2009 Honda Ruckus Scooter Review

Review of a general-purpose scooter.

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The Ruckus caused a, well...ruckus when it was first introduced, with an exoskeletal chassis that didn’t resemble anything else and the look of a rough-and-ready utilitarian unafraid of getting dirty. The 2009 Honda Ruckus scooter uses a clean, quiet, 49cc four-stroke single-cylinder engine to propel its claimed 194 pounds of mass. It rolls on strong cast-aluminum wheels with dual-sport-ish tires.

That sturdy sensibility even extends to the easy-to-clean textured-rubber floormats that look rugged enough for camping or hunting.It's light and nimble, but not very fast, and neither is it in a hurry to get to its 40-mph top speed. After taking some major thoroughfares on the way to work, I was convinced the side-street-shuffle was the way to get where I needed to go. With that tactic, the 2009 Honda Ruckus scooter was perfect for my four-mile ride to the beach; I could weave my way through slower side streets almost all the way. Once there, parking was never an issue for me; I could always find a spot and pop the Ruckus onto its centerstand. In the worst case, I would just stick it into a bike rack. Wetsuit, towel and work clothes fit nicely under the seat, and the bare-bones design makes the Ruckus easy to clean.

It has some amenities—like an automatic choke and twin headlamps—but the Ruckus is far from feature-packed or luxurious. This is utilitarian transportation designed to be durable, reliable and cheap to operate. At $2149, it's pricey in this company, but it's ruggedly built and well-engineered, so you're likely to be riding this odd-looking critter for years to come—as long as you're not in too much of a hurry.

List price|$2149
Engine type|sohc four-stroke Single
Seat height|29.1 in.
Fuel capacity|1.3 gal.
Claimed wet weight|194 lb.
Claimed mpg|NA