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So, the plan was that on Sunday midday, a man would ride over on his 2007 DRZ400sm with which he was going to trade for my SV650. Well, things didn’t quite turn out that well.

To start off with, my phone charger has been playing up lately and last night it didn’t even bother to charge my phone but instead run the battery down so that when I woke up I had less than 15% left, which on an android phone, doesn’t last long.

Later on after a flat breakfast on Pancakes and Bacon, I go to start my bike and double check that it is working nicely and is ready for when Dave comes to look at it. Unfortunately she didn’t want to start this morning and I then went through a whole panic mode and trial and error situations where I was trying to get my bike started at 9am on a Sunday morning. My neighbours must have loved having a rather loud bike cranking away whilst they are relaxing in bed having a sleep in. (Bike is usually 105db at 3-4k so it cranks pretty loud as well.)

Then my battery decides to kick the bucket as well. Ok, not a problem, I will just jump it off the flat mate’s car. But no, it still wouldn’t go and so after a few lovely swear words, swift kicks to the wall and tyres and pacing around in circles for around 2 hours, sobbing hysterically in the corner for a few more and sitting very still with a blank look on my face and uttering the word “Mummy” 20 times over, I finally snapped out of it.

Between all of the above, the flat mates had left the house and I was alone. Standing outside with my bike and a cigarette I hear the front door slam shut…Oh crap, I left the keys inside.

I make my way around the house, looking for any opening I can find and trying any other door that I could get my hands on. There was nothing, until I noticed my saving grace. The very, very small bathroom window was cracked open! But how far would it open and can I climb up that high? (The window is above my head so around 2 metres off the ground.) I pulled the window open and it swung out quite far, far enough for me to climb through anyway. Now I pull myself up to the window and try to make my way through. I fail and realise that I need to bring out my ‘Ninja Assassin‘ powers to make it through this near impossible window. After 10 minutes of struggle and intense pain from getting caught on various things. I fall through the window gracefully and limp off to my room.

How I made it through the window, except without the pole.

I go to look at my bike again, as I walk out the door this time I check that I now have my keys in my pocket and also my wallet and nearly flat phone. I lift up the tank and decide to try something else. I unscrew the Air filter so that I can see the carbs and I spray some CRC into them, clutch in, ignition in and the bike fires up and then dies.

Ok so there is some spark there, what could be the problem? I then wedge the clutch in with my hip, push the ignition down and spray CRC at the same time, the bike fires up and runs. But as soon as I stop spraying it stops running, I think I might ring my friend Greg and ask him what’s wrong. Oh but wait, you don’t have enough battery.

Bugger.

Flat mates arrive home now and luckily one of them has a charger for my phone so I call Greg up and he confirms what I thought it would be, water in the float bowls and tank from when I washed it the day before. Note to self: Don’t wash with copious amounts of soapy water. 

Get a text from the guy looking at trading bikes and he is sick today anyway from food poisoning so I didn’t even have to stress about getting it fixed before a certain  time, so now I can relax a little bit and plan my attack out.

So the plan is, get home from work tomorrow and drain the float bowls (Make sure to check manual on correct procedure.) See how it runs then and if it is still crap, drain the fuel and replace it.

And try to get  hold of a new battery for it so that it doesn’t have to be hooked up to a car to function properly.

That my friends, is the end of my epic Sunday saga that included dying bikes, the diagnosis of a mental patient due to bike troubles, home break ins’, rebellious phones and sick people. hold of a new battery for it so that it doesn’t have to be hooked up to a car to function properly.

I bid you adieu till my next post about how I kicked my bike over from still not starting.

Pretty much sums it up.

 

Matt Wishart

 

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From a young age we are told that speeding is a big no-no, there are signs that hang high above the road telling us that speeding kills and the penalties for speeding can be generally quite ruthless. But is speeding the real problem or are we barking up the wrong tree? 

With the introduction of a 4km/h tolerance for speeding brought in for all public holidays throughout New Zealand, it has now sparked me to write a small piece on if we are focussing our efforts on the wrong campaign.

Now, in general, speeding can be dangerous and it can very quickly go wrong considering the speed difference of everyone around you. But, when we start to focus on fines for a mere 4km/h over the limit, are we getting a little pedantic or do you think it would actually make a difference in the road toll?

New Zealand Police have been praised with the lowest death tolls’ for the current year in history, funnily enough it is also when they rolled out the new tolerance and have now been laying praise on the tolerance instead of other factors such as higher driver awareness (from having police out left, right and center.) A lower rate of road users travelling on the road and also weather conditions for the recent public holidays which has been shocking for the whole summer, so drivers would be driving to the conditions instead of being in La-La land for most of the journey. 

One point I must make is that all drivers should be concentrating on the road and the changing conditions first and foremost, cars around them and other possibility’s such as small children, pets or objects.

But every public holiday it seems that all we are doing is spending more time looking at our speedometers than concentrating on anything else around us, simply because those who the government send out to gather revenue will gladly pull us over and fine us with a large smile on their faces and a pat on the back congratulating themselves for one less person who was going to die a horrible fiery death from being a few Km/s over the limit. Yes, the impending death that we are all going to face because we were focussing on our riding/driving more has now passed and we are $80 out of pocket.

In a country like Germany where you have the Autobahn and an unlimited speed limit there are a surprising lack of crashes. But hang on a second, increased speed means we are going to die? Why isn’t everyone there dead or severely injured?

It is because the one thing that speeding does do is bring upon a large increase in self awareness and an awareness of what is going on around you. At those speeds, you cannot just drive on auto-pilot like the majority of drivers do in our country. When you are tootling along at 50 – 100km/h many drivers simply decide to turn off and go with the flow, it isn’t a speed that really makes you sit up and take notice of your surroundings.

But when you are travelling at 120,130,140 or 240km/h your life depends on you making the right decisions at every moment. Hence why people travelling along at 100km/h down a one way motorway can then go on to have a 6 car pile up. (Honestly, how on Earth does that happen?) Apart from not following road rules where it states that you must keep enough space between you so as to safely stop with out hitting anybody, they are just not paying any attention to what is around them. Speeding, 167

Now in response to the high death toll, the powers that be decide to keep on lowering the speed limit on each road as they see fit, and I can imagine it will continually decrease until we are moving at walking pace and still getting fined.

So is speeding really the problem? I believe that it is but not at the approach that we tend to look at it. When you have drivers going 160km/h and the rest are going 100km/h there is a large room for error there and that is where the crashes are happening, but when you start to pull drivers over for 4km/h over the limit and then pat yourself on the back saying you did a good job, it just comes off as pathetic and a huge waste of taxpayer money on funding the time and media for such a pathetic and worthless cause.

We do need to focus on speeding, put at the people who are doing it dangerously, such as through public areas populated by children and other road users. Through back roads where there is not another soul around for miles (Apart from police) it shouldn’t be as policed and maybe a larger tolerance applied?

 

 


To curb the issue of the high crash rate for young drivers in New Zealand, the powers that be have come up with a brilliantly idiotic idea on how to reduce the number of accidents…give them a small plate with an ‘R’ emblazoned upon it that is to be plastered on their windows.

There isn’t a mention of driver training, courses or anything else that could “actually” help the current poor state of driving, just a small patch. In all honesty, how is a small plate that make other road users aware of the skill level of the driver, going to make any difference in accidents at all when the majority of the crashes that the youth of New Zealand cause are their own fault in the first place.

“As well as causing 34 per cent of fatal crashes over the four years, high-risk drivers were also at fault in more than 60 per cent of late-night crashes.

Of teenage high-risk drivers involved in fatal crashes, 48 per cent had licence-related factors such as being disqualified or unlicensed, and 24 per cent were racing or evading police at the time of the crash.”

So what can we take from the information above? First off, most of them never had a license with them in the first place, and the rest were racing or trying to escape the cops. I fail to see how exactly an ‘R’ plate will help this at all? Or is this just another cash-grab campaign from the government because their funds are getting low and so they decided to target restricted drivers?

The government is merely trying to show that they are using our money to try and stop the high death-toll and crash rate of the young road users, but really, what they are doing is little over sadly pathetic. Instead of using the tax-payers money for something useful like subsidised driver training or even compulsory training, or even information packs. They decide to give us something that no one that is actually causing the majority of these accidents will display.

So if I have this right, other road users will see this plate and then give them a wide berth on the road, perhaps even pull over to let them past so that they are not in danger of being taken out and that it will automatically fix the problem.

We are skirting around the bush and it is becoming increasingly annoying. Give me 2 months in the seat of whoever is making these Mickey Mouse decisions and I could assure you that we would have halved the death toll in New Zealand. I would cut to the heart of the problem and not take any bullshit for an answer.

“You are at the greatest risk on the road in the first six to nine months after getting your restricted licence and driving solo.”

Ok, so that is no surprise at all really. I mean, look at it this way. Where a lot of the current full license holders already should not be let onto the roads in New Zealand and they are teaching our young generation to drive, they are merely passing over bad habits. So that when these drivers go out alone onto the road by themselves, they continue to make the same mistakes that their parents do and we have a never ending cycle.

Just recently the restricted driving test became a lot more difficult, by that, I mean that these people actually have to know how to drive first. From the start of this change, there has been something like 40-50% of Learner drivers that have failed the test compared to around -20% before if memory serves me right. What does that show us? That nobody could drive in the first place and they have only just cottoned on. One small step for man I guess.

At the end of the day, if we want to see any real change in the road toll and the accident statistics, we need to drastically change our current regime. Harder laws, compulsory training and regular testing, a large media campaign to bring awareness and a  zero tolerance for mis-behaviour.

All writing in quotes taken from the NZ Herald article – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10808933


So, it has now been just over 3 months since I had lost my license and as of yesterday, I now have a license again after serving my time only slightly begrudgingly.

I am so excited to actually get out and ride, but there is one slight problem… I have no road bike at my disposal. Well, that’s a lie, I do, but it is in a million pieces and doesn’t go anyway. I guess I could always just find a large hill and roll myself down and see how far I get?

I am trying to sell my race bike so that I can buy a road bike but nothing has happened so far and so I wait…I wait for days on end with the most pitiful face I can muster and refresh the bike ad every 20 seconds to see if somebody has purchased it yet.

I was thinking along the lines of a Dual purpose bike so that I can practice my drifting out in paddocks without the ever-present possibility of having the tyre grip and throwing myself into either another car or something else just as solid. Unfortunately I have to get a 250cc to carry me through the rest of my restricted stage (Another 8months?) but with the new Power to weight ratio (LAMS) arriving in maybe 5 months, I am considering getting a 400cc DRZ or something of that style so that I will be sorted for when the new law does come around.

You just know that this will be me in the months too come. Or maybe something like that…

Only problem with that is that I have too lay kinda low for a little while so as not to get yet another large ticket from my lovely friends, the cops. If you see a story on the news from some lunatic motard rider who ran from the cops so that they didn’t get a ticket, it would most likely be me. (DISCLAIMER: Most likely won’t be me.)

Now it’s time for me to let you into a little bit of this personal hell of mine, I call it ‘Public Transport’ and it is the spawn from which all evil was created, kind of like the pit of flames deep in the heart of Mordor. First point is that as per usual, they are always either late or early which can throw out your plans when you need to catch the first bus of the day which is supposed to get you there bang on time for work as it is. But then he decides that everyday he will sleep in for that extra 10 minutes and that perhaps everybody else should have an extra 10 minutes of sleep (or waiting in the freezing cold, in the rain at the bus stop.)

At least it is consistently late…

Second point is that they are too damn expensive to catch anywhere else apart from in the city, I mean, if you want to go to your friends place which isn’t that far away and is easily accessible by bike, you have to catch around 40+ buses with a grand total of around $200 just for a one way fare. Now I have heard about daylight robbery but this is just ridiculous.

How cool would it be too ride on a bus like this? Pedestrians will stand no chance!

Third point: There are smelly, obese, badly dressed people that are determined to sit right beside you and emit their putrid stench all throughout the general area and don’t seem to take the severe outburst of coughing fits, long vomiting episodes and general panic that spreads like wild fire through the whole bus as a hint to have a shower or at least to tame the wild forest that grows all around their body. I mean when grown adults start to breakdown and cry when you walk onto the bus and loudly exclaim that they have gone blind and lost all sense of smell and that they don’t want to live any more on this earth then there must be something wrong. 

And yet I am forced to catch this damn bus every day, as motorcycles zoom past around the outside, on to tackle their favourite corners and what not. I am intensely jealous. Not to worry, soon I will be upon a mighty steed once again and I will be sure to tell you all about it.

Matt


As dawn breaks tomorrow, the start of the 2012 practice sessions for the Isle of Man TT begin. The most dangerous and amazing race on the face of this Earth. With over 200+ deaths to date on this circuit, there is no room for error, and when you do make a mistake, things go bad very quickly.

I am one of many, wishing that they could be standing just metres from the road as high-power bikes race past at blazing speeds. The sounds penetrates the peaceful silence of the island, with birds chirping and the sound of the countryside all around you, the bikes power through the twists and turns of the circuit and compete for the win, or least of all, to finish in one piece.

Rider gets some hang time before slamming back down to the ground and entering into a high-speed corner.

Rider gets some hang time before slamming back down to the ground and entering into a high-speed corner.

It is definitely worth checking out ‘Closer to the Edge’ if you haven’t already! An amazing movie going into the lives of the TT riders, namely Guy Martin and taking you deep into the world of this amazing race.


Guy Martin talking his way through the course.


So to kick the day off, work was going swimmingly, preparing food for the day and chopping various items with my large, sharp knife. I had a pot of butter on, simmering away when as some silly girl walks behind me and bumps into me, I knock the pot of hot butter onto my hand and in retaliation, swing wildly around with my knife and ‘accidentally’ slit this poor girls throat as she falls to the ground with a thud and warm, crimson blood soaking into my nice clean Chef’s clothes. 

I quickly realise the gravity of the situation and make my way out of there as soon as possible, I jump onto my motorbike and pin back the throttle. Then I remember to turn the bike on, and now I am off on my way to my safe house which is prepared for one such occasion as this. On the way there I stop at a set of traffic lights as a scooter rider pulls up beside me with only a bicycle helmet on and 3 small children on the back of his 50cc Zongshen scoot. 

He tries to smile at me with a large toothless grin and spits out some foreign language in an attempt to make polite conversation. Since I am not in the mood to talk I ignore him, but he persists on trying to talk to me and all I can make out from the muffled, dying dog sound coming from his mouth was “” Hello, I like your bike!” Or something along those lines, I get angry that he is still trying to talk to me so give his little scooter a swift kick with my armoured boots and watch as he slowly but surely, topples over to the ground. 

Unfortunately at this point a large bus decides to pull up beside us and… you get the idea. 

So that is my current predicament, I am typing this from the safety of an internet cafe on Queen St in Auckland city and I am sure that they will not find me here. Though there are quite a few people looking at me, but I usually get this because of my good looks. 

Oh hang on, I think they are calling the cops?! 

Will update later got to ru…

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