Roo tips: how to conduct a scooter check

To ensure your scooter is operating correctly and is safe for riding, it is important to perform regular scooter checks. We’ve pulled together a comprehensive guide to help.

360-degree visual check

Obvious problems or damage

Give the bike a once over with your eyes and look for any obvious problems or damage.

Appearance

Does the motorbike/scooter appear in good working order?

Parts

Are all parts, panels and mirrors on the bike?

Fit for purpose

Does it look fit for purpose (i.e. deliveries)?

Number plate and L plates are secure and visible

Visible

Check that the number plate (and L plates if applicable) are firmly fitted and not covered or obscured in any way.

The law

Failure to display L or P plates in line with your state’s regulations could lead to demerit points or a fine. You can find out more from your state road or road transport authority.

Check for oil, water and fluid leaks

Leaks

Go around the motorbike / scooter and look for any oil, water or fluid leaks, which can be dangerous for both the rider and other vehicle users on the road.

Throttle, brake, clutch & kill switch

Free play

Check the throttle, brake lever, and clutch lever for any free play.

Brake pads

Width

Check the brake pad width regularly by sight and by feel– front and rear.

Visible grooves

The grooves should still be visible. If they are not, then the brake pads need replacing immediately.

Chain tension (if applicable)

Tension

Check the chain tension (if there is one).

Sprocket

Also check the front and rear sprocket for any wear or damage to the teeth.

Testing tension

Find the midway point of the chain between the front and rear sprockets. Push up on the bottom of the chain and note the distance between the lower and upper position. It should be approximately 1.2–1.6 inches (30–40 mm).

Tyre tread depth

Check the tyres for wear

All tyres must have a clearly visible tread pattern and a minimum tread depth of 1.5mm. Most tyres have wear indicators. Also check for any foreign objects. A nail can lodge in a tyre, but still not cause a puncture, however, it can cause a slow leak or suddenly shift and blow the tyre which may only show when cornering.

Indicators

The bars you see going across the grooves in the tread are the tread wear indicators. Once you see them reach the level of the surface tread on the tyre, it’s time to replace them!

Importance

Tyres are one of the most critical – if not the most critical – components of the entire motorcycle/scooter. Unlike cars and other vehicles, motorcycles/scooters only have two tiny points of contact with the road at any given time, so it is essential that they are well maintained.

Ignition, lights, indicators, horn, & brake light

Electrics

Check the electrics including the kill switch on the handlebars.

Ignition and lights

Switch on the ignition and check headlight on low and high beam, indicators front and back, taillight and also check the brake light.

Horn

Try the horn as well.

Oil level (warm the engine first)

Warming the oil

Before starting, ensure the kill switch is in the start position. Let the motorbike/scooter run for about a minute to warm the engine oil, then switch it off and leave to stand for one minute before checking check the oil level.

How to

Check the engine oil on level ground or as level as possible when on the stand to get an accurate reading. Only add oil in small amounts and re-check frequently. Do not overfill.

Checking the level

Unscrew and remove the dip stick, wipe it clean and then put it back again. Now when you remove the dip stick you will see the oil level marked within the minimum and maximum oil indicator. This will not be required if there is an inspection window fitted.

Mirrors clear and positioned correctly

Mirrors

Check the mirrors are clean and properly positioned to allow maximum visibility.

Tyre pressure

Check when cold

Tyre pressures should be checked ideally when they are cold as heat increases pressure in the tyres.

Visual check

Please conduct a visual check on the flatness of the tyre that has contact with the ground.

Press the tyres

You may also press the tyres to determine the magnitude which you can depress that tyre and determine if the pressure is adequate on the road.