So you just bought a Ruckus or Metropolitan and want to make it faster.
I spend most of the day talking people out of some parts and talking them into others. This article is focused on the Honda Ruckus and Met but anyone with a scooter can benefit from reading it.
The first thing you should do with your scooter is make sure it's up to specifications. This means:
1. The tires aren't worn out and are properly inflated.
2. All maintanence has been done and done right! Don't laugh(^_^) It's common for shops and beginner mechanics to overfill the oil. Too much oil will kill your top speed. A worn spark plug, belt and or roller weights will also make your scooter slower than it should be. I've worked on plenty of Ruckus and Mets with less than 1000miles that came to me doing 30mph. A quick tuneup takes the speed up to 40mph.
If your scoot isn't up to spec don't bother modifying it. You are wasting your money if your scooter is out of tune. The hop up parts won't be able to do the job they were designed to do.
Once you tuned up your scooter it should be doing about 40mph with a 180 lb rider for 2006 and newer models and 37mph for older models. You may be going faster but you shouldn't be going less than 37mph regardless of year (with the exception of the Met II).
Please read the articles to make informed decisions.
Now time for the Q&A
Hi, I want to buy a performance exhaust for my Ruckus because I know it's slowing me down. I also want to know which variator to buy and tell me how to make my Ruckus do 55mph.
I don't like these types of questions (^_^) I can't tell you anything if I don't have any facts. Let's go by the assumption that if you are spending more money on your scooter that you have done all the up keep and it's performing as it should. The next consideration is your rider weight and type of riding. Oh, and anywhere near 55mph will cost you time and over $2000 in hard earned dollars.
THE SLOW RUCKUS ARTICLE MAY HELP YOU
If you are a light person and tend to hit the rev limiter often the variator you choose should be geared taller. The variators you will want to choose from will be Daytona Speed, Daytona Drag or the Slick Ruckus kit. These will make your engine rev slower in relation to wheel speed and hopefully increase your top speed. If you are 180lbs or more your best bet is most likely the KN or Daytona Drag with 6g roller weights. These are geared so the engine will rev higher. The KN and Daytona Drag get you close to the rev limiter so you need to keep your scooter in tune or run a CDI. If you don't you could loose top speed or acceleration.
I've heard of people claiming lost top speed and bad acceleration after installing a variator kit. They get to choose from two causes on this one. One cause for lost performance is the scooter is out of tune. Like I said before don't do anything on a scooter if it's not up to snuff. Performance part manufacturers design parts to work with "as new" machines. No one can factor in all the different possibilities of a poorly maintained machine. The other cause could be improper installation. It's pretty hard to do but people manage. If you are unfamiliar with installing drive unit parts you need to get the factory shop manual. If parts don't come with instructions they are meant to be installed like the factory part.
Why are you being so hard on me? I just want to know which variator to buy and I'm not sure what I should do. I heard people like the Polini and others the KN or Daytona. One guy said the Daytona made his scooter slower and another said the same about the Polini.
In the end you need to decide which will work best for you. Each design makes use of power differently. With different combinations of parts you many get better results with another variator. The main thing to remember is that, "you don't tune to a bad tune". What the heck does that mean?
If you made some jetting changes and your scooter is running rich fix the problem before it effects the choices you make. You may have better luck with one variator over another with your rich jetting but you aren't going as fast as you should. Why? You are tuning to a bad tune. Get it?
The aftermarket CDI will increase your rev limit and increase timing advance. The aftermarket CDI makes all years faster but how much faster depends on if you are hitting the rev limiter.
Starting in 2006 Honda increased the rev limit on the Ruckus and Metropolitans from 8000 to 9000rpm. The limiter starts to effect speed about 100rpm or so before the max. Installing a CDI boost box on a 2005 and older will give you that boost of the newer model and more. Of course your 2006 and newer scoot will be faster too (^_^)
The CDI is also needed for the install of a big carb kit, cam, exhaust or intake mods. You can get away with out in some cases but we are trying to make your scooter faster not get away with things. The CDI is proven to work at this point and if you want to go faster it should be number two on your list.
The best bang for the buck by far is the drop in air filter. A five dollar bill buys you at least 1mph, better hill climbing and acceration. Your scoot can stand a little leaner fuel mixture and the drop in air filter gives it to you. No jetting is required for this mod.
You can drill holes in your stock airbox or remove it completely to let more air in. The stock carb is a bit small so doing this will only help with acceration if done right. Don't get into this part unless you are willing to do carb jetting changes. Jetting is a trail and error job that takes hours to do correctly. It is worth it if you want to spend to time required.
Those is high altitude and heavy riders can also benefit from airbox mods and jetting changes. In these cases you can gain more top speed just by making sure your engine is tuned for your use.
EVERYTHING ELSE - STAGES
People love stages so I caved in made some up
Speed Variator Kit - couple MPH usually about 3mph but potentially much more.
Drop In Airfilter - 1 MPH and better all around performance.
a. CDI Boost Box - couple MPH usually about 3mph but potentially much more.
Big Carb Kit - 4+MPH increase in top speed - slight driveability issue (worth it)
Exhaust System - couple MPH - more noise, a must for Stage 3
HO Cam - couple MPH - makes all the other mods work better
High Compression - Decking the case or milling the head will give the engine punch
Big Bore - Battlescooter has the only BIG BORE for the Ruckus/Metropolitan engine. The high compression Big Bore is as big as you can go. The case kit will put you over 50MPH and make your scooter the baddest mother in the valley. Available on line soon.
Big valves or swap the motor?
06' and newer Ruckus/Met, faster?--
Well, mine wasn't but some are. The changes that made the most difference are lighter roller weights, increased rev limit, better intake tube design, better jet needle design. I do know that Honda has been changing the parts but not the numbers. There are part changes for the better in the motor and keeping the hot rodders oath I'm not telling (^_^)
I looked at all the part numbers for the early models and 06'. I even looked at drive, bearings, washers. Any parts that had to do with friction, elec. or engine. This is what I found:
1. Of course we know the ECM and harness are different because the 06' has an ECM controlled PCV system. The new system uses the chain tensioner as the case vent.
a. The new tensioner/vent part# is 14520-GEZ-611. You can use this part without the complicated 06' PCV system but you do need a couple other widgets.
part # 91301-027-000 part # 91306-105-690 part # 14525-GEZ-610 part # 90461-357-000 part # 90004-GHB-630
b. Install the 06' tensioner ass. and route a breather hose to the existing valve cover vent line with a T-fitting.
2. Muffler- new part # 18300-GET-610
The next one may be because of the new needle or different design.
3. Carb.NVK00H A- new part # 16100-GEZ-612 4.Needle- new part # 16151-GEZ-612
The airbox has changed to allow for the integrated PAR valve. The snorkel/intake side has thesame part# but the sub assembly has changed as well as the intake tube.
5. Case sub-ass. air cleaner- new part # 17225-GEZ-610
6. Tube, air cleaner connecting- new part # 17255-GEZ-610
I'll keep adding to this article as I remember factors I left out.
Feel free to contact us with things we should add.