New Engine Run

With a big end bearing just starting to give up, evaluating the options lead to the decision to do an engine swap to minimise downtime. I currently have a new DRZ400 sitting in at Avon City Suzuki so after a quick call to Steve he lined up Michael to do the engine switch so I started the trip from Karamea to Christchurch.

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It couldn't have been a better day for showcasing SH67
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Although the plan was to head to Christchurch, there were a few detours along the way to GPS log some tracks/roads for the website. SH65 (Shenandoah Highway) was first on the list so it was up the Upper Buller Gorge Road and down SH65
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With a few detours and daylight running out it was time to setup camp. I decided to cross a river and camp up a remote valley. The river (above) was running slightly above normal flow and required a bit of wrestling to keep the bike upright
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Following the 4X4 track to the camp spot at the end
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It took little time for the below zero evening air to begin freezing everything. As morning came, at around 6:30 rain and snow started to come down so the planned leisurely start to the morning went out the window as I had to pack up my frozen gear quick smart and get back across the river just in case it rose to an impassable level. After some more wrestling of the bike across the river and over to the other side, it was back onto the tarmac
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With the outside air temperature gauge hovering around the 0 degrees mark and the snow coming down more intensely it wasn�t long before the tarmac soon became cloaked in a layer of white
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The Lewis River
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The road crew were out in force and doing a great job as always, doing their best to keep one step ahead of the snow
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The Boyle River
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A few more detours down some back roads alongside the snow-laced Okuku Range
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Someone didn�t quite get it right and ended up in the bank! Not the best photo but I could see where they hit the bank and tried a few times to reverse out
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Okuku Range
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An engine swap is something I�d normally do but given the fact I was 500km from my workshop the job was in Michael's capable hands. He made short work of sliding in the new engine and had me back on my way in no time
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The Mansonic Hotel
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Heading south the daylight was running short so I decided to stop up in a motel for the night
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So I�m currently in motel in Oamaru putting together a trip around lower Otago and then back up to Karamea. Some great tracks are planned over the next 3 weeks of riding which will be GPS logged/photographed and will be put up on the website soon�
Author of this article: RMOTO