I haven’t had the dream in a while, but I used to have it a lot: I’m driving my trusty Army deuce-and-a-half truck up a winding, snowy hill when we lose traction and slowly start sliding backwards.
Soon, I’m alternating standing on the brakes with releasing them a little to maintain backward direction as I try to stay on the road by looking in the mirrors—but the speed just keeps picking up as we slide backward out of control! NOOO!!
It’s déjà vu all over again when I’m riding the Ruckus. Wherever I go, even on neighborhood streets in my bucolic ’burb, it’s never long before there’s an Escalade grille looming larger and larger in the mirrors and two manicured fists gripping the faux mahogany steering wheel. I twist the Ruckus throttle harder but it’s already WFO…NOOOO!!
And it’s not that I don’t like scooters, because I do. I was keenly attached to a Kymco Super 8 150 a year or so ago, and the Honda PCX was even better. But I’m afraid 50cc of four-stroke just aren’t enough. The Ruckus is Baby’s bed; it’s just too soft. Getting to 30 mph takes about 10 minutes from a stop, and getting to 35 from there is, well, you feel sorry for the little engine after awhile. It’s like watching a documentary on child labor in an African gold mine.
Pathos works, though, and the $2570 Ruckus’ irresistible cry for compassion (and its cheapness) at least partly explain why it’s become such a darling of the scooter world; no one can resist bolting on more power, then come the billet wheels and Louis Vuitton seat (“Rucking Amok in L.A.”). This little lawn-chair-with-motor incites a level of passion and enthusiasm usually reserved for far more exotic hardware. There are no “PCX Outs” or “Kymco Super 8 Outs.”
And not least important, the Ruckus reinforces important ethical lessons to guys like me: Be nice to the people you pass; someday you may be on a Ruckus.