29 Days in Murica No.1

Having recently spent 29 days in the good ol U S of A, I wanted to share just some of that experience with you. How better than to list 29 sights, sounds, emotions invoked and/or “things discovered” along the journey. *God knows I wanted and had every expectation to be writing these posts in transit. But to be perfectly honest, I’m actually glad I just let the road get in the way. To disconnect for a brief period of time and immerse myself in the vagrancy. So let us begin.


HOLY SHIT does the USA know how to make a damn good pickle! That juicy bitter sharp sweet flavour that would always leave my eyes watering and an irresistible urge to just eat some more. Back in NZ we generally get wee little gherkins. As a nation we must end this hardship. We have too long been deprived and no longer can we endure this suffering!


But of course ‘Murica being what it is, they had to go next level on the pickle thing….welcome to FRICKLES! A.K.A Deep Fried Pickles! Just take look at this face if you want to know how good they are!

*Figurative speech only.

Someone got spoilt this year

Each year, we all get to enjoy travelling around the circumference of the sun a.k.a your birthday. Some take this time to reflect. Others try find a new youth and binge themselves at the bottom of a bottle or a handful of pills. This year, my lovely lady decided to surprise me and change it up!

Knowing I’d nudged a fair amount of speed via the 2 wheeled variety, and that I’d be petrified of jumping from a perfectly good plane, she did the next best thing. It comes very much recommended!!!

Speaking of a little more speed

Being new to the bike, it’s always a good idea to bed yourself in. Find out traits and characteristics that could save your ass on the road. The best place to do that is on the track. Period.

Though a little daunting at first, once you get over your pre track nerves and put down a couple warm up laps, you begin to appreciate how much of a controlled and safe environment the track is. Not to mention back at the pits you have a raft of experience and knowledge from a whole range of rider levels.

Being a track rookie myself, I can say the Hampton Down regulars were top notch. I also give a special shout out to the women riders! Good to see everyone out rubbing elbows!

Below is some footage I took from the day. I went out in the novice section being new to the track and of course the bike. Only enforced rules were to give 2 metre widths on passing and the warm down lap is a warm down lap! Looked at my times at day end. For my next session there, I’ll be moving to the intermediates.

Back to something familiar

After enjoying all the outright speed of the MV Agusta F4, and the touring capabilities of the BMW GS1200, coming back to NZ I knew I wanted something in between. Meet the new addition, a KTM 690SM Prestige.

The previous Yamaha XT660X was/is mechanically a strong bike. It just lacked a little “punch”. The above KTM comes with an after market exhaust & air filter. Plus a power commander kit with auto tuner installed. All the stuff required for the “punch” factor. Still practicing the 2nd gear wheelies…

At “this” point in time, I’ve decided that Super Motos are the way to go on NZ roads. Plenty of fun around our windy coastline, enough stick to get you into trouble, wide bars and a riding position to get you back out again. Though I can see me needing something will a little more speed in my near future…

Track Notes 2 Always Learning

There’s something about being on a bike that endears me. Sure there’s the thrill of the front wheel popping up, being thrown back in the seat, and the sound of your tyres clinging on by a knife edge. But it’s the mastery that really grabs me. That balance of pushing yourself and your machine to your “perceived” limit.

There’s a couple of things that I’ve learnt in “my time” thus far.

1) The road ALWAYS wins.

2) You are NOT indestructible.

3) There will ALMOST ALWAYS be someone faster.

I love point 3. I love cranking around a piece of road, knee down and on song, just to be completely humbled by another rider. Case in point the enclosed clip. When this happens, take it on the chin & LEARN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN! I’m especially ok with this guy, he’s my bestie. While I was fumbling around on the F4 Agusta, he decides to lap me on the Duke. And it was a pleasure.

Hopefully he will be out this NZ summer. I can see a rental on the horizon, a Coromandel fly over and my KTM 690 doing some of the teaching =]

It's where the magic happens © 2019 - KyleHQ