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Care for the Rubber of your Vespa

Our scoots have rubber all over….cowls, glovebox, kickstart, floor strips, grips, brake pedal, and tires. These rubber parts accumulate dirt and turn brittle in time, especially the scoots that are used as regular commuters. For the rubber parts aside from the tires, I recommend cleaning them regularly, especially those who have white rubbers (once a month or every quarter is ok na, once a week is a bit OC Grin) with a multi-purpose cleaning chemical, ideally water-based. An old toothbrush will do as a cleaning tool and a towel for wiping the suds. With spray bottle containing the cleaning agent, spray on the toothbrush and start brushing in circular motion. Instantly, suds will appear on the area being cleaned. We need the towel to wipe this off as we don’t want the dirt to start dripping all over. The towel is also a way to gauge on how clean the rubber is. Take the black rubbers for instance, how will we know that they are already clean? The dirt we get by the towel will be the indicator. Initially we will get a dark and dirty stain on the towel, then as we go along cleaning and wiping at the same time, the stains will gradually lighten and eventually we can’t lift a dirt anymore….meaning the rubber is already clean. I have experienced some cleaners before basta madaanan lang ng basahan yung rubber, malinis na! Angry So the towel tell no tall tales Grin Now we have clean rubbers! Good! Next step will be to apply rubber treatment and dressing. This will help keep our rubbers in a flexible state and protect it from getting brittle. At the same time giving the rubber a nice finish to it (not glossy and slimy like tire black). As for our tires, a good scrub with soap will always do the trick. We all want deep black tires just like when we first bought them right? No gloss or shine…just deep black natural rubber. ABSOLUTELY NO TIRE BLACK for motorcycles and scooters Grin OT (since we are tackling rubber): To you guys out there who have their cars washed in your neighborhood carwash, try to tell the cleaners not to put tire black. This will prove to you how good or how bad they clean the tires. Most of them just scrub a little then put tire black immediately to hide the dirt, so less work on their part…”trabahong -tamad!!!” The tips I shared above are just simple DIY methods on how...

Care for the Paint of your Vespa

As with all vehicles made of metal, paint is applied to protect the sheet metal from the elements. Aside from giving our scoots character, the paint makes it possible for the metal body to last years, keeping corrosion away. May it be acrylic or 2K urethane or the latest low-emission and still under development water-based coatings, it still serves the purpose of prolonging the life of the metal shell of a scooter or a car. (I will be discussing the evolution of paint through the years in another thread) We all want a glossy finish to our paint. But through time and even in normal wear and tear conditions, the paint we apply to protect our rides will succumb to oxidation, fading, acid rain pitting, bird/insect droppings, and hair-line scratches (more popularly known as “gasgas basahan”). These factors all lead to one result – a dull paint finish! So what do we do with a dull paint finish? We buff it! Having your rides repainted is always the last resort, except if you want a new color or the coating is really beat up. The fastest way to achieve that gloss is to have the paint detailed, meaning buffed and polished. Below is a process of detailing the paint of your scoot: 1. Degriming – This step coincides with washing the surface with shampoo. After rinsing, use cleaner clay to take out stubborn dirt build-up, paint overspray, and grime. General purpose adhesive cleaner or kerosene may be used to remove asphalt build up on some panels especially the underbody. Rinse the body again and dry completely with microfiber cloth and an air hose. 2. Masking – Out scoots, like cars, have rubber panels, chrome trims, plastic parts, which we do not want to touch with the buffing pad or buffing foam. So we use masking tape to hide these parts. We just want the painted areas exposed. 3. Compounding – We use rubbing compound to take away all the defects stated above. The compound is really a very fine liquid abrasive used with a wool pad attached to a polisher. As the wool pad turns at a maximum range of 1800-2500rpm, it heats up the paint slightly and the compound will work on making the clear coat even, taking away hairline scratches and oxidation. We will achieve a result that is relatively more glossy than the initial condition of tha paint but if you look closely, the surface will have small fine ripples called swirlmarks which will be removed...

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