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RD 2 NZ VMX - Feilding, 29 September 2018

As we fast approach the  first round of NZVMX and the NZ Vinduro Series I find myself in a mild panic in trying to get things done. 

First the committee has been locking down the arrangements for the next season confirming venues, sponsors and taking forward action items from the AGM. For me that has meant updating the website, checking that entry system still works, reprogramming the class selection variations to reflect the new classes, updating the race orders and organisers handbooks etc. But I always miss something.

As I opened up the entry system I kept receiving messages with entries for people wanting T Shirts. What the……….what’s going on! While I organised T Shirts for the final of the last round, I thought I had turned off that particular shopping basket for the new season. So I dived back into the system to do a double check. Yip the shopping basket had been turned off ok but I had a left a little message in the entry confirmation response to let me know what T shirt size you were and if you wanted to Pick Up/or Delivery. It took me a few days to uncover this little issue hence the confusion. So sorry about that, no T Shirts at the moment but will certainly prepare a new batch for the end of the season again. I’m thinking simple white on black featuring a Pre 96/91 on the front and Pre 78 on the back…………………. 

Meanwhile in the garage project Eeek it’s a Deek has taken three steps forward and four steps back. Frame is painted, tank is painted, cables made, engine is running, new chain purchased, new air filter purchased, Cycleworks muffler made and so on. It was looking great, sure there was is a bit more on the list to do including building a heat guard for the pipe and fabricating a rubber skirt to protect the high top air filter. But before that one thing I  promised myself was to actually remove the cylinder and head to get them bead blasted and cleaned up. 

Er just as well I did really. Removal of the barrel revealed a piston which had a crack in the skirt, rings that were well worn and a con-rod that was pretty sloppy. In fact removal of the piston pin from the piston resulted in the skirt breaking off. Ok so that was a close call. At the same time I removed the magneto cover only to find that it and a part of the crankcase had been smashed from a chain derail at some stage which had left the ignition and rotor exposed to all sorts of gloop. It’s a credit to German engineering that this bike was still running. 

So the project has now moved from an ‘almost there and we will make round 1’  to a ‘slow burner and maybe we will make round 4’!

 So basically we are looking at an engine rebuild which is sort of fine by me as I am interested to see what lurks within those crankcases.  So I have started my shopping list for Buehner’s Supply Company. Inc in the USA (pentonpartsusa). It’s started with a 54.5 mm piston ($100) and a conrod kit  ($110). I am sure that there will be ancillary items on the way as I open the engine up. Bearings and seals I should be able to sort here in NZ…………..As for the crankcase and magneto cover Carl at Cemeck engineering has advised that he can do the fix and will fabricate replacement sections. 

Meanwhile I have been working with Justin Stevenson and Murray Dick from the Kapi Mana Club and John Nicholson from Vinduro NZ to undertake Round One of the Vinduro series on Saturday 22 September at Moonshine. 

This is a bit of first in many ways. It’s the first time that a vinduro has been held south of Taupo and its is the first time that a Vinduro has been held in conjunction with the North Island Championship and an Extreme Enduro the following day!  So effectively there are four courses that are planned. Lemee see now, the AA (Expert Course),  the A Course (or what I used to know as B Grade/Intermediate) , the Vinduro/Trail Ride course and the Extreme course.

Holy heck batman! Fortunately Justin and Murray are always on the main jet when it comes to Enduros so they are not phased by the proposition of marking out four courses at all as they are keen to grow all aspects of the sport. The vinduro course will make up the central spine of the entire ride with the other courses dropping on and off as required taking the advanced riders to the depths of despair deep into the Moonshine mist……….

So back to reality the next few weekends will be taken up with clearing tracks, putting up arrows and finalising the course.  While the Moonshine terrain is naturally hilly and looks severe, most of the vinduro track is in moderate 4WD terrain. The things to watch for though are the rocks and slick clay in places. The rocks are ones which are loose and tend to deflect you off course and the clay surface can offer great traction one moment and then out you on your arse before you know it. So good tyres will be in order - its going to a lot of fun and I am really looking forward to it. 

And if that is not enough on the 9 September is Round One of NZ VMX at Waitarere. Last time we had around 120 entries for this event despite the absolutely wet conditions. This year the winter has been a lot dryer so we are hoping for an even greater turn out. Online entries close on Tuesday 4 September.

Right enough already. 

See you at both Round Ones.

Andrew