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Spun_Cookie 12-10-2012 06:51 PM

Big Ruckus, a new way of life???
Making my first post after reading many threads from this forum from the sidelines. I've been on a scooter/motorcycle kick for about 3-4 months now (I've never owned or rode either one) and keep getting talked out of it for different reasons either by myself or others. Along the way, the Honda Ruckus really jumped out at me the most from looking at a local dealership website, but quickly realized 49cc & my 260 lb pound self did not make for good physics. I read up and found that people across the nation had a fix for this called the GY6 which would put the little rascal at 150cc, and although the mod seems to spark some independent thinking/building it also comes at a price and wrench time (which I have no experience with).

Somehow, during my research I came across the Big Ruckus and thought to myself if I was going to be seen riding a scooter this was definitely IT, from the black/yellow color scheme to the design. Then, I found out they stopped making it!!! That really threw me for a loop because I figured if I could dig the way this thing looked that much, then everybody would be all over it. So, once I realized how rare they were and finding one with low miles was even more rare, I gave up. I couldn't give up on the design so I found the imitation SSR Rowdy which I was about to throw down some money on because it seemed to be an inexpensive learning lesson, but I just couldn't commit to a 150cc engine, much less not knowing how reliable this little machine would be. I was told to look at the Bergman's which from my research seemed to hold their own for reliability, but the style just wasn't for me. I pretty much threw my hands up with all the different +'s & -'s of all the different scooters/motorcyles out there until this last week when I made my search a little more aggressive for the BR and actually found something worthwhile.

So, finally I think I've found my BR... It's not the black/yellow, but with that low of miles I'm good.

I'm heading out in the AM to go and pick it up. I was curious if there was any advice on checking this thing out tomorrow? I'll be traveling about 6 hours to pick it up so I'll have plenty of time to go through any and all last minute advice.

Once I do buy tomorrow my next big hurdle is I haven't been on a bike but twice in my life when I was a teenager I rode a friend of mine's dirt/road bike in the fields of Idaho with no traffic and no obstacles and all I remember is getting up to top speed and didn't have to touch the clutch again. Since then, my experience has been a couple of automatic quad's and that's about it. I have a lot of friends that have always been trying to push me to get a bike for road trips and how "it will change my life..." but that just hasn't been in my path yet.

My two reasons for buying a scooters are:
The biggest reason I'm looking at a scooter is I'm tired of travelling around the same 5 mile radius everyday and getting 12 miles to the gallon in my truck and watching that odometer just roll over, which I bought my truck to haul and pull stuff, not just ride around.
The other reason is I tell everyone I live in a neighborhood with too many stop signs and red lights and I didn't want to throttle and clutch all the time through the lights on a bike so that's why I was looking at a scooter, truth be told I don't remember a thing about riding that motorcycle the one time I did, except for it was confusing until I got to the last gear and just cruised.
So, needless to say, looking for beginner riding advice as well as Big Ruckus owner advice. I had read in another forum, totalruckus, where someone had posted to another first timer/beginning rider to buy an inexpensive scooter to get experience before touching his BR. Well, I didn't take the crawl before I walk approach and don't have the cash to have multiple scooters, but I certainly don't want this BR to sit there and look pretty for fear of totaling it out... I do plan on taking a 15 hour course which is designed for motorcyclist in my state, but like I said any other pointers for a beginner would be nice.

I do understand this is a forum and most all of the answers I seek could possibly be found by reading all the Wiki's and posts, but I feel that I've read enough on this site as well as others where I've been actually inspired to buy instead of discouraged.

Thanks in advance.

Photog 12-10-2012 06:58 PM

Nice choice of a scoot!

Definitely take that motorcycle safety course--don't let anyone talk you out of it! Even if you find that you are getting around the block and down the road okay, take the course.

Budget for some good safety gear and wear it. There are good deals on jackets, helmets, gloves, and so on, to be found in the Flea Market section.

The BR owners here can chime in on the specifics on what to look for.

Welcome to the asylum. :wave

TrashCan 12-10-2012 08:25 PM

Tell us where you live, and we can better help you.

Warney 12-10-2012 10:10 PM

Some things to look for on a Honda Big Ruckus:
Cosmetic condition is king. Missing or damaged plastics or buggered paint is a major downer. Make sure the fork seals are not leaking. Check that all the electrical works as intended. Bring along a bright flashlight and a clean rag so you can see and wipe off any grease. Check the outer edges of the handgrips for scrapes or scratches.
When a Big Ruckus crashes or tips over, the first part to contact the ground is the footrest.
Check both footrests for alignment and for repairs from being previously bent or scratched.
Looking down from above, if the footrests are not equadistant from the frame you need to look closely at the crossmember welds underneath the Scooter where the footrests bolt to the lower part of the frame tubing.
If crashed hard enough, the footrest can twist the lower frame which can break the weld at the crossmember.:deal
I looked at one that had been previously crashed and that exact situation was evident, once I wiped off the grime.
The oem rear shock is designed for a 130lb rider and will need to be replaced with a YSS, Bitubo, or Ohlins.
An expensive fix but the Scooter will ride and handle 100% better than stock.
They come stock with six 26G rollers (156G total), replace with six 21G Honda Reflex rollers or Dr Pulley sliders and enjoy a lot better acceleration.
The Carburetor is jetted lean compared to other similar Honda 250cc Scooters, upjet accordingly.
Totalruckus has the 411 on the Honda Big Ruckus.

damurph 12-11-2012 02:19 AM

I had never driven a scoot before when i found out about the BR from this website. A week later i made a deal on one and rode 2600km round trip (delivered an '81 SP500) and brought her home. I never even knew how it worked but with the help of Total, my Honda service manual and inmate "The Reaper" i have figured out lots.
The MC safety course and good gear is a must but these machines are pretty easy to get used to. It does all my local riding/ errands. Be prepared to bank some money because they are great for economy. Milk crate on the rear (ala KLR) and it does most of my grocery getting. Be prepared for conversations at traffic lights and gas stations.

Warney 12-12-2012 07:13 AM

What's the verdict Spun_Cookie?
Looked at your link to those BR's in Texas, can't tell much from the pictures but they look clean and are low mile examples at a decent price. Both had OEM shock absorbers, probably bone stock.
Have fun, be careful!

Spun_Cookie 12-12-2012 12:01 PM

Just got in this morning and slept the rest of today off. I got my cousin coming over at 3 to help unload it off my truck and I'll take some pictures and be able to check it out more since the sun was pretty much set when i got there yesterday. Rode it around the block last night at the buyers after letting engine warm up for 3-5 minutes. Engine was sputtering on throttle, but still went. Based on the mileage and the owners i figure its just a matter of tune up with a good carb cleaning.

damurph 12-12-2012 01:42 PM

Congrats on the new ride. I had my first issue today with mine. Heavy rain yesterday and sub zero temps today left the starter button a little sticky. Everything else has been fabulous and i wish you the same experience.

Warney 12-12-2012 04:58 PM

Congratulations Spun_Cookie, if it is not already there consider registering the serial number on Totalruckus here:
Honda does not release sales information but it is clear there were less than 2500 Big Ruckus imported to the USA and Canada. The only other market it was sold in was Japan and those owners have not established a database so they have no idea how many were sold.
Take a whiff of the gas in your new Big Ruckus, if it smells more like varnish replace the fuel. If the gas doesn't smell rotten try some Seafoam in a couple of tanks, that stuff seems to work on minor issues.
Many owners have observed the Big Ruckus has a pronounced flat spot off idle, one cure being lighter rollers which allow the engine to easily rev past the flat spot and get some rpm into accelerating. The OEM 156G rollers act like a governor and keep the engine in the RPM range where the sluggish response is worst. Install six 21G Honda Reflex Rollers (buy 2 sets), or Dr Pulley sliders and that will wake up the throttle response. Easy mod, info here:
You'll need to make or borrow a special tool to service the Variator, about $10 at Home Depot.

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