Ruckus Scooter Love

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

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tacked up on my door: "Gone Scootin'!"

I am taking some time off from blogging at the request of my furry and two-legged family. Naw, they don't care, really...

I am just taking some time away from this blog to do some reading, relaxing, and serious scooting!

See you back here next Monday with ride reports, photos, Met updates, etc.

Have a wonderful week and stay safe out there!

Part 2: Saturday's 80 mile scoot: Honda Elite 110 vs.Honda Met 49cc

It was a glorious Saturday and the weather was perfect for a scoot. But today's scoot had a specific purpose and that was to ride the Elite 110 over the foothills a distance of 40 miles to the little Honda Powersports dealer and then pick up my Honda Met 49cc scooter and ride it back home the same way.

The routes over to the next county wind down into the hollars via twists and turns, up and down, passing by creeks and farms and fields. It is rough riding where you constantly have to be alert for critters and gravel and eroded road surfaces. But it is a blast to ride!

Toward the end of the ride there is a final descent into a long valley that is surrounded by small green foothills or "knobs" as they used to call them back home (Kentucky). It is an absolutely breath-taking ride experience.

But I was about business today and that was to turn in my Elite and pick up my Met. I knew that by the time I got done with this day I'd either be elated or devastated that I'd made the trade.

This ride over and back on each scooter would definitely show me the contrast between the two scooters and how they handled on the road.

The route being twisty and up and down hills made for some slower going than usual as you are entering blind curves, encountering hidden driveways, and watching out for deer and scampering bunnies.

But I didn't care. I love to ride at a moderate speed of 30-40mph max anyway.

The Elite rode smoothly and struggled just a bit up some of the steeper hills. I felt that confident, smooth ride of a Buick, if ya know what I mean. I had to keep the throttle open as it would not coast along once I let up on the throttle. It slowed down immediately. So I felt myself pushing myself along, even though the scooter has plenty of power to spare.

It sits a bit high off the ground from what I was used to on a Ruckus and the "dash" is at about mid-chest level. With this I feel that I am up higher off of the road surface, which I am.

I definitely feel as if I am sitting ON the scooter and separate from it. When I ride "fast" (40-50 mph) I feel wobbly and like a sail in the wind.

It is smooth and the seat is comfortable, yet I feel like I am sitting up on a moving barcolounger stool! It is almost too comfortable and plush.

Well, by the time we got to the village where the Honda dealer was all I wanted to do was get off and that I did. I parked it under a tree out back and went about the business of doing the paperwork for the Met, which was ready and waiting for me. While I did that they looked over the Elite and found it immaculate. This all took a while and I never once found myself second-guessing my decision. Not even a sentimental last glance went out.

Good! Very good...

Now it's time to depart on the Met and I've got an alternative route set up for the return. It is about the same length, same sort of terrain. I climb aboard and give it gas and it moves out swiftly on it's Ruck-like rumble.

Immediately I'm hearing and feeling my Ruckus moving underneath me and my heart is filled with excitement! WOW! Here we go! Feels SO good! So familiar...good times remembered.

My mind whispers, "Now you will find out if you have any regrets about trading in the Elite" and before I could complete the thought I felt a big ol' grin breaking out over my face! I was heading up a hill and moving into a turn and the little scoot just felt like it was alive as it took off!

It's moving forward and I immediately realize that this scooter (like my Ruckus, it's cousin) felt right because it "fit" my body. Driving it was almost "intuitive". It felf so familiar, so natural, and was so much fun!

Instead of "plodding foward" with the throttle I was surging forward into the ride and, being closer to the ground with the handlebars at waist level, I felt like I was flying! Now that ol' Buick was a Miata!

The Met did slow down to the 20's up some of the steeper hills, but I already was throttling it in the pre-hill "dip" and revving it up the incline in anticipation. After all, I'd been doing this sort of movement for 5 years previously on a Ruckus (same exact motor) and it was a familiar maneuver to me zooming around these foothills. No problem!

I got that Met up to 40+ several times over the next 40 miles and was zooming down twisties and flying up hills like a monkey on speed! The faster I rode the bigger my grin got! I "felt" the ride, the fun of the movement, the thrill of the corner carving.

The Old Joy was back, the thrill of riding, the pleasure of handling the scooter over twists, turns, hills, all while watching the gorgeous scenery slide by. Not to mention all the smells of the woods: honeysuckle, camp fires, barbeques, the damp, dark earth, the creek beds. Good stuff!

It was fun again, I felt free, I felt happy, I felt alive, I felt like I could ride forever and did not want to get off!

Both scoots took the hills well with the Met slowing down a bit, but making up for it on the downhills and straight aways. The handling and maneuverability of the Met was superior to me. The fit of the Met for me was superior. The Elite was the cushy Buick, the Met was the sporty Miata.

I felt "one with the bike" on the Met. I felt like I was sitting on a chair with the Elite.

Because of my comfort and confidence level my average speed home was about 37 on the Met. On the Elite it was about 27 because I was slowing down in turns to handle the larger feeling scooter's weight.

I knew without a doubt that I had made the right decision for me in swapping out for the Met. I have no regrets and cannot wait for my next ride...just like in my first days of scooting!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Part I: Why the good-bye?

Perhaps only a Ruckus or Met 49cc rider will understand, but what it came down to was: scooter riding wasn't fun anymore since I brought the Elite home.

I thought it would be an advantage, more ccs. But the truth is I only gained 10 more mph. And they were boring mph. And I wasn't going any faster or farther than when I rode my Ruckus.

And oh how I missed my Ruckus!

So I went looking for a used one in the area as the new ones now are too hefty a price for me. I could find nothing.

Somehow it came to me that a Met was "almost" a Ruckus: same engine, same handlebars, similar platform and weight, and same glorious water-cooled engine made in Japan. Same top speed and quick handling.

Ruck had fatter tires, 3" longer wheelbase, and was about 15 pounds heavier. Still that tight, manageable, maneuverable ride on both. Hmmm...

Then as I researched I realized the Met had a few things the Ruck did not: locking underseat storage, locking center stand, gas gage, and some neat accessories from Honda. Plus it was pretty cute looking too and had a low seat. It would "fit" me like the Ruck did.

So I read every review I could find on the internet about the Met and concluded that this scoot has as much of a cult following as the Ruckus. So if I couldn't get a Ruckus back now, I could get a Met because I was seeing used ones all around on Craigslist. 2-3 hours away, but out there.

I learned a lot about the Met and when I found one an hour away I got excited. But it was a Met II and an 03 and I wanted a Met I and at least a 2006 due to the same engine changes that affected the 2006 Ruckus. So I opted out on that one.

I decided to call around and see if any of the 4 Honda dealers within 2 hours of me had any used Mets or 2009 Mets still on the sales floor. I'd seen the 2013 Met and was not interested in it because of some of the changes from the 2009 model. (There was no 2010, 2011, or 2012 model sold.)

First place I called had TWO 2009s on the floor at half the original listed dealer price! It was too good to be true! I then called about 5 other Ohio dealers and they either had nothing or listed them at $2000+ out the door.

So I called the first dealer back and she also had 2 Rucki on the floor. Listed at web price in the mid $2K range and NO bonus bucks running on the web now. Could not do a new Ruck! Darn!

So I said I'd come down and eye ball the 2009 Monzo Met later that afternoon. I needed time to think of how I was going to justify two scooters, so close in performance, sitting out in my garage.

Plus I knew at some point I was going to get my hands back on a Ruckus eventually and I certainly could not justify THREE scooters!

Then an idea popped in my head: see if I can trade the Elite for one of the new 2009 Mets. I perused the NADA, thought about it, and called back.

The offer was taken with interest and about an hour later I got a call back that they would be willing to work a deal out with me if I decided to go for the Met.

Wow! Not having to deal with low ballers and text messages and people who don't show up to see the scooter after you wait for them for hours?! Too good to be true!

But was I ready to say "good bye" to the Elite? It took me less than 30 seconds to realize that the answer was definitely YES. I had no feeling for that scooter, even though I tried to do so. I was not riding it. Cob webs were literally forming in the brake levers.

Why? It was beautiful to look at, smooth riding, powered up hills, lots of storage. What's not to like? Simply put, for me it was not fun! It was boring and felt big and like taking it out to do a little run or longer ride even was a chore. Yes, "chore".

I can't explain it otherwise but I'd feel myself looking at it in the garage and I felt distain, resentment, aggravation. It had taken my Ruck away from me and scootering was no longer fun. How weird, but how true.

It had to go. I knew it the day the title came in the mail. I was already formulating the Craigslist ad and bracing myself for the goofy calls and text messages. But I wanted the Elite gone and my Ruck back!

So back to Friday...glory be, they will take it in a trade! How rare, how wonderful, how exciting! I jumped my butt in the cage and swiftly drove down to the dealership to eye ball the Monzo Met.

In the door, there were two of them sitting next to two Rucki. Yeah, about the same size. Pretty much going to be the same ride plus a few niceties. And the red was gorgeous!

That's it: write it up and order me a front basket and a rear rack. I'm ready to bring in the Elite tomorrow! Not a feeling of regret, not one shred of sadness, just "let's get this deal going, I want to ride again like I used to do! On a FUN scooter!" If I can't have a Ruckus now, then give me a Met!

Part II will be a ride comparison report between the 49cc Met and the 108 cc Elite over a 100 mile, mountainous stretch to and from the dealership, which took place on Saturday.

Very interesting and surprizing conclusions...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A little "Squirt" of scooter joy... sitting in my garage and I am having a BLAST scootin' again!

The little Ruck's cousin, the Met!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Martha's Challenge: Photos of "The Ride that Refreshes"

Taking on Martha's Challenge (Living Among Tourists), I offer a photographic ride along my route that I earlier referred to as "the ride that refreshes".

Since I don't commute to work, as I work out of my home, this is a regular "fun" 16 mile round trip ride right out my door.

Hold on, here we go...!

Turn right out my gravel drive and head out down this road...

Take another turn and meander along by the Amish school house...

Turn down the road to the antique shop which used to be an art gallery...

Pass the silos and grain bins on the left...

Come to the Fabric Shop and Bird Shop (holds an annual Bird Symposium)...

Stop at the Presbyterian church (on my way to the post office)...

Pass the Unity Cemetary on the right...

The long open stretch through the fields...

Say hello to friends as you pass by...

Approaching the covered bridge...

Ahhh..the light at the end of the tunnel!

Hit the post office and return to the hidden creek bed down a leafy ravine

Standing on the bridge, look to your left...

Look to your right...

A few miles back up the hill, head back through the bridge...

Pass Ryan's Grocery (Now closed as Mr Ryan passed a few years ago)...

And back down the road to home...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer Fest and Delicious Pork Barbeque...

Today the weather was gorgeous and I took a 40 mile round trip ride into the county seat, West Union, to visit the Summer Fest on the town square.

This 4 day annual festival features food, games, vendors of all sorts, and LOTS of people riding motorcycles everywhere! I even saw another scooter just like mine parked behind the town pharmacy. Never saw the owner though.

While there I walked around a bit and eventually did a little grocery shopping and then enjoyed a fantastic "Southern Style" pulled pork barbeque sandwich with cole slaw on it and a huge glass of sweet tea.

Sitting in the table in the shade I watched motorcycles come and go up the main street of town. It was interesting-not one person wore any safety gear, not even a helmet! Wow!

The rest of the time I rode around a few village streets exploring the area and then left town via a winding single lane rural road that plunged downhill through some deep woods and over a few pretty, quiet streams.

I stopped at one point on a single lane bridge and sat on the scoot just absorbing the sounds and smells of the woods and the creek. It was beautiful and very peaceful.

I tried to take some photos of a family of Canadian geese with their babies swimming on the stream under this bridge but by the time I got the camera out of it's pouch they had faded into small, dark specks on the viewfinder.

Also today I did my first fill-up on the scoot, giving her a "premium" sip of gasoline for around $4 and some change. I estimate she is getting around 110 mpg. Pretty good!

Most notable is that today I really, truly realized that I am in love with this scooter, once and for all. I loved both my Rucki, but more power and comfort are so nice as I ride the Elite over distance. I felt like I could ride all day which was a contrast to my 49cc adventures. I love it!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Coming Soon....

The "Ohio River Ramblers Scootin' Group"...the blog is linked. Hopefully people will come to the rides and enjoy some "down home country scootin'"!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Short, Big Gals Must Ride Nekkid!!!

Yeah, got your attention, didn't I? Well, it's TRUE!

We "must ride nekkid" because manufacturer's do not acknowledge our existence in the Moto Universe.

How do I know this? Because I have been trying to find some pants or chaps to wear on my 29 inseam, "bigger thighed" LEGS for the past few months and am coming up with nothing, nada, zilch.

Oh there's "bigger thighed" chaps for men who are 6'4" tall OR "giantesses", but none for us shorties.

Pants? Forget it! If your pants are "BIG ENOUGH" (womens' or mens') they are going to drag the ground when you walk or flap around in the breeze as you ride your scooter to the market. Yep, breezy!

Let's talk jackets: "BIG ENOUGH" in the bust and hips means "gorilla arm length" and shoulders like a Green Bay Packer. Try finding a "womens' size" jacket at an on-line retailer now and you find they are "all sold out" in the first week of June.

So, I am back at square one with my shopping spree. So far I have: 1) Cortech riding gloves (which I've had for 5 years); 2) Faded Glory leather waterproof ankle high hiking boots from Wal-Mart; 3) a "womens' size" jacket enroute from LeatherUp (last one on the website that had any chance of fitting me); 4) a hi viz yellow mens' 3x riding vest (from Ebay) which is armored and will go over any of my other normal jackets (last resort, at least it's some protection) 5) my 3/4 helmet with visor which I've had for 5 years.

Dress me now and I'm sans pants and jacket...aka "nekkid" of protective riding gear other than boots, gloves, helmet, and a SMILE!

This is what I get for being a 57 year old broad with real hips, a generous bust, sturdy thighs, a solid waistline. If I were a guy I'd be a "Big Man". Since I'm not a guy I'm just a "Plus Size Woman". Hmmmm....

Size seems to matter in the Moto World and us "Big Girls" aren't worth much to the manly merchants of motorcycle riding gear.

And who in the world determined that we all must like PINK or PURPLE? Geeze...what's with that?

Meanwhile, I wait for UPS, FedEx, or the USPS "mail lady" to bring me something to wear!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Scooter Funk

We've had some beautiful days this week and I have not ridden even once. Not since my last post about riding on my "ride that refreshes".

It's not that I haven't thought about riding. I look at the scooter and think I will ride that day. But then I don't. I just don't feel like it in the morning, in the afternoon, or later in the evening. All times that I "say" I will ride, that I will get around to doing it. But I don't.

Have I been too busy to ride? No. I've had time. I just don't do it. I feel sad or guilty or frustrated that I don't do it. But I STILL don't do it.

I am "in a funk" about riding...don't know what it is. Oh, well...