MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

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MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:37 pm

I've done a few rides over the years and most recently a six week tour through 13 countries in Europe.

So as time permits I will post some pics of the trips. I'll do some on my trip rides in Europe (two), rides in Australia (two) and tour rides in NZ (lost count). Only multi day trip rides will be posted here.

Here are a few pics to wet your appetite

Around Stelvio Pass
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St Petersburg
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Finland
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New Zealand
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:16 pm

Cool, thanks for setting up the board and moving this thread.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby LadyDraco » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:37 pm

CD is on the ball... :thumb

Love the photos MK
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby Delicate Snowflake » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:04 pm

MrKiwi - you've done 2 x European and 2 x Oz trips...

How did you arrange your bikes for these trips? Shipping them over from NZ? Renting? Buying them there?

Ta.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:11 pm

For Europe I was a naughty boy according to 'she who must be obeyed'. She and I were on a holiday in in the UK and Europe in 2015. She had gone up to the UK two months ahead of me with her elderly parents and I headed up to rescue her and then head on our own holiday with her parents. Spent a week there and then we flew to Turkey for week, flew to Venice, caught the train to Pisa and then up the coast to Monterosso then flew to the Netherlands. We spent several days with an inmate from another bike forum who I had been liaising with for several years and he invited us to stay with him. On our last day with him he suggested we head to his local motorbike shop and my wife said no, no , no that's a bad idea :patch .

Long story short I saw a 1998 Transalp there with low miles, in excellent condition and reasonably priced. I decided to buy the bike. My wife's reaction - well it was :fp . I intended to import the bike home straight away as I wanted to have a bike like this at home. But my dutch friend mentioned he had a spare spot in his garage and I could leave it with him. He volunteered to look after it, ride it from time to time and ensure the bike was ready for me to ride whenever I could get back to the Netherlands. My wife was like :wall :DirtDOG :wall .

My friend and I were like YES :wings :wings :wings . We couldn't understand her :dontknow .

However, not being a local I could not road register or insure the bike in my name. This was done by my friend. My friend is awesome and he did a great job looking after the bike. Both my trips (2016 and 2017) were based from his place.

I spent some money modernising the bike, it got new suspension to cater for my weight ( :lol8 ), crash bars, LED's, wiring loom for a TomTom GPS, centre stand, rebuilt seat and a few other things. Parts in Europe are a lot cheaper than here.

That bike is now on the high seas in a container on its way to NZ. Next time I go up it will be for a shorter trip and I will hire a bigger bike as MrsKiwi will be coming with me as pillion.

For Australia I borrowed bikes. I am fortunate in that I work for vehicle manufacturers/distributors in NZ. Two of the motorcycle distributors run their NZ business from Sydney and they were more than happy to lend me a bike (Harley Davidson and Ducati). Yes I pinch myself sometimes.

I am planning to do a trip of around 9-10 weeks in North America in 2019. We will ships bikes up for this trip as it is much cheaper than renting over that length of time. One of the guys who will be on the trip has family who lives in Vancouver, so he bought a bike last year and it is stored in Vancouver. He went up this year and spent six weeks riding it. He will sell it after we complete out 2019 trip.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:15 pm

The two demonstrator bikes I used in Oz
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby LadyDraco » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:38 pm

Sweet ! Both look nice :thumb
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:26 pm

End of my working day, so let's get the ball rolling. First up are my two Australian trips.

In 2013 I reconnected with an old university friend who had been living in Sydney for over 25 years. He invited me to jump the ditch and join him for a ride to an annual BMW cancer fund run. I needed to be in Sydney about the time of the trip so I organised my travel around the ride. For work I was visiting two motorcycle distributors who manage their NZ distribution and dealer network from Sydney. I mentioned to them I would meet with them before or after the weekend as I wanted to do the bike ride with a friend and I would hire a bike to do that. No they said, let us lend you a demonstrator. First up was the Ducati Multistrider Touring and I chose that in 2013.

A year later I went back again, this time with MrsKiwi and we did a longer ride. The plan was to use the HD tourer, but when we arrived, much to the disgust of the HD Managing Director, one of his staff had lent the bike to someone else without checking the booking system :DirtDOG . We ended up with the Road King, but it did not have a lot of luggage capacity, a real worry for MrsKiwi. Traveling light is not her thing :lol8 .

In 2013, it was a three day ride, and 2014 we did a 5 day ride. Hell of a lot of fun on both occasions. That multistrider sure can boogie when you open the throttle :letsfide

Some pics form the 2013 trip
Tidy bike, tidily packed.
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My mate always rides with his wife and his BMW Adventure bike comes with modified suspension and other things to carry the load.
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Stopping off to look at this along the way (can't quite recall its name), but it is in Parkes.
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Our plan was to head to Tottenham near the geographic centre of New South Wales. We stopped along the way to grab a burger and beer. Given about 80 odd other riders were riding in the that direction and we were late the lonely hotel in the middle of now where had run out of beer and burgers. :DirtDOG
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Our set up for the night, I'm in the small yellow tent.
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We were not alone
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The sunset was nice
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A fun night of food, beer, laughter, raffles, more beer and lots of snoring sleepers in the wee hours of the following morning ensued. The next day we rode to the centre of the State.
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We rescued one of these from the middle of the road, not sure what it is called, it is a lizard of some type, a shingleback I think.
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Then it was a long ride back to my mates place through the Blue Mountains and lots of speed cameras. There was a reasonable amount of collateral damage done to the insect population.
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The short route for this trip was Sydney to Goulburn then up to Cowra and Parkes to view the dish, then onto Condobolin and Tottenham. The way back through Dubbo, Orange, Bathurst (rode our bikes arund the race track), the Blue Mountains and Sydney.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby Delicate Snowflake » Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:23 am

MrKiwi wrote:I am fortunate in that I work for vehicle manufacturers/distributors in NZ. Two of the motorcycle distributors run their NZ business from Sydney and they were more than happy to lend me a bike


Ah! One of my old roles (sort-of) from a past life (pre 2000)!

Indeed, great perks re demo bikes :wings

p.s. thanks for the info re your Euro trip
p.p.s. lovely pics
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:09 pm

Having enjoyed a blast with my mate in 2013, I went back to do the same fun raiser bike rally in 2014, this time with MrsKiwi.

I had arranged to use this, it promised comfort and luggage space:
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But someone forgot to look at the booking system and the bike was lent to someone else the day before I arrived. We ended up with this instead, a slight difference :dontknow :
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:43 pm

This was a five day trip, in September, with the route taking us from Sydney to just north of Canberra then to Young, Condobolin and the back roads to Tottenham. We were not meant to run on gravel, but we made some wrong turns ended up doing around 80kms on gravel - kind of fun on an overloaded Road King :letsfide .

From there we went to Millthorpe and stayed in a lovely B&B for the night. The final day's ride we stopped off at the Jenolan Caves and then back through the Blue Mountains to Sydney. The hog was Ok two up at 80km/hr or less, but at 100-110 km/hr we felt every single little imperfection in the road. However, I was happy to have ridden it, I had never ridden a HD before.

A few pics.
First ask, load the bikes. This was not easy and John ended up taking some of MrsKiwi's gear (her shoes I believe :dontknow )
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We loaded up and headed off, staying at Young in a motel for the night. It was frosty the next morning, I didn't expect that.
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With the bike loaded again, off we went
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But if I thought my bike was loaded, see John's. The boxer carried the gear plus two riders really well.
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We got to Tottenham, the previously spotless bike bike was a little dusty
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This was the cause
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but before we got there we went through some nice farmland
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Saw a bit of wildlife Oz style
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As we headed further inland form the coast the landscape changed
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We finally made it to the beer and burger shop again. This time some beer but no burgers, too many bikes before us. That little gravel detour cost us our lunch again :DirtDOG
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We were not happy to have missed the famous burger again!
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We eventually made it to the camping spot, set up camp, reconnected with friends from the previous year and settled in for the night.
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MrsKiwi had the small tent, and I slept in the bivy bag
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As the sun set we set in for a long evening and food, tall stories, beer, more food and more beer and then lots of snoring (or so I am told, I didn't hear a thing :ImaPoser )
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The rest of this trip tomorrow.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:58 pm

A few pics of the evening views as the sun set

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A slow and casual start to the morning for an easy ride to Millthorpe. For some reason we didn't stop to take many photos on this bit of the ride, but we did when we got to the B&B. It was a house to ourselves with a great outlook.
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We enjoyed the wine and cheese they left for us (our friends who we rode with)
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The bikes had their own spot
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And then the sun set. We enjoyed a relaxing evening over good food, brilliant views and fine wine.
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The next morning we awoke to magical misty views
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Millthorpe was a dying town within reach of Sydney. People had left the town for the bright lights, but it is now undergoing a resurgence as a nice weekend get away place. It has reinvented itself as a cottage arts and crafts centre.
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and of course some fine wines
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Lots of bird life early in the morning
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Our first destination for the day was to visit the Jenolin Caves, a historical Aboriginal location which is now a touristy place within easy reach of Sydney
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We spent a lazy few hours walking around, watching the wildlife and enjoying a coffee
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No idea of who these guys are they just photobombed the shot :ImaPoser
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These friendly critters wanted our food
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Then it was back to John's place and time to clean the bike. Ince cleaned she who must be obeyed wanted to pose on it :dontknow
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I've been meaning to head back to Australia again to do more riding but so far have not. The scenery are very different to NZ, so it makes for a nice change.
Last edited by MrKiwi on Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby GrouchyGeezer » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:57 am

Love the very old buildings and mountain roads. For me, that's what makes it unique.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby Camp Director » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:29 pm

Great write-up MrKiwi! Thanks for taking the time to post it here.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:37 pm

Time to write up my European trips over the coming week and eventually I will get around to posting pics of the great motorbike riding roads in NZ.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:21 pm

So I bought a bike and my friend Bernard was happy to look after it. This was a good arrangement. I named the bike Red, for obvious reasons. A few photos of how I modernized the bike, this happened over an 18 month period.

This is her as I bought her (out on a test run)

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Very tidy. I flew home and paid for the bike by international bank transfer and ordered some Honda Hand guards, new chain and sprockets, crash bars and a center stand.

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Red in good company
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Next were new tires, and Bernard fitted an old 20L solid top box to the bike. A set of TKC 70 tires is a good option for this bike. Those hand guards won't save your hand in a crash, but they sure do keep the wind and rain off your hands while riding.
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So with this set up I rode the bike for a 12 day trip in 2016
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It was OK, but a little uncomfortable. The suspension was tired and I needed to do something with the seat. So after that trip, we had the following work done:
- new front and rear suspension. Progressive Wilbers springs up front and adjustable rear, Wilbers 640, sourced from Germany.
- the seat was rebuilt. added around 4cms up front. This work was done in Vendam, near Bernard's place and they specialize in renovating old cars. They did a really good job on the seat rebuild.
- found panniers and pannier racks - Heavy Duty. This company is based on Romania.
- raised the handle bars by 20mm.
- installed LED lights on the crash bars
- wiring loom for a TomTom 450 GPS

The bike was now ready for my 2017 trip, a six week tour through 13 different countries.

The finished product
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Coming out of the suspension tuning shop
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The bike sits up better and has less sag
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Bernard's girlfriend took the bike for a test ride, and she liked it
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Next up I decided the I did not like the black indicator lenses, so these went and new indicators were installed
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GPS
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LED's
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And now to finish off the story of Red for the time being, she is all crated up and on the high seas heading to NZ. I will finally have her at my place by middle of this month
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby LadyDraco » Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:33 pm

I was wondering if RED was back at your home yet ...
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Life is what you make of it .
If it don't fit make alterations .
Just because the road is rocky doesn't mean your spirits should get rocky, too.{Crazy Cora}
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:27 pm

In May 2016 I headed up to the Netherlands to do some riding with Bernard. The plan was simple, spend a coupe fo days riding around the Netherlands with Bernard and one of his friends so I could get used to riding on the other side of the road and then head to Winterberg, Germany for a motorcycle meet up and then head to the Harz region and finally back to Veendam, Netherlands.

Something like this (but of course all good plans are changed on the day)

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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:37 pm

The first day was a gentle ride out. But there is nothing gentle about Dutch road rules! Their roundabouts are confusing as there are different rules depending on what type of roundabout it is. Even the Dutuch sometimes get it wrong!

After a bloody long flight, and changed travel plans which saw me stop over in London for two nights, I eventually got to Amsterdam and caught the train north. Four days to traveling and I reach my destination. Red is safely stored away behind the door on the left
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Bernard and I head out to a (proper) cafe for lunch going the indirect route. This was to set the theme for this particular trip, food, lots of it, mmmmm.

A few pics from my first day riding on the other side of the road.
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Food
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My mate Bernard (the shorty :ImaPoser )
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Apart from the other side of the road bit I felt right at home, it was windy
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Then back to Bernard's place for some wine and food
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:49 pm

The second day's ride was a little further and with one of Bernard's friends. It was good to meet him, as he came on this year's trip too.

We rode to the coast, I wanted to see the famous dykes up close. Then some lunch, but not before we had been to a cafe earlier on the day.

Bernard's mate arrives on his new S10.
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We head off and they take me past the birth place of Abel Tasman, the first European to discover NZ. Bernard is really quite short :lol8
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Then to a cafe, time for me to sample some more of that famous Dutch apple cake
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It was a nice view from the cafe
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Then out to a small port area to have some fish for lunch. I discovered the Dutch dry sense of hunor, I let them order for me. Mistake - that meal is bigger than it looks
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We checked out some dykes
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Did I mention that the Netherlands is flat, very flat (view form top of a dyke)
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