New guy in Marlborough

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Radam, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Radam

    Radam Been here awhile

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    My name is Adam and I'm new to NZ. I'm from the US but have been living in Australia the past year. My wife and I moved here for her work, and hope to stay. I've only been here a couple weeks, but it's time to find a bike! Most of the bikes I've owned in the past have been classic street bikes. I like to build old bikes for fun. This area makes me really want to get a dual purpose bike. I've found a 1996 BMW 1100gs for what I think is a good deal, but I'll have to go to chch to get it. Is that too big of a bike for trails around here? I'd prefer a 650gs, but I'm trying to find something on the cheaper side to start off. What bike's do you all recommend for the area, and is there somewhere other than trademe to look for bikes?

    Cheers,
    Adam
    #1
  2. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    Welcome mate, if you want to do some looking around the island with the missus on the back the 1100GS would be a good pick. There are a lot of cruisy gravel routes where it would be fine.

    However if you are riding solo, & want to explore some rougher tracks, go for something lighter. If you don't have much dirt experience a 250 dual sport might be best to get started on, pick one that suits your height. There's so much good riding of all flavours within spitting distance of Blenheim so it's not as if you need something optimised for long distance.

    A lot of us locals like the lighter weight 650ish singles, the DR650, KTM 640/690 etc make a pretty good compromise for NZ conditions.

    Cheers
    Clint
    #2
  3. Radam

    Radam Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the info. My wife does like to ride with me that was why I was thinking of the 1100gs. I'd like to get something smaller to take off road. I have done a bit of dirt bike riding as I'm from a middle of nowhere Arkansas town. I'm not sure my wife will be keen on me getting two bikes. She always says I only need one, but I usually end up with a couple. Are many of the 650's ok for 2 up riding short distance (maybe a couple hours)?
    #3
  4. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    F650GS's are apparently pretty good for 2-up, but they're heavy & a bit sucky offroad. Some of the others are fair-middling with some seat mods. I'd think about just getting the 1100 first, there's a lot of NZ to see & you'll be able to burn up a couple of years worth of weekends & holidays touring around 2-up on that no worries, while keeping an eye out for something lighter to complement it with :evil

    ...or you could follow my strategy & have the lady buy her own bike if she wants to come along :wink:

    Cheers
    Clint
    #4
  5. Radam

    Radam Been here awhile

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    I've only recently gotten my wife to start riding a bicycle! I keep trying to get her to ride her own bike, but it still ain't happening. I really want to get her something like a ct90, but she doesn't even want that. She had a drunken scooter accident in Thailand years ago that still haunts her.

    I talked to the guy with the 1100gs and he said he can meet me half way if I buy it. He has someone coming to look at it tonight, and said if that guy wants it he'll sell it to him. If no one buys it by Sunday I'm pretty sure I'll be going to get it. Now I just wait to see if the gods want me to have this bike.
    #5
  6. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Tiger Tamer

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    Good luck on the GS. I grew up and learnt to ride around the hills and valleys of Blimmin..there are heaps of places to ride a big bike and still more to explore on a smaller trailie. I bet you'll be right at home in no time. Welcome to NZ :D
    #6
  7. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    Sounds like you really want the GS.
    I would look at a DR650 - not comfy for pillions, or a KLR650 - reasonably comfy for pillions, or you could go old school & get an older tenere, Africa twin, or a DL650 wee strom or similar.

    Whatever you buy you will find the roads & tracks around Blenheim to be relatively easy to get around. Hopefully see you over this side sometime.
    #7
  8. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    Welcome to the Mainland! :evil

    Too big for what we call "trails" which means more like single-track on private property for the off-road crowd. Perfect for all roads, from motorways down to middling-well-formed unsealed roads. Can cope with rough, poorly-formed and maintained 4wd tracks, depending on your skillz - and there's a few beauties around Blenvegas.

    The middleweights are a bit of a squeeze for two. Yes they are OK for short distances; my wife would do all day on my Triumph Trophy but only about 90 mins on the 640. Also, I find you just cannot throw the bike around enough two-up, so you have to go really slowly on the more interesting roads. If you're going that slowly, you may as well big on a big mutha like the boxer. And the big muthas are fine on the better formed gravel roads.

    Your smaller off-road-only bike doesn't need rego so could be quite cheap. There are quite a few trail rides run near Blenheim, especially by this mob: www.marlboroughtrailrides.com. I come across for them occasionally.
    #8
  9. Kiwi Bush Rider

    Kiwi Bush Rider Adventurer

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    This site has some good options if you keep an eye on it http://www.turners.co.nz/Vehicles/P...w=Vehicles&ctype=Motorcycle&gtype=MOTOR CYCLE
    #9
  10. Radam

    Radam Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the info guys. I didn't think the gs would be good for "real" trails, but more the maintained 4x4 trails/roads. I don't think my wife would be keen on riding off road with me either. I'm still talking over the which bike to get and when with her. I don't "need" a bike right now, but want one because I didn't get to ride the whole year I was in Oz. I may end up getting something small and cheap to start. I'll just keep my eyes open and let y'all know when I get a bike so someone can show me around.
    #10
  11. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Yeah, right!

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    Like Warewolf has said, riding it "off-road" is possible but potentially not much fun. Since you are new to the country, looking around more accessible places does probably have a higher priority for you. The 1100 willl get you there quickly and still lets you do all the main gravel roads like the Nevis or Molesworth. The correct answer is that you clearly need more than one bike.
    #11
  12. Radam

    Radam Been here awhile

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    I've decided to hold off on the 1100. I'm just worried why no one else was interested in it after going to look at it. I wish it would have been closer so I could have checked it out in person. Christchurch is just a little far for me to go this weekend to look at a bike. I guess I'll just wait to see what comes up as winter nears.
    #12
  13. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    There are always a lot of bikes for sale here and have been for years. I would guess the service costs for a BMW & the beard & pipe image attached would put some people off. You can pick up a DR or similar for a lot less dollars.



    If you vist kiwibiker website adv section you'll see where most of the adv riders here hang out. A lot of our "adventure" rides would be classed as trail rides in other parts of the world hence more people ride smaller 650 or smaller bikes.
    #13
  14. Radam

    Radam Been here awhile

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    I was trying to register on the kiwibiker site, but I can't get the damn random question right. What city has a soft drink named after it? I've googled it and found L&P, but can't get that to work. WTF? Anyway, I was trying to register because I wanted to talk to a couple of the people with bikes for sale. I STILL haven't gotten a bike, and I'm about to go insane! Padmei, I wanted to get a little more info on your 400, and pics if available. I also wanted to talk to the guy with the tt350. Is he on here? Is that bike road legal? Cost? If someone can help me with at least the random question answer I'd very much appreciate it.

    Cheers,
    Adam
    #14
  15. Radam

    Radam Been here awhile

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    Ok, I got registered. I needed to finish my coffee. I'll send PM's to peeps later.
    #15
  16. Noprogram

    Noprogram High Plains Drifter

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    Hi Adam obvoiusly sorted out it's Paeroa...L&P being a NZ cultural icon of sorts along with Marmite, Vegemite, Weetbix etc. You know to pass your 'Kiwiness' test you have eat three dry Weetbix with Vegemite don't you?:D

    Anyway welcome to the country! I grew up in Marlborough and it's a great area for exploring the outdoors. Weather's nice, an accessible scale plus you have the Sounds at your door step. Great wines as well of course.

    I could see the appeal of having something like a GS for general South Island touring with some gravel roads thrown in. My Africa Twin is pretty handy as an Adventure bike for NZ and more than happy with it, however a simplier and lighter 650 IMO would be more versatile for a lot local exploring situations around the South and will do longer trips without any problems.

    Obviously the bigger bikes are comfortable to cover the miles on and not bad on typical gravel roads like the Molesworth and Rainbow but there's times where you might want to just have a look/up down a small track to a river etc and might not choose to take a big bike down without careful consideration..... a 1/4 of ton of stuck bike isn't pretty!

    A 400 (XR, DRZ etc) is versatile for trail riding/exploring but limited fuel range, load capacity and general comfort if you want to do some camping or take your wife out for a lap around the Queen Charlotte Drive or out to Portage etc. These types of trails are not as common or accessible unless you're living on or friends with one of the big stations or are into blasting up fire roads. -The North Bank.

    Knowing the region my pick would be something like a DR650; cheapish, reliable, simple, lots of them in NZ and will do mostly everything albeit with some compromise i.e. it will cope with 90% of the type of accessible roads, 4x4 tracks resonably well and still allow you to do lightweight road touring. With determination you'll get it through most terrain around the region.

    Beautiful riding up to Nelson Lakes through the Lewis pass etc. When it open in summer scoot through the Rainbow to Hanmer. Get out there!
    #16
  17. Noprogram

    Noprogram High Plains Drifter

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    Close by.....

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    #17
  18. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    #18
  19. Noprogram

    Noprogram High Plains Drifter

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    Nice bike Padmei....with the Safari tank the KLX/DRZ are a good all-rounder for NZ adventure riding. I wasn't sure if Adam was looking for a two up bike or something lighter to explore all the local back roads.

    This would get you everywhere Adam no problem and has a Safari tank and 12V socket for running your electrics. Safari tanks aren't cheap to get in so this is a good price (I don't know Padmei BTW). Not as comfortable on the road as a DR650 perhaps but everything is relative. Put some D606's on this and will be a great machine for backroads Marlborough.

    My XR650R is a similar concept as an NZ adventure bike but the DRZ is more common as a bike and better parts availabilty. Point to point on the road isn't necessarily that far in NZ before you might do a dirt section...Maruia Saddle track and the Braeburn track are great rides and not far away.

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    Good thread on a local DRZ setup...

    http://www.adventureguide.co.nz/articles/12/142/drz400-adv-build.php
    #19
  20. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    I'm beginning to like you NPG:D

    Don't go reading Josh's site- he has a tendency to farkle anything that isn't already looking like a crystal disco ball. A good dose of suburban family life sucking the marrow out of his bones would stop that:lol3
    Those Giant loop bags look good on the XR.
    #20