Stella, our first love. She's now clean and green, and the only REAL modern vintage scooter in America that's not just another copy of a classic style from Italy. Her pedigree is pure Italian, her charm unmistakable. Her green character and miserly gas consumption are the product of the world's most pragmatic and forward thinking engineers in India. She still shifts like a sports car, but the engine is quiet and the vibrations are gone. In a variety of happy colors, she boasts an EPA city rating of 140 miles per gallon. Dress her up; she's ready to go wherever you go. You can hook up a handmade, all-steel sidecar in matching colors if you want to be the coolest person on your block.
Stella, the one and only modern vintage scooter. From Genuine Scooters, who else?
Storing your bike for winter
Well, it's that time of year again! The snow is falling and the scooters will be tucked away for the winter
And each spring our phone will ring off the wall with customers who did not store their scoot properly and now wonder why it won't run.
Some preparation now will ensure that you are out riding in the spring instead of waiting in our service lineup.
1. Location - where are you going to put it?
One solution may be the Motohio storage program. This is ideal because we will prep, store, and have the bike ready to ride when you are ready again in the spring. This service is $250.
If you are storing it yourself, chose a location away from windows. The ultraviolet light can fade paint and plastic parts. Direct sunlight can raise the ambient temperature of the storage area which will promote condensation when the sun goes down, so cover plain glass with some sort of opaque material. Also, cover your scoot with a specially designed bike cover not a sheet or a tarp. Why? Because a sheet absorbs moisture and hold it against metal surfaces and then rust forms. Also, damp fabric will breed mildew and this may attack the seat material. A tarp prevents moisture from getting in but it also prevents it from getting out. Moisture trapped will condense on the scoot and then the rust monster is back!
A specially designed scooter cover is made of a mildew resistant material. The material is slightly porous, so it can breathe.
2. Add Fuel Stabilizer And Drain Carbs
Tip: You only need to drain the carbs if your motorcycle will be stored more than 4 months. Otherwise just add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, run the bike for 10 minutes so it mixes and gets into the carbs.
Fill the tank with fresh fuel, but do not overfill. The correct level is when the fuel just touches the bottom of the filler neck. This gives enough room for the fuel to expand without overflowing the tank when temperature rises.
Add winterizing fuel conditioner to prevent the fuel from going stale, and help prevent moisture accumulation. Stale fuel occurs when aromatics (the lighter additives) evaporate leaving a thicker, sour smelling liquid. If left long enough, it will turn into a gum, plugging the jets and passages inside your carbs!
3. Lube the cylinder(s)
Tip: You only need to do this if your scooter will be stored a very long time (6 months or more)
Because gasoline is an excellent solvent and the oil scraper ring has done its job, most of the oil from the cylinder walls have been removed since the last time the engine was run. If the cylinder wall is left unprotected for a long period of time, it will rust and cause premature piston and ring wear.
Remove the spark plugs and pour a tablespoon (5 cc) of clean engine oil or spray fogging oil into each cylinder. Be sure to switch off the fuel before you crank the engine or else you may refill the drained carbs! Also, ground the ignition leads to prevent sparks igniting any fuel residue. Turn the engine over several revolutions to spread the oil around and then reinstall the plugs. Refitting the plugs before cranking the engine could result in a hydraulic lock if too much oil was used in the cylinder.
4. Battery Storage
Scooters often have a small current drain even when the ignition is switched off (dark current), and a discharged battery will sulfate and no longer be able to sustain a charge.
A conventional battery should be checked for electrolyte level. Add distilled water to any of the cells that are low and then charge the battery. If you have a sealed or maintenance free battery do NOT attempt to open the cover to inspect the cells. DO NOT ADD ANYTHING to a maintenance free battery.
Battery charging should be performed at least every two weeks using a charger that has an output of 10% of the battery ampere hour rating. For example if the battery has an AH rating of 12 (e.g. 12N12A-4A-1 where the 12A is 12 amp hours), then the charge rate of that battery should not exceed 1.2 amps. A higher charge will cause the battery to overheat. The best possible solution is the installation and use of a Battery Tender ($39 at ) we swear by these because they give the battery only the exact amount of charge it needs and they put the battery into a float setting which keeps the sulfates from forming.
5. Surface Preparation
Waxing and polishing the motorcycle might seem like a waste of time since you are putting it away and no one will see it. But applying wax is a very important part of storing a motorcycle.Wax will act as a barrier against rust and moisture.
Don't forget to spray any other metal surfaces (such as the frame or engine) will a very light spray of WD-40. This will keep these areas shiny and protect from corrosion as well. The WD stands for Water Dispersal, that's a good thing.
6. Exhaust and Mufflers
Exhausts/Mufflers are known to rust fast when they are not used. So making sure they are properly stored for the winter on your bike will save them from an early rusty death. Spray a light oil (such as WD40) into the muffler ends and drain holes. Lightly stick a plastic bag (shopping bag is fine) into the end of each muffler hole (to keep moisture from getting inside the exhaust). Then cover each muffler with another plastic bag to keep outside moisture off.
Check both front and rear tires with your air pressure gauge. Make sure each tire is properly inflated to the maximum recommend pressure. As it gets colder, air condenses in your tire so it is important to pump them up as to keep your tires healthy. Rubber is a flexible material and does not like to freeze (it cracks when it freezes). Placing 1/4"-1/2" piece of cardboard or wood board under each tire will help keep the rubber raised up from a freezing floor.
DO NOT use a tire dressing on tires (such as Armor-All or tire cleaning foam) as this will make the tires hard and slippery.
8. Service all fluids
If the brake or clutch fluids haven't been changed in the last two years or 18,000 km (11,000 miles), do it now. The fluids used In these system are "hydroscopic" which means that they absorb moisture. The contaminated fluid will cause corrosion inside the systems which may give problems when the motorcycle is used next spring. Be sure to use the correct fluids and note the warnings and instructions in the service manual. If you don't have the experience to service these systems, contact your dealer, he will be happy to assist you.
If your motorcycle is liquid cooled, the coolant requires changing every two years or 24,000 kms (15,000 miles). Make sure that the engine is cool enough to rest your hand on it before draining the system and please dispose of the coolant responsibly. Coolant/antifreeze is available from your dealer and has been developed to provide the correct protection for your motorcycle engine. Mixed 50/50 with distilled water will ensure a clean system for the next two years or 24,000 kms (15,000 miles).
9. Cover it.
Now you can cover the bike with the cycle cover and look forward to the first warm day of spring.
Back On The Road
Before you head out, there are a couple of things to do. First, remove the cover and put it where you can find it again. Reinstall the battery if you've removed it connecting the positive (+) cable (red) before the (-) negative and covering the terminals with the plastic covers. Recheck all fluid levels and turn on the fuel (if your scooter has a petcock). Check for anything wrong on the scoot (cracked tires, broken parts/plastic, leaking oil). Set the tire pressures back to riding specs and you are ready to fire up. As you don your riding gear, remember that your riding skills will be a little rusty and the road surfaces will have changed a bit since the last ride, so go carefully. Sand/salt deposits on the edge of the road and especially at corners may be hazardous.