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Looking after your scooter

The motor scooter is a great alternative to a car in busy city centres. To ensure your scooter gets you reliably from A to B for many years, you do need to look after it .

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Cleaning a scooter

Cleaning can be fun! Here we show you how easy it is to clean and polish your scooter as long as you have the right products and follow these few simple guidelines.

Check list of essentials:

  • Bucket and sponge
  • Chamois
  • Various brushes
  • Good complete cleaner
  • Paint conditioner
  •  Multipurpose oil
  • Chrome polish
  • Aluminium polish
  • Plastic/vinyl cleaner
  • Clean soft cloths
  • Special microfibre cloths

Even a small vehicle needs some care and attention every now and then if you want it to start every time and go like a dream. 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'll soon find it can actually be fun to understand how your own scooter works so that you can do some jobs yourself. These guidelines are designed to help you.

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Good care products make the job much easier

The right place to wash your scooter

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 front 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 high-pressure 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.

[IMAGE: cleaner.]
Spray scooter with cleaner

Spraying with gel cleaner

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.

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Wash thoroughly with water and sponge

Water, sponge and brush

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.

[IMAGE: bike wash.]
Only clean engine parts and rims with a brush

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 brush and sponge out regularly in the bucket to get rid of sand particles that may cause scratches.

[IMAGE: bike wash.]
Rinse scooter thoroughly…

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.

[IMAGE: bike wash.]
…and rub dry with a chamois leather

Use chamois leather to avoid water spots

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.

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After washing, apply a paint care product
[IMAGE: special cleaner for matt plastic.]
Use special cleaner for matt plastic
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Allow polish to dry, then buff

Paint care for the scooter fairing

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 the elements. 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, as they may leave behind ugly white streaks that cannot be removed. There are special cleaners 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 mins and then buff with a clean, very soft cloth or with a special Procycle Polishing Fleece. The gentlest way is to only polish small areas at a time and always polish in straight lines - NOT in circles! You should also clean the seat. It never harms to freshen up your vinyl seat using water and a little dishwashing liquid.

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Polish chrome parts with Nevr-Dull
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Nevr-Dull is also good for fork tubes
[IMAGE: autosol metal-polish.]
Autosol metal polish removes rust spots from chrome

Chrome polish for the exhaust etc.

Chrome parts, such as exhaust tips, will gleam again with Nevr Dull Magic Wadding Polish, particularly if they're 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.

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Use multipurpose oil to clean & protect engine and drive

Multipurpose oil protects your scooter

Apply a little WD-40 multipurpose oil to painted engine 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 will also benefit from a protective film of WD-40.

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Oilers are great for lubricating joints

Greasing joints

Lubricate universal joints, levers, brake cams, stand shafts and bearing bolts with a drop of engine oil or with bearing grease. It is also a good idea to occasionally lubricate all control cables on the handlebars. Never use oil on modern Teflon cables – always lubricate with 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.

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Job done!

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. 

[IMAGE - Download this tip.]

Download this tip

For the garage: Simply download, print out and take it with you.

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the experts

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!

Please note!

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.

[IMAGE - Buy the Louis Mechanic Manual now.]

German Version

Louis DIY Mechanic Manual

The printed version

The big Louis DIY mechanic manual available in a printed version: in color and practical A4 format at cost price.

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