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Old 22-03-2006, 12:38 PM   #1
Mapping the next ride...
glitch's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 16,679
Default Fire 'n Ice NZ'05 pt.1

Nearly 18 months in the planning…
5 whole weeks of bliss…shipping the bikes with Dave Milligan ( to Christchurch, then taking the best of the New Zealand's roads for a ride-to-remember.
Shipping 5 bikes, Nigel from Ballarat and Jimbo from Hawaii organized hire-bikes for their shortened 2-week tag-along. Moira and Billy with a little Toyota Echo.
Of course it had to rain the day we had to present CLEAN bikes for shipping:

Virgin Pacific goofed it's way through the bookings, "arranging" for part of the group to arrive a day later in Christchurch.

Pick up in Christchurch, Dave "praying" all is was.

The bikes had to go through a technical inspection after they were unloaded from the container and here the fun began:

Dave sent us to a place nearby with which he'd organized the inspection of our 5 bikes that morning.
Meeting some others the night before who'd had their bikes shipped and seen the tester-guy that day, told of the tester very nearly dropping a Duke ST4 as he wanted to test ride the bike 'to make sure the speedo works".
Didn't make it 10 feet out of the drive before nearly dumping it.

We rolled up at the tyre place doing the tests and the V-Strom rolled into the left inspection bay. Lights/horn…check, a rattle on a foot peg ….then out came the torch and he crouched down at the front of the bike shining the torch into the fairing....????? Eh?
"Just checking the head bearings !!!"
He must be having me on!!!

Apparently they were fine, the torch didn't show him anything wrong.
Bike passed.

Next the GSXR-1000: Tim walks up to him, telling him "no ride on my bike".
Consternation is the result, the hair comes up...
Usual stuff, then "how many klicks has she done?" 38.000 km...
"Pretty close to a rebuilt then, all Jappers need a total rebuilt around 40.000 km !!"
Then the head-bearing-torch check, this time from the top...


Next the 1900 km "old" Guzzi.
"Can't pass it, it's got a leaking exhaust"
"yeah, right there !" WHERE??? "there" WHERE??????????????
Out comes his benevolent side and the bike is passed after I start to get the 10mm spanner out to tighten a TIGHT (any more and you'd squash the pipe) exhaust clamp.

Then the R1 (shit, it's near 50.000 km...let's hope we get it out of the drive before it falls to bits not having had it's 40.000 total rebuilt, eh?)
"Left fork seal is leaking!" WOT? "Look here, feel it" (rubbing his fingers together, feeling the "oil").
Doing the same, I come up with a drop of WATER, also rubbing the fingers together... "What's that there?" (pointing at the oggy-knobs)…

Oh Mama!! Pleeeease... it's starting to hurt now.…

Last the Pegaso...he'd never seen one of those and passed it without a hitch.

At this stage it was near to impossible to hold on and NOT kick the fuggwit up the arse....or alternatively just roll down that concrete driveway bursting with laughter...

Then we get the rap about testers sticking their necks out if passing shonky stuff and how dangerous it all is.... it was hilarious. For anyone desperate for a good laugh...this place is HIGHLY recommendable. Anyone after a career as a NZ WoF (Warrant of Fitness)-tester? Buy a torch…and you’ve got the job !!

Dave took the time to play guide and get us out of Christchurch smoothly, thanks mate.

Eventually it all came together at the end of the first day in Oxford (about 60 km west of Christchurch), the publican had organized a smorgasbord for 9...on a day the pub is normally closed. And it was great.
Whadda ya mean " the kitchen sink?"

Meet up of everyone...

The Holiday Park in Ashley Gorge (close to Oxford) is certainly recommendable as a first/ last night's stay, being only 60 km from Christchurch via some nice, open country roads.

Next morning we were finally off, the weather good, dry roads and spectacular scenery as a background.
Breakfast at the Oxford-Pub...the poor publican faced by a hungry mob.

The sharp, chiselled contours of the mountain ranges spell "volcanic" loud and clear.

A Kea tried it's luck on Jimbo's bike-boot at the top of Arthur's Pass and would've succeeded if not heavily discouraged; persistent buggers they are and not afraid at all.

Goodie and Jimbo... the heart and soul of the bunch.

The weather was holding as we turned off the main road to Greymouth just after Jacksons, turning north via Moama and Stillwater around Lake Brunner to Greymouth. Oblivious to another turnoff everyone kept moving along pretty swiftly….until the road turned to gravel just after 2 consecutive one-lane bridges….and the rear-end of the bike started to have it's own ideas, fully loaded, at a 100kph plus )
Up the garden path, hehe

The first intro to the always present topic: GRAVEL….EVERYWHERE AND ANYTIME.

The café in Moama proved a good choice, nice views from the sundeck across the lake and good tucker as well as coffee.

A Greymouth local helped us to find the Top10 Holiday Park, a good choice.
Tim did his magic on the BBQ after some shopping and the table blocked the thoroughfare to other traffic.

Shooting stars galore down the pebble beach closed a great first day.

Greymouth "Parking Lot"

Off to Reefton (north-east) the next morning via the Blackball Hilton Hotel (which has been the subject of a looming lawsuit by the international Hilton Hotel chain in the past, what a joke),

then north to Inangahua before the "Magic Run" through the Buller Gorge….what a road ;D ;D ;D….and on to Westport.
Buller words needed...

The visit to the Westport Coal-Museum was well worth it, the amount of old "mechanicals" displayed is pretty stunning.

From marine to coal-mining to automotive gadgets-of-old… even a very early 50cc Aprilia moped. Up the coast and up the hill

to the old coal-mining settlement of Denniston, a great 9km of twisties end up on a high-plateau with brilliant views of the coast and endless relics of the coal-mining days.

Turning north, the stretch from Mokihinui to Little Wanganui proved a twisties-smorgasbord...and a heart-stopper due to loose gravel every 3. bend.

The cabins in Karamea were the cheapest of the whole trip...and...deservedly so…... VERY basic.

Along the way...not really doing a roaring trade, eh?

Enough for the day...Jimbo

The walk along the lagoon in the late afternoon sunlight made up for it though

Back through Westport the next morning

and out to Cape Foulwind for a well-worth look,

followed by one of the best stretches of road of the whole trip...Great Ocean Road, eat your heart out !!

It's all over at Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks…

Through Greymouth and down the coast.
State Hwy 6....bridge south of Greymouth

…looks like the weather's moving in from the south.
A warning regarding speed-traps down south is passed on by 2 locals on a BMW K12 and Trumpy Rocket 3 (what a monster) in Hokitika...thanks guys, saw all of those you mentioned.

Franz-Josef Glacier is booked out, so we have to dip into the low-hanging clouds across the saddle to Fox Glacier and just make it in time before the drizzle starts. Great set of twisties...Tim and John go back for another lap despite the damp roads.

Sasha's wasp-sting from 2 days ago has swollen her eye shut, off to the quack in the morning…

Time for a rest-day and some kicking-back, digesting the last few days…
The $28 family-pizzas are a shocker...until they're served. They turned out to be worth every cent .

Part 2:
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Old 22-03-2006, 07:13 PM   #2
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This brings back sooooo many awesome memories, but not of that sting.....
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Old 22-03-2006, 07:14 PM   #3
<-- now went that way
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Newport
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This brings back sooooo many awesome memories, but not of that sting.....
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Old 22-03-2006, 07:15 PM   #4
<-- now went that way
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Posts: 2,382


my sort of ride report, almost all pictures
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Old 22-03-2006, 07:17 PM   #5
Mapping the next ride...
glitch's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 16,679

Sorry to those on dial-up (they'll be bathed in coffee until the stuff loads up)....but once copy/ pasting the links into the text, I just couldn't help it.
What the hell, some good pics there ;D ;D ;D
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