spring comes, the first thing you want to do is get on your scooter
and ride. After months of neglect, your scooter will probably want
a little more TLC before you make her earn her keep. It doesn't
take long, and the better you take care of the scooter, the better
it will take care of you.
Oil: Assuming you haven't changed the oil in your winterizing
steps, you will need to change the oil before you put many miles
on the bike. Old dirty oil will leave all kinds of grime in the
bottom of your gearbox and on your gears, and you want that stuff
gone. Be sure you warm your scoot up thoroughly before doing this,
ride it around the block for a mile or two, the oil will run out
better when it's hot. Place an oil collection pan underneath your
gearbox and remove the drain bolt. Let the oil drip out for a little
bit before you replace the bolt. Next, remove the oil fill bolt
and fill it with the required amount of fresh clean oil, then replace
Oil: If your scooter is a 2-stroke with an oil injector, be
sure to fill up the 2-stroke oil to the full level. If it is a pre-mix
fuel system, or a 4-stroke, then disregard this step.
Before putting the battery back in, make sure the electrolyte levels
are where they need to be. Electrolytes will evaporate over time,
and you will perioodically need to fill the battery with distiled
water up to the fill line indicated on the side of your battery.
Be sure to use distilled water only, and pour it in a little at
a time into each of the cells (those little yellow plugs) on top
of the battery. Be sure you've charged up your battery completely
before replacing it (you can buy a battery tender at any motorcycle
shop for 30 or 40 dollars), strap the battery back into place and
then connect the positive (red) terminal first, then the ground
Your cables connect you to all the operations of your scooter, so
you want to make sure these are all in good order before you venture
out too far. Lubricate all these cables with a spray lubricant and
inspect them for any serious wear and tear. Replace any cables that
look like they're in a bad state, and test and adjust the cable
tension. There are a number of cables - front and rear brake, throttle,
speedometer, choke (if applicable), clutch (if applicable) and two
gear shift cables (again, if applicable - manual scooters will have
more cables than automatics).
You want to see and be seen, so test all your lights and replace
any weak or dead bulbs. Test you high beam and low beam, your rear
running lights, turn signals (if applicable) and brake lights.
Inspect your tires for any dry rot or for overly-worn tread. Your
tires keep you from sliding into sudden disaster, so keep these
in good order, so if you see any cracks in the tread or sidewalls
then replace the tires. Make sure all the wheel nuts are tight,
and that your air pressure is at the correct level for both front
and back tires - your owners' manual will probably tells you what
the correct pressure is (or you can find it online if your scoot
doesn't have an owners' manual).
Plug: You only have the one, so if you've been using it for
awhile then replace it with a new one. They're cheap, so better
safe than sorry.
Article by Kevin Montanaro