Me & My Bike: Bumblebee buzzing, Hyosung GT250
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Tell us about your bike
I’ve owned this Hyosung GT250 for just under two years. I bought it second-hand. It is yellow and I call it Baby Bumblebee.
Why this bike?
It reminds me of my childhood, and it feels futuristic. Movies and cartoons. Final Fantasy: Advent Children. I love that movie and love the bike that Cloud rides. Also, Tron and Transformers.
It was mostly to do with visibility. Being my first bike I wanted to be as visible as possible, so I could concentrate on other important things like balancing in stop-start traffic, changing gears smoothly, hill starts ... and doing wheelies.
I’m just joking. Safety first. My girlfriend would kill me if I did wheelies.
No modifications but I have friends telling me my possible options of customisation. Some of it still goes over my head but I do have an ingrained passion for knowledge so I’ll get there.
Do you take passengers?
I’m not allowed because I’m still on my learner’s licence.
When did you get your bike licence?
April 2015. I did the practical and the next day I sat my learner’s test and that night I brought Baby Bumblebee. The next day I was riding laps around my neighbourhood.
Who taught you to ride?
Any tips for young, new riders?
YouTube is your friend.
How often do you ride your Hyosung?
Most sunny days, which means once or twice a week in New Zealand. Or whenever I’m running late to work, which is most days ... so most days.
What riding gear do you wear?
A matte black HJC helmet with an internal dropdown sun shield. A dark NEO Motorcycle apparel jacket, RST performance bike pants for long distances and Kevlar jeans for short distances.
Disadvantages of riding in Auckland?
Aucklanders aren’t always the friendliest drivers, especially to bikers. I notice that cars tend to want to be a little bit faster than bikes.
I guess when drivers have been stuck in traffic for an hour and their turn-off is in sight and, all of a sudden, a biker gets in just before they do, it must pinch a nerve. When I’m driving and I spot a biker do that, I think, “man, I should have biked today”.
How often do you clean it?
Four days a week ... in the rain. I’m joking ... around once every two to four months. It stays nice and dry in my garage.
Any close calls?
Fortunately, no close calls. I’m not really a risk taker or thrill seeker. I’m un-shamefully a grandpa rider.
If you could go on a bike trip with any film great?
Tom Hardy across America. I don’t even know if he rides but he’s the man.
Any big road trips planned?
One mate just got a new bike and another got his learner’s, so a trip is called for. Nothing super big. A day trip to Raglan sounds good.
Should more people ride bikes?
Definitely. The more the merrier.
And you also drive?
We’ve got two cars. A grey 2006 Toyota iST for city driving and a black 2006 BMW X5 for long trips.
Would you rather drive or ride?
I understand statistics might say otherwise but I feel so much safer on a bike. I don’t feel caged in, I don’t have anything around me blocking my vision. I feel like I’m riding a mechanical steed that’s just waiting for the right time to transform and tell me he is an autobot sent to protect our world.
How would you solve Auckland’s traffic issues?
I’m not too sure. I’m like “what issues?” when I’m on my bike. Ha.