I’m all for the decentralization of information, but sometimes I have to wonder. I went looking Wikipedia for some info about the Tote Gote. The intro for the Tote Gote entry is “The Tote Gote is an off-road motorcycle that was produced from 1958 to 1970. It was developed by Ralph Bonham, who is credited with inventing the off-road motorcycle.” I had no idea that off-road bikes didn’t exist until the late 50’s. Here’s your chance to own a chunk of history. Find this 1963 Tote Gote for sale in Lancaster, CA for $850 via craigslist.
As the story goes, Ralph Bonham got tired of walking up and down the mountains of Utah hunting goats, and invented the off-road motorcycle. I guess so, if you discount scrambles happening in Europe 30 years prior. Anyway, Ralph designed the mini bike to be able to “Tote” a dead animal out of the wilderness with the agility of a “Gote”. This Gote is a model 600, which originally would have come with a 6hp Briggs & Stratton, but in this example has been replaced with an 8hp B&S. The bike would have also come with a lighting system, but maybe the elk wasn’t quite dead and kicked it off.
I think today this would be a fun little thing to ride around private land, if you had access, but the fact it is unlicensed, probably precludes its intended use in the woods.
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Gianni is Daily Turismo’s Pacific Northwest correspondent.