Moped & Scooter Maintenance for Dummies: 14 Best Useful Tips
Want your scooter new and shiny forever? Well, that’s quite impossible. It’s because nothing lasts forever. Over time, the level of performance of your scooter will degrade and may end up breaking. However, you can surely extend its lifetime and retain its shape if you maintain it properly. So here’s our guideline on scooter maintenance for dummies prepared by our team of experts.
14 Scooter Maintenance Tips for dummies
1. Clean the Scooter Regularly, Begin your scooter maintenance
Cleanliness is the first rule of maintenance, whether it’s your vehicle or any other staff. Polish and wax your scooter when needed. Cleaning is important to prevent corrosion or any other offensive build up. So after every nasty or tricky ride, clean the outside body thoroughly with some soap and a water hose. But don’t allow excess watering to the engine elements like the air filter, spark plug etc.
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Take a ride after cleaning. It’s essential but often neglected especially when you clean it at home. After hosing the scooter, water may clog up at different internal parts. A ride will help to evaporate that water and thus prevent rust on the engine and other parts.
2. Check the Tire Pressure
Firstly, the correct tire pressure is essential for your safety. But it also helps reducing tire wear as well as fuel consumption. The tire pressure must be enough to carry the scooter as well as your body weight and any other additional load. For 50cc scooters, the recommended tire pressure is a 2-2.2 bar. Otherwise, check the manual.
3. Change the Riding Pad When Required
This goes beyond saying. Always maintain the brake pads in good condition and it should be at least 1.5mm. Check the brake pad after every 5000 km ride or more often if required depending on your riding style.
4. Take Good Care Of the Air Filter
The air filter ensures the supply of the correct amount of air to the engine. Also, it keeps the air clean. You can use a special filter oil to keep the dust away from the engine. But if you use a metal mesh air filter, you don’t have to apply oil.
Rinse the air filter regularly but make sure there shouldn’t remain any excess water. Usually, rinsing once in a year or after every 5000 km is enough. It may be more often depending on the scooter’s exposure to the dusty weather. You should clean the Mesh filters regularly with alcohol along with soapy water. If it gets damaged, you should immediately replace this.
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5. Clean the Spark Plug
The spark plug is a high-performance component of your scooter. It ignites more than 10,000 times in every minute in case of a tuned engine. Check it after every 500-1000 km. If it’s dry and has a hazelnut brown color, this indicates that it’s in good condition and no cleaning is required. So while checking the spark plug, look for the sign of oily tips. If you find any, that means you need to adjust the carburetor. A whitish tip is another indicator of a too lean engine.
Clean it using a metal brush. It’s better to replace the old one of a standard scooter after every 1000-1500 km. but for high-grade, 2500-4000 km interval may be allowable.
6. Check the Gaskets
Gaskets are necessary if you can’t clean the housing of the engine regularly. Exhaust gasket and cylinder head gaskets also need regular checking. It’s recommended to replace the cylinder head gasket in every 2000 km ride.
7. Check and Clean the Carburetor
You need to clean the carburetor depending on the condition of the air filter. Though alcohol or soapy water may do proper cleaning, you can also buy a special cleanser. But avoid using the lemon acid-like cleanser as this cause the cast to dry out and results in breakage.
8. Check the Liquids
These Liquids are engine oil, transmission oil, cooling water, battery, and brake fluid. You need not worry about the transmission oil as it has no direct contact with the atmosphere. But the oil can still pollute with abrasive metal especially on a tuned engine. Therefore, in the first year, change the oil at 6 months interval or after every 5000km. later, changing in every one or two years will be enough.
9. Apply Grease to the Rear Pulley and Variator Rollers
At the initial state of use, applying grease isn’t necessary. Over the years, if you grease them, they last longer. There’re special greases for rollers available in the market, like, Malossi. Use as much grease as the rollers need, not any excess. Excess grease may clog the engine housing. Keep the drive belt clean while applying grease.
10. Check the Drive Belt
Over the years the width of the drive belt decreases because it wears off. As a result, the transmission ratio also changes slightly which in turns can reduce the speed. See the manual to know the minimum width that has to be maintained.
11. Change the Exposed Screws
When the screws are exposed to the polluted weather, they are subjected to corrosion. Especially the cheap ones like screws for fenders. So replace the screws more often. It’s wise to use high-quality screws those don’t tend to corrode easily.
12. Replace the Scooters Suspension
You can’t imagine how much difference it’ll make. So go and get some quality suspension, the sooner the better.
13. Replace the Valve Membrane When Necessary
When the metal reed valve membranes break, they cause severe damage to the engine. So better use cheap Kevlar fiber or carbon membrane. These are less likely to fail. But even they do break at some point, they won’t cause any harm to the engine.
14. Take Extra Care Of Tuned Engines
Increased benefits come with increased liabilities. So control the brakes and the tires regularly. Check the drive belt and the Variator Roller for wearing. Another important thing is the maintenance of the piston rings of the tuned engine. It’s necessary for keeping the compression level high. Replace them
Follow the maintenance schedule below.
The oil level of engine
Lights and horn
Tires for wear
Valve stems for cracks
Brakes and throttle operation and lubricate the cables if necessary.
All the screws, nuts and bolts and tighten them.
The valve clearance
Drive belt for wear and cracks
Wheel and steering bearings