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Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by cdwise, Apr 14, 2019.
You are in luck she is back to editing
Hey GoPam and other long distance riders , here's a tip about the way I handled hydrating while on the road.
On my many motorcycles I used magnetic tank bag, with some kitchen shelf perforated liner so it didn't scratch the paint. Put my camel back inside the bag wrapped in a small towel. Leave the zip open a few inches. Pull out the drink tube with left hand , drink, push it back leaving the bite tube out and handy. I believe this might work on a Vespa.
Another tip is use an" AZ PRO" small insulated bag carry bag , it comes with an ice pack you can freeze overnight in your hotel fridge . I think this bag will easily hang on the carry hook of a Vespa. Same drill , pull out the tube with left hand, etc. Ride safe and stay hydrated.
No tank to attach a tank bag too. Only vespas are metal to use magnetic bags. I use a camel pack and hang if off the handlebars but this does scratch up the paint so I don't recommend it unless you don't care.
I almost never drink anything until I arrive at the hotel.
Quezzy gave me a knitted bottle holder that I carried in 2016, but I only used it when I had to stop along the way. Usually those single land flag flaggers.
I hang my camel back from the curry hook. The one I have is gel insulated and hasn't scratched any of the scoots I've used it on. I do secure the backpack straps so the face the well. When it is really hot like crossing the desert between Vegas and LA I fill it full of ice and wear it under my msg which helps keep me a bit cooler.
Magnetic tank bags don't work on modern because the glovebos cover isn't metal.
I thought it might fit on the battery cover and the magnetic flaps would sit on the foot well . I don't have a Vespa YET , but I'm hoping my old tank bag will fit as I described. Freeking bike gear is so expensive any more I do my best to come up with options and re purpose stuff as much as I can. I'm glad I hung on to as much stuff as I did , after my stroke I sold or gave away a huge amount of stuff . Thinking my riding days were done.
The battery cover has rubber on top of it and it would be too low for any Camel back I've seen to be used while riding. I have a Classic Rack installed over my battery cover with a cup holder in it and as a place to secure a gas can if needed on a trip. Ibieve some people have used a tank bag a you describe but doing all losses much of the advantage of the low step through
I have been thinking about this for a while, reading everything I can find, watching gopam videos, etc. I got to the point where I started looking for a scooter to ride as I was unsure about my Vespa GTS250 purely for emotional reasons. i really love riding that scooter for fast, longer rides but worried about getting it back to the east coast at the end of the SCBR. So I got to the point of finding a suitable ride and it was time to have an in-depth conversation with my darling wife. She has given tentative go ahead (as the CFO of the family) to at least buy a scooter for the ride. My thoughts are that it adds an additional option I did not have riding one of my Vespas. I could sell it at the end. Or ride home, ship, jump on a support truck to get back east.
So I found, what was written up on the SCBR forum as an overlooked scooter that could do well. I bought a 2012 Kymco Downtown 200i with 6k miles on it! One box checked off of many more and any of which could deep six this effort.
So pleased to see that you are getting serious about the 2020 SCR.
The Kymco Downtown 200i is a good choice.
Juan, from Gainesville, FL rode one in 2016.
He was riding with his friend Kevin (on a Burgman 200) the entire route, so they were more tourists but still did well.
At one time I was riding with them in Montana. We were into a 30 mph wind and I had trouble maintaining 60 mph on my Vespa GT.
They passed me along that route, so the Downtown has some speed.
Be aware of one thing. Along the way, someone suggested that Juan change the belt, as they have a tendency to break after long, fast rides.
He didn't do it in time and it did break, damaging the crank seal.
Luckily, they were fine mechanics and found a part at an auto parts store and made the repair.
So I suggest you learn how to replace the belt, put a new one on before the start and plan to change it at the halfway point.
Thank you Bill. I plan on diving into the mechanics of the Kymco like I did on the Vespas. I will replace the belt and have a spare. Have to see what tools are required and look for a Kymco forum like MV
Bill, have you ever had an issue with the GT belt on the CB? I think you've mentioned that it's time to replace it after the race but has it ever worn out during? If I run the CB I'll be riding it back east so would bring an extra to change out once I get to the west coast. I'm sure long high speed days take their toll on belts.
I have had a belt issue on the SCR.
In 2014, while running competitively, I felt a shake in Arkansas.
So I knew something was up and planned to change the belt at the stop in ElDorado.
But I didn't make it. The belt shredded near Magnolia, AR.
It turned out that the fault was the variator.
The brass bushing was worn irregularly, causing a vibration.
I wasn't carrying a spare variator (I do now) so we remounted the variator with a new belt.
The new belt shredded thirty miles down the road.
In 2016, I was running fine but changed the belt in Montana, mostly looking for more speed, but thought it a prudent change anyway.
2018 had me dropping out before the belt was an issue.
I recommend coming to the start with a new belt.
Bring a spare belt or two. Also a spare variator and outer drive pulley. I have had all of these fail on other rides too.
Good luck. So glad to see you on a GT.
Damn, all those spare parts? I'll keep my eye out on eBay for a spare variator and drive pulley. I figured a new belt and rollers to start and one extra belt. I won't be in any rush to return so if I enter I'll just wing it and if I have issues I'll drop out and take care of the repairs and continue on as a road trip.
Following this thread with great interest.
Wonder why the drive belt gives up after high speed runs ?
Also am interested is why the variator pulley fails ?
Please remember I am new to this whole scooter thing .
There have been plenty of scooters, Vespas included, that have had no issues on the SCR.
I have entered relatively old machines, Rocket crossed 60,000 miles on the run.
It's variator already had at least 10,000 miles on it, and I believe my mechanic had put a used one on it then.
So part of the problem in 2014 is that I wasn't smart enough to start with a new one or have a spare.
Variators are available from Scooter Parts Co or Scooter West for around $70.00.
The outer drive pulley is less than $30.00
Tools are needed as well, including a torque wrench.
So there are parts to carry.
I recommend getting on board with a support vehicle, so they can carry your clothes, etc. I carry the parts and tools every day.
I have had the drive pulley fail several times. Each time it was on Rocket after the failure in Arkansas.
I believe that after all the miles and work done on the engine, the crankshaft threads has been compromised.
The variator nut would loosen and the pulley would creep out and rub hard against the variator cover.
This ruins the splines and tears up the air deflector inside the cover.
I have never had this happen on any of the other Vespas, so I believe it was an issue with the old engine.
But I still carry the parts on all long Vespa rides.
Remember that you may be running at the edges of the scooter's performance for extended periods of time often at high temperatures. I did have to replace the variator on the Sports City after 2016 before riding home. A couple of the fins had broken but since it had over 70,000 miles on it at the time it didn't seem unreasonable. Had I not replaced it before starting home the belt would have shredded on me. The only time I've had a belt break was on a rented Vespa GTS 250 on the Great Ocean Road north of Melbourne. It wasn't fun but the scooter didn't lock up as occasionally happens
How difficult is it to change the belt and variator ??
What other parts are recommend you change at that time ?
Is this part of the regular maintenance schedule ?
Is this something a reasonably skilled owner with a decent tool box can do ??
I didn't change my belts until my mechanic moved out of town.
I had helped him on the last few so I knew how to do it.
It now takes me maybe 45 minutes and has been successfully completed every time.
It is not difficult at all, but requires a clutch holder and a variator holder. These parts are available at Scooter West or Scooter Parts Co.
I change belts every 7000 to 8000 miles, unless a big ride is planned. I like to start these with new belts.
Look at the variator rollers and slides when changing, along with the variator and outer drive pulley. Should any of these appear excessively worn, I replace them.
Other service includes oil, filters and tires. These are not too difficult either. I do them all except changing the tires off and on the rims. I remove them from the scooters and take them to a mechanic for the tire mounting.
Scooterwest has a video on changing the belt and service which is the same on a GT as a GTS.
Oh goody, more special tools to buy
I was poking around in the bottom drawer of the bigger box the other day, came across a special tool that I could not for the life of me remember what it was for. Woke up in the night and remembered ,it's a special tool for setting the timing on a Triumph triple with the boyer branson electronic ignition that replaces the three sets of points that have a habit of closing up on a dark road at night. They were a real joy to reset along side of the road, using a match book cover as the point gap tool. At least it wasn't raining.