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Moderator - Loves All Motorcycles
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My Gambler 500 project finally paid off this year! Imperator Slowiosa III didn't make it the full 500 miles (in fairness, my team didn't do the whole 500mi because the all weekend party at camp was so awesome) but the 160 miles it did travel were absolutely epic.

Here's the scoot a couple days before (yes, I replaced that front wheel and tyre).




I'm still trying to see if other people got pictures of me sending it on this thing, but I successfully turned this little Honda Elite 150D into a little adventure bike. This thing rolled 160 miles of the rally in one day before a mystery issue made it sputter to a stop. The little scoot conquered deep mud, sand, rocks, water crossings, some sweet jumps, and I even got it to a sketchy 70 mph while drafting a Suzuki Aerio. All that on street rubber, too! I had a 3gal jerry can strapped to the back and an ORV flag strapped to the front of that. It looked rather adorable and definitely like a Gambler. I mean, look at my janky solution to the original fan being dead!



I even set up a phone mount on the windscreen and made the storage box into a platform for my bluetooth speaker. I had also set it up to charge my devices, but the scooter's electrical system proved itself too weak to power anything more than either the offroad lights *or* the halogen headlight.

Unfortunately, the carb on it decided to get wonky after arriving at the event and I forgot to get myself a spare carb or stuff to clean the one it had. It only started on starting fluid and the dead spots progressively got worse throughout the ride. Looks like the tank doesn't have a fuel filter, so who knows what got shaken up on the drive in. I spent so much time trying to keep it from dying that I never took pictures at the checkpoints. The cooling system was also iffy and if the temp gauge is to be trusted, I kept that bloody thing near the red for a decent portion of the ride. I tore off the side covers hoping the extra airflow would help. Upon examination, it doesn't appear to have actually overheated (suggesting the temp gauge is faulty) so I think it died to a fuel issue with that carb.




I'm more impressed with myself. This was my first time ever riding a bike offroad and I did pretty darn awesome. I did crash once, though that was because I got impatient and made a stupid decision on a sandy trail. I tried to avoid sand to be able to ride faster and ended up riding off a ledge ten feet down into rocky ruts. I wasn't wearing any real gear outside of a helmet and gloves. My hands (protected) and my knees (yoga pants, so not protected) took most of the fall. Worst damage was some bleeding. I picked up the little scoot and kept going. The little basket case is getting sold to another Gambler 500 lover who will use it as a fast minibike for future events. As fun as these events are on two wheels, it's far more fun on four.

I finished the weekend by jumping two cars General Lee style and killing one of them in a mud pit. :D



Those of you who know me know I own four smart cars. I have now used one of them as a Gambler twice. Well...somehow I have seen the light and my next Gambler will likely be my first ever pickup truck.

 
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Driftless Rider
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Very cool!

Time to throw a ADV sticker on it:grin:
 

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American Legion Rider
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Just wondering if you look as beat up as the scooter Miss M. It certainly looks like it went to war for ya. Hope it was as much fun as it looks like it might have been. Well, without injuries of course. Congrats on giving it your all.

 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Sounds like you had a good time, well at least most of it. That 10' drop may not have been too much fun at the time, but will become the highlight of this trip as time passes. 'Remember the time I flew off the trail and.....................................................'
 

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Visionary
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Awesome write up, sounds like you had a blast!
 

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Moderator - Loves All Motorcycles
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all! The highlights of that trip for me were the scooter ride and jumping the cars. :D

At one point, my team got to a dirt road that was washed out from the recent flooding. So there was a deep-ish water crossing and mud deep enough to swallow trucks. All the cars with street rubber turned around. I accepted the challenge and soldiered on. It was terrifying keeping it upright in the mud, but with keeping the throttle pinned the little thing made it! The water crossings made me question my decision not to fit a snorkel. When my teammates crossed the water it was at the tops of their tyres, so deep enough to submerge the CDI, rectifier, and the airbox. But, I just twisted that throttle and accepted whatever fate awaited me. Somehow...somehow the scooter did it without sucking any water into its engine. I rode it like a sportbike on the road sections, it's hard to begin to explain how exhilarating those 160 miles were. The entire event was easily the best weekend of my life! ♥

A Honda engineer was at camp and he just couldn't believe the scooter took all that punishment. Once the new owner goes through the carb and seals the coolant leak (created on a hard landing from a jump) it'll continue to be a staple of the Illinois Gambler 500. :)
 
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