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New Year’s Day Scoot! (Rescheduled for This Saturday)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

After an hour wait and two cups of Rao’s best coffee, I concluded that the windy, cold weather conditions had prevented everyone (except myself) from making it to Scooter Club Golden Triangle’s First Annual New Year’s Day Scoot! It was perfectly understandable why no one showed up –the high was 56-deg F, with north wind gusting up to 33 mph (see almanac).

(***Ride Rescheduled***) This Saturday (1/5/2008), we will take our first ride of the New Year! Hopefully, with the Spring-like weather forecasted to be in the 70’s, we should have a much better turnout. So come share the ride–our first in 2008! Meet at Rao’s Bakery on Dowlen in Beaumont at 11am. Helmets are highly recommended.

The first day of 2008 was not wasted; however,…

I quickly decided that I would ride home first, take a couple of hours to change the gearbox (or transmission) oil while the bike is warm, and take a break before I head out again. It seemed like a great idea to start the New Year with a brand new rear tire and some fresh gearbox oil. If you happened to have a vintage scooter like a Vespa PX 150, you can refer to Orin O’Neill ‘s fine article here; otherwise, for an automatic scooter, please read on.

After removing all 8 hex screws, the transmission cover is removed. Behind the clutch housing you will find the filler-plug (single circle) and drain-plug (double circles). First, loosen the filler plug but do not remove it (this allows some air, yet none of the contaminants, to enter so the oil will drain more freely. Next, remove the drain-plug to drain old oil directly into a previously placed container (a tofu container, seen below here, is fine; a large lidded yogurt container is even better).

Each plug has a corresponding washer. Try not to lose them!

The old oil is indeed dirty. Aprilia recommends the gearbox oil changed every 2 years or 7,440 miles. The odometer reads 9,085 miles and the scooter is 7 year-old (I am guilty of being grossly negligent of the maintenance of my scooter).

After the oil is completely drained, tighten drain-plug and washer, remove filler-plug and refill gearbox with only fresh synthetic gearbox oil (in this case Mobil 1 GL-5 75W-90 oil). Squeeze the oil, a little at a time, through the supplied cone-shaped nozzle into the filler until oil begins to ooze out*–It’s Done! (*AF1racing recommends 110cc or 3.72 US fl oz. to be exact.) Replace and tighten filler-plug and washer. With the scooter running, throttle a bit so rear wheel begins to spin. Hold the throttle and check for any oil leak. Maintain the scooter in place by stepping on the foot of the center stand if it begins to move about. It no leak is detected, then replace the transmission cover, tighten all hex screws and you’re ready to hit the road.

Below is a selection of reconnaissance photos which were taken later in the afternoon on January 1st, 2008. It was a beautiful, sunny, albeit cold and windy day–it would be a shame not to ride?! As it turned out, my regular riding outfit (a lined armored jacket and a pair of jeans) plus a light sweater, a pair of long thermal underpants, a balaclava (for the face and neck), and a pair of all-weather gloves (from REI) were all that I needed to stay warm throughout the ride.

If you come to the ride this Saturday, I promise to take you there.–Lorenzo

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