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This is what mad Aussie's get up to. http://www.postiebikechallenge.org/ Here the standard fare for postal delivery is the Honda CT110. When the national postal service is finished with them, they are auctioned off and this is one of the uses we have found for them. Lots of good info here as to setup and how to make them last longer for extended travel, in excess of 3000km in one trip over dirt roads etc. I seem to remember that gearing is changed and a max. speed limit recommended. I must join them one year, it looks like a lot of fun and it supports charities!
With a wide arse seat like that you can't go wrong.
Hi Guys, this thread is still getting posts and I appreciate everyone’s opinion. Having been sent some good information and links to various peoples sites who have undertaken long distance scooter trips it is certainly achievable.
Thanks for the post Wheelie, I checked out your Africa trip which looked excellent. I would like to comment on a point in your post. I appreciate your argument that slowness of travel counteracts any benefit from good MPG figures however I have as much time in the world (no kids, wife, mortgage, debts, and soon no job!) and plan on doing as much "Free" camping as possible to keep costs down , hopefully I will then reap the benefit of the High MPG figure.
I am currently looking for a trusty steed having decided to get either a Honda C90 cub or Yamaha Townmate (basically a C90 with a shaft drive) If postie bikes were available in the UK I would seriously consider one of these as well but you just cannot get hold of them (come on Honda, import a few!), if anyone can help me out with a machine then please get in touch I live in the UK on the east coast (Lincolnshire)
If a BMW Dakar is the equivalent of a luxury hooker, then your Honda 90 is the equivalent of a high maintnance wife.
Sorry Wheelie, but your wrong: the C90 will be like the wife everybody is looking for: low maintenance, reliable and up for it every time, all the time
The C90 is the most sold motorbike in the world. Spares ARE everywhere. Oh and it is a 4 stroke, so it drinks everything, even if it is from a barrel or a jerrycan in the back of some dudes hut.
Password, if you go for the C90 get a good chaincase. The best 18 quid you can spend on your bike, your chain and sprockets will last for ever!
Realistic cruising speed fully loaded is 45 mph (97cc Wave engine, will be lower on the 87cc C90), top speed in the 50 - 55 mph range, but you have all the time in the world, so don´t worry about that. At these speeds there is a lot of time to think, you´ll come back a changed man, guaranteed!
I'm with you there Dirk. You only have to change the way you think a little. Sure, there is the impulse to get from here <---- all the way over to there ------> but is between there are often a hundred things worth seeing and experiencing. Stopping and experiencing is sooo much easier at 75km/h than 100 km/h. The effort and concentration levels needed at slower speeds drops off exponetially (sp!). It depends a lot on what's important, the experience or the distance to boast about. Given time, you can have your cake and eat it too.
Its not a question of whether it can be done, nor wether the trip will be an enjoyable one. The question is wether a cub90 will give you the most bang for the buck. And for however much a cub costs in purchase, mileage and maintenance, you could likely get a more "practical" bike with greater performance and reliability without having to fork up much more dough, even if you might have to settle for an older more shabby bike.
Any bike which is put under long and enduring strain for which it was not designed, will suffer in terms of wear and tare, reliability, fuel consumption, etc. ultimately translating into increased hassles and increased costs. It might be nice that it is slow, but with a cheap beat up 350cc, atleast you have a choice. And, the extra attention might also be great, but after a while it becomes mostly a nuisance answering questions such as "does it run on diesel", for the millionth time (no kidding).
There is only one way the c90 can give you more bang for the buck, and that is if you have some particular love for the whole aspect of doing an rtw on that particular type of bike, so much in fact that it puts all the nuisances of riding it in the shadows.
I'm a scooterfanatic and wouldn't reccomend anyone adventuring on one if one doesn't have a huge fascination for them... and have some idea of what it entails touring on one. Even for a fanatic like me, getting a ways into my own adventure, the scooter itself and all the reasons I chose it in the first place, became less and less important every day, until I in the very end had become utterly blasé about the bike alltogether, caring only for the journey. The novelty of riding a scooter wares off after a while, allowing the under-performing aspects of the bike to slowly creep up on you, annoying you more and more every day. For instance, after a while, the previously satisfactions of overcoming slightly difficult terrain becomes only a repetetive and antagonising feat, with the wish to only be able to move along comfortably, or to be able to take on much harder challenges, to places further off the beaten track. Also, in places where the terrain is endless and monotonous, terrain deserted of people, and terrain you have seen the equivalent of a million times before, you would greatly appreciate the extra 30 km/h against the slowing head wind.
Ask yourself what this trip is about and how the relative importance of it being a c90 (or other sewing machine), and hopefully you are still left with the same answer... I surely would cheer you on.
So, will I take the scooter on my next trip? Probably!
There is a local (To me) guy doing a RTW charity ride on C90. His bike is being strengthened/upgraded by a pupils in a school engineering dept in Keighley, West Yorkshire. If I recall correctly the bike was bought for a pittance, £50 or something, the local rag had a list of the upgrades, I'll try and dig out a link for you.
I have got admit that a C90 RTW really fires my imagination as oppose to a "sensible" RTW!
Wheelie, great website. I think I´ll nick part of the route you took for my next trip
Just a quick question about the way you have attached your box (pannier) to the rack on your Vespa. I put mine on top of a metal support plate with four bolts. Put innertube in between to reduce vibration, but that didn´t help much. Did you have any problems with the bottom of your box ripping out over time?
I made the rack/frame a tight fit, securily hugging the case tightly in place, also making it easy to take on/off. The weight of the case was supported by its edges only, with the rest of the bottom suspended in air. Even though it was loaded with some 35kg, I didn't experience the bottom tearing.
I don't want to take this thread off topic, so if you want more info, just e-mail or PM me and I will give you what I have. In two weeks time though I'll have the scooters here with me... if you will need detailed photos, measurements, etc.
Your post bought back many a happy memory of un-hurredly puttering round East Anglian country roads in the summer on my first ever bike...the indestructable Cub90. Oh the grin on my face at the filling station... when having to part with little over a pound a tank (late '80's I think). I literrally grimace when I fill up the Volvo Estate these days!
In the intervening years I toured a fair bit of the world under my own steam on a bicycle, round Oz, Uk to Hong Kong but always wondered what viable motorised alternative I could use apart from my own legs... Somthing that would offer economy, low speed as so to safely enjoy the quiet back roads whilst still covering a couple of hundred miles a day... and I always come back to that first bike, the C90 Cub.
Varients on the Cub I noted in many countries, as well as the CG125 a worthy alternative- several in Turkey Iran Pakistan.. which means alot fewer spare parts to carry.
On my second trip to Oz I toured big bike style on a heavy cumbersome CX500(eek!) covered about 5000Km's but some how the speed led me to use faster roads and the trip just became a drive Thru experience... Not my cup of tea.
If you've the time and it sounds like you have definately give it a go, trust me as a cyclist those quiet back roads do exist, you certainly don't want to be going flat out 50 all the way... what you don't spend on petrol spend on detailed maps. Getting in and out of cities might be the only hair raising experience, I try and avoid them if possible.
Several times i've hired the Honda Wave (very similar to the Innova) in back country Thailand often covering several hundred KM's a day without fuss and on one occasion taking it up Thailands highest road at over 2500metres..
So when my legs eventually give out I might be doing the same thing!
I met to Brazilan guys travelling around South America on on fully loaded up C90`s. This was all they could aford, so they loaded up and off they went.There trip was for 5 months. Next year they hope to go to Alaska. They were riding there dream.
Go for it. Skip
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