Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Well the Connie is in the shop getting a service prior to all the great summer's riding that's just on the horizon and they kindly loaned me this little number to get home on.

It's a second hand bike with about 5,000km on it but has an aftermarket muffler which gives it a nice little growl and some trick carbon (or carbon-look) goodies. I've only pottered around town on it and it is definitely great for this - very small and narrow, great for getting into tight places. It also gets up and goes quite well.

The riding position is a little weird - a slightly racy position for your legs and then low but wide handle bars. These wide handle bars and the total lack of weight (I'd just gotten off the Connie after all) make it a piece of cake to chuck around. The clutch is very light but the gear lever felt like it had quite a longish throw (stuffed up a couple of up-changes by being a bit gentle on it) but otherwise the little motor is quite nice. Didn't think much of the brakes as they needed a bit of squeeze - though once again I'm used to some pretty serious stoppers on the Connie and pretty reasonable brakes on the VTR.

All in all though it's quite a nice little bike and would be a great commuter - especially in larger cities where motorway riding is required. Probably pretty economical too with it being a small injected twin. Nice...better give it back tomorrow...

The Anti-speeding message

This might work...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Busy time of the year

Now that summer is on it's way for sure, there's a lot of riding to be had. Here's just a few of the planned rides:
  • October 4: the CDMTC's 800km in a day
  • October 18-19: The Rusty Nuts Grand Challenge
  • November 8: The Capital 1000K cruise
  • December 13: The Woodville Lions Coast to Coast
And these are just the longer rides! There's toy runs and Friday night rides etc as well to get through - yeehah! The Connie is going to be busy - in for a service this week to make sure she's all set for some exercise. All right, giggidy, giggity!

Daylights Saving

Yep daylights savings is here and with it came a nice sunny day. Lots of things to do around the house yesterday and today but after washing the Connie prior to it's service this week it was time for a little ride in the sunshine.

Not much a ride distance wise but I had a blast on the Honda over the saddle and then headed through to Balance. My first surprise came when I rounded a bend to find a caravan parked in the middle of the road. I managed to avoid it and then got my second surprise - the fuel light on the bike starting to flash.

From here on I took it easy - I'm still unsure of the range of the Honda once the gauge starts flashing. I managed to make it back into Palmy ok and put 16L in the tank before heading back out to Linton to catch up with some friends for a bit before heading home to put the bike to bed.

Summer is on it's way...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

No riding this weekend

Yep, that's right no bike riding this weekend. Instead I was off to the Taranaki for my Nephew's 1st birthday and to let the dog frolic amongst the rabbits. Surprise, surprise though, a vintage bike rally was on and the bike's were filing straight past the gate. From a pretty poor vantage point I was able to quickly grab the below pics before heading back inside for the birthday party.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunny Sunday ride

Yep nice day again so no excuse not to get out and go for a ride. Met up with about a dozen Kiwi Bikers in town and then headed out through some of our delicious back roads. Good to give the Honda some exercise. Stopped off at the cafe by Balance bridge and then pottered home all the while managing to not get a ticket. Good stuff.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Wee Pootle

The day of the pootle finally arrived and after getting up early I jumped on the bike and headed down to meet the rest of the guys at BP Rangitikei. Waiting there was my old man (SV), his mate Goldie (CB1300S) and Steve (Twosup, 'Busa).

As we were missing a few bods and everyone other than me had already ridden nearly 200km we decided to abandon the full route and just see where the day took us.

We left Palmy just before 8am and headed out the back of Halcombe

and then Marton via some back roads to Wanganui. The weather was ok through here although the roads were quite wet in places.

Leaving Wanganui we hit the Paraparas and had a great ride through to National Park. The road was more often than dry and a great deal of care had to be taken as there were fresh slips to go along with the usual storm damage and stock. Quite chilly going through National Park too.

A quick top up for the bikes and we continued off up

to Tamarunui. We stopped here for an early lunch before heading back out of Tamarunui and up over Highway 41. Had a great ride over here as the weather had improved and the road was mostly dry. We turned off 41 onto 32 to head around the back of the lake. This is a great bit of road but we had a few drizzly patches and the roads were wet and slippery in places.

We took the Kinloch turnoff and wound our way onwards to Taupo. We stopped here for another quick pitstop before tackling the Napier-Taupo. And here's where things went a bit pear-shaped. Not long off the plains we came around a corner with a bit of steam on and there was a mufti-cop! Yep, you guessed it, he got me (TEC) while the others escaped. Great way to ruin a ride! My first ticket in 17 odd years...

After this I was separated from the rest of the guys and I only caught up to them when they became stuck in traffic. I quiet ride the rest of the way to Napier where we stopped in at the olds for a coffee before Steve and I headed back home via Highway 50.

Not a great end to the ride but otherwise it was a good day out on the bike with about 720km clocked up in preparation for the Grand Challenge.

More pics: http://picasaweb.google.com/andrew.l.thomson/130908AWeePootle#

Sunday, September 07, 2008

SV1000S VS VTR1000F

Awesome - two weekends in a row I get

to try out different horses and compare them to the might VTR!  Dad only picked up his SV on Friday but was quite keen to take it for a run and meet me somewhere so I could have a little squirt.

I got on the SV at Porangahau Beach and road it back up Route 52 to Waipuk.  This is a primo ride with plenty of nice corners to throw a sportsbike at.

Getting on the SV, I noticed that the ride position is pretty similar to that of the VTR - the bars may be a little bit lower and also feel a little wider.  Seat comfort was a much of a muchness and weather protection was also similar - the standard screen of the SV was pretty good compared to the Givi one on the VTR.

Riding off and naturally you know it is V-twin - the same lumpy sort of power delivery although the motor seems to smooth out a bit more than the VTR once there's some revs on.  The fuel injection is very smooth and helps the quick response from engine even if in a high gear with not many revs on - to me this felt better than the VTR.  Once steaming along the bike feels very relaxed just like the VTR and it is easy to speed - the standard pipes are a bit louder than the VTR's but definitely not noisy.  As we were not riding hard and didn't try any top gear roll-on comparisons or anything it's hard to say which bike had more go (although the SV should win here), let's just say that the two twins offer similar performance and it's the kind that puts a big smile on the dial!

It took me quite a while to get used to the steering damper - especially in slower corners.  I haven't ridden a bike with one for a long time and you forget that you need to put in a bit more effort to get the bike through the corners.  I also felt (again because I'm not used to a damper) that it damped out some of the "feel" from the front wheel.  It was good however, in the bumpier corners where the VTR would have been a bit twitchier, the SV held it's line a bit better.  Dad had been playing with his suspension settings (softening them up) and it was in these bumpier corners where the bike felt a little soft in the rear.  The brakes were fine although I never had to use them hard.

Looks: well, the SV has a more modern look to it and is nice in black but they're pretty similar in that they both have minimal fairing's so that the motor can go on show.  The SV is perhaps the more aggressive looking and that probably fits as it is the "sportier" package of the two.  Twins are fun!

The beach & back

Being a nice fine Father's Day I thought it would be a good idea to go for a little potter and meet up with the old man so that I could check out his new bike properly. Chatting on the phone earlier in the morning we'd decided to meet in Waipukurau and then find some back roads.

As the old man's new bike is an SV I had to take the Honda so that it could be a day out for the "twins". I left Palmy knowing that I was leaving earlier than Dad so I decided to take in some back roads rather than sticking to the boring old main road. First up was the Saddle and it is in good nick at the moment so it was a lot of fun heading up the hill until I got up into the mist. Luckily the mist wasn't that thick and I didn't have to ride by braille to get up to the lookout at the windmills. Quite neat seeing the windmills "stir" the fog.

From here it was more back roads into Danniverke and then another turn off at Matamau took me out through Ormondville to Takapau and finally to Waipuk where the old man had just arrived when I got there. A quick top up with
gas and coffee and we headed off on Route 52 to Porangahau - a great piece of road.

At Porangahau we swapped bikes and pottered out to the beach before turning around and retracing our tracks to Waipuk - but this time trying out different steeds. Back in Waipuk we had some lunch and then headed South again. Dad turned off to Onga so he could enjoy Highway 50 back to Napier while I pottered across the plains.

After a quick stop in Woodville I took the Balance turn-off and headed home via the Pahiatua track. Nice little Sunday ride - and I've now clocked up over 1,200km on the VTR.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

MotoGP Petition

Came across a link to this petition on Kiwi Biker. Supposedly someone is trying to get the MotoGP to Taupo. Pretty optimistic but if it happens I'm there!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Cruiser in Colorado

Not sure about all the riding on the wrong side of the road but it looks like a nice stretch of road: