How to Modify a Scooter

by Amrita Chuasiriporn
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scooter image by Goran Bogicevic from

When you decide to modify your scooter, you need to think about your options. If your scooter is an automatic, it runs with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which could benefit from some tweaking to get the most beneficial power band possible. All scooters can benefit from increased airflow through their engines. You may also consider the performance aspects of different tires. Appearance mods are also relatively easy and available for most scooters.

Step 1

Consider your CVT, if your scooter is automatic. Chances are excellent that it is probably not giving you as much power down in the lower revs as you would like. If it seems sluggish, you may want to modify your variator by either replacing the whole thing or changing to heavier roller weights to redistribute the power. This will not increase your top-end speed, but it will make the bike much torquier lower in your revs.

Step 2

Consider simple modifications, such as an air filter that increases air intake into your airbox. K&N have a reputation for manufacturing air filters (amongst other types of filters) that increase airflow, filter particulate matter well, and never need replacing as long as they are properly maintained. If you are thinking of doing an exhaust modification as well, see if your airbox has a snorkel or similar device inside that can be removed. This may alter the sound sufficiently that you do not still feel the need to change your exhaust.

Step 3

Consider changing your tires. Tires can greatly effect the handling of your scooter, especially if you encounter adverse conditions, such as rain. If you do a lot of racing with your scooter, or want to start, you might also consider investing in a set of race tires.

Step 4

Consider decals, spoilers, windscreen, and mirror changes. These small personal touches can make a great difference when trying to make your stamp on your scooter.

Step 5

Research the items you want to modify. Find out what others have to say about the modifications they have done to the same model of scooter that you have got. You may find that the awesome, sporty windshield that you thought looked so great on a website is actually prone to lots of wind noise. It may seem obvious, but doing extra research and not letting yourself get too carried away before you do it can save you a lot of grief in the long run.

Step 6

Purchase your selected parts and accessories and modify your scooter. Consult your shop manual for the torque specs for all your nuts and bolts. Remember to put everything back exactly where it was. Use masking tape to hold your nuts and bolts on a piece of cardboard, and label them with a pen so you know where they came from.

Step 7

Use anti-seize compound on any bolts you use on your bike. This will help to keep them from rattling their way loose during the natural vibrations that accompany riding your scooter.

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