Caring for your Scooter
Urban traffic jams, parking problems and rocketing fuel prices have seen the scooter become an increasingly attractive alternative in the eyes of the motorist.
Scooters are a very economical way to do your daily commute, but to make sure nothing spoils your enjoyment or the reliability of your trusty machine, regular maintenance is essential. Even a small vehicle needs a little care and attention every now and then if you want it to start every time and go like a dream.
Check list of essentials:
- Bucket and sponge
- Various brushes
- Good complete cleaner
- Paint conditioner
- Penetrating oil
- Chrome polish
- Aluminium polish
- Plastic/vinyl cleaner
- Clean soft cloths
- Special microfibre cloths
With a little patience, some basic knowledge plus suitable tools and care products, you can save a fortune in workshop costs, even if you're not the world's greatest mechanic. And it's always best to track down any defects as soon as possible, before costly damage has been done and, above all, before it becomes a safety risk. Once you get into it, you will soon find that it can actually be fun to understand your own vehicle and do jobs yourself, so that you're less dependent on expensive workshops! And these guidelines are here to help you do just that.
Cleaning can actually be fun! Here we show you how easy it can be to clean and polish your scooter as long as you have the right products and follow these few simple guidelines.
Before rolling up your sleeves for a good old spring clean with water and detergent, you need to find a suitable place to wash your scooter, like a petrol station, because in Germany, for example, you're not actually allowed to do it in your garden or on the road. You also don't want to be doing this job in the blazing sun or on sandy ground. We advise against using a steam jet cleaner because the strong water pressure might blast all the grease out of your wheel and steering head bearings. But if you do, never aim the jet directly at bearings, the airbox or electronic components.
Start by spraying your scooter thoroughly with a good cleaner. Gel cleaners are best because they also adhere to vertical surfaces and don't run straight off – Procycle special gel cleaner has proved highly effective. Apply generously to heavily soiled areas on the rear wheel and around the engine, then leave it to work for a while.
Now grab a bucket of water and a sponge and give your machine a good old clean. And don't forget all those hidden nooks and crannies! Only apply gentle pressure - the last thing you want to do is scratch your paintwork.
Hard-to-reach areas on the drive or wheel rims can be cleaned with a brush if need be. Never use brushes on chrome parts or the delicate paintwork of the fairing! Rinse your brushes and sponge out regularly in the bucket to get rid of sand particles that may cause scratches.
Finish off by hosing down your scooter with clear water in order to rinse off any remaining cleaner. And make sure you thoroughly rinse unprotected aluminium parts and screws, as even gentle cleaners can cause damage over time.
Once you have finished rinsing, dry the scooter thoroughly all over using a chamois leather This prevents streaking and water spots. Occasionally rinse the chamois in clean water and wring out well.
It's always a good idea to apply a paint care product containing wax, such as Procycle Polishing Wax, to any painted parts. Not only does this make them nice and shiny, it also protects the paintwork against environmental influences.
Wax-based cleaners are also great for chrome parts (e.g. luggage rack), as they help protect against rust and make water pearl off. Be careful with milky polishes, as they are often not suited for use on unpainted, slightly rough plastics and can be absorbed into the rough surface leaving permanent ugly white marks. There are special cleaning agents for unpainted plastic parts, which protect against the sun and environmental influences and stop plastic parts drying out and fading.
Allow the polish to dry for approx. 10 min. and then buff with a clean, very soft cloth or with a special Procycle Polishing Fleece. The safest way is to only polish small areas at a time and always in straight lines - NOT in circles! And it never harms to freshen up your vinyl seat using water and a little dishwashing liquid.
Chrome parts, such as exhaust tips will gleam again with Nevr Dull Magic Wadding Polish, particularly if they're badly weathered. And don't forget the fork tubes while you're at it, as any dirt overlooked there may damage the fork seals during retraction. Chrome parts with surface rust stains, on the other hand, are best restored back to their original shine with Autosol Metal Polish.
Apply a little WD-40 multipurpose oil to painted motor parts to protect against aluminium corrosion. Wax products are not suitable for this, as the heat from the engine can cause permanent yellowish discolourations. The screw heads and other galvanised parts also benefit from a protective film of WD-40.
Lubricate universal joints, levers, brake cams, stand shafts and bearing bolts with a drop of engine oil or with bearing grease. It's also a good idea to occasionally lubricate all cables on the handlebars. Never use oil on modern Teflon cables – always use special control cable spray – you'll find this job easier with a cable oiler. Finally, you need to check that the tyres and brake discs are free of all cleaning agents and lubricants. If you've been doing all this in a dark garage, it might be a good idea to push your scooter out and check it again by daylight to see if you've missed anything.
These easy cleaning tasks not only leave your scooter looking like new again, they will also help enhance its resale value. But regular care of your vehicle isn't just about keeping it clean and shiny. You should also take the opportunity to check that key components are in good working order and generally look out for any signs of defects which, if found, should be fixed immediately.
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The Louis Technical Centre
Problems getting spare parts? Or maybe you've got a technical question about your motorcycle or an accessory The Louis Technical Centre can help! Remember to quote all the necessary details of your vehicle – better still, send us a copy of your registration document.
We will get back to you as quickly as possible!
So: send us your technical problem!
- by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- or by letter to Louis Technical Centre, 21027 Hamburg
These tips for DIY mechanics contain general recommendations that may not apply to all vehicles or all individual components. As local conditions may vary considerably, we are unable to guarantee the correctness of information in these tips for DIY mechanics.
Thank you for your understanding.
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