Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Got the replacement "bolt" for the topbox today along with a couple of replacement springs. You can see from the pic below that the old bolt was definitely worn!

So, after the outrageous outlay of $14.50 and 2 minutes work I now have a topbox that will lock onto the bike once again.

One thing I would definitely advise all Givi owners to do is keep an eye on any movement of the topbox on the mount. The rubbers on the mount can wear and even fall out and any vibration is just going to put wear on the bolt. Replacement rubbers are not expensive either.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Topbox issues

As mentioned in my last ride report my Givi V46 topbox has ceased to latch to it's mounting
plate - a bit of a problem. After an email to Givi I've discovered that you can get replacement parts and from the parts diagram they sent me I saw that it was pretty easy to pull the latch (I was imagining me diving in and all these little springs firing out all over the place to be lost and...)

So, this morning I torn into it and pulled the latch. As you can see from the picture there is a lot of wear on the latch and there's simply not enough latch left to bite down on the plate.

As a bit of a "Heath Robinson" fix I tried to pack out the return springs but they have their own molded sockets within the topbox so it was going to be pretty fiddly to try to get anything in there to do the job.

So, it looks like I'm going to need to order some bits - I really hope the importer has stocks as I have experienced some big delays in getting stuff from them before - fingers crossed...

More pics here.
Givi parts diagram here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Return to Middle Road

Another not so bad day yesterday and an invite by Owl & Sarge to join them in a ride up to the Bay couldn't be passed up so I hurriedly got myself sorted and fired up the Connie.

I met up with Owl on the way out of town and we left Palmy in some light drizzle hoping for better weather further up the road. Luckily we were soon out of the rain and into the gorge where the road was pretty dry and little traffic...

In Danniverke we met up with Sarge and followed him on up through Makotuku, Ormonville, Takapau and Waipuk. In Waipawa we turned off and had a great run through to Patangata where Robertydog and his delicious R1 was waiting for us.

While waiting for our lunch (great burgers) we were joined by another Hawkes Bay couple who ridden down on their sweet black VTR. Burgers scoffed we were once again back on the road and Middle Road was superb!

In Havelock North I said good-bye to the others and shot across to Napier to catch up with the olds.

The old man decided to join me for part of my ride home but while we were getting ready to leave I noticed that my top box was not latching down onto it's mount. We tried plenty of CRC and a lot of poking and prodding but could not get the latch to pop out far enough to catch on it's lug - bummer! We managed to lash it down pretty securely to the bike and the old man followed me up the road to make sure that it wasn't going to go flying off (I noticed he did sit a fair way back behind me at times - didn't trust his own bungies eh?)

Just out of Fern Hill a light rain started falling on us and by the time we were just South of Hastings it was bucketing down. Luckily the rain did not last and the sun even had another go at burning through the clouds - the roads however, remained wet for all the fun parts of SH50...

At Onga the old man turned off to turn his little ride into a loop while I continued on my way home via SH2 and a quick fuel stop in Danniverke. Another nice little ride done and it seems that the weather is slowly on the improve so hopefully I'll get a few longer rides in before the GC - it's less than 2 months away now...Oh, and I have to get that top box sorted too :(

View Middle Road/SH 50 Loop in a larger map

More pics here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

TT2000 stuff

The TT2000 organisers have added some photos etc from this years ride to their website and have also included links to my write-up, photos and videos.

Check it out here.


Well after two weeks of making excuses (flu, bad weather) I managed to get out on the Honda today. The weather was fine at home although there was quite a cool wind blowing and initially I steered clear of the ranges and went to visit with friends in Linton.

After a natter and deciding that no, it won't be raining on the Pahiatua track, I remounted and headed for Aokautere and the track. By now the new Pilot Power 2CT on the front of the Honda had done a grand total of about 30km - all of it pottering around town - so I was dead keen to give it a bit of a scrub on the track.

Things started off pretty good, taking in some of the easy sweepers at the start of the track but before long I was riding in drizzle and eventually a quite wet road. After the first little squiggle through the bike I settled down to wet weather mode and took it pretty easy over the hill and down the other side.

Cruising through Ballance the weather improved and I even had some dry road at times so instead of wimping out and riding home via the gorge I decided to tackle the Saddle. The Saddle was in pretty good nick with just a few damp places to be wary on so I enjoyed the ride past the windmills and down into Ashhurst.

By the time I hit Ashhurst my fuel light was blinking insistently at me so turned for home stopping only to top the tank back up for the next ride...

Roll on summer...

View Directions to Palmerston North in a larger map

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hard Miles 2

I was lucky enough to have the flu over the weekend so didn't have to pretend to be hard and go riding in some average winter weather. I did however have plenty of time on my hands so got to watch "Hard Miles 2", the DVD of last year's Iron Butt Rally.

Last year I followed the IBA via their website as I was interested to see how Australian Davo Jones went on his Connie. Davo Jones was an extremely experienced long distance rider with a lot of hugely impressive rides under his belt but tragically he sustained a terrible head injury after hitting a deer (with his Iron Butt all but finished) and passed away. Like a lot of people around the world it was shocking news to hear and it certainly highlighted the dangers of these sorts of events. What I've taken from the accident is that the risks are real and that a badge is not worth dying for, if I have any doubts about my ability to finish the GC or similar rides safely I will pull out and park the bike.

Back to the movie/documentary: it starts off showing some of scrutineering preparation prior to the event and introduces a few of the riders. It gives some idea into the amount of planning that the riders have to do when they pick their routes and decide on bonuses to attempt - the aim of the game is to get as many points as possible in the simplest way. The viewer gets to see the riders making their decisions and basically committing to a route and to how much rest they're going to be able to get.

Eventually we're on the road and the video captures small pieces of the ride: riders arriving at a bonus, bike issues, sleep issues etc. At the end of each leg of the ride (3 legs) we find out who is winning and get to see the riders planning the next leg of the journey. Certain riders are also interviewed about their ride so far. Towards the end of leg 3 they touch on Davo's accident and also how it affected other rally participants ride. Ride over we find out the winner and there's a few comments from the riders on finishing the event.

All in all, it was an interesting watch. It was good to get an idea on how tough the planning is -how easy is it to do route planning when you've been riding for three days straight? What I would have loved to have seen is more of the roads and therefore get some idea of how hard the riding was - I did see them on gravel for a 2nd but I would imagine a lot of Interstate & highway riding occurs. It would be great to know how this all compares to the GC or TT2000 for example. I think on the GC we get sent down some tough roads and we also have to put up with lower speed limits - but, we only do it for 20 hours or so. My hat is off to all Iron Butt riders!

In the DVD extras there is a quick introduction to all the riders and an interesting little documentary on the first Iron Butt Rally - the first of the hard men.

Overall, the DVD was pretty good, it was well made and interesting. I'd certainly recommend it if you're interested in distance riding and certainly if you were considering an Iron Butt ride.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Okay, so it's taken me a month of Sunday's but it's finally done - my write-up on this year's TT2000 is all done. You can find it here.

And still with the TT: next year's event details are up on the TT2000 website and they've set some great routes and made some changes to how they're running the event. 2011 looks really good although I won't be attending due to the Southern Cross being on at nearly the same time. Dead keen for 2012 though...

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Getting the boing back

The other day I alluded to some suspension issues on the VTR and now that I have her back I can explain a bit further.

When the bike was being checked over for a warrant, the shop noticed that there was naff all rebound when pushing down on the rear.
Funnily enough I'd been talking to Brian the day before about having a play with the suspension as I had thought it was a bit hard on my last ride to the Bay and back. Things had obviously been on the way out on this trip as by
the time the shop got it things were pretty much locked up and I was starting to get worried about the possible causes of the
issue and the dollars that might be involved.

As it turned out things were not quite as bad as my nightmares and the route cause was a couple of bearings in the linkages having dried out and destroyed themselves. So, a relatively easy fix nothing as expensive as a new shocky...

And at the other end of the bike is a brand spanking Pilot Power 2CT which I'm looking forward to scrubbing in and seeing what a difference it makes to the bike's handling. Advice I've been given is that it may speed up the turn-in which will certainly be welcome (I reckon that the Connie currently has superior turn-in to the Honda - or at least easier). This will be my first experience with a "soft" front as I've always run sports-touring tyres on my bikes (the VTR being my first sports bike).

I'll post more when I've had a chance to try the new rubber out properly.