Wheel alignment

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Touring NZ's South Island...

One of my Blackbird-owning mates, John Pritchard, suggested a 2 week tour of the South Island in 2007 and was just about flattened in the rush! John's partner Karen also wanted to come as did Jennie but not on the back of the bikes. This was happily resolved by Karen and Jennie sharing the driving of J&K's people-mover loaded up with luggage whilst John, Martin Blandford, Dave Easey and me were free to misbehave on our Blackbirds, meeting the girls at various locations for lunch and in the evenings!

Overseas riders who visit the south island say that it's the best riding in the world with challenging roads and stunning scenery. Don't think there would be many Kiwis who disagree either! As well as riding through all the fantastic mountain passes, we covered a few touristy things too - whale and dolphin watching at Kaikoura, Jet-boating and helicopter glacier flights near Wanaka and the famous Milford sound to name just a few. I had an alternator failure part-way through the holiday but charging up 2 batteries overnight and running total loss ignition was a great way of getting round the problem.

There are far too many great pictures to post so here's a very small selection. Also, here are to links to YouTube videos of parts of our tour: (best watched in the High Quality option).


It was a breathtaking holiday and we'd all do it again tomorrow. We were fortunate to get back to our homes in the northern half of the north island when we did as the following day, State Highway 1 was closed for much of the day as a precaution when the active volcano, Mt Ruapehu, finally discharged millions of cubic metres of lahar from its crater. What an exciting place we live in!!!


  1. Geoff: Just discovered your blog and have been enjoying your early motorcycling experiences with a bit of deja vu back to my own early days.
    Anyway I have to say that having briefly (only 2 weeks!) experienced New Zealand, I am indeed envious. You are living in some of the best motorcycling country I've ever seen. (Unfortunately we were on 4 wheels, not 2 during our visit.) So enjoy it and post so that we may continue to share the experience vicariously.

  2. Hi Geoff - love reading your blog. I'm a Kiwi currently in the UK and have been riding for a year after completing DAS. Your ride reports sure are making me homesick! Next year.. next year.

  3. Thanks Mike, we do have a special part of the World to ride in, don't we? Where will you be based when you come back? Don't suppose it will matter much as there's great riding everywhere!
    Safe riding...

  4. Hi Geoff. We were based in Auckland when we left for the UK, but we're from the south so we're hoping to base ourselves down there, perhaps Dunedin, employment pending. This newly found addiction is certainly having an influence on that decision! Living in London makes you realise how important quality of life is.. I see your old bike is for sale, it sure is a beauty. Mate here has just bought a Blackbird and wishes he'd done it sooner. For now, a little CB500 will do me (whowhatwhere on KB). Happy Easter!

  5. Hi Mike,
    South Island riding - divine! Yep, our youngest son came back for quality of life too.

    Yep, old bike for sale again, think it scared the young new owner. I have heaps of tech info onBlackbirds and how to set them up. If your made would like me to burn a disk, including maintenance manual, he's very welcome. Just send me an email.