We had a new local vespa owner approach us about coming on rides around the place. Keith has a late model Vespa 150 and was keen to get out and about. He had mentioned a ride, with another group, that included the Tuapeka Mouth Ferry .
Having lived in Southland most of my life, I had never heard of this and looked it up online. Run by the Clutha Valley Tuapeka Heritage Trust this service has been going since 1896. Some 25 punts used to operate on the Clutha River but now there is only the Tuapeka Ferry left in service. Staffed by mainly volunteers this is well worth a look if you are out and about. It would pay to ring first to see if it is operating as the Punt relies on the water level, and other factors of the Clutha River, to operate.
The day was awesome, with no wind and warm riding conditions and after coffee and muffins at Keith’s home (thanks again Andrea) we got to Lawrence, for lunch, with no dramas.
I had recently acquired an LML150 from Pod, a Dunedin scooterist, which had some engine issues. I had also recently re-built a “tired” PX125 engine with a VMC 177 Super G cylinder kit and had nearly run it in, so swapped the engines over, to give the little motor a good run. With a 24mm SI carb, 60mm Mazuchelli crankshaft, 22 tooth clutch, Polini Box exhaust and standard 125 gearing the little engine performed really well. Faster than a stock PX200 and pretty good on fuel, I would certainly recommend this kit as an upgrade to a PX125/150 engine.
The road from Lawrence to the Tuapeka Mouth Ferry and then on to Balclutha is a stonker for anyone on two wheels (watch out for wandering stock) however Chris’s GS160 was starting to get hot with the riding conditions so a quick mixture setting change and new B8ES spark plug soon sorted that out for the leg home down through the Catlins.
The Catlins is just awesome. For riding, scenery and places to visit it would be hard to beat and we are just so lucky to have this on our doorstep. If you are going down that way, stop in to the Whistling Frog or The Tokonui Tavern for great meals and refreshments.
It was a big day for four little scooters but really reminded us why we do these things.
If you are a keen scooterist, get in touch.
2022 New Years Ride