The Big Ruckus

by Jim Zeiser
(Deposit, New York)

Mellow in Yellow

Mellow in Yellow

Mellow in Yellow Big Ruckus The Other Side

Sometimes you just have to go with heart, even though you know it can end up being broken. I wanted to buy a 250cc Chinese scooter from a place in Connecticut, but as luck would have it the scooter had just been sold.


The person running the salvage place offered me a deal that just sounded too good to be true. A 2005 Honda Big Ruckus for $600 and all I had to do was drive the 400 mile round trip to get it.

We met, I bought, I owned it. Except for two flaws. It hadn't run in two years and it rolled rather badly around the salvage yard. I soon found out why. It must have been either in a flood or under water in a hurricane in its native Florida.

The oil from inside was all contaminated with rust and even though I got it to run, it wasn't pretty. My heart sank. After three engine oil changes and five or six rear gear oil changes it started to look better and a tube of carburetor cleaner in the tank helped it run better to the point that I could ride it back and forth in front of my house without it suddenly dying out.

Things were looking up.

At the moment I have to discover why the starter button won't work, I have to jump the starter cables to fire it up, and what that terrible rough noise is at the back wheel. Not to mention it has title work issues that need clearing up.

Yet it starts, runs and rides and I've put almost twenty miles in passes in front of the house. I just might have saved a scooter from an early demise. Stay tuned for the ongoing saga.

Comments for The Big Ruckus

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Nov 09, 2015
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Too good NEW
by: http://www.essay4money.com/

It sounds like a fairy tale where the main character was saved with a charming) You did a good work with that motorcycle.

Jul 18, 2012
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Long Gone NEW
by: Jim Zeiser

The Big Ruckus is a distant memory. No matter what you do you can't beat the DMV at their own game. The last time I saw it the Big Ruckus was sitting covered with dust at my local garage. I have since gone through a 250 Yamaha Exciter that blew up after countless hours and a ton of money. I'm returning to basics and buying a CF Moto Fashion 250, a clone of the Honda Helix. I'll post pictures and a report once it's in my possession.

Jul 18, 2012
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HI MI Big Ruckus NEW
by: Anonymous


I just found this. Boy did you dodge a bullet by not buying a chineese 250. I know only one person that has had any luck with them. I have three and wish I didn't.
What I also have are two yellow "05" Big ruckus's. I bought one brand new and have traveled in five states with it. It is about to roll over 27,000 miles. I see it as the perfect touring machine. I also have a 1800cc VTX retro which sleeps quietly while I'm enjoying long trips on the BR. I bought a second one on ebay with 2800 miles on it. I have racked that one up to 8000 mi.
Keep fixing your Big Ruckus and you will soon have one of Honda's finest pieces of work doing fine.


Nov 01, 2011
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Gone
by: Jim Zeiser

Years ago I read a joke with the punchline "We tried to save him, but the paperwork was just too much". Sadly that's what happened to the Big Ruckus. DMVs from Florida to New York decided that this vehicle should be reduced to pieces and that's where it's headed. I just gave it to my local garage and they'll find a suitable yard for it. I fought the law and the law won.

Jul 12, 2011
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Score!
by: Kathi, Site Owner

Well, Jim, sounds as though the Big Ruckus is a winner in your book... and obviously, you opted to keep it. :)

It's great that it has worked out so well for you. Sounds like lots more Big Ruckus adventures are in your future...

Jun 26, 2011
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On It Goes
by: Jim Zeiser

Since I got the Big Ruckus I've put over 600 miles on it of various types of riding. Eighty miles back and forth to Binghamton, thirty-five mile round trips to work and even some short runs into town to buy groceries. I discovered that I could bungy a milk crate onto the back seat and carry all sorts of items back there which put the 50cc moped out of a job. I can make the trip in half the time on the Big Ruckus. One night I even carried pizza home from work and it was still warm when I arrived.
The only bad thing is people stop me to ask about it since nobody has ever seen anything quite like it. They want to know how big it is, how fast does it go and what kind of gas mileage do I get? It's a real conversation piece.

May 16, 2011
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Close To Me
by: Jim Zeiser

Rt. 28 is in the Town of Delhi about 40 miles from here and goes to Oneonta and beyond, a great ride. I haven't done it on a scooter, but I have done it a few times on the Kawasaki. I live near Rt. 8, Exit 84 in Deposit. Motorcycles and scooters ride by all the time.
Kathi I've had the electric impact gun for about a year already but I did buy it to use with scooters. Before that I just used a half inch breaker bar and a cheater pipe to crack nuts and bolts loose. Scooters have presented a new challenge in bolt removal and an impact gun is a better weapon. It would have taken two people to get off the front axle nut before, something I never had to do with a motorcycle, but with the impact gun the nut practically flew off.

May 15, 2011
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"Local" BR owner
by: Anonymous

Just wanted to say hello..I live in Binghamton and bought an '06 BR a few years ago. Think I saw some of your posts on Totalruckus. Been out your way a couple of times on Route 28? I think..

Apr 25, 2011
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New Tools... Always! :)
by: Kathi, Site Owner

Oh you men... always justifying a need for a new tool! Every time my hubby takes on a new project, mysteriously there is some new tool that the job cannot be completed without... haha

Perhaps that's the price we pay for having DIY husbands...

Seriously, though, glad you got the Big Ruckus running well again. Many long years of happy riding... :)

Apr 17, 2011
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Speedometer Fixed
by: Jim Zeiser

The speedometer drive arrived from California on Thursday and I finally had the chance to swap out the old one today. As I suspected the metal gear on the speedometer cable must have locked and chewed up the plastic gear driven by the front wheel.

With a little bit of juggling, I was able to get out the front axle, install the new unit and reinstall the axle. The front brake pads cooperated and didn't close up when I had to pull the disc clear, which helped immensely.

The pads themselves are almost new, which relieved my nagging suspicion that the scooter didn't really only have 1800 miles on it. It is as new as it says it is.

A quick test run showed the speedometer is working again and once again, thanks to the wife for letting me get an electric impact gun. Removing the front axle nut was a breeze with it.

Apr 13, 2011
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Spoke Too Soon
by: Jim Zeiser

Well it turned out that the exhaust noise wasn't a blown header pipe. The melted hose was, in fact, the culprit. The hose must have dry rotted and melted from the exhaust gases passing through it as part of the Exhaust Gas recycling system (EGR). The noise was coming out of the EGR valve on the head.

It's exactly like the system on my Milano, or vice versa, since the Chinese copy the Japanese. I cobbled up a repair with a length of new hose and two clamps for about $3.00 and the noise is gone. I can deal with the pinhole leaks on the muffler later.

The new speedometer drive is on its way from California as we speak so I'll know how fast I'm going in a day or two.

Apr 12, 2011
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An Answer?
by: Kathi, Site Owner

Jim... Perhaps you have your answer about whether to keep the Big Ruckus or your motorcycle? This might be fun, but will it be a constant thorn in your side?

Just sayin'... :)

Apr 10, 2011
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Headaches
by: Jim Zeiser

I may end up calling this scooter "The Money Pit". Last week when I took it to be inspected the speedometer stopped working. I hoped it wasn't the speedo itself since that's a pricey item. No, just the $59 speedometer drive broke.

Also on the trip, I started hearing exhaust noise and now I see small holes in the exhaust system from the bike being rusted in the flood. The header pipe-$50-is rotted and blowing hot exhaust gasses and melted a rubber vent hose that I hope I can repair with tape.

Of course the $425 muffler is also showing pinhole leaks. That I hope I can get welded or else see if a Chinese muffler fits.

Mar 26, 2011
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Rode It
by: Jim Zeiser

I took it into town last weekend when the temperature soared to 40 degrees. I had to fill the gas tank and buy some pain reliever for my wife. It was fun to cruise around with the new license plate, all insured and legal. Hopefully I'll be taking pictures of it in all sorts of picturesque places soon.

Mar 26, 2011
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My Big Ruckus Experience
by: Joe

I bought mine on ebay in the fall of '09. It's a yellow '05 like yours. I can't imagine having more fun for the money! I hope you get the remaining bugs worked out so you can truly enjoy the ride.

Mar 16, 2011
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End in Sight
by: Jim Zeiser

The solution to my paperwork nightmare for the Big Ruck is in sight and now I have to make a decision. What to keep? The motorcycle or the big scooter? It's keeping me awake at night. One is going up for sale by the second week in April. Decisions, decisions.

Nov 29, 2010
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To the Rescue
by: Jim Zeiser

TotalRuckus came to my rescue. I found a thread describing one owners problem with his starter button not working. It seems the left brake switch has a safety switch in it too so when you pull the brake in it enables the solenoid to work. I jumped the wires and-Voila-mine starts. I ordered a new switch so it's safer to use, but for now I can start the Big Ruck with a push of the button. I love the internet. I thought I was going to have to pay a dealer to find the problem but I did it myself with a little help from people who've been there.

Nov 29, 2010
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Been There
by: Jim Zeiser

I went to TotalRuckus to find out how to change the rear end oil. It helped alot. I just downloaded a wiring diagram to use to try to find out why the starter button won't work. I have a few ideas but if I run into a brick wall I'll join and actively engage in conversation with them.

Nov 28, 2010
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Fix it !
by: Anonymous

Jim,
You can go to the Totalruckus(big ruckus) forum for help, there are many guys can give you advise on how to fix it. I have one Big Ruckus just like yours, it has 3500 miles, but I paid a lot of $$ for it! I love it very much! It's a good deal for only $600, fix it! You can do it!!! It's much easier than fixing a car! :-) You need to change some parts for sure. Good luck!!!

Nov 26, 2010
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Thanks for the Thoughts
by: Jim Zeiser

It's an interesting beast, to say the least. As I told a friend it's a hybrid bike-scooter in its mannerisms. It definitely needs a windshield if I keep it. It has an interesting sound too. It's very mechanical and appeals to my old fashioned motorcyclist side.

Nov 25, 2010
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Ed
by: Anonymous

Hello Jim
Your life will never be the same after owning a
Honda. I have a 250 cc Honda Reflex and consider it the best scooter made at this time. I have put 16000 miles on the scooter in 18 months with four road trips averaging about 2000 miles each. I am able to keep up with the group very easily.

When you want your money back on the big ruckus let me know.

Nov 21, 2010
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I'm Wondering Too
by: Jim Zeiser

This might just be the scoot that turns me into a full time scooter rider. If I can turn this into a solid performer I might seriously consider selling the motorcycle and keeping it as my full time ride. It only has 1780 miles and is only five years old. It's also pretty unique as my research seems to indicate that Honda only sold about 1800 of these in this Country. So far it's been fun bringing it back to life and being able to ride on the road at the same speed with traffic. Now if it just wasn't so cold out there, I could enjoy it more taking out to test it.

Nov 20, 2010
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As Always...
by: Kathi, Site Owner

Jim, your scooter stories are interesting. :)

Can't wait to hear how all this plays out. You are becoming quite the hobby mechanic, aren't you?

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