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

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

 

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.

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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

 

 

Basic human rights and Christmas Island

The best analysis of this fiasco I have yet to read

civicanalysis

Two things about the recent event in which John Key claimed the Labour Party supports rapists and murderers because they question him about the breach of human rights on Christmas Island in Australia:

1) Key was out of line and deceptive to claim Labour supports rapists and murderers, as they obviously don’t have that intention.
2) He was right in saying that there are murders, rapists and child molesters. They are there, that’s a fact. And being inclusive of human rights means allowing theirs also.

This is necessary. If we allow any person under the supervision of a progressive country who believes, broadly, in human rights, then abandoning that for whatever reason, mostly political or for cost-effectiveness, reflects more on the society than the individual. I have the instinctive “lock them up and throw away the key” mentality when I hear about people committing rape or molesting a child…

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Why Taken for a Ride Again?

Why are we doing this documentary? Why are we asking you to help pay for it? Well read on and I will tell you why.

Softening up:

ACC are suggesting to the NZ Public that we Bikers, are, effectively bludgers getting a free ride. For my non Anzac audience a ‘bludger’ is a sponge, a moocher, a freeloader…. You get the drift.

ACC have initiated a campaign proactively smearing us as citizens, playing the numbers and stats game to make us look bad and get public opinion onside to hit us a MASSIVE levy increase in the future.

Easy Targets

Proof we are a unique consideration to ACC’s strategic plans

This disinformation is a clever tool, they are only telling the truth, but in a selective and accusatory manner.

They have released information showing that if we paid for our own costs, across every biker, we would have to pay 2,114$ for big bikes. They have never targeted any other ‘customer’ group so directly, ever! Not even when they stripped support for victims of sexual abuse or sexual crimes did they so specifically release any specific figure per head as a weapon. That they have done this must be regarded with the utmost suspicion as to motive

In 2009 we all rode on a massive national ride to stop this level of increase the last time it came up. We were being threatened with 500$-800$ hikes, because we cost so much. Even then they never stated a figure. Our protest by about 9-10,000 of us had a massive effect. A double edged sword. We got a lower hike, but we also have been seen as ‘blown their wad’. Its perceived we will never repeat such an effort, and the end of this Governments uncontrolled greed is coming to an end. So they are ready to take the last pint of blood.

I explain now why they feel its time they can do this.

They have pushed the very limits on their credibility as a Government. The last jewel in the crown to sell before they are pushed is ACC. They want to sell it as a running insurance agency. A very profitable one…which it is, and should not be by its design.

This year EVERY road user except Motorcyclists got a substantial discount because the fund was now over funded. If this is true, all contributors deserve a fair price cut. Us as well.

ACC works on the basis of all users supporting and cross subsidizing each other. Be it from PAYE account contributions, fuel levy, workplace levy’s…they have been overcharging for years and giving back massive dividends to the Government. To lay financial blame on us is inconsistent with the constitution of ACC. It is not supposed to be a profit driven company, but a fiscally stable socialist support tool. FACT!

Discrimination:

To have singled out one set of a group of contributors (road fund) is despicable. Whatever the costs per head are there are many other examples of high cost customers, that pay no specific contribution to their massive annual claims. 28 Million and change for cyclists. 91+ for Rugby (both codes) As best I can research none of these activities have any structured levy contribution specific to their costs, or risks. And I will say nor should they, to be fair, I am not writing as a hater of our sporting and cycling Kiwi’s. I am making a comparison to prove a point.

free riders

Not hating honest just comparing

But…wait screams the cycling lobby…. we pay ACC on our cars… wait says the rugby clubs, we pay on our PAYE….. so my friends, do us Bikers, and far more than any of you do.

I pay ACC on my earnings, on my car, on both our bikes. It’s a poor and inequitable model, and it’s exacerbated by the fact we are being targeted specifically for another hike judging by the language related to the motorcycle levy’s.  We pay, and pay, and now they soften us up with a tiny small discount of less than 10$, but mark my words a BIG ones coming in this Governments last year in office.

Good ole rugger

Rugby claims

Don’t start me on how much gear I have or never having had a brass cent in claims for any motorcycle incident ever…..
Stats Tool go have a play

We met the challenge Nick Smith placed on us back in 2011.Letting the government engineer another massive hike of our levy’s when we have met the goals set by the previous minister Nick Smith, would be criminally apathetic.

http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/new-council-targets-motorbike-road-toll-2011012117#axzz3pveYt47t

TV3 recorded Nicks promise here

Story here from 2011

And how to help:

The only tool we have to fight back with at this time, is this documentary. Please get onside. Help us find partners in the MC affected industry arms, small businesses needing some publicity, but most of all… hit the givealittle and tell every biker you know to do so as well.

StoneY

PS: This is my last blog on this one topic until the production is compete.
Below here I have a few links to relevant resources.

Our Facebook
The Givealittle
The Website

Enemy Territory

The new project

Ever accidentally discovered you are good at something?

For me it was project management.  Not in the IT Project management side of the coin (although I am good in my roles I play in those at work) but just outright bare bones management of a big project involving lots of people.

Well I discovered I am quite gifted in this area back on 09.  Now the next project starts.

Checklist so far:

  • Ask the two or 3 main groups of contributors are they keen?  Yes. CHECK
  • Find SME’s (Subject Matter Experts) and a Production Expert. CHECK
  • Plan financial resourcing. CHECK
  • Poll financial pool via social media ‘will this fly?’ ‘Yes’ CHECK
  • Get project name sorted (Facebook post, name selected from comments). CHECK
  • Arrange webs resources. CHECK
  • Get web builder for just reputation reference and passion for the cause. CHECK
  • Arrange short film clip with important talking heads and historic clips as a trailer. CHECK
  • Get the kickstarter scheme under way. IN PROGRESS
  • SPAM social media with this project and gain groundswell of support for fundraising IN PROGRESS

I must say…. I am getting pretty good t this mass public project gig….

Watch this space and the Facebook page for updates on ‘Taken for a Ride’ the story of ACC vs NZ BIkers.

Coming to you as soon as we have made it, will be a short trailer. This will be a taste of whats to come, and proof we will not waste your money you are going to happily donate to our cause.

So yeah, watch this space or the Facebook page and remember…pretty soon I will have the kickstarter in place and I want your small donation for the cause, especially if you are a New Zealand biker, scooter rider, motorcycle commuter, racer, friend of any of the aforementioned, family, casual acquaintance, lover, GF/BF …dog…cat….name it.

We…have a story to tell.

StoneY

BIKOI

BIKOI crowd