August 2017

Another bike from the hands of my Napier friend and builder, also purchased by the friend who bought the Harrier. This was a Bol D'or replica built from a T160 Trident, which none had been, but one is allowed poetic licence in such things.

The new owner was overseas when the transaction took place, and was intending to have it shipped down to me. I suggested that it would be considerably cheaper and perhaps even safer for the bike if I collected it and rode it back. He thought so too, so that was nice.

This was how it looked in full dress.

I flew to Napier to begin the delivery, and was able to assist with obtaining a new wof for it so it would be legal for the trip. First time aboard the riding position felt fairly no-compromise, but more interestingly, the steering lock was extremely minimal due to the restrictions placed on handlebar travel by the fairing. U turns would definitely be out. I had some reservations about how long one might be able to endure the sparse seat padding, but what the hey. As long as I could make it from Napier to Wellington the following day I could make my booked ferry crossing. Gulp.

At 7am it felt as though we had been close to a frost, and the air temp was decidedly less than human friendly. More so if said human was on a motorcycle. I headed away down Route 50 which allows an unimpeded pace due to lack of other traffic, but is also a lovely road. I still felt pretty comfortable as I approached the junction with SH2 north of Norsewood, but I went to change down for the intersection and found my left hand was not working due to a spell of being numb, mostly from the cold but with a few vibes thrown in. I made some mostly clutchless downchanges but was able to find neutral by dint of some violent shaking of the hand between changes. I figured I had better stop at Norsewood and thaw out properly, but with that brief stop plus a few subsequent miles caught in traffic I was all good again by the time Norsewood rolled up and so decided to put the stop off until Dannevirke. I decided that Dannevirke did not look that interesting so pressed on to Woodville, and eventually found myself at Masterton before I actually did make a timely stop for gas.

From there it was off down to Greytown where I felt I had enough time on hand to stop for a beer at the Greytown Hotel, a place which has proven most congenial on past trips. Indeed it still was, and I took a picture of my surprisingly comfortable steed outside.

I had noticed a few spots of oil beneath the gearbox both before leaving Napier and whilst parked here, and decided I would investigate that when I got home. Otherwise the bike was running nicely and was indicating a lot of oil pressure on the gauge at cruising speeds, which is a nice reassurance. I had noticed a flat spot in acceleration when overtaking some traffic, but was able to ride around that and not sure if it was a problem or not.

I rolled on down towards the ferry and at Featherston decided a coffee would be in order as I was still well ahead of schedule. I was scanning for a suitable shop and finally spotted one on the right as I approached the end of the shopping area, so thought to make a U turn just where a junction occurred on the left which would allow me a bit more space to do so. Despite having the equivalent of 3 lanes to now complete my turn it was still a kerb to kerb affair with nothing to spare. I would not attempt that again.

A coffee and a pie later I was off up the Rimutakas, polishing off the traffic at each slightest opportunity. I had a moment when meeting an oncoming Cop as I headed down the final descent, but he didn't seem interested so I decided I wouldn't be either. Reached the ferry terminal in plenty time, so spent some time adjusting the gearshift linkage to suit me better while waiting in the loading queue.

I had been a little concerned about handling the tie-down procedure aboard the ferry, as the bike possessed only a mainstand, so getting it into the wheel clamp going forward as well as getting it on the main stand might be interesting. It was, but desperation always sharpens one's skills, and I managed to do that plus find suitable fastening for the custom tie-downs that had been loaned for the purpose. The crossing was uneventful and the bike was happily as I left it when we docked. A brief ride into Blenheim and overnight at a friend's place.

The next day was rain from Christchurch to Blenheim, with the added bonus of snow on the Lewis Pass. I stayed put. Next morning was greatly improved but still with a good chance of getting wet, but it was time so off I went. I stopped on the way up the Wairau Valley to take a shot from the cockpit.

Another of those digital speedos that can take a bit too long to let you know that you have already gone past the limit, but I was being mindful of that and so far had evaded capture. No other issues so onward. A fuel stop at Murchison and two simultaneous coffees rather than wait for the brewing of a second. That was the only stop before reaching the Lewis, where the rain began and continued over the top, after which it came and went for some time, but really set in before Culverden where I spotted a mate who had ridden out to meet me. Nice one. Arrived home kinda damp with a bike muddy from the sodden roadworks. A cleaning shall need to occur.

Cleaned things following day and then went looking for the oil leak. It appeared to be coming from the neutral light switch, so I took it out and applied some sealant to the threads. That failed so I tried another switch, also without a result. About then I discovered something odd about the oil filter cap, which had something protruding from the threads. Easing the cap out revealed that its threads were in the process of stripping, and the sealant had presumably been applied to prevent it leaving town altogether. Gave me a moment to consider what would have happened if it had, and I immediately replaced it with a new one. End of leak.

A somewhat cleaner Bol D'or now looked very much at home in the garage.

Being as there was a bike show happening the bike got entered. It did not win anything but gathered a lot of attention, as it tends to everywhere it goes.

I had found a slight problem with the gearshift in that it collided with the primary chaincase when upshifting, and was beginning to scar it. The problem was that there was a lot of sideplay in the needle roller bearing it pivoted on, so I removed the bearing and had a bronze bush machined to fit instead. It not only solved the problem but resulted in a far more compliant gearchange. On that note the bike was put into storage until its new owner could make its acquaintance.

Which he now has.

Loves it.!