Ruckus Scooter Love

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

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

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!


  1. This is really valuable feedback for anyone considering a Met OR a larger scooter. Of course, I think size of the rider is a big issue. A 6 foot individual would have little trouble with the Elite and major discomfort with the Metro. I enjoy the Metro for the same reasons you do. Love the Buick/Miata reference! can get over 40? I top out at 40, never over and there's nothing to gain going down hills. I'm about 95 pounds so it's not my weight slowing me! What's the scoop?

    Great story, well written! If you have a local paper you should throw this story at them!

    Let me know how well you think the Met handles the gravel, etc. I ride on gravel roads and slam on the brakes and it never slides, stays straight and firm. However, a joy ride through a mud puddle nearly did me in. Not a good idea...

    1. Interestingly, in reading reviews I was amazed at the number of tall guys who are riding the Met and saying their knees hit the handlebar! Must be worth it, eh?! LOL

      I meant "just over the 40 mph mark" and I shouldn't have been pushing that during the break-in period!

      I think the Met has pretty beefy tires. Not quite as wide as the Ruckus, but it has held stable on the stuff around here which ranges from chipseal to pure small and large grain gravel.

      I am "way respectful" of the gravel and slowly pick my way along totally gravel roads. And watch out for walnuts and acorns too! LOL

      I explored swapping my Met's tires out for wider Ruck tires but was told a mod would have to be made on the rear housing and that would void Honda's warranty.

      I am going to eventually find a used Ruck to keep my Met company anyway and right now I feel the Met can handle most any road around here.

      Be careful with that slamming on of the brakes on gravel, Martha! It wouldn't take much to flip you on your side!

  2. Scooter is very useful things for every one. Here I get such nice information about 80 mile scoot. You have done great work to here.

  3. Hooray! Am am glad you got your groove back and are happy with the decision.

  4. Deb,

    You can hear your heart singing in your words! I am so happy that you are in scooter zen again and out zipping around! Yay!!!!!!!! I tried to go back to my scooter and love her as much as I once did, but unfortunately I have not found the same zen with Vixen. I am the happiest when I am riding Scarlet. I have to say though maneuvering Scarlet around in the bike cage at work is NOT a treat and that is the one place that Vixen wins and it is in the moto lair at work and also when its time to pick up groceries. You just can not beat a scooter when it comes to carrying capacity.

    Enjoy Lil' Red.

    1. Yes, I am on "cloud nine" now and feeling content and happy inside in ways I cannot describe. I think it is somewhat of a "mystery" as to why something works for one and not the other.

      I'm sure my affinity for 49cc takes me down a notch or two in the eyes of some scooterists and most motorcyclists, but I could care less.

      They don't know what they are missing! LOL

      Glad your Scarlet is running faithfully for you!

  5. Deb - I test drove a few of the higher sitting scoots and felt very unnerved on them, they didn't feel solid, but very spindly and tippy. When I test drove the Sym Mio (even though I wiped out on it) it was definitely a better fit. Which is what lead me to the Yamaha Vino which is pretty close to the Met. You feel like you are a part of that little scooter, because it is comfortable to sit on, it doesn't make you squirmy to find the right position. Being able to flat foot changes the whole dynamic of the ride. I also did not like where the handlebars hit on the higher scooters, I almost felt like I was having to inch forward on the seat to be able to manage steering comfortably. Then there was having to do the lean when I stopped because I couldn't flat foot. I also found the deck on the taller scooter had me placing my feet differently, I never felt comfortable.

    Enter the Vino and the seat height was perfect. Handle bars perfect and height of the entire scooter was way more manageable. I found it more manoeuverable because I wasn't fighting against balancing it all to make it work and be comfortable for myself. The vino won hands down. I looked at a Ruck, but couldn't find one that hadn't been beaten to death and if I was going to get a Ruck I wanted a red one and couldn't find one. The closest I came to a Ruck was a Yamaha BWS, which resembles a Ruck, but has a solid body frame. One day I think I may want a scooter again, but I think I will look for a Vino 125 and that will satisfy my cc issues.

    Hey when you get that lovin' feeling, roll with it. Sometimes it isn't all about more cc's. My hubby wants to put Vixen up for sale and I reluctantly said yes. I think it is time that she finds someone else who is going to have some new found scooter love.

    BTW: Check out California Scooter Co. They make a sweet little 150cc low slung motorcycle called the Babydoll and it may appeal to you. I thought it was pretty cute and would consider getting one of these.

  6. Dar-
    What you describe is exactly what I felt riding that Elite and others. The Elite was closest to my having my feet down firmly at a stop, but all of sitting on it was a "stretch" compared to the Ruckus or the Met.

    I felt like I was sitting "on" it like a chair instead of feeling "one with the bike" like I do on my Ruck/Met.

    I think it all boils down to a "lower center of gravity" which I feel on the Ruck and Met. It really affects the handling of the bike.

    I think you get more of that sense on a motorcycle too, wouldn't you say?

    I think I am pretty content at 49cc. I can ride anywhere I want to, go up to a tad over 40mph, and enjoy the heck out of the experience. I am not going to ride around cars anymore than I absolutely have to and
    I am lucky to live in an area where I am not forced (at least not much) to do that.

    When I have to I ride on the side of the road "like a bicycle" all decked out in hi-viz and feel safer than if I were in the lane doing 55+ on a scooter or motorcycle. Big trucks scare me to death as I was almost killed by one (driving my car) in 1988. I would not dream of riding on a highway with semis flying by!

    The little scoot suits me and I do not find it to be a deterrant to doing longer rides. I will ride further and have more fun doing it if I am comfortable handling the scoot and enjoying riding it.

    I hate to see you say good-bye to Vixen, but I sense that she may eventually be replaced by a Vino 125! You probably do need more ccs commuting in traffic in your area. I kind of like those little scoots too. Such beautiful lines on them! "Big Vixen"! Yeah! :=)

  7. Oh, yay! I was confused after reading your last post. I am catching up in true backwards blog fashion. Sounds like you made the right choice.