ARNIM'S TOTE GOTE PAGE

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Alberta, Canada

Revised May 28/10

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Quick Site Index Links:
Arnim's Tote Gote Parts Site "A" Arnim's Tote Gote Maintenance Page "A"
Arnim's Tote Gote Parts Site "B" Arnim's Tote Gote Maintenance Page "B"
Arnim's Tote Gote Booster List Arnim's Tote Gote Tales

Spirit Island, Maligne Lake, Alberta

HERE IS A PICTURE OF SPIRIT ISLAND, MALIGNE LAKE
JASPER PARK, CANADA

(For more full size scenic pictures click on thumb prints below)

Sundown at Wakamao Lake, Alberta TMpasture Spirit Island, Maligne Lake, at rare low water period Winter's Beauty - Alberta Whitetail Deer Habitat Alberta Sundown
GETTING THERE
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.

The main idea is to get the 4x4 just far enough off the road so no one can spot it from there while parked. When the lanes between the trees become too tight to pass through, or the ground becomes too soft, or cross slopes make it impossible to drive a 4-wheeled vehicle, then I open the back of the Pathfinder and pull out my trail bike.

IT IS AN ANTIQUE
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:

Tote Gote ready to go Fishing

My Tote-Gote loaded with axe, fishing rod, creel, lunch, emergency parts, tools, etc.

Some History

.

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

closed down.


My Tote Gote now looks like this:

My Tote Gote

Here are some of its features as advertised
in the original Nova Owner's Manual:

Pictures and Descriptions of Nova Tote Gote Features No. 1

The bike weighs barely 150 pounds.........

bike6.jpg

and this is how it fits into the back of a wagon !



UP AND AWAY - WITH OR WITHOUT RIDER :

l My Tote Gote has done everything 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

in winter).
 

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

poplar tree.
 

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 !

***



For more Tote Gote Adventures  -  Story and Pictures
click this new link to:

ARNIM'S TOTE GOTE TALES



Other Tote Gote Models:

Bike7.jpg

This is what some of first chain-driven models
of the Tote Gote looked like.

Here are some of the 1968 models:

Bike8.jpg
Bike9.jpg

Besides trailbikes Bonham also made a few commercial bikes (for which all sorts of accessories could be had)
like the "LODESTAR III" model shown below:

Bike11.jpg





CLICK ONE OF THE LINKS FOR:
Arnim's Tote Gote Maintenance Page

Arnim's Tote Gote Parts Site

Arnim's Tote Gote Tales

To find out who else still owns a Tote Gote
or wants to buy/sell a Tote Gote or parts for one
check out:

Arnim's Tote Gote Booster List




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Other Tote Gote and Old Trail Bike info can be found at these Links:

TOTE GOTE LAND TOTE GOTE HISTORY
SCOOTER AND MINIBIKE PAGE ToteGote.org
THE SCOOTER MUSEUM minidoodle minibike



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