By scooter 524 km through the South Seas.

Before the trip I had covered 1200 test kilometers during a half year, but in our climate and only a few kilometers with my full luggage.

My scooter and my luggage at the Belvédère de Taotea on Moorea

Basically, I wear closed shoes for sun protection, a pair of long, light-weight pants, a long-sleeved top and cycling gloves to protect the back of the hand. Of course, a helmet with sun visor. Colored tops, which are wet with sweat, fade during hours of sunshine, which is why white is the most effective color for tops and as bright as possible colors for pants.

The biggest challenge was the climate with very high humidity. Right at the beginning of the trip, I had to travel 17.5 km from the ferry port on Moorea to my accommodation with several ascents with the backpack with 14 kg on the back and the dry bag with 3 kg on the handlebar. I was not always able to use the scooter through the uphill climbs, but had to push occasionally. The last 6 km along the Cooks Bay I took several breaks, for the views and recreation. With luggage I think distances of up to 15 km are reasonable, without luggage 40 km are easily feasible.

The next challenge was the downhill grades. The brake on the rear wheel is ultimately only a metal sheet, which I press with my foot against the wheel. This may get so hot that the shoe sole melts, as I had to learn two months earlier. The brake is only capable of decelerating once in the plane down from 15 km/h, but it is not suitable to control higher speed or even slow down on a downhill.

I had to estimate the road condition over the entire course before each downhill. There should be no steps or too many potholes nor should the surface be too coarse, or have sand or earth on top of it. The course of the road should not have too sharp bends and I had to make sure that I had the entire lane available and all this also at the end of the slope for slowing down. Once on Rarotonga I had to decide against scooting down the hill, because it was too steep, the surface was not smooth enough and at the end of the slope came a too sharp bend. This time I pushed the scooter downhill. If I thought I could control it, I went downhill even up to 42 km/h, nearly without braking. I have done this several times.

For the future, I hope to have a disc brake on the scooter to control the speed and be able to slow down to a stop.

I attached a bicycle speedometer to the scooter, where I glued the magnet into a spoke of the front wheel. Due to the wheel diameter, the front wheel turns nine times faster than my bike. The pulse sequence generated by the sensor is as high as it would be on a bicycle at about 400 km/h. The pulse interval is therefore so small that the spread of the time interval of the trigger points for calculating the speed is also nine times greater. The function MaxSpeed registers these outliers upwards and is therefore unusable, even if the average speed and the distance is correct. I had to keep an eye on the speedometer to read the speed. But because I have to concentrate fully on the road at this speed, I can not say what was actually my highest driven speed, it is at least 42 km/h.

The scooter, over many miles, was sometimes exposed to extreme shake strain, for example on Bora Bora. If I had not swapped the axis of the tilting joint of an 8 mm threaded sleeve with M6 counter screw against a M8 shaft screw with M8 stop nut, it would have broken here. A break that would have had fatal consequences at over 40 km/h. At one point in Tahiti, the road surface at the end of the slope was so much shaking, that I didn't feel well.

The conditions (climate and gradients) were hardest on Moorea, which is why I did not tackle the 60 km round-trip there. The way back with luggage to the ferry over the other island side with 42.5 km was out of the question.

At least it was still the right decision to take the scooter, I had opportunities that would otherwise have not existed. Because I had circled Rarotonga more than four times, I gave myself the luxury of taking a bus between Muri Beach and the airport with my luggage, not to arrive drenched in sweat.

For the tires, I'd stick to full-material tires again, while pneumatic tires are better at swallowing, but have greater rolling resistance and are more prone to defects, an important aspect.

The scooter with the handlebar removed and folded and together with my backpack fit in the duffle-bag in compliance with the weight and measures restrictions for air luggage. As hand luggage I take a 5-liter dry bag, which I can comfortably hang over the handlebars of the scooter. At the bottom of the round dry bag I have a coiled steel cable of 1.8 m length to lock the scooter, which I used only once. Then I also had a safety vest, which I also used once at night and an LED torch with holder to the handlebar.

Illustrated below is my equipment and the manner in which I packed it within my luggage together with my backpack:

Backpack into the cover
Handlebar on the backpack
Foame matt on the backpack and on this the folded scooter
Foame matt folded and tightened by backpack straps
Close case with zipper
Tighten cover with the cord
My luggage at the luggage cart in Papeete