Creature Comforts From Add-ons for Your Scooter
by Ron Goldwyn
(Milford, CT, USA)
The comforts of scootering are the items that don't come with your scooter purchase but which you add. This story is about my creature comforts.
My first purchase was a wind screen purchased on Ebay. It was touted as heavy duty, but was less than 1/8 thick and rated for 50cc scooters.
The reason for this purchase was twofold. First on Connecticut the law requires all scooters and cycle operators to have eye-protection, either by wearing glasses or goggles, or having a wind screen. I now use both.
My purchase was a universal mounting type. The steel brackets supplied are designed to mount under your rearview mirror mounting arm. While the screen does divert wind, bugs and dust, for me it is a level of protection against pebbles and other materials that vehicle's rear wheels may spin up off the road and toward me.
My second item was made in my workshop. Since necessity is the mother of invention, I found that I needed extensions on my rearview mirrors. I'm a big guy and there was just no way I could see past my own body, so I designed a bracket that does the job.
Using two pieces of aluminum 1/4" x 1" x 7" bar stock (used to prevent transmitted vibration), I drilled a 3/8" hole 3/4" in from each end. I then divided the stock into thirds so that when chucked into my vice, I was able to make two right angle bends in a "Z" shape.
At an Auto-parts store I bought two 1" long bolt and nuts that fit the mounting threads of the existing rear view mirror mounting arm. By removing the mirrors and using the new bolt to secure the new
bracket and then remounting the mirror in the bracket hole using the new nuts, each of my mirrors are now about 2½" higher and about 4" further out. Now I have perfect vision to see what vehicles are tailgating me.
Additional storage was my next requirement as my scooter had only the under-seat storage box. My solution for more storage space was to make solid saddle bags mounted over the rear wheel. My scooter came with a plate to add a rear storage box, but instead I mounted a 12" x 12" x 1/4" aluminum plate.In addition to the three mounting holes, I drilled 6 equally spaced 1/2" holes one inch in from the forward and rear edges of the plate.
For the saddlebags I found at West Marine two heavy duty plastic utility boxes that were about 8" wide by 14" long and 14" deep with a removable 2" deep tray. The lockable cover had a lie-flat handle built in and had a rubber o-ring to keep the box waterproof. By using 2" aluminum angle sock 12" long I secured the sides of the boxes to the left and right edges of the plate. Now I keep tools,flashlight, rags, a poncho, maps, rope, bungee cords with hooks (that is why I drilled the holes in the front and rear edges of the plate.) and an emergency kit of Insulin. (I don't leave home without it)
Now I have my needed storage area and a flat rear deck for securing my grocery bags when shopping. (I even took home a carton of paper from Staples.)
I have more items to report, but I will save them for a second article. WHAT HAVE YOU ADDED TO YOUR SCOOTER?
A battery tender like the Battery Tender Jr. can make all the difference in whether your scooter will start right up each spring, after being stored for months.
Just about every scooter owner needs to have a battery tender, sometimes called a trickle charger. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a climate where you can ride all year long, chances are your scooter will be put on ice, figuratively-speaking, for at least a couple months every winter.
One of the key steps in winterizing a scooter is to protect your battery from draining during its "rest" period. This can – and will – happen if you leave your battery sitting untended in your cold scooter over the winter, even if it's in a garage or shed.