I have booked my bike in for its' 18,000 km service on Tuesday, so needed to do a 400+ km ride this weekend to get the kms on the dial. The plan was to do a pre-GC (Grand Challenge 1000miler) night ride, probably over the 'hill', up through Pongaroa to Dannevirke, Saddle then Track, back over the 'hill', Akatarawa Road to Waikanae and back to home. (approximately 450 -500 kms). But after meeting up with DennisR in Motorad on Friday, I had a change of plan as he and Bazza57 were looking at a ride on Saturday, Dennis just a short one as he's in recovery mode, but Bazza had a full day leave pass and obviously needed a buddy.
It wasn't a hard decision to can the night ride and hook up with the boys at 1000hrs at Fraser Park on Saturday, a quick decision to have a coffee in Martinborough, after which Dennis would return and we would carry on. Bazza was looking to do something different so it was decided to go to Wanganui for lunch, via a few back roads.
We got away from Fraser Park and had an easy ride of the 'hill', arriving in Martinborough at 1055, economy at 17.8 k/ltr. After a coffee and chat, we farewelled Dennis at 1135hrs and took the back road past Gladstone, diverting off Lees Pakaraka Rd to Te Ore Ore Rd, bypassing Masterton, then heading out on the Bideford Rd through Afredton and Tane to Pahiatua. We were only sitting on 110 – 120 but the Pilot Road II's felt a little insecure through here, moving slightly on a couple of smooth patches and road markings and I even baled on a couple of corners. We averaged 100kph over the first hour but, and kept that up through Woodville, over the Saddle and out through Cheltenham, although I was still feeling uncomfortable on my tyres and Bazza was all over me on the FJR through the tight stuff coming up to Vinegar Hill.
From there we headed down to Hunterville and over to Wanganui via Fordell, always a nice ride, and we arrived in Wanganui at 1450hrs, 365kms on the clock and economy down to 16.8k/ltr, and although Bazza had managed 17.3k/ltr we decided to fill-up here before heading on to Bulls for a Donor Kebab.
We finally got back on the road heading straight down SH1 taking the Paekak' Hill to Pauatahanui, where Bazza went home via Haywoods and I came back through Whitby, arriving home at 1750hrs, 566kms up and 17.4 on the economy. I will be able to clean the bike tommorrow and take it in for the service on Tuesday. 18,150 kms in 7½ months...I'm glad I bought a big tourer but I'm not that happy with the tyres.
I never felt that happy with the feel of the OEM Battlaxs and although the Conti Road Attack was great on the back for the first 4500kms, it didn't wear well, felt awful after that, and was shot by 9500kms. After 4000kms the Pilot Road 2's are wearing very well (showing minimal signs) but I don't feel totally confident on them. It's a bit disconcerting as Hitcher prefers the PR2's to the Storms on his FJR, but I think I may have to try the Storms next.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.