Ruckus Scooter Love

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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Harsha Dam Ride

It was the first dry, sunny, and pleasant day we have had in weeks. So I set out on the Elite to the East Fork Lake Region. I had my sights specifically set on exploring the Harsha Dam area of the park in Clermont County.

Jingles was sporting her new "Cheeky Seats" chilipepper seat cover and her new Saddlemen tail pack. She had to strike a pose in the parking lot before we departed.

We set off down Tealtown Road and hit the back roads into Batavia, the county seat. There were a lot of motorcycles out and we cheerily exchanged the "biker wave" as we met out along the way.

At Batavia I hit the United Dairy Farmers for a restroom break and jug of Glacier Cherry Gatorade and Ritz cheese crackers. These were consumed while I took a rest under a shade tree in the local cemetery, one of my favorite spots.

Along the village streets I admired the new promenade.

I eventually made my way onto Route 222, also known as "Riverside Drive" and headed out toward East Fork Lake and the Harsha Dam entrance.

As I turned onto the access road, I came upon Sherry's Lake bait shop, offering a deli, bait, camping, fishing, and groceries.

There was a pretty little fresh spring lake with people enjoying fishing and even a few tents pitched alongside.

Leaving here I wound down onto a flood plain then up a hill and curved to the right as the road became the top of the dam.

They are hard to see, but there were motor boats, pontoon boats, and fishing boats dotting the lake's surface.

I dismounted to get a good view.

After I crossed the top of the dam I came upon the visitor's center and a scenic overlook.

The overlook just looked out over tree tops to the lake way off in the distance, so I did not get a photo and there were people hanging around which made exploration difficult.

So I headed to the visitor's center and I was the only one inside, free to explore the exhibits.

Things found on the forest floor:

Different kinds of fish species:

A taxidermist had evidently been brought in to enhance the exhibit. Seeing this little fox like this bothered me, but I felt he earned a right to be included in the tour:

I left the visitor's center and returned to my scoot, saddled up and headed back across the dam. Here is the view opposite the lake:

Then I rode back out the main entrance past Sherry's Lake and out onto Route 222 toward Batavia.

It was a peaceful few hours of adventure scooting on the back roads around East Fork Lake and Harsha Dam. I covered about 38 miles round trip. The scooter ran quietly and was I was comfortable in the saddle on the ride.

Read more about Harsha Dam here:

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Yammie C3 Joy!

Yes, "Hoot" has come home! For those of you who know what affection for a scooter or motorcycle is like, you will understand when I tell you that the little ache in my heart has been healed.

When I sold the first one is was because somehow I felt then that I could not justify owning two scooters. I have never owned two and one has always been sold to get the next one. This whole process has made for a lot of heartache over my eight years of scooter riding.

Well, no more. Now I am the proud, and satisfied, owner of TWO scooters: the Yamaha C3 ("the landing craft") and my Honda Elite 110 ("the Mothership"). These monikers attached by my partner who is a Trekkie.

"Hoot 2" aka "Hoot" (cause really, Hoot ONE is no more) is really an exact replica of "Hoot". It is a basically new one with only a little over 1200 miles on it and lovingly kept by it's previous owner who "stepped up" to a "bigger scooter".

Been there, done that!

I found Hoot on Craigslist in Fremont, Ohio, at Schiets Motorsports, a family-owned Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki dealership. We drove up there on Thursday and picked it up.

Taking her for a spin brought back all that joy and fun of riding a 49cc and a C3 scooter in particular. Sweeeeeeeeet!

I couldn't be more happy and "Hoot 2" is not going anywhere, never ever again!

So I dredged up a post from last year in her honor and to once again display her charms for anyone who is considering finding one of these awesome little scoots.

It was written right after I sadly sold my first C3 scooter:

In every area of life there are hidden gems of experience, known only to the lucky few who stumble upon them.

Such it is with the humble little Yamaha C3 scooter.

Only sold in the United States from 2007 to 2011, it still paints the scooter scene in Europe as the "Giggle" and in Japan as the "Vox".

It takes it's looks from scoots like the venerable Cushmans and the Harley Davidson Topper. It is a unique look and it is not for everyone. Some even call it "homely" and compare it to a Coleman cooler on wheels.

Like an old flop-eared mutt that nobody selects at the dog pound, it often goes unloved and unnoticed. Evidently enough so that it did not continue to sell well here in the good old USA and Yamaha pulled it from the line-up for 2012.

I feel compelled to do a little ride report of my time on the C3. I have owned and ridden two other 49cc scooters, the Honda Ruckus and the Honda Metropolitan. The C3 outshines them in some ways and is only mildly deficient in others.

Things that I liked about the C3 were plentiful. I liked it's quirky "look" which got it the nickname "Boxy" due to its huge under seat storage. I could go to the grocery on it and pretty much stuff that compartment with most of my grocery items. Even a box of pizza and a 12 pack of pop fit under that lid!

Not only that, but the seat itself was pretty darn comfortable. Much more so than the Ruckus, which was like a buckboard wagon. Not as much as the Metropolitan, which feels like an English riding saddle, contoured to the keester. But pretty comfortable and you could slide back and stretch out your legs pretty easily. I liked that.

I liked it's big, fat tires and longer-than-a-Ruckus-and-Met wheelbase. This made for a stable ride as it cruised up to it's maximum speed of 43 mph. It never felt "squirrely" going down the road and it ran quietly too.

I like a quiet ride in the country, which was the main reason I got rid of the Genuine Buddy and got the Honda Elite 110.

It had "motorcycle like" handlebars and it's controls were neat, compact, and easy to read. It also had "push to cancel" turn indicators. I liked those especially.

The C3 was a bigger scooter with a higher profile in traffic than the Met or the Ruckus. Perhaps minor to some, but it's worth mentioning. Even though it was a bit bigger, it was still easy to push around the garage and heft off and on the center stand.

A few things I did not like next. The OEM rear rack was a joke. It called for drilling holes in the top lid and I was never going to do that or let anyone else do it either.

And in photos that I saw it really was quite ugly. So I never elected to install one and I really missed that ability to put on a basket or a top case (I am a basket person) to haul cargo.

The scooter's "suspension" was worse than the Ruckus and (shock!) worse than the Met! And that means it was pretty bad.

Specs said "two inches of travel", but I think that was a real stretch of the truth. It "bottomed out" just going down the road.

Wrapping up with all the good features, the electronic fuel injection was wonderfully sweet! It started right up and Yamaha had the good sense to even put a kick starter on the scoot, though it probably would never need to be used. (Hey, Honda, why not on the Elite 110?)

Gas mileage was a bit more than the Ruckus and Met, falling around 115 mpg in a 1.3 gallon tank. Pretty awesome.

With the EFI and 3 valves, the scooter could out-accelerate the Ruckus and the Met, but struggled to climb to and pin around 43 mph tops on the meter.

Still, you didn't care because it was so much fun getting there and the little scoot handled like a mini-motorcycle. 43 mph felt like 83 mph! Wheeeee!

On a whim and in need of some financial padding, I listed Hoot for sale and a fellow from North Carolina called and wanted to come and pick her up within 24 hours of my listing. He had been looking high and low for a 2011 and missed the one he sold, so was willing and ready to make the nine hour drive.

With a heavy heart, but glad she was going to someone who would love and appreciate her, I let her go. I have to say I have been sad since, but you do what you have to do.

I know that I have a thing for little 49cc scooters and I also know that one day I will have another Met, or Ruckus, or maybe even another little Yammie C3.

For some she is the "ugly duckling" of the scooter world.

For me, she was my little scooter that truly was a "hoot" to ride!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Old is New: Stonelick Bridge

Last spring if you rode up the Stonelick-Williams Corner Road in Clermont County, Ohio, this is what you encountered:

The old 1878 Stonelick Covered bridge, the last surviving covered bridge in Clermont County, Ohio, had collapsed during renovation efforts in February, after being closed since 2010.

This is the old structure before its collapse:

(Photo courtesy of Wikepedia.)

Today I rode my scooter up to the recently re-opened and freshly renovated "new" old Stonelick bridge and it is a beauty!

Riding through its shadowed tunnel, tires gliding over smooth sweet smelling lumber was a "scooter high"!

Afterward I enjoyed a few hours of further adventure scooting through some of the county's lush green back roads in Stonelick Township.

Read more about Stonelick Bridge:

Monday, June 1, 2015

2010 Honda Elite 110 Scooter : A Mini-Review

I remember when this scooter first came out at my local Honda Powersports store. I was riding a Ruckus at the time and had come into the shop for some farkles or something.

The shop guy said, "Hey, check out this new scooter from Honda!" and I followed him over to the red one over in the corner.

"Look at this storage space!", he said as he popped the seat cover to reveal what I later called "the cavernous underseat storage".

Now THAT was impressive, considering I like to haul my "stuff" along into the backwoods!

Then he reached over and unlocked the little glove box. It locked and I could have space for my digital camera, wallet, and other "stuff":

Yeah, THAT was cool too!

It was a "bigger scooter", but it wasn't a "maxi scooter". It was "big enough" that it could hold saddlebags and tail packs for touring:

That was a plus as I wanted a scooter that could potentially handle some longer rides that might involve overnight stays.

It has a nice, easy-to-read dash that shows turn indicators (with a push button to cease feature), fuel level, maintenance alert, bright lights, and engine temperature:

I also liked a floorboard, having hauled dog food, pop, flowerpots, and grocery bags on my little Ruckus all over the ridge and back roads, out to the Amish market and over to "Wally World". And a grocery hook too! How totally convenient!

But wait! This Honda Elite 110 is black! Isn't "Jingles" a red scooter?

Yes. The black one was my first foray into a scooter bigger than 49cc and I wound up not keeping it long. Not long at all. I had seller's remorse for my red Ruckus and so went in search of another Ruckus.

Being on a "limited income", i.e., "poor" I had to trade in order to get back on a 49cc.

What was it about the Honda Elite 110 that I did not like? Nothing. It had pep, was smooth riding, comfortable, amenities out the wazoo, easy to handle, maneuverable at low speeds, stable at high speeds. Basically the best "all around scooter", as I said in my review on one website.

But I longed for a Ruckus. Cried really. And so I sought to get one back and could not find one anywhere, new or used. That search led me into getting my Metropolitan, a "Ruckus all dressed up to go out on the town", a decision which I do not regret as I came to love my Met too!

Anyway, I I had an Elite 110 in 2012 and wound up getting another one in 2014 after trying a Genuine Buddy Psycho. I knew I had to be able to keep up with the traffic here in the burbs AND I knew that I needed more power for long hauls in the foothills if I returned to Adams County, so I sought out the Elite 110 again and found a used one locally.

I have come to fall in love with this scooter and to recognize it's charms. Much moreso than I did in 2012.

It is fuel-injected so starts right up and runs smoothly and quietly every time.

I can ride it for hours and my butt does not go numb!

It's got enough wind protection with it's leg shield that you can squeeze your legs behind it during chilly rides.

A very low center of gravity, along with a gas tank that is in the floorboard, make for a very stable ride. I like to feel solid on the road riding at 53mph, the scoot's top speed, as well as while cruising the creek roads looking for deer at 5 mph.

It is "big enough, yet not too small" for me. I am 5'4" with a 29" inseam and I can sit on it and my feet touch the ground.

It is "two up" comfortably with foot pegs and a hand rail for passengers. I doubt I will ever have a passenger, but it's nice to know if I want to haul my neighbor along to the produce stand up the road that the scoot can handle it!

The scooter is under 300 lbs and I still have trouble with the center stand, but I plan to get the side stand device from Scooter Works and add it this summer.

It came with a rear rack built in and right now I am sporting my beloved basket because I find it to be the most versatile arrangement.

I also have a Tour Master tail bag and a Saddleman bag that I can add for more storage on the road. Plus my old equine saddlebags as shown on my old, now long gone, Met:

I got these at the Amish tack shop and they are absolutely fantastic for the $15 I paid for them!

There is a Honda windshield that can be installed on the scoot and I may one day order it for cool weather riding. It runs around $200.

The 12" front wheel and the 10" rear wheel do not feel "sketchy" at full throttle, which would freak me out and then some.

The front disc brake and linked brake system stop me on a dime and minimize fish tail fun.

I have to say this is a darn nice ride and could navigate a commuter through city traffic easily as well as carry a "good ol' gal" out into the back roads and foothills of the mountains with enough power, comfort, and reliability to keep her happy.

New this bike cost $2999 or about $3400 out the door. I've seen used ones, low mileage, on Scooter Finds, running as low as $1200. Why I don't know but I am guess that for many the "scooter craze" is over or they moved on to "sport scooters" or motorcycles. If you seek one out you can get a good deal on a scooter that is "small enough, big enough", and an "an all around ride".

Honda only sold this model ONE year in the USA. It is still sold worldwide as the "Lead". Go figure Honda's logic. Not.

DaBinche is a guy in LA who will lead you via his YouTube videos through all the maintenance tasks required. He has emerged as the " on-line guru" for Elite ownership to help you keep your scooter in top shape.

He has a thread running that is dedicated to the Honda Elite 110 over on Adventure Rider under Battle Scooters.

Many Met riders posted also on Urban Scootin about the Elite as well and there are other good reviews on and the Motor Scooter Guide.

This 2010 Honda Elite 110 can do all I need it to do and it is fun to ride, smooth, quiet, and gets over 100 mpg!

What's not to love?

Go get one!