Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good friends, but no scooter

We are at the Elks lodge in Severn, Maryland (map).

After leaving Frederick Thursday, we proceeded to Mount Airy and the scooter I was looking to buy. It was a 2007 Rattler 110, a modern two-stroke manufactured in Taiwan by PGO and sold here by the Genuine Scooter company. I've been eying these since I first spotted one at the Sandblast Scooter Rally on Galveston last year, where it handily won several of the Gymkhana events. I had reasoned that this model would give me the combination of reasonably good top speed with decent off-road performance that I have been seeking.

Unfortunately, this one did not work out. I think I am still very interested in this make and model, but this particular scoot had some issues that I simply did not want to deal with on the bus. I probably would have gone ahead with the deal if I had a fixed garage -- it was a smokin' deal. But on the test ride, it simply would not remain running -- it kept dying at idle. I attribute this to a number of tuning mods that the seller was trying as he attempted to get the top speed up a bit, including drilling and rejetting the carb and replacing the stock exhaust system.

Other issues for me were the fact that the aftermarket exhaust was a bit loud, and all the fuel vapor recovery hardware had been removed -- a real problem for us with the scooter in the confines of one of our luggage bays. While the seller was offering all the stock parts he removed as part of the deal, it looked to me like I would be fiddling with the carburetion for quite a while to get the bike working right, and I'd still have to noodle through putting the vapor recovery back together, and possibly find someone with a stock exhaust who wanted to trade for the pricey aftermarket one this guy installed.

We thanked him for his time, and he cheerfully refunded my deposit. And, as I said, it was a great deal -- $1,200 for the scoot and all the parts, including a windshield, custom rack, extra carb, extra pipe, and so forth. He was willing to knock a couple hundred more off that if I didn't want the extras (I didn't -- the windshield and rack would not fit in the bay, and I have no place to keep things like an extra pipe), and the rock bottom price of the thing (they go for close to $3K new out the door) was very, very tempting. But the prospect of having a scooter I couldn't really use without hours of fiddling and maybe some dealer visits (and Genuine does not allow its two-year warranty to be transferred) was just too daunting.

We arrived here in the Glen Burnie area Thursday afternoon, checked in with the lodge, and got settled in. Our friends Tom and Kathleen picked us up and we had a nice dinner at Irish pub Brian Boru. They, too, are full-timers, and we expected that we would just be catching them here (visiting their daughter) on their way to Florida.

We learned at dinner, though, that Kathleen is having some foot surgery that will likely sideline them here in Maryland all winter. Tom was noodling on how to get more power out to the rig from his daughter's house -- they've been squeaking by on a 15-amp receptacle outside the house.

So yesterday we spent the day fiddling with the electrical panel and shopping for parts. I also spent some time combing through the NEC. In the end, the project of adding a real, permanent, and code-compliant 50-amp receptacle outside her house proved too cumbersome -- access to the panel, in a finished bedroom, was nearly impossible for any legal wiring means. So we rigged up the same temporary arrangement that we've used for Odyssey on the last couple of Red Cross jobs, adding a two-pole 30-amp breaker to the panel, and that will get them through the winter with 7kW of available juice.

That took us to dinner time, and we had another nice meal with them at Texas Roadhouse before saying our goodbyes. It was a nice visit.

In a few minutes we will pack up and continue northeast. We'll escape Baltimore on I-95 and through the Harbor Tunnel, where our wimpy little 10# LP cylinders are just under the limit. Just outside the city, we'll divert over to US-1, which will take us across the Susquehanna and into Pennsylvania, bypassing Delaware and I-95 until the outskirts of Philly.

1 comment:

    cut and paste

    you might like to read this about your scoot some good info Ed


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