With the upcoming long Lunar New Year holiday, many people and families will take advantage to travel or return to their hometown. If planning to travel by personal vehicle, it is advisable to maintain and inspect the vehicle before the trip.
For those using scooters, there is a detail that many people do not know about but plays a significant role in the transmission system of the vehicle and requires regular maintenance: the gearbox.
SCOOTERS ALSO HAVE GEARBOXES!
In the common motorcycle market, there are three basic types of motorcycles: scooters, manual (gear) motorcycles, and automatic motorcycles, alongside electric motorcycles. With manual and gear motorcycles, these two types of bikes are equipped with multi-speed gearboxes that riders can choose the appropriate gear for their travel needs. To change gears, riders need to coordinate their hands and feet smoothly to shift gears correctly; at the same time, users also need to know when to change gears and choose the right gear.
Unlike manual and gear bikes, scooters do not require riders to change gears, making the journey and usage process smoother and simpler. As there is no need for gear adjustments, scooters became a suitable means of transportation for urban traffic and are often the choice of users who are not too concerned about technical issues. It is also for this reason that many people think that scooters do not have a gearbox.
However, the truth is different!
Many scooter models on the market such as Honda Vision, Honda Lead, and Yamaha Grande are still equipped with gearboxes. The gearbox used in scooters is a continuously variable transmission (CVT), different from the multi-speed gearbox commonly seen in regular manual and gear bikes.
WHAT IS THE GEARBOX USED FOR?
The gearbox is a crucial component in the power transmission system of a vehicle. Because the engine always operates after starting, there is a need for a mechanism to disconnect the force of the engine to the wheels when the vehicle needs to remain stationary – this is when the gearbox can intervene.
Along with that, the gearbox can also optimize the engine power with the required speed. For example, when driving steadily, the engine speed needs to be lowered to save fuel, or in the case of acceleration, the engine speed needs to be increased for a boost in power; at this point, the gearbox can change the transmission ratio from the engine to the wheels to achieve the driver’s intention.
With scooters, due to their structural characteristics, users need to pay attention to certain situations to ensure the longevity of the gearbox. Recommended situations to avoid include sudden acceleration, carrying heavy loads, traveling at excessive speeds, and fording water.
REGULARLY CHANGE THE GEARBOX OIL
Similar to engine oil, the gearbox oil of scooters also needs to be changed regularly. Gearbox oil (also known as gear oil) is recommended to be changed after traveling from 5,000km to 6,000km. This distance is longer than the recommended oil change interval for engines – usually advised to be changed after traveling 1,500km. Therefore, many people advise changing the gearbox oil after changing the engine oil three times.
One thing to note is that engine oil and gearbox oil have different requirements and should not be mixed. It is absolutely essential not to use the same oil for both the engine and gearbox, as mixing two different types of oil is not recommended, as it can create chemical reactions that can cause the oil to lose its lubricating properties or even cause damage.
If the gearbox oil of scooters is not regularly replaced, it can result in gearbox damage, leading to costly repairs. Gear oil that is used for too long and loses its lubricating properties will cause the gearbox components to wear out, gradually reducing its efficiency. In worse situations, it can cause damage to the transmission system, rendering the vehicle immobile.