Many riders want to extract as much juice as possible from the Honda machine, thus behold this list of the most common ways to increase the Ruckus speed. This list is ordered from easiest and cheapest to most difficult and expensive, and I’ve included links to more information where appropriate.

If speed is what you are after, an unmodified Ruckus is probably not the scooter for you unless you are willing to double down on your investment. The max speed of the Ruckus is right at the ceiling of what many state moped and scooter laws say is the upper limit of this type of vehicle.

  1. Properly inflate the tires

    Low tire pressure will dramatically affect the performance of any two-wheeled vehicle. Maintaining a suitable tire pressure in your Ruckus is easy.

  2. Maintain the proper oil level

    Over-filling the Ruckus engine oil will dampen the top end speed. Make sure you are using the right type of oil for the Ruckus and not pouring too much oil into the engine.

  3. Clean the air filter

    Help your motor breathe better and it will deliver superior performance. This is true of most engines. Drastic changes to the air intake on the Ruckus may require a jet adjustment in the carburetor, but maintaining a clean air box and filter will also promote air flow into the motor.

  4. Lose weight

    The Ruckus does have some non-essential parts that can be removed to shave its weight. As a rider, you can also lose weight for performance gains. The Ruckus weighs about 190 lbs. This means removing just 5 lbs from the scooter reduces its weight by almost 3%. Here are some parts to consider:

    • A lead acid battery weighs 5 lbs. Lightweight batteries are available.
    • The main floor plastics weigh 5 lbs.
    • The stock exhaust weighs 8 lbs.
    • The front headlights and rack weigh 5 lbs.
    • Read more here.
  5. Add a computer chip

    A CDI (Capacitive Discharge Ignition) box is another easy modification that will modify the Ruckus ignition circuit. Some units will nullify the Ruckus computer’s rev limiter. This allows the engine to rev to a few RPMs higher than normal. CDI boxes like the Kitaco CDI can massage the entire power curve to provide better acceleration between 20 and 30 mph. A CDI box by itself will not increase the max speed of a 2006 or newer Ruckus.

  6. Install an aftermarket variator

    The Honda Ruckus clutch is a belt variator. Two cone shaped pieces of metal form a belt pulley that changes in size. The taper of these two pieces of the variator can change the drive train significantly. Some variators can make a larger diameter and force the belt to ride higher than the stock configuration, resulting in an increase in top speed. A CDI box is required for this upgrade to increase top speed.

  7. Intake, carb and exhaust

    The debates over aftermarket exhausts delivering a increase performance will wage on. The air box can be removed and replaced with some pod filters. A great TR thread describes the air box delete here. Upgrading just one of these three components may not increase performance at all. The combination of making the engine breathe better (with and intake and exhaust mod) and delivering more fuel (via a bigger carb) at the same time will.

  8. Change the gearing

    Changing the final drive gear (or all three gears) in the Ruckus transmission can result in a taller gear ratio, or a faster top speed at the sacrifice of acceleration. The Honda Metro gears are a great fit and there is a great right up right here.

  9. Install a big bore piston kit

    There is no replacement for displacement. A new piston and cylinder head can increase the Ruckus engine displacement to almost 60cc, and a bigger engine is faster.

  10. Install a different motor

    A motor swap is the by far the most expensive and most effective way to make the Ruckus go faster. The most popular motor swap is to a Chinese GY6 150cc scooter motor. If you don’t want to remove your Honda motor to replace with a Chinese scooter engine, you could consider the two-stroke Yamaha Zuma motor.

One thing to keep in mind with speed mods is to upgrade your brakes. If you make the Honda Ruckus faster than stock, the brakes are no longer designed to stop the scooter you are riding. Upgrade your brakes to match your speed, and make sure they are adjusted properly.

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