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27th September 2006


A BMW Abroad

Reg Eyre gave himself an extra-special present to celebrate his early retirement, and flew to the other side of the world to enjoy 12 weeks riding on a BMW R65. Here's the first part of his photographic record...

Reg Eyre finished work at end of August 2005 and promised himself an extra-special present to celebrate his early retirement. He wanted to explore New Zealand, and he wanted to tackle the trip on two wheels - so all he had to do was get there, and organise a suitable steed…

So a year ago, Reg booked his flights and got in touch with a dealer in Hamilton, NZ. A 1984 R65LS BMW seemed ideal for the 12-week ride, so Reg paid $4500 NZ for it and the dealer agreed to fit new tyres, change oils and hold onto bike until he arrived in February. Reg's original plan was to ride in the New Zealand summer, and the British winter, from January to March 2006. The flight booking didn't quite work out, however, so eventually Reg left the UK on January 29th.

And here's the edited highlights of what happened next…

  • Picked up bike on 2nd Feb and went for short ride to get used to NZ town traffic - see photo '1st day out'

    1st day out

  • Did 250km next day - Hamilton - Waitomo caves - Marokopa - Pirongia - Hamilton and had to set tick-over at 1250revs instead of 2500revs.

  • Learned to fear the logging trucks - see photo 'Beware of these'

    Beware of these. There's a vole behind the clump of grass on the left.

  • Another 250km ride to look at mountains and lakes

  • Watched the film "Fastest Indian" in Opotoki

  • Visited, and rode out with a friend on his Matchless around the Martha Gold Mine in Waihi - see photo 'Matchless ride'

    Matchless ride. Note traditional Kiwi bollards for slowing errant Matchlesses.

  • Visited friend who will ride my 1928 Ariel in the Banbury Run and helped to get 1902 Clement engine running - see photo 'Repair a Clement'

    Repair a Clement. This is the blue team, who got their Clement repaired first.

  • Went to Pukekhoe Classic bike race meeting

  • Rode down to Napier then Wellington to cross Cook Straight to ride around South Island stopping at Southlands Motor Museum to admire - see photos called '1900 Werner' and 'Wall engined lawn-mower'

    1900 Werner and Wall engined lawn-mower. Lawn not shown.

  • Met VMCC Chiltern Section lady on ferry to South Island

  • Rode Queen Charlotte Pass - wow!

  • Rode lots of other mountain passes, each wow! Got louder and more intense - South Island is truly beautiful, painfully so

    BMW meets Moas. Insert your own joke about historical monsters here.

  • Meet Moas and sheep, on the main State Highway? - see photos 'BMW meets Moas' and 'Sheep on main highway'

    Sheep on main highway. What do you get if you cross a sheep with a kangaroo?

  • Riding around and near Mount Cook had a wow factor all its own - see photo 'Mount Cook'

    Mount Cook. ...A wooly jumper!

    Basket case

  • Went to Motor Museum near Wanaka - see photos 'Basket case' and 'BSA JAP Special'

    BSA JAP Special
  • Random BMW R65 Stuff on eBay.co.uk

  • Rode over Crown Pass, which at 1700m is the highest sealed road in NZ - see photo 'Highest metalled road'

    Highest metalled road. Top photo, too.

  • Rode around Queenstown and Arrowtown - see photos 'Near Queenstown' where the weather got cold and wet

    Near Queenstown. Reminds me of 'summer' holidays in Wales...

  • Note the state of a B road - see photo 'Class B Road'

    Class B Road. Is that Dave Minton in the pickup truck?

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