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Old 06-11-2015, 09:14 PM   #1
chazbird OP
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Scooter touring in heat

Contemplating riding backroads SF to Denver in early July, returning mid August. Scoot is a 9 year old liquid cooled Piaggio BV250. I've not had heat problems but have pretty much only ridden it in temperate conditions. A couple of times it's been in 85 degrees weather, no problems, but it does get slightly above mid range on the gauge in stop and go at those temps. But....this will probably be in 90-100+ temps, up to 9000 ft - 10,000 ft, steep grades, etc. I will fully tune it and do all fluid changes, etc. It is very important to make it to Denver on a schedule without a meltdown. Does anyone currently do anything ( BV250 esp.) like this? Would adding water-wetter be something to think about? I will probably need a small aux fuel container too. Any ideas on that? Something that can fit on the hump?
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:03 PM   #2
Chillis
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Have been commuting on the Smax on some 100+ days. Other than the change in transmission dynamics due to the clutch dragging some, no other issues. Rider does leak fluid through perspiration.

The altitude you speak of will be plenty cool. I would be more worried about jetting at those heights.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:11 PM   #3
gogogordy
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Fresh coolant

Chaz- have toured with our GT-200 and GTS250 ie in some extreme temps through Death Valley (in summer....yes crazy) and many other SW deserts of Ca, Az, and NV.

The GTS250 mill is the same as yours, and the cooling system seems very robust. Is yours carbureted?

http://gogogordy1.wix.com/scooter-af...-to-reno/c1gav

I would however run a factory specified, fresh coolant mixture, and make sure your electric fans work as they should.

If your scoot is carbureted as I think some BV are (as is my wifes GT200L) you may want to consider disabling certain....emissions equipment as hers has shown a penchant for vapor-locking in high temps.

Its never left us totally stranded, but a ginormous inconvenience. Others in the Vespa community recommend the same disablement on the fuel injected models like my GTS250ie, but Ive never had an issue even at 123 degrees.

Otherwise, provided your BV is in good repair, I wouldnt hesitate that trip. Have fun.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:12 PM   #4
chazbird OP
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Now I am probably not going to consider water wetter....
In the basin and range region there can be 90+ degree situations at 8000-9000 ft. 6000ft, easily over a hundred. Yes, jetting could be an issue too. Possibly a good idea on the emissions disable. The box takes up a good deal of the under seat area too.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:28 PM   #5
gogogordy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazbird View Post
Now I am probably not going to consider water wetter....
In the basin and range region there can be 90+ degree situations at 8000-9000 ft. 6000ft, easily over a hundred. Yes, jetting could be an issue too. Possibly a good idea on the emissions disable. The box takes up a good deal of the under seat area too.
Modernvespa.com has several threads on disabling the charcoal box, etc. in their wiki. I'm neither advising, nor endorsing that practice

So...your BV is a carbureted version?

My wife's GT200L has covered some altitude changes without ever messing with jetting. She has ridden that GT200L side by side with me on my GTS250 on some extensive rides, from the mountains at +9000' to the Badwater Basin in Death Valley at -286/sea level....never once have I touched the carb on that bike save for a new fuel filter upstream of it....which may also be worth replacing on yours preventatively to ensure the best fuel flow possible.

Here is some auxiliary gas mods I have made
http://modernvespa.com/forum/topic66...egic+petroleum
http://modernvespa.com/forum/topic112821
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:01 AM   #6
syncro87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazbird View Post
It is very important to make it to Denver on a schedule without a meltdown.
I've taken several long cross country m/c trips. This one phrase (above) out of your post is what might raise an eyebrow to me.

If you absolutely, positively have to be somewhere on schedule, riding a decade old European machine across a long distance in high heat conditions is probably not the best way to meet that goal.

I'm not saying it's impossible, or that I wouldn't do it. I'm just saying that Murphy's Law often rears its head on adventures like this. If it's critical that you reach Denver on a strict time schedule, well, you're putting a lot of eggs in that proverbial basket here.

If you were riding a KLR650 or something like that, I'd be less concerned. Those bikes have a large enthusiast community to tap into if you need support on the road. Dealers and independent bike shops are familiar with them. Parts are plentiful, easily acquired. Easy to work on yourself in a pinch. Tires are easy to find in a pinch. Et cetera. In other words, a low risk choice of bike for a summer adventure across mountains and desert.

The trip sounds fun, and I've done some like it, albeit in cars and on full size bikes, not a scooter. Go for it. But have realistic expectations on the kind of challenges that tend to pop up on trips like this. It's likely to be more fun and more unpredictable than the same trip in a brand new Honda Accord.

Someone smarter than myself can opine, but it occurs to me that carb jetting might be something to think about at 10,000 feet. I drove my VW pickup across Wyoming one time (fuel injected) and it was somewhat of a dog at that altitude.

Keep in mind that exposed skin can get a lot of sun when you're riding a bike for a long time day after day. Your face inside the helmet, back of hands, etc.
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:09 AM   #7
gogogordy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syncro87 View Post
I've taken several long cross country m/c trips. This one phrase (above) out of your post is what might raise an eyebrow to me.

If you absolutely, positively have to be somewhere on schedule, riding a decade old European machine across a long distance in high heat conditions is probably not the best way to meet that goal.

I'm not saying it's impossible, or that I wouldn't do it. I'm just saying that Murphy's Law often rears its head on adventures like this. If it's critical that you reach Denver on a strict time schedule, well, you're putting a lot of eggs in that proverbial basket here.

If you were riding a KLR650 or something like that, I'd be less concerned. Those bikes have a large enthusiast community to tap into if you need support on the road. Dealers and independent bike shops are familiar with them. Parts are plentiful, easily acquired. Easy to work on yourself in a pinch. Tires are easy to find in a pinch. Et cetera. In other words, a low risk choice of bike for a summer adventure across mountains and desert.

The trip sounds fun, and I've done some like it, albeit in cars and on full size bikes, not a scooter. Go for it. But have realistic expectations on the kind of challenges that tend to pop up on trips like this. It's likely to be more fun and more unpredictable than the same trip in a brand new Honda Accord.

Someone smarter than myself can opine, but it occurs to me that carb jetting might be something to think about at 10,000 feet. I drove my VW pickup across Wyoming one time (fuel injected) and it was somewhat of a dog at that altitude.

Keep in mind that exposed skin can get a lot of sun when you're riding a bike for a long time day after day. Your face inside the helmet, back of hands, etc.
I don't buy into all of your points....the KLR part for instance. It has as many inherent weaknesses as any other bike. (The cam-chain tensioner comes to mind....unless of course you've do-hickeyed already)

I've seen plenty of new(er) bikes sidelined in my travels...HD to Goldwings. They all break.

I personally know of more than a few hearty individuals who have thrashed their Vespas, Piaggios and other italian scooters hard transcontinentally without getting stranded or delayed.

Our own CDWise, a frequent contributor here is a perfect example often traveling several states on one of a few of her not-brand new and well loved scooters to attend business meetings and conferences.

Our Vespas are now almost a decade old and we trust them to carry us to some very remote locations, and back again.

Granted if you run the risk of missing a once in a lifetime airplane flight or something like that this may not be the wisest method on ANY bike, but sounds like several weeks are allotted for the entire trip...so a fairly large cushion of time getting TO Denver is there allowing for a sag-wagon or some other emergency measure should the scooter just melt into a lump of slag aluminum and plastic crossing the Rockies.


Glass half full.
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:22 AM   #8
syncro87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogogordy View Post
I don't buy into all of your points....the KLR part for instance. It has as many inherent weaknesses as any other bike. (The cam-chain tensioner comes to mind....unless of course you've do-hickeyed already)

I've seen plenty of new(er) bikes sidelined in my travels...HD to Goldwings. They all break.

I personally know of more than a few hearty individuals who have thrashed their Vespas, Piaggios and other italian scooters hard transcontinentally without getting stranded or delayed.

Our own CDWise, a frequent contributor here is a perfect example often traveling several states on one of a few of her not-brand new and well loved scooters to attend business meetings and conferences.

Our Vespas are now almost a decade old and we trust them to carry us to some very remote locations, and back again.

Granted if you run the risk of missing a once in a lifetime airplane flight or something like that this may not be the wisest method on ANY bike, but sounds like several weeks are allotted for the entire trip...so a fairly large cushion of time getting TO Denver is there allowing for a sag-wagon or some other emergency measure should the scooter just melt into a lump of slag aluminum and plastic crossing the Rockies.


Glass half full.
Fair enough. I stand by what I posted.

Two guys leave SF for Denver, and have to be there on time. One is on a BV, and one on a KLR. They both have a breakdown in the rural American west. I'd give the KLR rider a better chance of making Denver on time than the BV guy.

Same scenario, I'd give a guy on a Honda Gold Wing a leg up over someone riding an MZ Skorpion or a Laverda Alpina. Parts and service are far more available for a KLR or Gold Wing across the American west than for a Skorpion or Alpina.

My point is, if you have to be somewhere on time that's far away, and your trip takes you across many miles of fairly remote American country, a decade old BV is probably not the best choice of bike for this particular mission. It's not whether any given bike will or will not break. It's about the level of support you will find when it does, in the area you're riding through. The more time you have, the less of a schedule you're on, and the fatter your Visa credit line is, the less parts and service support matters.
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:43 AM   #9
gogogordy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syncro87 View Post
Fair enough. I stand by what I posted.

Two guys leave SF for Denver, and have to be there on time. One is on a BV, and one on a KLR. They both have a breakdown in the rural American west. I'd give the KLR rider a better chance of making Denver on time than the BV guy.

Same scenario, I'd give a guy on a Honda Gold Wing a leg up over someone riding an MZ Skorpion or a Laverda Alpina. Parts and service are far more available for a KLR or Gold Wing across the American west than for a Skorpion or Alpina.

My point is, if you have to be somewhere on time that's far away, and your trip takes you across many miles of fairly remote American country, a decade old BV is probably not the best choice of bike for this particular mission. It's not whether any given bike will or will not break. It's about the level of support you will find when it does, in the area you're riding through. The more time you have, the less of a schedule you're on, and the fatter your Visa credit line is, the less parts and service support matters.
Murphy's Law says whatever part you need, no matter HOW common the vehicle; that mo-fo will be on a first-time-ever backorder when you need it in an area FedEx, UPS, and USPS only deliver to on odd-year Groundhog Days.

Research, preparation, and some likely spares in your bag will get you through more often than bad luck will sideline you in BFE.
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:38 AM   #10
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"Research, preparation, and some likely spares in your bag will get you through more..."

+1 on this. In the summer of '09 I took a modern Vespa from Omaha to Kanab, Utah, then doubled back through SLC, Grand Junction, over the mountains, down to Golden, Denver and all the way to Tampa, FL, where I ended my ride. Gas stations were always available, a tire repair kit + bicycle pump, a multitool and a few spares was all I took. When the temps climbed high (it was blistering hot in Kayenta, AZ, for example) I rode in the very early hrs of the morning, then chilled out in the shade in the midday hours, then rode again in the late afternoon and a few times very late into the nite. I had a great ride, stopped in Orem at the Vespa dealer to get an oil change, then got new rear tire, belt and rollers at the dealer in Tampa...

go for it and have fun!
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Old 06-12-2015, 12:28 PM   #11
syncro87
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re: fuel container


http://www.amazon.com/MSR-MSRFUELBOT.../dp/B002L1413S

Some people prefer the old style caps, which you can buy individually. The child proof newer style caps are somewhat hit and miss.

http://http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=n...s=msr+fuel+cap

These bottles are supposedly excellent, and would be my recommendation if you want the best:

http://www.amazon.com/Soto-bouteille...ds=soto+bottle


Bottle holder idea:

http://www.amazon.com/Wolfman-Wolf-B...1Z5JS4Z0JPQ2X6

http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/...2-9-12_007.jpg


and

if you don't already have a power outlet on your scooter, I'd wire in one of these. Allows you to hook up a cigarette lighter adapter or usb adapter to charge devices...and tend the scooter battery. Might be handy to be able to charge your phone on the go.

http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender...ery+tender+usb


http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender...ery+tender+usb

http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender...ery+tender+usb

one last thing. You might zip tie or velcro a spare key somewhere inconspicuous on your bike. Or electrical tape it somewhere hidden.
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:56 PM   #12
Duck Dodgers
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Cooling off

Motel 6 has pools. Most gates you can open. You can take your helmet off. Put your wallet in it (phone now too) and walk into the pool, gear, boots and all; then ride off. If you did this in say in Winnemucca, you'd be cool till Battle Mountain, you'd be dry by Elko. DAMHIK

Not doing a great PR job, just cooling off. It was damn hot!
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:59 PM   #13
syncro87
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By the way, one nice thing about McDonalds having stores just about everywhere is that on a hot weather bike trip, they provide free wi-fi and $1 large unsweetened iced tea.
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Old 06-12-2015, 05:16 PM   #14
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Break down? Rent a car or a U Haul.
take any machine you want.
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Old 06-12-2015, 05:56 PM   #15
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May be the way my mind goes... this won't be helpful at all, though... something to do with seeing "in heat" in the title.
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