Getting Your Motor Scooter Ready for Winter
[4 Important Steps]
When it gets cold outside, many gas-powered motor scooters and mopeds sit unused for several months. After a few winter months of sitting unused, many won’t start or run correctly. However, there are a few steps you can take to winterize your motor scooter to ensure it runs well when spring arrives.
Step 1- Battery Maintenance:
Over the cold winter months, batteries have a tendency to discharge. When a discharged battery sits for a period of time, lead sulfate builds up in your battery which ultimately leaves a battery ruined and unable to be recharged.
The best way to prevent battery damage is to hook your battery up to a trickle charger or maintenance charger while your bike is not in use. These products can be purchased from your local Wolf Brand Scooter dealer. You want to use a small maintenance charger that supplies 1 – 1.5 amps (please don’t use a full-size automobile charger as they tend to destroy the small scooter/moped batteries).
If you store your scooter in a garage with access to a wall outlet, you can leave the battery installed in the scooter, connect the trickle/maintenance charger and leave it connected until you are ready to take your scooter out for a ride. If you store your scooter outside, remove the battery and place the battery inside, on a small block of wood connected to a trickle/maintenance charger. (don’t leave them on a cold concrete floor or countertop, a wood surface is best)
Step 2- Gasoline and Carburetor Maintenance:
Most gasoline now contains ethanol that is added to gas in the refining process. Unlike pure gasoline, this ethanol/gasoline mixture tends to absorb water and evaporate over time. Unfortunately, if a scooter sits for a long period of time, the gasoline/ethanol mixture will absorb water and evaporate inside the float bowl of your carburetor leaving a sticky “gum” that clogs up the tiny jets in a carburetor. With the jets clogged in the carburetor, the scooter is often hard or impossible to start and/or creates a very poor running scooter when you start riding your scooter again in the spring.
Using a fuel stabilizer formulated for gas containing ethanol can help keep your carburetor in good shape during winter storage. Your local scooter shop should have fuel stabilizer for sale. To properly store a scooter for winter, we suggest filling your tank with 90+ octane gasoline and at the same time adding the recommended amount of fuel stabilizer to your gas tank (most 50cc scooters have 1.5 gallon tanks and only take 1-2 ounces of stabilizer depending on the brand of stabilizer you use). Then run your scooter for approximately 5-7 miles or 20 minutes to allow the gas/stabilizer mixture to move from your gas tank down into your carburetor. Alternatively, you can try hunting down a gas station that sells non-ethanol gasoline, which can be hard to find, but does work best!
As an added precaution, you can also drain your carburetor float (most scooters have a float bowl drain screw which can be loosened to drain gas from your carburetor for longer storage). Just be careful, as loosening this screw will discharge a few ounces of gas from your scooter and can get messy.
Step 3- Tire Storage:
Over time, tires that don’t roll tend to deflate and become misshapen from sitting in the same spot. If left too long, the tire won’t roll evenly and can create a wobble or bumping feel when you start riding again. Sometimes, the tire can even dry-rot and crack creating a hazardous driving condition.
To guard against tire damage, we suggest inflating your tires to their recommended PSI prior to storage. While in storage check them once every 2-3 weeks (a bicycle pump can be used) to make sure they don’t slowly deflate. At the same time, roll the bike around and rest it on a different section of the tire for the next 2-3 weeks. This helps keep your tires nice and round while in storage.
Step 4- Ride Your Motor Scooter Periodically:
One of the best ways to keep your scooter working well over the winter months (in addition to the steps above) is to ride the scooter for about 5-7 miles / 15-20 minutes about once a week. Unfortunately, just starting and idling a scooter does not do the trick – you need to take it out for a short ride.
We suggest that when you get a break in the cold weather, and there is no snow or ice on the road of course, to take your scooter out for a short ride. This is one of the best things you can do to keep your scooter in good running order.
Well we hope you’ve enjoyed this article by Wolf Brand Scooters. We wish you safe and fun travels! If you found this article informative and helpful, please make sure to share it via your website, Facebook, Twitter, etc. And don’t forget to leave a comment! Pretty please with a cherry on top!
The Wolf Team
All the information found on this website was collected through extensive research and experience in the field. However, Hammer Brand LLC., DBA Wolf Brand Scooters does not represent a legal law firm or entity in any way. We are not a government agency and cannot be responsible if laws change, are updated, or in fact never existed. Our readers are responsible for coming to their own conclusions and acting accordingly to the actual law in their state through their own research and counsel. We are only a guiding point with information to the best of our knowledge.