Has any character ever been more totally redeemed than Lloyd Christmas was in Dumb and Dumber? Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels’ very stupid but very funny ’90s comedy resolves one of Harry and Lloyd’s many spats with a pull-start mini bike on the Great Plains, which our two smooth-brained heroes use to complete their epic journey to Aspen, Colorado, to get a Samsonite suitcase back to Mary Swanson. It’s one of the least plausible plot points in this very implausible comedy, but it got two gearheads from Common Tread thinking: Can it be done?
Zack Courts and his friend Ari decided to find out. They secured a close replica of the mini-bike, charted a course from western Nebraska to Aspen, used a few context clues from the movie to estimate the time of year Harry and Lloyd would have made their trip (mid-April, evidently) and got to mini-biking.
As you might imagine, the trip was a lot harder than Dumb and Dumber cared to get into. In the movie, Lloyd estimates that the “hog” gets 70 miles to the gallon. In real life, the bike got about a third that mileage, meaning the guys had to refuel every 25 miles until they relented and used a little grease monkey action to bump the top speed up to 35 mph and double the fuel efficiency to about 54 mpg. But that didn’t solve the problem of tire tread, which was running down to pencil shavings by the end of the first day — the guys had to pick up a couple of spares at an automotive shop and replace them regularly.
Three days, 382 miles, 7 gallons of gas and a couple spare tires later, the pals did indeed roll across the Aspen city limits — cold, high on gas fumes, spines rumbled into peanut butter. Not the smartest move but, hey, the movie’s not called Smart and Smarter. You can watch the video above to get the full experience or read Courts’ accounting of the whole trip here.