Re: Long trip planned-- advice welcome!
I have always thought half the adventure in a trip like this is the unknown, and having a Happy Time engine would add to the excitement. I tell my kids about the road trip me and my brother took in our old VW rabbit, that blew hose, so we peed in the radiator, and cobbled the hose together with a McDonald's cup and a shoelace, got us to the next town where we replaced the hose in the auto parts store parking lot. It would be great fun just pack some tools and some spare parts. If a Happy Time breaks down on the road, odds of fixing it while sitting on the curb with an adjustable wrench and a screw driver is much higher than if your four strokes poops out on you.
As far as wheels a cheap why to go is swap out the rear with a 20 inch BMX tire. You will have to refigure the gearing, but the smaller diameter tire will hold up better and give you some more less expensive options. Down side is re doing the rear break and finding a rear sprocket with the right gear ratio for you. Plus you get some cool rake if you keep the front 24 or 26 inch tire.