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Winter Storage Tips for Scooters

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Author article
club president

Joined: 31 Jul 2003
Knowledgebase: 21
comments: 0
Location: St. Vital
 Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 5:40 pm

There are four basic areas of focus when winterizing a typical scooter:

1. The Battery
2. The Fuel System
3. The Tires
4. The Engine

1. The Battery
Objective: To keep the battery fully charged to prolong its life.

Leave it on the Bike Or Not?
It is generally best to remove the battery from the bike, particularly if you are storing your bike in an unheated location.
- If you are storing your bike in a heated location, you can charge the battery on the bike without removing it.

- A trickle charger is ideal for charging a battery slowly.
- Automatic trickle chargers (more expensive) can simply be left connected to the battery and plugged in all winter. In practice, you don't need to leave it on all winter, allowing it to charge for a couple of days every month would be sufficient.
- Manual trickle charges will end up damaging and over-charging your battery if you leave it on for an extended period of time. Manual chargers should be connected once a month for a few hours at a time.
- Not all trickle chargers are automatic so be sure to know the difference.

Charging Your Battery Safely
Hydrogen gas is emitted from batteries when they are charging (a very explosive gases).

Batteries should be charged far away from any source of flame or electrical spark ).

You can keep small scooter batteries stored near one another and charge them indoors if you take the following precautions:

- if a battery is not being charged, it should be covered so that you can't accidentally contact its terminals and cause a spark. A plastic garbage bag over the top of the battery held in place with a rubber band works well for this.

- When charging a small scooter battery using a trickle charge, a low volume of gas will be emitted. Opening a window in the room is not generally required, but make sure it is nowhere near anything that could cause a spark.

- Basements have open flames in either the furnace and/or hot water heater. If possible store/charge the batteries in a different room or as far away as possible from these devices.

2. The Fuel System
Objective: To keep the fuel system from corroding.

Technique 1: Dry Fuel System (involved)
- This technique is suitable if you are storing your bike in a heated location where condensation due to temperature fluctuations is not a problem.
- Fully drain the entire fuel system and carburator. Generally, you will need to partially remove the float bowl of the carburator to ensure you are totally dry.

Technique 2: Wet, Stabalized Fuel (easy)
- Purchase fuel stabalizer and add to your nearly full tank it in the concentration indicated on the label for long-term storage.
- Run the bike for at least 10 minutes to allow the stable fuel to make its way into the carburator and fuel delivery system.
- Top up the tank fully to vacate the tank of any and all air (air = moisture and should be minimized as much as possible).

3. The Tires
Objective: Get the weight off the wheels so that a flat spot / cracked sidewall does not develop.

The shimmed centre-stand technique
Nearly all automatic scooters have the front wheel resting on the ground when the centre stand is on. If you can simply place a box or other item under the front of the bike and have both wheels off the ground, job complete!

Most scooters require a little bit more lift to get both wheels up, up and away.

1. Place a short stack of wooden planks on the floor (maybe 2 or 4" worth). Be sure they are wide enought to easily accomodate the footprint of your centre stand.
2. Roll the bike over the planks and place it on the centre stand so that the center stand feet sit on top of these planks when its in place.
3. Use a cheaper canister jack (or a crate/wood..etc.) under the bike to lift the front wheel and "balance" the bike so that both wheels are off the ground.

4. The Engine (Optional)
Objective: Coat the cylinder walls with a lubricant/oil to help prevent any build up of corrosion.

1. Remove the spark plug.
2. Squirt a bit of 2 cycle oil into the cylinder (or you can buy a spray can of "engine storage spray").
3. With the spark plug out, kick the scooter over a few times.
4. Re-install the spark plug.

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