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Monday, 29 August 2011

Bike Porn and an IAM ride

As Roger mentions in his post, we turned up for the monthly ride with the Institute of Advanced Motorists riding group.  My 170 km ride to central Auckland  was a bit of a mixed bag weatherwise.  Up at 0530 and on the road by 0645, it wasn't long before I encountered very wet fog and even a spot of rain but once I hit the Auckland Southern Motorway, the weather turned hot and sunny.

Arriving at the IAM meeting point, an hour before kick-off so that I could enjoy a leisurely coffee and breakfast, Roger and my 1000 miles in 24 hours riding partner Andy were already there.  As fellow blogger Sonja remarked, there's no problem in getting up early when a ride is involved!

I don't intend to cover the ride details as Roger has done a great job of that.  With a shortage of official observers this time due to their competing priorities, I was quite happy to follow Roger and Simon, the Observer; as it was still possible to learn a lot from watching them.  Being a country boy, riding the narrow and twisty country lanes is something I do almost every day so was quite relaxed about that.  However, my experience of riding densely-populated motorways full of idiot cagers in a hurry is something I'm not so experienced with.  Watching  Roger and Simon position themselves assertively (most certainly not aggressively) to create a safety bubble round themselves was great to see and I took a lot from that.

As a serving police officer, Simon must find his blood pressure going sky high when riding his personal bike off duty.  Some of the behaviours in terms of lane discipline, following distances etc defy belief!  Bikes aren't immune from stupid behaviour either.  At one motorway on-ramp where there is a  70 km/hr restriction, an R1 (I think) rider came screaming down the ramp at very high speed into the dense traffic, diving in and out with no great skill - an accident waiting to happen.

Anyway, enough about the ride.  Regular readers will remember the recent  post I did on Deus Ex Machina, the rendezvous point for IAM monthly rides, up-market cafe and builders of extraordinary motorcycles.  Getting there early gave time to wander round and as their bikes are constantly changing, it's a good opportunity to post a few more pictures of some of the machines currently on the premises.  Here's a selection:

Magnificent Indian on one of the tabletops

Close-up detail

Gold Star lookalike with  Yamaha single engine

Hand-made alloy bikini fairing

Flawless RD350 Yamaha - I want it!!!

Old custom Harley (I assume) - nice!

Ariel Square Four - how rare is that???

Flawless Douglas fore and aft twin

Kawasaki W650-engined Bobber - love the pipes!

Covered over 400 km for the day, rode with great friends and continued to learn great riding techniques - really doesn't get much better than that, does it?  Actually, it does!  Because I missed out on a check ride this time, the IAM Chief Examiner is going to take me for a one-on-one ride soon.  All this and Spring just a few days round the corner.  **contented grin**

18 comments:

  1. Sounds like it was a great day out Geoff.....great photos of some amazing machines. I think I'll take that Indian, climb on, find the nearest road and do a "Forest Gump" and just keep on going!!
    cheers.

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  2. Cheers Anthony!
    What I like about the IAM guys is that they're so down to earth, even if they are riding gods.

    That Indian restoration is breathtaking, isn't it? A very successful fusion of old and new. I'm with you mate - I'd love to have it!

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  3. Good post Geoff that 'Goldie' is quite clever but just lacks that look of aggression. I can just see the clouds of trailing smoke following that RD! and thats the first time I have seen an Ariel sq 4 without a chair attached!Incidently I take out two associates quite often front and rear and it becomes second nature to observe both riders front and back.....so I hope you were behaving yourself!

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  4. Dylan:
    Yep, lower clip-ons needed just for starters!

    I was indeed behaving myself and working hard! The Observer was Simon Pampling, ex-UK class 1 police rider and ex-UK IAM member. Spookily, he comes from Northamptonshire too! Top guy.

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  5. Geoff, looks like a useful & enjoyable ride. Do you know if those motorcycles at the Deus shop are owned by them or by private owners.

    My mate with the black Commando still owns a RD350 that he bought back in the 1970's. He rode it around most of Australia in 1979, including some incredibly remote areas, and it proved to be absolutely reliable, though hardly the bike of choice for such a trip.

    Cheers Jules

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  6. Goeff; As always it was great meeting up with you again, and I enjoyed meeting Andy for the first time.......although I would worry about alchol consumption if we ever got together for a we drinky! (would love to take his bike for a spin one day though) It was in deed a enjoyable day and spring is well and truly in the air.

    I am not sure I would of done this with out your supprt and encouragement.....So thanks mate.

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  7. Jules:
    A mix of both I think. I'm pretty sure that the Gold Star in the previous post on Deux belonged to ex-world 125cc champion Hugh Anderson.

    I've always liked the RD series. One of my shift engineers at the pulp and paper mill always announced his arrival at work in the shape of an RD400 with open expansion chambers!

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  8. Roger:
    Andy's great - also a hard charger when he's not driving!

    I'm not sure whether I've actually helped much but what a great adventure with good outcomes we're having eh?

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  9. Lovely bikes Geoff. I'd love a shot of an old indian. My uncle had an old Douglas that he was restoring for a friend. I got some pics of it here if you are interested.
    http://yodagoat.blogspot.com/2010/09/1919-douglas.html

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  10. Hi Mike!

    Thanks for the link mate - that's fantastic! Actually, I love it more for being in completely original unrestored condition and to see it running through the streets is a real privelege.

    I'm always amazed at just how many old bikes, cars and planes there are in NZ, given that we only have a population of 4 million. Apparently, a guy in a nearby village has a heap of classic road and race bikes sitting in his shed. Will try and get to see them this year.

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  11. Great pictures Geoff. Those are some sweet looking bikes.

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  12. Thanks Trobairitz!
    I've never thought long and hard about owning a cruiser but if I ever had permission (rueful grin), I'd love something like that Indian as a second bike. A real head-turner too.

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  13. I admire your dedication to IAM. But going on a ride and visiting Deus-ex-Machina again must have been a great reward.
    That Indian looks WOW, but I have a hard time picturing you on a cruiser. Who knows, why not. It is a mighty pretty bike.

    Hey, just thinking... spring is lurking around the corner, and Rugby World Cup is starting soon (empty roads guarantied...).

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  14. Greetings Sonja!
    The Observers (Instructors) are just such cool people and now I know what to expect, there isn't such a feeling of pressure; except from Roger and my mate Andy who will be watching like hawks for errors :-).

    I'm not sure whether to be offended or not hehe, but my silver and black summer leathers wouldn't go with a cruiser, that's for sure. Good that I've got "Badass Black" cordura too.

    Yep, Spring on Thursday but the World Cup will mean lots of camper vans on the Coromandel Peninsula with some of them not knowing left from right!!!

    When are we going to see a big review of the H-D? Looking forward to it...

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  15. I understand the quiet roads vs. the busy city streets dilemma. I'm not sure I'd ride if I lived/commuted in the city. It's so dang hard to keep track of that many cagers and all the stunts they might pull, and there really isn't any place to get away from them...they're everywhere!

    Love the old bikes porn. It was easy to pick my favorite...knew it as soon as I saw it, the Yamaha RD350. My favorite style, simple clean lines. The yellow Indian is also pretty sweet.

    You can't have spring yet...I'm not done with summer!

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  16. Kari:
    I'm getting used to city and dense motorway riding but it's not why we enjoy motorcycling, is it?

    I'm with you - have always loved those RD series. Sonja doubted whether I was a "cruiser" type person but I'd happily own the Indian. Not as an only bike perhaps, but I'd definitely have it in the shed.

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  17. Another lovely day on the bike and with friends. I see you in the Indian... :)

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  18. Hi Lori!
    Yep, Spring is well and truly here. No wind, cloudless day so a fishing trip in the boat today rather than riding. This retiirement thing isn't bad :-)

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