Scooter Clanking Noise

Hey all,

So, my scooter’s developed sort-of a clanking noise coming from the steering column (dragon’s head) and it just sorta sounds like something’s clanking under there every few moments when I ride. I can feel a little of the vibration in the handles, too.

I took it to my mechanic, and he said something about “ku xiong” or something (I think those are the struts?) and that they’d need to be replaced. And he also said something about “kong zhuan” which I later looked up in the dictionary and translates to “locomotive wheel spin.” Now, I’m no licensed mechanic, but scooter wheels aren’t metal and neither are the roads that they ply - so how could there be any wheelspin?! How could any one wheel spin faster than the other while riding in normal circumstances?!

Anyway, for those of you in-the-know, is it dangerous to ride with crapped-out struts? I know that for cars, it’s okay if you don’t mind the discomfort. And, is it worth it for a 12-year-old scooter that would probably need constant repair as time wears on?

Any and all advice is welcome and appreciated!

Shawn :smiley:

Yes, it is dangerous to ride with crapped out suspension. A changes wheel bearing, new oil seals on the front forks, and even a new headset bearing shouldn’t cost more than 5 grand. Probably less.

Dragon’s head?

Twelve years? I’d be buyin’ a new one, personally.

[quote=“shawn_c”]
Anyway, for those of you in-the-know, is it dangerous to ride with crapped-out struts? I know that for cars, it’s okay if you don’t mind the discomfort. And, is it worth it for a 12-year-old scooter that would probably need constant repair as time wears on?[/quote]

It most definitely is dangerous. Worn out struts on a car can increase the potential stopping distance up to 20-30% at high speed, which is certainly not good.

kyb.com/motorist.htm

Worn shocks will greatly reduce grip, and even more so dangerously on a motorcycle. You only need one wheel to slip when cornering on a motorcycle for you to potentially loose total control.

Replace them!

In Taiwan many motor vehicle mechanics and salesmen will nearly always tell you than worn shocks are not a big deal. They are simple people and should never be trusted.

Cool… thanks for the advice y’all. I do see how it could be dangerous now… and well, the mechanic I go to was saying that I should definitely not bother trying to fix it, because the scooter is so old and problems will keep popping up. Him and his son just said, “hua bu lai,” which means something like, “You spend your money on it, and you get nothing in return.” Haha… well, it’s true.

They’re good people, not out to trick anyone. If anyone wants referrals, they’re a scooter family (Kymco) that is on Yongyuan Rd. in Yungho.

Anyway, I just ride my scooter to the MRT station, which may be about a 5-10 ride. So, I’m thinking that I’ll just ride slowly everyday and save myself the money of fixing it. Either that, or I’m going to get a bicycle and ride to the station. My wife has a scooter, so we can use hers for going out and stuff.

Hmm… I would consider getting a “Wolf: Legend” motorcycle, though.

“Dragon’s head,” is because in Chinese, they call the steering column, “long tou.” Did you even know they call a faucet a “shui long tou”? That means, “Water Dragon’s head.” It’s all about the Dragons in China and extended China.

Now I get what the mechanic meant by “kong zhuan,” or “locomotive wheel spin.” He meant that the back wheel will sometimes do more revolutions than would be the normal case… the front busted struts would cause that.

sulavaca, one question for you: Why is the back suspension setup on scooters/motorcycles a shock/strut deal, when the front is only usually a strut setup?!

Thanks for the good advice!

[quote=“sulavaca”][quote=“shawn_c”]
Anyway, for those of you in-the-know, is it dangerous to ride with crapped-out struts? I know that for cars, it’s okay if you don’t mind the discomfort. And, is it worth it for a 12-year-old scooter that would probably need constant repair as time wears on?[/quote]

It most definitely is dangerous. Worn out struts on a car can increase the potential stopping distance up to 20-30% at high speed, which is certainly not good.

kyb.com/motorist.htm

Worn shocks will greatly reduce grip, and even more so dangerously on a motorcycle. You only need one wheel to slip when cornering on a motorcycle for you to potentially loose total control.

Replace them!

In Taiwan many motor vehicle mechanics and salesmen will nearly always tell you than worn shocks are not a big deal. They are simple people and should never be trusted.[/quote]

what exactly do you mean by a strut/shock vs a strut setup?

both front and back suspension systems in most motorcycles consist of two parts: (1) a spring guided along a telescoping pole for length adjustment, and (2) a system of oil pushed through a diaphragm for shock absorbance and damping.

in the front, the spring travels inside the pole (and there are normally two of them, making the legs of the forks that hold the front wheel). in the rear, there may be two, or one that’s twice as strong, where the spring is visible on the outside of its telescoping pole, mounted between the frame under the seat, and the rear swingarm.

there are many places that can go wrong in these. the oil can get too thin, or leak out. the spring never normally dies, but its mounting points can get worn or any rubber pieces that it rests on can stiffen or break up and fall out. the telescoping ‘pole’ can get bent, or can get corroded and refuse to slide, or can rattle around inside its sliding sleeve, or can break at its mounting points. the holes in the damping diaphragm can enlarge over time, so the oil can get pushed through too easily and you lose compression and rebound damping.

front forks can be rebuilt simply enough, but its not recommended in an older bike as there are generally so many other things going wrong on it that its not worth the money. rear shocks are normally replaced as a single unit, as they’re cheap.

Oh, okay, I get it now. The springs are INSIDE the front suspension system! I guess the springs don’t need to be as heavy-duty as the rear ones. I was just always under the impression that the front had no springs.

[quote=“shawn_c”]
Hmm… I would consider getting a “Wolf: Legend” motorcycle, though.[/quote]

I recently purchased a used one of these, and let me tell you they are tough to find a good one in the used market. Glue sniffing prices, the worst salespeople you could imagine and the bikes themselves often are very worn and tired and simply resprayed to sell. I can’t even recommend the shop I purchased mine from as although the bike was very good value for money (I went through my associate), the sales staff still didn’t replace the battery for a new one as they promised and I had to replace it myself instead. If only they had done that then I would be recommending them now.

Don’t take their ‘warranty’ line either as you will find there is no such thing. Fortunately I knew this from friends and their own experiences with bike dealers. Go with your eyes open if you are searching for used bikes, expect to have no warranty and instead knock the price right down and cover repairs yourself.

For reference I purchased a five year old commercial version of the Wolf in very good condition with new spokes, original (mostly not resprayed) but excellent paintwork, very little surface little rust on only some components for 23,000NT. I paid 1,500 to have the front and rear sprocket replaced (at a different shop) to raise the gearing for it to cruise better (commercial version is originally very low geared) and save a little more fuel. I also added a front leg protection bar (which I have already had the use of because of a side swipe I received from a right hand lane driver swerving across three lanes to make a left turn) and rear travel box as well as purchasing a cover for the bike for a total of 1,800. Very economical and the parts are far cheaper than many scooters. It does about twice the distance on the same fuel that my 125cc Kymco Movie could manage.

sulavaca, thanks for the warning and info. about the “warranties” deal. Actually, I guess my friend and I were lucky, because he JUST purchased a used PGO T-Rex 150cc from a dealer in Zhonghe and it now appears that the owner/mechanic is really an honest guy.

First, he had a sign with the price attached to the scooter - meaning that he wouldn’t try to pull the wool over someone’s eyes. Second, when we asked about the warranty, he said six months and we said, “But, other people give one year!” He replied that they’re just saying so and actually, it’s not true (yong zui ba jiang er yi).

Hmmm… so the prices for maintenance of Wolf are cheaper than for scooters, eh? I definitely think that gas would be cheaper, depending on your driving style. Maybe buying one from a private individual would be okay?

Yeah, so he put his in writing right? Sure he did! :laughing:

If he does actually honor his 6 months warranty and does a proper job fixing things without botching it up be sure to put it up here later as he will no doubt be the first ever bike salesman that hasn’t lied. Good luck to your friend and his new ride.

Haha… okay, well, he didn’t. However, I will keep tabs on the service if it’s ever needed and everyone here know.

Hmm… what if the scooter doesn’t break down in six months?!

Thanks for the well wishes.

[quote=“shawn_c”]Haha… okay, well, he didn’t. However, I will keep tabs on the service if it’s ever needed and everyone here know.

Hmm… what if the scooter doesn’t break down in six months?!

Thanks for the well wishes.[/quote]

Well if it’s being ridden by a foreigner the way most foreigners I see ride, then be sure that it will, but perhaps your friend is going to ride carefully, in which case I’ll give it a fifty fifty.
Be prepared for the:

“Oh…”

  1. But it isn’t broken, you’re just fussy.
  2. Well actually this part isn’t covered under warranty as it is wear and tear.
  3. It isn’t broken. These bikes are all like this.
  4. There you go, fixed!..[two minutes later]…Broken again!
  5. That’ll be three thousand please* (the word please has been inserted in fitting with western humor. Don’t expect to ever hear this word in public.)

Haha… thanks for the tips.

We’ll see how this grease monkey treats us…

My friend is quite a careful rider, actually, whereas I’m not.

Hmm… I was thinking of selling my scooter for around $5,000 and letting the new owner know that it would require about $5,000 worth of repairs, thus a $10,000 scooter. I’d just take the bus/MRT from now on or ride a bike. What do you think? It’s a 1996 Suzuki AN125.