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Needs Training Wheels
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 Post subject: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:49 pm 
I just started an around the world ride on my Ruckus on March 18th. I left my home in Irvine, CA and have finished the first leg of my tour.

The idea for this trip has been floating around my head for several years, and I'm finally starting. On this first leg I will be riding my scooter with my bicycle in tow up the coast to Portland and then will be heading to Kailspell, MT. I'll leave my bicycle in Whitefish and then head to St. Francisville, LA where a friend of mine is getting married on April 11th. From there I will ride to Albuquerque where I will meet up with a couple of friends that I hiked with a few weeks on the Pacific Crest Trail and leave my scooter with their friend. On April 22nd I should be in Lordsburg, NM and should be starting a thru hike of the Continental Divide the following day.

If all goes to plan, I should be back in Kalispell, MT by the middle of September where I'll meet up with my bicycle and ride the Great Divide Route back to New Mexico, meet up with the scooter and ride home.

If the concept and equipment for this loop work out I will be heading south early 2016. Mexico, central and South America for 1.5-2 years and then Europe, Asia and Africa for 4.5 years.

This all might seem a bit crazy, but in 2007 I did a 10,000 mile tour in South America on a 100cc motorcycle. In 2010 I Ironmaned both the Baja 1000 and Vegas to Reno. In 2011 I rode a bicycle 5,500 miles from Big Sky, MT down to Cabo San Lucas and then up to Nogales, AZ. In 2012 I thru hiked the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail and when I finished I rode a $100 bicycle up to Skagway, AK. In 2013 I did a 10,000 mile bicycle tour on India and Nepal. This trip is all about massing up all of my interests and taking my time to see the world.

A few months back I made a short video for a National Geographic contest describing my trip. I didn't win the contest, but the video does a better job at explaining this trip and words alone.

https://youtu.be/L_g7ZTFCVwk

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Habitual Offender
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:06 am 
Welcome to the ruckus forum Metal.I think it's awesome that you're riding ruckus around the
World for 7years.i wish I could do that.My name is David.last year I went around the country for
5 months riding 20000miles on Honda pcx125.my ride report is here 4corners us on pcx
I'm following your trip on Advrider since beginning.if you're coming to Fla I could take care of
Everything you need but I know you're not coming this way
The belt start to crack at 13000 miles so it's safe to replace at 10000
Info you got on advrider is wrong about wan going around the country on original belt
I replaced mine at Battlescooter shop in San Jose Ca
I replaced 2 rear and 1 front tires. Had about 200 pounds of luggage
Can't wait for update safe travels


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48hours of Ruckus Winner
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:59 am 
Ruck on man!! Would love to do this!!

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Gotse Inspector
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:40 am 
Hell yeah! Holler when you're in Portland for a meal & beer :highfive: Smoke if you're down with that (it will probably be legal by then, anyway)

You planning on detailing your trip here on TR as you go? That would be awesome.

I second that you should take spare parts (I'm SURE you've thought of that)
• belts
• sliders / rollers
• Air filter unless you're rocking the airbox
• extra non-stock street tires
• Plug
• Coolant

Are you riding this/another ruck/zoomer in EU?

So awesome! So Jealous!
You're a fucking beast!

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Needs Training Wheels
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:28 am 
BloodAngl wrote:
Hell yeah! Holler when you're in Portland for a meal & beer :highfive: Smoke if you're down with that (it will probably be legal by then, anyway)

You planning on detailing your trip here on TR as you go? That would be awesome.

I second that you should take spare parts (I'm SURE you've thought of that)
• belts
• sliders / rollers
• Air filter unless you're rocking the airbox
• extra non-stock street tires
• Plug
• Coolant

Are you riding this/another ruck/zoomer in EU?

So awesome! So Jealous!
You're a fucking beast!


Bummer, I was in Portland for 3 days, but didn't post this until afterwards.
As far as spares, I have a spare belt, front wheel bearings, cables (brake/throttle) a stock variator and weights, plug, 1 stock tire, 1 tube if I can't get the tire beaded out on the road, stock air-filter, a few jets for higher altitude.
I'm hoping to ride this same Ruckus for the entire trip. Not sure about changing things for EU.

EDIT: Do any of you know if Clock-wise or Counter Clock wise with the pilot screw will richen up my mixture. It would be nice not to have to pull the whole carb out when I get into larger elevation changes.


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Ride Game Participant
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:39 am 
Clock should lean it.

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Habitual Offender
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:13 am 
Yea clockwise leans it out. I just finished tuning my carb.

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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:26 pm 
If you happen to drive through the Houston, TX area, let me know. I'll get you a few beers and some great Pho! :highfive:


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Needs Training Wheels
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:12 am 
Miguelr wrote:
If you happen to drive through the Houston, TX area, let me know. I'll get you a few beers and some great Pho! :highfive:


Miguelr,

I'm currently in Louisiana. Should be here at least until Sunday. My friend is getting married on Saturday in St. Francisville.
I have a friend that lives in Katy, TX that I hike with on the PCT, so I'll definitely be stopping through there. Shoot me a PM with contact info. I love Pho, though it's been a while since I've had a bowl.
Are there any scooter shops local to you? My slow jet is still stock, and I'm pretty sure if I go 1 step richer my scoot will run way better.

Fasterthan me and CRuck, thanks for the information. For some reason I was getting mixed info online as to what does what.


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Needs Training Wheels
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:19 am 
Copied over from ADVrider.com

Ruckus World tour update: I arrived in Portland yesterday afternoon. The ride so far has been great, but the weather has been a bit tough these last couple of days. I got rained on pretty much from Arcata until Portland. Day 1 I made it to Carpiteria and stayed at my friend Pat's house. Watched him play ice hockey and then breakfast the next morning at his parents place. The next day close to Cambira a random car pulls over. I assumed the driver thought I needed help. When I walked to the car, inside were my friend Kevin and his wife. That night I camped on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Day 3 I made it just north of San Francisco. Getting around was a bit difficult as I wasn't always sure what roads were legal for me to be on. I did manage to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge which was pretty crazy since traffic was going about 30mph faster than me. That night I camped off the side of the road just south of Stinson beach. The rain started on day 4 and I was a soggy mess for the next couple of days, just trying to dry out whenever the rain would temporarily let up. Yesterday I camped about 70 miles outside of Portland and woke up to a small puddle inside my tent. I need to sort this out hopefully by changing up my tents ground cloth. My friend told me about a museum that I would pass before getting to Portland. It was where the Spruce Goose was currently house. Hung out there for an hour or so and pushed on.
When I arrived in Portland, I went for a hike with my friend Ryan, his friend and their dogs. There was a lot of bushwacking, a dog was temporarily lost and we made a camp fire under a huge tree. Later that night I met up with Warren and a few other people that hiked the PCT in 2012 for some drinks at a local bar.
So far the only casualties of the trip are that I lost a tire lever, my pocket knife and a bit more of my hearing. I noticed the tire lever fell off my bike when I was setting up my 4th nights camp. Then I went to start dinner and couldn't find my knife to chop up my vegetables. I'll hopefully get a new one at REI today. My last minute switch to the Yoshimura exhaust pipe was great for getting the speed up, but it is super obnoxious. I can even hear it through the foam earplugs I'm using. I was hoping to get some of the fancy custom made ear plugs made while here in Portland, but the company I talked to said they take 1-2 weeks. Maybe I'll go back to stock when I get home.
From here I'm on to Kalispell, MT where I found somebody that is willing to store my bike while I hike the CDT. Hopefully I'll do another proper update then.

The coast was beautiful while the sun was out. Even when the clouds were out the views were amazing.
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My campsite on the 2nd night was about 10 feet to the left of where my scoot is in this picture. Epic views of the ocean and a beautiful sunset from here.
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My route for the most part has been following the Pacific Coast bicycle route. For the most part it has been on smaller roads. On a couple of different times I had to ride short sections on bicycle paths because the only other option would have been a freeway. Either way I was breaking the law, but the bicycle path seemed the lesser and safer of two evils.
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I'm not sure if this was 100% legal, but I made it across the Golden Gate bridge. I never saw any signs leading up to it that motorized bicycles were not allowed. There was also a ton of traffic at first and a speed limit of 45mph. Soon though when all the traffic had merged cars were going 20-30 over the speed limit. Luckily I think the slow lane is for all the tourists who want to take in the views, so I had a slow car behind me keeping me safe.
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Avenue of the Giants was just as beautiful as I remember it.
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Heading down a hill and looking a few corners ahead I saw what I thought was a small statue on the side of the road. I rode a bit closer and saw it move. There were 2 of the tiniest deer I've ever seen. I love looking at these in nature, but after hitting 2 while riding motorcycles I've grown to hate them. These guys luckily gave me no problems.
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Over the last couple of days I've been rained on constantly. I probably should have left with shoes more waterproof than my hiking (trail runners) shoes. Hopefully I can pick up some waterproof liners toady at REI. At a McDonald's I decided that the hand dryers would be better off used as clothes dryers. Dry shoes and socks made the next stretch much more comfortable.
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I'm going to have some pretty weird credit card statements when I get home. With a gas tank a little larger than 1 gallons I stop quite frequently for $3-4 fill ups. I do have a 1-gallon spare can, but it's a bit of a pain to access a its home is inside of my spare tire. It's a good thing I'm usually getting about 80-100 miles per tank, so only have to stop a coupe of times a day to fill up.
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Went on a hike with my friend in Portland with his friend and their dogs. Under a big cedar protected from the rain we started a nice little camp fire.
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Needs Training Wheels
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:21 am 
Ruck the World update: I'm currently in Havre, MT visiting with my cousin. The ride from Portland here was a mixture of good and bad weather. It was super cold and foggy leaving Portland, then hot by the time I got to La Grande to visit a couple of friends from the PCT, Marie and Tom. I spent one night at their place, played some disc golf in some crazy windy conditions, took a hike in the hills above town and was back on the road by noon.
The next day I rode over a 5200ft pass and the Ruckus was struggling. I guess my sea level carb jetting was pretty taxed at this elevation. Following Google maps I wound up on some random dirt roads here and there, but they were pretty smooth and fun. That night I camped in some agricultural land in Washington. I thought I had a nice protected campsite. Around midnight it started raining and all was good. I had just modified my tent footprint to handle the rain better and it was working great. I also Nixwaxed the bottom of my tent to keep in more resistant to water. Things got a bit crazy at about 3am when a super strong wind started up. My tent was on soft ground, so my tent stakes weren't held in very well. The wind ripped out most of my stakes, so I had to go out in the rain and fix my tent. To hold 2 of the stakes down I put my spare tire and spare fuel containers on the stakes. I kept waking up to make sure my tent was still up, but it handled the rest of the night without any problems.
The following day I was hoping to make it all the way to Kalispell to drop off my mountain bike. Due to some navigational problems and my bicycle route being covered in snow I had to ride the shoulder of the Interstate over Lookout Pass. Luckily no Highway Patrol spotted me and after a half hour or so I was back on 2 lane state highways.
Yesterday I met up with Lincoln. He offered to store my bicycle for me when I first posted on ADVrider.com about my ride. At his place I re-jet my carburetor for the higher altitudes. Lincoln welded a few pieces of metal grate onto my footpegs to keep my feet from slipping. After I got everything repacked and dialed in I hit the road, but stopped to make a few phone about 100 yards from his house. When all my calls were done, I got a text from Lincoln inviting me to stay the night. We ate BBQ with his friends that night and the following morning I was on the road. It was in the low 30's when I left his house. The coldest I saw my watch say was 32 degrees. Luckily my friend Mike gave me some nice snowboarding gloves when I was in Portland. The views were beautiful going through Glacier National and saw a good amount of wildlife. I saw Elk, a bald eagle, ground hogs, and either a wolf or a coyote.

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Needs Training Wheels
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:22 am 
The Dumb and Dumber world tour: So I showed up to Havre, MT an hour or so before my cousin got off work at the courthouse. The library was across the street, so I figured I would go and get some net access as it had been a while since my last update. I get inside and he calls me saying he just saw me ride by. He tells me he still has an hour or so of work before he can bail. I get all my work done and we are standing outside of the library. He lives just a few blocks from work, so when the weather is nice just walks. We get caught up and then he asks me if it is legal for 2 people to be on a Ruckus. Well, not quite, but hop on. I'm not sure where you'll have to sit because of my luggage. Maybe backwards, or maybe if I put my backpack on backwards, scoot forward and you put your feet on the pegs it'll work. It was a bit weird until I figured out a place to put my feet. Luckily Montana has no helmet law as we did pass a few cop cars between his house and the pub later that night. Unfortunately my arm isn't long enough to capture the extent of the ridiculousness.
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One of my favorite parts of traveling are the people I meet. When I was in Idaho, google maps' cycling directions had me riding for about 70 miles on a bicycle path around the Coeur d'Alene area. I was using my cell phone to navigate. With the use of the satellite mode and the cold weather my battery was running low. I found a restaurant and plugged my phone in to charge. Sitting inside watching people eat was making me super hungry, so I went outside to grab a snack out of my bags. As I was at the scoot, a guy passed on a quad and I waved. A minute or so later he looped around. He liked me rig. He also had a pretty cool rig. We got to talking for a while about camping. He is a survivalist and can live off the land. I told him that I wished I could fish better and he gave me some tips. We got to talking for a while and he told me he was headed out Ape Chasing. I said OK. He asked me if I knew what he was talking about. I obviously had no clue as we don't have apes in the US. He said he was looking for Sasquatch. Said he's seen 2. One was as big as me and the other was 10 feet tall and 4 feet across at the shoulders. About ten minutes into our Sasquatch conversation his phone went off. I said he could answer it. Just my alarm to remind me to take my meds...I'm sure later that night he told his family of the crazy guy he met towing a bicycle behind his scooter all the way from California. Before we parted ways he told me to keep an open mind and heart and Sasquatch will come. I can't wait to see one.
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While out riding a smaller state highway in some rural area I came up behind a slow moving farm tractor. I was probably able to go about 5mph faster than it. We got to a hill and we both slowed down, the tractor more so than me. It was just tall enough that I figured I might be able to ride through. Before I left for my trip my parents and my friend Darin reminded me "To Make Good Decisions." Those words were on my mind when I got a bit closer. I had the little devil on one shoulder telling me to ride through, it would be super fun, but on my other shoulder were 3 little angels telling me to be safe, you still have a long trip ahead of you. Stupid angels won. I waited for the traffic to die down and made the pass in the left lane.
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When stealth camping goes wrong...Camping on this trip has been pretty straight forward so far, and I've even stayed in a couple of pretty amazing locations. The day out of La Grande, OR was a bit different. I spotted a few good spots, but it was early in the day, so I pushed on. Well sometimes you get to a stretch where there is too much private land, or no good flat hidden spots available. About an 30 minutes to an hour before sunset I really start to look. I spotted a little flat area about 20 feet above the road and looped around to check it out. Unfortunately no matter where I situated myself I would have been spotted by traffic. The trail I was on kept getting deeper and softer. If I would have camped here, I would have just dealt with turning everything around the next morning. Since this spot wasn't going to work I had to get my rig turned around. The Ruckus was really struggling trying to get up and out of this rut. Also with the bicycle behind me making a very sharp u-turn is a bit tricky because the bicycle wants to flop over. I can only imagine what the cars below me were thinking as they were passing and I was trying to turn around.
Back on pavement I continued my search. 10 minutes later I thought I found a great spot until it started raining and the wind kicked up. The bad camp spots make the good ones all the better.
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Needs Training Wheels
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:24 am 
Ruck the World tour update:
I made it to Great Bend, KS Saturday night and have been staying with my friend John. I rode a few pretty long days since leaving Havre to get to Great Bend. Each morning started below freezing and would usually take quite a while to warm up, or maybe my hands and feet were in so much pain that time slowed down. Wyoming has always been pretty difficult for me. I've been there 2 times prior on motorcycles. The first time I got snowed on around the middle of June, the dirt road I was traveling on turned into a muddy mess. After crashing several times I took shelter in an abandoned ranch. The next day it only got worse, subframe broke and I had to be helped to get back onto pavement. The next time out I broke my GPS antenna then got a speeding ticket.
This time around it was some pretty harsh cold, wind and snow that I got to deal with, in April. The first day that I was in Wyoming I wanted to ride until close to 7pm, but around 6pm I was freezing and heading into a pretty strong wind. When it started to snow, I wanted nothing to do with riding. There was very little to take cover behind, but every few miles or so the oil land provided some structures that I could take shelter behind to keep the wind off of me and my tent.
I sent up and cooked my dinner under the vestibule of my tent. A hot bowl of Top Ramen never tasted so good. It took several hours for my feet to finally stop hurting and warm up. I woke up and the temperature inside my tent was just above freezing. Outside my scooter and tent were covered in a layer of frost. The Ruckus really took a while to warm up and get going that morning. At about 8am I was on the road. The skies were clear, but it was painfully cold. I looked at my watch and the coldest I saw it was 23 degrees. My body really wasn't designed for this. I painfully rode to Casper and stopped at a fast food place to warm up. I kept holding my hands under the hand drier in the bathroom. I'm sure it was hot enough to burn, but it felt great. A warm breakfast in my stomach and hands/feet that weren't in pain made the ride out much more enjoyable.
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For the most part to avoid Interstates I've been riding whatever routes Google Maps gives me for bicycles. Most of the time these are perfectly normal back roads or Bicycle paths. Things got a bit interesting to get through one section of Wyoming. The directions first had me turn of a 2-lane highway onto a dirt road. Easy. Then it had me turn right in a mile or so. Easy. The next turn was a left in a half mile. A quarter of a mile or so later the road dead ended at a house. I backtrack hoping I missed something. I see a different road, but I feel like I'm going the wrong way, so pull out my phone to see how far off I really am. I'm not too far off, but the road I'm on looks like after a few miles will meet back up with the road I'm supposed to be on. This road also dead ends into a house, but there is a trail around the right. After putting up a hill for a few miles I'm finally back on my route. Again my next direction simply says to turn left. Again I miss it and backtrack to find a road dirt trail that looks like it hasn't been used in years my anything but a cow.
The Ruckus while it might look like it is an off road vehicle struggles a bit on the rough trail. Being short on suspension made for a pretty rough ride. Being under powered made some of the hills an experience. The picture below was one I couldn't get up first try. I had to get off to the side and push up a steeper section, and then was back to putting along. Because this was cattle land I came across several barbwire gates. Luckily none were locked, but I had to open them, push the scooter through and then close them behind me, which is a pain to do after about the 10th gate. The last few miles back to a proper dirt road I was just following cow tracks. This ten mile stretch was both frustrating and exciting. I learned some more of the capabilities of the little scoot and some of the limits.
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Traveling on the edge of the highway I see a lot of empty beer cans, trash and road kill. Every now and then I see something interesting. A few years back on my first bicycle tour while in Montana I found a California license plate on the side of the road. It was the start of a new collection. Some people buy souvenirs when they travel, I take home the license plates that I find on the side of the road. I wound up finding a bunch in Washington and California as I cycled home. When I was riding to Cabo I found 2 more. A year later when I cycled up to Alaska I found a bunch of British Columbia plates. Fast forward to this trip the day before I arrived in Kalipsell I wound up finding 2 Montana plates. Usually the problem is that after I find one I keep looking for more and miss some of the scenery. While riding a couple of days ago my eyes kept drifting down towards the side of the road. I didn't find a license plate, but something else. Just like an empty beer can, its something that is thrown out the window when a sketchy kid sees a cop. I can't remember what state I was in at the time, I might have been cold, but I rode of laughing to myself after seeing this big pink bong on the side of the road.
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The winds since leaving the Oregon coast have primarily been blowing North and East, which was great until I got to Havre since I was heading north east. Ever since then I've been heading southeast. When I'm going East, all is great. I can sit up all nice and comfortable and cruise along over 40mph. The miles fly by and the scenery is much more enjoyable. When I need to head south it has been a whole different story. If I sit up the wind hits my chest and slows me down to 30 or so miles per hour, and even slower if I come up to a hill. At one point the wind was strong enough and the hill steep enough that I was only going 15mph. To combat the wind I would just get into an aero tuck. This usually gains me back a few mph. Also when a big rig would pass, I would try to get in a draft for the few seconds while it would last. This works with a head wind, but not a cross wind.
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My last oil change was a few thousand miles ago when I was in Portland, so the scoot was a bit overdue. My front tire was also wearing pretty funny, so I was thinking about flipping it around. My kickstarter was seized up again. This happened last when I was in La Grande. I cleaned everything out and greased the shaft with some marine grease, but it was seized again, so that would have to be addressed. The vibrations from the road and the motor caused another bolt to fall out of my airbox. The last one I lost was around La Grande. Maybe some loctite will be necessary for a the bolts that hold my airbox on. Another thing I had to address was an oil leak around the rear of the scoot. At first my bottle of oil was leaking on the rear fender and splashing onto the rear wheel. I cleaned off the oil, but the container in a zip-lock and noticed more oil a few days later. Hopefully it isn't the motor oil or the gear oil. A good cleaning and hopefully I'll see where it's coming from. A re-jetting is also in store since I'm now heading back to sea-level and will be there for a few thousand mile until I get to the hills above Albuquerque.
So you're asking yourself why are the scooter and myself in the bucket of a tractor. My friend John and myself were able to the the scooter into the back of his truck at his house. Getting it out was a bit more challenging at his shop. Luckily a tractor and a few minutes later and the scoot was on terra-firma.
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The open road is a beautiful place where I can let my mind wonder.
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The sun about to set on my campsite from a couple of nights ago. I don't really know why, but ever since I was a little kid I was drawn to trains. I'm not sure why. Ever since I left Portland I feel like I haven't been to far away from a train line. I rarely have gone more than an hour without seeing a gigantic one go by. I saw a stopped train that paralleled the road and looked down at my odometer. The thing was over 1.3 miles long. They're like the ants of the transportation world carrying unimaginably gigantic loads.
I've also found myself camping close to railroad tracks over the years. People usually don't live to close to them, so not many people to bother me, and there is usually somewhere flat to put my tent. I also do really like good graffiti (not tagging) and most of the big box cars usually have some artwork on them. This particular site even had a couple of piles of railroad ties that I was able to tuck between to keep me even more hidden and block the wind. The ties also gave me a nice spot to sit while I cooked my dinner.
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:26 am 
Wow, that's an adventure for sure. Bookmarked! What's the planned route through Europe?

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Location: FarEASTofLOSangeles
Gender: Dude
The way it should be
2011 TR Donor
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:27 am 
WHOOOO HOOOOO!!!!

I saw the National Geo Vid a while ago!
Didn't know you started the tour this month!
Gonna send an Email to Wan... The OG Ruckus Rider!
Best of luck... signed on to your ADVenture!!!

-Honest™

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2DigitRider • ЯUCKSTAR

My Ruckus is always Faster when I ride by myself
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