I had the bike serviced last week and also now have a pair of Z8's waiting to fit. The Z8 on the front had about 9,000km on it with perhaps 2-3.000km left and the PR4 on the rear only has 3,000km on it. However Having decided to replace both prior to the North Island 1600, I needed to rack-up some km to chew out the front and wear as much as possible on the rear.
Having done 3 conditioning rides of 375, 740 & 490 km, I wanted to do at least one more of about 1,000km,....plus whatever else I could fit in. This ride needed to include some night riding and I was hoping to do it with XP@, but I'm not really a masochist and was waiting for some more favourable weather but he got too impatient and took off on a jaunt on Friday night...and the jammy bugger scored a good night against the odds.
When I looked at our timetable over the next few weeks, it was looking most unlikely that I would get time to fit my decent ride in, so I thought, 'be damned, I'll go tonight, ready or not.' Decision made, I prepped/packed the bike yesterday morning, including cleaning and refitting the pinlock into the visor and settled back for a cruisy, relaxxy, nappy day, constantly checking and hoping upon hope that the weather would improve. Oh well, it's not like it could throw anything at me that I haven't experienced before.
I programmed my route into the GPS, watched some telly caught not enough Z's, and about 2000 I scrubbed to freshen and kitted-up, leaving home at 2104 and BP J'ville after filling at 2117. At this point the weather was clear and occasionally drizzly so I was wearing my winter Spidi gloves but no Rain-Offs.
The ride up SH1 was pretty mundane with a minor amount of traffic (probably thanks to the test) and clear but cool conditions. Early in the piece I tried closing the visor but it fogged straight away....or at least, my glasses fogged, Damn, I had checked the vents prior to leaving so I tried fiddling the screen up and down to see if that improved the flow....marginal.
As I progressed up SH3, the weather turned and the visor started to become problematic if there was oncoming traffic, then after I turned onto Warrengate Rd it really started to piss down and my vision became hopeless. By now, it was inconvenient to divert to Whanganui, so I limped on to the Upok' Tavern,..... but I hadn't counted on it being 2330 and the pub was closed and everything dark. Fortunately I had my trusty LED headlamp and a dry porch.
20+ minutes later I had pulled the pinlock, cleaned up my glasses and visor, dumped the wet Spidis for the liner gloves, summer Darbis and Rain-offs and my plan was to carry on, see how things progressed and turn back for home if there was no improvement.
The improvement came by way of a clearing in the weather, but between the wet roads and a lack of night riding in recent times, the pace was very sedate. I would have to say that my night vision was poor and all in all, the night ride was very much needed, plus it was handy to have the adverse conditions to identify the helmet issues,......(or at least, re-identify the pinlock is a waste of time).
I pressed on in more variable conditions and attended to the other purpose of my intended destinations, to take a couple of sample pix for the NI16 Riders Guide,.....so that's all I have to say about that and the guts of my route!
Anyway, much of the time I was maintaining a good pace on wet roads and I would have to say that for all my misgivings of the PR4 on the rear, both that and my worn Z8 on the front performed admirably today, and it just goes to show what a headcase I am. I returned down SH1, which often has a marginal surface at best, but with no twitches or issues. I stopped at BP Taihape for fuel, a scrummy pepper steak pie and a freshen up before embarking on the last couple of hours. The 30 minute break was well spent as the boring stretch home was tough going to keep the concentration on track. By the time I got home at 1016, I had done 1,098.2km (or 1,081 if I am to believe the GPS) at an moving average of 92kph and total average of 82kph , economy around 17.5 km/Ltr. the bike now has 49,018 km on it.
The wet ride conditions in 6° - 13° certainly warranted being fully kitted and the use of my heated grips on level 2, and by the time I got home I was pretty shattered and resorted to a nap in a hot bath. I was pretty happy with the butt condition and figure I will hack the 1,000 miler OK.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.