Genuine Scooter Co. of Chicago, Illinois first came to prominence in 2003, as an importer of the Stella scooter, a direct descendant of mid-century scooter designs. The Stella was built by LML, a one-time production partner of Italian scooter manufacturer Piaggio, in India, where it was distributed as the Star model.
The Stella proved quite popular with U.S. consumers, so much so that a four-stroke model had to be released in response to tightening emissions regulations. Genuine Scooter Co. realized that there was also an underserved demand for economical, sporty, off-road capable scooters in the United States. Therefore, it introduced the Rattler and its successor, the Roughhouse. Taiwanese company PGO, another former Piaggio partner, manufactures both models.
The 2009 Genuine Scooter Co. Roughhouse is based on the PGO model PMX-50, a 50cc off-road model, while its predecessor, the Rattler 50, was based on the PMS-50, designed to be sportier looking while on the road. What exactly are the real differences? Well, the Roughhouse sports a higher, more offroad-friendly front fender, covered handlebars, knobbier tires, fork covers, and larger headlights.
The 2009 Roughhouse is powered by a Minarelli 50cc horizontal engine. This motor has been around for over 20 years and is one of the most popular 50cc engines in the scooter world. It powers a wide variety of machines from other manufacturers, such Yamaha and Aprilia. In order to meet moped legislation, the stock motors are quite heavily restricted. This saves money on insurance premiums, but it caps off the top speed at 30 mph, which some might find to be a little bit less than thrilling.
However, because use of this engine is so widespread, parts are plentiful, and those interested in modifying their scooters will be pleased to find that plenty of information and aftermarket gear is available online. Once the engine has been de-restricted, the 2009 Roughhouse’s performance compares favorably with other sporty two-stroke models, such as Yamaha’s Zuma or Kymko’s Super 8, and is capable of reaching 45 to 50 mph.
The 2009 Genuine Scooter Co. Roughhouse model features a bit more storage space than its retro-flavored stable mate, the Stella. Not only does it have the Stella’s leg shield storage, but it also offers an under-seat storage area, large enough for some helmets, a rain suit, very light shopping, or a sack lunch. Another hidden bonus that the Roughhouse offers is a 12V charging socket, perfect when you’re in a hurry, and have forgotten to charge your mobile device overnight.
The 2009 Roughhouse offers a compelling package for those who are looking for a solid, competitively priced, attractively styled scooter, capable of dishing up sporty performance on and off the pavement.