to aware of the problem and to be observant of the road conditions (as you should be anyway). On bumpy roads brake earlier and smoothly and be ready just in case the ABS kicks in.
This is all just my opinion but I hope it at least informs you to some extent on the merits of ABS.
Monday, October 15, 2007
I intend to write up something a bit more detailed for my website but in the meantime here's a pic of some dirty bikes and checkout a map of the ride here.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Trolling the Kiwi Biker and it seems that quite a few people have taken today off and are making their way quietly to Turangi. The weather is not the best and forecast isn't that spectacular for the weekend either so wet weather gear will probably get some use - be nice if the forecast is wrong...
Still looking forward to the ride anyway as it's been a year since the last one. Will be back home at some stage on Monday and will probably do a quick little post before doing a proper write-up for the website.
Wish us luck...and clear skies!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Bike has been washed and accomodation booked, all that remains is to pack some gear and head out and do it!
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
The Concours is pretty much ready to go although I've just ordered a Radguard from Aussie - hopefully it'll be here in time. After fitting that all I've got to do is clean & polish the bike, put some more protective tape on a few places (panniers etc) and then just load up & go!
There's a couple of threads on the the KiwiRider about the GC so here's some links:
8 more days at work to go...