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A short ride in NZ (ride report) on a TDR250 (bike review)

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by Dim, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. Just got back from a 2 week holiday in the south island of NZ. After doing a relatively boring drive from Christchurch to Dunedin for my cousin's wedding I continued traveling. But as this traveling was done in a car and this is a bike forum I cant mentioned the fantastic roads such The Crown Range Road (Queenstown to Wanaka), The Haast Pass (Wanaka to Haast), The road from Greymouth to Westport, The Buller Gorge (Westport to somewhere where I turned off)The Lewis Pass (Springs Junction to Hamner Springs). These are roads youre going to have to look up or travel on yourselves. But I can talk (or type as the case may be) about riding around the port hills of christchurch.

    Thankfully my Uncle and Cousin are into bike so i was able to borrow a bike. The bike I was lent was a TDR250 (2-stroke, so probably not LAMs approved here)

    I held my breath and headed through the tunnel to lyttelton and then onto some twisties through governors bay around to diamond harbour and a little up the hill over to port levy (gave up on that road dur to snow/ice and gravel, someone was shot and killed there that night too! :eek: ).

    First impressions of the bike: Front brake is useless, tried my usual two finger on the lever to find that nothing happened :shock: ;
    Clutch is WAY to heavy, you pratically had to have arms the size of the hulk to pull it in all the way, meant i practiced clutchless shifts which was ok because the gearbox was nice and light;
    Handling was awesome, bike weighs about 140kg and so turns into corners very easily (im no slouch as far as cornering is concerned, but there were still inch wide chicken strips on the tyres after i had finished);
    The 2-stroke 250cc engine was a complete pain in the arse, it had two modes really fast or really slow with nothing inbetween. Let the revs drop below 6500 and there was nothing, then all of a sudden a rush of acceleration (and quite frequent over-revving due to the tacho being on the tank out of peripheral vision). If there is a reason which learners shouldnt be allowed to ride a 250 2stroke (well this one at least) its due to this manic behaviour and not the power to weight ratio. It was basically impossible to ride at a normal pace, very rewarding if you keep it in the powerband riding it hard but otherwise completely gutless. I missed the zephyr with its lazy 550 inline 4.

    Any back to roads. After deciding i didnt really like riding on ice and gravel with a manic 2-stroke with a useless front brake i stopped at the top of a hill, took some photos and headed back

    Turned up Gebbies Pass road, fantastic! Lots of 25-45kmh corners :grin: which took me out to the main road to akaroa. This road showed me something else they manage to get right in New Zealand, BANKING CORNERS! Straight sections of road interspersed with banked 55 to 75kmh corners. Went through little river (the river was that small i didnt even see it :LOL: ) and up the hill. Was just starting to really have some fun when i came across some more gravel :( pushed on anyway to the hilltop cafe for lunch and coffee



    Time to go home (well to where i was staying anyway), went back up gebbies pass and through to governors bay where i turned up Dyers pass. At the top turned right along summit road (any road in NZ called 'summit road' is generally awesome), this had fantastic corners and an even better view of the city. Although with absolutely no barriers or run off it was slightly scary, a small mistake would probably result in death or at least a lot of hurt (no different to coming off a bike anywhere else really). Made it back.

    (the pictures were taken on my phone, so they are pretty crappy quality)