Moped Trip website

How I Did It

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Should you decide that you want to make a similar trip on a moped or small motorcycle or scooter, here are some tips and advice that I have to offer:

If you use a Mobylette moped, of the same vintage as mine:

  • Take off the pedals that come with the moped and install ones that can be serviced - ie, taken apart, cleaned, lubed. I didn't do this and I was concerned that the pedals were not standing up to the wear. 

  • Lube the pulley regularly. I didn't, and the tiny roller bearings in it disappeared towards the end of the trip. I had to repair it by installing a shim from a pop can to replace the space that the bearings took up. Unfortunately, the pulley has to be removed to properly grease it. The grease nipple that comes with the bike is tiny: impossible to use a regular grease gun on it. See next point...

  • Install a larger grease nipple on the pulley so it can be lubed more easily and more often. Lubing this part of the moped is crucial!

  • The chain will wear out. Bring a spare along or arrange to have one sent to you.

  • See the information on maintenance and repairs done on the trip, and read the entire "How I Did It" section of this website.

If you just want to go by moped, whatever brand:

  • I would not recommend a Mobylette for a long trip such as this one. I feel that the pulley-switch part of the drive train is a very weak link. It certainly is a part of the bike that has caused me considerable grief, on both of the Mobylettes that I owned and used for traveling. As well, the ignition system and carbon buildup were constant irritants.

  • Perhaps a Honda moped would be the best brand. There are Honda dealers all over North America (and the world), so spare parts and support would be easier to obtain. However, I cannot comment on how durable they are, or how suitable they are for a long trip, since I know nothing about them.

  • If your moped uses a 2-stroke engine, carbon buildup can be a constant issue. The exhaust system and engine cylinder on my moped required constant de-carbonizing. I had to regularly disassemble these systems and scrape the carbon off/out.

Campsite along the Dempster Hwy


Overall travel tips and advice for this mode of travel:

  • Be prepared to either ride in the rain or wait it out. If you do ride in the rain, be aware that it is more dangerous than riding in clear conditions: the road may be slippery, you are less visible, and your attention may be on staying dry rather than the traffic and the road surface conditions.

  • Take your time. Enjoy the trip. Don't be in a hurry. After all, that's probably why you have chosen this mode of travel!

  • Travel in the daylight so you don't miss any scenery. Get to know the land that you are passing through. That's one advantage of camping - aside from cost savings - you're outdoors all the time. In any case, traveling at night on such a small and poorly lit vehicle is definitely not very safe.

  • Keep a diary or journal. Take pictures. Record details of how much money you spent, how far you traveled each day, etc. If this seems a bit picky, well, maybe someday you might be glad you recorded the info (like when you make a website about your experiences!) As well, it forces you to slow down and pay attention to where you are and what's happening. And when you're old, you will probably take great delight in reliving the trip via your journal!

  • Get to know the people that live where you are traveling. They're part of the trip.

  • If you will be traveling through different provinces/states, check the regulations about mopeds in each. They vary widely as to what's allowed. For example, find out whether you have to wear a helmet, what type of driver's license you need (if any), insurance requirements (if any). And maybe mopeds are even banned in a particular jurisdiction you wish to pass through (shame on them!).


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