Ruckus Scooter Love

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

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter, Happy Spring!


Happy Easter! Happy Spring! May your lives be filled with joy, peace, and the promise of new beginnings!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Tale of Two Scooters


My love of little 49cc scooters puts me in a rider’s quandary.

At some point in my scooting life I will always be in need of more power. More speed to navigate traffic, more power to pull up hills, more comfort to ride long distances.

More.

This realization pretty much sums up my version of scooter angst over the years. There is nothing that I can do to alleviate this existential frustration other than own more than one scooter, if one of them is going to be a 49cc.

And oh how I love the little scoots, the 49ccs. At this point in my dotage I have come to accept that one must be in my scooter cave.

If it is the only one, then I will have to rig up a way to transport the scooter out into the rural areas for expanded riding options. A utility trailer, a versa haul, a small pick-up truck as a second vehicle. Something.


I started out on a 49cc Ruckus and riding one puts a big ol’ grin on my face every single time. 40 miles per hour feels like 80. They zip around like a jack rabbit on speed and it has to be the closest thing to the sensation of flying.

49cc scooters are small enough to park at the bike rack up at the grocery or on the sidewalk at the mall. They can be stored easily, moved around easily, and I sit flat-footed on them with ease.

They are cheap to insure and easy to love.


Now here are the downsides to owning only a 49cc scooter, in my experience…

I live in a semi-rural area. This means I am doing a bit of errand riding to the grocery, library, post office, book stores, local parks, and the mall. All within a few miles of me at no more than 35 mph. Perfect for a little scooter that goes up to 43mph on a flat route with an encouraging wind at my backside.

But this daily use of the scooter is only a part of how I want to ride. The thing I love the most is to get out on those back roads east of my location. Rolling rural enclaves of farmland stretching out to the Ohio River and on to the foothills of the Appalachians.


Miles and miles of quiet, scenic beauty where I find my “scooter nirvana”. I have gone out there on my 49cc scooter, but it has been a day’s journey out and back. I have had to ride on the side of the road most of the time to allow cars to pass and ensure my own safety. It is fun to do this once in a while, but for more frequent excursions it becomes a chore.


There was a time when I lived out there and doing those rides was an easy, daily occurrence. Now, from the burbs, it is a project. One that I take on because I love it, but it takes up a lot of time and happens much less often than I’d like.


Here’s another downside that I experience from owning only a 49cc scooter: I cannot go to local scooter club events as I am too damn far away and even if I could get there I cannot keep up with the group rides.

And I am tired of scooting alone all the time.

Sure I could “haul in” the scooter on a versa haul or utility trailer to the scooter rallies. And I may am plan to have one of those options available to me within the next year. Mainly because I would like to haul my scooter on vacation or take it to way far off areas to ride in events or on fascinating routes.

But then again, unless these rides are “49cc friendly” (and some are, but most are not) I am still going to be the “cow’s tail”.

Sorry, Bossy.


We’ve got two more or less local scooter clubs and I have never been able to go to any of their events. Even the few other riders in my area ride Burgman’s or PCXs or whatnot. I have had opportunities to hook up with some riding companions, but I am automatically “out of their league” in terms of keeping up. Most people are accommodating, but who wants to putz along at 35mph for hours on end? (Except for riders like me, who love to do that.)

And then it comes down to this. Some days I would like to just get on my scooter and ride way out in the country. I mean “way out”. Down along the river, over 3 or 4 counties to the foothills, up to the antique shops north of me, into town for lunch with scoot club folk, and so forth.

A bigger scooter in my garage would allow me to do that.


So basically this need for 2 scooters is a functional thing.

My goal at this point is to own another Ruckus and then to find a second scooter that I can do all of the above.

For me, on my budget, and based on local availability, this might take awhile. I am not sure if, or when, I would accomplish this goal.

I am not sure which scooter I will obtain first, little or big.

I will start a little “scooter fund” once my retirement money starts coming in later this month. I will watch to see what pops up used locally and get some figures on prices for new models.

I might consider a used scooter if it is a later model and ridden frequently. No more scooters that sat for years and years.

There are only a few shops here in the area that carry used and new scooters. I am known in all of them.

I lean toward Honda, Yamaha, Genuine, Kymco, and Suzuki products because of the warranty and availability of competent service if something goes wrong.

I also want to consult with U-Haul about what it would take to put the brake light kit on my SUV so that I could rent a utility trailer. This would increase my range of options for shopping scooters out of town.

In the meantime I am going to do a few other things that I have been wanting to do while I am saving and researching for another scooter. I don’t know how long it will be until I get another one and I need to have the cash on hand and to find the right one.

I am in no hurry.

During my “scooter hiatus” am going to get back into my first love, bicycling. So I will begin to blog about those experiences from time to time.


I am excited about this time, this pause from the “same ol’, same ol’”.

I feel like I am embarking on a new leg of my life’s journey, one that expands out from just riding a scooter to the grocery or out to see the cows and donkeys once a week.


Interestingly, this morning I got an email from the guy who bought Breezy. He tore her down and rebuilt her carburetor. He said she runs “like a top” and he loves her! I felt a twinge of sadness, yet happiness that she is where she is loved.

Two scoots, a lofty goal, but a viable one if the little 49cc scooters have grabbed the heartstrings.

And I really, really, really want one more Ruckus before I age out of scooting.

This blog isn’t called, “Ruckus Scooter Love” for nothing….


Safe riding, friends…











Wednesday, April 5, 2017

RIP Breezy


Breezy bit the dust! And she was so pretty and so cool-looking too. But she bit the dust and now she is gone on to a new home where she will be used for parts.

What happened is that she sat too long unused before I bought her last year, fourteen years, more or less.

She had been used by her previous owner as a “camping scooter”. She had mostly traveled on the back of an RV and then was ridden around a campground. Off and on with years of idleness in between.

When I bought her at the dealer they said they had cleaned her carburetor, swapped out her gas tank. She ran fine all summer.

Then end of summer she stalled out on me while pulling away from a light. It was a scary experience, but I was able to roll her out of traffic and onto the side of the road where I walked her home two miles.

Such fun!

She would not throttle from idling on the center stand. I consulted every scooter shop in town and spent a lot of time investigating her issues on-line and with experts on scooter forums.

The theory was that once she was ridden, all that internal gunk that had coated her innards started sloughing off. So with that I ran Sea Foam through her in an effort to clean her out. This took up most of the time from the date of my last ride until I put her up on the tender for winter.

As I went through this process I was able to gun the throttle and blow off lots of exhaust smoke. I was told that this was an indication that the gunk was burning off and was a good sign. Yippee!

It got to where I could eventually throttle her and I began to ride her around the storage unit weekly throughout the winter. It became start up, clean, idle, throttle, ride, idle. I figured by the end of winter she would be good to go.

It didn’t happen. In fact, she went back to no throttle at all. Stall, stall, stall.

When I added up the cost of having her picked up and transported to the dealer, plus having her worked on, it came to about half her value. Not worth it.

I thought about buying a service manual and tackling the job myself, but lacked confidence and feared that worse would happen. So I put her up on Craigslist and sold her at a discount and got a buyer within 24 hours.

He knew how to fix and service Honda’s GY6 engine. I did not and could not justify that big money to do so.

I’m not sad, just scooter less again. I will be ok.

I have learned my lesson about buying that old of a used scooter, even if from a dealer. Even though she was kept indoors and was serviced by a Honda power sports dealership, old is old and crap builds up after that long.

Moral of the story: my next scooter will be new, under warranty and I am saving up for a new Ruckus.

Yes, going back to my roots. It may take me all summer to get one, but so be it.

I’ve got the patience of Job.

And in the meantime I am going to ride my bike to the grocery, hike, and get my fitness level back up.

Then one day I will take a taxi over and pick up my black Ruckus and ride her home.

A girl can dream…

Moral of the story: don't buy used, even from a dealership, if it's an older scooter with low mileage.