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Old 08-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #1
klaviator OP
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Scooter Maintenance for Noobs

While reading through the threads on this forum, I have seen that there are quite a few who take their scooters to the dealer for all servicing. Also, many people who buy a motorcycle or scooter do so thinking that they will save a lot of money, then are shocked at the costs of actually operating and servicing their bikes. I used to sell Kawaski's and Yamaha's at a small to medium sized dealership and saw it all the time. People would bring in their new bike for it's initial 600 mile service which they thought was just an oil change. The bill for that "oil change" would ALWAYS be much higher than a routine car oil change. Sometimes the bill would be over $300

The big thing that really drives up the cost of that initial service is if a valve adjustment is needed.

I saw someone post that it was $100 just for an oil change for his scooter. I can change the oil in my Kymco for less than $6, and that's using synthetic oil.

I am by no means a professional or even a very experienced mechanic. I used to only do simple things like oil changes and replacing filters, chains, brake pads, etc. My income isn't what it used to be so now I do all of my routine servicing.

I thought that starting a thread covering the basics of scooter maintenance would be a good idea. I'm not planning on getting into the specifics of any particular model. I want to cover the basics and where to get more specific information. As I stated, I'm not an expert mechanic so those of you who are, feel free to jump in.

Some aspects of scooter maintenance are new to me so I'm somewhat of a Noob myself.
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klaviator screwed with this post 08-23-2012 at 01:46 PM
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:28 AM   #2
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Tools

Some of you already have tools but I'm sure some of you don't so I'll cover some basics:

First, you don't have to spend a lot of money. Expensive tools like Snap On do work better than the cheap stuff made in China but if you're only going to use them occasionally, the cheap tools will work for simple servicing. In my case, I live away from home for work much of the time so I needed a second set of tools and didn't want to spend a lot when I already had a bunch of tools.

First, get a basic mechanics tool kit. I got this one a Target for around $25:



This is a good starting point.

Here's a few other tools I picked up.

This one was $5 at Home Depot. Didn't really need it but It's so convenient for smaller fasteners I end up using it a lot.




At the bottom of the next pic is a plastic ice cream bucket. I use it to drain oil into then I pour it into the gas can. After the gas can is full I take it somewhere for recycling. It will hold quite a few oil changes.



For larger bolts & nuts, you can get individual sockets. A breaker bar is not a bad idea either.



I hate going to the gas station and paying a buck for a little bit of air. A tire pump, either manual or electric is a good idea and doesn't cost much.



These are just some basic tools. I'll cover some more tools when I get to the specific areas like oil changes, CVT maintenance, etc.
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klaviator screwed with this post 08-23-2012 at 11:05 AM
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:48 AM   #3
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Where to get servicing information.

This would seem obvious. Just get a service manual.

Unfortunately I have found that most service manuals are written for professional mechanics and find them hard to understand. Still, there is good information in them so I recommend getting on as a starting point. Most service manuals are now electronic. For my two scooters, the dealers downloaded a copy for me. If you bring a flash drive to your dealer, they might download one for you too. If not, they are often available online.

Another great source of information is forums like this one. While I think ADV is the best forum out there, for specific servicing information you may want to try the brand/model specific forum for you scooter.

U tube is another great source of information. When I wanted to do the first valve adjust on my Kymco, I looked at the service manual and immediately got a headache. Then I found this U tube video.

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If you have a popular model of scooter, you may find video's specific to it.

klaviator screwed with this post 08-23-2012 at 01:52 PM
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:04 PM   #4
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Oil changes

If you do nothing else, you should be able to do this. Here are the basics.

Basically and oil change consists of removing the drain plug from the bottom of the engine, letting the oil drain out, replacing the plug, then pouring fresh oil into the appropriate opening at the top.

OK, it's not quite that simple. Here are the basic steps:

1. Figure out what tools you need. The tool kit I posted earlier and something to drain the oil into will mostly cover it. Make sure you have the correct size sockets for all bolts you will be removing.

2. Get the correct oil and if needed an oil filter. I don't want to start another oil thread. There are already plenty of those. If in doubt, go to your dealer and ask them for the correct oil.

3. Get a service manual or something that shows how to change the oil. In many cases, your owners manual even covers this. If you are a complete mechanical Noob, find someone more experienced to help you the first time. There may also be a Video on u tube

4. After doing steps 1 through 3, go for a ride. First, it's always fun to go for a ride, and second, your oil should be thoroughly be warmed up.

5. Normally your scooter should be on it's centerstand. Place a drain pan under the oil drain bolt and remove the bolt using the correct socket. Be carefull, the oil will be hot. Don't worry about the oil drain bolt falling into the pan. The tool kit I posted above has a magnetic pickup tool perfect for fishing it back out

6. Then walk away and do something else. I like to let my oil drain for a while. Oil will drip out for quite a while. After at least a half hour, I come back. Now that everything has cooled down some, it is time to remove anything else that needs removing. Some scooters will have another bolt with a filter screen on it. Remove and clean this. Some, but not all scooters have an oil filter. Remove this. At this time I also like to tilt the scooter towards the drain plug and hold it for a few minutes. This allows more oil to drain out. I usually do this few times.

7. Replace the filter and or filter screen bolt.

8. Replace the oil drain bolt.

9. Tighten the bolts. I do this by feel but if in doubt, buy or borrow a torque wrench to tighten them. If you over tighten the bolt you could strip out the threads in the case and end up needing expensive repairs. If you leave it too loose it could fall out.

10. Pour in fresh oil. You owners manual should tell you how much oil is needed and how to measure it. I like to pour in a little less than specified and then measure it with the dipstick.

11. Take your scooter for a short ride and then check it over for oil leaks. Check your oil level again.

12. Congratulations, you just saved enough money to pay for all those tools you just bought. Now go celebrate Or better yet, go for a ride


PS. Consider installing Magnetic drain plugs, especially if your scooter has no oil filter. I found a kit with magnetic oil drain plug, filter screen bolt and final drive bolt for my kymco for $10.
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klaviator screwed with this post 08-23-2012 at 01:12 PM
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:11 PM   #5
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Keep in mind that these procedures I am posting are very general. You need to get the specifics for your scooter.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:42 PM   #6
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Tire Pressures.

I should have put this before Oil Changes but didn't originally think of this. All you need to check your pressure is a tire pressure gauge but I also recommend getting a pump so you can add air without going to a gas station.

My experience has been that when I have picked up a new bike from a dealer,or had new tires mounted, there is around a 50/50 chance the pressure will be off. If it's off, it's usually too high.

Tire pressure must be checked when the tires are cold so you can't check it if you've just been riding.

Your owners manual will show the correct pressure.

For a new tire, I like to set the pressure about 2 PSI high because i have found that new tires often "stretch" and lose a couple of PSI in the first few hundred miles.

After that, check them periodically. If your bike feels like it's handling funny, that's the first thing you should check.

Very simple, but important.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:09 PM   #7
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Final Drive Oil Change.

Just like your engine oil, the gear oil in your final drive needs to periodically be replaced. Typically, it needs to be done at the initial 600 mile service, then at an interval longer than that of your engine oil. Check your owners manual.

Tools needed: Something to remove the drain bolt and filler bolt. Something to catch the oil and something to measure out the correct amount of oil. You also need the correct oil and you need to know the correct amount. Typically final drive oil is something like a 80w90 and you only need a fraction of a quart.

Procedure:

1. Go for a ride. The oil should be warm.

2. Place drain pan under drain and remove bolt.

3. Let drain.

4. remove filler bolt

5. Replace the drain bolt and tighten. (If in doubt, use a torque wrench)

5. Measure out the correct amount of oil. Either use a measuring cup or this:



This Syringe was around $3.50 at Wally World. Not only is it useful for measuring the oil, but many scooters have a sideways opening for adding the oil so you need something like this to get the oil in.

Add the oil and replace the filler bolt.

That's all there is to this..
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:18 PM   #8
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Air Filter Change.

This is a simple procedure.

Remove the filter cover and take out the old filter. If it's still clean, put it back in. If it's dirty, replace it if it's a paper filter. some scooters use oiled foam filters. These can be cleaned and reused. Your dealer will carry air filter oil. Personally I like No Toil oil filter oil. It is non toxic and biodegradable. More importantly, you can get a special detergent with it that makes it much easier to clean than any other filter oil I have tried.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:28 PM   #9
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I am still going to cover valve adjustments and CVT maintenance but it may be a while before I get to that. I'm also going to go into emergency roadside maintenance.

If anyone has anything to add or any questions on what I have already posted, fire away.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:29 PM   #10
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My PCX 150 owners manual says replace final drive oil once every 2 years. It says nothing about replacing at initial 600 mi interval should I replace it anyways?

Also for valve adjustment I didn't realize I was supposed to do them at the initial 600 mi i'm at 1000 now should I just wait till 2,500?
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by InlineSkate View Post
My PCX 150 owners manual says replace final drive oil once every 2 years. It says nothing about replacing at initial 600 mi interval should I replace it anyways?
I'm really surprised at that. I would replace it. You may want to talk to your dealer's service dept. Maybe there's a reason for no initial Final drive oil change but I can't think of one. Maybe a typo in the owners manual? Both of my scooters and my old BMW required it.

It's probably not as critical for the final drive as for the engine so I wouldn't worry about going past 600 miles. I doubt that I'd wait two years for the initial change though.

Anyone else have any ideas on this?
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
I'm really surprised at that. I would replace it. You may want to talk to your dealer's service dept. Maybe there's a reason for no initial Final drive oil change but I can't think of one. Maybe a typo in the owners manual? Both of my scooters and my old BMW required it.

It's probably not as critical for the final drive as for the engine so I wouldn't worry about going past 600 miles. I doubt that I'd wait two years for the initial change though.

Anyone else have any ideas on this?
I'll give my dealer a call on it. It may be an error it gives no information on how to do the change either, but gives detailed instructions on how to do a normal oil change and other little maintenance tasks like air filter cleaning.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:47 PM   #13
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Yeah my owners manual calls for engine and gear oil change at 200 miles.It gets out any machining-assembly debris that was left over.

I always change the engine oil and rear differential fluid on my cars and trucks early for the same reason. I have been driving since 1960 and have never had a rear end go out.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:20 PM   #14
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Just talked to dealer nothing about an initial one on his books either. He just suggested maybe changing it when winter rolls around.

This scooter really has some quirky maintenance reqs.

2 year final drive oil

5k mile oil changes

2.5k mi valve adjustments

I feel like im being trolled.

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Old 08-23-2012, 05:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
First, you don't have to spend a lot of money. Expensive tools like Snap On do work better than the cheap stuff made in China but if you're only going to use them occasionally, the cheap tools will work for simple servicing. In my case, I live away from home for work much of the time so I needed a second set of tools and didn't want to spend a lot when I already had a bunch of tools.
Quoted for truth.

Top of the line tools are a worthwhile investment for someone that needs to use them every day to make their living. They are hideously expensive for any other use though. Buy cheapo kits at first. When you find out what tools you're routinely using a lot, then you can upgrade the quality. Decent quality tools are more fun to use and will last forever.

Rule of thumb:
Snap On: I use this tool every day to make my living.
Craftsman: I use this tool every month or so on average. (Routine maintenance etc)
Walmart: I threw this in the trunk in case I need it someday / I broke down 1000mi from home and need to swap a part in the parking lot.


Also, don't buy expensive tool boxes. They won't melt if you keep them in something cheaper like a canvas bag. http://www.sears.com/craftsman-large...&blockType=G14

CaptainSWJR screwed with this post 08-23-2012 at 05:36 PM
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