Scooters are a wonderful means of transportation. Considerably less expensive than other motorised vehicles, scooters are permitted to be driven on most streets, making them an excellent mode of city transportation. Scooters allow you to travel within the city without being beholden to bus and metro schedules and delays. Owning a scooter means freedom to come and go, but it also means owning a piece of machinery that requires periodic maintenance and ongoing care.
As is the case with all forms of motorised transportation, there are several systems that must run smoothly in order for your scooter to operate properly. Like most motor vehicles, scooters have fuel systems, brake systems, transmissions, ignitions, and other components that require attention and care. You need to complete periodic maintenance as well as replace those parts that require it such as any fluids, filters, or pads so that your scooter continues to run smoothly and no further damage is caused by lack of servicing the scooter. Additionally, the body of the scooter must be cared for to prevent any minor damage turning into something more drastic and in need of replacement or elaborate repair. A minor dent or bend in the frame, for example, can develop into a more serious situation.
A History of Scooters
Scooters have their roots in the late 1800s, when the first motorcycle was designed and sold. These first motorcycles had many issues, and after a few hundred were made, the venture was seen as a financial failure and abandoned. About twenty years later, in 1915, what is considered the first motor scooter, known as the Motoped, was introduced. The Autoped was also produced that same year, both in Germany and in Long Island, New York.
fter World War I, several more motor scooter designs were introduced, but many had stability issues and were not considered safe. Those motor scooters that were better made were too pricey, and so by the mid-1920s, this first generation of motor scooters ceased to be manufactured. About a decade later, a newer iteration of motor scooter was introduced, this time with a continuously variable transmission, or CVT. The main manufacturing companies of scooters were Salisbury and Cushman. Both companies advertised their scooters as being the most economical choice.
After the Second World War, both Japan and Italy converted many aircraft factories into motor vehicle plants. In Japan, both Fuji and Mitsubishi introduced motor scooters, while in Italy, the Vespa made its debut as the standard motor scooter. Leftover airplane components as well as design elements were used to create the Vespa. The name for this scooter was borne from the first reaction of the president of Piaggio, the manufacturer, who said it resembled a wasp, or vespa, in Italian. The Vespa's rival, the Lambretta, was introduced months later by fellow Italian manufacturer, Innocente, and was named after the neighborhood, Lambrate, where the factory was located. Other countries, including India, Germany, and the United Kingdom, produced their own scooters as well, and they are still being produced around the world today.
How to Properly Maintain Your Scooter
As was previously mentioned, scooters are a wonderfully convenient motor vehicle, but they do require a certain amount of maintenance and upkeep to extend their lifespan as well as to keep up their efficacy and productivity. While each scooter may vary in some ways based on the manufacturer as well as other parameters such as the year of manufacture, model, and other qualifications, there are several basic steps that should be taken to keep your scooter in tip top shape. Before embarking on any maintenance, however, you should make sure to secure a copy of both the specific owner's manual for your scooter as well as any available service manual, as these inform you as to the specific requirements for fluid levels and any other individualized needs of your scooter.
Check Your Oils
Motor scooters have two parts that require oil: the engine and the gearbox. For two-stroke scooters, the engine oil tank should be refilled every few trips to the fuel station, whereas four-stroke scooters should just be checked every other trip. The engine oil and oil filter should be changed either every two thousand miles, or annually, depending on what happens first. For gearbox oil, change every two years or three thousand miles and check the level every few trips or so.
Check Your Tyres
You should check the tyre pressure in your scooter tires every few trips, particularly in colder weather as tire pressure can be affected more dramatically during colder months. Typically, tyres last three thousand miles on average, but some circumstances can cause uneven wear patterns which can lead to more rapid damage as well as reduced gas mileage.
Be Good to Your Carburettor
Carburettor cleaner should be added every few tankfuls of fuel to keep your carburettor running smoothly. Also, if the scooter is to sit idle for an extended period of time, add fuel stabilizer as well to keep the jets from clogging.
Spark Plug Replacement
For two-stroke scooters, spark plugs should be changed every few months, while four-stroke scooters only require replacement each year.
Check All of the Nuts and Bolts
Screws, nuts, and bolts can wiggle loose on your scooter and should be surveyed from time to time to make sure they are properly tightened. This only takes a few moments and can prevent greater damage that occurs if left unchecked.
Clean or Replace Your Air Filter
Each year, the air filter on your scooter should be cleaned or replaced. If you attempt to drive with a dirty air filter, your scooter is difficult to start and fuel mileage is lessened.
Winterise Your Scooter
Since scooters are open-air vehicles, chances are you are not driving it in the colder winter months. To that end, you should winterise your scooter properly to avoid any costly repairs that might result from inadequate storage come the warmer months.
Following these steps to maintain your scooter maximizes both the scooter's capabilities as well as its lifespan. With routine maintenance, you can extend the life of your scooter.
How to Buy a Scooter on eBay
To find and purchase a scooter on eBay, use the general search bar found on most eBay pages and type "Scooter". When the search results appear, you may choose from several ways to restrict them. First of all, you may choose to utilise the suggested searches that appear under the general search bar. If, for example, you would like to look at listings of Lambrettas, you would click on that suggested search. You can also add additional keywords to the initial search within the search bar. If you would like to limit your search results to only Vespas, add the word "Vespa" to the search bar. Another way to restrict your search is to select from the provided categories and subcategories. Choose from Manufacturer, Model Year, as well as the Condition of the scooter and price minimum and maximum amounts. You may also wish to search by distance, since a scooter is a large item, and shipping may prove costly.
Once you have pared down the number of results to fit your needs, take the time to read the details of each remaining listing. If the seller has provided photos, examine them and compare with the written description of the scooter. Make sure to familiarise yourself with any requirements related to payment and shipping or pick up. Click on the name of each seller to be redirected to each individual's eBay seller feedback page where you can read comments left by previous buyers as well as contact the seller securely.
Taking care of a scooter takes time and commitment. As with any motor vehicle, there are several systems that work together to make the vehicle functional. Maintaining all of these individual components requires you to pay strict attention to repair schedules and all other upkeep suggestions. Owning a scooter means that you must take on the responsibility of maintenance, otherwise your scooter cannot function properly and requires much more expensive repairs than if you had just kept to the necessary upkeep. These systems, including the brakes, transmission, and ignition, are in need of fluid replenishing, cleaning processes in some cases, as well as the replacement of temporary parts such as the brake pads and other components that can wear over time with typical or extended use.
Caring for the exterior of your scooter is also vital, as any minor damage can, over time, become a more major problem, such as a small scratch in the paint becoming a rust spot. Regardless of whether you have purchased your scooter brand new at a shop, or if you have purchased a previously owned vehicle online at any number of dealers' websites or sites such as eBay, owning a scooter is an investment that needs to be protected. Following the above maintenance guidelines allows you to keep your scooter in good repair for many more years.