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Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Box'a'bits, Aug 29, 2015.
Hinakura / Admiral Rd Loop, & Castlepoint - 20th Jan 19
The ride was advertised on facebook. The posting was from a couple of riders down from the ‘Naki, who were keen to see the sights away from the big city, while their respective wives imbibed at Gindulgence, & caned their credit cards (not necessarily in that order). A couple of other riders popped up their head & indicated that they were happy to show them around.
The Friday weather had been spotless, so I was itching to get out again. And I’d resolved some running issues on the sidecar, so a good test ride was in order. But as the weather forecast showed high winds coming in late Saturday, I thought a short morning ride might be best.
Saturday morning was overcast & a little gusty. Misty drizzle on the motorway was not quite what I was looking for. Met the guys at Rimutex, KLE500, KTM 1190 & Triumph 800. Collected an F650 at Featherston. Still missing a rider coming down from PNth.
The ride over the Remutakas was good. A definite change in the weather from low cloud, to hot & sunny on the Featherston side. That’s more like it.
Gas & coffees at Martinborough at the Village Cafe, heated herb & cheese scone.
Followed the guys out Hinakura Rd, then attacked the loop. Dave on the KTM proved to be faster in the gravel than I expected given his Shinko 705 tyres. The sidecar was going well, but still isn’t the precision tool in gravel that the R80 was.
Out to Te Whiti Rd & then right onto Te Wharau Rd
Stopped for a look at the Kourarua Dam, which suffered some damage during some recent storms. Apparently the spill went down thru the Gladstone School & also caused havoc there. The dam represents Carterton’s former water supply .
Kaiwhata Rd linking to Homewood Rd thru the forestry. The temperatures were definitely getting up - 25-27 degrees.
The road from Homewood Station onward has been recently graded, is quite rolly gravel, & there aren’t any wheel ruts to follow yet. A ton of fun on the sidecar – not so much on the solos.
Bypassed Riversdale Beach in favour of heading for lunch at Tinui Cafe. I had the big breakfast for lunch, the others the fish, or chicken salads.
My suggestion of taking in the sights at Packspur Rd were firmly squashed by the majority. Mike (KLE500) has recent memories of a tired bike taking a couple of lie downs along there...
An 'in & out' ride to Castlepoint. Fairly big winds down on the lagoon, but also loads of holiday makers enjoying the beach. There may of been a few bikini’s worthy of closer inspection – but of course I didn’t look, dear....
Given the winds at Castlepoint, I was reminded on what the Remutakas were likely to be like, so made to the decision that I’d head straight back from there. The others agreed. The sidecar led thru to Masterton, gassed at the Mobil, then started the long trudge down SH2. 29 degrees at Masterton, hot...
Near Featherston Mike noted a vibration on the KLE. Closer inspection saw that the bead was broken on the front tyre. Wobbled up to the Mobil Service Station where we determined that was a tube puncture. Mike earned his scouts snakebite badge repairing that. Eventually I took a hand & replaced the second tube with a spare, & fitted the tyre with my longer tyre lever. All the time the wind was howling thru town, blowing anything not tied down away, & I was wondering what the Remutakas would be like.
Left Mike to continue refitting his wheel, & took off over the Hill. Caught a Merc AMG part way across - he just would not pull across, even though he knew I was wanting to get thru. Arrogant bugger. I was reasonably happy to have the training wheel fitted. The wind gusts over the deviation were...not appealing.
The rain finally caught me near Lower Hutt. I couldn’t be bothered stopping, so was mildly damp by the time I made it home.
Google maps says 407 kms, 6hrs 55 mins ride time.
11.48kms/litre, but being hammered by wind at the end. So I've extended fuel range to 252kms to reserve, from 198kms, a good improvement. 2 litre reserve is only 23 kms, so not a lot to come & go on.
Good to see you were enjoying the good weather. We got the winds later in the afternoon.
Was over at Castle Point with my bride last Monday....took the Outlander though as the weather was a tad inclement....as it turned out we would only have hit several heavy down pours on the way over and a good soaking 20mins from home. OH well, dry wife no strife I guess
theres some neat riding round those parts. as usual, enjoyed the write up mr boxabits
Maintenance 52,318 kms:
Normally I'd hide these little gems in the last ride report I did, after everyone has already read them. But I've been having too much fun with this lot.
Changed the Kenda out. Well & truly got my moneys worth from that (it was free). 10mm centre tread before the Slidecars went down south. Now zero tread in the centre. But plenty of Padmei miles left on the sides. I keep having mental images of Padmei trying to fly the chair to wring the last few Kms from the side knobs. Dunno how he'd get the left ones - he'd swap the tyre around I guess.
I was told the Kenda was quite a hard tyre. I didn't find that. The sidewalls were very flexible. The tyre made a satisfying screech if you locked up the rear (purely by accident of course). Hard to do on a paralever solo, not so hard on a paralever sidecar. One of the few tyres I felt confident I could do a rolling burn out on (but didn't).
Anyways, I now have this slightly used tyre spare. Anyone interested? I could set up an auction? Bids starting at a chocolate fish? Pick up only sorry...
Of course I've now upgraded to a Conti Escape. That was originally fitted to EddieB's R100GSPD. Should be good & hard by now. Must be a decade since he first got that bike (and changed out that tyre). 5 mm tread depth in the centre. You may also have seen it fitted to Gus in when I infamously dropped him down a Makairo gully. Good times. Around this time (Jan) in 2016. Where have those 3 years gone? Anyways that's another preloved tyre, & has seen some life... And the price was right. I'll work with it a bit, & put up another auction when the time is right, m'kay?
Sidecars - hard, preloved, & square just aren't dirty words any more.
7th Mar 19. 53,331 kms, 4mm tread on the Conti, so 1mm/1000kms of travel, should be good for at least another 2500 kms to legal tread depth.
Swapped in the Leo Vince can for the Polished Rockers. More sound, & feels freeer running up the revs, especially in the 3.5-4.0 range. Change the idle mixture screw to 1.5 turns out to reduce the pops & bangs. Also upped the main jet to 160. Now a very nice coffee & cream light tan colour - on the 150 MJ it was a chalky white. Still some crackle on run off, but not offensive.
The Tonneau cover stitching is starting to come undone, so will need some attention, along with the seat .
At our age, is 'hard' even applicable?
WAIRARAPA WANDERINGS - Sunday 10th Mar
The ride was advertised a few weeks ago, & the weather reports mid week indicated that Sunday would be fine. I haven’t had my gravel fix for weeks now & I was itching to get out. But as the day rolled around, the forecast changed (as they often tends to do), & it became increasingly drizzly.
After the big dump on Friday (which I ended up in the middle of), I’d decided I’d flag it, but by Saturday my gear had mostly dried out & I was keen again. After all, it’s only rain. Pretty sure I won’t melt. And playing in the mud is fun, right? It’s hard to fall off sidecars – you have to really try. Probably...
Mrs Box.a.bits wasn’t interested. Doesn’t do rain. And she had a cold.
Sunday 10th Mar, 9.30am start (quite civilised for a Sunday...). Carol - G650GS, Chev - G310, Margaret - F700GS, Damon & Julie R1200, Phil - R1200, Rowan & Ang - R1250. Okay, lets do this.
A long drone thru thru’ to the Masterton bypass then regroup.
There was interest in the sidecar, & so I extolled the virtues of the sidecar. Ang decided to switch from pillion to sidecar monkey. Waved Margaret thru' – yes I was happy to do Tail End Charlie.
Ang's cellphone photo, taken by Margaret
This has been running thru my head....
Peeled off SH2 onto Opaki-Kaipoaroro Rd, left into the 1st gravel of Jacksons Line. Cool, I think Ang gets the sidecar, so lets get some slides going & see how that goes.
Maybe need some distance back from the other riders – we seem to be catching them too fast.
Ang's cellphone video
North Rd & back onto Opaki-Kaipoaroro Rd, then left into Bowen Rd. Whoops, the tub seems to have flown of it’s own accord coming into Bowen Rd. Maybe hang back from the group for some more room. Then let's play (on my current favourite road).
Right into Maungaoranga Rd, left into Mangamahoe Central Rd. Bit of a break, & a chat at Bartons Line. Ang is still keen on the sidecar, excellent. Left onto Rte 42, then right into more gravel on Daggs Rd.
At the Te Ore Ore Rd –Biddeford Rd / Masterston - Castlepoint Rd intersection regroup, a massive puddle, taken at speed. Whoops, just a little deeper than expected. But we were all wearing wets anyways, so no harm - no foul. I wasn’t being sworn at (too much), so must be all good.
Off to Gladstone Pub for a drink & lunch
Ang's cellphone photo
Nice ride, hopefully I haven’t blotted my copy book too much with Ang, had a good day.
Fairly clagged in going over the Remutakas, missed having ballast for all the tight left handers over there. Home earlier than usual – that’s normally just on or after dark.
Maintenance 17th Mar 19:
The voltmeter LED has been giving unusual readings for the past month or so, indicating low charge at higher RPM when using the headlight. Then when I was commuting to work on Thursday, the alternator stopped charging. I swapped stator frames to one with longer (less worn) brushes. Things appeared to be remedied, but when I took the chair out to commute to work Monday, there was a puff of smoke from under the tank.
Investigation later that night showed no charge again. I'd put in a 5w 47 ohm resister to replace the 3w alternator exciter bulb, but hadn't protected it like I'd done with the indicator resisters. I guess vibration had stressed the core wire. I've since built a new one epoxy potted in a tube. Don't expect any more issues there.
The regulator is a Bosch RE57 salvaged off the RT. The resister was intact, so I've clipped that to increase the charge rate.
The rear brake light has been sticking on. I've lubed pivots & cables to reduce friction & get as much utility from this as possible, for as long as possible. But suspect I'm due for new shoes.
RHS fork leg seal has started seeping. I've cleaned out the dust & oil seals. We'll see if that remedies the issue.
Looked like a good number of riders. Nice to see some sliding action going on in the video
Apparently this is a suboptimal outcome after taking your wife out on your 32nd wedding anniversary lunch.
But we did get to cause a traffic jam in the Ngauranga Gorge, have a nice chat with a couple of policemen, & a tow truck driver.
Spotted you as you reached the top of the gorge. I was heading south and the truck was full so no room for a sidecar. Just checking, but is it etiquette for the passenger to do all the pushing from the back?
So what's the story? I did see your post on Facebook, but there was no indication of what the problem was / is.
Hopefully it's an easy fix with the bike, and an equally easy fix to take your good lady wife out for lunch without further incident ...
I'm not sure that she contributed too much. I was the one with cramps when we got home. It's a heavy beasty if you need to push it uphill...
1. The chair has suddenly used far more gas than usual, i.e. we needed to switch to reserve earlier than expected;
2. Fueling issue, when we went onto reserve. Theoretically there is a 2+ litre reserve, which should give at least 20+ kms. For the last few rides, there hasn't been any issues. This trip, switched to reserve but didn't get too far on that. The tank was bone dry. I'd changed the straws on the fuel taps after the Otaki incident to give a better reserve - I wonder if one has come loose.
I'm going to carry separate spare fuel at least until I have confidence that there is an adequate reserve, & that I'll have no more issues.
So thinking about this more, I find it deeply concerning that you have been ' just passing by' on both occasions that I've had issues. Twice is more than a disturbing coincidence...
Possibly that you both spend too much time dallying around?
It's possible I have misunderstood your comment.
I was given to understand 'dallying around' stopped for most people almost as soon as they got married. After 32 yrs then, this should be fairly in-grained...
Given that I am currently in the dog box, and I'm being told this is entirely my fault, I'm fairly sure than any remote potential for a bit of constructive 'dallying' has now evaporated completely as a future possibility.
while its concerning that your sidecar gets worse economy than my Camry I still think it looks cool
Great pity about the timing of the failure as your anniversary is the one time of the year when you can be reasonably certain of getting some 'dallying around'. I suppose it will mean that you will look forward twice as much to your next anniversary....
I could've got you up on the tailgate but I'm obliged to close it before setting off. It would've been possible but not a good look. Truck is now parked within the security cordon at Waitangi Park so I hope you have a reliable commute for today.