OMG!!! Ponies!!!

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by GotMojo, May 21, 2019.

  1. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    995
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Three years ago, I went unicorn hunting.

    I was a long time crazyguy addict that was slowly coming around to the realization that long distance bicycle touring was just not in the cards. Then I stumbled onto this site.

    "Wait, I can do the same thing and not suffer immensely? Yes??"

    Off to the internets I went. Hours and hours of questing yielded this, a Rally-Raided out CB500X.

    a.jpg
    I took some classes, re-learned how to ride, went on some small adventures and had a blast.

    Then I went to Italy.


    That was an expensive trip.


    My girlfriend discovered the joys of Italian leather purses.

    I had a pizza and thought "Oh, THAT'S what this is supposed to taste like".

    I bought a pizza oven and learned to make Neopolitan-ish pies. YUM!

    ardore00200.jpg_thumb.jpg

    More importantly, I got stung by a wasp. My heart went all aflutter afterwards.

    I started shopping for a Vespa. I found a Vespa. I bought the Vespa. I rode the Vespa every day.

    b.jpg
    I L O V E D the Vespa!

    I stopped riding the Adventure Bike [tm]. I couldn't stop grinning all day long. I wore nothing but Vespa t-shirts. I became 'that guy'. It was glorious!!

    For a long time, life was good. I didn't have much money (see Item 1: Purses) but it didn't matter. It cost $4 to fill the tank and I could make pizzas whenever I wanted. What more does a guy really need?

    Time passed.

    One day I stumbled upon a thread about the Scooter Cannonball. "How delightful!", I thought, "They are riding their scooters, going on an adventure and undergoing moderate discomfort in the process. Sounds like fun. Where do I sign up?".

    Many, many, many internets followed and a plan emerged. I would sell my beloved Vespa to fund a ride in the next Cannonball. The budget would be whatever I sold the bike for and it would have to cover all expenses -- a scooter, parts, lodging, travel, food, gadgets, etc. I would then save my pennies and buy a yellow one afterwards so my life could continue to have meaning.

    This is a fairly ambitious undertaking given that I have problems finishing, well, pretty much everything. Could I really pull this off? Buy a junky bike, fix it up and ride across the country without killing myself or getting stranded out in the middle of nowhere? On a budget? It's going to be a challenge...

    Oh yeah, Challenge Accepted. :chace

    This thread will document my journey. What does it have to do with Ponies? You'll just have to wait to find out.
    #1
  2. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    995
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Initial Budget: $5000

    So far I have pissed away:

    Bike: $1000

    Parts: $3716
    Tools: $1381
    Consumables: $80

    Qualifying purchases*: $4716
    --------------------------
    Left to spend: $284


    *See post #40 for rules on qualifying purchases
    #2
  3. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    995
    Location:
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    Shakedown Rides

    I'm planning a few long(ish) rides to test out the bike and butt. PM me if you're interested in joining in. The goal is to leave the roses for someone else to smell and focus on testing rider and machine for the run.

    • Orange County -> Pahrump, NV -> Orange County
      Dates: Oct 31 - Nov 3 2019 (ish)
      Distance: ˜350 (one way)
      Self supported
      Coincides with the Pahrump NV ADV Rally*
      Out and back rides will be about as long as a cannonball leg. Should be a good test for the bike, equipment, navigation, etc. I plan to ride on the dry lakebed and some dirt roads in the area to get familiar with the handling.
      I *really* want to make this happen just to see the faces of True Adventure Riders [tm] when I roll in on my 250 scooter. :rayof
    *If you want go you'd better sign up for the Rally. See the link for info.
    #3
    JBJHillbilly and klaviator like this.
  4. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

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    I sold the Vespa. :2cry

    So sad. I'm a lot more broken up about it than I thought I would be.

    I tiny little thing bought it. Couldn't have been 5ft tall with heels and maybe 90lbs dressed in sopping wet clothes. She doesn't have a license yet. I think she's going to kill herself on it. She can't reach the ground but wouldn't listen to my suggestion that she go try out the small framed models. Oh well.

    She said she's always wanted one. Can't argue with that. I took her money and wished her luck.

    On the bright side, I now have a budget: $5K
    #4
  5. Smaug1

    Smaug1 '19 Kawasaki Versys 1000, '15 SMax

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
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    Location:
    Chicago area
    Why did you sell your Vespa to go on the Cannonball Run? Why not just freight your Vespa out and then ride it back? Not dramatic enough? You're going to be disappointed with a piece of crap scooter riding across the country. You'll remember you're nice modern Vespa.

    I'm probably missing something obvious, correct me please.
    #5
  6. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

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    Yes, you are.

    Pay attention: I want a yellow one.
    #6
  7. Smaug1

    Smaug1 '19 Kawasaki Versys 1000, '15 SMax

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
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    Well, I kind of got the impression that you were going to use the proceeds from selling your Vespa to fund the whole trip. Including the scooter.

    Which means a much lower caliber scooter. Not the case? I'm sure it'll be a life experience at all, but when you get done, you're going to miss your NICE Vespa.
    #7
  8. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

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    For the sake of this thread, we're going to pretend that this is all happening chronologically and in real time. In reality, it's going to be like binge watching a series on Netflix that is in the middle of the third season. We're going to bang through it until we catch up to 'now'. I'll let you know when that happens in posts 2&3.

    When is that, you ask? Well, right now. I sold the Vespa last week. I picked up the race scooter a few months back. I'm going to fake like I'm still trying to decide what the perfect bike will be and how little I plan to pay. Got it? Ok, good.
    #8
  9. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

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    Just shut up and read what I post. There's a lot more to come.
    #9
  10. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin? Super Supporter

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    Hide Away Hills, Ohio
  11. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,825
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mtns.
    When I was into mtbing I always wanted to bicycle tour but was not fond of road riding, too boring. Glad I picked up scootering...actually my first motor bike was a mid 80's honda elite80 back in the mid 90s. Was my first year or so of college only had it for a couple years and didn't really ride it much. Sold it and didn't get another scooter till the mid 2000's. A Honda Ruckus, loved the thing and rode it everywhere. over the next 5years had two ruckus, two metropolitans then eventually an elite110. Been riding an elite110 since 2010, damn almost 10years. Also had many motorcycles since. But those 50cc scoots were what got me into distance riding/touring. It had the slowish speeds of a bicycle yet none of the suffering. Perfect for touring, get to see and smell everything better, take more in but can cover 300miles in a day unlike a bicycle. I don't regret not bicycle touring one bit.
    #11
    kpinvt and cheapeto like this.
  12. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    995
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Mirror, mirror, on the wall. What f****g scooter shall I buy?


    *crickets*


    Crap. Gotta think about this. Good thing I'm an engineer and can overcomplicate anything! :bash

    Let's start with the goals before we build a decision matrixˆHˆHˆHˆHˆHˆHˆHˆHˆHˆH go out and buy the first thing we see on Craigslist, eh? I need to:
    1. Look fabulous at all times
    2. Stay on budget
    3. Avoid serious discomfort, especially in the perineum
    4. Reach the finish line
    5. Minimize having to dick around with the bike during the run
    6. Top ten finish
    7. Stay on budget
    8. Able to self-support
    9. Don't die
    That looks like a pretty good list, no? Too bad it doesn't mean squat. Need something tangible. Break it down more:
    1. Look fabulous at all times
      This sort of comes naturally. He'll I'll be on a scooter so it should be doubly easy. Since I'll be buzzing around at a pretty good clip I should make myself visible to all passsersby. I think that a snazzy eye catching paint job will help. Ooh, a light show would be pretty cool too. I wonder if Klim makes a Swarovsky studded Gore-Tex jacket...
      • Leave money in the budget for paint
      • Finish on bike won't matter
      • Research EDM lights
      • Get a bedazzler
    2. Stay on budget
      • Got it, you're a cheap bastard
    3. Avoid serious discomfort, especially in the perineum
      Nobody likes to injure the taint. Seat comfort is paramount. Riding position should be neutral with possibility of changing positions easily. Wind/bug protection may be a factor. Fatigue will be an issue. Bike that I don't have to fight and/or eats bumps is preferable.
      • Will have to sit on bikes to try out
      • Ability to stand up occasionally would be super!
      • Decent suspension
      • Larger tires
    4. Reach the finish line
      This pretty much requires a reliable, trouble free machine. Newer is probably better. Common issues must be field repairable.
    5. Minimize having to dick around with the bike during the run
      Kind of a similar thing as #4. Niggly things are to be avoided. Low tech is probably better, except when it comes to carbs. I hate carbs. Must have Fuel injection. Need to have manuals/schematics readily available. No exotic tools.
    6. Top ten finish
      • Minimize handicap within reason
      • Carry full day's worth of fuel on board
      • Handle dirt gracefully (ish)
    7. Abe to self-support
      • Carry an extra 100lbs in gear, tools and parts

    8. Stay on budget
      • Seriously, I got it
    9. Don't die
      • Check for bombs under bike
      • Brakes must work
      • ABS?
      • Good bearings
      • Cables, hoses etc in good condition
    #12
  13. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    I'll save you the number crunching since I've already outed myself as a nerd. The list kind of narrowed itself down. The sweet spot seems to be 150-250 cc scooters. Requiring fuel injection pretty much means it has to be newer than about 2006 or so. My fat ass and gear requirements means that I'm in need of a larger framed bike. If I rule out all of the small wheeled scooters and narrow it down to what I can readily find on CL, I'm realistically left with:
    • Honda Helix 250
    • Piaggio BV250
    • Aprilia SportCity 250
    • Aprilia Scarabeo 250
    • Yamaha smax 155
    and a few assorted Chiwanese scooters. Yeah, no thanks, I'm sticking to the big names.

    I have to admit, the Helix kind of turns me on in a dirty sort of way. The overall barcalounger-esque look is is not easy on the eyes and makes me queasy but yet... I so want to ride one. A great big look-at-me red one! :getiton

    Since I already have, er, HAD a Vespa and I'm already familiar with the quasar engine so I think I'll focus on one of those variants.
    #13
    klaviator likes this.
  14. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Seattle
    I have Scarabeo 50, and let me tell you, those big wheels are awesome!
    #14
    Ride2Live/Live2Ride likes this.
  15. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

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    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    995
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    What is it with people and old junky vehicles?

    Shaking a scooter loose was much harder than I imagined. I thought it would be a piece of cake to find a cheap older scooter but most of the listings on CL are commanding a hefty price tag.

    After searching high and low for what seemed like an eternity, this little fella *finally* followed me home.

    c.jpg

    It's a 2009 BV250 Tourer in pretty rough shape.
    • 44k miles (yikes!)
    • Valve cover leaking? Check
    • Exhaust leak? Check
    • Torn but (well) patched seat? Check
    • Shot suspension? Check
    • Broken rear rack? Check
    • Baling wire used for storage compartment latch? Check
    • Non working seat release? Check
    • Non working gas release? Check
    • Faded, brittle plastics? Check and Check
    • Paint peeling on the dash so some numbers are completely illegible? Check, baby!
    On the plus side, it had:
    • Hard to replicate 'Ridden hard, put away wet, exposed to the elements' look
    • New Michelin City Grips
    • New belt and rollers
    • Recent oil change
    • Recently replaced oil seal
    • Scooterwest service records
    • Smooth-ish idle
    • No noticeable loss of power under acceleration
    Most importantly, it R-A-N

    I paid $1k (shoulda stuck to $800, oh well) and had to drive down to San Diego to get it but I got it! :clap

    I *should* have enough $ left in the budget to fix all the issues and get it up to racing form.
    #15
  16. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

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    Jan 10, 2016
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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    The pizzas have been improving.

    d.jpg

    The crust is pretty damn good now. Still haven't figured out how to make them consistently round.
    #16
  17. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

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    Feb 13, 2007
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    Location:
    ADVmonster, CFL, WNC
    You're gonna blow your wad on the junky scooter. Italian parts are not cheap! Yes, patience can be a virtue:hair

    A scootering we will go.....
    #17
  18. Fiftygrit

    Fiftygrit Long timer

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    Terrace BC Canada
    I'm in :D
    #18
  19. GotMojo

    GotMojo Been here awhile

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    Orange County, CA
    What, did you skip ahead to the end? :-)

    People keep saying that, but I haven't found it to be true. Most maintenance parts have been pretty reasonable. It pays to shop around.
    #19
  20. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

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    I bought a junky Aprilia scooter!
    #20