With the great fall and early winter riding ahead of us, it might be time to give your ride a little preventative maintenance. Although you might shrink away from doing your own service work on your scoot, giving it a simple once over is not only a great skill to have, it’s one that can save you money (by you doing it) and maybe even save you from trouble on the road. Here’s some things to look for to get your scoot ready for fall/winter riding:
Check your oil level and condition: Check the level of the oil by unscrewing the oil cap, wiping off the dip stick, and re-inserting it back into the opening, but not screwing it in. That’s the way to correctly measure the oil level on your scoot. If it’s low, add a little bit at a time to bring it back up to the proper level. It’s also a good time to change your oil and filter if you can. If you are putting your scoot away for the season, get the oil and filter changed before the storage. Clean oil is a must for a stored scooter, and that way, it’s ready to go when the temperatures come back up.
Check your tires: Give them a once over for proper inflation and for condition. With the scooter turned off, take a look at each tire. Look for decent tread and overall good condition with no cupping (uneven edges where the tread meets the sidewall), and no nails or cuts in the tread section of the tire. Check your pressure with a reliable tire pressure gauge and consult your owner’s manual or a sticker on the scoot for proper inflation. Many shops offer a fall maintenance special if you think that your tires won’t provide enough grip on those cool, leafy mornings. If your tires are more than a few thousand miles old, take a good long look at them. When in doubt, schedule a tire replacement. Saving a little money pales in comparison with a slip and fall on your scooter.
Give your scooter a once over: Sit beside your cold, not running scooter and use a simple wrench set (or a hockey-puck wrench tool) to run the wrench over every visible bolt head or nut on the scoot. It takes about five minutes to do both sides of the scoot, plus another minute or two to go get a wrench with a handle to get at some hidden nuts and bolts. If you have a few more minutes more, carefully remove the many small screws around the edge of the air box and pop the cover off to see just how dirty your air filter is. A little visible dirt is OK, but if you see stains or a lot of debris, it might be time to order a new filter assembly from your dealer. And now you know how to do it!
Good luck getting ready for the great fall and winter riding ahead! When you are done with this 15-minute scooter check, you’ll ride even safer.
What’s next: Psycho is coming!