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11th October 2006


A BMW Abroad - Part 2

Part two of Reg Eyre's trip to the other side of the world to enjoy 12 weeks riding on a BMW R65. Reg finishes by listing the good, the bad and the thoughtful...

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...

  • Went to Invergcargill to pay homage to Burt Munro and his bikes which are in the local ironmonger shop, note the forks and where he put the handlebars

    Note the bars Find the bars!

  • Went to Dunedin to see the other 1902 Clement in NZ.

    Milford in the Mist

  • Went to Milford Sound past fantastic views and through a dodgey tunnel.

    View from the road

  • I then escaped to the north of South Island to get warm and dry but it rained on the way.

    Halfway round the world to ride in the rain...

  • Taken by Bernard Law, South Seas correspondent for RealClassic, to see the Conlan Collection.

    A Fast Bard. Forsooth. A Swift which blew its barrel out on a run.

  • Rode with the Nelson Classic Bike Club on their 'Fish and Chip' Run.

    Looks like the chippy is closed...

  • Rode to the very north of South Island over a wonderful pass.

    A rare photo of the lesser spotted R65

  • Back on North Island, I went to the Peter Thomson Motor Cycle Museum where there are a large number of original condition veteran machines.

    1911 Ariel, 1910 Motosacoche

    Can anyone identify the petrol tank Peter has acquired?

    Name that tank...
    An R65LS yesterday.

  • Rode to National Park and rode around Mount Doom of Lord of The Rings fame

    Mount Doom, photographed from Mount Quite Nice [I made that last bit up. RM]
  • Random BMW R65 Stuff on eBay.co.uk

  • Spent time at Lake Taupo and the geothermal area around Rotorua.

    Sailing on Lake Taupo

  • Rode 250km with the Ulysses Club whose motto is "Growing Old Disgracefully". Is there a UK branch?

    Growing Old Disgracefully

  • Road around the Coromandel and to the far north of North Island before finishing at Thames, where the BMW was sold over the Internet and shipped back to Christchurch to its new owner.

    The end of the road.

    Good things about riding in New Zealand

  • The views are fabulous, especially in the South Island

  • The people are friendly and offered accommodation, which I accepted some times, (in exchange for knowledge on how to make better use of their computers or working on a farm)

  • Youth Hostels are cheap, ($18 to $26 a night), and acceptable for accommodation

  • Petrol is cheap, about a third of UK price

  • Food is cheap if you use the 'Pak n Save' supermarkets

  • Eating out is reasonable

  • They ride on the left

    Not such good things about riding in New Zealand

  • All vehicles travel above the 100kph national speed limit. Most drivers will tail gate you no matter what speed you travel at

  • Drivers make no allowances for motorcyclists in bad weather such as cross winds or rain

  • Beware the logging lorries because they won't wait for anyone. Try to get out of their way

  • Road works mean dropping speeds down to 30kph where the road is dug up and scraped, then sealed with a limestone mix that corrodes all vehicle metal work unless washed off immediately

  • Riding on the equivalent of B roads means loose surfaces have to be ridden like trail riding

  • There's a lot of wind in New Zealand so use the worst days to go sailing, rafting or kayaking which is much more fun

  • New Zealand broadband is slow

    Things to think about

  • If you want to go, do it soon! Fuel prices will have a major effect on long distance travel soon

  • Use the Internet to investigate cheap deals on air travel

  • Speeding incurs a fine if you are caught. There are no penalty points but you must pay your fine before leaving the country

  • Insurance rules are different. The Government sorts out liability and you can arrange insurance for damage to yourself or your vehicle

  • Use e-mail to maintain communications from any Internet cafe


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