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Winterize Your Scooter

Winter is approaching and for those of you living in a frigid climate it's time to store your scooter for the season. Your main concern when storing your scooter is to avoid corrosion while in storage and the goal is to have a scooter that is ready to ride without problems come spring time. The area in crucial need of protection is the engine. The piston rings, cylinder walls, and valve seats. Your goal here is to prevent moisture, which can enter the engine from any of a number of places and cause serious damage.

Step 1 : Start your scooter and let it run for about five minutes or until it is at operating temperature. This will get rid of any existing moisture that may have accumulated already and it makes it easier to get a good coating of oil in the cylinder. Turn the bike off and remove the spark plugs. Using a turkey baster, suck up some engine oil and squirt the oil into the plug hole. Turn the engine over by hand with the plugs still out to coat the cylinder walls, piston rings and valve seats. Replace the spark plug and step 1 is done. You can remove the engine fan cover and use the fan as a way of spinning the engine by hand.
 Step 2: Drain the existing engine oil completely. Fill the crankcase with fresh oil, and by fill I mean fill until it can’t take anymore oil. You will need to drain this oil before riding the scooter at the beginning of the next season.
 Step 3: Remove the seat bucket and plug the air box inlet. You also want to plug your muffler outlet as these are ways for moisture to entire your scooter engine.
 Step 4: Protect the inside of your fuel tank by filling it to the top with gasoline. You will also need to drain the fuel from the float bowl on the carburetor. If you leave fuel in the float bowl longer than a month or so it can clog the jet in the carb and that will cost you for a carb overhaul. To remove the gas from the float bowl you simply locate the fuel line running from the bottom of your carburetor and remove the plug at the end of the hose. Replace the plug after draining. If the hose leading from your float bowl does not have a plug, there is a screw located next to the outlet of the float bowl. Just simply loosen the screw to drain the bowl and tighten when finish draining.
 Step 5: Because batteries self-discharge, it is necessary to keep it charged up when the bike is stored. The best way to care for your stored battery hook it up to a battery tender. I recommend the Yuasa Smart Shot series of tenders found on our site ( http://www.blacktopmotorsport.com/Accessories_s/149.htm). The Battery Tender is one of the latest generation of "smart chargers." It will maintain the charge in your battery without any other attention from you for years. The battery can also be left in the bike. If the posts on your battery are corroded, now would be a good time to remove the battery bolts and clean them up. A little grease on the threads of the bolts will keep them corrosion free all season. Make sure you top off the electrolyte with water if your bike does not a maintenance free battery.
 Step 6: Lucky for you, your scooter comes with a center stand so this step is easy to do. Simply place your scooter on the center stand so the rear tire is off the ground. Wipe away any dirt and polish your scooter. I use mothers Carnauba wax to polish my scooter. Squirt some rubber protector on the rubber parts to keep them from drying out. Make sure you wipe any smashed bugs off your fork tubes and windshield.
 Step 7: If you live where it gets really cold then you should make sure your coolant has enough anti-freeze in it to keep the system from freezing. Bikes don't have freeze plugs like cars, and a cracked cylinder head is a very ugly sight.
 Step 8: Cover your scooter with a scooter cover or a tarp. Remember to rotate you front tire at least twice a month or so to avoid flat spotting. Remember to change your oil come spring and unplug the air box inlet and the exhaust outlet. Start it up and ride problem free.