Maintenance Tips for Two-Wheeler during the COVID-19 Lock-down

How to keep your two-wheeler's engine, battery, tyres and other mechanisms, etc., in excellent condition during the lockdown period? Follow these practical tips on two-wheeler maintenance for the lockdown period and keep your bike in good condition.

The coronavirus pandemic has turned lives topsy-turvy. Let's face it, none of us was prepared for the struggles and challenges that ensued post the lockdown. Work from home (WFH) seemed like a doable proposition that many looked forward too. The real test came when people realised that there were additional responsibilities that they had to take on, along with the WFH. Domestic help was no longer a privilege and eating out and ordering food stopped being a luxury and became more of a risk.

While dealing with new situations that the lockdown has brought, do not forget your vehicle, which is also under lockdown. You need to take special care of your two-wheeler, during this phase, when it is idle. Proper maintenance of your two-wheeler will ensure that it remains fit. A little attention now will avoid unforeseeable problems once life resumes to normal.

I have complied a few maintenance tips to follow, not just now, but also at other times, when your scooter is not ridden for long durations.

Maintenance tips

One of the best ways of keeping a motor/engine in working condition is to keep it operational. A machine that is kept idle will soon rust and corrode, and stop functioning in the way that it is supposed to do. The same holds true for two-wheelers.

We are into the second month of the lockdown, and not using the scooter standing can harm its mechanism – a dead battery, for instance. Since you cannot take the scooter out for a ride, during the lockdown period, here is what you can do.
  • Start the scooter, and allow the engine to run for 8-10 minutes. Doing this allows the engine oil to move through the machinery and lubricate the parts. It also allows the battery to charge. Do this once a week or more often if conditions permit
  • However, certain precautions need to be taken while starting the scooter. The throttle should not be twisted when starting fuel-injected (FI) scooters, such as the Fascino 125 FI. Just thumb the start button and let the scooter idle, without revving it
  • New two-wheelers with new batteries are more likely not to give trouble. However, old scooters with old batteries can have issues, with the battery running out of charge. Such scooters will need revving up of the engine to allow the battery to charge. Do not rev the engine immediately, on switching on the ignition; instead wait for the engine to warm up before you turn the throttle
  • Alternatively, you can disconnect the battery. It is a simple procedure, but if you are unsure on how it is done, I recommend you follow the instructions in the owner's manual or seek guidance on how to do it, on YouTube

Adjust the stand

Avoid using the side stand; if your scooter is fitted with a centre stand, use the centre stand instead. This practice has several benefits.
  • Two wheelers parked on the centre stand are more evenly balanced and stand less of a chance of falling over and getting damaged
  • The centre stand helps protect the stationary scooter's tyres since the weight gets evenly distributed
  • The centre stand helps prevent unnecessary strain on the two-wheeler's suspension system
  • Standing the scooter on the centre stand helps maintain a proper equilibrium of oils in the scooter

Avert flat-spotting

Flat-spotting is a condition observed on tyres of vehicles that have been stationary for long. Its primary cause is vehicle weight, but low tyre pressure along with high temperatures can speed it up. Flat-spotting causes tyres to compress, at the point where they remain in contact with the surface below. To stop flat-spotting move the two-wheeler, every few days, so the same spot on the tyre does not touch the ground.

Secure your two-wheeler

  • Remove all official documents from the scooter – RC book, insurance papers etc.
  • Park the two-wheeler in a covered parking lot or a shaded place. If you own a scooter cover, now is the time to use it, or else, use an old bedcover to protect your two-wheeler from the sharp summer sun, dust and bird droppings. This simple action will protect the rubber fittings and prevent them from turning crusty
  • Rodents often chew into plastic/rubber fixtures, components and cables of vehicles. Do not park your scooter near sewage drains open gutters, utility holes and drain covers etc., where rodents are likely to live

Check tyre pressure

It is essential to maintain proper air pressure in the tyres. If you have a portable air pressure pump, then make sure to check the tyre pressure every fortnight. And if that is not an option then make sure to have the air pressure checked on the first opportunity.

Sanitise the vehicle

Please do not lose sight of why we are under lockdown. While you check on your two-wheeler, ensure that you maintain social distance and follow recommended precautions.
  • Wear a mask, while you are attending to your two-wheeler
  • Do not touch your face
  • Sanitise parts of the vehicle that you are likely to come in contact – switches, keyhole, grips, seat and mirror pods
  • Wash your hands after carrying out the maintenance on your scooter
  • Wash your bike before finally taking it for a ride
  • Avoid starting and revving the scooter at odd hours, when your neighbours would most likely be resting – be considerate

Follow these maintenance tips on your two-wheeler, during the lockdown, and your vehicle will not give you a reason to worry.


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