Project Ruckus – Part 4 coke can tuning

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2015 at 11:06 pm

I needed a new air filter for the Ruckus.  The old one is pretty dirty.  I knew that eventually I was going to put a K&N intake/air cleaner on the bike. Rather than buy a regular air filter now and then buy another air filter (the K&N) in the near future I just bought the K&N now.  I was told that I would have to re-jet the carburetor if I added an intake with higher air flow.  (A carburetor has a number of fuel nozzles called jets, that can be changed to allow more fuel into the intake airstream.) Of course I ignored that.  I’m still not 100% sure that re-jetting is necessary.  At the very least though, adjusting the fuel/air mixture is necessary and it takes a special tool to do that on this carb.  I don’t have that tool. (yet.) So running the new K&N is problematic.  I spent my morning trying a tip I read on one of the Ruckus forums.  That tip was to use a strip of aluminum can and place it over the end of the intake pipe under the air filter.

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I tried a number of sizes between 10 and 20 mm wide.  I ultimately ended up with one that was about 15 mm wide.  It ran fine in the parking lot at that size.  I decided that I would ride home from work with it set up this way.  I kept the stock filter and airbox in my backpack as well as some hand tools as insurance.  The first couple of miles it went ok.  I lost a couple of mph as my top speed seemed to be about 34 (down from 37).  At around the 2 mile mark the aluminum strip started to tear apart under the stress from the incoming air.  For a couple of seconds the bike ran great and top speed jumped to about 38.  Then the aluminum tore threw the rest of the way and the bike leaned out and died.  This tells me that the strip was too wide and the mixture was a bit rich.  It also tells me that strips of a soda can will not handle the stress of being an air-dam in the intake.  I pulled the bike into an empty lot and swapped the stock airbox back onto the bike and rode the rest of the way home.  Oh well, no guts no glory.

I decided to just bite the bullet and order the rest of the planned power adders and a re-jet kit so that I can put everything on and just re-jet the carburetor one time.  I will put the parts that don’t require any carb work on first so that we will be able to see what effect they will have on the bike’s performance on their own.  This includes a variator kit and new kevlar belt.  The variator is a type of continuously variable transmission that is used on the Ruckus.  I also ordered some stronger clutch springs to compliment the variator upgrade.  After getting some data on how that works I will install the new exhaust and reinstall the K&N.  I will then do the carburetor tuning (I ordered the fuel/air mixture adjustment tool) and hopefully get the jetting figured out.  Finally I have a new computer (CDI) that will get installed.  It will remap some of the timing curve and raise the rev limiter.  Because I have a used 2003 ECU in my bike the rev limiter is at 8000 rpm.  The CDI will get rid of that and set it too 10800.  I believe that is what the limiter is set at on 2006 and newer ECU’s already.  And that will be the end of the power upgrades.  I will still need to extend the chasis frame so there is a bit more leg room and change the handle bars to some drag style bars.  I also plan on upgrading the front drum brake to a disc brake and upgrading the suspension.  So that’s the road map for the future.  See ya next time.


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