2010 Honda Ruckus 50 Scooter Review

by Patrick
(Central PA)

Honda Ruckus 50 Scooter

Honda Ruckus 50 Scooter

My official opinion of the 2010 Honda Ruckus 50cc scooter is, "come on, Honda, are you kidding me... an MSRP of over $2k for this?". My personal thought is, "Alright, Honda, you tried (sorta), now I can make it better myself".


My primary dislikes of this scooter are the underpowered OEM engine, a weak rear suspension shock, sacrifice of storage for aesthetics, and poor drum braking system. While it's not woefully lacking in these areas, it certainly has room for much-needed improvement.

Straight from the showroom, it will achieve a top speed of around 35mph within about 12.5 seconds on flat straightaways... a little faster for light riders of about 150lbs or less, topping out at around 40mph; and slower for heavy riders of 200lbs+, perhaps as low as 30mph.

On moderate hill climbs, speed can drop down to the low 20mph's. My disclaimer... these speeds are roughly typical of ALL 50cc scooters with original parts. 50cc scooters are not manufactured to be speed demons. They're built to be efficient, cost effective commuter vehicles.

The 2010 Ruckus rear suspension shock simply lacks muscle. An average adult male will sink the shock fairly deep just sitting on the unit, even more so for large riders, or riders bearing added weight.

Rough roads will cause increased loss of handling (greater at higher speeds), as the feeble shock may bounce the rider and scooter about unsafely. Above all, you will feel the road through the seat and factory suspension, and long rides on bumpy roads will cause fatigue and soreness.

Storage space, simply put, is none-existent on the 2010 Ruckus 50cc. There is no storage compartment found on the factory-made scooter, though there is a minimal lockable bolt for the helmet.

This leaves the Ruckus, and its rider, at a disadvantage where practical use is concerned. This also hinders the rider from storing basic tools with the scooter itself, which is a risky venture when away from home.

The front and rear drum braking system lacks stopping power, even more so when the Ruckus is carrying greater weights. Braking from cruising speeds to a complete stop can be precariously long, making it necessary for the rider to consistently assess stopping distances (and defensive driving maneuvers) where stop-and-go traffic is a reality.

This can make the 2010 Ruckus unsafe to speed along through busy streets where obstacles (and pedestrians) can appear suddenly in the path of travel.

Last, there is no fuel gauge in place from the factory, no faring or windshield to reduce wind resistance or buffeting, a not-so-ergonomic wide handlebar, and the factory tires lack solid traction when cornering at moderate speeds and while on wet or debris-strewn roads.

Now, that was a rough introduction review to the 2010 Honda Ruckus 50cc scooter. Alas, here is the ray of hope found within what I actually do like about this scooter.

The engine is one of the best built 50cc's in the industry. It's quite solid and should last years when well maintained. Use only premium gas and top-grade oil and fluids for this scooter.

It will outlast countless other scooter engines found on less expensive Chinese and Italian-made scooters. Furthermore, it's fairly easy to maintain, upgrade, and replace parts on the 2010 Ruckus. Even novice mechanics can do important tasks on this scooter. Parts and services manuals are readily available, unlike many other manufacturers.

The frame, too, is rock solid. Factory rims are hearty and resilient, the seat is durable and UV resistant, factory headlamps are bright and project well, battery and ignition are durable and long-lasting, hand throttle is fluid and responsive, auto-ignition comes comes standard along with a smooth kickstart, and the rust-inhibited factory exhaust system purges clean and quiet as well.

Best of all, it's a street-legal vehicle requiring only a class-C drivers license, and no motorcycle license (in most states), to operate. It achieves about 100 mile per gallon with a 1.3 gallon fuel tank, roughly 130 miles per fill-up. Furthermore, auto insurance is quite inexpensive for scooters.

Most importantly, to me anyway, is the ability to "tune" the 2010 Honda Ruckus with after-market upgrades, ranging from cosmetic enhancements to engine improvements, wherein a speed gain of close to 50mph may be achieved. With a few hundred dollars, parts and kits may be installed to improve overall performance and functionality.

Two of the least costly, and easiest to do, I feel are also the most important... replacing the weak rear shock and adding underseat storage. I consider this essential for operating the Ruckus 50cc safely and effectively enough for routine use.

Other worthwhile projects may include replacing the drum brakes with a disc brake system, replacing factory tires with quality street tires, upgrading the variator for speed gain, a new framebrace with extended footpegs in place of the footboard, a new performance carburetor if desired, an add-on fuel gauge.

The availability of performance parts for the Honda Ruckus is broad and easily accessible from many vendors, which makes this scooter one of the most popular and easily upgradeable scooters on the market.

To sum it all up, the factory release of the 2010 Honda Ruckus 50 scooter is somewhat lack-luster and, at most, underpowered and minimalist scooter. However, some basic inexpensive upgrades can improve performance.

At higher investment, the Ruckus may be (and often is) the scooter of choice for "tuner" scooters, offering a wide variety of enhancements that can craft this two-wheeler into a true road gem that should last many years.

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Nov 04, 2015
Rating
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battery NEW
by: http://ukpaperwriting.com/

With this model I had the problems with the battery, it began dying almost immediately I bought the scooter. So, beware!

Jun 11, 2015
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Love it NEW
by: Laura

I got this a couple years ago from a woman for $900 with 100 miles on it.
Now its coming up to 5000.
Only problems I've had is the battery dying.
Since it was out in winter.
I'm trying to find a better battery now.
I get complimented on it every day!
It is only a stock bike.
I only added a kick stand for $50
Since it came without one which I found weird.
It gets about 40mph..compared to the cheap Chinese ones that I overtake on the roads.
Its a strong well made bike.
Storage underneath the seat is not good. But I like the helmet lock.
I need a sealed compartment for under the seat.
But people want close to $100 for a bag.
Which I can't afford.
I've had people offer to buy it from me many times.
The brakes are fime.p
I'm under 115lbs so it fine for me.
I rarely ever see them.
I would like better storage.
Though.
I like the fact its a strong bike.
I think the plastic on it is cheap looking.
I saw online an older model that had a special key lock..I'd like one of those and an alarm system.
I wouldn't know how to install it.
I'd like a windscreen and a bottle holder.
So if anyone can help let me know.
Zaurastar@Gmail.com

Jan 31, 2013
Rating
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2010 Honda Ruckus 50 Scooter Review NEW
by: Rober thussy

2009 Honda Ruckus Base pictures, prices, information, and specifications. Below is the information on the 2009 Honda Ruckus Base. If you would like to get a quote on a new 2009 Honda Ruckus Base use our Build Your Own tool, or Compare this bike to other Scooter motorcycles.To view more specifications, visit our Detailed Specifications.

Feb 05, 2012
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hello everybody i need your helpful
by: mongolian ruckus guy

hello everybody. i am from mongolia and i am 25 years old. i don't know english tooo little bad. but i know japanese. so i have honda ruckus scooter and my ruckus's battery box and seat is crashed. so i need your helpful. your helpful is your used parts. battery box, seat, next is rear and front lights. soo if you can help for me? if you have used battery box and seat? you can mail for me? andrei_gubin2003@yahoo.com this is my mail address. +976-9696677163 this is my mobile phone number. i trust for your helpful.

Nov 29, 2011
Rating
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The ruckus is about reliable transport
by: Long time scooter guy

The drum brakes are weaker than disc but they are much more reliable. I have never been lower than 103mpg on any of my Ruckus scooters. You don't need a fuel gage, the fuel light will light up telling you that you've ridden 100 miles and you only have 30 left before your tank is dry. Honda has always been about four strokes. If you want a two stroke, check out Yamaha scooters, a company known for making two stroke bikes. I bought my first Ruckus because it was the only scooter in the 50cc class that would hold my gym bag. There are plenty of cheap options if you want "storage" for a Ruckus but I prefer the open frame for ease of access. After 12,000 miles of Ruckus riding, I have only lost traction once on stock tires and that was on a gravel road.

If you want a sport scooter, check out Aprilia. If you want a quiet, efficient reliable scooter, check out the Honda Ruckus.

Mar 25, 2011
Rating
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Don't knock it so much if you've never owned one...
by: I miss my 06 Ruckus

Wah Wah Wah. So many complaints?
I bought a 2006 (white) and drove it year round except for when there was ice on the road- rain/snow, no problem- for nearly 11,000 miles until selling it in May 2010.

Top speed was 42. On the flat- not downhill. I weighed 225 when I was riding it- when you factor in the weight of some of the stuff I loaded it down with (keep reading) it far exceeded the max. wt. and rarely bottomed out- even on speed bumps.

Of course if you drive it like it's a crotch rocket you'll be in for a bumpier ride. Did slow to 30 tops on steep inclines- no hills to speak of around here but lots of bridges and overpasses over highways, etc. If you need to handle hills, you probably don't want any 50cc unless you want to crawl up 'em.

As for lack of storage- what do you need to store? Locking helmet hook is fine if you need to put your lid somewhere while you are parked. I'm willing to bet there is no other 50cc scooter (or larger, for that matter) that can haul as much stuff at one time as the Ruckus. I have carried bags and bags and bags of groceries, 12 packs, large dog food bags, carry-on suitcase,a pair of crutches, baseball bats, laundry, the list goes on.

There is unlimited flexibility on carrying stuff BECAUSE there is no built in plastic molded underseat storage box. Lift the seat and line up the plastic grocery bags, bungee them to the front and rear seat tubes. Hang bags off turn light stalks on handlebars, stack up the floor and hold it all with your knees if you're not able to figure out any other way to tie it down.

Long awkward stuff can go from floorboard under seat and out the back end without even tie down- gravity keeps it in due to the slant of the underseat area. Hope you get the picture.

If you want a 50cc that is a blast to ride, that requires minimal maintenance- I never stored it over the winter (Chicago winter) just kept it in garage (no heat) with on old North Face down jacket wrapped around the front end- keep the battery from freezing.

NEVER had it refuse to start except for once and then I realized I had accidentally hit the kill switch. Won't start like that. It was knocked over 4 times (all while parked) and all I had to do was sit it back up and wait for fluids to flow back where they belonged. Once it took almost 30 minutes on a very hot day but other times started back up within about 10 minutes. I could go on.

The only reason I don't have it anymore is I needed something that could run on the highway. Long live Honda. Long live the Ruckus.

Mar 23, 2011
Rating
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SellingCheap!
by: SellingRuckus

Trying to sell my Honda Ruckus: I won my used/LIKE NEW Ruckus as a GRAND PRIZE on the radio! If interested contact me: Madamo529@gmail.com

Mar 11, 2011
Rating
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Most fun I've Had just got my 2009 ruckus
by: Rebelyell

And am I ever happy, the ruckus is really fun, I'm 55 and 240 lbs, yes you can say a FATTY but this thing carries me around just fine and is a kick in the butt, speed smeed it's over rated.

Mar 03, 2011
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Anyone selling their Ruckus in the Los Angeles Area?
by: Anonymous

Ruckus' are awesome, looking to get my first one,
anyone got a used one they're willing to part with for cheaps?^^;

Jan 26, 2011
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great scooter
by: wolfhog

I have an 2003 Ruckus which I bought new and has 28,200 miles on it. My Ruckus is stock and top speed on it is 38 mph on level ground with light winds and 40 mph downhill with the wind behind me. Scooter get around 92 miles per gallon of gas and is a complete joy to ride. I bought the Ruckus because of the four stroke engine and the fact that it also had a kick start which the Yamaha Zuma did not have. I've had more fun on my Ruckus than on my motorcycles of the past. If you're thinking about purchasing one I strongly recommend it. Wolf

Jan 21, 2011
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PERFECT VEHICLE
by: David

I had a 2009 Ruckus and I rode it everywhere. To the mountains, around big lakes, through the city and it handled perfect. I weigh about 205 and I had a blast.

Dec 30, 2010
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2007/2008 Ruckus
by: OC

OK, here's the deal if you want speed, buy a bullet bike. If you want to have fun, buy a Ruckus. It gets a top speed of about 40 MPH; 100 MPG, it is street legal and you can take it off road, and is great for your kids to ride when you go camping.

It also has a large storage compartment under the seat. Honda is also Mfg saddle bags for all the Ruckus this year. It is also easy to load and haul around. Myself and my kids love the Ruckus. They're just a lot of fun. No they're not very fast, but they're fast enough.

OC


Dec 10, 2010
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Love Ruckus
by: Bernard

I really admire people riding their scooters, especially the ruckus. I really can,t afford one but I always dream riding one. How can I get one even if its used.

Bernard
Kenya

Dec 06, 2010
Rating
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No better scooter than this
by: Anonymous

With my Ruckus (Zoomer in Europe) I 'did' more than 20.000 kilometers. No trouble at all. Just tyres, oil, variator and drive belt. And lots of FUN!!

See vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FPc23Z2qYQ


Sep 27, 2010
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Insurance.
by: Anonymous

Don't listen to the guy with his 80s scooter, maybe he is drinking and driving too much. I pay $75 a year for insurance for me and my wife for 1 2009 Honda Ruckus, state minimum. Don't buy into the whole, you're going to pay an arm and a leg, you're not!

Sep 25, 2010
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Try again
by: RuckStar

Honda did not put out a 2010 model Honda Ruckus. they were manufactured from 2003-2009, now again for 2011.

I absolutely love my 2008 Ruckus! Yes there is no storage, ever heard of a backpack. As far as speed goes, it's slow, it's a 49cc. You want speed... go bigger. I ride my Ruckus slow and casual, the reason I wanted a scooter to begin with.

Sep 18, 2010
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Happy Ruckus Owner
by: FrankieC@yahoo.com

I have a 2009 Ruckus. I get to 40 MPH, but it takes a while. I weigh 205. My girlfriend is 125 lbs and gets it up to 43 MPH. I bought the dry carbon storage bin to put under the seat for groceries that exceed what I carry in my backpack.

I am getting a variator upgrade next. Very, very
happy w/my vehicle.

Sep 16, 2010
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Review or Not?
by: Anonymous

This guy is either huge, which would be hillarious or has never ridden a ruckus. My ruckus will hold 43-44 mph everywhere as long as get down low. The brakes are powerful enough to lock up front and rear at any speed. The rear shock has never been too soft. I am 170 lbs. The front forks suck and I have bent my rear rim. My ruckus has never dipped under 25 up any hill and I can pull most if I already have the speed over 40 mph. Wind will slow me down more than grade.

Aug 27, 2010
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Honda Super Star
by: Rockyrobbin

Honda is all time green and always provide the Ruckus that can't exceed much more than 40 mph factory-built (DOT law prohibits faster without a motorcycle license).

US 49cc scooters are designed to meet these guidelines, so anyone with a standard car license can operate one without the need for a motorcycle license. And, that's the whole point of 49cc scooters honda racing engines

Aug 05, 2010
Rating
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2009 Honda Ruckus
by: Anonymous

I bought a 2009 Honda Ruckus with no intention of ever keeping it stock, if I wanted to keep a stock scooter I would have bought something else.

The draw of the Ruckus is the capacity to tune it up and do the research to find/make the kind of performance you want out of a 50CC engine. I'm pretty sure Honda built the solid foundation, knowing the rest would be altered and had fun with, much like people do with their Civic cars.

I love my Ruckus stock but am going to love doing the mods and learning a lot along the way even more.

Jul 12, 2010
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GO RUCKUS
by: Hully

I believe Honda didn't make a 2010, I have a 2009 and love riding it. I weigh 245 and it will run 40 mph (gps). I bought the Ruckus for camping and enjoy it for what it is. (awesome) I get compliments on it all the time.

Jul 11, 2010
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YES!
by: The Big D

This is my 2nd scooter. First one was a Razz, which I put 5,000 on it. Now I have the Ruckus.

I took off the back mounting of the rear lights, etc., and put on a basket then mounted the lighting to that. I carry my big cooler in that and a duffel bag under the seat. Basket holds a 30 pack easily.

Jul 02, 2010
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2005 Ruckus
by: Nitzer

I bought a 2005 Ruckus new from the dealer. In two years I put 12,000 miles on her. Living in St.Louis I did ride year round and had no issues that any other scooter or even full motocycles have with pot holes and debris in the street. I don't know what people store in their scooters. I liked the idea that there was an open frame. You can wedge a backpack under the seat really easy. About the 40 MPH issue. If you are looking for a fast ride get a big bike. If you are looking for a hopper you can not beat the Ruckus. In St.Louis City there is no street that is over that mark, so it seemed to work out well. Once I enter the county I just have to pick the trip. I sold the Ruckus to a friend who had a need for her. I can not wait till I feel I need another.

Jun 30, 2010
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Storage!!
by: Danny

I have a 2004 Ruckus and I have a actual storage compartment made for the Ruckus right under my seat. it is made of plastic and fits perfectly without any kind bolts or something to keep it in place. I dont know where to buy them cuz I bought mine from a kid in Utah and it came with it. But man does it come in handy!

Jun 15, 2010
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Re:
by: Anonymous

I think you meant to say that their making 2011 ruckus'. I heard the same thing,

Jun 14, 2010
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2011 Ruckus
by: greesmnky

I was at the Honda dealer last weekend. Word is that Honda is going to produce 2001 Ruckus 50cc's. Good news for anyone who loves this little put-put.

Jun 10, 2010
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weight and speed
by: Anonymous

I weigh 260lbs and my unmodified factory-built 2009 Ruckus tops out around 40mph downhill & 20-30mph uphill, depending on the grade.

Jun 10, 2010
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insurance is cheap, storage easily made
by: Anonymous

i have a 2009 ruckus and i only pay $80 a year on insurance from geico... if you're paying a lot of money for scooter insurance, you're using the wrong company...

use simple bungee cords to easily turn the underseat area into usable storage

May 31, 2010
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untrue
by: honda owner

I own an '86 Honda Elite Deluxe scooter and the insurance is higher than it is on my '03 ST1300, so I don't buy into that stuff about low insurance rates for scooters.

Apr 25, 2010
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Honda has gone nutso...Ruckus is primo
by: Anonymous

I had a 2006, sold it in hard times, and now am scrounging to get a 2009 which I will pick up next week. There is nothing like this little scoot, but you must remember "it is what it is".

You're not going to highway cruise at 55+mph but you can spend all day riding the back roads at 40mph and have a ball.

As for storage, I poo poo that comment whenever I see it. I have an underseat bag, several attached bags, one in front of the seat, another on the handlebars, another on the front mini-rack, and a tail mounted trunk carrier. I am able to haul groceries home, haul stuff on the floorboard, and am planning a few camping trips on my Ruckus.

I've commuted on mine and have ridden it on tame trail rides. I agree that a better rear shock is called for, but this is easily obtained and installed.

The wheelbase is relatively long for a small scoot, the tires are wide, and the center of gravity is low. All add up to a stable and maneuverable ride.

I think Honda is NUTS discontinuing the Ruckus and I will never give mine up even if I get a maxi scoot like the other discontinued Hondas: Reflex, Helix, Big Ruckus. All great scooters and sadly gone...WTF?

Apr 23, 2010
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Do The Math
by: Anonymous

a speed gain of 50 mph?
Wow that would mean it can go 80 or more MPH.

Apr 13, 2010
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My Buddy Ruckus
by: dharma_rider

First, I love my Ruckus! My hubby bought us two Ruckus scooters in 2004. Mine has about 16,000 miles on it, his about 23,000 miles now. All original parts, and still running like a charm. We don't ride them hard, we just commute or go for spins on the weekend. He maintains them, has replaced a few basic parts that had normal wear, changes fluids regularly, and they still run great. We've never had a problem with them whatsoever.

We used to own a 2 stroke engine Yamaha scoot. He got rid of it after having to rebuild the engine like three times within 12,000 miles. Because the Ruckus has a 4 stroke engine, it seems to be a lot more durable. Again, we love the Ruckus scoot.

I'm sad that Honda isn't making more of them. If we had known that, we probably would have bought new ones and given the old ones to the kids when they are old enough to drive. I really hope that Honda brings the Ruckus back. I think I'm going go hug my Ruckus right now.

Apr 13, 2010
Rating
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Not for everyone
by: Rucks forever

I agree with these comments if you are looking for strict urban street riding and top speed is a concern. However, I own a ruckus and love it! I use it at a cottage in a woodsy environment. The 4-stroke engine is ideal (quiet, reliable, durable).

I feel confident with the aggressive tread on the stock tires during minor off road excursions. I am also put at ease that the motor is so predictable when my kids/guest take it out for a spin they don't become overwhelmed/surprised.

The author needs to realize there are other individuals which it accommodates very well. If you want more speed, buy a Zuma and put a 70cc kit in it. Just don't and screw up the mighty Ruckus.

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Apr 10, 2010
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Ruckus review
by: GdDank

Disregard that last guy's comment. I don't believe he really knows anything about a Honda Ruckus. I own a 2008 model, and do my own mechanical work. Ruckus' are built with a rev limiter, so you can't exceed 9,500 rpms factory-built. This means the Ruckus can't exceed much more than 40 mph factory-built (DOT law prohibits faster without a motorcycle license). US 49cc scooters are designed to meet these guidelines, so anyone with a standard car license can operate one without the need for a motorcycle license. And, that's the whole point of 49cc scooters.

Truth is, this guy's review is pretty much spot-on, except for the 2010 part. Wishful thinking I suppose. They do make nice tuner scooters, though it can get pretty expensive. One more good thing is (and I know this first hand), OEM Ruckus parts are still widely available and reasonable priced, so keeping it maintained hasn't been costly. But, now that they're outta production, who knows if the parts will get more expensive

Jan 06, 2010
Rating
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4 Stroke is the problem!
by: Dan

This guy clearly has never ridden a 50cc scooter before. He claims that most 50 cc scoots only go about 35MPH and that claim is B.S.

Honda went wrong by choosing a 4 stroke over a two stroke. I am about 235 lbs and usually get a top speed of about 50 to 55 mph on and 50cc 2stroke scooter.

This scoot was designed for people who don't do their research. I very seriously doubt that many Europeans choose a 4 stroke Ruckus.

Dec 26, 2009
Rating
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Misleading Review
by: Brian

Even though the majority of your review is grounded in fact, there's one big glaring error: There is no 2010 Ruckus. Honda has discontinued the Ruckus for the 2010 model year. Maybe they'll bring it back for '11, but for now, the only Ruck you can buy at the dealer is a 2009.

Dec 17, 2009
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my customized Ruckus
by: Rickster

I bought a Ruckus in 2007 and love it, although I agree with most of the reviewer's comments. The 50cc. didn't work for me in Los Angeles even with a variator, so I did an engine swap with a GY6, or 150cc. I've spent at least as much as the scoot originally cost for HID headlights, a ten inch rear tire, chrome floor board, foot pegs, and other accessories from Battlescooter. Speed wasn't the goal, but I can top out at 55mph now and even in LA I get looks everywhere I go.

Nov 13, 2009
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I love my ruck!
by: Killer Bee

I love my ruckus! There is no bike on the market that can match it's street functional look and feel. I bought my bike and after 5k miles I started modifying it for speed and customizing the look to my taste. I bought everything I needed at http://www.ruckuslife.com - No bike on the market lets you do this!

Nov 04, 2009
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Ruckus Trouble
by: Jim Zeiser

The trouble with a Ruckus is that it's fairly expensive in stock trim and adding performance parts isn't free. By the time you get done making it a "Gem" it's even a pricier item. Worse is that here in the Empire State speed is what governs when you need a license. If your 50cc China scoot goes over 30 mph you need a motorcycle license. If you coax 40+ mph out of your Ruckus, don't have a bike license and get caught by the police, you're toast. So when all is said and done you may as well buy a quality 150cc scooter like a Kymco Super 8 for $2399, get your license and tear down the road at 65 mph.
Or buy these like I did and really be different.

http://www.motor-scooters-guide.com/bashan-bs48q2-moped.html

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