Ruckus for me?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by TipsyMcStagger, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. TipsyMcStagger

    TipsyMcStagger Long timer

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    I'm sort of interested in buying a Ruckus for scooting around the neighborhood in FL. I know they're not very powerful but I'm wondering if it's even worth it...I'm not exactly petite at 215 lbs?

    It seems like many that are locally advertised are owned by kids and have been modded to some extent. Not really knowing anything about variators, etc, I'm wondering if there any red flags to look out for? I don't want to buy something that's been hacked.

    How much additional power can be had through the common mods? Is it actually noticeable?

    Looking for any general feedback.

    TIA.

    Tipsy
    #1
  2. chasssmash

    chasssmash Banned

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    They are dangerously slow but lots of fun.

    Variators aren't a big deal but I would stay away from seriously modded stuff.


    I painted mine primer grey and use it as a snow bike.

    You will look like an elephant on a tricycle like I do when riding it.
    #2
  3. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    It's definitely worth looking for a stock one. If you want to mod it, do lots of research and do it yourself. I've seen too many scooters and motorcycles destroyed by teenagers. Some know what they are doing, but not many. Also if it has been modded, it may not be the mods you need.

    As for your weight, I'm 6' 220, with a 34" inseam, and I put over 10,000 miles on a Metropolitan, which is basically the same as a Ruckus, but with bodywork. I found it too slow to be safe in town on anything but 25 mph residential streets, It would reach an indicated 40 mph (GPS 36-37 mpg) but it took it forever to get there. If you are sitting at a stoplight on a 45 mph street, you will likely get run over from behind when the light changes. Most of my mileage was out of town on rural country roads with little traffic. The speed limits were usually 65 mph, but I rode to the far right, and watched my mirrors. If I saw traffic coming up behind me and there was oncoming traffic so they couldn't pass, I pulled onto the paved shoulder and just kept going. Bicyclists rode on the shoulder on those roads all the time.

    If you need to ride in town, I would definitely go with a 125 or 150cc scooter. I have both a Zuma 125 and a Vino 125 that keep up with city traffic just fine, even with my weight. The Zuma 125 has a load capacity of 350 pounds, so you would have plenty of safety margin. And you could probably find one for not much more than a Ruckus. The Ruckus tends to be overpriced BECAUSE so many kids want them to mod.
    #3
  4. GinoXB

    GinoXB n00b

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    The Honda Ruckus is a great bike. Depending on your needs, distance traveling, legal speed on the roads you're using and so forth. A little research would definitely help. I've attached some links to some large Ruckus forums, they're better informed than most.

    http://totalruckus.com/phpBB3/index.php

    http://battlescooter.proboards.com/index.cgi

    If you think the Ruckus might not suit your needs I would suggest the Yamaha Zuma JerryH suggested. Similar in looks, comes in 50cc and 125cc, which might fit your needs better. The older 50cc was 2 stroke, now I think it's 4 stroke. For almost the same price as a Ruckus a Zuma might be a better fit. If not maybe even a Genuine Buddy? Depending your preferences for styling.

    I'll attach a few links for reference and reviews which could help when it comes to see what is available out there.

    Just Gotta Scoot : a great page with good in depth reviews. Scroll down to the review section and see some of the reviews they've done. They cover a good range of scooters from different makes.

    http://justgottascoot.com/

    Modern Buddy : A thorough page devoted to the Genuine line of scooters. Again depending on your preference it's a great little scooter.

    http://www.modernbuddy.com/forum/index.php?sid=b6f821382b03a4dbba98a3755f8b18a9

    2 Stroke Buzz : a good page. All sorts of information.

    http://2strokebuzz.com/

    You might be able to find an affordable alternative to the Ruckus on Craigslist. Sym and Kymco are two good brands that have good reputations and are Taiwanese. Sym makes small engines for Honda. They make a reproduction of the old Honda C70 / Passport. Maybe even an older Piaggio Typhoon, which are pretty cool looking.

    The Ruckus is a good bike, it just depends on your needs. Lots of options out there.
    #4
  5. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    The Ruckus is a fun little bike. Seeing that you have a Buell and KTM, I think it'd be fun for short distance and screwing around. Its severly underpowered for high speed roads. Tops out at 43-46 MPH max. To get in the mid to high 50s takes some serious money. And you'll likely sacrifice some relibility and it'll be high RPMs.

    But it has some offroad potential compared to many scooters. It looks cool and rugged, and its a Honda.

    If you plans of a neighborhood and such and around town [ESPICALLY big cities], its great.

    CVTs are a good simple transission. The idea of them seems like they'd be ultra efficient. But typically a well geared manual will win the race, but not if the CVTs tuned right. The idea is it'll keep the engine in its powerband all the way till top speed. For small engines with a narrower powerband [no low RPM torque], like a 50 cc, its pretty logical. On a traditional transmission, when you shift, the RPMs go down, and have to climb back to the peak and shift again. Say the best RPM 7,000 RPM. The CVT will keep it close to 7,000 RPM the whole time you at WOT, and then go up when you hit the maximum ratio. A Manual you hit 7K, then shift say 2nd to 3rd, and it may drop to 6,000, then go back up to 7K, shift again. The CVT just maintains 7K. When you go up a hill at a certain speed, the manual may not be able to do it. It may either be say 6K in 3rd or 8.5K in 4th. The CVT will be able to maintain 7K, it has infinite ratios thru its range.

    NOT INFINITE ratios as in no limit to the the tallest and lowest gear. BUT, say between 1st and 6th, there is infinite ratios, where as a manual has a fixed 1 2 3 4 5 6, and nothing in between.

    You would THINK this means much better MPG. On fancy computer controlled CVTs it is much better. But on a traditional mechanical roller weight CVT, this ain't the case. It is geared by the weight of the roller weights. Means you can gear it to run at a RPM where it'll get incredible MPG, say keep it around 4K, BUT the weights will be to heavy to get it to say 7K when you need passing power/hill climbing at lower speeds, once you get to the higher RPMs due to higher speed the gravity will be strong enough to push the weights to rev a little more/when you run out of gear. Stock rollers won't offer the best acceleration or MPG, kinda a compromise between the 2, say 6K.

    A computer controlled [not common on scooters, but I think the big onces like the Burgman 650 has it can cars like the CVT civic hybrid], do. That is why you can go with lighter rollers for better off the line and torque, but you'll sacrifice MPGs a lot and often top speed if you go to high. It'll run at high RPMs all the time and the weights won't be heavy enough to get to the tallest gear ratio.

    This is why with a manual transmission stock they usually will win because you can rap it out more and such. But not always the case.

    As to how they work. VERY simple. If you want me to explain more let me know. But basically theres 2 places. The engine spins the front plate. It has the rollers in it. As it spins faster, the rollers by gravity force the plate inwards. Then the back one has a spring but it'll expand outwards. This is like a 10 speed bicycle sort of thing [how bigger and smaller ratios]. The front increases diameter, the rear decreases. It'll keep the engine in a certain RPM range. Stock, it can be sluggish without the direct ratio off the line before it gets to high RPMs.

    But they work pretty well for the most part. You should average about 100-120 MPG. Top speed stock 43 MPH. With a reasonably modded one aftermarket CVT and all, about 50-55 MPH max. But a 150 cc can get 90-95 MPH and do 60-65 MPH stock. But unfortuantly theres no aftermarket ruckus. Some guys have put 80s Elite 150 cc and 250 cc engines in them. Theres a chinese kit with the 150 cc Gy6 but its slower than most 150 cc, top speed about 55-58 MPH. And you'll lose that Honda longetivity and dependability.


    Overall, if you get a good deal I'd recommend one, as long as the intentions aren't long distance high speed road cruising.

    The Ruckus is good
    #5
  6. TipsyMcStagger

    TipsyMcStagger Long timer

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    That's all excellent info. Thanks for the education! I'm really just looking for something to buzz around the 'hood and take to the beach (not very far), so the Ruckus might be enough. But the 125 Zuma looks interesting as well.

    Decisions.

    Tipsy
    #6
  7. TINGLER

    TINGLER Swamp lips

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    A 125 Zuma will be infinitely more useable on the streets. It also has the added benefit of lots of aftermarket modification parts that will actually make it go even faster.

    I own a Zuma 50cc and I used to own a 125 Kymco agility. The Kymco was a rocketship compared to the Zuma. I felt comfortable taking the Kymco on many 55mph roads locally. The Zuma 50 stays in town. I don't even consider taking it on 55mph roads.

    I kept the Zuma 50 because I love that two stroke engine and it's fun to modify. Many people put the Zuma engine into the Ruckus frame if that tells you anything.

    If you want to actually use the machine on the street, my recommendation is the 125 Zuma.
    If you are in love with the Ruckus, then the Zuma won't fill that desire...and I recommend the Ruckus.
    #7
  8. bandito2

    bandito2 Been here awhile

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    Jeez, why try to fool around with a 125 to try and make it faster and maybe risk longevity when the expedient thing to do would be get a 150 or larger scoot. Besides, modding a 125cc to squeeze any appreciable amount of power out of it would probably cost more than just getting a 150. Unless I'm missing something in the equation that makes it worthwhile to do that. :jjen If someone could explain differently. Just sayin.
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  9. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Another neat scooter that I don't think is available new anymore but can be found used is the Genuine Rattler 110 2 stroke. I would have bought a new one if I had had the room to keep it, a 110cc 2 stroke sounds like fun. And it has the rugged off road look of the Ruckus and Zuma. The Zuma 50 2 stroke is no faster on the top end than the Ruckus, it just gets there a lot faster. The Zuma 4 stroke is about the same as the Ruckus. The Zuma 125 is way faster, will keep up with city traffic, and will cruise on the road at 55 mph. I have taken a 700 mile trip on mine.

    As far as gearing, the big difference between a manual transmission and a CVT is gear range. A manual transmission has a higher top gear, and a much lower bottom gear ratio than a CVT. On the street this may not be that noticeable, it's when you try to climb hills that it shows up. The CVT lacks a low enough gear ratio to keep the engine rpms up while climbing, which results in lugging the engine at low rpms while climbing. A 125cc manual shift bike may not be much faster while climbing than a CVT, but you can shift into first and keep the engine speed up, which is not possible with a CVT.

    I actually did a test a few years ago, right after getting my new Vino 125. I noticed it was having trouble climbing hills, while my Kawasaki Eliminator 125 did just fine. I am a drag racer (cars) and I borrowed a clip on tach from a friend that was designed for the single cylinder engines used in Jr dragsters. I put it on both the Kawasaki and Vino, and climbed the same hill. I have the results actually written down somewhere, but basically the Kawasaki engine was spinning about 2000 rpm faster than the Vino engine while climbing the same hill at full throttle. These small engines make power with rpms, so the Kawasaki was making more power than the Vino, and was not lugging the engine like the Vino.
    #9
  10. TINGLER

    TINGLER Swamp lips

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    Why mess with a 50cc to make it faster?
    Why mess with a 1000cc to make it faster?

    Why mess with a 125 Zuma to make it faster? I'd imagine it has something to do with people liking the looks of the Zuma and wanting the most performance possible out of it.

    Another reason may be that a person actually likes to modify their mode of transport. There are people out there who see motorcycles and scooters as something more than an appliance.
    #10
  11. MiniBike

    MiniBike Been here awhile

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    If your neighborhood speeds are north of 25-30 mph, either you'll hate it or the drivers stuck behind you will. The Ruckus is great for college towns or truly at the beach only, but that's pretty much it. I know, they can be modded, but...

    I vote too for a 125-150cc bike. If you truly like the Ruckus style, keep your eyes open for a Big Ruckus (PS250). They're still out there, with low miles, and never lose their value.
    #11
  12. Motovista

    Motovista Parts is Parts

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    "...owned by kids and have been modded to some extent" is pretty much the red flag to watch out for. Between their friends who are experts, advice gleaned on the internet and a belief that Hondas never need service of any kind whatsoever, many people are very creative at figuring out new ways to lean ruckuses out and burn them up within 2000 miles.
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  13. Motovista

    Motovista Parts is Parts

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    The Zuma is a lot more practical, but there are people who are determined to have a Ruckus. I haven't done one yet, but I agree with anyone about putting a 2 Stroke engine in it. I think I would go with the Honda horizontal 2 Stroke though, instead of someone elses. Kymco sold the 2 stroke horizontal Honda motor in the US and Daelim sold both the 50 and 100cc horizontal honda 2 stroke here. A Ruckus with a kitted 100cc honda design 2 stroke would be way too much fun.
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  14. bandito2

    bandito2 Been here awhile

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    Thanks, that is what I was asking for. I thought of those "hop-up" kits for small scooters mostly as gimmicky and of dubious value. I guess my bias for maxi-scooters shows. (but not intended)
    I hadn't really thought of smaller scoots in that way. :hmmmmm My humblest apologies.

    Oh I fully understand about a person liking to modify their mode of transport. My signature line gives hints of that. And yes indeed I see them as more than mere appliances; without question.
    Prized possessions comes to mind.
    #14
  15. johnyrrr

    johnyrrr Been here awhile

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    One nice thing nobody has mentioned that I see is that the Zuma 50 and Ruckus are both just 50's. So you get a moped registration sticker thats good for years and your on the road (and the wife can use it if she desires). Unlike the Zuma 125 or rattler 110 which needs an endorsement and motorcycle insurance which just makes it a little more costly. I had a Zuma 125 and also a Zuma 50 and they are both great. Though the Zuma 50 does 40mph and gets all the errands done just fine and I dont have to pay all the extra costs involved like I do with the motorcycles. My $.02
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  16. TipsyMcStagger

    TipsyMcStagger Long timer

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    What are the cost and availability of these engines? What kind of "kit" is available for a "Honda design 2-stroke?"

    I have to admit, what piqued my interest about the Ruckus in the first place is its unique appearance. I wouldn't mind spending a few bucks to make one go faster if there are worthwhile, reliable and cost effective options.

    Tipsy
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  17. TINGLER

    TINGLER Swamp lips

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    No problem.
    No apologies needed. I hope my response wasn't seen as too aggressive.

    I've seen some 125 Zuma's on YouTube that claim to have over 200cc's. It may not be financially responsible or even sane, but it does sound like fun.

    I also agree with you. If you want to go fast as a number one priority, then buy the bigger cc engine from the start. Otherwise you can waste a lot of money for very small gains in hp and performance.
    #17
  18. MiniBike

    MiniBike Been here awhile

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    Florida doesn't require insurance on motorcycles. But even if you do, it's around $100 a year per bike for full coverage - that's cheap. The annual tag/plate is less than $50.

    Motorcycle endorsement is required over 50cc, but this is so easy to get it's ridiculous. There are classes every weekend, rain or shine, and passing the class means no additional testing at the DMV. Florida renews driver licenses every 8-10 years and adds $5 to the cost of your license for the MC endorsement.

    So, unless you've got a DUI or some other problem, the addidtional licensing costs in Florida are minimal.

    :jkam
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  19. Moat

    Moat Been here awhile

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    Depending on how mechanically inclined you are, something along the lines of one of these Chinese 150cc clones might fit your criteria -

    http://www.ratrodbikes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=56069
    #19
  20. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    In my state, even a 50cc scooter requires a motorcycle license, plates, registration, and insurance, so trying to get more speed out of one does not really make any sense, UNLESS THAT IS YOUR HOBBY. I have been modifying cars for more power all my life, one of the reasons I don't like newer cars, because there is not really anything you can do with them. But there are zillions of aftermarket parts for a small block Chevy, and all the knowledge to do whatever you want with it is already out there. You can double the stock power of one, and if you use the right high quality parts, it will still be reliable. Of course it won't be cheap.

    But bikes are not easily modified, and when they are, you usually lose reliability and longevity. For less than what it costs to mod a Ruckus, you can buy a brand new scooter that will go even faster. I have seen people on forums that have over $10K into a Ruckus. Of course there is virtually no stock Ruckus parts still on it, but for that kind of money, I would buy either a maxi scoot or a motorcycle. And the most common motor used in the Ruckus is, of all things, the 150cc CHINESE GY6, that comes in brand new $800 Chinese scooters.

    Since I own a Yamaha Zuma 125, I joined a Zuma forum. They don't talk about anything there BUT modifications. I bought the thing to ride. I saw one thread where someone's highly modded engine blew up, and he decided that since he was going to have to rebuild it anyway, he might as well try to make it even faster, even though he knew modding it was what caused the failure in the first place. These guys seem to get a lot more fun out of wrenching and spending money on parts than actually riding.
    #20