Ruckus Scooter Love

Ruckus Scooter Love
Scootin' For A Slower Pace of Life...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cortech Sport Tail Bag-Great Addition for Shopping, Touring, etc.

Are you looking for a way to carry groceries on your scooter or motorcycle but don't want to add a permanent topcase or basket?

Maybe you own two scoots and want to be able to easily transfer one bag (or baggage system) between them.

Are you looking for a bag to pack up your duds for a day trip or overnight excursion but your underseat storage area is just not big enough for all of it?

Maybe you are commuting and wish you had a way to transport your laptop, jacket, lunch, etc. and then easily take it into the office with you?

What about a tail bag that could take on saddle bags as well and then you're set for touring, major shopping, hitting the yard sales, or just about any other use for all 3 pieces?

Well, if any of these statements describe you, you ought to give this Cortech Sport Tail Bag a look!

I picked up a red one on Ebay for use on my Ruckus and also on my Elite. On the Ruckus it sits on the rear rack and tail light mount. On the Elite it will fit on the back half of the seat.

It is so easy to attach to your scooter as it uses 4 adjustable bungee cords (built right into the bottem of the bag) that you secure onto your scooter frame or seat or rack by way of large plastic hooks on the ends of the bungees.

These cords retract into the bottem of the case which has a soft, foam-like platform that rests on your scoot's surface. I added a hard rubber mat inside my case's inside bottem to reinforce it's firmness.

The case itself has a hard rubber handle for convenient off-scoot carrying and a removable, adjustable shoulder strap as well.

There are 2 zip side pockets with storm flaps and the entire case expands by way of a cleverly designed zipper system. It becomes so wide that a laptop will easily fit inside.

Inside the case lid there are a few zip pockets, a key clip, and pen holders. The interior of the case is huge and being soft, expands.

I could see myself carrying 2-3 small plastic grocery bags in there or clothing items such as a jacket or shoes.

There is also a rain cover (black) that fits over the entire case. I wish they had made this in hi viz neon yellow or something, but you'll have to settle for black.

This tail bag attaches by clips to the seperately sold matching saddle bags. I am planning to get a set of those which I can use on my bigger scooter for touring.

The whole tail bag is easily removed from your scooter. I would advise keeping it in the house when not in use as I could see this bag as being easily lifted as there is no way it "locks" onto your scooter.

I would rather have something like this that I use occasionally and which allows me to maintain the clean profile of my scooter than ride with a noisy plastic topcase buzzing along with me down the road.

Another plus is you can take it off and carry it like a shoulder bag on day tours for shopping or just to ensure that your stuff does not get stolen.

I got the red for higher visibility, but it comes in red, black, and blue.

Just Google "Cortech Sport Tail Bag" and you can find them being sold everywhere for around $75.

An awesome price for a high quality and versatile piece of scooter luggage!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Honda Elite 110~I Couldn't Help Myself...When It's Right, It's Right!!

I went back to the dealership today and rode the Honda Elite 110 again. This time I really took it out on about a 10 mile ride in the area.

I rode it on a 45 mph 4 lane highway, throughout a college campus, up into a residential area, and through a local cemetary with a gravel and packed dirt road running through it. And, oh yes, up a steep hill to the cemetary gate.

Doing all this gave me a feel for the scooter's handling and my comfort level while riding it. It was supreme in all respects!

Smooth, responsive, agile, quiet, and fast when I needed it to be. It also handled well at a variety of speeds and especially on uneven surfaces of packed dirt and gravel at very slow speed.

This is important because getting it out of my farmhouse "drive way" and onto the road is a touchy situation. Once I am out of that I am on pavement, but even then we have some rough roads up here to traverse before getting to more smoothly paved ones.

The scoot managed it easily and it felt stable picking through the rough stuff. It also zoomed right up the steep hill without hesitation and believe me, my home area is full of steep hills. The Ruck struggles at less than 10 mph up the steepest one. This Elite 110 went straight up without a hitch. Man, that was neat!

I returned to the dealership, haggled a bit with them, got a bit of a discount, and put it on lay-by for 60 days.

Now comes the hard part: waiting to pay it off with each passing payday. I hope I will have her out and on the road for Memorial Day weekend, if not sooner!

Wheeeeeee Whoooooooo! Can't wait for that first long ride out into the country! Best part? I can now GO SOMEWHERE on my scooter! Not just putz along on the side of the road!

Now the Ruckus will be in good Honda company with her Elite 110 sister!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Prospective Scooter "Laundry List"

So here's my laundry list of potential bigger scoots so far. These are ones I have thought of and researched. Some I have actually test ridden, some I have not:

Honda Big Ruckus

Test rode one in 2007 and I should have bought it then. Guy was asking $2900 for a yellow one. Preferring a black one, I walked away thinking I'd find another. Now they are very hard to find one for sale. Those I've seen on-line are listed high as they know they can get it for this rare and wonderful scooter.

Honda Reflex

This one appeals to me but then I believe it is might be too big for me to feel comfortable handling. Reputed to be good for a smaller rider, having a low seat. Occasionally I've seen used ones locally going for around $2,000ish depending on the year and condition. I wouldn't mind trying one out, but I'd prefer one with the smaller windscreen.

Honda Helix

I test rode one once on a very short ride. On the one I rode I did not like looking through plexiglass wind screen. What turns me off about the Helix is the gooney looking front end and the right foot pedal on the floorboard. Supposedly they have a very comfortable seat, run powerfully, and are described as the "creme de la creme" of touring scoots. Also fitted for shorties like me. There sure are plenty around for sale at low prices. I think I might like to give one a real test ride again. I would have to try not to look at the front end anymore than I have to! LOL

Honda Elite 110

Honda PCX

Yamaha Zuma 125

I test rode one and liked it. It was fast and felt similar to sitting on a Ruckus. The seat felt higher and it felt hard. Not sure this one would be comfortable for longer rides. They rare to find used and their prices tend to run high. Many Ruckus owners step up on a Zuma 125 because it has many of the rugged attributes found in a Ruck. I might consider it if I could locate one to try again and the price was right

Yamaha Vino 125

This one is THE MYSTERY SCOOT that I am dying to try! It would offer similar features to the Honda Elite 110 but would have the motorcycle style handlebars, kick start, and a side stand, plus go up to 60mph with 125cc. And a FLOORBOARD. I love the looks of it too. I am seeing multiple used ones around locally from $1500-2200. I read one review by an Elite 110 owner who also rode a Vino 125 and he said the Elite blows the Vino off the road even though the Vino has more ccs. He attributed that to the EFI on the Elite 110 which gives it a performance edge. Interesting.

Genuine Buddy 125 and 150cc

These are popular in Cincinnati due to their being sold by a major scooter dealership that is at the heart of the scooter community there. Their looks is pure retro and their color array is awesome! So is their line-up of after market accessories. Plus they come with a 2 year warranty and roadside assistance. The reviews are excellent as is the reputation of the company. I feel put off somewhat by the tiny dashboard set-up on these scoots, though that did not bother me on the Elite 110, which is similar. Prices on these scoots new and used are awesome. I definitely want to arrange a visit to the shop and a test ride.

Kymco People 150

I rode one of these on a test ride a few years ago. What I remember is that it is tall and I felt like I was sitting way up high looking down on the console. Fast scoot, nice big tires, smooth ride. The big wheel effect mimicks a motorcycle-like ride but for shorties like me it might be an issue.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Riding the Honda Elite 110...smooth and perky!

I gotta admit that I've walked right by this scooter so many times during my visits to the local Honda dealership. Just never really gave it a thought. I vaguely remember my first "look see" and what stuck in my mind was the HUGE underseat storage area. I mean HUGE!

Originally I went to the dealership to test ride the PCX. Then out on the showroom floor I saw the Elite 110 in red and black, right next to the PCX. The black one caught my eye and i found myself sitting on it and decided that I probably should give it a test ride too!

So I rode the PCX and then this Elite 110, in that order, that same day.

When I saddled up the Elite 110 it struck me that it felt like it "fit" me. My hands and arms rested comfortably on the handlebars and I had solid reach to the ground while seated.

Only these handlebars were the more traditional "Vespa-like" horizontal bars with the "dashboard" right in the middle of them. I thought I would hate that, but it did not bother me in the least.

I was looking almost directly forward and slightly downward at the display. Not "downward" like I was seated on a stool, like on some scooters I've tried. It was a relaxed seating position that felt natural and the display was easy to view while riding.

I looked down and liked the generous floor board area. There is also a nice-sized locking glove box there as well with room for a cell phone, wallet, keys, snacks, whatever.

The ignition has an anti-theft feature and there is a parking brake on the left sided handlebar, similar to that found on the Ruckus. You access the lock for the generous underseat storage via a key position change.

And it has a rear rack already installed as well as passenger footpegs that flip out like the older Elite 80. The seat area was plenty huge for two and there is a small grab rail for the passenger.

I forgot to mention that I once owned an Elite 80 and I have to say THIS Elite resembles it in name only!

The scooter fired up immediately and quietly (fuel injection as well) and when I twisted the throttle it moved forward without hesitation. There was no vibration, no buzzing of the plastic molding (as in the old Elite 80s), and no sense of being on little wheels (this one has 2 different sized wheels, 10 and 12 inch).

It felt solid, stable, and it moved out FAST!

I was up to 30mph before I knew it and I honestly could not tell any lack of power on the Elite over the 125cc PCX. Both took off quickly and got up to 30-35mph in a jiffy. I did not try to max this scoot out to the reportly 52mph top speed due to the fact that I was on a 35mph posted road, but I've no doubt it could have easily done it. Maybe then some.

On this scoot I felt a grin come over my face...this was FUN! I ran it through some circle 8s and other parking lot maneuvers and it was easy to manipulate through tight turns. It felt little, but powerful!

I did not want to get off, but horn honking, I reluctantly took it back to the Honda dealership's parking lot.

What I like: LOTS of storage-underseat, glove box, comes with a rear rack and after market top case, grocery hooks on the front console; fuel injected and a reported 100-110mpg; comfortable seat; more comfortable view of dashboard; ran smooth and quiet; windshield is offered for this model by Honda; peppy ride!

Things it lacks: no kick-start (again!); no side stand; typical "stick like" handlebars that weren't awful, just not as neat as PCX or Ruckus motorcycle type handlebars. But they were ok. I did not feel like I was steering a tiller, which I half expected. It felt responsive, natural, intuitive in the handling.

Of the latter category, the lack of a kick start is the thing that bothers me the most. I have had to use my Ruckus kick start all winter to fire Scootie up each week for her 10 minute garage runs. Hopefully fuel injection makes up for that.

Bottom line: I liked the looks of both scooters but I loved the "feel" (ride position, peppiness, smoothness, storage options, FLOORBOARD) of the Elite more. This scooter is a perfect "all rounder": commuter, fun rides, light touring, town and country. No doubt it could handle the hills around my area with no trouble at all plus traverse some 45-55 mph roads if necessary.

I have lusted over the PCX for so long and now I ride both scoots and I feel more comfortable (and have more FUN) riding the Elite 110! It was stunning in black and a fun, but utilitarian rig ready to head to the grocery store, the library, or out on the open road for some long day trips and maybe a little light touring too!

Shame Honda sold it in the U.S. for only 2010. Clearance prices are good on this bike and I heartily recommend it to a beginner or seasoned rider looking for a great all-around scooter!

Maybe a little touring too...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Experience of Test Riding the Honda PCX...Wow!

I had reason to be near my local Honda dealership yesterday and it was nice weather and I had my helmet in the, why not stop in for that promised test ride?

Not only did I get to test ride the PCX, but they offered me to compare ride it with the Elite 110. So I rode them both.

They prepped the PCX and I was the first person to actually ever ride this particular scooter. It was the red one. (They said they had a Pearl White one in a crate in the back!)

So I proceeded to put a couple of miles on it riding on nearby residential pace roads around the dealership neighborhood.

First thing I noticed was that it felt like I was on a Big Ruckus or motorcycle with it's swept-back handlebar set-up. I was immediately comfortable with this. My short arms had an easy, comfortable reach to the grips. I felt like I was sitting "in" the cockpit, not "on" a stool looking down at my feet planted forward.

With these chrome handlebars like this the dashboard panel is forward of your view, just in front of the handlebars. The display was couched under a small sport windshield and easy to view. The controls were similar to my Ruckus with turn indicators, horn, start-up, and kill switch right there where I was used to them as per "Honda style".

The steering did not feel "squirrely", which I have experienced on some scooters (my old Honda Elite 80). It was, however, easily maneuverable to steer. I was doing figure 8's around a few abandoned parking lots and feeling no frustration in cutting the curves and doing tight turns easily.

Putting my feet up was different than what I am used to once I pushed off. The PCX has a side "running board" similar to the Big Ruckus, only on the PCX it runs comfortably up to the front of the scooter and therefore offers a variety of foot positions. You can stretch your legs out or tuck them alonside. Just not in front of you as you have no "floor board" as on the Ruckus or Elite or others.

That was weird, and I must admit I do like a floorboard, but I could adjust to accomodate the other charms of the PCX. Just something to get used to.

The scoot moved forward immediately on acceleration and I was up to 35mph in no time. I did not "feel" like I was doing that speed which on the Ruckus feels like 70mph! I could sense that this puppy had power to spare but I was not in the mood for a speeding ticket! I've read this thing will hit 70mph. Would not doubt it.

The handling was solid and I attributed that to the 14 inch wheels rolling under me. The ride was smooth and when I turned up into some areas with bumpy concrete accesses I did not feel jarred at all. Nor did I feel other pavement cracks and roughness as I rode.

Oddly, I did not feel intimidated by the size of the PCX, which is a stark contrast to my little Ruckus in size. It felt manageable and handled well. I did not feel like it was going to "lay over" on me once I took it off the center stand while mounting it due to it's low center of gravity.

I could easily handle it and balance it while standing alongside and raising my leg over the center console. I've laid a Honda Shawdow over that way and let me tell you it is not fun. And it is darn embarrassing too! (Had to call the neighbors in to help me pull it up! Another story..).

Things I liked about it: riding a scoot with POWER, the handlebar set-up, the sporty appearance, the wind protection offered by the body molding for your legs and the windshield for the face (not sure how much it deflects cold wind, but it has to do some of that), the roomy underseat storage, the bigger wheels, the low weight for confident handling (280 lbs), the front disk brake, and a center and side stand.

Did I mention that it is a hot-looking machine? I like that too. A scoot's got to look good to it's owner. (I say it that way because some people think the Ruckus is a homely looking scooter. What do they know?)

Pluses I read about: fuel injection and a tamper-resistant ignition switch plus a supposed 110 mpg! (Ruckus gets 100mpg). Also, it is supposed to go up to 70 mph. And a "combined braking system" for front to rear consistancy in stopping. That's a wonderful added safety feature that I appreciate.

Things I wonder: can you add a rear rack to carry saddle bags, etc. for touring or shopping around town? Is the seat comfortable for long-distance riding? Would I miss a floor board? Would it be tight seating for a passenger?

The one feature that it lacks that matters to me most: no kick-start as a back-up in cold weather starting, etc. Same on the Elite 110. What WERE they NOT thinking with that?

I was pretty impressed with the ride and handling of the PCX!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Drool time....Honda's PCX scooter

I can't lie to you...I have been obcessed with this scooter since the first time I laid eyes on it last year!

Especially the Pearl White one. Uhmm...NUMMY!

I've had pics of this scoot on my desktop since last year. And then I went to my local Honda dealer and saw one in person. I sat on it. It felt "right". Why? Well, it seemed to "fit" me.

You see the Ruckus fits me as well. What I mean by that is that I am a 29 inch inseam, shorter arms, 5'4", and not able (or willing) to heft a heavy scooter. Especially a "top heavy" one.

This one presents with a low center of gravity (like the Ruckus), motorcycle style handlebars that curve back (similar to the Ruckus), a low, comfy seat (for two, no less!), and a windshield that I can see over easily. This I know just from sitting on it. Yep!

It also has other amenities that I desire: large underseat storage where I can lock up my helmet or groceries; more wind protection for body and legs; a side "floor board" type footrest that, though not a true floorboard, it offers multiple foot positions for long rides; a center stand and kick start lever (must have); and large motorcycle-like 14 inch wheels. is the hottest looking scooter that my eyes have ever seen!

It's sort of like a mini-Reflex, but not as cumbersome to handle. It can also reach up to 60mph, plenty of oomph for maneuvering among traffic.

I may have a chance to test ride one at the local Honda dealer very soon. In fact, maybe on Friday. If so, I will do a ride report!

Next to the Big Ruckus, this is one "dream scooter" for me and one I am definitely considering saving up for.

Big Ruckus, you have some major competition in my scooter-obcessed heart!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Maxidog has made a full recovery!

Not even a week out from her surgery my Maxi is playing and cheerful and feeling good for the first time in a long time!

Vet said he took 9 bladder stones out of her and that they will analyze them to see if she will have to go on a special diet to control their formation in the future.

But she is a happy little girl now and I just wanted to share the good news!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ruckus Co-Pilot on "medical leave"...wish her luck!

MaxiDog is going to have surgery in the morning.

She is having 8 (enough!) bladder stones removed from her "cargo hold"!

The Ruckus will be grounded in the hangar awaiting her return to duty!

Updates to follow...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

70 degrees in March? Let's get scootin'...

And I did! Me and my Tree Walker Coon Hound, Buster, scooted (well, he ran alongside!) up our road to a dirt/gravel road that leads back to an unoccupied Amish farm. Actually English own it now, but they live in the northern part of Ohio and rarely come down. It is basically abandoned 99% of the year.

When we first moved out here the Amish family that started up our two markets lived there. On their property was an old, ramshackle cottage that was the first bakery in the area. Then they built a 2 story, 7 bedroom house and a smaller cottage for "O-Paw and O-Maw". What we could call a "mother-in-law" house next to the family big house.

Also on the property is a huge barn, a dairy milking parlor, a stable, and a few other work sheds. The acreage is huge but the property itself is basically devoid of life, human and animal.

Occasionally on my rides (or hikes) back there I will see a deer in the field or maybe a squirrel. I also see Coyote scat, but no other animals or people. It is a beautiful location, but kind of sad since the Amish family that originally owned it moved to Michigan.

My first introduction to this family when I moved out here 7 years ago was kind of bizarre. I was coming up the main road in the dark one summer evening. Actually, it was just twilight when you can still see shadows in the fields. I was going slowly, expecting deer to run out in front of my car, but "lo and behold" I spied a bay pony in the road in front of me!

So what now? I got out of my car, flashers left on for safety, and tried to coax the pony to come to me. He had no harness on, so I was hoping really to just get him to run into a nearby field. At least get off the road, you goofy nag! Well, he took off running down the dirt road toward the Amish farm and I followed behind him in the car, lighting his way and more or less herding him into the farm yard.

Once he had run off behind the main farm house I knocked on the "O-Paw" door and alerted the Amish farmer to the fact that his horse was lounging out on the road and awaiting vehicular death in the dark! Anyway, he thanked me and quickly set out with a kerosene lantern to look for the beast and stable him.

Anyway, 5 years later this attorney who bought the property proclaimed to the neighbors at the annual road party that he was going to set up a wildlife preserve. He was going to bring in zebras, buffalo, Ostriches, and other exotic critters. Seemed odd to me and folks rolled their eyes behind his back when he talked about it.

Thank goodness it has never happened! After a few years he approached us and offered to rent the house, wanting property caregivers and we considered it. We toured the huge house, but thought it was way too big for our needs. It was beautiful inside with hardwood floors, an eat-in kitchen, and a huge full front porch.

But it felt too far off the beaten path for our taste. Also, it had no electricity and fuel oil heat, which is very expensive. He was going to wire the house if we rented it, but we passed on the offer.

But it's a great place to do a quick scoot where my dog can run along with me and there is no traffic. The road back onto the property is about a mile and curves down and around a pond and up into the farmyard. There is a big picnic table under a tree and I have spent some happy times there with a book or yakking on my cell phone to friends. A nice get away place.

My ride today was spontaneous and I rode in a tee shirt, shorts (yes, a helmet, always), sneakers and gloves. It was a slow ride on a warm day and the scoot purred along happily. And so did I and my Buster dog!