Head for the Lakes 2019 ride
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73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 86 & 96 Elite 80s, 2015 HD Road Glide Special, 2011 Ural Tourist
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 3944
Location: Oceanside, CA
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:29 am quote
Itís the end of summer and its time for my annual scooter trip. The minions were chomping at the bit to ride and we sure did! I donít know when or what circumstances helped me come up with my idea this year but Big Bear Lake, CA popped into my head and I ran with it. Years ago I was an adult snowboarding instructor there but havenít been back since. I thought it would be great to take the scooter pals there as its got a mountain atmosphere, a lake, there was some familiarity with the route and it is still close enough that folks could make it home quickly should an emergency arise. I noticed there were a lot of lakes on the route so the ďHead For the LakesĒ name was born.

Doing my best planning while ďpretendingĒ to work the graveyard shift the months prior, I found an accommodating cabin, some good routes, gas stations, shops and rallied the crew. This year M/V users Socalguy, Ronindamascus, Googie, my friends Mike and Yancy and I were the riders with my girlfriend Stacy providing support truck duties.

Friday morning we all gathered at my house and were on the road by 10 for the long days ride to Big Bear. Stacy wasnít quite ready so she stayed behind to wrap up the last bit and then meet us for lunch.

I rode my trusty and rusty stock P200 with the only performance parts being a modified head and a SIP Touring flywheel, Socalguy rode his modified Super 170, Ronin rode his heavily modified PX177, Googie christened her new to her stock Rally 200, Yancy was on his bone stock P200 and Mike rode his stock GTS300.

Within 20 minutes of leaving Oceanside, CA I noticed my CHT temps climbing fast. It was a warm day- 97*F and I was having a surging idle at stops. Since there were a lot of hills ahead of us, I played the conservative route to stop and check things out. Nothing immediately screamed out at me but I checked the spark plug, head bolts, fan cover, air box and carb bolts for an air leak. The idling was sorted but I still had warm CHT temps. I upjetted 10 points to a 135 main jet and said lets ride.

The CHT temps came down some and we made up lost time taking Old Highway 395 through Fallbrook and Temecula until we got to Sage Road. Just south of Hemet Socalguyís Super clonked out and lost all engine compression. Looking at my phone (Thanks GLYPSE app!!), I could see Stacy was close and had her find us to grab Socal.

Then it was back underway to Hemet to get everyone some cold drinks and to see what could be salvaged on Socals engine. Unfortunately nothing could be done so we called around to see what parts could get overnighted to us. Mark @ Scooterspeed had an entire cylinder kit on the shelf and was willing to drop everything to get it to the post office. He didnít even wait for the mail to be picked up! It was a classy move on his part for sure. (Insert shameless plug to reward Scooter Speed with your business for being awesome!)

After lunch we loaded Socal and his scooter into the truck, said our goodbyes and continued on our intended route. Stacy and Socal detoured to a local dog park with the intentions of meeting up at the base of the hill at the Mill Creek Visitors Center a few hours later. Uneventfully we wiggled our way through the Inland Empire to the meetup spot and had 30 minutes to gas up, talk about the next leg of the ride and hydrate.

Since we were going to be climbing to altitude, I told everyone we would be stopping sometime during the climb to downjet our carburetors. The air density changes and the carburetors run too rich. Due to that, we would lose top speed and might have a hard time on the uphill sections.

During the climb, the scooters kept losing speed and our idles went to shit but no one was behind us so I said screw it keep riding, and we made it happily into Big Bear City with no problem. My GPS app was acting up (Thanks a lot Rever!!) so I tried to find our way to the rental office in Big Bear Lake. Lost and confused with a scooter that wouldnt idle anymore and as I would find out way past the office, I told the group to find a bar and wait till I found the cabins property management office and would get in touch.

I finally found the office, got the keys and told everyone where to meet. That night Roninís girlfriend Jae drove up and joined us, and some of us went out for dinner and some stayed home to relax. I wanted steak and seafood but the wait was too long and we settled for Mexican food across the street. One jalapeno margarita and one churro shot later, I was feeling fine and we spent the rest of the night with the group drinking and watching Caddyshack on VHS at the rental cabin.

First one to stop for problems

Whoops! Socalguy's having problems

Aaaannndd it doesnt look good!

Stayed at the Chevron for a bit trying to figure out if we could salvage things and limp on.

Churro shot

Happy diners

73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 86 & 96 Elite 80s, 2015 HD Road Glide Special, 2011 Ural Tourist
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 3944
Location: Oceanside, CA
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:45 am quote
Day 2.
My original plan for Day 2 was to have a group ride over to Lake Arrowhead for lunch and then wander back. That plan was put on hold so Socal and I could stick around and wait for parts to arrive. Those willing decided to visit the Big Bear Zoo/rescue and see all of the mountain animals that the center takes care of.

That gave me some time to run a few errands in town, get some towels from the managers (they shorted us 4 towels so showers were interesting), and then get some lunch supplies. UPS delivered the Pinasco kit and Socalguy got his scooter running in record time. It only took two kicks and then purred like a kitten, so we decided to break it in on a gentle ride around Big Bear Lake.

Back before sundown, Stacy lined up burgers and brauts for us and the rest of the night, we enjoyed the bbq, the hot tub, puzzles and more VHS movies like one big happy family.

Communal breakfast every morning

Ski slopes of the resort I used to work at.

Well whatdoyaknow! I found some other vespas

Socals old piston

New aluminum Pinasco kit

Watching master engine thrasher Socalguy rebuild his Super

Zoo fun

Spark plug cap kept popping off Yancy's P200

Big Bear Lake

Sunset hot tub time

Dessert, Die Hard and The Princess Bride in the evening

73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 86 & 96 Elite 80s, 2015 HD Road Glide Special, 2011 Ural Tourist
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 3944
Location: Oceanside, CA
Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:18 pm quote
Day 3

Sunday morning we had another family style breakfast and then spent the rest of the time getting the rental cleaned up and out of there by 11. Locked and loaded, we all got on the road and had one last stop in Big Bear Lake to get fuel.

I again tried to get the Rever GPS app to help me with directions but it failed hard (Iím definitely not endorsing this one folks!). Eternally optimistic I said lets ride blindly and have an adventure! Google maps helped, but it doesnít factor staying off the highways or specific curvy roads I wanted to take.

We took Hwy 18 to the Rim of the World Highway and then wandered onto the 138. That took us on some great curvy, cambered roads that Googie and Ronin devoured, while Mike and I hung back to make sure Yancy and Socalguy didnt have any problems. Hwy 138 eventually opened up by Silverwood Lake and then it was long and straight to our next gas stop in Nowheresville where the 138 meets the 15 freeway.

One more gas stop and a 1 mile jaunt on the freeway we exited Cajon Blvd where I surprised everyone with a photo stop on part of what was Route 66. We took that south to Riverside. Our original plan was to go through San Bernardino but Mike convinced me to stay west and wander through Riverside instead.

He offered to lead but got confused as well and I said screw it, lets just take the most direct route through Riverside and just keep moving south. Main Street wasnt too bad and we caught most of the lights until it dead ended. That was in downtown Riverside by their convention center so we wandered until I found a restaurant that was dog friendly.

It was 2pm, hot and folks were hungry so we found a spot on the patio of Prohibition restaurant. The place is supposed to resemble a speakeasy but the club music and disco lights on the inside didnít fool me. The menu was a little pricey, the food was good, the beers were cold and the guys liked the random ladies dancing in the club on a Sunday afternoon.

Upon leaving, I dialed up the Google maps bicycle route from the restaurant to our final destination in Lake Elsinore. There wasnt a straightforward way other than the freeway, so I think we did 20 lefts and rights through undeveloped areas until we got to Highway 74 and took that fast and straight into Lake Elsinore.

Lake Elsinore is a small town but has a few spa houses and some lake attractions on it. Thereís also a minor league baseball team there which unfortunately was away that night. Ronindamascus and Stacy both said their goodbyes once at the hotel, and the rest of us took what we needed from the support truck since the last leg would be just scooters.

Yancy, Googie and I hit the hot tub for sunset pics and drinks while the rest of the guys took a quick safety nap. I was still full from our late lunch and brought up the idea of going to dessert somewhere. Googie was onboard and the nearest Carrows was 9 miles away. Socalguy was in so we all met in the lobby around 8.

In the parking lot we found out I had no tail light and an intermittent headlight, Googie had no lights but Socalguy had both working. Damning the torpedoes, we set off in search of p ie. All was going well until the chrome bezel on Luciaís Rally fell off and we lost it in the dark. 5 minutes later we found it on the side of the road and we hurried to Carrows. We made it with 15 minutes to spare and I made sure to order 3 pieces of p ie to celebrate our adventure.

Then it was a quick gas stop to try and attempt repairs but a few laughs and failures later, we rode home in the dark to sweet dreams of sugarplums on the comfy hotel beds.

Googie on the Rim of the World Highway

Stopped for a photo op and met some Brits who were renting a bike and seeing the sights.

Hwy 138

5 minute gas stop that turned into 30 minutes

Downtown Riverside, CA


Sexy pose

Socalguy and I taking it easy the last bit since he was still breaking in his new top end.

My 3 slices to Googies 1

73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 86 & 96 Elite 80s, 2015 HD Road Glide Special, 2011 Ural Tourist
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 3944
Location: Oceanside, CA
Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:29 pm quote
Day 4

The next morning Mike was chomping at the bit to get home so we said our goodbyes and the rest of us took our sweet time leaving the hotel. We rode through downtown Lake Elsinore to Hwy 74 (Ortega Highway) for another surprise I had setup for the ride. We then wandered up a little bit to the Lookout Roadhouse for breakfast.

Breakfast was country style on a tin pan and I tried their famous hard cider. Then it was back south along the lake to Clinton Keith Road through De Luz canyons to Fallbrook and then back to my house by 2. Googie had some time to kill before flying out, so we raced a new smallframe Iím building her up and down my street until the neighbors came out and wagged their fingers at Googie.

After that, I declared the trip officially over and thanked everyone for making it another successful ride.

The Lookout Roadhouse

Breakfast view

Stickers Googie made for the trip

Socalguy and Yancy on De Luz Road

Rear shock blew out on me sagging the back end

2006 Vespa GT (Rocket): 2005 Vespa GT (Razzo): 2006 Vespa GT (Crash): 2007 Vespa GT (Vanessa): 2009 Yamaha Zuma 125 (Zoom): 2018 Yamaha Xmax (Max),
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 4442
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:30 pm quote
It looks like an excellent adventure!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 2015 GTS 2013 BV 350
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 9809
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:22 am quote
Great write up and awesome pics. I figure if I start feeling envious you did a good job. Great scenery, especially to a Midwesterner.
Molto Verboso
Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 1291
Location: California
Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:18 pm quote
Awesome looks like a great trip!
Aprilia Scarabeo 500
Joined: 02 Oct 2019
Posts: 129
Location: Florida
Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:00 am quote
Maybe I missed it reading through the entire thread, but did you end up figuring out what happening with the piston and why it failed?

Definitely looks like a fun trip! How many miles total was it?
2015 GTS300, 1974 Primavera, 04 Ninja 250
Joined: 04 Apr 2013
Posts: 4616
Location: San Diego, CA
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:58 pm quote
Wish I could have made it this time, I really enjoyed it the year I made it. Glad you all had fun.
Moto Giro Titan
2009 GTS 250 Super Lucrezia Borgia, 2013 Ducati Hyperstrada, Little Big Red,2020 Zero SR/S, Zeus, Electric Dragon
Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 2614
Location: Carrollton, Kentucky
Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:28 pm quote
Wow! Looks like y'all had all the fun you could stand.
63 GL, 76 Super (x 2), 74 Primavera (x 2), 06 Fly 150
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 5830
Location: So Cal
Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:21 am quote
Scarabeo500ie wrote:
Maybe I missed it reading through the entire thread, but did you end up figuring out what happening with the piston and why it failed?
Working on it ...

GS Piston melt down
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