The Honda Ruckus was initially launched in Japan in 2001, and finally made it to North America for the 2003 model year lineup. Called the Zoomer elsewhere, the renamed Ruckus caused just that when it was unveiled. With an exoskeleton chassis that has a rough and rugged look, the Honda Ruckus doesn’t look like anything else on the road. With the addition of a new Silver Metallic color, the 2008 Honda Ruckus continues as an economical scooter with a bare bones look and plenty of attitude.
The engine found within the 2008 Honda Ruckus is a long case version of the Honda GET2 engine. It is a four-stroke engine that has extremely low emissions due to the inclusion of a catalytic converter, and provides 49cc of power. The engine is very quiet and gets excellent gas mileage. A tiny radiator is mounted on the side of the engine and uses a flywheel mounted fan to blow air. For the size of the scooter, the engine can seem to be lacking in power when compared to other competitors in its class.
The ignition system of the 2008 Honda Ruckus is relatively maintenance free. When started, electrical current is run through the alternator to start the motor, which eliminates the need of a separate starter motor. An electronic control unit controls ignition timing, the alternator regulator, fuel pump, and automatic choke. This engine and starter design results in a savings in weight, cost, and noise of the scooter.
The 2008 Honda Ruckus chassis is made from a two-piece, die-cast aluminum front frame with a steel upper frame. It has a unique and timeless design that riders will either love hate. The low seat height of only 28.9 inches ensures that all riders will feel confident when stopping, as they will be able to comfortably place feet on the ground. The low center of gravity and light weight of the 2008 Honda Ruckus also mean that it has superb handling. The design of the frame and low seat height mean that very little is above the wheels making the scooter easy to maneuver through traffic.
Both front and rear tires are oversize to increase the grip of the scooter on the road. The front and rear drum brakes of the 2008 Honda Ruckus provide plenty of stopping power for the scooter. The front fork suspension ensures that the rider can deal with road surfaces and enjoy a controlled ride. The swingarm suspension and single rear shock absorb most bumps in the road and provide for a comfortable ride over most road surfaces.
The lack of enclosed storage space of the 2008 Honda Ruckus may be a downside for some riders. Under the well-padded seat, a helmet holder locks a full-size helmet firmly into place in the under seat space. There is no enclosed, lockable storage spaces included with the 2008 Honda Ruckus, which makes carrying gear that much more difficult. Where the sturdy frame-style chassis does excel is that items can be secured to it for carrying, if the rider feels safe and uses a little creativity.