Auckland, New Zealand

Distance: 42 miles
Time on bike: 1.25 hours

Today we start with a naughty breakfast of banana pancakes with Nutella and shortly afterwards get cracking with some maintenance to the bikes. The last time the steering head bearings were greased was in Georgetown, Malaysia for Béné’s bike and Adelaide for Carl’s bike. They’re a bit of a weak point on these bikes, but if they’re kept greased up they don’t have a problem covering big mileages.

When we strip the bikes, Carl’s bearings are still looking good, but Béné’s have no grease left on them at all. Everything is still fine however and having the grease means they won’t prematurely need replacing.

With the bikes back together we take a ride to the other side of Auckland to collect the Carnets for the bikes and also settle the remaining costs in respect of the bike shipping from Brisbane to Auckland. The shipping costs were £145 per bike, which was superb value, however the port clearance charges, customs clearance and quarantine costs amount to £135 per bike which made the total cost of getting the bikes across £280 per bike, which was still much less than expected.

We’re riding with absolutely no luggage on the bikes and they feel so light and nimble. They’re also considerably higher and we’re both on tip toes to be able to reach the ground. Having the weight on the bikes with all the luggage certainly makes a difference, but if anything it makes them well behaved on any loose surfaces.

On the way back we call into a shop to buy some oil so we can do an oil change on the bikes and then they’ll be fit and ready to complete the last leg of the trip. It feels like the least we could do for the bikes as they’ve performed so well over the last twelve months and 33,000 miles.

We then stop by at a vehicle testing station to arrange the Warrant of Fitness and temporary registration of the bikes in New Zealand. The people at the testing centre are very friendly and the girl on reception comes from Whitley Bay of all places. Just before we arrive however, Béné says her rear brake has stopped working and the pedal is going all the way down without operating the brake.

This couldn’t have been timed worse. The servo has a small leak, but we’ve only had to top it up once and since then seems to have been fine. When Carl checks the fluid level the brake fluid erupts out of the reservoir and it turns out the brake had just been overheating, possibly from Béné resting her foot on the brake. After giving it a bit of a rest, the fluid cools down enough for the brake to start working again just as we arrive.

When the bikes were tested in Australia it was just a case of checking the lights and horn, but here they’re a bit more serious and even includes a brake test. Thankfully both bikes are looking good still and the only thing they pick up on is a slight bit of play in the bearings on Béné’s rear wheel. It costs only £40 for each bike for both the test and registration and now we’re completely legal.

By the time we get back to Mairangi Bay it’s about 4 pm so we pop into the local shops to get a few things for dinner, including some really nice looking fish.

Jour 358 – Lundi 11 Avril 2011. Auckland, Nouvelle-Zélande.

Distance: 67 km – Temps à moto: 1.25 heures

La famille de Brian démarre tôt comme d’habitude, et ils sont tous partis avant 8 heures. On déjeune a nouveau des crêpes a la banane et au Nutella, puis on graisse les roulements de guidon de nos motos, ça fait longtemps qu’on ne l’avait pas fait, surtout sur la mienne, et il est temps qu’on le fasse, il ne reste presque pas de graisse sur les miens. On va ensuite en ville pour aller récupérer nos carnets pour les motos et payer le reste des frais de cargo.

Sur le chemin de rtour, on passe chercher de l’huile comme il est temps qu’on la change, puis on va faire le contrôle technique des motos pour pouvoir les enregistrer en Nouvelle-Zélande officiellement, ce qu’on fait avec un peu de retard comme on avait besoin de récupérer les carnets. Le test est un peu plus complet qu’en Australie, et le gars fait même un test des freins, heureusement le tout est fait assez rapidement et on repart peu avant 5 heures avec les papiers officiels pour les motos.

Pour fêter ça on passe chez le poissonnier du coin et au supermarché et on cuisine pour Caroline et les enfants ce soir.