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Written by Ant "Spanner" Stead    Saturday, 12 January 2008 09:04    PDF Print E-mail

Basic Maintenance

There are a number of simple things that can be checked to keep your scooter running well.


Make sure you have the correct pressure, and that they are in good condition, no cracks, not bald, no flat spots. Also getting the wheels balanced is a good idea. If can afford a good set of tyres, buy them. They are the only thing keeping you up-right, and off the tarmac, don’t buy poor quality tyres. Good tyres will make you faster around the corners, and safer in the wet.


Stopping is pretty important, and unfortunately the braking system is often poorly maintained. Make sure that the discs aren’t warped or scored. If you notice pulsing, grapping or uneven braking then it is a good bet that the disc is to blame. The brake pads don’t really require much in the way of maintenance, but do keep an eye on them; they wear out and need to be replaced. However as with tyres - don’t always purchase the cheapest set, get good quality brake pads from a quality manufacturer. Brake fluid is vital for good braking performance. And should be replaced as part of a good maintenance plan.

You should check the level, which is located on the reservoir, this is mounted next to the brake lever on the handlebars. On most models there is a window to see the fluid level. Make sure the scooter is on a level surface, and check that the fluid falls within the indicated range. If it is not then you need to gain access to the reservoir and carefully add more brake fluid. Don’t spill any on the paint work as it will destroy it!


This is the life-blood of the your scooter, in fact any motor. In a two-stroke engine you have to make sure the reservoir is full with 2-stroke oil. Not all oils are created equal, so get good oil, really good oil, your engine will love you for it and you give you many years of trouble free scootering.
In a four-stroke engine the oil is housed in the sump at the bottom of the engine and is pumped throughout the engine’s lubricated parts. As with the oil in your motor car it must be routinely and regularly changed. If you use your scooter regularly, say four or five days a week you should think about changing the engine oil approximately every six months.
There is also a small amount of oil in the final drive (gear box). It should be replaced once a year.


Most modern scooters feature continuously variable transmission’s, commonly referred to as a CVT. It turns out that Leonardo Da Vinci conceptualized this system more than 500 years ago. There are a few parts that may require maintenance within a CVT transmission. One item is the belt, which drives the rear wheel. When new the belt is certain width, but as you ride around wear and tear cause the belt to become thinner. This wear reduces the top speed of the scooter. Therefore if you notice that your machine is running a little slower than it used to, chances are the belt is need of replacement.
The other key parts in the driveline are the rollers in the variator. These rollers control when and how the CVT changes the speed of the bike. If the rollers get stuck, or get flat spots then the CVT might not change the speed of the bike at the correct time or might hold the scooter in its top “gear” after coming to a stop. If your scooter doesn’t have a smooth acceleration from stationary to top speed then the rollers might be to blame, at the very least it would pay to check their condition.


You should check the condition of the spark plug, and change it every year. The high-tension leads should be inspected too. Look for cracks, replace if damaged or suspect.
The battery fluid should also be monitored, check that the battery is holding its charge using a voltmeter and make sure there is a good connection at the battery terminals.

Where to go for repairs and maintenance?

I would advise you go to a scooter mechanic, rather than a motorcycle mechanic for service and repair. Scooters are different beasts to motorcycles especially in regards to the driveline. A scooter mechanic will know the subtleties of your scooter - this can make all the difference.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 June 2008 22:29 )


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