It happens every year; the weather warms up, the sun comes out, and you can’t wait to hop on your scooter for that first spring day ride. For many that means pulling your scooter out from a long winter hibernation; for some, that means sprucing up that scooter that has served you well on those cold winter rides. Either way, spring is a great time to look over your bike and do a bit of overdue maintenance to make sure it is in top condition.
If you winterized your scooter, you have hopefully minimized those painful storage issues like clogged carburetors or injectors, gas that has gone bad, and batteries that have died over the winter. If you hadn’t winterized your scooter, now is a great time to clean out the carb (or replace if badly corroded); purge the tank and lines of old fuel, and replace that dead battery. But outside of just getting that scooter started up, how do you ensure it is properly maintained to keep you out riding in the nice weather. Below are our top 10 maintenance tips prior to that first spring ride.
1. Change the engine oil. If you had run the scooter all winter, it is probably due. If you stored the scooter it is best to have new oil in there for that upcoming season of riding. If you are unsure of what oil to use, check out our blog post on “What Type of Engine Oil Should I Use in My Scooter”
2. Change the gear oil. This is one of those overlooked fluids in your scooter. Prior to the new season of riding we recommend replacing it with some nice new gear oil. Doing this will help keep your gear box seals fresh and minimize ware on those gears that keep you moving down the road.
3. Change the spark plug. Unfortunately, we usually only think of changing spark plugs when they stop working well to the point the bike no longer starts, idols poorly or simply runs bad. Spring tunes are a great time to change that old plug – for a few bucks new plugs will often help smooth idol, help on start-up and get that scoot running well at full throttle.
4. Check the drive belt. Like belts on a car, drive belts on your scooter wear out over time. Spring is a great time to inspect them and/or replace them if worn or cracked so belt failure won’t leave you stranded on the side of the road.
5. Check tire pressure. Tires that have sat in the cold are often low. Fill them back up to the correct PSI. Properly inflated tires help with steering control as well as make your scooter roll down the road smoothly and efficiently.
6. Test your battery. Batteries are often overlooked until they no longer crank your bike over. Check it in the spring so that you don’t have that embarrassing moment of a scooter that won’t start when you are trying to leave the café parking lot.
7. Check your lights and horn. Test those blinkers, headlights, tail lights, brake lights and horn. They do a lot to keep you safe out there on the road; so make sure they all function like they should or get them fixed.
8. Check bolt torque. Bolts, nuts and fasteners can vibrate loose over time. Check the important ones like, axel bolts, exhaust flange bolts, steering stem/triple tree nuts, etc. for proper torque.
9. Look for loose plastic and hanging cables. Clean your scooter, and while doing so, check it over for any loose plastic panels, cables that are rubbing, etc. We find coupling this check with a good cleaning usually helps you look over the whole scooter – and gives you the added bonus of a nice shiny scooter when you are done.
10. Check your brakes. This is probably one of the most important items. Check out your brake shoes and pads and replace them if worn. If you have cable operated brakes adjust them. If you have hydraulic brakes, check the brake fluid and bleed them out if the fluid looks dark or the brakes feel spongy.
We hope this checklist helps you get out there and ride. Metro Scooters has a full repair and service shop if you need help to keep your scooter working its best. Please feel free contact us by dropping by our shop and showroom in Vienna VA or give us a call or email to make an appointment.