Saturday, January 16, 2010

Coromandel Field Trip

Three Ducati's and two Yamaha's took to the Coromandel for lunch in sunny Whangamata.

Ducati Field Trip

Having only had a short ride through Clevedon so far on my new black Ducati 916 I was really looking forward to getting out on a real ride to get to know the bike better, and to test my fitness for riding a sports bike. That opportunity came with Ivan hankering for a ride and planning a nice trip through the country-side with lunch at Whangamata and lots of Waikato and Coromandel roads to tame.

We started from the Mobil on Greenlane Rd, down the main highway to Ohinewai where we turned off and headed for Tahuna. That stretch of road is very good riding, with excellent sweeping turns and quick straights - and only the odd tractor or two ;-) The thing to remember about country riding is to be very aware that every gate could produce a tractor, a farm bike or a herd of cows - at any moment! That said, we made good progress on warm dry roads towards Tahuna, and then Paeroa. Gassed up and photo taken it was off through the Karangahake Gorge to Waihi and on to Whangamata for lunch. I left my sunglasses at the petrol station in Paeroa, which meant I was back there at around 3:30PM to pick them up.

Dave and I decided to find our own pace to Whangamata which meant that we arrived there and had lunch ordered before we received an alarming txt from Ivan:
"I'm going back now somebody went off leaving intersection with Tairua Rd"
I tried to believe it was that they had gone off the wrong way - not that they had gone off the road... Turns out the R1 did a bit of 'field work' after leaving Waihi. Rider was OK and bike saved by the knobs. I was very impressed that the damage had been kept so minimal. He will be picking grass out of a few strange places for a while though, I bet.

Lunch done it was up the road towards Tairua and a left turn to get us over the Kopu-Hikuai road. I was really loving the Ducati, and I was getting the love back.

I left the guys at Kopu, so I could show off the Ducati to my family and pick up my sun glasses (!) I headed up through Kaiaua to home, stopping to see a very good mate in Kaiaua, and as the time went on the clouds gathered... so I had a few spots of rain to contend with on the way home. Just as I thought the rain had set in, I was back in Auckland sunshine for the remainder of the trip past Mangatawhiri to home - where we wouldn't mind if it did rain a bit (at night eh!).

View Larger Map

I was a bit tired after the 450kms but not sore or aching from my new position - poised over one amazing motorcycle.


JohnHS said...

I little clutch slip noted as the throttle is applied up the rev range. Cyclespot are taking a look at it - bring on the Consumer Guarantees Act... lets see how they perform.

Ivan (R6) said...

that's probably your rear tyre slipping, mate - just get used to it :) Can you email me hi-def file of that photo?