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  #1  
Old 4 Feb 2009
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A Dane in Dire Distress!

I'm currently in New Zealand for three months, fulfilling a long-time dream of riding around this beautiful country on a motorcycle, followed by another three in Australia. I actually took my motorcycle license not many months ago for this specific purpose, and before I came here, the lessons were the only riding experience I had. Some people thought I was crazy, but I believe that dreams are there to be pursued.

Unfortunately, the second-hand Honda XR250 I'd bought gave out a couple of days ago, and I don't have any space in my budget for buying a new one. I'd figured that, even though minor repairs might be necessary, a generally indestructable XR250 which had only gone 21000kms on purchase (and looked like it was in good condition) would last me the trip. I was to be proven wrong! All I got out of it was just over two weeks of travel and 1500kms

I bought it as-is, knowing full well that if anything went wrong the problem was mine. Here's how it all happened

This saturday, I was cruising along on my way to Te Anau as the engine started making funny noices. Shortly after, a very loud metallic rattling sound came from the engine, and I immediately pulled the clutch which stopped the noise. As I pulled over, the engine was still going (I'd put it in neutral), but as I stepped off to see if I could find any outside damage, the engine died for no apparant reason and I couldn't start it again. Every time I tried, the clanking sound came back. Fortunately, a local girl I'd met was travelling the same way as me not long after I'd taken off and she brought me to her aunt's farm. She arranged for her aunt's husband (John) to fetch it in a pickup truck.

The next day we got it going after a good amount of thinking and pilfering. Believing it was alright, I was very relieved to set off again. After around 10k, the same thing happened, and this time the gears got stuck too. John came and picked me up again, and in the evening we took it to the mechanic. I was praying it was fixable, but I knew it'd probably be expensive. Yesterday he called me and told me the engine was dead. I went to see it, and it probably couldn't have been much closer to utter destruction. The piston was cracked, the cylinder walls were ruptured, the valves were bent, and something (don't remember what) was destroyed in the gearbox as well. Total write-off. The mechanic offered me 400$ for it to use for spare parts and, having no other options, I took it.

The mechanic said there was nothing I could have done, it was just normal wear and tear and it was probably already on it's way out when I bought it (I don't blame the seller though, I don't think anyone would've seen it unless they opened up the engine.) It is just too bad since the bike (and motor) is generally considered to be so reliable (or so I'm told.)


What a bummer! I've had so much fun riding it, and I had hoped it'd take me all the way to Auckland. In the end I only got 1500kms out of it. I can't afford a new bike, much as I'd love to, so my only options from here-on out is hitchhiking.


What I'm doing now is writing everyone and anyone I know in NZ who has anything to do with motorcycles and see if there's some unforeseen opportunity that opens up. Who knows, maybe I'll find a kind soul who'd let me borrow a bike for the rest (or part) of the trip. I have no real money to offer, but I'd be happy to offer something else (such as ads on my blog, which is seeing a steady increase in traffic, and currently have around 50 individual kiwi readers.) I am open for suggestions.

If I hear of a really good offer I might consider it, but this write-off is quite a cut in my budget so I really don't know how much I'd give. Having set my nose up for a bike trip around NZ, it's a real let-down having to complete it hitching. And I haven't even considered what this'll mean for my Australia plans.


Anyways, just thought I'd throw a line. As I said, if (against all hope) you know anyone who could help in whatever small way to get me back on a bike, please let me know. Other than that, I'd be happy if you just spread the word about this dane in need.



If it takes time for me to answer this post, it's because internet is expensive and/or hard
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  #2  
Old 4 Feb 2009
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Hi jophiel,

Can't offer any specific help but you may also like to try the forums on kiwibiker.co.nz

You may find someone there who can assist.

Hope it all goes well.
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  #3  
Old 4 Feb 2009
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As you have a lot of time, you could buy a bicycle and continue on a smaller scale. you'll save the gasolin money, its cheaper to get it to Australia. It can be brought on a train, plane or bus and probably you could hitchhike a ride with a pickup in the outback.

Not to mention the effects on your health ;o)

I'll see you in Australia ;o) I'm bicycling Adelaide-Oodnadatta-Darwin from 16 of march to 12 may

Poul
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Last edited by pbekkerh; 31 May 2010 at 21:17.
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  #4  
Old 4 Feb 2009
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Adelaide

Hi, it won't exactly be cold for you then will it! Travel. Ain't it great. Linzi.
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  #5  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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Thumbs up

I have an old Suzuki AC50 with an A100 motor fitted you could borrow for the South Island... Don't laugh, it's already done a 5 month lap of NZ with a German girl aboard. Come to the HU travellers meeting here on the 21st Feb, whatever happens. See link above left.

Regards

Nigel in Christchurch
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  #6  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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Woohoo! go the AC50/100!

If you make it to Nigels on the 21st we'll see you there.

Cheers
Clint
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  #7  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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I very much hope to be at the bike meet, but I can't say anything for sure as my schedule has been screwed up a bit.

Poul, you're a hero for doing it on a bicycle, but it's not for me

100cc sounds quite small for a trip. I appreciate the offer, but I don't think I can do it feasibly on anything less than 250.

I'll try the other forum as well for sure, thanks!
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  #8  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jophiel View Post
I very much hope to be at the bike meet, but I can't say anything for sure as my schedule has been screwed up a bit.

Poul, you're a hero for doing it on a bicycle, but it's not for me

100cc sounds quite small for a trip. I appreciate the offer, but I don't think I can do it feasibly on anything less than 250.

I'll try the other forum as well for sure, thanks!

I read something on here where a student rode a 50cc scooter from Gibralter to Skagen and down to Arhus. it took him 3 weeks and he loved it.

100cc is big enough and beggars cannot be choosers. You would see so much more at that speed.

Steve
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  #9  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveindenmark View Post
I read something on here where a student rode a 50cc scooter from Gibralter to Skagen and down to Arhus. it took him 3 weeks and he loved it.

100cc is big enough and beggars cannot be choosers. You would see so much more at that speed.

Steve
It would make one great story if you took up the 100cc and went onto finish your NZ part of the trip. I would do it.
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  #10  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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Yep, 100cc will do fine. Last year I travelled 8,000kms in China in one month on a 125cc. New Zealand is tiny by comparison and easily done.

Garry from Oz.
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  #11  
Old 6 Feb 2009
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Take it!

Hi Jophiel

I'm with you Steve, what a sincere and generous offer to turn down, plus the invitation to an HU event just a few days away, which will give you a fine group of contacts and future mates. If I were you, I'd reconsider and move that event to the top of your schedule.

That 100cc bike will do about 70MPH (downhill) and cruise near to 60MPH, just a little less then the highly geared XR250 you seem to have blown up. Sounds like to many revs and not enough oil to me.

I'd also find a job for a couple of weeks and earn a few hundred dollars to buy another bike with. Easy!

Sorry if I sound a bit angry, I don't mean to be, as it's probably more jealousy, but to me sitting here in the slush and cold that is England at the moment, the perfect solution has been laid out for you and you are walking away from it.

I (and others at the time) never had these fantastic networking oportunities, such as HU and ADV via the internet, when I was travelling RTW in the 80's.

With what's in place this century, from now on travellers are almost guaranteed to find like minded people along their journey, rather then just having to wonder how close you are to a friendly local, as you trudge through a quiet town or busy city feeling lonely and sorry for yourself. But then when you do find friendship and hospitality, it makes the trip worthwhile and restores your faith in fellow man (and woman)

Journeys always work out and from being out on the 100, you will soon get an offer to borrow a bigger bike, which may even happen at the HU event.

Wish I could make it, but at least I will be at the Ace Cafe this Sunday for the HU event that is happening there.

Good luck with your trip.

Chris

Last edited by welovebikes; 7 Feb 2009 at 13:42. Reason: added a bit
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  #12  
Old 7 Feb 2009
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mmm

gee a great offer like that ,i rode a vespa from bali to bangkock no probs ,i would ride a cow if i had to do my trip and no money ,yeah, beggars cant be choosers
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  #13  
Old 7 Feb 2009
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I did!

I agree! Oh and by the way, I did ride a few cows during my travels!!!

Cheers


Chris
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  #14  
Old 10 Feb 2009
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I'll take the 100! sounds like an adventure!!!!
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  #15  
Old 10 Feb 2009
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Looking for a bike

100cc is absolutely fine. I also toured two up across the Rajastahni desert with dunes deep across the roads. Was really glad of a light bike and was the first vehicle back from the camel race traffic maelstrom.
100cc has advantages and will work fine with oil.

I'm coming to Christchurch 19 Feb, just before the HUBB meeting for 2 weeks trekking/traveling unfortunately without a motorbike before Aussie HUBB.
I'd be jealous of such an offer too.
If anyone knows a good place to rent/obtain any old reliable bike suitable for dirt road.
Cheers, Rob
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