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The Stealth Scooter
16 April 2019, 14:50,
#1
The Stealth Scooter
As mentioned in another thread, I own a scooter.

It is nothing special, just a small Chinese 50 cc scooter built on the modern pattern, which means it looks like something Darth Vader would have driven to kindergarten. Plastic body panels, strangely shaped lights and such.

I have been banned from use of the Royal Enfield for the next few weeks and camping season is upon us, so I intend to do something different, I intend to go scooter camping.

I checked the load carrying capacity of the scooter and discovered that it is rated to carry 160 kilos, which astounds me since the thing will barely pull itself up a 20% slope under its own steam.

I am treating this scooter camping thing just like a backpacking expedition, bare necessities and light weight, so that the combined load does not get anywhere near the top recommended weight.

It also means that I already have most of the necessary gear from among the backpacking supplies and cycle hardware.

I found a site where a bunch of Australian maniacs were doing endurance runs on Postal Bikes. The Honda CT110. They are about the same size and carrying capacity, though twice as big engine wise. They are carrying massive loads of fuel and water, which I will not require, so the job should be more simple than theirs.

My goal is to visit some of the campgrounds in the local state park system, possibly ride some of the Forest Service roads and reach these points using the rural road system in our parts. None of the parks are more than 50KM from my house. At the mileage rate of this scooter I can make the round trip on one tank of fuel, easily, and there is plenty of resupply along the way.

I snagged a set of panniers intended for the RE, as well as a big square plastic milk, crate and a huge duffel bag, all of which I can bungee down or lash on and still have room to sit. The scooter came with a nice plastic top box, but I confiscated that to equip the RE. The milk crate is more convenient for runs to the market anyway.

I suppose I could just bungee the back pack on the little back rack, but that would not hold to the apocalyptic theme or promote my self image. I still have to keep the weight of gear in mind. Keep it simple, keep it light.

As soon as the doctors look the other way I am going to be off. The weather has turned nice and I hate to see the few days of good spring weather wasted standing in the window waiting for the doctors to clear me to breathe deeply.

As it is I am not allowed to bend, reach, twist, pick up anything more than 4 kilos, or touch my back in any way. I still have a bunch of staple closures holding me together for another week.
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16 April 2019, 20:52,
#2
RE: The Stealth Scooter
I can understand the (need) to get out to the great yonder MB......but you go easy pal ! you enjoy yourself to the full ! then get back here safe and sound …..and tell us all about the adventure ….can't wait to read the post .
To take a look back in times past, its easy to see future direction you need to be.
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17 April 2019, 16:18,
#3
RE: The Stealth Scooter
Like many of the folks around here, the prep for the adventure is as much fun as the adventure!

I have parts stacking up for both two wheeled devices thanks to Ebay. Where else can you get panniers for $20 US, a bag to fit the step through section of the scooter floor, a selection of add on devices to improve your performance all for under $50 and total set of LED bulbs to replace all the lights and take the load off the stator.

I have also discovered that one can source parts from India and they arrive in a week. China takes a month!

I have purchased a nifty set of leg/engine guards, and a pannier rack for the RE and will install them as soon as I am allowed to pick up a spanner.

I fear the use of the RE is going to be several months out there due to the 200 kilo weight of that bike. It is one heavy sucker and I do not need to be wrestling with it. I am glad I got some road time in with it before this medical stuff happened. It is a fantastic "backroad bike". I would not want to put it on the motorway and compete with the big trucks we have here (they look like a freekin' Australian road train) at 80mph.

But the RE eats up the scenic routes and I have a long trip planned as soon as I am able to get back on the road. I want to make a 1600 mile round trip that covers one of our historic trails of the frontier era called The Natchez Trace. It is a national parkway 500 miles long that is set aside for recreational use. No commercial vehicles and speed limited to 55mph from start to finish with campsites situated every 175 miles or so along the road and access to nearby motels if preferred.

As soon as I can move around a bit without messing up whatever it is about this device they buried in me that I can mess up I will be messing about with add on devices. At the moment I dare not walk past any heavy magnets due to the number of staples they used to put me back together.

The way things work over here is that the law states almost the same thing regarding mo-peds and scooters that the UK law does; less than 50cc, automatic transmission, less than 2 hp, speed limited to 30mph.

Thing is that over here we have no traffic cameras in areas where I would go, and no police worrying about what I might have done to my scooter to make it go 0>30 in 5 seconds. Beside that the police here are not equipped to measure horse power or CC volume and a 50cc scooter without baffles in the exhaust only sounds like an enraged kitten rather than a full grown wildcat.

The poor little thing is choked down to nothing as it sits and a new carb and air intake, and a clean out of the exhaust system will make pulling the load I have planned a bit easier for the little burro.

I have also planned a dry run of all my gear before the riding test comes along. I have not done any backpacking for some time and most of my gear is outdated, but still usable. My pack base weight when I was hiking was down to 20 pounds for shelter, sleep system, cooking gear and pack, with the heaviest item being the pack. Food and water were added to that measure to total up to 40 pounds, back in the day, and that was still considered a moderate load. I was not an ultra light hiker nor was I one of the guys that bragged about toting 70 pounds for hundreds of miles.

Now I am not allowed to pick that loaded pack up at the moment, but the contents of the pack all are less than my individual weight restriction. As long as I load and unload the gear peace by piece, inside my restrictions, I should be able to make a couple of over night trips camping out of the Jeep. Nothing in my old backpacking gear weights more than 2-3 kilos individually.

I am going stir crazy just sitting here! I really wish this had been scheduled back in January, when there was snow down and temps were at ice age levels.
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17 April 2019, 17:40,
#4
RE: The Stealth Scooter
Stripping back your kit is fantastic , i have gotten so used to having two big panniers, a top box and a large dry bag full of kit when I go off camping or rallying , taking the 125 with just a 60 litre Bergen and the tent and a kip mat bungied to the rack is very liberating.
Nothing is fool proof for a sufficiently talented fool!!!!
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20 April 2019, 17:01,
#5
RE: The Stealth Scooter
Much of my back packing gear I have discovered to be in a sad state of decay.

Much if it has been scattered about among the many small emergency kits I have in the vehicles and such.

I did have a lightweight tent which I picked up for a song a while back and have never used.

I already have a good light weight sleeping bag, but my lightweight air mattress/sleeping pad was dissolving from the UV pollution. There are now better ones on the market, and cheaper, so I ordered one and it arrived this week.

So did the replacement "Jet Boil" stove I decided to go for. That little goodie was only $7 US at Wallmart. I was amazed.

The tent was 3 pounds
sleeping bag 3 pounds
mattress 2 pounds
stove w/fuel 1 pound

That is less than my old pack base weight of 20 pounds due to elimination of the weight of the pack. Back then I was toting some heavy LBE. One of my packs was 8 pounds empty.

If I am generous with food for the weekend at 10 pounds and a change of clothes at another 4-5 pounds and some fishing tackle at 3-4 pounds, I am still under my old pack weight of 35 pounds and well under the capabilities and ratings of the scooter.

Now I must wait until they take this metal from my back. Staples as wound closure are a horrid form of torture.
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21 April 2019, 15:01,
#6
RE: The Stealth Scooter
My thermarest mat is the one luxury I could not forego, have tried many different brands and versions over the years but have settled on the base camp xl as my tool of choice , not small and not particularly light but as i'm not carrying it anywhere so so worth it , my current one is about 7 years old and still going strong , probably slept on it at least 100 times in those seven or so years , festivals,wild camping,bike rallies and my occasional wintering out under canvas. I paid about £60 for it back then.
Nothing is fool proof for a sufficiently talented fool!!!!
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22 April 2019, 14:51,
#7
RE: The Stealth Scooter
You will probably not replace it at that price!

The Thermarest neo-lite 3/4 pad is now about $150 U.S.

For car camping I have been using a selection of discount store air beds. They tend to be odd ball sizes but at $7-$20 they give me a good nigh sleep as long as I keep insulation under me. They freeze me if not. When using the vehicle I often carry a spare mattress in case I spring a leak mid trip. they are cheap enough that one can do that.

The new pad I just bought is not expensive and I chose it for its compact size when rolled up so it will fit on the bike.
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