New Zealand RTW and back on a KTM500exc.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Aaron.S, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. Cafeguzzi

    Cafeguzzi Adventurer

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    thanks, Aaron! it's your fault! i believe quite few more readers will put the blame on you!
    now i lost a few thousand $ but am awaiting lotsa fun. making my decision based on your RR, i got this yesterday and have big travel plans for it:
    IMG_3441.JPG

    oh, and i got help with the loading:

    IMG_3444 2.JPG
    roadcapDen and Aaron.S like this.
  2. brucemuzik

    brucemuzik Adventurer

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    Hey Aaron. I'm curious as to how you attach your dry bag on top of the Giant Loop. Is it strapped to the Giant Loop, or do the straps affix to the bike somewhere?
  3. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

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    The Coyote bag has straps that I put through the loops on the top bag. At times I've used pronghorn straps on the sides.
  4. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

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    When I traveled from Georgia east there was a young guy named Jan from the Netherlands a week to three behind me so we chatted now and then about routes and each other's progress.
    He was riding from Zeeland to New Zealand.
    The timing was perfect so we met up the other day and we have been riding north to the top of New Zealand Cape Reinga where we made it to yesterday.
    Pretty big milestone for us both so from here we head south and started it off with power slides and wheelies down 90 mile beach which is actually only about 80k.
    It's been great to have some company.
    I had a message from a guy named Michael who knows this area really well and has tracked out routes for countless trail rides and for the KTM rally etc.
    I contacted him and we met up and rode to the top of his farm for an amazing view of the cape.
    He also took us on a bit of a loop ride and today we are meeting back up with him and he is going to show us a beach ride down the coast where Birchy did a promo film for KTM.
    Funtimes. 20200206_132010-01.jpeg 20200207_112502-02.jpeg 20200207_124143-01.jpeg 20200207_132015.jpg 20200207_113325.jpg
  5. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Great set of pics, especially like that 2nd one of the bikes with the coast in the distance. And sweet wheelie shot on the beach!

    Glad to read the bike's all sorted and you were finally able to get her back into your home country; ironic that she came from there and had such a hard time getting back in...lol.

    Knobby side down, look forward to seeing how the rip continues to go :ricky
    Aaron.S likes this.
  6. NoelJ

    NoelJ Been here awhile

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    I could never visit NZ. Don't think I'd ever come home.
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  7. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

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    I've been so busy lately I've slacked a bit on my RR.
    Where did the last week go?
    I met up with Jan who has ridden his KTM690 from Zeeland in the Netherlands to New Zealand and we made our way north to Cape Reinga.
    On the way we went to the town called Waitangi on Waitangi day which has been a significant day on New Zealand’s calendar since the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed in 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and over 40 local rangatira (tribal leaders) on 6 February 1840.
    We watched the Waka or war canoes paddle in and some ceremonies.
    From there we headed north and met up with a local ( Michael) who had contacted me through here and he showed us a more interesting off road route for the afternoon.
    We also rode to a fantastic look out on the back of his farm.
    We camped up in Spirits Bay and the next day went to check out the light house at Cape Reinga the top of New Zealand and also where the Tasman and Pacific oceans meet.
    From there we made our way via Te Paki stream onto 90 mile beach which is actually only 80k long and rode down to Ahipara for another ocean view campsite.
    The camping here has been cheaper than Aussie and I've been finding places around 15 to 20 dollars.
    More to come but I have to take off for now. IMG-20200208-WA0003-02.jpeg 20200206_132012-01.jpeg 20200207_124143-01.jpeg 20200207_112502-02.jpeg 20200207_113336.jpg 20200207_114624.jpg IMG-20200208-WA0018-01-01.jpeg 20200206_094624.jpg
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  8. CowboyRR

    CowboyRR Been here awhile

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    Started reading this RR about 10 days ago and finished it up yesterday. Lost count of the number of beers I consumed during the process but it was way too many. Really enjoyed the pics from all the far off places I will never visit, and most notably your ability to endure disappointments and setbacks yet still persevere. The heroism of all those people that contributed to your comfort and well being, on even the smallest scale, was the most outstanding part of the journey for me. We are constantly inundated with the actions of bad people everyday - creating the perception that good cannot happen when if fact it does more often than not. Seemed that you even found grace from some of the hardest souls at one point. A great story on so many levels. Thanks for sharing. I have a hard decision to make - I had dismissed the 500 as an option but now you have me questioning "Why not?"
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  9. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for your positive feedback!
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  10. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

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    Micheal came and met us at Ahipara and with the tide heading out we could ride around the corner of the bay over the rocks to another stretch of beach.
    It's an area that not many people get to visit so it was awesome to have some local knowledge of the area of where to exit the beach etc.
    He had taken Chris Birch there once where they had done some filming for a KTM promotional video.
    Speaking of Chris he had contacted me and invited me to stay at his place in Thames on the way up to the top of the Coromandel peninsula which was an invite I couldn't turn down so a couple days later we headed that way.
    He had a client with him untill 3 so he 20200210_144108.jpg 20200210_140328.jpg 20200210_143132.jpg 20200211_085811.jpg IMG-20200213-WA0004-01.jpeg 20200208_131831.jpg 20200211_124159.jpg 20200211_150924.jpg 20200211_165404.jpg 20200212_105312.jpg suggested a route if we were looking for some offroad on the way to his place and in his words said it was a little spicy in parts.
    I probably should of followed up asking on a 1-10 chilli pepper scale how spicy.
    It went up to an old mill.
    I think he thought we would turn around at the top but we decided to carry on as mapsne showed a trail.
    That's where we got into the spicy stuff so to speak and Jan got stuck a couple times.
    Having wider panniers didn't help in places.
    At the end was a locked gate but we managed to lift the bikes over a low laying cable next to it.
    At one point I mentioned that this place looked familiar and Jan agreed as we had seen it on one of Birchys YouTube videos.
    Luckily it was really dry or we might still be there.
    It was great to meet Chris and his family and I have to say he is such a great down to earth guy and we really enjoyed our stay.
    It was a pretty fantastic experience for Jan also as he told me Chris was one of his idols.
    The following day we headed up to the top of the peninsula and found one of the better campsites I've had in a while at Port Jackson. Very quiet Beach right in front of the tents so can't ask for much more.
    On the way we took another route Chris suggested and it had a couple good downhills that turned into a 3 attempt uphill for Jan as we thought we had missed a turn and had to turn around.
    At the end we came to another gate by the main road but luckily it was an old wooden one we could lift off the hinges on one end.
    The next day we started our way south and camped another night before we got to Tauranga where I grew up.
    It's been awesome for me to catch up with some old friends I haven't seen in years and to have a real bed for a couple nights.
    Jan is flying back to the Netherlands today and I'm waiting on some brushes for my starter motor as it's finally packed in completely.
    Unfortunately there aren't any in the country so I'm going to try get this one refurbished.
    I'm hoping all going well I'll be on the road by the end of the week.
  11. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO Supporter

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    Beautiful location...

    Your mate has a heavy load!

    As the former owner of a 690...
    I will take my 500 every day over the 690!

    Both great machines, but...
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  12. Bengt Phorks

    Bengt Phorks Been here awhile

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    My starter quit at 925 hours on my 500 exc. I took it apart and the brushes were worn down and they were sticking in the holders. I cleaned it all up inside and then found that if you flip the brushes upside down in the holders and stretch the brush springs to add more pressure on the commutator the starter will work again. Pay attention to the marks on the starter when you take it apart so when you assemble the starter it runs in the right direction.
    My starter has been working for two months so far.
    The starter held in with two bolts. you have to remove the clutch slave cylinder in order to pull the starter out of the bike.
    Grease the O ring on the end of the starter before you remount it.
    I haven't found any replacement brushes for it so I bought a replacement starter. Ebay has some good deals on them.
    AdvMoto18 and Digger.Jeep like this.
  13. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

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    I got a brush kit for 30 kiwi. F all left on the brushes. Slight skim on the commutator in a lathe and it's back in action.
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  14. Bengt Phorks

    Bengt Phorks Been here awhile

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    Do you have a part number and source for the starter brushes?
    Glad you are up and running again.
  15. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

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    Sorry no part number. They ordered them for me at my local KTM store here in Tauranga NZ.
  16. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

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    As you probably saw above I got a brush kit and finally got that ongoing starter motor issue taken care of.
    In NZ you have to get a warrant of fitness for your vehicle. Mostly a money making bs idea.
    Without It though I can't register my bike here and it's a pretty hefty fine if caught without either so I put a horn back on, fixed the indicators and got a new NZ number plate.
    I took It to a local shop as I knew it probably wouldn't pass at a proper testing station due to the headlight not been stock.
    It was the same place that I got a warrant for it when I first brought it so I spun him a yarn and said hey if I get pulled over about the light I'll say I put it on after I got the warrant.
    He went along with it just but made me adjust the High and lo 20200223_170115-01.jpeg beams which is good as I wanted to get them dialed in anyway as the other night I was out on it and noticed it was way to high.
    Tomorrow I'll head south and I have a friend coming along on another 500 for a couple days.
    Time to start clicking up some more hours.
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  17. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

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    Something I didn't think may ever happen happened this week which was for the first time in three years my bike is actually legal and even has a real number plate.
    I should be happier but I guess that means stealth mode is over and I might have to play by the rules a bit more and stop for cops when they wave at me.
    With the starter motor also fixed I got back on the road to head south and it was awesome that Matt Kneesch was able to join me and play tourist guide through the 42nd traverse to a hut for the night. The hut is called 10 bunk hut. 20200224_133615-03.jpeg 20200224_143258(0).jpg 1010894.jpg 20200224_142323.jpg 20200225_134523.jpg 20200225_163318.jpg 20200225_093739.jpg 20200225_125535.jpg
    The photo with the two bikes is looking at mount Ngaurahoe AKA Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings.
    Parting ways today I carried on finding myself by the bridge to somewhere which was good because I thought I was beginning to be in the middle of nowhere but ended up at the end of the day with a fantastic view of Mount Taranaki (2518m).
    Not a bad day in the office.
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  18. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

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    Photos of inside the hut. 20200225_085906.jpg 20200225_085857.jpg
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  19. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Fantastic updates man, so great to see your home country’s terrain. And super cool to know that’s Doom from LOTR!

    Knobby side down
  20. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks mate!!