We hear this question almost everyday so hopefully we can answer it for you right here. To begin, there are two types of oil needed on a scooter, Engine oil, and Transmission Oil. Before getting into too much detail about oil changes on a scooter, the first thing you need to determine is whether your scooter is a 4-Stroke or a 2-Stroke because the oil situation is a little different for each application.
The majority of modern scooters out there typically have 4-Stroke motors, a couple examples would be Bintelli Scooters, Wolf Brand Scooters, Tao Tao, Ice Bear, and the list goes on. The important thing to know on these Scooters is that they have Engine Oil and Transmission Oil. For the engine we highly recommend a full synthetic Scooter Specific 10w-40 motor oil such as Amsoil. Then for the transmission oil we recommend an 80w-90.
Now that you know what type of oils your scooter needs, it is time to answer your original question of how often to change your your scooter's oil. We recommend doing BOTH oils every 600 miles while also checking your oil levels in between oil changes.
What about a brand new scooter? On a brand new scooter the manufacturers typicaly put what is referred to as "Packing Oil", this is a lower end oil they use so the motor and transmission aren't dry and to prevent flash rusting. This oil will do fine for now, but you are going to want to change to the good stuff at about 150 miles, once you finish your break in period.
For those of you with 2-Stroke Scooters such as a lot of the Genuine Scooters and Adly Scooters, this is the section for you. So with these motors, you don't actually do an oil change, these motors are designed differently. On 2-Stroke motors the engine oil actually gets mixed with the gasoline and goes through the motor and lubricates the cylinder walls, crank, bearings, and piston from the inside.
So it is important to not confuse the older 2-Stroke Mopeds with modern 2-Stroke Scooters, on the old mopeds and your weed-wacker, you pre-mix the oil and gasoline together and pour that into the gas tank. On the Modern 2-Stroke Scooters, for the majority of them, they are "Self Injecting" or "Self Mixing", so you don't have to pull out your measuring cups and beakers, the scooter does it for you!
So what you need to know is that there is a 2-Stroke Oil Reservoir that you need to periodically need to top-off. We recommend simply topping it off every-time you fill up your gas tank. Most of these scooters will have an oil indicator light that will go off when your oil reservoir gets low, but we have seen in the past that the indicator light can fail or malfunction, and if that goes empty and no oil is going through the motor, it can seize or self detonate. Yikes!
For some of you that have easy access to either a Scooter or Power-Sports shop nearby, they will be able to sell you the right stuff for your scooter. Now we would advise not wasting your time going to a local Automotive Parts store to find these oils because they more than likely won't have it, and do not put car oil in these scooters because they are formulated and developed for different applications.
Even though we are located in Connecticut and we understand some of you might not be able to drive over here to get it, we can take payment over the phone and ship the oil to you to make sure your scooter gets exactly what it needs!
Feel free to call us anytime with any questions (860) 454-4742