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

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

 

 

Moronic Myths and Representation

Rego

I want to clear something up.

There is STILL this ridiculous misconception some people have that BRONZ sold them out in regards the ACC Levy Hikes of 2009 – 2010 and the creation of the MSAC and its 30 dollar levy.

Let me start with a disclaimer.  While I was President of BRONZ Wellington and Spokesperson for the Federation 2009 – 2012 and a committee member until 2013, I am in no way a representative or anyone who can speak on BRONZ’s behalf anymore.  I am merely a card carrying member, no S000001.

In 2008 the National Government took power off the ‘nanny state’ Labour govt.  In early 2009 they announced changes to ACC, they claimed Labour had run the country broke (20b overseas debt the lowest in decades and 3 surplus budgets in a row – Tui anyone?) and that ACC was BROKE, in DESPERATE FINANCIAL CRISIS.  That was utter horseshit.  ACC was in fine shape with 5 billion in operational funds but an overnight change from pay as you go to pre-funded meant with clever bookwork they manufactured a 3 million dollar shortfall.

When Nick Smith announced across the board levy hikes Bikers were singled out as the cause of all the financial distress in regards Motoring Account ‘shortfalls’.  Again this was manufactured and based on pre-funding with 15 years to achieve the operational balance to get to the ‘required target’ and those dirty leather clad Bikers were the ones who had to pay up.

Nick and the ACC chair at the time had a public press conference claiming each and every motorcyclist was being subsidized by Car owners, to the tune of 800$ per year for each biker.  Mike Noon of AA chimed in claiming the real figure was 1500$ per motorcyclist and that was unfair on AA’s members (never mind 30% of AA members also had Motorcycles the prick).  On an economy of scale, with 4 million cars and 200,000 or so registered bikes, it is true we the bikers were cross subsidized, but not by just car owners, but vans, trucks, all road vehicles included.  This is no issue in a no fault no blame assurance scheme, it was true but the actual figure was not clear, no matter what way you calculated it.  Noon and Smith and the ACC chair were throwing Bikers under a bus to get public opinion onside to rape us financially.

The initial press releases by Smith and Noon were used for Smith to try get the public onside with them and make Smith out to be ‘fair and reasonable’ by Smith claiming ‘oh we won’t make them pay all of that, but a hike of around 800$ per registered bike is expected’.  ACC levy’s on bikes had risen by 110$ only 15 months prior to this under the previous government, and they were now going to put 800$ more on the bill! And no discount if you had any other vehicles contributing, nor any consideration you can only ride ONE bike at a time!  This would have made bike registration about 1100$ per bike.

The outrage was immediate, and not just from bikers.  My best mate Byron (now BRONZ Wellington President) texted me ‘you arrange the protest, I will be there’.  Kiwibiker website forum lit up, and immediately the general biker public, almost none of them financial members of BRONZ (as I wasn’t at the time either) demanding action, wanting to know what BRONZ was going to do about it.

Les Mason, the President of BRONZ Auckland and nominally at the time, National President by proxy of this fact, was quick to start the wheels rolling.  The recent HIKOI over foreshore issues inspired the name BIKOI for a National Protest Ride was born.  To where … it had to be to Parliament.

I put my hand up to help in Wellington, and regional coordinators volunteered and convoy locations were arranged.  I requested access to parliament after a Kiwibiker Poll chose my 40th birthday as the date, and this all took months of planning.  Road action plans were made with the Police, parking plans and street actions with the Council, meetings with Parliament Security, arranging access and parking for thousands of bikes at Westpac Stadium (approx. 6000 rode in and out of Wellington that day).  I ended up being the main organiser, with press interviews, arranging speakers, setting schedules, getting toilets for the parking area, sponsorship from bike shops etc.  All the other coordinators, and BRONZ Auckland (the main organising body at the wider public’s request) asked me to MC the event as I had done so much work on it.  I was humbled, and on the day managed to step up and not fall over the mic cord thank god!

Les Mason led a coalition of 12 representatives from all the main bike clubs and groups like WIMA, Ulysses, HOG, admins from Kiwibiker who were well respected no shit Sherlock’s with knowledge of Motorcycle Safety and such,  and even a professional bike trainer and a representative from the Retail industry! THAT is who negotiated with the Minister of ACC folks, NOT JUST BRONZ.  12 carefully, evenly, openly selected representatives of your Biker Community, led by BRONZ only in name.

Les was the primary spokesperson to the crowd from the 12 disciples, backed by every single main group out there with large public memberships.  This was led by BRONZ but it was not totally a BRONZ event, it was 8 organisations, a public Biker Forum, and about 9000 attendees with approximately 6000 rolling bikes.  It was epic, and best of all we got in, and out, with no crashes, no events and no fatalities.  One poor bugger got wiped out near Wanganui hours after leaving Wellington, but that was not in the convoy event, I hope he recovered ok.

Ulysses National Secretary represented them but their National President of the time pissed off to Singapore, he had publicly stated ‘do not count on the BIKOI, we have to negotiate and work with the Government on this’ and he was adamant our National Ride was going to be a disaster with bikers down all over the place, he actually said there would be deaths, and it was a ‘stupid idea’ publicly to many people.  He was WRONG!  Didn’t stop him getting off the plane, bee-lining to parliament and claiming credit for ‘bringing 5000 bikes to Parliament, they better listen’ with a TV1 news crew, the hypocrite.  He had NOTHING to do with it he left it to other members like Ken Wilson and Howard the National Secretary…. Meantime he negotiated the 30$ ring-fenced fee in the background, one of the MOST unpopular additions to the ACC model there is to date, and he is now Deputy Chair of said council with a nice salary to attend half a dozen meetings per year.  BRONZ was present in the formation of that council and its initial members, in the form of me but I was soon kicked out for refusing to tow the party line and actually informing Bikers what was going on, refusing to be gagged but that’s a different story.

So now that is the history.  Here’s the point of my blog today.

BRONZ DID NOT SELL YOU OUT.

BRONZ initiated the protest action that resulted in the levy being raised by 178$, to reach what it is now. 527$ for 12 months Registration and ACC levy combined, which includes the very controversial 30$ ‘ring-fenced’ Safety Levy that feeds the pigs drinking at its trough for the last 5 years…delivering nothing of value.

BRONZ could actually claim to have saved you all over 500$ per year!  But instead of hollering from the rooftops has kept diligently working in the background with OIA’s, I was removed from the council (MSAC) by Gareth Morgan because I refused to be gagged (yet they allowed the AA rep to continue posting in public, my inclusion was merely to try GAG BRONZ, it failed, I refused to be gagged)

Today, a friend I hold very highly as an IT professional in the industry I work in, stated on Facebook that ‘BRONZ sold us down the river’…. I want to know HOW?

BRONZ had no say in what the levy got set to. In fact had they not initiated, led, and organised a National Protest ride it would have gone uncontested to well over 1000$ per bike, FACT!

Want to research that yourself? Search it out on Google, go back and read Nick Smiths press releases pre BIKOI.  Check the links on Kiwibiker to the TV One playbacks. For once I am not going to link the evidence and the TV soundbites, but you can find then all linked via Kiwibiker Forum.  You can find speeches on Youtube, you can see the crowd on the day sing me Happy Birthday proving what high spirits the 9000+ crowd were in on November 17 2009.

At the Backbencher pub 30 minutes after the event BRONZ asked myself, Byron Cummins, and Paul Ellen to re- open a branch in Wellington and keep pressure on Parliament, which we did.  I was nominated Branch President, and as a result got invited by Nick Smith to be on the MSAC Steering Committee and the Council (in hindsight a bad move it fed the BRONZ sold us out myth)

BRONZ sweated, bled, shed tears, and its leadership sacrificed at great lengths for the NZ Biker Public on this cause.  The levy’s were set by the Government, NOT BRONZ.  BRONZ’s actions resulted in a huge reduction of what was proposed.

I repeat, I am no longer in the organisation as any sort of representative, but will take my pride in that achievement to my grave knowing damn well we did all we could, we did it selflessly, at great personal expense, (in my case a marriage, and my career in public service for several years) and without having done what we did you, my fellow riders who keep bashing BRONZ as sellouts, would have sold your bike in disgust, which is what the gubbermint wanted to happen.

Now don’t start me on free parking in Wellington City…THAT campaign led to me stepping down as President after a reporter fucked us over but that’s a different story altogether, suffice to say we ended up with a guarantee of 500 free bike spaces…for now…and BRONZ meets the council every 6 months to ensure it stays that way…no one else does it.

So stop bashing the hard working BRONZ executive they give up time, energy, money and major portions of their private lives to represent you lot…and you whinging bastards abuse them, blame them, and claim they sold you out.  How about paying the 20$ per annum fee, joining up, and working WITH BRONZ to help them achieve more?  Think you can do better?  Think YOU can change the world in the face of a hostile anti biker government?

Go ahead.  MAG are trying as well, and doing a great job with what they are doing to.

Instead of abusing those who had the BALLS to stand up and do the work, how about fuckin supporting them?

Rant over.
StoneY

Hands off our Dolphins Chevron

So a jumped up little upstart puppet of the oil companies that pretends to be minister of energy in my country, has signed off rights to Chevron to explore our shores, and our forests, for oil.

This is corruption at its worst.

Sign the petition to send the idiot a massive postcard expressing your disaproval.

Two thirds of our country have stated they do not want oil exploration in our deep water coastal areas or our national parks, yet the Minister for Energy has signed off the rights to do so to none other than Chevron, who currently face charges for lack of safety and oversight in South America where they have caused massive environmental damage.

The prick says “We don’t accept cowboys in New Zealand. We have incredibly high standards that I have personally lifted. [Chevron] has had to go through a rigorous process to satisfy us that they are good enough to be here”
What the hell does HE know about drilling in the ocean?????

I know MY friends will sign.
Even the most right wing ones I know would not support the potential destruction of our marine or inland national parks.

Save our Maui Dolphins. There are only 55 left in the world.

maui_dolphin_nz_will_rayment_352389

Sign the petition here
http://www.actionstation.org.nz/sendsimonapostcard?recruiter_id=28663

bridges_holding_sign3

Time to take the power back.

StoneY

That crazy time of year

And here we go again.

The crazy, mad rush into the Yuletide season. Has a whole year since the last round of madness really gone past?

Grinch_smile_by_CrescentRolls

Yep, its back again. Retailers out to take our gold, offspring planning their lists, friends planning parties, work events and club yearly end of’s to attend galore!

Alas, this year, I am feeling more than a little grinchy.
Employment hassles, large bills, legal fee’s, taxes…it has all become a little much this year.

However at least I still have the unconditional love of a good woman, my yellow Ducati to ride, and a comfy, dry, warm home to live in.

I suppose I need to count the blessings and ignore the worries as best I can, but this year, it all seems a little bit too much to overcome with mere good cheer and Plum Pudding.

I could always go overboard partying I guess but that’s not going to secure the next role or help pay the bills.
Cynical? Sadly, I think I have earned my cynicism this year.

What floats your boat at Christmas, are you a Grinch, or a Reveler?Santa

StoneY