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Written by Ant Stead    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 16:15     E-mail
Honda Ruckus 2007
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Just before the guy from Honda hands over the keys to the Honda Ruckus 50cc. He gives me a rifle and screams that I’m a useless maggot, and orders me to give me 25 push-ups. NOW!

I struggle through the push ups, afterwards he takes me deep inside Honda HQ to a unmarked door which opens, it’s a lift. We go down to basement floor, as the door opens I see through the steam, and flashing red lights the 2007 Honda Ruckus 50cc.
The paint job is all camo upfront and utilitarian black for the rest. Camo on a Honda! That’s what hoodie wearing baggie-jeans teenagers wear when they go snowboarding. Not on a Japanese scooter.


The designers at Honda must have been on some crazy stuff when designing this thing. All the things you look for in a scooter aren’t there; Storage? Um..a little bit.
Nice smooth tyres for getting to work on? Nope, try crazy fat semi-offroad tyres. Fairing that reduces drag, and protects you from wind? Not included.
Cool multi-faceted light that makes the scooter look like a little rabbit? Try two big round lights mounted down low.

So it is pretty obvious that the scooter is not marketed to little Japanese girls to get to school on. It’s aimed at the young western males. And man, they’ve really hit their mark. This thing is so totally impractical, and that makes it cool.  It all metal piping and round head-lights. If a hummer and mountain bike were to procreated the Ruckus would be the offspring.

Out on the road you are buffeted from head to foot by the wind, there is no protection at all. It almost feels like you’re on an office chair riding down the road. The only gauge you’ve got is speed. There are a couple of dash-lights fitted well out of eye sight. One light is for fuel. There is no fuel gauge just a light that comes on warning your about to be stranded on the middle of nowhere. (light comes on when one liter of fuel is remaining.) The other light is high-beam warning.

The brakes are rubbish from the early days to scootering. Drums front and rear. Now, all joking aside, you can still make a cool scooter and give it a disc-brake. Come on Honda.

Normally, a scooter can hold a open-face helmet at a minimum, but the Ruckus has no lockable storage. The tested model had some factory Honda extras added, which gave some unlockable storage under the seat, which was accessed via little clip. There is a lockable bolt that you can put through your helmet to secure it. Hope it doesn’t rain!

The Ruckus is powered by a 50cc four-stroke engine that produces 3.65Kw (5hp) in Japan and the United States and only 4hp in Europe. Being a four-stroke it doesn’t have the off-the-line speed of the two-strokes but its certainly not slow for a four-stroke 50cc, The 0-30mph dash is done in 12.5sec which compares well to the 15.2sec of the Honda Today Motorino and almost 20sec for the Piaggio Zip 50cc. If you can handle the buffeting then the top speed is around 36 mph/60kph on the flat.


The basic model weights 82kg, which is surprisingly heavy for such a light looking scooter. The Honda Today weighs a feather-weight 71kg, and the two-stroke, Yamaha Jog 2009 comes in at 69kg. The reason for this extra weigh on the Ruckus is a water-cooled engine, and BIG tyres.

The fuel tank holds 4.9 liters, and consumes gas at 19m/30Km per litre. Amazing when you consider its heavier than its competitors. It is undoubtly the most useable 50cc four-stroke on the market.  Crusing around the city streets is easy enough, don’t try and put your knee down ‘round a corner, those big, knobbly tires feel a bit sketchy. The Honda is designed for cruising, its got very wide handle-bars compared with other 50's, which make it feel relaxed and gives the rider confidence, but does effect your ability to squeeze through rush-hour queues.

Living with the Honda; its cool, people ask about it, and guys with huge baggy pants, look enviously at you, but not having ANY real storage maybe an issue for some.  It runs on fumes, but isn't so slow that you can't keep up with the traffic.


If you’ve already got a boring practical scooter, and you want to move to the way-out Ruckus, you’ll need to seriously think about having to carry everything around with you. Is that worth it to be cool, for many it maybe, for me it was not (worth it for me. ED (but I do have some issues)) The Ruckus is a blend of the latest styling trends mixed with features from the beginning of scooters. Drums brakes and no storage – camo paint, and liquid-cooled four-stroke motor. It is a mix that although not perfect does a damn good job of doing what it does!


Price USA $2099
0-50km/h 12.5 Seconds
50-80km/h na
Fuel Economy 2.7L/100kms - 105MPG
Speedo Accuracy

50kph displayed = 48kph actual

Pros: Styling, economical, fast four-stroke 50cc,
Cons: Limited storage, drums brakes, no real fuel gauge.

Fuel Consumption
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Build quality

Overall Score


Manufacturer Specifications

Max power at shaft 3.65 kW (5 hp) @ 8000 rpm
Max torque 4.5 N·m (3 lb·ft) @ 7200 rpm
Engine Type liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Cylinder Capacity 49 cc
Seat height 740 mm (29.1 in)
Dry weight 82 kg (181 lb.)
Kerb weight ---
Fuel tank capacity 4.9 L (1.32 gallons)
Starting Electric
Transmission “Twist and Go” Automatic Transmission
Storage volume Bugger all
Cooling Liquid Cooled
Bore X stroke ---
Compression ratio ---
Chassis Steel tube
Front suspension Twin-downtube fork; 55 mm (2.16 in) travel
Rear suspension Single shock; 65 mm (2.55 in) travel
Front brake Drum
Rear brake Drum
Front wheel/tyre 120/90-10
Rear wheel/tyre 130/90-10
Length ---
Width ---
Wheelbase 1265 mm (49.8 in)
Max speed (km/hr) 65ish
Type approval ---
Consumption (ECE applicable text cycle) ---
Consumption @km/h - km/l ---
Audible Indicator yes
Full helmet storage no
Glove box no
Fuel Guage light at 1 litre
Trip Meter no
Seat release (via remote control) no
Seat release (remote, ignition/switch) no
Alarm no
Comments (1)add
written by Eyebrows , May 12, 2009
I passed my compulsory basic training in London on a Zoomer (Ruckus by it's European name). I loved it. It has a bit of a cult (yes that's an l not an n) following in London, with a lot of graphic designers and creative types riding them because they look impractically cool and carefree.

It always makes me smile when I see one (the bike not the rider).

In the UK, they cost around £2300, which is a bit of a bloody cheek if you ask me (there's about USD $1.5 to £1).

What's the justification for the price difference Honda?
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Last Updated ( Monday, 11 May 2009 12:00 )


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