Monday, December 18, 2006

Motor Scooter Muffler Inspections

Motor Scooter Riders need to be aware that a Scooter muffler, and anything connected to the muffler system, needs to be checked once in awhile!

What are we looking for? Loose bolts and fittings, fracture cracking of metal muffler attachment flanges. In short, anything mounting the muffler, or connected to it. As the scooter ages it becomes an even better idea. Time works against the muffler mountings, just as it does in any gasoline engined vehicle.

The why look? is to prevent an event which could put your personal well-being at risk. It is no joke to be thrown out of control while your rear wheel attempts to eat your muffler or attached parts at speed!

Chances are if it happens you won't go out of control, but you could when something falls off and engages the rear wheel. The point is, why risk it?

Automobiles have mufflers and parts falling off on our roads and highways all the time, but cars have four wheels, you have only two. The mufflers and pipes falling off would be a serious road hazard if it weren't for the work of the State DOT crews cleaning junk off our highways. The idea is a car can lose a muffler and is more stable during the destruction than a motor scooter.

So what's the big deal here? The big deal is that scooter engines, either 2 or 4 cycle turn at high RPM. The exhaust pulses cram into the muffler setting up ultrasonic vibrations which have the power to loosen bolts and nuts, given some time. Worse, our engines are run at different RPMS,
up and down, thus parts get the full vibration treatment!

OK, you say your muffler bolts are locktited in. Great, that will certainly be a big asset to prevent loosening and should always be done. Problem is it can still fail over time, albeit a longer time, still no excuse not to check those muffler attachment points for lose bolts... While you're snooping around look at the welded muffler attachment flanges too to insure they don't have a crack developing on them. Welded steel tabs are bad that way, even if not rusted!

For the most part, the motor scooter manufacturers use isolating hard rubber vibration dampening pieces in their muffler mount arrangement. Some don't, and those are the ones that need frequent inspection. Let's be honest. Nobody really looks at the muffler system.
Most believe if it was about to fall off they would know it! Feel a strange vibration sometimes?
Look at the muffler mount.

I figure if I help one person avoid some inconvenience and a bad experience it is worth it to encourage a muffler mount inspection as a routine item to check. How often? You decide!

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