Saturday, September 26, 2009

Well.....daylight savings is about to start here in New Zealand. I have always wondered why we want more daylight at the end of the day? To get the lawns mowed? To do more around the house after work? To socialise longer and get less sleep so we can wake up in a crappier mood! For some it means we can ride longer into the evening. Daylight Savings for me always indicates the beginning of summer, albeit a few weeks early. The days may get longer but time certainly goes by quicker. I have a trip coming up in October that has me and a friend flying over to Australia for a few days to ride from Brisbane to Melbourne via Canberra and Adelaide. We are hiring a couple of BMW F650s and taking to the roads less travelled. Armed with an Australian motorcycle atlas, a tent and keen sense for adventure we really have no set plans, just 2 dates, the day we pick up the bikes and the day we return them. We hope to ride a couple of the top 100 roads listed in the atlas especially the Great Ocean Road past the 12 Apostles. I will also be experimenting with my new POV 1.5 helmet camera and all things going well I should get some good footage and stills of the Aussie landscape and hospitality. By the time we are done I should have the whole setup sorted and it will be all go for the trip across Russia and Europe. If interested you can find these cameras at Launch Helmet Cams or DirtVideo if you are in NZ. Keith at Dirtvideo is a great guy and is only to willing to help with setup and tips for getting the best from your camera.

Hmmm...seems I forgot to post the last blog entry (above)...oh well I shall continue it then!
Its been a week since daylight light savings has started and it has taken me all week just to get used to it - especially the gym days, those early mornings are killers.
Sunday is always a good day to catch up on a little sleep or get up early and do something I love to do like dirt bike riding. Unforntunately this morning the planned trail ride got cancelled due to the heavy rain we have presently - wimps! A six hour cross country event was held on the same location yesterday and the riders managed. Although from the calls I got this morning it was very slippery and some large bog holes have been created.
While it may have been wet out west it was a beautiful sunny day here (I did say was!) and I got to play on the streets for awhile on the DR. All the bitching I do about this bike is often forgotten when lane spliting down the motorway or hooking U turns in the middle of conjested inner city streets to get to a park on the other side - can't do that in a cage!
The new screen works a treat, gave it a good test on the open road and for such a small item it is very effective. Supplied by Screens For Bikes in Australia, Peter is very helpful and I will be geeting a new screen for the Ducati from him in the near future.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Start of the Renovations

Isn't it pretty in white??
Well looks dont account for much (wonder where I have heard that before!) This bike would not pull the morning skin off a rice pudding in its current dress. Talk about disappointment.....this bike is supposed to be a 650! The engine is drastically strangled to meet emissions, the suspension is so soft you darent take it off road and the brakes are a reflection of the suspension.
Ok so why did I buy it if I dont like it? As I have mentioned it is simple and because of this it has potential. There is also what I call a cult following on these bikes. There is forums and websites solely dedicated to these DR650's - people out there love 'em!
The photo was taken the day after I picked it up - 16/05/09.
Over the past 3 or so months I have been slowly changing things so the bike will do the job I bought it to do. I have to remind myself, often, the DR is a Tool, not a Toy. Pity really I could have alot more fun if it was a toy. With this being the case the modifications are for practical purposes. The first thing to go on was a alloy bash plate by B&B Engineering in Aussie. I did look into building one myself, but unless you work in an alloy shop, just buy one. B&B's plate also looks great and is easy to fit.

Currently I still have not put many k's on the clock, still less than 1000. With the mods done to date I still have not touched the engine - yet! The biggest improvements have been rising the bars 25mm ( I used a set of Triumph Speed Triple bar clamps I had lying around) and the fitment of a screen. Never would I have thought that a screen fitted to a dirt bike would make so much difference to rider comfort when at cruising speeds. And for those who know me - No! I am not fitting one to my WR450.