The question isn’t can you ride a mini-bike 1300 miles. Of course anyone can do that. Back when I was a kid in the late 70’s, I probably rode my CT70 10,000 miles over the course of 3 years or so. The question is can an adult man (6′-3″ 230lbs) ride a little Honda from Indiana to Colorado in six days
This burning question has been a source of a massive amount of thought on my part for the past few months (much to the dismay of most people who have been around me – Sorry Susanne). So like everyone else, when faced with one of life’s greatest questions, I turned to the internet for answers.
Turn to the internet for inspiration:
It is easy to find people (some of questionable sanity) that are riding ridiculously small displacement bikes all around the world… and I mean “around the world” – like from South America to Alaska… or across Morocco… or from California to Las Vegas. So the obvious answer is YES – you can! Of course, we really knew that going in, we live in “Merica” after all, the answer is always “Yes you can!” You CAN ride what-ever you want, where-ever you want (of course licenses and such need to be obtained to avoid legal issues).
The next question becomes “Do I WANT to ride a mini-bike 1300 miles in 6 days?” This too is a super easy answer for me… YES! For some strange reason, I really want to be counted among the “people of questionable sanity” mentioned above. The idea of an adventure on the back of a little Honda 70 is intoxicating to me. I want my grandkid’s children to be told stories about their crazy great grandpa’s ride out west on the mini-bike.
Not that I expect other people to get it… in fact if everybody else wanted to do it, I probably wouldn’t even bother thinking about it. So, lets stop here on this line of thought because I don’t really want to think about why I’m being so self-absorbed or what deep rooted phycological / spiritual need this is filling… I just want to have fun and this REALLY sounds like fun to me. Good enough…
What doesn’t sound like fun is being smooshed by a semi-truck, or being stuck in the middle of Kansas with a burnt-up engine. So the final questions to ask are about safety and reliability. Safety on a motorcycle (or mini-bike in this case) is always a questionable at best. As any biker will undoubtably tell you, it isn’t a rider related accident we are afraid of – it is the other drivers on the road that scare the daylights out of you.
While there is a significant amount of self denial in that type of thinking (it is always the other guys that gets you hurt – even though you’re the one on the two wheel death machine), there is a large amount of truth in the fact that most motorcycle injuries are incurred in accidents with other motorist.
This problem of safety is not lessoned by riding a slow motorcycle, but actually enhanced. Not only are you smaller, and harder to see, if you cannot keep up with traffic it just makes it all that much easier to be “run-over”. Also, riding a bike with an engine displacement about 1/3 the size of a Red Bull can, means you will be turning the crank at, or near, the red-line the entire time… which means breakdowns (possibly catastrophic) are almost a forgone conclusion.
So, the answer to both the safety and durability questions is more power. You saw that coming didn’t you? Bigger engines are always the answer! The little Honda engine has been used all over the planet. Because of this, there are many options for adding more power. In this case… a engine swap to double the size!
So, the answer is YES… at least for now. The plan is to ride a little Honda on the Long Way to Pikes Peak trip. We’ll see as the project unfolds if I have second thoughts and change my mind.
To be continued…