The 2008 Honda Ruckus is rock-solid machine. We obtained ours from Lawrenceville Honda in Georgia, a great dealership. We looked at a lot of scooters ranging from 650cc down to 50cc and considered the pros and cons of each as well as what we wanted to accomplish with ours. In the end, we determined that we wouldn't miss much if we were traveling at 37 MPH instead of whizzing past everything at 55+ MPH - so 50cc is what we decided on.
We never even considered the chinese brand bikes as the quality on those isn't even up to "poor" yet. They may look good and cost a lot less but they are junk, have no parts or service available and most dealers who sell them go out of business in less than a year due to word of mouth. Our choice was based on these categories: reliability, parts & service availability; comfort & styling and finally price. We considered Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kymco and Genuine brands.
I am 6' tall and weigh in at roughly 175 pounds and the Ruckus is one of the few machines that I could comfortably sit on. Most european or retro style scooters require you to sit in the same position you use when you are on the toilet and I didn't care for that. Sure, that's fine when you ARE on the toilet but not for long scooter rides. I installed footpegs on mine so I can change leg positions easily while riding ($4 part from eBay). Also, the Ruckus is the ONLY scooter that a man can ride and not be worried about being called a sissy. I like to think of it as the Terminator version of a scooter.
The Ruckus has a huge customer base and several web sites dedicated to it. Not only is there a Honda dealer is most major cities, but you can also get a wide variety of aftermarket products for the Ruckus if that's the route you want to take. As for ours, we did cosmetic changes only... footpegs, windshield, cupholder, holster, GPS mount, clock, underseat storage, etc.
The Ruckus is great looking, rugged and carries us and all of our gear quite easily. We average about 102 MPG with cruising speeds between 35 and 39 MPH. Going up steep or long hills can slow us down to about 24 MPH but since we're not in a hurry, we don't mind it one bit. Let's not forget how much fun it is coming down the other side! The "fun factor" when riding the Ruckus is absolutely off the scale... it's the most fun you'll have at 35 MPH!
A few Ruckus specifications are as follows:
# 49cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine
# Induction is through a 15mm CV carburetor with automatic choke
# Automatic V-matic belt drive
# Visit the official Honda web site for more information: http://powersports.honda.com/scooters
Overall, we give the Honda Ruckus a 5 out of 5!
You can get an official service manual for the Ruckus at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002DL
Additional information is available on our web site at http://www.rvoutreach.org/scooternation/