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
Went to Dunedin to see the other 1902 Clement in NZ.
Went to Milford Sound past fantastic views and through a dodgey tunnel.
I then escaped to the north of South Island to get warm and dry but it rained on the way.
Taken by Bernard Law, South Seas correspondent for RealClassic, to see the Conlan Collection.
Rode with the Nelson Classic Bike Club on their 'Fish and Chip' Run.
Rode to the very north of South Island over a wonderful pass.
Back on North Island, I went to the Peter Thomson Motor Cycle Museum where there are a large number of original condition veteran machines.
Can anyone identify the petrol tank Peter has acquired?
Spent time at Lake Taupo and the geothermal area around Rotorua.
Rode 250km with the Ulysses Club whose motto is "Growing Old Disgracefully". Is there a UK branch?
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.
Rode to National Park and rode around Mount Doom of Lord of The Rings fame
Random BMW R65 Stuff on eBay.co.uk
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