sansthelight

Project Ruckus – Part 1 The Buying Experience

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2015 at 6:30 pm

I have been looking at buying a scooter or small motorcycle for use as a commuter bike for the last year or so.  For most of the last year I had been working one town over and had to traverse either 65 or 55 mph roads depending on the route taken.  This meant that my favorite looking scooter, the Honda Ruckus was out of the picture.  I looked and looked and even went and sat on some bikes and scooters and didn’t really find anything in my price range that I fit on and liked (I am 6’2″ and around 195 lbs.)  So I didn’t get anything.

Situations change, my new job has a commute of 3 miles and is just across town with speed limits maxing out at 35 mph.  I realized this a few days ago and started thinking seriously about getting a Ruckus.   While perusing Craigslist I ran across a Ruckus with a lot of work done and a note at the bottom saying that the work was performed at a shop in Sunnyvale called Battle Scooter.   (Turns out this a pretty well know shop nationally within the Ruckus scene.)  One of my coworkers is a huge scooter fan.  He owns a couple of scooters and a noped (a moped without peddles).  He also lives in San Jose.  I asked him if he had heard of Battle Scooter.  His reply “That is a good friend of mine.  We rode Ruckuses to Colorado together, including about 500 miles of interstate.”

Background check done, I decided that I would drive up to Battle Scooter and pick their brains about how realistic a Ruckus is for somebody my size and what sort of work I should think about doing on to one on the performance side of things.  Unfortunately when I got to Sunnyvale the shop was closed as Jason was out helping a customer so I ran over to my coworkers house to check out his noped.  He let me drive it around the hills above San Jose for a while and enjoy the great weather while I waited on Jason to get back to his shop.

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Turns out it is pretty easy to make the necessary changes to a Ruckus to accommodate my height.  While we were talking about my budget Jason suggested that I run over to a local motorcycle shop as they had a Ruckus that was running that I could probably pick up cheap.  He said that he had been called over to diagnose the problem and it was a bad ECU.  He thought that I could probably pick it up for a lot less if it wasn’t running than if I waited on them to fix it.

I ran over the motorcycle shop and looked at the Ruckus, it looked like it was in decent shape (despite being in a few pieces) and looked to be completely stock.  It had about 2500 miles on it and was 2011 model.  I asked what they wanted for it.  They hemmed and hawed for a while saying they really wanted to fix it themselves and they would probably be asking about $2200 for it.  I pushed a little more and was told that if I was willing to pay what they had into it I could walk out the door with it that day.   They paid $1250 for it auction and had replaced the key and ignition for another $250.  That was what they had originally guessed was the problem.  They had also put a new battery on it.  I offered $1500 and they took it.  We got it loaded it in the back of the truck and I headed back over to Battle Scooter.  While I was off buying the Ruckus he had a customer come in to get a tire mounted.  The customer had done a motor swap on his Ruckus recently and had the original ECU for sale if I was interested.  It was for an earlier model but Jason thought it should work with mine without problems.  He called the customer and was told to send me over tho his shop (a t-shirt and sticker printing business in Fremont.)

When I got to the t-shirt shop they had the back door open and I could see they had a barber chair (with a guy getting his hair cut), one ruckus getting a disc break upgrade and about 5 others that had been heavily modified.  After comparing the old wiring harness to mine we settled on a price of $40 for his old ecu.  I loaded everything up and headed home.  If I had waited one more day to get run up to San Jose my Ruckus would have fixed and the price would have gone up $700 dollars.  I spent $1500 plus $40 for the ecu.   Next update will be putting it all together and seeing if it runs.  Fingers crossed.

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