So, I tried three times to write a report on my trip home when I bought Gabriella, but I suspect trying to do it on my iPad was part of the problem. That was an adventure all of its own riding from Christchurch to Hamilton over two days. But that's for a different post.
This little series of posts is about an annual trip a varied group of us do to see different parts of New Zealand. Last year we were due to go to Greytown in the Wairarapa area, but the forecast was abysmal and we went elsewhere. This year the long term forecast was pretty promising, so we committed to going and making the most of what we found. My wife decided she would stay at home so I decided to ride Gabriella to Napier on the Thursday and spend the night with the chief organiser of the rabble before we got together on the Friday. I had the opportunity to work in the morning and was home about 10:30 and soon had the bag attached to the front rack and I was off.
State Highway 1 is the direct route from Hamilton (home) to Taupō but it is populated with trucks and drivers more interested in their cell phones than a 100kg scooterist skipping down the road. So I got south of Cambridge and turned off the main road and followed the Waikato River Trail to Tokoroa then Whakamaru. I crossed the hydro electric dam there and continued south for a little while before turning east towards Taupō. By the time I got there, having been running into the wind, and overall uphill, the tank was getting a bit low - to the point of all the bars having disappeared on the fuel gauge. Despite that I still put less than 8 litres in for about 200km, 74mpg (imperial). A hot drink and a bite to eat and I was off again, headed to Napier. The road between Taupō and Napier is well known in New Zealand, it has three distinct high points, and is often closed for snow in winter. Again I was running pretty much WOT to make sure I wasn't a mobile chicane and I refuelled again in Napier so I was ready to go in the morning. Again, despite the steep uphills and wide throttle openings, I still managed 74mpg. It was then time to put the scooter away for the night, get the bag off and settle down with a wine and snacks before kebabs for dinner. I slept well in anticipation of catching up with everyone else in the morning.
More to follow.
(Note: Currently I am having difficulties with pictures, I will work on fixing that later).
2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
Joined: 29 Jun 2016
Day 1 of the Big Adventure. We met for breakfast at a local café before setting off towards our home for the next three nights. Eggs on toast with a short black got the day underway well and the group of five scooters (with a tag along for the morning) set off southwards. We stopped in a little place called Waipawa and everyone gassed up, me included with about 2 or 3 litres, and headed for Waipukurau then Route 52. This is a sinuous country road that is primarily a rural service road, but for a distance south of Waipukurau was quite damaged from logging trucks using it to take logs to the Port of Napier. There's a few reasons to go this way; firstly, it isn't the main road, secondly, you pass the longest place name in the world https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taumatawhakatangi%C2%ADhangakoauauotamatea%C2%ADturipukakapikimaunga%C2%ADhoronukupokaiwhen%C2%ADuakitanatahu and further, you pass through a few typically New Zealand small towns like Wimbledon which appears to only have a pub, and Pongaroa with a few more buildings. We took our time stopping regularly and by the time we got to Masterton orange fuel lights were showing, particularly on the Honda 150.
From Masterton it was a relatively easy run through Carterton to Greytown where we booked into Greyfriars Motel, all freshened ourselves and had a wine before we walked to the local pub for a great pub meal. We eventually wandered home and set the time for the next morning get together.
A great day's riding with only a minor drama of one of the scooters emitting smoke its instrument panel that turned out to be the earth wires trying to catch fire, most likely because the high/low beam switch was short circuiting. We managed between us to dismantle the plastic headset and cut the wires and insulate them leaving the scooter with no headlight, but we don't ride at night so no problem.
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