Preparing your moped for the spring

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This article is a wikified version of this article written by gimmyjimmy

Spark Plug

You might as well start the new riding season with a fresh spark plug and keep a spare with you. Use a gap setting tool and set to the manufacturer's recommendations.

Fuel system

Replace the fuel filter (if equipped) and examine the fuel tank, fuel lines, and fittings for cracks. Turn the petcock on and watch for any leaks. If the carb starts dripping gas the float may be sticking; remove and clean the carb. Adjust throttle cable to remove any slack.

Air cleaner/box

Some air cleaner elements can be washed, others need to be replaced.

Battery

Some mopeds are equipped with them. If you removed the battery for storage and kept it charged (hopefully), just clean the cables and terminals with a wire brush then grease and reconnect. You may have to fill the cells with distilled water if it's not a "sealed" battery. If your moped has fuses check the fuse connecting points and keep spares on hand.

Electrical system

Check all wires, switches, and connections. Make sure all lights function including the brake light (most mopeds must be running to check brake light). Beep beep, does the horn work?

Tires and wheels

THIS IS IMPORTANT: look at the tread depth and replace if needed. The tire is the only thing separating you from the road or a long push home. Check tires for dry rot, cracks, or slices that went unnoticed from last season and inflate to recommended air pressure. Check valve stem for cracks/leaks and make sure they have valve stem caps. Snug up any loose wheel spokes. While the moped is on the center stand look for bent rims while spinning the wheels.

Transmission

Check fluid level and top off if needed, or now is a good time to change and replace with fresh oil. See your owner's manual for what type to use.

Chain

Clean, lube, and adjust any chain slack (on mopeds that aren't equipped with chain tensioners). Check sprockets for wear.

Brakes

If hubs are equipped with inspection hole then inspect them! Replace if needed. You have an entire riding season ahead of you and proper braking is really important, especially in a panic stop. Adjust and lube brake levers, cables, and pivot points.

Nuts-n-bolts

Go over the entire moped and re-tighten anything loose, especially around engine mounts, exhaust, and the front/rear suspension points.

Appearance

This is totally up to the owner but a clean moped is always easier to work on and reflects on how the owner maintains their moped to others.

Legal

Are your tags, registration, and insurance up to date?

Tools

Carry a small assortment to handle any on the road repairs. See also: Tool kit.

On the road

Re-familiarize yourself to how your moped handles. It may have been many months since your last ride and it has been months since car/truck drivers (cagers) have had to deal with sharing the road with mopeds. Be ESPECIALLY aware of that and drive super defensively. Debris, gravel, and cinders build up at intersections over the winter and as always there are POTHOLES every spring. The hazards you didn't notice while driving your car or on public transit you will easily see, feel, and encounter on your moped, so be careful.

Now get busy and make up for that lost down time. Ride safe, wear your lid, and enjoy the ride.