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Old 04-25-2013, 10:25 PM   #76
conchscooter
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Nice ride report and worth reading from the beginning which I did.
The ferry was closed owing to high water in the river caused by opening a dam upstream - not because of government worker inefficiency. Incidentally it was the private sector that unskillfully overfilled your scooter with oil..!
Keep riding, people need to know what scooters are capable of.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:26 PM   #77
DougFromKentucky
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Hi, I found your ride report and had to read it thru to where I am posting in one sitting. I find it interesting because until last Saturday, I had a 2001 black Honda Helix. I had it since 2005 and have ridden it all over the southeast U.S. People always found it interesting (shocking?) when I would be in North Carolina or Birmingham, Alabama (at Barbor Motosports Museum) with my Kentucky plates. They would always ask if I trailered it to the locations and seemed like they just couldn't believe that I had rode it to the locations. People were always telling me that you couldn't tour on a 250cc scooter. I would tell them that not only could you, but I was doing so. Then I would tell them about the guy who completed the Iron Butt Rally on one. Now I can point them to your ride report to boot. Uber Cool.

I am subscribed and will continue to follow your adventure.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:40 AM   #78
TucsonStan OP
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May 27, 2013

I've now been on the road 28 days, 4 weeks.

Well, that's not exactly true as there's been more than a little down time. There was that Texas situation and the time I spent at my sister's house. Oops, the ride report hasn't quite gotten there yet.

After leaving Penascola, the T.T. Wentworth Museum and the 163 year old petrified cat, I'm back on Hwy 98, riding through the panhandle of Florida.

The next stop on my circle of America is in Carrabelle, Florida......a house made of bottles. Every time I get near one of these I have to stop. They pull me in like a magnet. I have no idea how many of them there are but I've seen the ones Rhyolite, Nevada and the one in Canada that's just above the Idaho border. I saw that one a few years ago, on my way to Alaska. It was built back in the 50's by a retired undertaker out of over 500,000 embalming fluid bottles. It's built overlooking a beautiful lake and was intended to be the undertaker's retirement home. Unfortunately, so many people came by to see it that the undertaker had to move away.

I had bit of a problem locating the bottle house, due to Carrabelle using N.E this and S.W. that and me having very little sense of direction. I finally asked directions of two farts, er, elderly gentlemen, who were leaning on the back of a pickup truck just shooting the s_ _ _. It was funny because, when I asked my question about the bottle house, they pointed in opposite directions. I tried going one way but that took me to the N.W. part of town. The other way took me S.E. One of the guys had said, with his direction, that when I get to the fork, bear left. He was the righter of the two guys as I found the place about a 1/2 mile up the road.

Here's the bottle house in Carrabelle, Florida.


The inside......


A table made from the wine bottle corks. I was just thinking that I hope the guy doesn't drink all this stuff himself. I'm guessing not as there are tubs of bottles all over the yard and you couldn't drink that much and still build the house.


This appears to be a free standing arch that is being built. You can see at the base of the arch that he's started building on both sides.



Way back when, just out of Livingston, Texas, I posted this picture..... looking west......


The picture below is also looking west, taken in the Florida panhandle. Notice any big differences? Yeah, me neither. That's pretty much tells you why I haven't taken too many pictures of the road. Since leaving Livingston, Texas, around what seems like, 12 years ago, the roads I've ridden have looked pretty much like this one.....or the one above. I have tried to take pictures of the somewhat unique stuff that struck my fancy.



Here's one of those unique times/pictures that I was referring to. I just riding down Hwy 98, minding my own business, when out of nowhere, I spot this.....

I'm guessing that Ray was a bit of a Bay's Ball fan....interesting play on words because on the other side of the house was water, water everywhere, as far as the eye could see.

Finally, I managed to get the correct picture of the odometer. No more having to draw the correct numbers on your computer screen because I missed it.


Ok, all my loyal readers.....here's where the ride report takes a turn into the realm of non-existence. The ride continues but I took no pictures and I know that if there are no pictures, the ride didn't happen.

Not long after leaving Carrabelle, I pick up I-10 for the ride to Jacksonville. Then 80/90 miles south on I-95 to Port Orange, Fl. and my sisters house.

I stay at my sister's house through the weekend, changing the oil and hanging out at the local VFW. No, I'm not a member but my brother-in-law Ted is.

Remember that little spot of oil that I took a picture of way back in Mobile? Well, after leaving Port Orange last Sunday (4-21-13), it seemed to turn into a full blown leak. At one of my gas stops, I did some poking around but can't seem to find anything obvious. I'm guessing that in order to find it, it's going to require the removal of all the bodywork on the rear of the scooter. Instead, I decide to just monitor it. I had been stopping every 100 miles for gas but decide to shorten that up to every 50 miles. After a while, I notice that, while the oil is still dripping, it does not appear to be leaking at a rate that I can't live with. I lengthen the stops out to every 75 miles. All appears good, or at least, liveable for now.

First stop on my ride up I-95, Walterboro, S.C. I had hoped to be at South Of The Border but didn't quite make it.
Second stop.....Stafford, Virginia.
Leaving Stafford, I notice that the Helix seems to be a bit louder than usual. In checking, I discover that the upper rear muffler bracket bolt has departed for parts unknown. Luckily, I carry spares. Unfortunately, in the bolt falling out, that has allowed the muffler to drop just a fraction, putting extra strain on the connection of muffler and exhaust manifold. There are two small welds on the exhaust maifolds that have now broken. I can't blame it all on the bolt falling out. Those welds could have been seriously compromised way back in Texas. As the exhaust manifold wasn't replaced, it could have waited 1500 miles to fail. But it's ok as far as my brother-in-law Ted is concerned because now it sounds like the little brother to his Harley.

On Tuesday, the appointed day, I arrive at my daughter-in-law's house in Wilmington, DE. I had told her I would stop and see her on my way up the east coast. It's some R&R for both me and the Helix as it's in need of an oil change.

On Thursday, I depart Wilmington, bound for Harrisburg, PA., to meet up with my friend Alan. Alan is from California and is having his hot rod Italian racing Gilera Scooter shipped from his house in California to Harrisburg. I RODE mine! His Gilera is supposed to arrive on the 26th.

Promptly at 8:45am, the desk clerk rings the phone to tell us it's here. The truck driver sets the crate on the ground and we attack it. I forget who he hired to crate and ship it but it arrives on time and without so much as a sratch. Alan is thrilled. Did I mention that I RODE mine?

Tomorrow, I'm off to the Whiskey Dick Scooter Rally in Stroudsburg, PA.

And so continues the search for America.....by Helix
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:09 AM   #79
garfey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TucsonStan View Post
...
Way back when, just out of Livingston, Texas, I posted this picture..... looking west......


The picture below is also looking west, taken in the Florida panhandle. Notice any big differences? Yeah, me neither. ...


...
No comparison - the Texican trees are lush and full - the Flatistan trees look anorexic.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:11 AM   #80
Rutabaga
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Thank you for the ride, the pics and the report of your search for America. I am inspired by your efforts to complete your quest and encouraged that you continue to show that Google is not a source of wisdom, only a repeater of something stored electronically. Searching with a Helix is a source of wisdom.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:04 AM   #81
cdwise
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Alan is from California and is having his hot rod Italian racing Gilera Scooter shipped from his house in California to Harrisburg. I RODE mine! His Gilera is supposed to arrive on the 26th.
How did your friend get a Gilera in the US? I didn't think they were sold here.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:55 AM   #82
blugg1
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Is it the Gilera GP 800 with 75 horsepower?
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:05 PM   #83
swimmer
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Enjoying the ride report. Currently 98 degrees in mid-town tucson so I guess another reason to be glad you are out on the road somewhere.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:51 AM   #84
TucsonStan OP
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America.....by Helix

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwise View Post
How did your friend get a Gilera in the US? I didn't think they were sold here.
I remember asking him where he got it. I think he said upstate New York or New England somewhere.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:53 AM   #85
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America.....by Helix

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Is it the Gilera GP 800 with 75 horsepower?
No, it's a 180cc. I'm sure Alan with read this and respond.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:04 AM   #86
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America.....by Helix

Quote:
Originally Posted by swimmer View Post
Enjoying the ride report. Currently 98 degrees in mid-town tucson so I guess another reason to be glad you are out on the road somewhere.
No it's not, I much prefer the heat. I'm currently in Ithaca, New York and freezing my ass off even though the ride report hasn't gotten me that far yet. They tell me that it snowed here around 10 days ago. Everybody on the campus of Cornell University is wearing t-shirts and shorts and I'm wearing everything I brought with me. I'm not sure that what some of the co-eds on campus are wearing could actually be classified as shorts.......not that I noticed!
Thank heaven that this is as far north as the ride goes.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:09 PM   #87
The Real Alan Spears
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Mysterious oil leak.

At some point you might want to consider whether or not your oil leak is in fact the oil from the reduction gear box rather than engine oil.

It is correct to assume that overfilling the engine oil would create a situation where oil would vent from the crankcase breather. On many models of scooters that oil would collect in the bottom of the air box. Depending on the construction of the air box, the oil then might seep out a seam making a mess. Other common side effects of too much oil in the air box is a poorly running engine as the engine oil could get sucked into the motor which in turn could foul the spark plug and / or create smokey exhaust.

However, you had two very big problems with your final drive. First when the bearing in the swing arm failed, all the pre-loading of the output shaft went to zero. Normally the output shaft bearings are preloaded by torquing the wheel nut to approximately 90 foot pounds?

The second problem is more subtle but much more heinous. The output shaft is normally supported by three bearings. When the swing arm failed it put the output shaft into a cantilevered configuration. Any force generated at the wheel, such as application of the rear brake, bumps in the road, even converting the torque from the engine to either accelerate, decelerate, or hold a steady speed would cause asymmetric loading of the remaining two bearing. Running the output shaft in this configuration would generate a tremendous amount of heat which could cause additional failures, such as a leaks from either the output shaft oil seal, and / or the input shaft oil seal. Complete bearing failures are often preceded by the failure of the bearing cage. This would effectively contaminate the final drive oil with bits of metal that could also cut the oil seals as well. A leak from the input shaft seal would allow the final drive oil to leak into the case with with the CVT belt.

Something to consider anyway. Chapter 9 of this service manual provides a lot of good information regarding the final drive.

http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6..._Manual_V2.pdf

Good Luck
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:42 AM   #88
gogogordy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Real Alan Spears View Post
At some point you might want to consider whether or not your oil leak is in fact the oil from the reduction gear box rather than engine oil.

It is correct to assume that overfilling the engine oil would create a situation where oil would vent from the crankcase breather. On many models of scooters that oil would collect in the bottom of the air box. Depending on the construction of the air box, the oil then might seep out a seam making a mess. Other common side effects of too much oil in the air box is a poorly running engine as the engine oil could get sucked into the motor which in turn could foul the spark plug and / or create smokey exhaust.

However, you had two very big problems with your final drive. First when the bearing in the swing arm failed, all the pre-loading of the output shaft went to zero. Normally the output shaft bearings are preloaded by torquing the wheel nut to approximately 90 foot pounds?

The second problem is more subtle but much more heinous. The output shaft is normally supported by three bearings. When the swing arm failed it put the output shaft into a cantilevered configuration. Any force generated at the wheel, such as application of the rear brake, bumps in the road, even converting the torque from the engine to either accelerate, decelerate, or hold a steady speed would cause asymmetric loading of the remaining two bearing. Running the output shaft in this configuration would generate a tremendous amount of heat which could cause additional failures, such as a leaks from either the output shaft oil seal, and / or the input shaft oil seal. Complete bearing failures are often preceded by the failure of the bearing cage. This would effectively contaminate the final drive oil with bits of metal that could also cut the oil seals as well. A leak from the input shaft seal would allow the final drive oil to leak into the case with with the CVT belt.

Something to consider anyway. Chapter 9 of this service manual provides a lot of good information regarding the final drive.

http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6..._Manual_V2.pdf

Good Luck
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwise View Post
How did your friend get a Gilera in the US? I didn't think they were sold here.
I can't speak for Alan, but the 3 people I know in So-Cal who have them assembled them stateside from "parts". *wink*
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:20 PM   #89
TucsonStan OP
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America.....by Helix

Whiskey Dick Scooter Rally.....

Right after I pull into the Quality Inn in East Stroudsbug, Pa., in pulls Mike and Lenny on two Helixes. The orange one is Mike's. It's a 1986, the first year, and Mike's done a real nice job on it. He called it restored but since it's nowhere near original, I called it reconditioned. But, he did a great job with whatever you call it that he did.


Here's Lenny again, still in the picture, still fiddling around with something.....


Early Saturday morning it looks like there's frost on the windshields. Turns out to be a very heavy dew. Being from Tucson, dew is something I don't really remember as we have such low humidity. Also, here are the 5 amigo Helixes, all dressed up with no place to go. A 6th Helix did show up a bit later.


I wandered around, taking some random shots of stuff in the parking lot...






This next scooter belongs to Oger, or maybe it's Ogar, I don't know which. I met Oger at the downtown Stroudsburg watering hole where the Meet & Greet was held on Friday night. Oger is the kind of a guy that people with young children will cross the street if he were walking towards them. He's also the kind of a guy that should teach us all "to not judge a book by it's cover". After talking to him a bit, if I lived in Connecticut, I'd be happy to call him my friend.

Sorry, I did't get a picture of Oger but I know that, singlehandly, he's kept his local tattoo place in business for years. The tattoos are even on his head, right along side his mohawk.


By and large, I'm not really much of a scooter rally kind of a guy. I really only attended the Whiskey Dick Rally because I knew that I'd have some time to kill after meeting Alan in Harriburg. I figured that I could hang out in Harrisburg or I could hang out in Stroudsburg with a bunch of somewhat like minded people.....on scooters! Seemed like an easy choice to me.
As kind of review, I enjoyed the rally but I do have one complaint. It's the same complaint that I have against all the scooter rally's that I've attended, except one. That is, no rides. There was only one ride scheduled during the entire rally and that was very disorganized. There were about 25 scooters leaving the motel parking lot, riding through the heart of Stroudsburg. At the very first redlight, the group got chopped in half. The second group, of which I was a part of, never saw the first group again. Nobody in group one ever looked back to see if everybody was still there. Nobody from group 1 ever stopped at a turn to point out the right direction to go. Thank goodness that a guy in group 2 lived in the area and he took over as the defacto leader so we did have a good ride.

On Group 2's ride, somebody suggested that we ride out to the Delaware Water Gap. Here's the only picture that you're going to get. After taking this picture, I was going to wander over to the wall and get a picture of "the Gap". Turns out, over the wall is the Delaware River and I-80 which runs right next to it. I didn't figure you'd much care about a picture of an interstate.


The only rally that I've attended that was really a "riding" rally is my own Tucson "For a Few CC"s More" rally which, by the way, was also held this past weekend. In the past, there have been as many a 6 rides scheduled over the weekend.....and a lot more activities, from a poker run to bowling....plus the rides. It makes for a killer weekend.

On Sunday, there was nothing scheduled so everybody just started packing up, loading scooters on trailers, saying their goodbyes and heading out. I loaded up and headed north towards New York, my 14th state on the trip to find America.....by Helix!
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:04 PM   #90
HPTuner
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Enjoying it! Ride on brother.
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