The Honda Ruckus 150R- Ben's Scooter Upgrade
This is not your average Scooter Pimp out fatty low rider story. There will be no bling. No Performance upgrades. No shiny happy stuff. This is a story about a boy and his dog. And a Scooter named Hank.
Hank has been in the family since 2004. He was bought to be a pit bike for Race Day Photo. So I can get to all the turns I need to be in to shoot. And to just wander the paddock in general. No serious riding was ever planned.
Shortly after his purchase the gas prices climbed to over $3 a gallon. I believe it was the summer of 2004. I rode Hank everywhere. I did not pay for gas once at those prices. And Hank and I bonded over my cheapness. Hank has had a good life. And been all over the place. He has been ridden by more people then a rental. Most of them strippers and road racers. He has been ridden by Danny Walker, Chris Carr, Doug Henry, Travis Pastrana and more. It happens when you travel from track to track.
But we both have settled down. My baby son was getting older. And we started to ride together at the track and on family vacations. My son loved it. And so did I. Good time for Dj growing up with Hank. The three of us going for ice cream or the movies.
Like most boys. My son wanted a Dog. We made him wait for years. He need to be old enough to care for his beast. So on his 10th birthday when he came home from school, Ben was waiting for him. It was a grand happy moment.
Day 1 in our yard Ben climbed up on to the scooter. He saw me sitting on it and climbed right up. I thought it was cute. I started teh scooter. He had no reaction. So I took little Ben for a ride around the yard. He loved it. Then he rolled right off like a water balloon. I freaked. Crap I killed Ben on Day 1!!!! Ben got right up. Looked at me and climbed right back on. The little F'er is a trooper. That was at 8 weeks old. We have been riding together every since. If the scooter is parked in the yard, he climbs on and waits for me. He is quite the stunt dog. Must be something in the breed. He even rides Skateboard.
I was told Bulldogs grew to be around 50lbs. And I have seen many of them. Ben was 80lbs at 1 year old. And he has not even started to fill out yet. Houston, we have a problem. There is not room for me and Ben on poor Hank anymore. Not to mention our combined weight is around 400lbs.
It seemed time to find Ben and I a new bigger ride. We spent the winter looking for just the right size scooter. But nothing had the nice flat floor for Ben. Or the power I wanted. And nobody wanted to give up on Hank. So we decided to give Hank a makeover. Hank is going to get a 150cc motor upgrade. And some ergonomic upgrades to give Ben and I some more room. This won't be a hyper performance project. The end result is to make Hank look like a Meduim Ruckus. If Honda made a 150cc Ruckus. This is what I would want him to look like. No crazy bling or loud pipes. No stretch to milk performance. Just a reliable 150 cc version of the scooter I love so much. A grown up version.
Let the mods begin...
We are going to start with making more space for me and Ben. Then move to horsepower. One of the fine things about the Honda Ruckus is the strong aftermarket following of this fine scooter. You can get just about anything for it. Or find a write up to do anything. We decided to do a footpeg and low seat mod for starters. Ben leaves me no room for my feet. He takes up the whole space where feet are supposed to go. And the higher seat crowds his head. So these mods seem to make sence for both of us.
Off to ebay I went to find parts. The low seat mounts are a dime a dozen on ebay. I went with a nice powder coated black version from ATR. It matched perfect. And gave Ben a lot more room for his shoulders and head. Sorry there is no pictures of the actual mod, but its bolt on. No degree in engineering to put it on.
Next we went to the local bicycle shop for axel sliders for a BMX bike and some grade 8 bolts. The hond Ruckus has 2 big holes in the frame right at the level where footpegs could go. Many people put pegs there. And it worked out great. With the lower seat the foot position felt perfect. No more sharing floorboards with Ben.
He does not sit much while riding, but when we stop he does. See the seat height difference. It really allows him to rest his head now. Bulldogs love to rest their heads on stuff. Ben is happy. The foot pegs finally give me a place to rest my feet. Ergonomically We are both much happier on Hank now.
Let the Power Mods Begin!!!!!!!
I keep looking for a decent deal on a Big Ruckus and the small engine keeps me away from the Little Ruckus.
There are many motors people put in the Ruckus. People wander the net looking for doner bikes. Cheap broken Chinese scooters with the GY6 motor in it. The motor thru rear wheel are all one piece on a scooter as most know. So its simply a case of taking one drivetrain off and replacing it with a new one. Then figuring out wiring. This is the cheapest way of doing it. If you have the time you could save hundreds of dollars getting your project done.
Call me lazy. This rebuild is not a mechanical adventure to me. I like working on stuff, but don't want any headaches. I just want to ride my bike. I want to spend a day or two on this. Not every minute banging my head on a wall trying to work out electronic issues. So I researched kits from various companies. I decided on the Killer Scooter Kit. I bought it from Rucksters.com. It costs $1200. Not cheap, but not that expensive when you start adding stuff up.
The Killer Scooter kit comes with most of what you need. It is not a complete kit. I did see some complete kits for $1500, but did not like the components as much. The KS kit comes with the brand new GY6 motor. A full wiring harness for the Ruckus rewired to be used with the GY6 motor. And the new motor mounts, shock mounts and hardware to make this work. You will still need to find yourself a rear wheel for a GY6, and air filter and longer throttle cable. Combined you can find this stuff for under $100.
You will also need to find an exhaust. There are many pipes on the market for the GY6 motor. From $60-$300. I want a stock pipe. So this might be the thing I wait longest for. I am still looking for a pipe. But might order a cheap pipe for this week just to hold me over. Most pipes are out there are performance pipes. Which means they are loud. And they bike will sound like a thumper in the woods. I don't want this. But will deal with it if I have to for a while.
As of right now I am at $1400 with shipping for all the parts I ordered to make this happen. Rucksters told me to expect my package of parts in 2 weeks. I cut costs by asking about used parts. They had a wheel and throttle cable used. I ordered a tire and air filter seperately. Except for the pipe I have all the parts on the way. All I can do is wait. And start to take poor Hank apart. Tomorrow I will start breaking poor Hank down. Right after I clean my garage out and make some room to work. Looks like the GS will be out in the snow for a weeks.
You already ordered the parts for the swap, so this is probably not an option. But if you're really only going short distances with the pup, you could've gone with a sidecar:
That's not out of the question. But for now my focus is on getting the power I need. I wanna be able to maintain speeds of 50-60 mph if needed. An to climb hills with Ben. The GY6 should give me what I need. Once that is accomplished we can explore side cars. (Dog crate convertible? Hummm ). Focus!!! Sorry. Giraffe ahh
Any way. I cleaned the garage. Tomorrow Hank gets disassembled. Seat, covers, battery, fuel tank and harness come out. Maybe the motor will come out if I have time. But there is no hurry. I still have weeks before all my parts will be here.
I may have found a clean stock GY6 exhaust. I will know more later. I am excited now. That was my last part I needed to pull it all together.
Well the weather struck again in the Northeast. It felt like snow was over for the year and we got 8" last night. But that did not stop me from getting Hank started. As soon as I got the snow shoveled I was in the garage.
I started out today by stripping Poor Hank down to his frame. This way I could get to all the wiring. Taking the wiring harness off seemed like a good place to start.
After unpluging the tail lights I worked my way forward. It seemed like the way to go. All went smoothly. I removed the fuel tank and stopped there. The motor was clear of wires and ready to leave electrically. When the new harness comes I will removed the rest of the old harness. This way its still fresh in my memory and I can install one as the other leaves.
I originally planned to leave the airbox on. And just pull the motor thru real wheel in one shot. But some of the vacume lines pass thru hoops in the frame. So I took the air box off with all the lines. This left a lot of room to get the shock off and disconnect the rear brake line.
I strolled around the bike disconnecting the last lines and cables to the motor(throttle cable,fuel line and coolant lines). I guess its time to pull the motor. I had no idea what this would weigh, so I put the center stand down. to catch the motor. Two 14mm bolts later and it slid right out. Poor Hank was no split in two.
Taking Hank apart was extremely easy. I doubt I was in the garage for an hour this morning. And I spent alot of that time cleaning up. But he is ready for his transplant. Now its time to wait. Hopefully the next week and a half go quickly.I hate sitting idle mid project.
As for my used pipe, it did not work out yet. But I am still looking. I will update as soon as parts start arriving.
That looks a lot like my old scoot scoot. It looks like you where using bullets to take it apart.... :-)
I got a used stock pipe today. $40 with shipping. Finding a good stock pipe was harder then I thought. But with less then 2 weeks to the build, I want something to use.
How about a trailer for Ben?
The mods done already have really gave us both space. I like him where he is. There is a lead connected to the seat frame to his harness. Between that and my feet I feel he is safe from falling. But once this stage is done I might try a side car. But with a large dog crate as a side car.
The waiting is killing me. So I am cleaning and maybe painting the frame.
Poor hank is so naked now.
Parts are finally starting to roll in. And the big kit is shipping tomorrow. With any luck I will be riding by next weekend. The last thing I ordered is the first thing to come. The pipe. So I guess I will be sanding and repainting it while I wait.
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