Submitted on: 25 Jul 11
Category: 2011 Updates
Buying a Scooter.
- There’s plenty of choice but www.TradeMe.co.nz would be an obvious starting point, or ask friends or workmates, there might be a suitable scooter just around the corner. Expect to be from $400-$1500 but remember, Survivor Scooter is an ‘extreme adventure’ (for Scooters at least) and not a fashion show, so if you see a “runs well but body rough” listing for cheap, don’t be afraid to grab it. You will also have more scope to ‘personalise’ your ride.
- As mentioned in a previous post, the ‘spirit’ behind this challenge is to take standard(ish) 50cc scooters to places they have never been before and will be expected to perform far beyond the parameters their designers ever considered. However, we’re not going to define what a ‘scooter’ is. If you call it a scooter, it can maintain 50km/h on the flat and it’s road legal then we’re not going to get pedantic about it.
- A high speed pulley, Carburetor clean and possibly an exhaust de-carb should have even older scooters running sweet once again.
- The established Japanese Scooters should be a preference, or possibly European if you want to be a little chic. Chinese scooters can vary greatly in quality so make sure you get an established brand if this is your choice.
- 50cc Two-stroke will provide the easiest option to maintain / repair and will have more power than the four-stroke Scooters.
- Do not get an Electric Scooter.
Things to check.
- Make sure it starts easily. If the battery is dead you should still be able to kick it into life relatively easy.
- Check horn, head & brake lights and indicators. If you can test ride, make sure the brakes work. There will be more than one serious downhill where your ability to control your speed will be a safety issue.
- While stationary, apply the front brake and rock the Scooter forward and back. If you can feel movement in the front, the headset or wheel bearings may be worn. A small amount of movement may be fine and provide the opportunity to lower the price. A lot of movement, keep looking, or get your local motorcycle repairer to check it out. While there is no current WOF testing for Scooters, every Scooter needs to be safe and roadworthy
- The above is from past experience only and is based on basic mechanical knowledge. If in doubt get someone more qualified to check for you. This trip should be about fun and adventure, not sitting on the sidelines cursing dodgy dealers.
- A pre-ride service at a qualified Motorcycle or Scooter repairer is cheap insurance.
- And speaking of Insurance, make sure you have some, both for yourself and the Scooter, even if it’s just third party. It won’t cost much and provides a little piece of mind.
Preparation – Scooter
- A good running scooter with reasonable tyres is all you really need, however there are a few things you can add or take to ensure a successful ride:
- Make sure your Air filter is clean and in good condition.
- Get some ‘Tyre Goo’ for your tyres / inner tubes. Available from most Motorcycle or Cycle shops, cheap and easy to use insurance. In 2010 we had only one flat tyre and it was the only tyre that hadn’t been treated!
- Carry some Duct tape and Zip-ties.
- If you can source a strip of 2-3mm plastic sheet, mounting this along the bottom of your plastics can prevent damage when riding over big rocks.
- Preparation – Rider
- While only one person crashed on the tarseal in 2010, dropping a scooter on the road can still hurt… I should know. (Note to self: change my riding name to anything other than ‘crash’).
- If you have protective motorcycle gear, use it. If not, good boots, strong pants, protective gloves and a well padded jacket should be the minimum. It may rain so carrying a waterproof top is a good idea.
- ‘Interesting’ outfits are more than welcome, (we might even run a prize) just so long as they provide safe coverage.
- Finally, a great attitude and sense of humour are essential, make sure you bring them!