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SCOOTER-X

January 20th, 2010

Ludix“Scooters off-road? Are you mental?” I’m sure that’s what your parents would ask if they were reading this. Being a parent I’d ask the same question too if I hadn’t already had a go. If you think back to the first experience you have of a two-wheeled bike with an engine, it was probably like most other peoples – on scrub land or maybe even a disused railway line on a broken down Honda Plonk 90, or that yellow Passola you borrowed off your Mum. Whatever it was it didn’t matter, the only thing that mattered was the fun factor. Not being made for the job just made it better especially when it turned out to be pretty good off-road and you managed to blast past that young lad on his made to measure CR80.

So that’s where it started for me some time ago and I couldn’t wait to have another tinkle this time with a helmet and some gloves. We’d already seen that, although minor in comparison to track racing, Europe was already taking the plunge into off-road racing and, even though the videos are a little rare, the ones you can find on Google look organised and people appear to be enjoying it. So why don’t we have anything like this in the UK? Should we get something started?

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Our guinea pig was a Peugeot Ludix Snake, we’d already upgraded the transmission with some Polini parts and we’d also dropped the stock exhaust and replaced it with a Tecnigas Silent Pro. We found the basic system from Tecnigas to be a good option, good low down power and pretty quiet even when derestricted. A bar conversion had already taken place on our scoot so the only other things we needed, at the very least, were spuddy tyres and a snorkel to improve the chance of our scooter running more than five minutes in the rain. Off-road tyres in a scooter size, where do you get ‘em? “Nowhere” seems to be the answer. Finally we dropped on some Duro tyres with just the right size and pattern. She was good to go, ish.

As you would expect, our maiden voyage had to be in the rain. Once mounted you instantly got the feeling that grip was low and I knew it was going be fun. Add some pot holes, corners and water and you could be forgiven for thinking I rode it like I was pi**ed, if motorcross is too much like hard work then scootercross could be right up your street. Surprisingly though, it kind of made sense, the Ludix felt light, not that scary and pretty slow which was what we expected. Was it a laugh? Definitely and we want more, so much so we’ve already purchased a rough looking NRG LC for our next off-road adventure.

As with any type of scooter riding or auto sport there are risks, you could enjoy yourself so much that you get lost, or something… At the moment it seems that places to go off-roading are limited, it is illegal in many places and most off-road centres won’t even allow you to enter their sites possibly because this might encourage those bad lads to steal scooters, which is something that we obviously don’t want to assist in.

During 2010 we’re going to look at the options available to get something started in the UK. In order for it to be worthwhile though, it would help us a great deal if we could get some idea of how many people would be interested in taking part. So if you’d be keen on giving it a go let us know, send us a message or register your interest on the Adrenalin Facebook page.

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The things you would need are pretty basic to be honest and this is exactly why we like the idea of Scooter-X; a rough looking scooter that runs, some off-road tyres (we’re working on more options with this one). Tyre size and availability could actually be the deciding factor on which scooters can be used. Protection; helmet, gloves, boots and armour are essential if you want to participate. As we gather more information we’ll keep you updated.

The best thing about Scooter-X is that anyone can have a go, if your pockets aren’t too deep then worry not it’s cheaper to take up than track racing and it hopefully won’t be too serious either, the fun factor has got to be at the top of the list. In summary then, the perfect scoot would need:

  • Off-road tyres
  • Low noise output to keep everyone happy
  • Good suspension travel front and back
  • Low down power with reasonable top speed
  • Brakes

OblivionWords: Chris Halliday @ Adrenalin
Photos & Video: Paul Robinson