A ride report, our new bike Valerie.

So our VFR. First time over the hill. Ride report and a ‘hmmmmm’ session 😉

OH – EM- GEE. !!!!! *^%$#*! I popped over the hill to see a mate and get used to the bike a bit.


Smoooooooth. Strong. Nimble. Positive. Safe. POWERFUL. More…much more. Did I mention smooth?

I am so happy Kelly decided she liked the VFR the most of all those bikes in the shop.
She liked the seat position. She liked it as it was at the test ride. Even with the hard custom seat.  She likes the big top box, its there to catch her if I get impulsive and start doing wheelies (it has happened before!)

Since the test ride (where I identified a issue with a rear shock absorber control) the shop has done a lot to her to make her right for us. They serviced the rear shock, replaced rear wheel bearings, replaced rear brake pads, serviced steering head bearings, serviced the engine and then, when they couldn’t adjust the slack on the top box lid? They got us a new replacement one. THAT’S service folks.

Today I got to know Valeries traits a bit better.
I worked the throttle a bit today, I got to know response times in different gears, the way she accelerated, stopped, how she felt in corners, how she responded in her cornering mannerisms… I did a few test stops, and a few other maneuvers to check how she handles different actions.

I played with the suspension a bit, tried a few different settings on the base hydraulic pre-load at rear and think I need to tamper off rebound a pinch on the front as well as pre-load down a notch. Hard as rear – very stiff now she’s serviced  so I softened the hydraulic pre-load a 1/4 turn….perfect.

Questions I had to ask her?
How low could I go and expect a smooth come back in say 2nd, 3rd even 4th? Answered
How well dd she roll up to 100 from 50 in 5th gear? Answered
Could I sit on 100 kmh in 6th without low straining the motor? Answered
Hows the ABS feel? Answered
Does she do tightening corners, and whats it feel like to pull her in hard? Answered
Overtaking – (LOL!!!! is that what its called?) Answered

Finish the bike
I cant wait for my carbon pipe to arrive…. it will sound yum! Adds a hp or 2 they claim and will make her loud enough to hear coming.
And, the replacement top box.
I am also considering painting the front side panels of the fairing mat black….

Finish the luggage kit
I am comparing OEM Honda Panniers with other after market options.
Throw over/under saddle bags, sport type expandable (benefit can keep one side thinner by not expanding for getting on/off)
Givi v35’s –  which match my top box as part of a set(coincidence) and which hold more luggage by about 12 liters all up. They’re also cheaper. Downside is that mount frames they come with place them in a spot Kelly will dislike for climbing on. Much where the ST4’s were (and she HATED them fitted.)
OEM ones hang lower, sit further back on mounts that are already built into the bike. No brainer for me, though more expensive the better option for my pillion. Whats 12 liters less with a 65 liter top box. OEM wins IMO but at 1200$ landed…. might lose yet.

Final thought
So Valerie is a real sweety. Strong, fast, comfortable, did I say fast????

We will be out on her tomorrow, doing some miles.
Maybe we’ll see you out there somewhere.

StoneY and Kelly

You meet the NICEST people on Honda’s

 

I have for years and years bagged my friends with Honda’s. No real reason.  Just an urban myth here in New Zealand born of the web forum Kiwibiker.
Well….we have one now.

Bought a VFR1200F 2010 model – 75k’s on the clock and a big top box.

Lovely to ride, custom seat, fast, smooth (shaft drive) and handles like a dream. Always said I would never have an ABS fitted bike either… oops standard factory option on this one (and boy those brakes are GOOD!)

So Kelly has named her Valerie Felicity Rhonda…the Honda.
VFR. Must be my 8th or 9th bike from TSS Red Baron.

Off for the weekend on a ride to get familiar with our new girl

VFR

Will make  a post next week about our adventures with Valerie
Stay shiny side up out there.

StoneY

Brokebacking Kiwi Styles

Warning – if easily offended stop reading now, images intended for those with a sense of HUMOUR!
Well it’s been too long between blog entries so I figured I may as well share an upcoming adventure.
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About 3 years ago my friend Chris wanted to celebrate the return of his license by going camping, boys only Italian bikes, find a paddock and burn some marshmallows. Well in the end 6 of us went and 4 were on Jap bikes and we rented tent space at a camp ground in the Hawkes Bay.

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Anyway, long story short, 3 years later Brokeback 2017 is nigh. And 18 of us travelling, with about 3 more meeting us there by current count. Gotten so big the groups split into two ride groups spread over two days!

Originally the concept was tents, bedrolls, boys only (hence the title Brokeback after Matt pulled up said ‘this looks a bit Brokeback!’) and a shitload of off centre gay humour all weekend long.

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BB16 doubled in size. BB17 has tripled compared to BB15. Clifton Camp Grounds in Hawkes Bay is our Saturday destination, every year we mix up the route there. This year the Friday group are going via Whangamomona on the Forgotten World Highway. We will overnight at the historic hotel there and meet Saturdays convoy at Taihape to go into Napier over the Gentle Annie. By the time we get to Clifton we will have ridden no less than 9 mountain saddles one historic tunnel and done about 900kms.

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We then pitch tents, go on a supplies run, build a safe fire pit on the edge of the ocean and act like drunken hooligans for a night. Not too hooligan though (for which a drunken member of an exclusive church group should be eternally thankful for after claiming he could ‘take you all’ last year…Dutch courage or just outright stupidity or both we let the guy believe what he wanted to believe and partied on!)

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This year due to our blowout of numbers we won’t over run the local takeaway and are going to use the campgrounds BBQ. Moose will carry in our supplies with his trailer on his Goldwing, and shenanigans will commence! Bit concerned we may not be allowed a fire this year due to drought conditions… I hope it’s not the case.

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A few pics of the last BB runs should indicate the nature of this weekend coming but one things for sure. Each year we make new friends, each year we change the route up and create new memories…. And each year we get crazier and crazier with the off colour humour.

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I will post up a picture blog after the ride, in the meantime……let the Brokeback commence.

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A wild ride

The last few months have been testing for me.

My girls been a rock, man I wouldn’t know where I would be without her.

Got the itch to change direction, paid for a training course, bet my future on a roll of the dice…and 3 weeks in went ‘bah not me’

Bad..bad StoneY

Anyway, got the word today on a new job in IT. As long as I pass the Justice Dept check, and my referee’s stand up, I have a permanent job offer. Big step for me, been contracting for years.

The thing with contracting, self management (taxes, GST etc) sucks arse big time and I fucked mine up bad. Realized a few months back, need that salaried role. So when I thought of changing gigs to become a Real Estate guy, I answered an add for ‘real estate apprentices’… met with the advertiser and they paid a 60k salary WHILE YOU STUDIED for the license!!!! 2 years at that rate, no commission, while you learned the trade and qualified. Sign me up I said, threw in my tools in IT and walked away to my ‘new career’

Goalposts moved…… ‘ oh…we don’t do that program anymore, now we want you to qualify, do the course, and then we will start you at point ‘x’ of the old ‘plan A’ now we have ‘plan B’.

Call me a cynic but I hate moving goal posts…

Decided IT ain’t that bad, spent 10 years building my reputation and skillset…. going back but only for a permanent role. And it was hard finding one, ended up heading back down the ladder a few rungs (but its a good thing) to where I excel, not just ‘keep up’.

Today I got the formal offer. Pending my passing the ‘not an axe killer’ MOJ check and my referee’s lying convincingly for me (beer bribes work, WORD!) I am again gainfully employed and for once…not the contractor. Not the guy who just got to know everyone. The suckiest part of contracting… just get to know your crew, the mission, the tools on offer…and you move again. New guy all over, every few months. It sucks. I had come to truly hate it.

Anyway this is a shout out to my babe, my girl, my gorgeous Fiance who stood by me through this indecision, lack of income, lack of motorcycle (another story as I sold the 1400) and a drought of income creating activity from her man…. she put up with it, made sure I knew she was in my corner and I love her for it.

I so needed to re-boot…recharge…get back in focus. I realized its years since I had a holiday and subconsciously I sort of think I took one by osmosis…(smashed Witcher 3 and all DLC at least!)

Anyway back on the horse next week. Maybe a black SV650 pony…we will see. Depends on how the test ride goes….

sv650

StoneY

 

A boring post like so many before

This post is just like many of my other posts, same ride, same route, just a different day and a funny set of challenges to get on the road. But I hope you will enjoy sharing my day with me, it was brisk, even outright cold at times, but mostly decent weather and great riding conditions

We all have those days when you have decided ‘bugger it I am off for a ride’ and you make that call and you get ya gear on and ya walk out to the bike…to discover its dead! NOOOOOOOO!!!!

Hooked up charger, battery expired light lit up instantly. Shit! First real cold morning of the year and the bikes battery has winged its way to battery heaven, to soak in hot acid pools for eternity…. or wherever good batteries go when they die.

Initiate plan; Charger Pack Run, jump in the cage and hit Supercheap for a jumper pack. Cunning plan… get it started and not stop till bike shop…. easy…right?

Home with the pre charged ready to go jumper pack, I get the bike running, sweet as, let it warm right up. Idles for ten minutes while I pack up tools, fit seat, crawl back into full winter kit, helmet, lock up…. Hop on bike, engage first she dies. NOOOOOO… (stand down fool!!!!!) the stand cut-off  ‘saved my life’ but pissed me off no end. Is there enough charge stored to start her yet..???? That most dreaded sound…. “Clickk..clickeddy click click…tttttkkkkkkkkk’ … nope! No guts.

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Instant start technology.

Back inside, unlock shed, get charger pack…tools… take seat off, start bike. Reverse order of process, get on bike, kick stand UP…. Now… yay I am off.

To TSS Red Baron, grab a battery. Day not going to plan….. sigh.

Installing battery in car park, total stranger asks me ‘that’s not for sale is it?’ …my GSX he meant.

Now….. I am studying at the moment, between roles and looking at a new career but funds are very tight. I named a price he could get me interested… and we had a decent chat about the GSX, other bikes, real estate and IT.  It’s a funny old world and non-surprising to anyone that frequents motorcycle shops and showrooms I would guess.

So at last, I am on my way and rolling toward the ‘Rapa’ to blow some webs out. Yay! Had to remind myself to behave, saw lots of five-oh about as well to keep me in line… (almost anyway)

Hit Featherston after a boring hill run with loads of heavy traffic  obstacles, and stop for a break at one of my favourite spots with a  facebook a shot of the bike in the sun.  Stretch, scratch, adjust, and continue!

Peace Garden

Memorial Peace Garden

 

Stopping later for another photo op get a call from a good mate saying he’s  in Featherston  but I am now north of Masterton so give him directions and wait.

Mountains

Waiting

KTM Arrives

Yay a friend….

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rest of the day was boss, lunch at Tui HQ, a fun run through the Pahiatua Track with a madman in a 4×4 Ute on our tails the whole way, towing a trailer at speeds I will not admit to publicly but man he was a determined driver…..
Stopped for comfort break at the usual spot, mine and Kely’s old church and discussed our homeward route, agreeing to part ways after the Paekak Hill Road.

Bio Break

Bio break

I will say this about yesterday, I found out I truly LOVE my heated grips (oh yeah they were not working after the battery swap, investigation at rest stop one resolved the issue, missed connection at terminals)

Sorry for such a boring entry. But… I had a great day. How was yours?

StoneY

Onwards…who said upwards?

Oh well the Ducati’s gone. Off to a Ducati parts salvaging shop down south. I feel like I have been here before, but the course to reach the outcome was oh so different.

So…as a result I am putting up my first ever all picture blog (bar this intro text)
Not in chronological order in any way at all. this is my tribute to my ST4s.

 

south

South Island

can_i_leep_it

Honey look what followed me home…can I keep it?

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Wheelies wooohooo

Ready to rumble into Parliament

Parrot

Squawk, Pollys a pretty boy

Off camping

Brokeback

 

Lake Ferry Hotel

Ferry

 

It stays om tour

On the Brokeb

Paekak Hill

Views

so sad

part

sad

The end

bits

Boxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brotherhood run

Hill top… sigh

 

 

My girls first out of town camping ride!

Loaded and ready to roll. We have a convoy!

Paradise.

Kitchen to the left.

2016, random musings

Where has this year gone so quickly?

So, update on my world.

Ducati’s rooted, sent it to a workshop that was recommended to me, as I needed some work done on it ‘urgently’….67 days later got it back with more issues than it went in with! Suffice to say this is going to the disputes tribunal at the District Court and the bikes now in another workshop of someone I truly trust.

So I bought a new (second hand) bike, a 2007 GSX 1400 Special Edition with low miles and in great nick.  Awesome bike, a little point and shoot but I wont complain. (Emoticon BIG GRIN needed here) she pulls like a 14 year old at band camp.

two up

Our Suzuki two up

Been on a major charity ride, but missed the second one of the season due to a bank error stripping our wekeend’s budget…sad, had to stay at home and missed the fun with my brothers club  Wainui MC (sorry bro) so will have to ensure we show up on Vinyl Night if I get home in time from the track day at Manfeild.

facing some decisions regarding career direction, wont bore anyone with these, but decisions, decisions, decisions… have got these wrong before, need to tread carefully this time.

leading out the crowd

Leading out the crowd

So yeah 2016’s disappearing fast. track day next weekend, first time in years, keen to see what the BIG BUS can do, I know I have the back straight sussed, but can I get a knee down? Last time I had a knee down was to give Kelly a sparkly ring…. 😉

Onward, upwards and ever positive, 2016, you are MY year and we are going to make it a great one.

StoneY