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Thread: Shipping...

  1. #17
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    I have only flown 'american'once, it was actually a Continental flight and as a result, I have no intention of ever flying with an american airline again.

  2. #18
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    ^^^^^^ Agreed.

    Mike - I'm thoroughly looking forward to your RR - Book One was magnificent.

    Apart from the loose nuts behind the wheels, look out for Kea birds on South Island - they will eat anything rubber/soft on cars and bikes (wiper blades, seats, window seals etc.)! Strangely this includes KIA cars too because they can't read or talk.

    Enjoy Erehwon.

    PS Have you read Twisting Throttle by Mike Hyde?

  3. #19
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    I'm looking forward to this
    Visit our web shop for stickers/graphics/pannier wrap kits for your GS/Adventure bike
    web shop; www.humvee-graphics.com The originals and the best
    Limited range of our products available on e-bay, our shop; humveegraphics
    Facebook; http://www.facebook.com/humveegraphics

  4. #20
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    It can't be 12 months since your last one already. Excellent as always

  5. #21
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    Mike,you should have PM'd me.I may have been able to get you a tad more leg room on that FatBus.

    Just landed back from LAX myself . Was squashed into seat 4F so only got 6 hours sleep !


    Looking forward to the RR


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  6. #22
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    Ringside seat booked.

    Just settling down with a coke and popcorn.

  7. #23
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    2nd February 2017 (cont)

    Craig – known as Burg - arrives, as promised, 30 minutes later and we battle our way through Auckland’s traffic in the company van. Burg is about my age and has worked as a mechanic since his apprenticeship. He’s now the race mechanic for a couple of bike racers – including Brian at the Bike Vault. Brian races classic twin cam Kawasakis – which require delicate hands to keep them competitive (the valve timing is absolutely critical, as you will bend a valve just turning it over by hand after a rebuild).





    After half an hour or so, we arrive at…



    …the Bike Vault.

    This is a great facility – providing secure storage and workshop facilities for a variety of bikes.



    Some units are used by racing teams, others by riders just wanting to store their bikes (and bike gear) in a climate controlled and safe environment.



    I like both Brian and Burg immediately. Very down to earth with a ‘can-do’ attitude. Regrettably, I am about to put this to the test – but first, a picture of Brian (left), Burg and Bert (Munroe - who really runs the outfit)…



    The bike looks pristine – as it should after £150 worth of cleaning

    I need to reconnect the battery, so go to the pouch where I left the spare key .

    It isn’t there...

    Over the course of the next hour I unpack every bag on the bike – it has simply disappeared.

    The snag is, I can’t reconnect the battery without lifting the tank, can’t lift the tank without removing the seats and can’t remove the seats without a key.

    Brian just says ‘No drama’ and Burg drives me to the hotel and back to collect my keys (and yes, in case you were wondering, I WAS kicking myself all they way there and back for not bringing them with me).

    By the time we’re back it is clear we are not going to be able to get the bike tested today. I reconnect the battery (seemingly unaffected by being unused for four months) and pack the bike for travel (fitting the top box and generally getting it ship-shape).

    The plan now is for Burg to give me a ride home (he lives not far from my hotel), then pick me up again in the morning. He or Brian will then lead me over to the testing station and I will wait with the bike whilst it is tested. This is likely to take most of the day, so I need to book another night in the Ibis.

    Burg gives me a ride home, discussing the price of housing in Auckland (it’s high and still rocketing up) - how this makes house ownership for youngsters almost impossible. Kids are living with their parents even after they get married, because the only way they’re ever going to get a house is to inherit it. It’s a depressingly familiar tale and one the UK is going to find itself adopting before long…

    I book another night at the hotel, grab myself some more water from the Countdown across the road and write up some of my journal. By about 2000 I am feeling so tired I have a shower and go to bed. I sleep poorly – my body clock is still shot to hell and it’ll take a while to settle down.

    A frustrating day in may ways – but hey – at least I’m not at work…
    We will never be here again - have a good look around

  8. #24
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    Friday 3rd February 2017

    After a fitful night’s sleep, I eventually surface around 0700 and have a shower. I stand slightly too close to the razor in a couple of places and phone home whilst I staunch the bleeding. I open the blind to see a grey and wet morning – this wasn’t in the brochure!

    I have a lightish breakfast (with Kiwi-juice!) in the hotel as I wait for Burg to turn up.



    Brian advised me yesterday that my best plan of attack for my trip would be to head rapidly to the southern part of the South Island and work my way north – as the good weather is not going to last in the South Island for long. I will work out the best (and most scenic) way of doing this today…

    Burg arrives at about 0845 - traffic is apparently a nightmare - and we set straight off. We arrive at the Bike Vault at just after 0915 to find Brian itching to get going, as he has a client waiting. He departs by scooter and I get kitted up. The bike starts first prod and I manoeuvre it carefully out of the building onto the road.

    I have new tyres fitted to the bike. New tyres have a coating on them, partly to help get them out of the mould and partly to increase their shelf life. This coating is very slippery - especially on a wet road - so I am going to be extra cautious today until they are ‘scrubbed in’. Burg gets into the company van and I follow him on a very complicated 30 minute journey to...



    ...the VTNZ station (a sort of combined MoT testing station and driving test centre). We are directed to go and speak to John in the second garage and - once again - I find someone immediately likeable and helpful...



    John checks my paperwork (Registration Document, Temporary Import Clearance, Driving Licence, passport and a couple of forms pre-filled by Daniel's team) and says this will only take about 30 minutes. Huzzah!

    He then tries to log into his computer and the system is down.

    He rings IT support and there is no estimate on when it'll be back up. Without the computer he is unable to process my bike. He's very apologetic, but I tell him not to worry - I also work for the government and we probably buy our computers in similar places...

    I leave him Brian's mobile number and all the paperwork and get John's Direct Dial In number - he promises to call as soon as the bike's done.

    So Burg drives us back to the Vault. I feel that a gesture of thanks is in order, so we stop at a cafe and I buy the three of us coffee and cakes to make up in some small way for the disruption I have caused to the smooth passage of their day. It proves to be exactly the right thing to do and, after feeding Burt the crumbs from the plate (which were very much appreciated), I set my laptop up in a quiet part of the building and start on my journal...

    We will never be here again - have a good look around

  9. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arsey View Post
    Mike,you should have PM'd me.I may have been able to get you a tad more leg room on that FatBus.

    Just landed back from LAX myself . Was squashed into seat 4F so only got 6 hours sleep !


    Looking forward to the RR

    Dammit!

    That was the only BA leg on the return journey too - you don't know anyone at American Airlines, do you?
    We will never be here again - have a good look around

  10. #26
    Subscribed... Looking forward to this, Mike.

    Safe travels

  11. #27
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    Great so far, looking forward to it.

  12. #28
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    Ride Safe Mike - enjoyment level reading your posts already high!

  13. #29
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    Friday 3rd February 2017 cont

    At about 1530, Brian comes through and says he's phoned the VTNZ station and its not good news - apparently the rear wheel bearing is loose and they require more proof of ownership.

    I'm perplexed - they have my original V5 (although DVLA helpfully mark the front page "This is not proof of ownership" - maybe that's the issue)? As for the wheel bearing - I fitted the wheels myself just before loading the bike and did a full movement check then and I know the bearing was sound.

    Luckily, I have a spare bearing and seal as part of my spares pack-up, so Burg suggests we head over and see what we can do. We drive the 30 mins through heavy traffic to find that John is not there. They ring his cell phone and he says he's on his way. Whilst waiting, I put the Adv on its centre stand and check the rear wheel - solid as a rock...

    John turns up and says there's no issue with the paperwork or the bike - he doesn't know who Brian spoke to, but all's well.

    Except that the computer is STILL down. John's hand are tied - there's no paperwork workaround for this - the computer has to be online for the bike to get processed.

    We reach an agreement that he will do the physical check on the bike this afternoon and will leave all details with one of the chaps who inspect heavy vehicles to process things when the computer his back on tomorrow (John isn't working tomorrow).

    Burg and I leave and make our way back to the bar next to my hotel to have a couple of beers - I feel we've earned them. Hopefully, all will be resolved tomorrow. I hope so - Monday is a public holiday and the VTNZ are closed, which would mean I'd be stuck without a bike until Tuesday...

    Anyway, as someone who has travelled far further than me once said "The interruptions are the journey"...
    We will never be here again - have a good look around

  14. #30
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    Saturday 4th February 2017

    A good night's sleep (I'm sure the beer helped ) - I open the blind to a beautiful day - sunny and in the mid-60s F already...

    I ablute and then head downstairs and impose on the front desk staff's goodwill by using their phone to speak to VTNZ. I get put through to the COF (Heavy Goods) department and speak to Nico, who immediately knows what I'm after, says he spoke to John last night -the computer is back online and he will have the bike processed in the next 20 mins. Excellent! I order a cab and go back to my room to get kitted up.

    The cab, driven by Ali - a really nice chap of Iraqi descent with an air of peaceful contentment about him - arrives as advertised and we are over to the VTNZ station 20 minutes and $40 later.

    I find Nico and he says there's a problem and I need to see his manager. Apparently I don't have the paperwork I need. He goes off to find him and leaves me with him to sort it out. I need a customs form and a temporary import form. I tell him that this was all in the stack of paperwork I gave John yesterday. He opens the other workshop up and finds my folder of paperwork - sure enough it is all there...

    I go with him to fill out some remaining stuff, pay the $80ish fees and collect a sticker for the rear of the bike...



    I then have to put the bike through 'Compliance' - which in my case is a very simple check because it's not a permanent import. They test the lights, brakes, wheel bearings and steering and then give me a 'Warrant', which fits into a plastic holder that I need to display on the bike. For now I decide to leave it in the tank bag map pocket - I'll work out where to put it later.



    It's around 1030 by the time I'm finally free of the clutches of NZ bureaucracy and legal to ride. I give the GPS a workout getting over to the Bike Vault, hoping that Brian may still be there so I can pick up my panniers, but he's left - I'll meet up with him later this afternoon. I set off back to the hotel, feeling a lot more relaxed now that things are happening.



    I arrive back at the hotel and decide to extend by another night - I will be leaving first thing tomorrow morning, but I don't want to put myself under any more pressure by having to find somewhere else tonight.

    I feel like I'm taking control of the trip for the first time since I arrived...



    In the hotel car park, my 'old car' antennae are twitching...



    Anybody like to guess make, model and year?



    Time for some lunch, I think...
    We will never be here again - have a good look around

  15. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike O View Post

    Anybody like to guess make, model and year?

    Holden EH Special 1964

  16. #32
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    1968 Holden Special ?

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