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About Rex Bunn
My most popular works, judging by readership and downloads; are my books and papers on motorcycle engineering, especially my path-breaking research into motorcycle crankcase ventilation. These papers are visited daily. My two books on this subject have only been available on Kindle, but at last I have produced softback versions. I know a lot of classic bikers want to have a print edition to prop in the garage or in which to write notes as you restore, So finally, I have produced softback versions. "Shower of Sparks", the most popular book is now available on Amazon in a print version. "Motorcycle Crankcase Ventilation" follows and for good measure I will add "The King's Crew" for military aviation readers.
My eighth and ninth papers were published to a Select Committee concerned with lands around Lake Rotomahana which, from our ongoing research, contain the Pink, Black and White Terraces. Link:
My seventh Terraces article "Reconciling new and old surveys of the Pink and White Terraces" published this week and can be viewed at: https://www.surveyspatialnz.org/members/Article?Action=View&Article_id=141
The first volume of the new 2020 revised and extended edition of my 2016 book "Quest for the Pink and White Terraces" launches today at:
The second volume follows.
My sixth Pink and White Terraces article published in "Frontiers in Earth Science Volcanology" at-
My fifth Terraces article published this week in Surveying+Spatial.
This reports new research findings on Hochstetter’s 1859 survey of the Pink, Black and White Terraces in New Zealand, completing our 2014-2019 research into the terrace locations. Hochstetter’s remains the only survey of this lost eighth wonder of the world: providing the only primary location evidence.
The findings are consistent with the 2018 Surveying+Spatial article by Bunn, Davies and Stewart, i.e. the Black Terrace lies on land and the Pink and White Terraces’ locations lie across the shore.
In this final survey iteration, the 2018 findings are confirmed. This paper benefits from research into terrace photo-interpretation (Bunn, 2019). Iteration VI gives improved Tarawera peak bearings without significantly altering the station georeferencing. New primary evidence strengthens the reverse engineering of Puai Station and the altimetry. We explain the faulted coordinates in Petermann’s 1864 map and expose his creative licence. We then reintegrate Petermann into the survey research and show the areas of agreement between the maps. Hochstetter’s purchasing records let us evidence the scale of his manuscript maps, which prove the most reliable mapping of the lake and terraces. Lastly, we refine the location of the Black Terrace and Black Terrace Crater.
This paper is the sixth and final iteration of Hochstetter’s survey of the Pink and White Terraces, providing the only primary evidence of their locations today. It is my fifth paper on the Pink, Black and White Terraces.
These articles, together with a new, extended edition of my 2016 book Quest for the Pink and White Terraces; comprise the complete history of the 2014-2020 research project to finally prove the locations of the lost eighth wonder of the world, based on the only primary, pre-eruption evidence of their original locations.
The paper can be downloaded from:
****FLASH 11 June 2019****
The new paper "Photographic embellishment and fakery at the Pink and White Terraces" publishes in June, in "New Zealand Legacy", the official journal of the "New Zealand History Federation". This is the first technical investigation by a qualified photographic investigator into nineteenth photographs of the Pink and White Terraces. Photographs long-assumed by researchers as genuine; are in fact staged and sometimes faked. This research questions previous Terraces research based on photographs.
Rex Bunn is a polymath, author and inventor. The leading USA journal 'Motorcycle Consumer News' describes him as "the world's foremost authority on crankcase breathing."
In 2017, he completed the fourth year of the Pink and White Terraces [PAWTL] project which finally fixed the locations of this long lost "eighth wonder of the world" in New Zealand. Against previous reports, the Pink, Black and White Terrace locations are shown by the 1859 'Hochstetter Survey' to lie on land and it's likely parts of the Terraces survived the Mt Tarawera eruption. "Quest for the Pink and White Terraces" was published on April 30, 2016 Dr Hochstetter's birthday, and covered the project development. On this page is a link to the video of the first scuba dive on the Pink and White Terrace sites.
On this dive we located a black terrace-like formation near the reported site of the White Terrace. We also found a large hydrothermal vent, near what was thought to be the feeder spring for Otukapuarangi, the Pink Terrace. As we were the first to it, I suggested (subject to family and regulatory body agreement), it be named "Alfred's Spring" after Alfred Warbrick, the guide who believed the Pink Terrace survived.
On our last dive I found sinter on the lake floor...the silicate which composed the fabled Pink and White Terraces. The video is roughly edited as rushes only. Since the dive, our research with Hochstetter's survey, establishes the original locations.
The research was published in refereed journals commencing with an article in the Journal of New Zealand Studies in December 2016. The second paper was published by the Journal of the Royal Society in June 2017. Site reconnaissance was undertaken in September 2017 and GPR surveys undertaken. The formidable Rotomahana mud proved an obstacle. The next planned steps are drilling and archaeological work.
Forensic cartography with Hochstetter’s 1859 Pink and White Terraces survey: Te Otukapuarangi and Te Tarata by Rex Bunn & Sascha Nolden
The 2016 by the "Journal of New Studies"... Te Tarata and Te Otukapuarangi: Reverse engineering Hochstetter’s Lake Rotomahana Survey to map the Pink and White Terrace locations... by Rex Bunn, Sascha Nolden, can be downloaded at https://ojs.victoria.ac.nz/jnzs/article/view/3988
The 2015 work 'Sons of Asclepius', is the biography of an Australian intellectual and surgeon Dr Anthony (Tony) Parker [1920-1973]. After a stellar beginning, life in his middle years was neither as he wished it, nor expected. He was unfairly dismissed from his hospital post of sixteen years and never told the grounds. He died aged fifty-two, after the dismissal from a heart attack. In my view, his death was precipitated by the cruel nature and distress of the dismissal. His final epistle to his protege reveals a man suffering unbearable distress with grace, and issuing wise, Socratic counsel in the last weeks of his life.
The 2014 work 'The King's Crew' is the 460 page illustrated Unit History of No. 14 Squadron (City of Gisborne) Air Training Corps (ATC), with 351 charts, tables and illustrations. This is one of the few ATC unit histories written since the ATC was founded in WWII and the most comprehensive. The ebook has a companion multimedia film "King's Crew".
'Motorcycle Blow-by: A Shower of Sparks' is the abridged edition of the 2013 magnum opus 'Motorcycle Crankcase Ventilation'. The abridged edition meets rider needs for a simpler guide to oil leaks and signs of poor crankcase ventilation, and to fitting crankcase breathers.
His longer works include:-
* Quest for the Pink and White Terraces (2016) and (2020).
* Sons of Asclepius (2015)
* The King's Crew (2014)
* Motorcycle Blow-By: A Shower of Sparks (2013)
* Classic Motorcycling (2013)
* Motorcycle Crankcase Ventilation (2013)
* Kings Crew, film (2012)
* Classic Motorcycling- A Guide for the 21st Century (2007)
* Economic Change and the Health of the Community (1978)
For ten years, he researched the mysteries of motorcycle crankcase ventilation and developed breather solutions. Rex's patented 'Bunn Breather Kits' were widely used around the world on classic, vintage and modern motorcycles. He is a statistician with a special interest in time series analysis: useful when studying reciprocating engines. He served as a director in engineering-driven companies and worked in healthcare internationally. He is also a diagnostic radiographer with degrees in commerce and econometrics.
Rex's 2013 magnum opus 'Motorcycle Crankcase Ventilation' is the first book to map this part of motorcycle engineering, one which troubles riders of classic, vintage and modern bikes. This book shows how to improve crankcase breathing, reduce power losses and cut oil leaks.
To view video of the pulse flow bench developed to test 'Bunn Breather Kit' valves, see the Video section at Author Central on this page.
Titles By Rex Bunn
subject: one which affects riders of any vintage, classic and modern motorcycle at some time. Both are available as Kindle ebooks.
The abridged 230-page edition (~400 Kindle pages), is published for the rider who wants
a simple guide to fixing oil leaks and other signs of motorcycle crankcase ventilation problems, without the history, research and technical developments in the subject. This abridged version is also profusely illustrated with photos, charts and illustrations, enabling easy design and fitting of breathers and details on fitting the older Bunn Breather Kits. It is plainly written for the everyday rider, as well as for racers, tuners, mechanics and engineers.
Rex includes chapters on making and installing your own crankcase breather, as well as sharing secrets of the breathers art. This book plainly shows how to improve crankcase breathing, reduce power losses and cut oil leaks on nearly any four-stroke motorcycle.
The book includes forty selected case studies from the thousands on the authors files: from Ariel to Moto Guzzi, from Norton to Yamaha. Much original research into crankcase ventilation is published, along with a review of the latest advances in race engineering. Rex is the designer of the "Bunn Breather Kits" used around the world, and now shares his research findings showing just how to conserve and develop our motorcycle engines
A different and fascinating new look at classic motorcycling with an international flavour - sure to appeal to all owners (and intending owners) of classic bikes. "Classic Motorcycling" is about buying, riding and maintaining classic motorcycles. It comes complete with sections on survival rates of classics and their price appreciation over recent years with future predictions, and is literally packed full of advice for both aspiring and experienced owners. From choosing the right bike, training for today's traffic, clothing, safety, maintenance, how and where to buy those all important spares, equipping a workshop, projects to improve most classics to simply experiencing the joy of ownership - its all here.
Book II, The Hochstetter Survey is set two years later when in February 2016, the author, (writing Book I as a bold, honorable failure... so PAWTL could at least benefit future Pink and White Terrace searchers); connected with Dr Sascha Nolden, curator of the Hochstetter Basel Collection,
By serendipity, Dr Nolden possessed the unpublished, indeed unknown field diaries of Dr Ferdinand von Hochstetter, the eminent 19th century geologist, cartographer and artist. Dr Hochstetter had visited the world-famous Te Otukapuarangi and Te Tarata, (the correct, original Maori names for the Pink and White Terraces) in 1859 and recorded the best description of them.The Pink and White Terraces and the lake on which they stood, were the site of the 1886 Mt Tarawera volcanic eruption. The bed of Lake Rotomahana was blown over the surrounding country and a new lake formed in the volcano's crater. The new Lake Rotomahana is ten times the area and depth of the old. In the chaos after the eruption, the locations of the Pink and White Terraces could only be guessed at by search and rescue teams. The Pink and White Terraces were assumed lost in the eruption.
Meanwhile the Hochstetter field diaries were stored in an archive by his descendants. They were not seen again until located by Dr Nolden in 2010 in Basel, that beautiful city on the River Rhine in Switzerland. (Please refer to Dr Nolden's four published books on their detection and recovery).
The field diaries were brought back to New Zealand and sections written at Lake Rotomahana and the Pink and White Terraces, passed to me during my research. Because of the PAWTL project, I immediately saw the potential for the untranslated diaries to assist in our search for the lost Pink and White Terraces. We translated the argot of 19th century German, Te Reo (the New Zealand Maori language) and English language entries. I recognised the material contained a compass survey of Lake Rotomahana and the many unique geothermal features around it. These terraces, springs and geysers were what made the lake a favoured destination for well-heeled 19th century tourists from Europe and the Americas.
After two months work, we deciphered the field survey and reverse-engineered it's content so it can be applied with modern mapping techniques. The next step was to overlay the doctor's 1859 survey map over the Google map of today's Lake Rotomahana. We can after 130 years finally see the locations for the long lost Pink and White Terraces. Instead of these locations being in the new lake (which meant they were blown skyward by the 1886 eruption), the Terrace locations lie on land and so likely survived the eruption. They are buried deep underground and so the Pink and White Terraces may still may not be recovered as we planned in 2014, i.e. to be reinstated as the premier tourist attraction in the Southern Hemisphere, as they were in the late 19th century. The Terrace locations lie too deeply under volcanic ash to be excavated, in my opinion. However, it is too early to make such a call. The Hochstetter survey and my derivation of it, will doubtless be replicated and any question about exposing the Pink and White Terraces canvassed with the traditional landowners and New Zealand regulatory bodies.