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Moto Guzzi V65 TT


8th March 2014 at 12:57 (1535 Views)

Day 3 Sunday 23 February

As planned I was up at 4 am and on the Road at 4.20 am heading out of Blenheim onto SH 63 towards St Arnaud on the shore of Lake Rotoiti at Nelson Lakes. When I left Blenheim it was a barmy 18 degrees. I dressed accordingly The ST has a temperature gauge and I watched the gauge plummet to down to 10 degrees and I began to notice the cold. I pulled in at the photo check point at the jetty at Lake Rotoiti. It was pitch black.

Try as I might I couldn’t get a photo of the bike and the jetty.

From there it was down to the intersection SH 6 and a left turn heading for Westport. At Murchison I stopped at the Mobil Station to put on an extra Jersey and for a hot coffee by then it was day light and I headed out of Murchison and into the Upper Buller George on a wet road however I was an uneventful ride through to Westport, where I took right turn towards Karamea. Before leaving Westport I stopped on the side of the street for a breakfast of a one square meal bar.

I also took the opportunity to pour in the 5 litres of petrol I was carrying. My last fill had been at Blenheim and I wanted to be certain that I had enough fuel to get back to Westport.

I headed up the Karamea highway heading for a points bonanza 3,000 at Kohaihai at the start of the Heaphy track, the 2,000 point mystery bonus on the way to Stockton mine plus 1,000 up the hill at Denniston.

I left Westport at about 8.30 am heading north into indifferent looking weather. It wasn’t very far out at Westport that I struck a prolonged and vicious shower.

The road up to Karamea is interesting. The first 50 or so kms. are very straight forward. Then there is 26 kms. of winding road over the Karamea bluff. This just needs to be taken carefully, especially with a wet road.

It had been 4 years since I had been on that road on the second TT2000 in 2010. Then you are out the other side for a clear straightforward run through to Karamea and beyond. The last 3 or 4 kms. were gravel but hard packed and easy to handle.

On the way back I stopped at photo points at Little Wanganui, Seddonvile, the mystery check point, Grand Crayon, otherwise known as the Millerton Cut on the way to Stockton mine and then up to Denniston. Approaching the Denniston turn off the weather was bad and I was considering forgoing my 1,000 points but as I approached the turn off it cleared and up I went. I had been up before back in 2008 on my Moto Guzzi two up.

Then it was back down into Westport for the most expensive petrol at 2.35 a litre I have put in the bike for some time. It was now about 1 pm I headed for Reefton on the way stopping for photo points at Hawkes Craig Italian Creek, at a bridge down a sealed goat track. After Reefton I collected photo points at Blacks point, Marble hill, Glynn Wye Station and Hamner Springs.

As I came out into Canterbury I noticed the tail wind and as I turned towards Hamner it became a very annoying side wind. From there it was into Waiau for a photo of the old jail then back out to SH 7 and then through back road to a photo point at an intersection in the forestry are near a locality called Barmoral for another 1,000 points. By then time was marching it was already 6 pm and I hadn’t done enough kms.

Nor did I think I had enough points.

I then followed my GPS through some lovely back roads to Greta Valley on SH1 to Scargill Leaving Scargill I noticed that the wind seemed to have changed direction It also seemed to be much stronger. A gust caught me and I slowed to a stop to catch my breath it was then I notice the tree debris on the road. Then the hail storm came. I simply remained stopped and sat that out.

Those were seriously big hail stones.

When the hail stopped the wind dropped and I was on my way again stopping for a final photo point at the old County Council building at Balcairn a little place not far off the main Road just out of Amberley I was then on my way to the finish at Hampton Honda at Hornby. Thinking I was short a kilometre or two I headed out Yardhust road and back in and then went to check in at the finish at 7.30 pm. having used 1.5 hours of the time buffer available to finish. I wasn’t the only one.

Riders will still coming in after me.

After a having my photos down loaded and two barbecue sausages I headed back to my sister in laws at Belfast.

Moto Guzzi V65 TT

The Trip Home Monday 23 February.

I was booked on the ferry at 2 pm from Picton on Monday. I needed to check in at 1 pm. To allow myself plenty of time I left Christchurch at 8 am for an uneventful trip up to the ferry terminal at Picton.

This was followed by an uneventful sailing. I was off the ferry as early as possible and on my way north. It was a smooth run up the motorway in heaven traffic. My smooth run went pear shaped at Pukerau Bay where the traffic ground to a crawl all the way through to Paekakairiki.

I stopped at Levin for fuel then carried on through all the way home arriving in at just before 1 am on Tuesday morning.


This TT was interesting. I derived a huge amount of pleasure out of planning my route and then planning it again. It was also harder than any of the previous ones I had undertaken with a number of very gnarly roads and a huge number of photo/check points.

All my careful time planning went quickly out the window. The added twist was the ferry crossing on Saturday afternoon which meant that I didn’t cover enough distance on the Saturday, leaving me too much ground to cover on the Sunday.

Adding a little to my pressure was a small problem with the Bike. The week before I left I had a major service done at my local Honda Dealer. On the Thursday evening before I left I noticed a smell and I assumed that something had been spilt on the engine and it was simply burning off. During the ride the smell persisted.

I came to the conclusion that the radiator had been over filled and I was losing coolant from the overflow. I was watching my Gage’s and there was nothing untoward however I was clearly losing a small amount of fluid from the left had side.

On my return to Hamilton I took the bike in on Saturday morning. It was given immediate attention. I watched the right hand side fairing removed to get at the radiator which was full.

The other fairing wad removed and the problem became oblivious the fluid was oil. When the machine had been put back together during the service a nylon pipe of some sort had been caught and pinched causing a very small oil leek with a consequent smell and in some instances steam when fluid hit the exhaust.

Moto Guzzi V65 TT

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