Hot summer

2017 Summary

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It’s been a great summer here in NZ with a temperature reaching 30 degrees and expecting to get higher. I’m already noticing a lot of bikes on the road, and the ride to the beach is a must. Of course, when it’s hot and sunny the last thing that comes to your mind is gearing up for a ride, and believe me the sweat gets to you. I know having safety gears is a must but when you think about riding it’s not just going from A to B nor it’s what you ride that matters! It’s how the ride makes you feel and believe me nothing feels better than having the wind go thru your body on a hot sunny day. Not wearing your gear on! makes the riding experience totally different. The feeling of the breeze going through your head is on another level, of course, I’ll settle just having my short and shirt on for now as it’s illegal to ride without your helmet.

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Summer Rides

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Relaxing at the Pine Beach

It’s been more than a year since I started this journey and I’m really happy that I took this experience from admiring the victory to having my first run into the bush, to meeting great people on the way.

My highlight of 2017 and a milestone was going on my first group ride and staying over for one night while putting 1000km on the bike!! Seeing the remarkable landscape through fantastic routes had me enjoy every minute of it. short rides organised by like-minded people is also a big plus that I would like to never stop having from time to time. :).

The year 2017 for me was all about riding from port hills to coastlines to twisty roads! learning new tricks and installing heat grips and researching new ideas. having a motorcycle is a good hobby. I say hobby as it will never replace the luxury of having a car. the comfort, the safety and the lack of preparation needed when driving you just hop in and go.  Yes, cars are transportation vehicles while motorbikes are recreational vehicles you can have lots of fun on a bike and use it as a commute but you always need to have a mindset ready and prepared that whenever being on a bike it comes with its downfalls? one of them not able to take any unplanned extra packages, not able to just go anywhere at any time (Weather related), and not able to just park and forget (choose safe areas).  It’s been almost three months now on my bike every day so it’s been a blast but soon the summer season will be over and I’ll be dusting off my car unfortunate but until then I’ll enjoy whats left and just ride and ride where the sun sets/rise :D…

 

Test rides 2017 models

As my Suzuki GN125 is up for it’s 6K service. Yes within a year I’ve managed to put under my belt 4.5K. so while waiting I had to spend my time test riding the BMW G310r, G310GS and the Suzuki GSX 250.

Test riding the adventure bike

It turns out the handling of the beemer is easy and the bike feels perfectly balanced and safe with the ABS brakes.

I couldn’t feel a single pump on the road it was like I was floating on thin air!

Test riding the little beemer

The only issue I noticed in both beemers is the clunky sound it makes when you are on 2nd gear! It seems to hate going slow on that gear and you might stall the bike once or twice if you don’t rev it up.! The throttle is a bit lagging and loose but manageable. The breaking is hard to tell but the bike slows down magnificently before you really need to use them.

The difference between the two beemers is the height and how big the GS looks compared to the G310R. Of course the fun bike is the G310R no question. I couldn’t do a clutch-less shift on the GS! The dealer thinks the bike are quite new and needs at least 1K run before the gear box smooth in?

At the dealer

While testing the Suzuki GSX250 the gearing was smooth the throttle was snappy and responsive and the bike accelerates just fine. The only issue was the handling it felt like it resisted counter steering and doing a U-turn was like walking a bike around !!

Test riding

Once I got my lovely GN back yup I still love it why shouldn’t I ? It sounds better than the beemers and handling is better than the GSX and is economly the best of all three. The only downfall is high speed and acceleration which for city commute is just fine. 😍🤩😍

Sleeping beauty

Defensive Riding!!

I’ve been riding my bike commuting to work every day. And it has a nice and good feeling to it.  It’s been a month since I’ve started! and the experience was pleasant and still is! Of course, there were times I felt having all my gear can be troublesome.  Especially when shopping at the mall carrying all that gear can be daunting and a hassle. That’s why it’s best to always meet someone or be with someone and put your gear in the trunk of a car. If you’re expecting a good hot weather then just wearing a helmet plus gloves will be just fine :).

When you’re riding in the city your maximum speed is 50 km/hr so the risk of being seriously injured from a fall doesn’t exceed the same risk as being on a scooter or bicycle.  Yes, I’m all for gear all the time every time, but only if you have a big bike or going fast enough and you’re planning to go on a motorway! Anything else will be left to your best judgment? The risk of being hit or hitting an object is the same with or without a gear and believe me once that happens being fully geared or not won’t make a huge difference on a slow road.

What I’m trying to say what matters is your attitude when riding! what you do in town is the deciding factor in making it or breaking it!. That said, I’ll throw three examples I’ve noticed during my commuting ride here in Nz and what makes having a defensive attitude worth it?

Example 1:

You’re coming up a traffic light and as you’re going to slow down you notice you can lane split up to the front with the intention that before you get down in gear and fully stop the light will turn green and you can easily dash thru. The horrible mistake in assuming this? is that you aren’t giving yourself the time to see what is exactly happening at that intersection?

a- Are cars still passing the yellow light on the other side?

b- Pedestrians (especially mothers with baby strollers)  are still crossing the street?

c- The first car might be daydreaming and suddenly remembers to turn instead of going straight?

Example 2:

Tempting to speed instead of slowing down when overtaking or thinking to overtake and doing it on the driver side. This is like asking for it?! once you do that you will give the driver a straddle! As he is not expecting anything to pass him from his side of the seat and second you more likely to be facing incoming traffic from the opposite lane. You can always use the left side of the road or the cycle lane if needed to just make sure not to make it a habit as it is illegal to use the cycle lane. in this case, just slow down and once the traffic gets to a halt pass with care.

Example 3:

Think of the unexpected. like if you are following a vehicle what happens when something surprises you on the road from underneath the vehicle? will you have time to react? sudden braking or falling off items are things to consider. Hell, even the bugs and birds (like that Seagal in the horizon eyeballing for a nice dump on that shining gear of your’s) not to mention those little jack russell barking their teeth out at every chance a biker pass by. sometimes a dog might get too excited and managed to run away from his owner and cross the road and causes cars to suddenly brake or shift look always ahead of at least 3 cars. (that’s why having a higher seat position is important)

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Daily commute everyday

I’ve burned the bridges as they say, no more driving!! I’ve put my registration on hold and on the bike all the time during this summer. This can be tricky, as you’ll always need to plan ahead. what gear to take? where to keep them? is it safe for your bike? what you need and don’t?

The major difference is petrol and travel time especially during rush hours. This is a fair trade off for all the hassle of caring all that gear around.

Videos of my ride

Editing and moving files takes time so I’ve put some short parts of my trip below of the cornerstone ride.

Part 1 the beginning

https://quik.gopro.com/v/f0b2V1tYsj/

Part 2 passing thru Arthur’s pass

https://quik.gopro.com/v/T9eUYvSNZs/

Part 3 tenting and returning from the west coast

https://quik.gopro.com/v/qXHqTPgPsB/

Cornerstone Ride / Part-2

the-letter-that night, I’ve met two young men from Brasil who loved vlogging on Youtube. The channel was called “Gordo NZ“. You guessed it! it’s about motorbikes trips in New Zealand. the audience was intended for Brasilian at most. I had a good chat with him where he showed me his channel and some videos. I couldn’t see their bikes as it turns out they left them in order to get drunk and return with the shuttle but unfortunately for them the bar only excepts cash. The nearest ATM machine was about 32 minutes walk which is not ideal on a rainy day.

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Later that night I heard they got picked up by the bikers who found them walking in the night to the nearest petrol station speaking of dedication to get drunk! not sure if they returned or not but I’ve certainly gone in early to check on my tent.

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Then I met a nice lady who turns out to be singing that night within a local new band called “COLDROSIE” from hells road to summer 69 and guns&roses all night till midnight.

Coldroassie band

Anyway back to my sleepless night, I was very happy to wake up the other day and spot a rainbow at the horizon of the ocean.

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The sunlight just started to break through the mountains as the fog clears out. a nice view indeed to start my return ride back home collected my stuff put my tent back on the bike and said my fare well to my south african friend and off I went thru the ghost town up the hills no breakfast nothing enjoying the sunny weather on the west coast with stunning scenery!

Stop and took some pictures that were worth stopping for! I mean what the meaning of carrying a camera if you do not use it and being on a motorbike you have the convenience to do just that. to ride on your own terms and pace. I do recommend resisting any temptation to attack the corners because the last thing you want is to be in the middle of nowhere with a puncture tyre and no cell phone coverage to call for help.

Return home route

I really enjoyed my breakfast halfway thru at Arthur’s pass, had a nice chunky date scone with a cappa that warmed up my senses for the day.

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Chunky Date Scone

At this place, two Italian stopped me before I hopped on my bike. Admiring the little Suzuki and its shiny chrome. of course being Italians, fans of the Ducati they really appreciate the trip undertaken on the little bike and admire how it managed to take on the ascending steep of Otari road. I’m proud of the little Suzuki as it’s reliability and lightness made this trip more enjoyable. powered by the tailwind on the way back it was a breeze to pass through the beautiful NZ landscape enjoying the music from my phone with still 85% to go on battery the Vimoto Bluetooth system had enough juice to listen to music on high volume all day long.

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