Scooter Maintenance

I just bought a 50cc 2-stroke scooter recently, and didnt really pay attention to the dude that sold it to me when he was telling me about what regular maintenance to do so… for those of you with scooters, what regular maintenance do I need to do? How often do I need to add oil (I think the guy said every 100 kilometers?) How much to add? How often should I have transmission oil added?

When I had a 2 stroke, I kept a liter of oil under the seat and topped it off every Sunday night. You will not be going through that much oil on a 2-stroke, but it is extremely important that you never run completely out. You can only fill up the oil tank so much, so don’t worry about how much to add, just fill it up.

You don’t need transmission fluid on a 50cc 2-stroke. Who told you this?

Keep an eye on your brakes and tires. Bad brakes can easily be adjusted or cheaply replaced(around $350NT, but check around). You need to keep an eye on your tire pressure. I had a nice accident due to this and would recommend you check them at least every two weeks. Motorcycle purists will tell you to check them everytime before you ride. You know to when you start sliding uncontollably in a turn from a low back tire. I shouldn’t have to explain the merits of replacing bad/bald tires. I have plugs put in when the tires get a hole in them and start leaking. You will probably pick up something in your tires every 3-4 months.

For 50cc 2-stroke you need to run it hard for a while everynow and again. This is to burn out all the oil sludge in your exhaust. Run it within its limits, but take a nice long ride, say every 2-4 weeks. I might suggest Baijishan(white chicken mountain, large daoist temple) or a trip out to Wulai or Sanxia if your in the southern part of Taipei county.

Be careful about overtaxing the engine, I would suggest no more than 60 km/hr. The speed limit is 40 km/hr. 2-strokes have a nasty tendency to seize up if your a gung-ho throttle hog like myself. I’ve seized up 3 2-stroke engines. Needless to say the guy I rent my bike from has threaten to never rent to me again if I seize up my 4-stroke. Each engine seizure will set you back 3-5000NT in repairs and takes anywhere from 3 days to two weeks to fix.

If it starts acting up and you are in Taipei take it to Mr. Chen’s motorcycle shop. He’s located on Roosevelt Rd. between Gongguan and Wanlung MRT stations. There is often at least one Chinese speaking foreigner there that may be of some assistance. Explain in slow simple English and point to the problem area. I’m secretly convinced that Mr. Chen is fluent in English, but gets too much joy out of talking to foreigners in Chinese. Mr Chen may be a god at fixing bikes, but his employees have to be watched. It’s not unheard of for them to have to fix a problem more than once.

Thanks for the help Okami. It wasnt transmission fluid that the guy that sold me the scooter said to add, he said that every 1000 kilometers or so you need to have a scooter shop add oil into this place down on the side of the engine. I think he said it was oil for the transmission. Sorry if these are stupid questions, I know nothing about 2 stroke engines! Thanks again for your help.

Make sure you’re adding two stroke oil (which is designed to be burnt) not 4 stroke oil (which isn’t)

Just wanted to give the big “thumbs up” for Mr Chen the Mechanic. He’s dead-set honest and does his best to help you out. I had a piece-of-shit motocross bike which he somehow managed to keep running for more than a year. I always felt so embarrassed when it would crawl into his workshop after my having totally caned the crap out of it out in the mountains

Oh, I should probably also point out that if you need a “special” repair done (e.g. specific high-quality parts), you should try to tell him this, as it’s the custom for most mechanics to find a simple way to fix a problem.

Good luck,

The Big Babou.

You should probably ask a very busy English chap that comes up to Mr. Chen’s shop around the 1st and last week of every month. If you ask nicely, take notes and are sincere he should point out the areas that need to be oiled. Please don’t tell him that i sent you, as he is always extremely busy.

Send me a private message and we can do a nice run in the countryside.

Okami gave some great advice on maintenance. BTW–the other oil that you need isn’t for transmission, but for the crankcase. Don’t mix that kind of oil with your engine oil. And they’re also right about MR. Chen. He’s one of the best features of Taiwan, and very trustworthy.

However I’d strongly caution you on taking a 50cc scooter up any mountain roads. I regularly commuted all the way down to Ilan a few years ago, and you should know that for driving on mountain roads you’ll need a vehicle that had the ability to accelerate very quickly, as well as contend with drivers who are usually going well over the speed limit. Also, be very cautious of gravel truck drivers and those little blue trucks that are piloted psychotic dweebs.

That being said, if you can get ahold of a more capable vehicle, you should try a trip into the southern mountains. They truly are beautiful, and a great relief from the heat of the summer.

[quote=“YoMamma”]How often should I have transmission oil added?[/quote][quote=“YoMamma”]…the guy that sold me the scooter … said that every 1000 kilometers or so you need to have a scooter shop add oil into this place down on the side of the engine. I think he said it was oil for the transmission.[/quote][quote=“Dahudze”]…the other oil that you need isn’t for transmission, but for the crankcase. Don’t mix that kind of oil with your engine oil.[/quote]My mechanic just changed the crankcase oil in my 50cc 2-stroke scooter. He said every 2000km was OK for that.

For the 2-stroke engine oil I’ve been waiting until the oil light goes on before chucking the best part of a can in. Is there anything wrong in doing that? Would it be better to keep it topped up regularly?

I wait for the light and then reset my odometer…First, by setting your odometer every time you add oil, it’s easy to keep tabs on the state of your piston. For my RZX, the first time it goes through a liter of 2-stroke oil in less than 500km, it gets a new piston/rings. Also, by keeping an eye on your odometer, you are far less likely to get caught in the boonies with no oil.

An earlier poster mentioned running the engine out once in a whle to get rid of the excess oil. An even better suggestion is to pull the baffle out of the exhaust on occasion and clean it with gasoline. Then, put your scooter up on it’s center stand, rev it to full RPM, and give the exhaust pipe several good raps with a hammer. It sounds great, will piss off your neighbors to no end, will knock loose all the crap in your exhaust pipe and will give you a much cleaner exhaust system/more power. One of the reasons 2-strokes smoke so much is that every time you ride it, oil is trapped on the baffle. Over time, this accumulated oil will give you a really smoky ride, and rob you of your little motors powerband. These small displacement 2-strokes are very exhaust back- pressure dependent, and accumulated oil in the exhaust is bad news.

Mine’s going in for a fresh motor this week. Rebuilding a two-stroke is pretty cheap as well.

First, is it safe to assume that most 125cc scooters in Taiwan are 4-stroke? Kymco’s?

Second, what are the standard maintenance milestones for a 4-stroke scooter (do X every Y kilometers, etc).

Yes, I think most 125 scooters are 4-strokes. If you have to put 2-stroke oil in from time to time (probably under the saddle) then it’s a 2-stroke. If not, it’s a 4-stroke.

[quote=“seeker4”]Second, what are the standard maintenance milestones for a 4-stroke scooter (do X every Y kilometers, etc).[/quote]Oil change every 1000km. Oil filter change maybe every 3000km. Air filter change a bit less frequently.

If you have disc brakes, the fluid needs to be changed occasionally.

Hope others can improve on and add to this.

Joesax, thanks.

I am interested in brake mainentance info also, non-disk brake.


I just bought a used 125cc scooter. It’s a honda and runs great everything looks fairly new, although on my blue paper it says that it is from 79 the Chinese year which means that it is 14 years old. I think the scooter shop I bought it from did some really good work to it because I never would guessed it was that old. I would like to know what I should do to really maintain this scooter in optimal condition because I really am starting to get attached to it. Also is there anything I can do to make it go faster? I must admit that I like to drive fast, in fact the faster the better. I have seen some scooters with different types of exhaust systems basically a aluminum looking one instead of the typical black one that most of us have. Can exhaust systems improve performance? Oh and what is a good oil to by should I go with a synthetic or just some plain jane stuff from GEANT.


Hi Stare, glad you got yourself a nice bike. What model is it? How much did you pay?

OIL: Is the bike a two-stroke? If, as I suspect, it’s a four-stroke, you don’t really have to change the oil yourself – just get a mechanic to do it every 1000km. Yes, a decent synthetic oil will make your engine last longer.

EXHAUST PIPE AND MUFFLER: Depending on the bike, changing the exhaust system generally seems to achieve a small increase in power and a big increase in noise. Also, increasing the power output will probably increase the heat produced by the little, old engine. I’m afraid that maintaining the bike in optimal condition and making it go faster are to an extent incompatible.

I should also mention that substantially modifying vehicles is illegal. I’m writing this as I hear a modified scooter speed past my house – maybe the 20th so far tonight.

P.S. I don’t want to sound patronising but I feel I should say that if this is your first bike in Taiwan then “the faster the better” is probably not the healthiest attitude to start off with. I suggest keeping the speed for the countryside and mountains but when riding in the city, concentrating on keeping yourself and others safe.

[quote=“seeker4”]I am interested in brake mainentance info also, non-disk brake.[/quote]Yes, I’m interested in this as well. A drum brake of mine recently got a bit sticky. I think my mechanic greased the lever a bit or something and it’s alright now. I picked the scooter up today but didn’t have time to ask him what he did.

I suppose that brake linings and shoes need to be checked occasionally and replaced if necessary.

My scooter is definitely a 4 stroke the scooter shop guy told me so, with the limited English that he spoke. As for the engine it is in great condition I think it had a total overhaul. The odometer only has 5000 kms on it. Although I hear they rig them out here to say less then they really are. What about gas I just filled up on some 95 gas should I stick with 92 or go wiht the better stuff? I agree with everyone on safety and I don’t want to mislead everyone to say that I don’t drive safely but I drive safely in a fast kind of way.

My 50cc 2 stroke has just started to make some odd noises. It only happens when i pull away from a standing start, and only after I have been on the road for a few minutes. When first started the bike doesn’t seem to have the problem. There also seems to be a loss of power (like a clutch slipping on a car). And what does it sound like… Best I can think of is like a chicken warbling or doing a really bad red indian impression. Any ideas? Is it terminal?

Just a quick update… some idiot just stole my scooter. Annoying yes, but also very funny. :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: The thought of them kangarooing down the road gives me a warm glowy feeling. Think I will replace it with a cheap motorbike. One problem is I have never ridden a motorbike so if anyone in Tainan fancies giving me a lesson i will buy you a couple of beers. :notworthy:

bb…TravelGoddess has her scooter for sale cheap, I think 8k. She is in Tainan and is leaving Taiwan. Her info is on the TwnHo board in the ‘Things for Sale’ thread.

Thanks TC, but I have decided that this is a good excuse to upgrade from a 50cc. The trip from Tainan county into tainan is a little painful on a 50cc.