|ARNIM'S TOTE GOTE PAGE|
Revised April 5/12
Note: To accommodate small screen
this site has been set
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|Arnim's Tote Gote Booster List||Arnim's Tote Gote Tales|
|HERE IS A PICTURE OF SPIRIT ISLAND, MALIGNE LAKE
JASPER PARK, CANADA
(For more full size scenic pictures click on thumb prints below)
I spend a lot of time in the Great Outdoors hunting, fishing, camping, picking berries and mushrooms and sometimes just keeping an eye on who is doing what to my favorite part of the back woods. To get out and around I drive a Nissan Pathfinder as far as any sane guy would go without sinking and/or cutting ruts into the scenery.
|IT IS AN
manufactured in 1962 by the Bonham Corporation
that then existed in Provo, Utah, USA.
It is a "TOTE GOTE", Model 670 "NOVA", Serial No. 176,
and is probably the
ONLY ONE OF THIS TYPE STILL RUNNING IN THE WORLD.
|It is almost indestructible, has a 6 Horse Tecumseh engine, aircraft type disk brake, centrifugal drive clutch/transmission, and a transmission which uses a worm gear-reduced drive shaft (no drive chains). When I took it deep into the woods to my secret spots for creek fishing the bike got all dressed up to look like this:|
|My Tote-Gote loaded with axe, fishing rod, creel, lunch, emergency parts, tools, etc.|
The original engine of my bike had to be replaced with a different 6 HP Tecumseh
engine which incorporated a magneto electric generator for lights because the Alberta
Government suddenly required lights. Bonham had the bike designed without lights on
purpose. There were some rumors that something bad happened during trials when the
bikes were designed:
Apparently some electric wires were damaged in a minor bike upset, thus causing
sparks, which ignited spilled gasoline that also had leaked from the tank during the
upset. The rider barely escaped being badly burned and they had big trouble fighting the
grass fire that ensued on the parched hillside. Bonham Corporation therefore realized a
risk for being sued for "starting wildfires" and/or "causing injury", and since few
people would be crazy enough to run a bike over wilderness terrain at night anyhow,
purposely abandoned all wiring not necessary to run the bike's engine.
But in Alberta Government knew better. The idea was of course all the "All-terrain"
bikes suddenly needed to be fitted with a Vehicle License Plate, costing us owners
$35 annually, and of course since the law enforcement officers must be able to see the
license at night, lights were now required by law on all Tote Gotes run over public land.
In my case, I did what I could to maintain safety by routing all new wires to the lights to
run inside the frame tubing of the steel frame, and sealed the entry and exit points of
the tubing with Silicone to keep moisture out and the wires from chafing. I also provided
a quick disconnect plug at the removable front fork.
Luckily, I do all my own repairs, including to the transmission and centrifugal
assembly. I also got plenty of spare parts for my Tote Gote just before the plant
My Tote Gote now looks like this:
Here are some of its features as advertised
in the original Nova Owner's Manual:
The bike weighs barely 150 pounds.........
and this is how it fits into the back of a wagon !
|l||My Tote Gote has done
and then some. I have used it to pull moose quarters out
from the bush for 1/2 a mile or more, tied to the back frame with a 3/4" nylon rope,
when the snow was a foot deep. (I have an extra set of wheels with studded tires for use
Once, as I was headed up a new seismic line on a very steep hill in our mountain forests,
my bike run into a washout hidden in tall grass. The bike had dropped down into the
washout, a ditch about 2 feet deep and 2 feet wide that zig-zagged up the trail. My legs
were now outside the ditch, and the bike was two feet below my seat. As I tried to hold
onto the handle bars, I was now running with legs apart, stradled over and outside on
opposite sides of the ditch. My hand desperately gripping the throttle turned it all the way
up as I held on to keep the bike from running away. Little did I know, that the open
throttle would now become stuck on high,
because of a missing spring.
The bike was faster than I, and raced away from me trapped in the ditch going around the
next bend and out of sight on the winding trail. Then all I heard was a big bang and the
engine revving at full throttle. I run up after it. As I came around the bend I could not
see the bike. At the end of the ditch it simply had run off the trail, jumping off the side
of the trail where the hill dropped off at an angle of 60 degrees. When I found it, it was
still running at full blast - stuck 20 feet up in the fork of a 15 inch diameter white
The tree was about 20 feet off the trail
feet as a
crow flies, and it was about 30 feet down
the hill to its base. It was raining like hell, water was running down the tree, and I could
smell gas coming down with the water as I climbed up. I had taken off my hip waders and
was climbing up in my socks.
Finally I got up and was able to reach the
lever that shuts off the engine. I then untied the
loop knots in the leather straps which
secured my axe to its holster on the bike. I threw
the axe down and slid down after it, then
chopped for nearly 3/4 of an hour to get through
that tree, finally throwing it towards the
trail. As it fell, I run clear to the side, the
bike was whipped out of the tree and landed
near the trail, while the tree bounced loose
and slid dangerously close past me and down
the hill for some 50 yards.
The bike did not even have a dent in the fenders. I made some emergency repairs to my
throttle, it started and I had enough gas left to make it back to camp. Most bikes are
able to climb steep hills, but - - - -
MY TOTE GOTE ACTUALLY HAD CLIMBED A TREE !
ARNIM'S TOTE GOTE TALES
Other Tote Gote Models:
This is what some of first chain-driven models
of the Tote Gote looked like.
Here are some of the 1968 models:
Besides trailbikes Bonham also made a few commercial bikes (for which all sorts of accessories could be had)
|CLICK ONE OF THE LINKS FOR:|
Tote Gote Maintenance Page
To find out who else still owns a Tote Gote
|TOTE GOTE LAND||TOTE GOTE HISTORY|
|SCOOTER AND MINIBIKE PAGE||ToteGote.org|
|THE SCOOTER MUSEUM||minidoodle minibike|