Cross Country Trek - Vermont to Los Angeles!
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Ossessionato
'10 GTS 300 Super, '79 Vespa P200E, '04 Vespa PX200, 2011 SportCity 300 Cube [Sold]
Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 2913
Location: San Francisco, CA
Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:27 pm quote
greasy125 wrote:
as stated by others above (eric, bagel, etx) you were more than likely running a bit lean.

the noise you were hearing is detonation. many different things can contribuite to this: fuel grade, air fuel mixture (lean), timing, wrong heat range on the plug, ambient tempature, etx.

sounds like a textbook soft sieze. i'd be concerned about the shape of the parts, but really, there's not much that can be done at this point.

colder plug, upjet the carb and take it easy.

if you need a check up when you get here don't hesitate to call or PM me, i'd be more than happy to help in any way i can.

ride safe and beers on me when you get here to LALA land!

best,
-greasy
Shiet. Thanks for the info guys - was hoping it wasn't a soft seize, but guess it is what it is. Kind of sad really - the PX ran flawlessly until this point, more than 95% of the trip! Do you think it was the altitude (desert is lower altitude) or the extreme temperature that caused the seize?

I'm a bit nervous riding on it, but I'm hoping if I take off early, avoid hot temperatures, and take it easy, I should be able to make it. I'll definitely be looking you guys up for help once I get to LA - would love to get the PX tuned to run optimally for LA altitude - thanks so much for the offer.

Thanks for all suggestions on when to leave. After reading all the suggestions, we're planning on leaving 4-5 AM - mainly to try and avoid the heat - hoping this will reduce the chance of soft seizing again. Also obviously makes it easier on us riding. Also guessing that by 4-5 AM, most of the drunk drivers will hopefully be home and off the roads. The cars might be hauling ass, but hopefully they are sober and awake - the drunk drivers are the ones that really scare me.

Little anxious about this last leg, but looking forward to seeing the california coast. We're still working on the exact route, but I have a feeling we will be on a combination of back roads and I15.

Thanks again - we really appreciate all your comments and support!
Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Posts: 7120
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:51 pm quote
Wangta wrote:
Shiet. Thanks for the info guys - was hoping it wasn't a soft seize, but guess it is what it is. Kind of sad really - the PX ran flawlessly until this point, more than 95% of the trip! Do you think it was the altitude (desert is lower altitude) or the extreme temperature that caused the seize?

I'm a bit nervous riding on it, but I'm hoping if I take off early, avoid hot temperatures, and take it easy, I should be able to make it. I'll definitely be looking you guys up for help once I get to LA - would love to get the PX tuned to run optimally for LA altitude - thanks so much for the offer.
you really had a combonation of things working against you; if the ambient temp is say 90 then you're looking at road temps around 130 or better. so you've got hot air trying to cool the bike. with an ambient temp that high and no moisture the mixture gets weak because you're sucking in hot dry air, that's when pre-ignition starts to unfold. figure that the air you're pulling isn't ambient temp, but closer to road temp... so yeah, mix shitty gas, a weak mix and hot dry air and you're headed for sieze city.

the problem is, once you sieze it the alum from the piston smears the bore wall and rolls into the ring lands so now it's even more likely to be sieze prone.

but, on the outside chance it may have just been your plug heating up and cutting out. i'd highly recommend a B8 or B9, heck if you can get a B10 i'd even run that.

my concern is more about the detonation. pinging (pennies on the floorboard) will knock a hole in your piston and then you're proper fucked.

either way, jet it up and take it easy on the way in. leaving early (like at 4am) would be your best bet.

like i said, once you land give a shout and i'll tighten you up with whatever you need-- PX or GTS wise; i got a full set of tools...

ride safe hombre,
-greasy
Hooked
ET2, ET4, in Mexico GTS-250 in Ca
Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 173
Location: Puerto Vallarta, Mx Los Altos, Ca
Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:29 pm quote
Wanga,

What an adventure and thanks for letting us all in on it. Looked forward to your every post and glad that you are close enough to smell the Pacific. Hope you get up to NoCal and we can meet you and shake your hand and buy you some wine. Thanks again for the wonderful pictures and story of your fantastic trip.
Ossessionato
2011 GTS 300 Super 2013 BMW K1600 GTL
Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 3993
Location: Irvine, CA
Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:33 pm quote
Give a shout out if you need a place to stay. We have an extra room that you are welcome too if you need it.

Emily and I would be happy to have you and your friend here while you are in town.
nothing at all
Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 9657
Location: westla
Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:40 pm quote
i am very excited to see you at the end of your amazing trip wangta.

you have made it thus far, i trust that you know what is best the rest of the way.

greasy will hook you up on the mechanical

i'll take care of the burgers and drinks
Enthusiast
2007 LXV 150, 2005 PX150
Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 98
Location: San Francisco
Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:44 pm quote
Come on-- stop in SF!
Hooked
2006 LX150
Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 145
Location: Oklahoma
Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:52 pm quote
Thanks for this inspiring thread. Have a safe ride into LA!
Ossessionato
2011 GTS 300 Super 2013 BMW K1600 GTL
Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 3993
Location: Irvine, CA
Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:08 pm quote
primordialdancer wrote:
I know it won't be cooler, but you may want to consider driving through Death Valley via Pahrump and then coming into Southern Cal. through the Sierra Nevadas. If you go this way - do it EARLY in the morning, can I say EARLY again...?! Just DON'T ride in the afternoon in Death Valley if you know what I mean. It would be a pretty route with much nicer traffic than the Interstate.

Good luck with the rest of your journey,

Desi B.
I took the Death Valley ride last year in August and this was the worst ride I have ever been on EVER. I left Pahrump, NV way too late at 11am and there are some very long stretches of road with only a few gas stations and the roads are not marked well. There is no way in hell I would do that ride again even in the early morning. Too many things can go wrong and there is NO CELL COVERAGE. Be safe you guys.
Member
2009 Dragon Red LX150, 2007 Avio Grey GTV250
Joined: 06 Jul 2009
Posts: 16
Location: San Francisco
Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:28 pm quote
Definitely come to SF! Awesome trip.

dave
Member
07 LX150, 79 P125X
Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Wisconsin
Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:27 pm quote
Awesome trip man! Wow, scooting through Yellowstone would be a dream come true for me. Best of luck on the last leg of your journey!
Moderator
2010 Dragon Red GTS 300 Super, 2018 Grigio Titanio Piaggio Liberty S 150
Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 16295
Location: Toronto, Canada, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:56 am quote
Wang, thanks for taking the immense amount of time to take photos and posts them along with your travelogue here for all of us to enjoy. This has got to be one of the best threads ever that I can recall reading on MV. Not only has it been enjoyable to hear about your travels, but it has been educational for some of us as well.

I hope you have safe and swift travels to LA.
Beer Fairy
GTS-"Cannonball Bettie" Member Iron Butt Association
Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 851
Location: Seacoast New Hampshire USA
Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:37 am quote
Hey Wangta!
Great job representing Vernont and the New England Spirit as well as carrying the MV Community along with you! Cheers

QUESTION: seems to me that you are Moving/relocating to LA. Si?
or simply an extended tour....

ALSO be ready for the strange looks at the Vermont Plates, One time while in Texas I was asked>>> "Vermont? What state is that in????"

good scooter vibes at ya~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hooked
'84 PX125E ^..^
Joined: 01 May 2008
Posts: 483
Location: Toronto
Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:59 am quote
Wang ... inspiring and breathtaking!

Thanks for posting for all of us to enjoy. Your pictures are abolutely stunning! I almost feel like after reading and looking at your pics, it's life changing.

I feel SO inspired!

Ride safe!
nothing at all
Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 9657
Location: westla
Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:12 pm quote
i'm sure he will post when he lands, but i just could'nt help myself to type his success leaving vegas.

david and gina left vegas at 5am and had a trouble free trip into the greater los angeles area.

he will be in manhatten beach tonight and at my house for bugers tomorow with members hp(hiram)geasy125(aaron)and club president tank top(ken) and founder marv mack.

will post pictures

i am excited to be able to host a chindig for some mv members.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
946
Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 5792
Location: Acworth, GA
Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:30 pm quote
This is an absolutely EPIC thread... MV Hall of Fame all the way! Way to go on the ride, Wangta (and partner), and safe travels the rest of the way!
Enthusiast
'09 BV 250 Tourer
Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 79
Location: Pennsylvania
Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:35 pm quote
Thanks for posting. . . glad they've arrived safely. Can't wait for the pictures!
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 36635
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:50 pm quote
Amen.

An epic journey - and lessons for all of us.
nothing at all
Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 9657
Location: westla
Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:53 pm quote
i have only been around here a short while but i am sure some of you long

timers can understand when i say i am so proud of this kid and friend of

their epic 3000 plus ride.
Ossessionato
'10 GTS 300 Super, '79 Vespa P200E, '04 Vespa PX200, 2011 SportCity 300 Cube [Sold]
Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 2913
Location: San Francisco, CA
Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:05 pm quote
Day 25 Las Vegas, NV – Manhattan Beach, CA

After reading all the input from you guys on best times to leave and routes to take from Las Vegas to LA, and after much deliberation, we decided to leave Las Vegas at 4 AM. The reasons were many – all of which you guys already mentioned. First and foremost, we figured most of the drunk drivers would be back at home sleeping, or at a minimum, not traveling on interstate 15! Second, we wanted to beat traffic – again, we were hoping that traffic would be lightest during the early morning. This was important because we did not know what to expect out of the PX – would she quit again or was that a one time thing due to the extreme heat? Needless to say, I checked the insurance for PX and re-read over the roadside assistance details. Third, we really wanted to beat the heat. Need I remind everyone, our approach to Las Vegas was absolute brutal. Think hair blower one inch from your face. We REALLY didn’t want to go through that again, and being aware that the Mojave and Death Valley regions are two of the hottest in North America, we decided to aggressively try and cross it was relatively cold.

In terms of route, we decided to take the first 50 or so miles on route 15. We assumed there would be few people on the road, and 15 south is by far the most direct route toward the LA area. Given our uneasiness with PX, we agreed to play it by ear – if PX starts shuttering, we’ll get off and find another way, or else we ride PX as long as possible on the highway to get through the desert before it really started heating things up.

We were out the door by 4:10 AM, and after a quick stop by the Las Vegas sign to snap pictures, we headed down route 15 south toward California. The temperature on our departure was around 95 – relatively cool compared to the heat we had faced the day before. Traffic wasn’t too bad in the first couple hours but by 7 and 8 AM, there were a steady stream of cars in my rearview mirror. Many of you mentioned that some cagers “haul ass” on 15 – and yes, this is very very true – a couple cars blew by us like we were standing still. But they came few and far between, most cars/trucks passed in a very orderly manner.

Before long, we found ourselves in the desert – the sun was not up yet but you could still make out the landscape – rolling hills of desert with small shrubs and cacti, surrounded by large, bare rock mountains in the backdrop. Pretty cool. The temperatures during this phase were noticeably cold – the temp dropped to 70 degrees at one point! The cold air was a nice change and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Couple things that really surprised us about this phase of the trip. First, the air quality west of Las Vegas is terrible (not sure if this area is in California or Nevada) – the worst air we encountered during our entire journey, bar none. It reminded me of Beijing. You could actually see the smog in the distance and the surrounding area, and could definitely smell it. I initially thought it might be smoke from a forest fire or the like, but it had a very industrial smell that made me gag. Was glad to pass through a mountain range and finally be rid of the smog.

We initially planned to only take route 15 down to Barstow, and if PX was running ok, perhaps take it a bit more down into the LA area. PX ran GREAT from the opening bell. I took it easy at first, but was surprised to find no remnants of the problems we encountered a few days before. I still took it easy, but was able to cruise about 50-55 without issues (and yes, I was on the right “slow” lane the entire time).

Approach to the Los Angeles area was pretty uneventful, unless you count crowded roads and aggressive drivers. We managed to hit many of the major highways on route to Manhattan Beach. 15 to 10 to 605 to 105 to 405. Got some weird looks - Vermont tags probably didn’t help, but we managed to stay up with traffic relatively well while sticking together and hogging the right lane. Didn’t really enjoy the highway that much, but it was quick and the most direct way for us to get to our destination. We will take more time in the coming months to explore the “real” roads in the LA area.

Arrived at our destination in the mid-afternoon, almost 12 hours after we had left (we took plenty of breaks along the way). What a great way to end our journey – sunny skies, 70-80 degree temps, and a nice breeze while gazing at the open ocean.

Thanks to everyone who has followed our journey – we hope you have enjoyed the trip as much as we have. We’re in the process of compiling a list of suggestions for anyone thinking of going on such a trip – will post it in a couple days.

Total Miles Day 25: 300 miles

Las Vegas at 4:30 AM


Destination at Last - Manhattan Beach, CA!






Member
PX150
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 36
Location: Seattle
Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:10 pm quote
Congratulations to you both!!
Ossessionato
2011 GTS 300 Super 2013 BMW K1600 GTL
Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 3993
Location: Irvine, CA
Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:12 pm quote
Glad you arrived safely. I was starting to wonder about the PX.
Moderator
2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 12959
Location: Paros Island, Greece
Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:07 am quote
Congrats. Glad you are at your destination.

Be well

A&A
Ossessionato
LX150, GTS300(black & white), GTS300(red)
Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Posts: 2466
Location: Menifee, CA. (Land of the Dirt People)
Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:17 am quote
Welcome to California........ Epic.... Truly epic..... I envision the old American settlers moving west.... too bad they didn't have Vespas....
Sponsor
Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Posts: 543
Location: Connecticut
Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:14 am quote
Congratulations on completing your journey and thank you for sharing your travels with us!

Whether you realize it or not, we've all been on the trip with you and you've been an inspiration to us all.

Good luck in LA!
Hooked
ET2, ET4, in Mexico GTS-250 in Ca
Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 173
Location: Puerto Vallarta, Mx Los Altos, Ca
Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:47 am quote
Absolutely fantastic. Looking forward to your suggestions. What a trip and thanks again for sharing it with everyone.
Hooked
Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 265

Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:10 am quote
Excellent! I would definitely be interested in what worked and what didn't for gear and accessories. Also, how did those large windscreens handle?

Shane
nothing at all
Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 9657
Location: westla
Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:33 am quote
there is a name the yang na tribe had for the entire LA basin, translated it meant 'valley of smokes'.

it is said that even before the industrial revolution the area in the early cool morning when there is no wind would have a blanket of 'smoke'.

now i am sure with pollutants and what have you it's worse.

in taft california, it is reported that the people,mainly children, have been getting 'the cough'

it was later reveiled that from the large oil industry(yes,taft has a big oil history)that this 'valley of smokes' effect in the morning was causing the illness. they used a process called steam induction, i'm sure that is the main reason.

a small lesson in california history (google taft)
Hooked
1970 Sprint, ET2, GT200, MP3 500
Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 481
Location: San Diego County
Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:15 am quote
Good Ride Report Wangta! Great photos and write ups!

There is a website called Adventure Rider http://www.advrider.com that has a section called Ride Reports, and it's one of my favorite things to read on the 'net. Jess, any chance we might get a section on MV called Ride Reports, modeled after the ADVRider forum? There is something totally inspiring about reading a great ride report, coupled with beautiful pictures. We need more of this kind of Ride Report on MV!

Last edited by CafeMoto on Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:37 am; edited 1 time in total
Moderator
2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 12959
Location: Paros Island, Greece
Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:23 am quote
jimmyb865 wrote:
a small lesson in california history (google taft)
Thanks, jimmy, but it doesn't explain why many Californians don't seem to trust air they can't chew!

Al
Moderibbit
1980 P200E - "Old Rusty", 1976 ET3 Primavera
Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 8119
Location: Atlanta, GA
Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:26 am quote
Congratulations Wangta! What an epic journey. So glad you made it in safe and sound.
nothing at all
Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 9657
Location: westla
Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:36 am quote
Aviator47 wrote:
jimmyb865 wrote:
a small lesson in california history (google taft)
Thanks, jimmy, but it doesn't explain why many Californians don't seem to trust air they can't chew!

Al
i live so close to sea i would'nt know.

on shore trade winds take care of us.

now the santa ana's are a diferent story, also called the devil winds, hot air from the deserts blow into the valey basin and off shore.

makes for perfect tubes when the surf is up
Addicted
Red SYM HD200
Joined: 28 Jun 2008
Posts: 740
Location: Bay Area, CA
Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:42 am quote
Congratulations! It was quite fun to read along and keep up with your journey. Wonderful, wonderful pictures, by the way.
Moderator
2010 Dragon Red GTS 300 Super, 2018 Grigio Titanio Piaggio Liberty S 150
Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 16295
Location: Toronto, Canada, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:19 am quote
Great news, thanks again for taking us along on your amazing trip across the country.
Ossessionato
2005 GT 200L Grigio_Smoky a.k.a. "Il Grande Lebowski"
Joined: 20 Mar 2008
Posts: 3028
Location: B'game, CA
Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:18 am quote
This has been a wonderful series of report and photos. Thank you so much for all of your posts!
Moderator
1 drowned P200
Joined: 28 May 2008
Posts: 3827
Location: Hustletown, TX
Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:27 am quote
Post of the Year.
Member
PX150
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 36
Location: Seattle
Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:28 am quote
wangta, please tell us you at least took off your helmet before you went down to the beach!

Ossessionato
No Vespas, but I gots some VW's
Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 2018
Location: Springfield, Illinois.
Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:29 am quote
Many, many
Molto Verboso
GTS Vintage Red
Joined: 10 Oct 2006
Posts: 1028
Location: Scarsdale, NY
Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:37 am quote
Congrats!
So happy you guys made it! Congratulations!!!!! I am sure the LA Riders will take great care of you!

Have a Hot Dog at Pinks and a Double Dip Sandwich at Phillipe's!

Cheers,

Gianni
Hooked
GTS-250
Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 327
Location: South Carolina
Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:15 am quote
Let me add my congratulations and my thanks for sharing this ride with us. I learned a great deal just following this thread, and those pictures were just plain beautiful!
Ossessionato
Temporarily Scooterless... :(
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 2117
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:22 pm quote
2007GTS wrote:
primordialdancer wrote:
I know it won't be cooler, but you may want to consider driving through Death Valley via Pahrump and then coming into Southern Cal. through the Sierra Nevadas. If you go this way - do it EARLY in the morning, can I say EARLY again...?! Just DON'T ride in the afternoon in Death Valley if you know what I mean. It would be a pretty route with much nicer traffic than the Interstate.

Good luck with the rest of your journey,

Desi B.
I took the Death Valley ride last year in August and this was the worst ride I have ever been on EVER. I left Pahrump, NV way too late at 11am and there are some very long stretches of road with only a few gas stations and the roads are not marked well. There is no way in hell I would do that ride again even in the early morning. Too many things can go wrong and there is NO CELL COVERAGE. Be safe you guys.
Oh, It's hot and dry for sure (and I certainly wouldn't say this is the best time of year to do it either), but it's a great ride. I used to do it every year on my bicycle. Amazing desert scenery!

Congrats on the completion of your epic journey Wangta and partner... Enjoy the surf for awhile!


Desi B.

Last edited by primordialdancer on Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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