Tutorial: Changing the battery on a scooter

Tutorial: Changing the battery on a scooter
Tutorial: Changing the battery on a scooter

When it’s not snowing and when I don’t have to haul any cargo, you’ll find me buzzing around town on my 2005 Yamaha Zuma scooter, Scootypuff Junior.  I got it new in September 2005 and have put almost 4000 miles on it – not something you always see on a scooter!  I’ve never had any problems with it, other than changing the battery and putting on new brake pads.  The great thing about many scooter designs is the ease of maintenance.  While doing a brake job on my Zuma is a two person job, changing the battery is easily a solo job.  

Scootypuff Junior – work being supervised by Leo – maybe Santa will bring a new seat for Christmas?

I was able to get my battery at Walmart for a little cheaper than at the local motorsports shop.  The one drawback is that I had to add the electrolytes and charge it up myself.  Still, that’s an easy job if you read the instructions!  First, take the cover off the battery compartment.  The only tool you need is a screwdriver.

See those 2 screws in the middle? They hold down the battery cover.


Cover is off!

Unscrew the leads from the battery.  WARNING!  Unscrew the black lead first, then the red one.  This will prevent shorting out.


New battery in front, old one in back


Removed the safety tape – adding the electrolytes


Electrolytes loaded – the battery is capped

Now, I need to let the battery sit for 30 minutes, then put it on a charger.  When charging the battery, don’t plug it in to the outlet until AFTER the leads are clamped to the battery terminals!!  Be sure that you have the right clamp attached to the right terminal.  On this battery, the + and – terminals are marked on the front of the battery.  On the charger leads, the + and – sides are indicated by stamps in the copper clamps.  Once you’ve got the right clamp on the right terminal, go ahead and plug in the charger.  

Charger hooked up to the battery


Here’s the charger, plugged in and doing its job. Notice the CHARGE light is lit.

This model of charger has an answer key of sorts printed on the case, letting the user know what the different light colors and blink patterns mean.   Right now, the red light is holding steady, which means that the battery is charging.  It will take from 1-3 hours for the battery to fully charge.  The green light on the bottom will blink when the battery reaches 80% charge, and will hold steady when it is fully charged.


The fully-charged battery is in place and hooked back up

When reconnecting the new battery, be sure to connect the red side FIRST, then do the black side.  Otherwise, you’ll have major problems!  Reattach the foot plate, and fire ‘er up – it might sound a little rough on the first try, but your kickstarting days should be over!

Foot plate back in place

Leo, my supervisor

I hit the 4000 mile mark on the test ride! Not bad for 7 years of ownership of a scooter that’s only ridden a couple months a year