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ISSUE 293

JUNE 2018 | imoc.co.nz

Aermacchi ♦ Aprilia ♦ Benelli ♦ Bianchi ♦ Bimota ♦ Cagiva ♦ Ducati ♦ Gilera ♦ Italjet ♦ Lambretta ♦ Laverda ♦ Mondial ♦ Morbidelli ♦ Moto Morini ♦ Motobi ♦ Moto Guzzi ♦ MV Agusta ♦ Parilla ♦ Piaggio ♦ Rumi ♦ Vespa

MOTOCICLISMO


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R E G I S T E R T O T E S T R I D E - M V A G U S TA . C O M . A U S E E I N S T O R E AT : Red Baron Auckland 299 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Prestige Motorcycles 20B Newton St, Mount Maunganui

First European 114 Carlyle St, Sydenham, Christchurch


CONTENTS ISSUE 293

| J U N E 2018

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FIND OUT ALL ABOUT BRAKES 8

NEPAL 2018 WILLIAM ROBERTSON

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STOP IT & STOP IT RIGHT NOW!

The Editors would like to thank the following people who generously contributed their photos for this issue: Mike Spiers, Gary Richards, Nic Lourens, Horace Hartnett, Lisa Hartnett, Brian Hewitt, Christiaan Liebenow, Bruce Green, Scott Stoddart, William Robertson, Mick Chaplin, Simon Buchanan and all other contributors to the magazine. Please send your photos from Club events to our photo editor Gary Richards at garyrichards821@gmail.com

SCOTT STODDART

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ADVENTURE RIDING IN BOLIVIA

ITALIAN MOTORCYCLES OWNERS'

4 5 6

PRESIDENT’S REPORT SECRETARY REPORT PROFILED – DARYL WEST-HILL

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PERSONAL BIKE SCRUTINEERING

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NEPAL 2018

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RIDING IN THE FLOW WITH FRIENDS

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ADVENTURE RIDING IN BOLIVIA

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ARE YOUR AFFAIRS IN ORDER?

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ME AND MY BIKE

STOP IT & STOP IT RIGHT NOW!

MILLE MUSINGS

CLUB OF NEW ZEALAND (INC). © Copyright 2018 Italian Motorcycles Owners' Club of New Zealand (Inc). All rights reserved. Reproduction of any of the contents of this publication strictly prohibited without the written consent of IMOC.

BRUCE GREEN

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PRESIDENT'S REPORT

NATIONAL PRESIDENT

Horace Hartnett 021 108 6889 horace.nz@gmail.com

VICE PRESIDENT + WEB MASTER

Nic Lourens 027 514 0057 nic@bizolutions.co.nz

off for a beautiful and highly educated woman. There were approximately 150 motorcyclists, many of them female that she rode with and championed and who attended the funeral and rode with her to her final resting place.

SECRETARY + MAGAZINE DESIGNER

Gary Richards 0277 673 718 garyrichards821@gmail.com

TREASURER

Paul Clancy clancy777@gmail.com

MAGAZINE EDITOR

Mike Spiers 027 441 0628 tmspiers@xtra.co.nz

RIDE IN PEACE HIRIA. We had a number of Club Members that were with Hiria on that ride and I would personally like to thank them on behalf of the Club for their support for Hiria that afternoon. My heart goes out to them and we are all grateful that you did your utmost and were there for her at that time. Please keep safe out there everyone. IMOC have made a donation to Helicopter Rescue Service and to St John's Ambulance Service for their help. Horace

MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR Lisa Hartnett

HORACE HARTNETT

Why we ride? I can’t speak for everyone, so I’ll tell you why I ride. I ride for the sheer enjoyment of it, the exhilaration and thrill of intense focus. I consider it to be therapeutic. I understand the importance of being in the moment. On Sunday the 20th of May one of our Club Members and beloved friend of many of our members lost control of her bike, was involved in an unfortunate accident and lost her life. Hiria McRae was a passionate motorcyclist who rode with many clubs. This was a tragic accident and I give my deepest condolences to Hiria’s whanau. She was deeply loved and respected by her immediate family and extended whanau. I and many other members of IMOC attended her Tangi in Rotorua recently. It was a traditional Maori send

09 815 9436 lisa.hartnett.nz@gmail.com

COMMITTEE MEMBER Brian Hewitt 027 483 6020 brian@batterylife.co.nz

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Christiaan Liebenow 021 571 013 tsandcl@yahoo.com

AREA COORDINATORS BAY OF PLENTY

Michael Luckie 027 450 6660

HAMILTON

Mike Spiers 027 441 0628

MANAWATU

Clint Anstis 022 328 8251

WELLINGTON

Andy McIvor 021 306 340

CHRISTCHURCH

Steven Grublys 03 352 3489

SUPPLIERS DESIGN

Gary Richards

PRINT

InkPrint Limited

CONTACT DETAILS WEBSITE www.imoc.co.nz

RIP

EMAIL imocnz@gmail.com POSTAL ADDRESS

IMOC PO Box 46 222 Herne Bay, Auckland 1147

BANK ACCOUNT 02-0110-0252241-00

Hiria

Editor’s note: While every effort has been made to verify the correctness of any historical material contained in this magazine, the Editors take no responsibility for the correctness of that material.

COVER William Robertson's trip to Nepal.

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SECRETARY REPORT

NEW MEMBERS IMOC is delighted to welcome the following new members to the Club

GARY RICHARDS Steve McPhee Hastings As it would have been for most of you, the accident and death of Hiria McRae came as a real shock to me. I did not have the pleasure of meeting Hiria, but she clearly was an amazing woman since so many people spoke so highly of her. May she rest in peace and ride bikes in heaven with Nicky Hayden and other fantastic people. This is a dangerous sport and pastime and most of us are fully aware of the dangers involved. When an experienced rider has a crash, one really has to look at themselves and their skills and find out what you can improve to avoid that crash. Recently I completed a Ride Forever Gold course and it became blatantly clear that even though I had used one finger for braking for the past 42 years, my stopping distance was ridiculously long. By using two fingers (as recommended by the instructor), I managed to halve that distance which would make all the difference in an emergency. This is only one small example, and I'd recommend we all test our own basic riding skills on a regular basis and make sure we are doing the best that we can to avoid tragedy. It's not all down to your riding skills though... some of the roads are in

really poor condition with loose gravel, uneven surface, bleeding asphalt and other hazards. My advice is to keep your eyes peeled on the road ahead and if you're unsure, slow it down. In the last issue, on page 7, there was an article of how to report poor road surfaces. Apart from spray painting penises on the R16 like Geoff did, the more people who report the poor condition of the road, the more likely it is that something will happen and the road will be repaired. I would like to wish Dillon and Jo from TR20 all the very best for their Italian trip. It's a shame to see you go, but so exciting for both of you to be racing abroad. We all look forward to seeing how your riding progresses, so please keep us all updated. The ride to Richard Pykett's workshop for the offal lunch he provided looked like an amazing day and I regret missing out on this one! For those of you who did attend it sure looked like you all had a great time. Please note that my email and mobile phone has changed. Well that's about it from me until next time. Ciao!

Rob Cave Auckland

Jason Coetzee Christchurch

Barry Hall Auckland

Craig Finnemore Auckland

Glenn Purcell BOP

Michael Bell Whangarei

Tim Bown New Plymouth

Gavin Hancox Hamilton

Chris Hall Hamilton

David Farrimond Auckland

Angela Richardson Auckland

Darryl Smith Auckland

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Personalised Bike

BY NIC LOURENS

SCRUTINEERING

before a ride

PART 2

In addition to the personal bike scrutineering article of April 2018, the following must be said as well.

Does the exhaust sound even or are there new popping and burping sounds? (fuelling) Does the chain operation sound smooth? (tension) Does the engine rev normally? (clutch)

While you bike is running, LISTEN to it and FEEL it.

Listen to it Listen to any unusual noises, or new sounds coming from the engine, framework or drivetrain. • Did the valve tappets sound settle down soon after startup? (oil)

Feel it Feel your bike while riding by holding on to the tank with your legs and be one with it. • Does the engine vibrate more than

• • •

usual? (mounting) Does the gear changing start snapping at the gearbox? (tension) Does the bike feel squirmy on the road, affecting movement? (tyres) Does the bike struggle to lean over into corners? (tyres)

There are many other indications to whether your bike is performing at its optimum, so just listen to it and be one with it. Your bike will quickly tell you if something is not right.

PROFILED DARYL WEST-HILL Born: The barefoot capital of NZ, Whangarei Relationship to IMOC: Rider, poet and drinker of fine ale Occupation: I’m essentially a corporate cheerleader. I keep

service teams, clients and shareholders happy in the field of occupational health (e.g. pre-employment medical assessments and annual health screening). In addition to Merrin (significant other) and my full time jobs, we also run a home based business that rents out portable rooms (Just Cabins) in West Auckland What did you want to be when you grew up?

Immortal If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, who would they be? Putting aside any language barriers, cultural differences

and eating disorders (e.g. vegetarianism) it would have to be Gautama Buddha and Jesus to answer the tough questions and Jay Leno for motoring stories and entertainment What wouldn't you leave home without? A sense of humour What is your favourite destination? My favourite destination changes. It’s usually the next family holiday or bike road trip. If I had to choose a single destination at the risk of sounding slightly cheesy, it would be our home in Titirangi Who would play you in a movie? Barney the Dinosaur? I been told I look a little like James Nesbitt so I’ll run with that What's the best ride you've been on? There are many finalists such as the Crown Range, Akaroa and Molesworth Station to mention a few. The prize would have to go to the Molesworth Station... though I really really like the Crown Range What's the worst ride you've been on? Over the Auckland Harbour Bridge with a wind warning in place. Not one of my better decisions Three words that best describe you? Relaxed, quirky and having

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an inability and at times, an unwillingness to follow even simple instructions If you were a bike, what would it be and why? I’d like it to be a Britten, but in reality I’m more like a 1969 Honda CB750 as we’re the same age, both are slightly chunky but not totally without character What is your secret vice? A published secret? That’s a bit of an oxymoron. Regardless, I’m known to bid on charity auctions to push up the price, but on occasion end up with paraphernalia I don’t know what to do with. To date the collection includes signed Dan Carter undies, a signed Sonny Bill Williams All Black’s top, an autographed Commonwealth Games shirt from someone who won bronze in a walking race, two signed Breaker basketballs, two mini cricket bats with unknown signatures, a Carters wind jacket signed by some V8 guys, a signed rugby ball, signed tee shirts, random signed bandanas and so on. One auction outcome I’m most pleased with is a $5 note signed by the most revered Sir Ed. People would be surprised to know that: I’m actually quite funny Favourite Quote: Scio te ipsum


I didn’t discover the rest of the world until about 20 years ago. But once I had, I resolved to take myself somewhere interesting every couple of years. Inevitably, friends and workmates would ask whether the travelling was by motorcycle – they knew my proclivities and Gareth Morgan was generating publicity about his travel exploits in similar parts of the world. But it wasn’t until 2015 that I had my first overseas motorcycling travel experience when I joined Mike and Angela, of Britton Motorcycle Adventures, on their North Vietnam trip. It was stunning. The roads and landscapes were made for exploration by motorcycle. I was hooked. In 2016 I travelled to India to explore Rajasthan with Steve and Lily of Indian Motorcycle Adventures. Again, I felt that this was a great way to come to know a new place and new people. This year I travelled to Nepal to join Indian Motorcycle Adventures 17 day trip, their first since Nepal and its 29 million people were subjected to a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck near Kathmandu on Anzac Day 2015. It and its aftershocks killed 9000 people and damaged or destroyed 600,000 buildings. Nepal is about the size of NZ’s South Island and runs roughly west to east between India and Tibet. It is predominantly hilly and mountainous and has 8 of the world’s 10 highest peaks. A strip of lowland runs adjacent to India. There were nine of us in our group

and we all met up over breakfast at our comfortable and pleasant accommodation away from the centre of Kathmandu. We were introduced to our bikes, Royal Enfield 500cc singles of about 2003 vintage, and a puja ceremony was performed by our Hindi van driver and mechanic to seek the blessing of interested deities. We were instructed on the art of kick starting these long stroke singles and took them for a familiarisation ride to a hillside café where we stopped for chai and coffee. In the afternoon we taxied to Thamel, the commercial tourist centre to purchase local currency and to explore.

111km. A delicious swimming pool beckons. That evening we dine in the warm breeze off the river and watch the fires burning up the hillsides. To Pokhara via Gorkha It’s more hills and valleys and rivers and murky air. We see school children heading along the road. They are all in uniform; the girls have a dark blue skirt with light blue blouse and all have twin plaits often doubled up and tied with a blue ribbon. Knee length dark stockings. The boys were similarly uniform and tidy but not quite as appealing. Gorkha, which gives its name to the legendary Gurkha soldiers, is a hillside town a significant climb from the main road. We park in the main square and watch the local life, which includes a procession of people marching through the town with accompanying sound. Far above the town our bikes deliver us to the Gorkha Durbar, and Kalika, the temple to goddess Kali. The hundreds of steps up to the temple test our performance at altitude. We leave before the locals perform their goat sacrifice. We press onward toward Pokhara. Its proximity is signalled by the increased traffic and decreased rate of our progress. Pokhara feels nice, quite different from our departing impressions of Kathmandu and when we reach our hotel, The KGH Waterfront Resort, we know that all is well. It’s a very flash hotel sitting on the edge of Phewa Lake. From my room on the 3rd floor I watch a film crew shooting a scene around the edge of the hotel’s swimming

न पे ाल Kathmandu to Trishuli Riverside Resort. Departure at 9.30am. We head into the maelstrom of Kathmandu traffic. The air is dirty and dusty and the traffic oozes and coagulates along the main thoroughfare in the direction of Gorkha. Much of the road is rutted, potholed, unsealed or under reconstruction – local bikes weave by as we negotiate a passage past diesel trucks and buses which waft their black clouds at us. When we stop for chai 2 hours later we watch the trucks on the road below us overtaking on blind uphill corners. That’s what we’ll be heading into! A Himalayan vulture patrols overhead. Our journey takes us though sparsely treed hillsides of red soil. Red is favoured by the women we see, both in their attire and their bold red lipstick. We reach our destination at about 4pm having travelled

NEPAL By William Robertson | Photos by Mick Chaplin

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pool. I think about this hotel and how interesting it is that it doesn’t have lifts. Pokhara to Beni Negotiating our departure from Pokhara is a breeze compared with Kathmandu. We have been warned that the road is rough, which we soon discover as we divert onto a detour of a kilometre or so of slightly upmarket riverbed. One village is much like the next. On both sides of the road the buildings are set back from the road by about a road width. The 2 or 3 storey buildings have shuttered shops at ground level and accommodation above. The river valleys are picturesque with a strong flowing river and terraced fields where the valley width allows. There’s a lot of roadwork going on – widening the carriageway. Traffic management doesn’t exist. Where the road reduces to one lane

both directions of traffic push into it and painfully, slowly, ease their way through. We zig-gag up steep hills and zig-zag down the other side, then repeat as we cross from valley to valley. Although the road is sealed, much of it is broken and there are long stretches of dusty, bumpy, rocky track. Beni is a long town that runs parallel to the river and at a safe height above it. It’s not a tourist destination so it’s the Hotel Yak, or keep riding. I take the stairs to my 4th floor room in this skinny hotel, shower, avoid the small lake that has formed on the bedroom floor, and join my travelling companions for an enjoyable walk along the main street.

highest quality dust, mud, potholes, and water traps. We travel through spectacular steep valleys following the river and pause for chai at a settlement of about 4 houses. It seems that wherever there are people there is chai and snacks for sale. It takes us over 2 hours to reach the thermal springs and we catch our first glimpse of a Himalayan peak. Some of us soak and poach while others relax. Then it’s back to Beni on the same road and onward to Pokhara. We stop at Kusma to see and walk across the spectacular Kusma-Gyadi catenary suspension footbridge. It’s one of the world’s highest of its type; 117m above the Madi River and with a span of 344m.

Beni – Tatopani – Pokhara We’re off early to Tatopani, a remote village with thermal springs. It’s only 23 km away and the dirt road has the

Dhampus Our morning ride to Dhampus was about 25 km, but in that distance we climbed about 900m up a steep unforgiving road.

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People live here and they must keep the road open. The clay base turns to mud in the wet season. The solution is to imbed rock in the clay, often stacked vertically to offer traction. The ride up was strenuous and memorable. Roads like this earned huge respect for the Royal Enfield and its moderate horsepower, high torque engine. It never gave up. It pushed that bike up and over exceptionally steep and rocky terrain without missing a beat. Trustworthy! We stopped close to the end of the road for refreshments and to take in the

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panorama of the deep valley below, most of it cultivated and terraced. The distant cloud parted for an occasional view of a couple of Himalayan peaks. Going down was much easier; put it in 1st gear and follow the front wheel. The rest of the day was ours to enjoy. Tansen Once we clear Pokhara we are into the hills and forest; climbing and descending; villages, terraced land, goats, cows, dogs, banana trees and schoolkids – always neatly uniformed.

We are in steep country and from high up we gaze into the hazy distance of the valleys below. The roads are much better here and we’re able to stick to a steady pace smoothly tackling corners. As we approach Tansen the road twists and climbs higher and higher until we reach Srinagar Hotel, perched on the top of the hill with 360 degree views - magnificent. We get ourselves into walking gear and wander down into the township. It’s steep, and the buildings are fabulous, so many different styles, perhaps a reflection of different ages, and


the colours are bold and lively. Shops and temples, dogs and children, people going about their end-of day business there’s much to take in before we drag our way back up the hill to our hotel. Birbas It’s a return trip today. Our Itinerary says “Tamghas” but Birbas is as far as we got, according to my odometer. Arrival in most villages in Nepal would suggest that its name was “Tuborg”. We are high up and this day’s riding gave us an opportunity to take in these vast steep valleys with their

terraces and dwellings from on high. Colour, it’s here in the women’s clothing and also in the buildings, blue, pink, turquoise, orange, brown, and white. There’s a gaiety to it, even “Spanish arches” done in wood. Lunch is like most lunches on the road – a stainless steel tray with a pile of rice, a hot sauce, sabzi (vegetables cooked in a spiced gravy), dahl, and paratha (flatbread). To Lumbini A long descent brings us into a fabulous steep forested gorge with an enormous

scar where there’s been a huge departure of rock and soil. It’s just two lanes and the road gets rough and busy with large dump trucks and the dust envelops us. After a chai stop the road becomes 4 lanes but it takes me a while to register that we are on the flat, the hills have gone, the road is straight! This was the only time that I reached 100kph and the bike was surprisingly smooth. We reach Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha. After a swim in the hotel pool we take electric rickshaws to visit the revered spot in the Buddha Garden

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where he was born. This city is a place of pilgrimage with Buddhist pilgrims swarming through the holy places and filling our hotel’s dining room. To Sauraha It’s a dusty grind through a section of road reconstruction until we are on the main road again. Houses rise to 3 and 4 levels to accommodate new generations. The fields are filled with rice and corn and barley. Sauraha is on the edge of Chitwan National Park. From River View Hotel we look across the river to the 932km2 park which used to be the hunting ground of Nepal’s ruling classes and became its first national park in 1973. Next morning we are down at the river at 7 to climb into a hollowed log that will take us across the river to the park. The 4WD Mahindra has open seating at the rear which accommodates us and our guide Esau. Our 4 hour safari allows us to spot rhino, rhesus monkeys langurs, deer, monitor lizards, elephants and many birds. The striking feature for me was the destruction of the undergrowth by fire. We drove through large areas burnt or burning. Supposedly, this deliberate action promotes new growth of the grasses that the elephants graze. I couldn’t reconcile that behaviour with this being a national park and I had to do a bit of work to convert my

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feelings of anger to sadness. In the afternoon our group split, 6 to sit on elephants, and 3 of us to have a walking excursion in the national park. Our canoe trip into the park passed shelducks, swamp hens and cranes, while crocodiles watchfully waited on the riverbank. Deer, wild pigs and birds moved in and out of view, and tigers thankfully maintained their shyness as we spent 3 hours exploring on foot. To Daman We are heading north into the hills again and we look forward to leaving the heat and smog behind. The roads are smooth and straight and fast initially. Bicycles! The flat terrain makes them and 3-wheeler Piaggio tuk-tuks a possibility, the latter plying their trade on the main road as a taxi service. The road starts its climb into a valley with a number of long cableways stretching across it. Our best guess is that they are for coal or goods. Semi-cylindrical constructions keep mushrooms in the dark. Our climb is relentless and we avoid the traps of broken road surface and oncoming trucks. The air is thick with smog and is cooling. Lunch is at Simbhanjyang Pass, a little hamlet at 2488m , where a cheerful woman makes our welcome and tasty meal in a most unappetising kitchen.

Our destination “Everest Panorama Resort” is just over the hill a kilometre away. Resort, yes, Everest Panorama, not today. The thick air that has filtered and obscured our distant views during our ride persists. That evening a magnificent thunderstorm moves through the area crashing and flashing for over an hour and raising hopes that it may have cleared the air to reveal the “Everest Panorama”. To Nagarkot Smog 1 Panorama 0. The night’s rain settled the dust, making the road surface less predictable as we descended the narrow road riddled with potholes. At our chai stop Imran, our mechanic, advised that the road will be “more better”. It wasn’t, but the countryside was steep and interesting. After our lunch stop police divert us onto a detour because of a serious bus accident. The detour is a single lane unsealed road with no traffic control. The positives are that we are on bikes and we can squeeze by immobile vehicles, and that we are descending rather than climbing. At the bottom there is the red mud challenge – not all of us emerge unsmeared. At the end of our ride we make another climb to the Hotel Country Villa, another resort built with a Himalayan view its major drawcard. We have travelled over 8 hours and covered 113km.


To Charikot I’ve enjoyed our short stay here – there’s a funkiness to the rooms, the bathroom and shower were great and the meals grand. There was rain in the night and there was some clarity in the direction of the mountains in the morning but a moving rainstorm put paid to the view. Eight hours for 135km today. The last 3.5 hours of our ride was from the main road town of Khadichaur to Charikot, a distance of 54 km. Back in 1953 Ed Hillary walked along this trail on his way to Everest. That was the special reasons for us to come this way. We deeply respected his decision to travel by foot as we contemplated our return journey over the same road next day. To The Last Resort Our destination is about 15km from the Tibetan border, above the Bhote Koshi River. We depart Charikot at 9 a.m. and get to Kadichaur in time for lunch at the same restaurant as the day before. It takes us an hour to reach the Last Resort which is set amidst terraced slopes, suspended on a high cliff-top gorge. Access is by foot across a suspension bridge which is also serving as a bungy platform. The accommodation takes the form of “glamping”- permanent tent structures set amongst the pleasantly landscaped and planted resort. It is aimed at the

adventure tourist offering canyoning, white water rafting, canyon swing, high ropes and bungy. Lots of young folk are present enjoying the atmosphere, the buzz of the dining hall, the great food and the activities on offer. To Kathmandu We make good time on fairly good roads and stop for a lassi at a hillside restaurant that offers wide views of the valley behind us. A section of roadworks further on presents a significant dust challenge. As I follow a large truck I lose sight of everything except the dust. Bhaktapur is an ancient city in the Kathmandu valley which is also a World Heritage site. Most of its buildings are of brick construction. It suffered a lot of damage in the 2015 earthquake. We stopped to explore it for an hour. Having been here in 2009 I expected to see much more damage. A lot of work has gone into reconstruction. From here to our hotel in Kathmandu the traffic was appalling. We made minimal progress at times, often at a standstill or at walking pace as we squeezed through the fumes. There were lots of smiles and handshakes as we parked the bikes for the last time. We had made it through a tour of 1566km which had tested our riding skills without any major accident or incident.

Postscript I have appreciated how well this trip was planned and executed. Our accommodation ranged from basic to luxurious and was always comfortable. The food was always good whether it was in hotel with dazzling choices or at the roadside restaurants that supplied our travel fodder. Kamal, who led our group was unflappable and smoothed our way through every interaction with hotels and restaurants. His knowledge of the roads and places was invaluable. Imran kept the bikes running. His job started when our day was done; checking tyre pressures, oil levels, chain tension, spoke tension and often cleaning the bikes for our next ride. Parts were replaced when a breakage occurred. We had no breakdowns. Sanju drove his van with Imran and our luggage in it everywhere that we went. His days were longer than ours as he picked his way over unsubtle roads and through traffic jams. His van offered welcome seating for pillions who sought respite from the road. He carried our water.

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STOP IT & STOP IT RIGHT NOW! Them’s the Brakes By Scott Stoddart

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A Disc Brake is a type of brake that uses calipers to squeeze a pair of pads against a disc or “rotor” to create friction. This action retards the rotation of the disc either to reduce its rotational speed or to hold it stationary. When a rider presses on the brake lever or pedal of a disc brake equipped motorcycle, the brake master cylinder attached to the lever or pedal pressurises the system and sends hydraulic pressure to the brake caliper(s) at the wheel. The caliper(s) have one or more pistons which are forced outwards against the metal backing of the brake pads which then forces the pads to squeeze the disc rotor. The energy of motion (friction) creates waste heat which passes into the brake rotors, pads and calipers (and brake fluid within) and this heat must be dispersed. Brake pads Brake pads are the friction surfaces which contact the brake discs (commonly called brake rotors) in disc brake systems. They are made of various high-tech friction materials bonded (they used to also be riveted) to a steel backing plate. Sintered Brake Pads Sintered brake pads are presently the most popular type of linings. They are used as original equipment on nearly all motorcycles because they handle the widest range of conditions. Sintering is a process of fusing metallic particles under heat and pressure to form a friction material that is very wear resistant. Because of this, sintered linings are well suited for racers, city riders and those on steep hilly terrain. Sintered brake linings


provides a stable friction coefficient cold to hot and produce good bite right away. They also handle extreme heat well, are resistant to fade and will typically last longer than other types and perform well even in rain and mud. However, they do have drawbacks. Sintered pads produce more wear on rotors, so if you are a casual rider who wants the easiest maintenance, consider using organic pads, because it's easier and cheaper to replace pads than rotors. Sintered pads are also noisier than organics when brakes are applied, plus they are more expensive. Organic Brake Pads Organic brake linings are made from a mixture of fibres and fillers bound together by special resins. Some organic pads now use fibre components such as Kevlar and carbon to increase durability. Organic brake pads have a softer makeup which provides a more varied and progressive feel or feedback when the brakes are applied. That’s in contrast to the more abrupt grab, or initial bite, of sintered pads. This low initial bite provides more control at lower speeds. Organic pads produce less rotor wear, which is welcome for casual riders who don’t want to replace rotors often. The softer materials in organic pads also make them quieter than sintered. Organic pads produce less brake dust and they’re generally less expensive than sintered linings. But organic brake pads have downsides too. The softer organic pads wear more rapidly and are not as tolerant of high heat. Once they reach their maximum operating temperature the organic linings lose their coefficient of friction quickly and fade. Also in wet or muddy conditions, organic pads don’t perform well and may even form a glaze on their surface which may reduce future braking ability.

fantastic but not commonly available in NZ or for many models of motorcycle. Brake lines on most modern bikes are “braided” metal which don’t expand under pressure and give good brake feel sensitivity. Many older bikes have special rubber compound brake lines which expand a bit under pressure (so lack feel) and will weaken and perish over time and need replacing. Checking Your Brakes Make it a habit to visually inspect your brake pads on the bike, before a ride and during tyre changes, etc. You may need a torch, but look into the calipers, including the back side as there are inner and outer pads. If the friction lining has worn down to about an eighth inch or less, it's time for replacement. Many brake pads have wear indictor grooves which give an indication of how much pad material is left. Check also for evenness of wear on the pads (is one side more worn or are they worn at an angle?) Listen and pay attention to the sounds coming from your brakes. If the sound changes, heed that as a warning and inspect the brakes immediately. A scraping or grinding noise is definitely a strong cause for immediate concern. That’s an indication that the metal brake pad backing is rubbing against the rotor surface. Continuing to ride with metal-to-metal contact will ruin your rotors and you won't be able to stop nearly as well as you should. Replacement of Motorcycle Brake Pads Fortunately, replacing brake pads on most motorcycles is an easy project which most DIY riders can accomplish with just a few basic tools. Brake pads are self-

adjusting and as a result, they require no adjusting after they are installed. Also, do not forget to pump the brake lever or pedal back up until it puts tension on the brakes after installation. If you miss this step and go for a test ride, you will find you have no brakes the first time you try to apply them. The same happens when you remove the calipers to take the wheel out for a tyre change etc. When the brake pads have been changed, it is time to check the brake fluid. Because the new brake pads are thicker than the worn ones you will usually have sufficient fluid, if not too much, in the system. Check! Adjust as required, as too much will force your brakes on when not required. The brake fluid level should be brought to the upper fill mark on the reservoir (refer below for fluid compatibility etc.). Before you take the bike for a test ride, be sure to check everything one more time. Once you are confident that the brakes are working properly, begin the break-in process. During your first 50-100 miles, use the brakes moderately, avoiding hard braking situations unless you are forced to brake for an emergency. This breaking in process will allow the pads to bed in to the slight irregularities in the disc and hence give a better contact surface area without glazing the pads and then will provide better stopping power. Brake Fluids and fluid level Brake fluids must have certain characteristics and meet certain quality standards for the braking system to work properly. Most brake fluids are glycolether based but silicone (DOT 5) based fluids are also available.

Semi-Sintered Brake Pads There's another alternative for those who want the middle ground and would like features of both sintered and organic linings. Semi-sintered pads, such as those from EBC, combine the long-life qualities of sintered linings with the low rotor wear and progressive feel of organics pads. The semi- sintered pads use 30-percent copper by weight in an organic matrix designed to fit right in the middle between sintered and organic for durability and performance and are a good compromise for many riders. Ceramic Composite Brake Pads - are IMOC | MOTOCICLISMO JUNE 2018

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Characteristics of common braking fluids Dry boiling point

Wet boiling point

Viscosity limit

Primary constituent

DOT 2

190 °C (374 °F)

140 °C (284 °F)

?

Castor oil/Alcohol

DOT 3

205 °C (401 °F)

140 °C (284 °F)

1500 mm2/s

Glycol Ether

DOT 4

230 °C (446 °F)

155 °C (311 °F)

1800 mm2/s

Glycol Ether/Borate Ester

LHM+

249 °C (480 °F)

249 °C (480 °F)

1200 mm2/s [6]

Mineral Oil

DOT 5

260 °C (500 °F)

180 °C (356 °F)

900 mm2/s

Silicone

DOT 5.1

260 °C (500 °F)

180 °C (356 °F)

900 mm2/s

Glycol Ether/Borate Ester

Wet boiling point defined as 3.7% water by volume. system over time - the main reason single phase hygroscopic fluids are used more commonly.

Boiling point Brake fluid is subjected to very high temperatures, especially in disk brake calipers. It must have a high boiling point to avoid vaporising in the lines. This vaporisation creates a problem because vapor is highly compressible relative to liquid, and therefore negates the hydraulic transfer of braking force - so the brakes will fail to stop the vehicle. Quality standards refer to a brake fluid's "dry" and "wet" boiling points. The wet boiling point, which is usually much lower (although above most normal service temperatures), refers to the fluid's boiling point after absorbing a certain amount of moisture. This is several (single digit) percent, varying from formulation to formulation. Glycol-ether (DOT 3, 4, and 5.1) brake fluids are hygroscopic (water absorbing), which means they absorb moisture from the atmosphere under normal humidity levels. Non-hygroscopic fluids (e.g. silicone/DOT 5 and mineral oil based formulations), are hydrophobic, and can maintain an acceptable boiling point over the fluid's service life. Silicone based fluid is more compressible than glycol based fluid, leading to brakes with a spongy feeling. It can potentially suffer phase separation/ water pooling and freezing/boiling in the

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Viscosity For reliable, consistent brake system operation, brake fluid must maintain a constant viscosity under a wide range of temperatures, including extreme cold. This is especially important in systems with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), traction control, and stability control (ESP), as these systems may use a valve with a time-based approach, rather than measuring pressure or volume to control the amount of fluid transferred. Corrosion Brake fluids must not corrode the metals used inside components such as calipers, master cylinders and ABS control valves. They must also protect against corrosion as moisture enters the system. Additives (corrosion inhibitors) are added to the base fluid to accomplish this. Silicone is less corrosive to paintwork unlike glycolether based DOT fluids.

Compressibility Brake fluids must maintain a low level of compressibility, even with varying temperatures to accommodate different environmental conditions. This is important to ensure consistent brake feel. As compressibility increases, more brake lever/pedal travel is necessary for the same amount of brake caliper piston force. Service and maintenance Glycol-based brake fluid, (DOT 3, DOT 4, DOT 5.1) should be flushed, or changed at least every 1–2 years under nonracing conditions (more frequently if racing and under hard use). Many manufacturers also require periodic fluid changes to ensure reliability and safety. Once installed, moisture diffuses into the fluid through brake hoses and rubber seals and, eventually, the fluid will have to be replaced when the water content becomes too high. The corrosion inhibitors also degrade over time. Degraded inhibitors allow corrosion in the braking system. New fluid should always


be stored in a sealed container to avoid moisture intrusion. DOT 5 is silicone fluid and the above does not apply. Ideally, silicone fluid should be used only to fill non-ABS systems that have not been previously filled with glycol based fluid. Any system that has used glycol-based fluid will contain moisture; glycol fluid disperses the moisture throughout the system and contains corrosion inhibitors. Silicone fluid does not allow moisture to enter the system, but does not disperse any that is already there, either. A system filled from dry with silicone fluid does not require the fluid to be changed at intervals, only when the system has been disturbed for a component repair or renewal. A small drop in brake fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir can be "topped up" but if the level consistently drops, the cause should be investigated and repaired. Brake fluid level in the master cylinder will drop a little as the brake pads wear. Brake fluids with different DOT ratings cannot always be mixed. It must be of the same type, and at least the same rating. DOT 5.1 can replace DOT 4 and 3, DOT 4 can replace DOT 3. DOT 5 should not be mixed with any of these as mixing of glycol with silicone fluid may cause corrosion because of trapped moisture. I recommend only USING THE DOT TYPE FLUID RECOMMENDED BY YOUR BIKE MANUFACTURER and if you have a modern ABS equipped bike, let an expert do the brake fluid changes and brake bleeding (more complicated now). Brake Adjustments Front Brake Lever Adjustment should be made to firstly have the lever parallel to your forearm position when braking, so your hand is in a good position to support your weight transfer to the handlebar and maintain throttle control and steering input. Then the distance of the lever to the handlebar can, on most bikes, be adjusted so your finger(s) can reach it quickly and easily whilst still

maintaining good grip on the bar (not a finger stretch). This will also allow you to ride with your finger(s) on the lever ready to brake quickly as required (e.g. lane splitting, heavy traffic and unknown twisties). Every split second saved can make a difference! Rear Brake Adjustment can be made up and down to set the brake pedal’s height in relation to the footpeg. I like to have mine set so I just slide my foot sideways slightly down onto it without having to lift my foot off the footpeg or lift my toes up. (quicker to activate and maintains even footpeg weight distribution, and easier to use while wheelstanding.) Also, because the rear brake is easy to lock up, I set it so I have to push it quite far to activate it hard (less chance for error, as a boot sole attached to a leg lacks sensitivity). This position may be lower than the gear lever which requires your foot below it for upshifts. Anti-lock Brakes have become more common and will become normal. These provide a good safety net, but one should still apply the predominant braking force in a straight line (bike vertical.) If you have them, I suggest you test them and get a feel for where the anti-lock activation point is. Check front and rear individually and then together, starting slowly. You will feel them grab then let go then grab again. It is an exceptionally bold rider (without ABS) who can regularly brake anywhere near as well as ABS allows confidently. Just be careful off road or on grass or loose metal if you attempt to lock up the rear brake to do a skid turn, as the anti-lock brake won’t allow the wheel to do this predictably. Some bikes (e.g. some BMW and Moto Guzzi) have linked front and rear brakes, so when you activate the front lever the front brake activates a higher percentage than the rear, which also activates.

is being pushed into the road (hence the larger brake discs on the front of the bike). This reaction is more pronounced on sports bikes with a short wheelbase compared with a longer heavier cruiser, where the back brake contributes more stopping power. Obviously at slow speed the weight transfer is not so pronounced so the rear brake gains stopping power and can be used more. Emergency braking – the quickest way to stop. Get your bike vertical, Squeeze your knees into the petrol tank to anchor your position on the bike, sit upright to allow wind resistance help slow you down, apply front brake only enough to compress front forks right down then apply front brake really firmly. Tests have proven that stopping distance is decreased if the weight transfer which compresses the forks is achieved prior to applying maximum lever pressure. This is because the point when the forks suddenly compress is the point of most likelihood of loss of traction (front tyre grip loss and wheel lock up potential!). Hence if you apply maximum lever force initially the tyre will have much more likelihood of locking up (little stopping effect), whereas you can apply much more braking force once the forks and tyre have taken up this sudden weight transfer. So squeeze progressively more is the key. Rear brake can also simultaneously be applied but start with a little pressure and gradually introduce more as you slow (remember there is not much weight / grip at the rear initially). For emergency braking forget about the gears as they are a distraction to your focus and won’t shorten your stopping distance. Many experts recommend just

Braking Techniques Weight transfer / physics of braking / what’s happening to suspension and tyres. When the front brake is applied, the force of the bike and rider’s weight and momentum is transferred down the front forks (which compress) and into the front tyre which also compresses and flattens out (creating a larger contact patch and good grip) As this weight transfer to the front happens, the rear of the bike becomes lighter so has less traction with the road. The rear brake can still be used but the stopping power and grip is nowhere near as much as the front which

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pulling the clutch in initially and keeping it in. We are really only totally focussed on applying both brakes as much as we can, without locking either wheel, to minimise stopping distance. Braking on loose metal surface or really slippery surfaces or bumpy road – Keep bike vertical and pointed in a straight line so if you accidentally lock-up you can release brake pressure then reapply without losing control of where the bike is going. You cannot obviously brake hard on loose metal etc. so consequently the weight transfer to the front is less and the back brake becomes your best friend. This is because you can control most loss of traction of the rear and it will tend to pull the bike straight whereas loss of traction on the front can have sudden consequences which are hard to control! So use the rear predominantly and be minimal with the front. On bumps, because the suspension is going up and down, the tyre will have moments of good then poor grip as the weight transfers shift, so be lighter in your brake application and choose the flat bits of road to really scrub off speed. Sometimes you will need to alternate braking hard on certain bits of tarmac with releasing on bumps and then applying again. Braking in corners while leaning (forces and changes on suspension tyres / grip level and bike response). On most bikes when you apply the brakes whilst leaning over cornering, the bike will have a strong tendency to stand upright and drift wide on the corner. As we know, braking will compress the front forks and this will change the steering rake (making it shorter with less stability) and this action unsettles the bike and challenges

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the tyres’ contact patch and grip by introducing a new force to contend with. Compared to attempting late braking into the corner, you may find that you end up riding considerably quicker by braking heavily earlier with control in a straight line with the bike upright, then choosing your corner entry road position, paying attention to brake release point, accurate corner entry speed and throttle application to set the bike up in a stable format to master the corner. This will allow the bike’s suspension to be in an ideal position to handle the forces present and maintain maximum grip and safety margin as well as allowing you to then accelerate to maximum corner exit speed. Not only is this more relaxing and less risky but also has the benefit of allowing you to choose varied road positions more easily and adapt to changing circumstances. Note that the racetrack is a different situation where late braking is more acceptably normal due to less hazards / obstacles, larger run off areas and no opposing traffic to contend with (not nearly as risky to run wide). A racetrack is also predictable as you do the braking into the same corners with the same road surface over and over again so you can have set brake initiation reference points without surprises. Changing gears whilst braking (throttle input & response, slipper clutch etc.). Changing down gears is obviously necessary while braking but be aware that every gear change down also adds stopping force to the rear wheel which under heavy braking is already tractioncompromised (remember weight transfer to front making rear light). This is why certain bikes have a “slipper clutch” to reduce the effect of gear changes and

assist in preventing rear wheel lock-up while changing down gears and braking. Blipping the throttle so the revs are just right for the lower gear selected also helps considerably (a lower gear requires more revs than a higher gear at the same speed, so unless this is done correctly the rear wheel may lose traction). Slow speed control/braking (reducing tendency to front tuck in tight turns). For slow speed and tight turns and u-turns, I use a technique of using the rear brake (“feathering” it) whilst also applying throttle. What this does is allow more throttle to be used at the same speed and give more positive control and steering (the bike doesn’t feel like it’s about to stall and topple). Also, instead of trying to lean with the bike I stay upright (lean opposite way to the bike) and just lean the bike down. This position counteracts the bike’s tendency to drop down and allows sharper turning safely. It is surprising how far you can lean the bike at slow speed as the tyres’ grip is nowhere near as challenged by the forces of momentum and speed. Try it and it may help you master those awkward slow speed turns confidently. Note - avoid front braking during sharp slow speed turns as the front will tuck. What to do if you get your braking wrong (locking up/skidding etc.). Provided you have the bike vertical, if you lock up either brake just release it quickly and sufficiently to allow the wheel to rotate again and then reapply the brake(s). Practicing Braking, confidence building and being prepared to stop. I suggest getting in the zone to stop quickly by doing some practice at the beginning of your ride. Choose a suitable place with no traffic, sight a reference point like a post ahead, and when you reach that point see how quickly you can stop. Even practice just the front and just the rear and then gradually find the lockup points for them. If you practice this you will be far less likely to panic and lock up in an emergency braking situation and knowing your brakes will also allow you to ride faster more confidently. I am not trying to tell you how to ride your bike – that’s up to you! I am merely sharing some of my personal riding techniques in the hope that someone may find it beneficial, and not have to learn the hard way as I did. So when you go on your bike I trust you know how to stop it, and stop it right, now.


RIDING IN THE FLOW with friends By Xen Zambas

We all enjoy riding in a group of like minded riders, enjoying the same corners, the same roads and enjoying the feel of riding well. Getting satisfaction from feeling the bike respond to your inputs and executing a corner with pace and grace. What you will read here is nothing new, I have merely pieced it together from articles I have read and talks I have had with experienced riders I have had the pleasure of riding with. From all these, comes an attitude, and a spirit of riding in the flow with friends, that when applied, allows for a great riding experience that you will come back to time and again. A place where you can have fun, and learn, and become a better rider. If this is what you want from riding in the flow with friends, read on. Riding style Riding in the flow is all about‌ flow. The focus is on bike CONTROL. It is not about how fast you can go. Flow is about maintaining pace without the need for hard acceleration and at the other end, hard braking. Remember, any time we make hard inputs, we are destabilising the bike. By removing only these two elements from our ride we are removing the two most common causes of losing

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CONTROL and having an accident. It is all about cornering. Judging the right speed for the corner, where to initiate your turn, giving the right input to the handlebar at the right time to set the bike up for the correct lean angle, and smoothly powering through the turn. Enter where you want, at the speed you want, and exit where you want. These are the hallmarks of a well-executed corner. As we have carefully judged our entry speed, there is no need to grab a big handful of brakes, and as we have gone through the corner at a good pace (because we didn’t over brake), we exit at a good pace so there is no need to whack open the throttle. This means the next corner is arrived at a more predictable pace, and therefore no need to brake. Get it? It isn’t unusual to ride in a good group for hours and hardly see any brake lights come on at all! When brakes are needed, brake smoothly and deliberately. Remember there could be a rider very close behind

you, so no sudden panic braking. You can give a bit of a warning you are going to brake by dabbing the rear brake lightly a second before your real braking point. Braking firmly sets the bike up for the corner and creates a bigger front wheel contact patch, both good for taking a corner. Get off the brakes before you commit to your turn. Your corner entry speed will be more than enough to maintain a good contact patch for the front tire. Trail braking in to the corner is best left for track riding where you know the level of grip you are going to get. For our purposes, being caught trail braking is tantamount to running off the road, a sure sign you have underestimated the corner and are pushing too hard. Bad form, and rightly will get you a friendly wag of the finger at the next stop. Riding in the flow means you are not riding by relying on the throttle and brakes to maintain the pace, and focuses your ability to judge cornering speed, and execute the corner with pace and agility.


This is the most satisfying and rewarding aspect of performance riding. While we are about performance riding, we are not about racing. The style is not about hanging off in corners and tucking in on the straights. These things are unnecessary and only show to every passing vehicle that we are pushing hard and gives a sense of immaturity to the general public and the law. Besides, there is a certain kudos in cornering at pace, in the flow, while sitting relaxed and neutral on the bike. Stick to your lane We ride for the thrill of taking a corner well, at pace. Why would we try and straighten the corner? When the entire group is following this principle, the ride becomes more of a challenge where everyone can see how well each other has executed the same corner. One can learn new lines and compare entry speeds. This way, learning can take place and everyone’s skill gradually improves. There are other good reasons to stay on our side of the road except when overtaking. There could be a rider close behind who may be better skilled or have a bike better suited to the conditions than yours. If every time you come to a kink, you straighten the corner by crossing the centreline, you deny the rider an opportunity to overtake you. This causes frustration and leads to heavier use of the throttle and brakes in an attempt to get past you. And we know where that can lead, right? It is also a good game to play, sticking to your side of the road accept during an overtake. The rule is, if you cross the centreline, you’ve crashed. You have shown that you are probably pushing too hard and could not CONTROL your bike and keep it to your side of the road. It is all about using your lane to the full as circumstances and road conditions permit. Using precise rider inputs to position your bike where you want. This

is much easier when you are staying off the hard throttle and hard brake inputs with all the energy you then must try and muscle around. As often is the case on our roads, we have a great variety of challenges to face at every corner. Blind corners, mid corner gravel, trucks crossing the centreline and the odd cow patty or two. Riding in the flow means allowing enough of a margin for these unforeseeable events as well. Leading and following in the group Road riding is far more dangerous than track riding. It is not to be taken lightly. It takes self-control, respect and humility to stay safe while riding in the flow. Keeping the pace of the flow to suit today’s group, is the leader’s primary role. He is there to set the pace and he keeps an eye on the riders that follow for signs that they are pushing too hard. Signs such as; crossing the centreline or riding too close to the centreline, ragged braking, and dropping back in corners and catching up on the straights. If the leader consistently is leaving the group in the corners, he adjusts his speed on the straights to allow the riders to regroup. If they haven’t caught up by the next set of corners, the leader can go ahead and enjoy the corners and readjust his speed at the next transit section and allow the group to catch up. This way the group never loses touch with the leader and frustration does not develop feeling you are being outpaced unduly. If there is a small group of three or four riders that ride regularly together and whose riding style and pace are similar, it can be great fun enjoying the corners riding in close proximity, flicking through the corners with precision, all in turn. A thing of beauty to see. But if you are following someone you do not know it is wise to hang back and watch their riding style. It may be markedly different to yours. So, play it safe and keep a respectful distance until you feel

confident you can predict how they will enter and ride through a corner. If they are then of a similar pace to yours, you can ride together and learn from each other. Or you can safely overtake and with a friendly wave pull in front and allow them to learn from your style. Likewise, if you are enjoying a set of corners and you see a rider riding really close behind, he may be enjoying your riding style and feel comfortable riding close behind you, or, he may be just itching to get past you and has not found the opportunity yet. Give the rider the courtesy and let him pass at the next opportunity. Throttle off a bit at the next corner exit and allow the rider to pass. Follow, and see if he pulls away or if you can maintain his flow. You may find that you learn a new way to approach corners, or you may find that you are evenly matched. If you are, tuck in behind and wait until he has waved you through again in turn. This is riding in the flow, sharing the corners and appreciating respectfully each other’s riding style and right to lead the corner. When there are new riders in the group the leader will reduce the pace to gain some knowledge of the skill level of the new riders. Riding in the flow can be very deceptive, as the cornering speeds can be quite high and without much if any braking before the corners, it is quite easy for new riders to be sucked in to a corner at much higher speeds than they are comfortable with. When you have a new rider behind you, use the technique of tapping the rear brake to warn the rider to check their speed and ease the pressure to keep up. The rider in front has a responsibility to advise following riders of hazards. He is the first on the scene and with some timely gestures he can help the following riders take the corner with more safety. Sticking out a leg or an arm to point to road surface hazards, slowing down early and indicating a turn. These things help

IMOC | MOTOCICLISMO JUNE 2018

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keep everyone safer and riding better in the flow. Ride the flow. Enjoy the pace. When riding in the flow, with everyone smoothly flicking through corners at a good pace with minimum deceleration or acceleration you realise that it is no longer about the bike. It is all about the skill and judgement and the CONTROL of the bike that gives the exhilaration. It is the attitude to the ride that makes this possible. Realising that most bikes these days are capable of speeds that are far greater than the roads can support, and that the rider ahead is not a competitor but someone who deserves respect and credit for their riding skill or willingness to join the ride and learn from the group. Having the maturity to curb your speed where it is easy to speed, and so allowing the riders to regroup. Having the sense to realise that hanging off, hard acceleration and braking will ultimately land you in a ditch or in court. And, ultimately appreciating the satisfaction of arriving at your stop after riding in the flow, with no one feeling outpaced or frustrated or feeling they have to prove themselves on the return run. The track is to compete, the road is to flow If you want to show how good you are and measure yourself against other riders, go to the track. It is a great place to truly test your skill and your bike’s performance. It is a great place to learn riding technique, and I highly recommend it. It can lead to safer road riding. I

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regularly do track riding combined with coaching. It is the only place I can unleash my bike’s potential to somewhere near its capabilities. The only potential we measure when riding in the flow is how much enjoyment we have had. Not how fast, or who finished first. There is a vast difference between a group that rides in the flow and ones that have yet to discover the sheer elegance

We all enjoy riding in a group of like minded riders, enjoying the same corners, the same roads and enjoying the feel of riding well and finesse, and CONTROL that comes from riding in the flow. The road is not a race track. It is a place to flow. The Zen of riding in the Flow Set cornering speed early. Better slower in and faster out. Maintain a wide vision. Don’t fixate on the rider ahead. Look far ahead and pick your point to brake, turn, accelerate and exit the corner. Pick a point to initiate your turn and turn the bike quickly. You will spend more time with the bike upright giving you more time to brake or decelerate. Brake smoothly and firmly to set the bike for the corner. Release your brakes before you initiate your turn. Do not trail brake. Telegraph your braking intentions with a dab of the rear brake if appropriate.

Start accelerating smoothly once you can see your corner exit. This actually helps the bike get around the corner. Never cross the centreline except to overtake. Crossing the centreline in a corner shows you did not have CONTROL of your bike. Your side of the road is your track. Leave it and you are saying you crashed. It is more challenging and more fun staying in your lane. Don't take a corner right on the centreline. A nasty car or truck could be coming around to take your head off! Don't hang off, knee out, in the corners or tuck in on the straights. Riding in a neutral relaxed position is safer as you can quickly react to changes in direction and it gives a certain kudos that you can ride at pace in such a manner. If you are leading the whole group, or even a smaller group within the group, ride for the group. Give signals to indicate hazards, adjust your pace on the straights to allow for regrouping, watch for newer riders and adjust accordingly. If you are following, ride with the group. If you can’t keep up with the rider in front, don’t push it. Wave the rider behind through and fall back until you find someone you can follow, or can lead. Keep riding, and soon you will be riding in the flow. With acknowledgements to Nick Ienatsch, Sport Rider Magazine, Keith Code, California Superbike School, and countless riders more experienced than I whom I have followed riding the flow.


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A friend of mine asked me quite innocently if I had received ‘the email about Bolivia?’ I said send it to me so I have something to say ‘No’ to. It turns out there was a group of seven, thinking they would tour the wilds of this unknown Central American country. Anyway, having read the invite and getting clearance for an adventure from my beloved, I was on my way with two others to meet the remainder of the group in La Paz, the capital city of Bolivia. La Paz is the world’s highest capital, being about 3,500 m above sea level - to put this in perspective, Mt Cook is some 3,700 m high. I didn’t realise that on only one day of the trip we would be at lower elevation and some days, up around 4,500m. Here’s the initial itinerary: NZ to La-Paz, Bolivia, 10 days adventure riding in the back-blocks and fly home. How hard could it be? Firstly, getting to La Paz was hell on wings. The flight plan had us flying Auckland-Santiago-Lima-Cusco-La Paz, something like a 30-hour transit. Secondly the three of us unwisely

gave ourselves only about 36 hours to acclimatise to the altitude. The altitude thing is really quite hard to describe – it’s like continually breathing through a scuba mouthpiece, and any lifting of weights or climbing stairs means heavy breathing with extended recovery time. The adventure was to be undertaken on a mix of 5 Suzuki DRs and 3 Honda XRs, all carburetted 650cc single bangers. The jets were modified for the altitude and the bikes were in good order, most with brand-new tyres. We had a tour leader, also on a DR, and a support crew of two in a Toyota Hilux with a rear canopy for luggage (yay!) and a trailer for dead bikes. Day One was an initial fight-thetraffic to get to the outskirts of La Paz, up through a pass of some 4,400m height (minor snow and very cold fog) and down the other side to exit the asphalt to enter the fabled Death Road, made famous most recently by Top Gear. Prior to leaving the pass, the tour leader passed around a bottle of 98% alcohol while he intoned a request for a blessing from ‘Pachamama’,

a pagan earth goddess. The invocation requested good luck for us and our bikes. Good luck was needed after having a swig of this fluid, and a small measure was poured onto each bike to please Pachamama and ensure reliability. The Death Road is on the western edge of the Amazonian jungle, in the very hilly/mountainous Yungas region of Bolivia. The road was so named by a North American insurance company who labelled it the ‘world’s most dangerous road’. It probably was when trafficked by buses and 6-wheelers with trailers but these days it is a tourist road trafficked mainly by down-hill mountain bikers and guys on dirt bikes who should know better. It’s still a pretty rugged, narrow, gravel road with impressive sub-vertical drop-offs of hundreds of metres and a bus that tumbled down a precipice, killing five plus the driver, can still be seen in the undergrowth. Day Two was 191 km of gravel road, much of it rough-as-guts, huge corrugations, 100% powder in hairpin turns, and generally much scarier than the

in bo

ADVENTU

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Death Road. In particular, the last 20 km was a lethal combination of narrow roads, surprise buses in blind bends and tired riders with lungs full of dust. The consensus among our gang of eight was that this was much more spectacular and challenging than the Death Road of the day prior. Day Three – Asphalt for 230 km. Out of Qime and straight into a rising set of European-style switchbacks into a wellsnowed-in mountain pass. The scenery was breath-taking in its expanse and simply massive size. The road was first class but altitude took some dealing with. Once through the pass the land became rolling ‘pasture’ so there were llamas and alpacas. We left the Yungas behind, getting into endless variations on desert themes. Roads became rocky, sandy, or both. Saw some crazy mountain biker types of tourists. Here’s a tip – don’t even think about it. Any unsealed roads could be any combination of sand, powder, large gravels, heavy corrugations and the lack of real air is a problem. Why would you pedal?

Days Four and Five were real highlights – approaching through the desert and eventually crossing the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat. The salt is about 300 mm to several metres thick and once onto the salt, the underlying lake varies from 10 m to 20 m in depth. Satellites use the Salar to calibrate their orbits. We couldn’t wait to get on it. I had my first fall in the desert sands approaching our accommodation for the night, prior to crossing the lake. I was tired, the deep sand ruts just got to me and I simply fell off. The next day we visited some mummified remains in an elevated cave on the side of a volcano (volcanoes are a common feature, all with gorgeous colouration in and around the craters) prior to entering the Salar. Getting onto the Salar required crossing a 35 m wide stretch of water about 300 mm deep. The water is a strong brine and soon dries, leaving salt everywhere it touches. Crossing the Salar is one of the most ethereal things you can do. It is enormous,

some 150 km north-to-south and 100 km east-to-west at an elevation of 3,656 m. There is no depth perception and of course, no marked roads. We headed for a volcano that eventually rises out of the horizon to form an island - it’s a rest point for any number of vehicles crossing the Salar so you will find Toyotas and tourists there and it’s a good place to have lunch. Unbelievably, some of the basalt of the volcano is coral-encrusted. Crossing the Salar brings out the boy in you – you can do what you like, at any speed you like, and there is no-one to worry about it. I channelled my inner Burt Munro and found out that the DR could get to 87 mph if given long enough……. Shame I didn’t think about the sunlight reflected from the salt because I had a well-burned face at the end of the day. If you were on your own and broke down, that could be the end of you. It’s a harsh place and the vastness means you probably could not walk out. Some have tried and failed. Getting off the Salar is trickier than getting on, if you are crossing north to

olivia

URE RIDING

By Bruce Green IMOC | MOTOCICLISMO JUNE 2018

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south – the last km or so consists of slush, with mud poking up through the salt. One of the team fell off with about 25 m to go and that was the end of the bike for the day. Day Six and Seven was a desert trip of 223 km (the description of ‘roads’ is a bit of a stretch). I found this physically the toughest ride and in places I didn’t enjoy it at all. Young guys who like sand riding would have a ball and some of our crew did exactly that. I took a pretty good fall at about 30 mph and with the elevation had a hard time picking up the bike and getting it underway in the sand. We had also developed our first casualty by this time – one of the boys had come off in the desert and was diagnosed by a sweet young German physiotherapist that we found at a flamingo photo-stop to have broken his collarbone. That was the only serious casualty of the trip and he finished the ride in the support vehicle. We ended the day at Laguna Colorada, a red-tinged lake. By this time we had passed a number of saltencrusted lakes, all populated with flamingos which eat algae and can survive in the highly mineralised water.

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Our hotel this night had time-restricted electricity. It was below zero overnight, however this hotel in the middle of nowhere was warm and we were fine. Beer helped. Regarding the broken bone - you really are on your own on this trip. If something goes wrong, it is a very long way across appalling roads to get to any kind of town where there might (no guarantee) be some form of help. Our Guide pointed out that there are only two helicopters in the entire country that can operate at these elevations; one belongs to the military and the other is reserved exclusively for the President so actually, neither is coming for you. It’s 4x4’s on roads or nothing, and some roads don’t really deserve the name. Day Eight we arrived in Uyuni. Our collar-bone victim could now get some sort of medical help (three days in a sling hoping for the best!) and we visited a steam locomotive graveyard. This consists of cannibalised steam locos just sitting around in the dry desert air. Day Nine was 205 km of asphalt all the way to Potosi, a mining town that in its day (mid 1500’s to 1600’s) was the richest city in the world. Spanish

architecture is everywhere and it’s a vibrant place. Day Ten was a ripper, 540 km of asphalt back to La Paz. Spectacular geological formations and equally spectacular road – if you are a petrolhead on an Aprilia or similar, then this is your best-ever day. If I was to describe Bolivia in a few words, they would include: huge, undeveloped, wild, barren, unspoiled but in places spoiled, enigmatic. The people live in houses that look like shacks to the Western eye, but they appear happy. I felt safe in the big towns and like a novelty in the small towns. Many thanks to fellow IMOC’er Grant Perry for his company on the trip and if anyone wants to know anything about the trip, or to see a few photos, just call Grant or I. Last, our trip was well-guided, and well-resourced, and run by Motorcycle Tours Bolivia. Just Google them and speak with Roberto or our guide, Robin. Cheers all.


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ARE YOUR AFFA No, not the unspoken philandering which may or may not occur on overnight rides. What happens on tour stays on tour. I’m talking about your personal affairs – Wills, Trusts, asset ownership and the like. I had planned to write this piece before Hiria’s tragic accident, so now more than ever, it might be an opportune time to examine your own situation. My original story revolved around a couple of long term insurance clients who came to us probably 15 years ago, referred by our lead insurer at the time. A humble hard-working couple in their early 50’s living in a pretty rough part of Manurewa in an older Group house. The husband (Joe) had borrowed against the house to buy a vending machine servicing franchise from one of the major beverage companies. Maria, Joe’s wife, was working shift work at a printing firm on pretty much minimum wage. They had three sons living at home, so money was pretty tight, but they both agreed that they wanted enough cover to make the mortgage go away and sort final expenses, should either die prematurely. The money would only stretch to a minimum amount of Life cover. So this

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is what we did - $120,000 of cover each on the basis of a $100,000 mortgage and some funds left over for final expenses. The years passed, we all got older and Joe and Maria managed to pay down some of their mortgage. Unfortunately three years ago, Joe had a massive heart attack and died – just collapsed without warning and was gone. Maria contacted me after Joe’s passing and we got a claim under way. As we didn’t have a death certificate yet the insurer was able to pay $15,000 almost immediately to cover funeral expenses and around 3-4 weeks later when the death certificate was available, the insurer was able to settle the balance of the claim. We had set up the insurance covers in both names, so Maria was able to complete the claim and the funds were paid into their joint account. Sensing that the extended family were pretty keen to see the claim proceeds, I put Maria in the car and drove her down to the bank to make sure that the mortgage was paid off and most of the balance of funds invested on term deposit. So far so good – the insurance policy

has done what it was supposed to do, jointly owned so no issues with Probate and the joint mortgage was repaid. What I didn’t know however, that despite my pestering, Joe had never got around to drawing up a Will. Maria called me recently to review her own cover which had started to become pretty expensive. We had talked about dropping the cover back after Joe’s passing, but she was adamant she wanted to maintain the cover at its current level. When I sat down with her to understand her current situation, it was clear that things were not finalised in terms of Joe’s estate due to him dying Intestate. Her 18 year old grandson was living with her (fully dependant) and she was also supporting her 40 year old severely diabetic son who had been out of work for two years. To cope with all of this she was working six days per week. At age 66 now, whilst there was a welcome social aspect to working, she wanted to be able to spend more time in the garden. What also came out at the meeting was that Joe’s KiwiSaver was still not available to her. She then produced a shoebox full of Joe’s papers which


AIRS IN ORDER? By Richard Pykett

showed he had a credit card debt at the time of his death of $15k and around $20k in his KiwiSaver. There were also dividend cheques from shares in the beverage firm he contracted to which were uncashed and other dividends being paid into a savings account in his name only. There was also a string of correspondence written by Maria’s law lecturer friend attempting to prove the marital relationship of some 45 years (in the absence of Letters of Administration) to ASB who were holding the KiwiSaver funds and also had the credit card debt. Unsurprisingly the overtures to the bank fell on deaf ears. All of this was creating a great deal of anguish for Maria. There is no easy or quick fix for the situation – the only way forward is to apply to the Courts to have Probate granted which will give Maria legal access to Joe’s assets held in his name only. We are looking at probably 3-4 months and around $3000 if this work is done by Public Trust. At this stage the KiwiSaver account balance is greater than the credit card debt (interest should have been frozen on death) so the whole exercise

looks like it may end up being cash positive for her as well as giving some closure. All of this hassle could have been avoided if Joe had got around to drawing up a Will and if all bank accounts had been held in joint names. This is by no means an extreme example – we have heard of joint pensions being paid into single named account and on the death of the account holder, the survivor could not access any funds for groceries. My own father died having been coerced into pointing his Will to a girlfriend at the time, dying a number of years later having not amended the Will. The lady who nursed him through his final months saw not a cent, neither did his family. The calculating ex-girlfriend even trying to swing the cost of the funeral on non-beneficiaries. So it’s a minefield out there and your indifference to sorting out a Will and appropriate asset ownerships may have many unintended and far reaching consequences. • Get a Will – talk to Public Trust if you don’t have a regular lawyer

• •

• •

Look at the ownership of assets – make sure they are joint if appropriate If you have a complex situation, you are self-employed or have a blended or estranged family, you may be better protected with a Trust structure Relationships can now be said to exist from the first ‘phone calls and texts – you don’t necessarily need to be cohabitating for it to be deemed a relationship if somebody is ‘on the take’ If you are at war with elements of your family, for goodness sake don’t ignore them in your Estate Planning – far better to leave them a token ‘out of love and natural affection’ rather than leaving the Will or Trust open to challenge Have a policy of reviewing your provisions on a regular basis And lastly, if there is somebody who would be financially disadvantaged by your untimely death, consider having some Life cover – owned by the intended beneficiary of course

Public Trust 0800 371 471 https://www.publictrust.co.nz/contact IMOC | MOTOCICLISMO JUNE 2018

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BIKE I

have been hassled and harangued into writing something for Motociclismo for quite some time… do an ad, rider profile, write something about the MotoTT. Finally I have gotten off my lazy rear end and put fingers to keyboard! Many of you would know me from the monthly Auckland meeting, but know I am seldom seen on club rides! It’s not for any reason in particular reason - work, children, clashing events etc. always seem to take precedence over an IMOC ride. One of the biggest reasons I seldom make it to club rides is because I am constantly organising one of the IMOC’s (and possibly the world's) largest organised (scooter) ride. It's called the Motoretta Tourist Trophy and this year 64 intrepid riders embarked on a near 2000 km trip on old Italian Vespas and Lambrettas. The event is held every April and covers a different route each year. Organising starts immediately after the last event while everyone is still frothing

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By Christiaan Liebenow

ME AND MY

over finishing! I have a little team of helpers, but I am a tragic control freak and struggle to delegate! I and a bunch of friends got the idea to organise the event back in 2011: My wife and I had just returned from seven years living in London and none of my old friends seemed to be riding anymore. We loosely copied an event I had done five years earlier in Italy. I and four other Kiwis sent our scooters over to the south of Italy and rode in an event called the Giro de Tre Mari (race of the three seas). Our first event had 11 riders, 2013 had 35 and then in 2014 we ballooned up to 80. 2017 was the smallest in the last few years with 50 riders but this was due to the location being in the South Island. For a more impartial write up of this year’s event, see Shane O’Leary’s article in this edition. Shane is one of a very select group of riders that has competed in all seven events so far. For a quick change in tack, this section is about me and my bike, so I

guess I should talk about my bikes! For me, my passion is Italian scooters - Vespa and Lambretta mainly. I got into scooters when I lived in Palmerston North at Massey. My girlfriend at the time offered to lend me $250 to buy my first Vespa - an SS50 (a common model in New Zealand but very sought after in Europe). That led to a love affair with small Italian shopping trolleys which has not only given me a huge group of friends around the world, but nowadays it's a job too, as I own a workshop called Retroscooter - repairing, restoring and servicing old Italian shopping bikes. At the moment I only own a few scooters… 5 or 6 I guess! My main scooters are a 1958 Lambretta Series 1, a 1963 Lambretta Series 3 and a 1970 Vespa Rally. I bought the series 3 Lambretta when I first landed in London in late 2004. Having a scooter in London transformed my wife’s and my experience of London, getting to explore the central city above ground instead of by Tube. Slowly over


the next few years I restored this scooter and built bigger, faster engines for it. I recently repainted the scooter and built another engine for it, which I rode on this year’s MotoTT. I bought my 1958 Lambretta in 2009 in a completely dismantled state, then slowly restored it over the next couple

of years while living in London. Two days before all our belongings were packed into a shipping container, all of the scooter was painted in my damp railway arch near Brixton. It was snowing outside and my friend Nu did a great job of the paint with surprisingly few runs! Once all our stuff arrived in Auckland in March 2011 I

set straight on with putting it all together. This was pre-children days, so time in the shed was easy to wrangle! I used this scooter on the first two MotoTTs, however it tried to kill me on the 4th day of the 2013 event. My rear hub broke at speed, halfway between Waihi and Whangamata, sending me into a long slide down the road and

IMOC | MOTOCICLISMO JUNE 2018

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ending up in a ditch next to my scooter. I rebuilt the scooter in time to compete in the 2014 event, this time with a double disc brake up front, complete with radial mounted calipers. The engine in this scooter has a heavily modified case, and is now 230cc and 22 hp - up from 125cc and 5 hp. If I had chosen to spend my hard-earned on bigger bikes rather than scooters, I would easily own a 1299R Panigale; however I would never have been able to pay for it all at once! My other daily ride is a 1970 Vespa Rally 180. I came by this scooter about three years ago when I cleaned out my accountant’s stash of scooters. She’s in rough, original condition, complete with black number plate. A bit of detective work got me the NZ ownership papers, complete with the original sale and purchase agreement from Vespa Spares Natal! The original owner immigrated to New Zealand in 1975, bringing his scooter with him. A bit more detective work and a bit of dealing yielded me the original engine from the scooter, which after a quick rebuild is a sweet runner.

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I have another couple of scooters in various states of disrepair but none of these hold any special value to me (yet), but I do have one other ride that only comes out a dozen times a year! About two years ago I picked up a 2003 Ducati 749S from TradeMe. I had to bribe my wife with a Morris Minor to buy it! The previous owner bought it in 2007 as a Japanese import and crashed it soon afterwards! As a result, he didn't even get a chance to register it. It had done 2,800 km and apart from a little bit of damage to the right hand side, it was in great condition! I put new tyres and new belts on it, got it registered and starting using it! I then quickly found that I preferred track days to road rides. Four days of California Superbike School and seven or eight other track days in the last year have brought me way more pleasure than road riding - although I have found that the 100-odd horsepower of the 749 isn't enough for track riding. Plenty for the road, but just not enough on the track. I have upgraded the suspension to Ohlins front and back and started studying up on setting the bike up for optimum performance. We are planning house renovations in the near future, so spending money on bikes has to take a back seat for the time being, but that doesn't stop me thinking about upgrades to either my Duc or just trading up to something with 250-550cc more! In the meantime, planning is in full swing for the 2019 MotoTT - it will start and finish in Taupo around Anzac Day. We’ll spend two nights in Martinborough, one night in Whanganui and in between try and find all the tight and twisty back roads that we can ride along. One last thing… Without Horace’s support through the years, this event wouldn't happen. He has tirelessly been driving a support van behind us every year since 2014 - coming in late at night with a van full of scooters and broken riders.


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IMOC | MOTOCICLISMO JUNE 2018

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70 seasoned scooterists striding steel sheets controlling cabled cruxiforms Camaraderie, Chernobyls and caning

MILLE MUSINGS It started out in 2012 out being called the Mille Miglia (1,000 miles) until the “cease and desist” order in 2014 meant the name was changed to Motoretta (small engine). The idea was for old school, geared scooters to ride 1,000 miles in four days. Teams of four scooters ride eight hour days (or longer) collecting points along the way by photographing key landmarks. Points combine over four days for a trophy and bragging rights. And so it was that seventy seasoned scooterists, controlling cabled cogs, used

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two stroke carbs to suck up the scenery around Coromandel and Kawhia during ANZAC 2018. The sound of this scenery being pushed out expansion pipes was priceless. “Caning” an undersized engine over phenomenal distances, through twisty roads unites us all. I still call it “The Mille” or sometimes the Motitty. Mother Mille is a hard task master. She will test machines, she will test personalities and she will test relationships.

By Shane O'Leary I’ve seen many engines Chernobyled. I’ve seen adults spit the dummy and crying from the mental endurance required and I’ve seen relationship melt downs. “Doing the Mille” means not only will you have a better relationship with your scooter; you will have a better relationship with yourself. Camaraderie is by far the main reason I am there. For most people in my life I would not cross the road to piss on them if they were on fire. For my scootering family I would, and do, cross the country


to see you without a thought. Shared experience and telling previous battle stories cannot just be made up. It’s earned. Over the years we have done all the iconic roads. Last year I did the Ride Safe training to pick up a few tips. Sitting in the theory room, we one by one introduced ourselves and what we were riding. Out came “Dave, Harley”, “Mike, Triumph”, “Henry, Ducati“, etc. from about 12 people…..when I said “Shane, Vespa” everybody laughed. Quick as flash the organiser shot me a smile and asked everyone to stand. Sit down if you have NOT ridden the Whangamomona Forgotten Highway. Half sat. He continued rattling off places like

Cape Reinga, East Cape and Gentle Annie, with hard core leathered dudes sitting on each one. I was the last one standing. Mille-ites and scooterists in general are hardcore and have ticked off roads most cars won’t do. We may internally be asking what the feck we are doing when on day three its gets cold and Iron Butt kicks in. We put up with dorm rooms of snoring and suspect pies all for two words: Camaraderie and caning. Brothers and sisters of the road, I salute you all for making NZ scoot history. See you in Taupo 2019!

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General consensus is that most Life insurance people are pushy, self-interested product peddlers, with little interest in understanding the client’s personal or business situation. At Elan Brokers, we are different. Our primary goal is to listen to clients and suggest a solution which meets their needs and not ours‌ From an engineering background and with 30 years in the Insurance Industry, our knowledge in the field is extensive. Our clients are varied – from Advertising through to Zoologists, from mums and dads through to CEOs of publicly listed companies. At a personal level we are bikers, engineers and petrolheads. For help with Life, Medical, Trauma and Disability Insurance, talk to us. Happy to listen and most importantly, to be there at claim time.

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Motociclismo Issue 293 - June 2018  

Italian Motorcycle Owners' Club magazine

Motociclismo Issue 293 - June 2018  

Italian Motorcycle Owners' Club magazine