Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I've been having a little carby trouble with my scooter over the last few weeks, apparently the product of riding the thing too hard. I'd put some carburettor cleaner through the fuel system and altered my riding style to go easier on the full throttle, and it seemed to clear the problem right up. On the way home from work yesterday evening, it seemed to be buzzing along like a dream. I even thought those words. "My scooter is running like a dream now."

I've really got to stop doing that.

On the Shepperton Road overpass on Canning Highway, I suddenly lost power, and then a few seconds later the scooter died completely. This is not so much fun on a highway, during rush hour, with three large 4x4s driven by impatient suburbanites directly behind you. I have no definite proof, but I believe that in a collision between a two-tonne steel truck and a cheap Chinese motorscooter containing more plastic than metal, the scooter would come out worse.

Fortunately I had enough momentum to crest the rise at the top of the overpass then coast down to a culvert and at least get out of the immediate line of traffic. I hauled the scooter over the curb and applied all of my mechanical engineering knowlege to the problem. I tried starting it again. I examined its mysterious lower areas for obvious faults, such as a pool of inappropriate fluid seeping out, or a missing wheel, or a small animal caught in the drive chain. I gave it a firm but gentle shake. None of these proved either enlightening or effective.

I pushed it off the main road and into a side street, and left it parked on a corner where it wouldn't look too much like it had been abandoned. Then I walked up to MC's house, a couple of kilometres away, and asked him if it would be okay to leave the scooter there overnight, and then the next morning push it to the dealership where I bought it (a mere three blocks from his house). He agreed, and gave me, his flatmate and a workmate a lift back to the bike so that we could push home. I could have pushed it myself from the begining, but a) I didn't think of that until I was halfway to MC's house and b) there's a very steep hill that I would have struggled with without help. Cheap plastic Chinese motorscooters are heavier than they look.

This morning I took the scooter to the dealership and left it there for the ministrations of people who actually know what they're doing. Hopefully all will be well and, more importantly, cheap.


Blogger MC Etcher said...

The same thing happened to me once, (with my car, not a scooter) and it turns out I used carburettor cleaner for diesel engines, instead of regular unleaded engines.

Something in the diesel cleaner ate through my gaskets! Wasn't cheap to fix.

1:11 AM  

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