Two men died by the mangled wrecks of their motorcycles yesterday, leaving the biker community grieving a grim day on the roads.
The first motorcyclist was killed south of Carterton in the Wairarapa countryside, after he collided with a Holden Commodore towing a fully-laden trailer. He died just before midday on State Highway 2 at a bridge across the scenic Waiohine River.
For more than two hours traffic was diverted through Martinborough, 30km away, while police investigated.
Then, later in the afternoon, a motorcyclist from Auckland died when he smashed into a wall on Tait Drive in Napier. Paramedics raced to the crash scene in the suburb of Greenmeadows but declared the man dead at 3.40pm.
Inspector Paul Jermy said the man was test-riding a motorbike when he crashed.
Police believe he'd just got on the bike when he lost control and slammed into a wall at a house on Tait Drive.
The deaths take the motorcyclist road toll to 29 this year with fears the toll could rise further as bikers hit the road for summer.
Ministry of Transport statistics show that fatalities rise in warmer months when sunny weather and the holiday season encourage bikers.