Home » Here’s What Happens When You Shove A Superbike Engine Into A Scooter

Here’s What Happens When You Shove A Superbike Engine Into A Scooter

Honda Ruckus 1000rr Ts2
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The Honda Ruckus is a scooter beloved for being an affordable, simple way to get around — no more, no less. It comes with drum brakes, a humble 50 cc engine, and just under 5 horsepower. Now imagine putting a superbike engine on one with 36 times more horsepower. Insanity? Just a bit, yeah.

[Programming Note: Everyone please welcome Lewin Day, a great writer and an engineer! (It’s the dynamic duo of skills in the auto journalism world, if you ask me!). He’ll be writing stories every weekday along with the rest of the staffers, and you can bet I’ve already assigned him plenty of nerdery to get cracking on. Get excited! -DT]. 

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Just to give you some context, we’re talking about shoving a massively powerful engine into…this:

Screen Shot 2023 11 06 At 8.33.54 Am
Image: Honda

The bonkers Ruckus is the work of Grind Hard Plumbing Co., a YouTube channel specializing in all kinds of weird and wonderful off-road beasts. When they’re not turning Power Wheels toys into micro-monster trucks, they’re putting big engines on scooters. In this case, the Honda Ruckus was blessed with a 1-liter engine from a 2008 Honda CBR1000 Fireblade. It’s good for 180 horsepower. That’s plenty for a hot hatchback or a lightweight coupe, let alone the handful of steel tubes that Honda turned into a scooter.

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The Ruckus has the mighty donk placed roughly where its original engine would have gone. However, by virtue of its much greater size, the scooter’s frame had to be significantly lengthened, and the rear wheel placed farther back. That’s not a bad thing, though. The additional wheelbase adds a certain level of stability to the platform, which helps when you’re adding so much power. It also helps with weight distribution, which aids in keeping the front wheel on the ground under hard acceleration. 

The engine was capable of pushing the 2008 Fireblade up to a top speed in the realm of 180 miles per hour. The re-engined Ruckus won’t go so fast, of course. That’s partly due to its aerodynamics, and partly due to its much smaller wheels which effectively change the gearing between the engine and the road. 

Honda Ruckus 1000rr Screens

As you might expect, this Frankenstein creation is an absolute handful. It readily spins up to stratospheric RPM, kicking up great rooster tails of dirt. In some ways, the scooter tires and the loose surface are a blessing. Driving the scooter on dirt prevents the tire gripping up and simply propelling the whole assembly through a rip in the space-time continuum. Between the smaller wheels and the frame, which is much lighter than a full-fat FireBlade, the Ruckus is likely to be an absolute slingshot on tarmac if the gang can get it to properly puts its power down.

For now, it’s an imperfect thing. Scary on dirt, yes, but in part, that’s because it’s unpredictable. The bike has a stumbling idle and somewhat of an on-off power delivery when feathering the throttle. Even better, the engine braking is strong enough that it almost locks up the rear wheel when decelerating. Some tweaks to the engine’s tune will likely go a long way to improving drivability. That, and checks to make sure the CBR1000’s complex fuel injection system is running properly, with all its various sensors in harmony. 

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The idea of a scooter with a ridiculous amount of power is, naturally, an exciting one. Really, though, we want to see this concept actually using that 180 horsepower for propulsive purposes, not just to throw dirt in the air. Here’s to seeing where the Grind Hard gang take this bonkers concept next. May the rear tire will be a smoky memory before long.

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Stryker_T
Stryker_T
7 months ago

I had a ruckus a few years ago, had some friends with them too, we had so much stupid fun riding around in those things and doing questionable modding to them, they are so easy to mess with.

before i sold it because i got a full motorcycle, i had done a motor swap to a 150cc motor and added disc brakes to the front and lowered the seat. It was my daily driver almost the entire time i had it.

Duane Cannon
Duane Cannon
7 months ago

Or go 183 two-up on a 500 hp V-10 motorcycle. Allen Millyard is the best custom motorcycle builder out there.

https://www.visordown.com/news/general/henry-cole-allen-millyard-set-new-two-motorcycle-land-speed-record

Mike B
Mike B
7 months ago

When I was a little kid, I had this fantasy that I could go to Sesame Street and hang out with the characters. As an adult, Sesame Street has been replaced with the Grind Hard HQ.

MEK
MEK
7 months ago

Looks like a very entertaining way to die.

PajeroPilot
PajeroPilot
7 months ago

The Autopian keeps getting better! Welcome Lewin, I’ve enjoyed your work on Hackaday over the years. Great to have another Aussie, and an Adelaideian to boot, contributing!

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
7 months ago

That is bonkos! I love it!

Oafer Foxache
Oafer Foxache
7 months ago

Lewin, being an Aussie you might remember the early 80’s(?) when an absolute nut-job (ie Aussie car-afficionado) dropped an XJ12 engine into a Bug-eye… those were the days!

DadBod
DadBod
7 months ago

This reminds of the time I pulled up to a light on my VFR800 and a dude on an Italian scooter evens up and guns his engine a couple times. Light turns green and he SMOKES me. Next light he’s laughing and says the scooter is some 500cc Ducati? Supersomething and he regularly doles out shame.

Last edited 7 months ago by DadBod
Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
7 months ago

Stoked to have a fellow Aussie in the team, welcome Lewin!

Gen-O Bernardo
Gen-O Bernardo
7 months ago

love these “Just because I can” builds.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
7 months ago

The simple joy of fab skills and poor judgment. Just wonderful!

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
7 months ago

I didn’t watch the video, but if they don’t ramp it over a line of Power Wheels Escalades, I’m going to be very disappointed.

Andreas8088
Andreas8088
7 months ago

Best one that Will has done so far, for sure. He has come a long way!

Preston Tiegs
Preston Tiegs
7 months ago

I’ve been following the Grind Hard guys since the original Barbie Mustang says. They’ve got a nice combination of cool projects, great production value, and none of the stradman-style YouTube clickbait.

Clear_prop
Clear_prop
7 months ago
Reply to  Preston Tiegs

I just recently discovered them. They are a nice mix of CAD/CNC and YOLO.

Alec Weinstein
Alec Weinstein
7 months ago
Reply to  Preston Tiegs

I was subscriber number 2,000 something. Would have been sub2k if I didn’t wait a day lol. I also “run” the subreddit but that’s largely just a repository

Toecutter
Toecutter
7 months ago

Here’s What Happens When You Shove A Superbike Engine Into a Scooter

Many wonderful, glorious, beautiful things…

Pure hoonage.

Alexk98
Alexk98
7 months ago

Y’all managed to get Lewin on the team too? Heck yeah! Welcome Lewin we’re super happy to have you here! I swear the Autopian keeps adding the best writers from all the major car blogs around, and it’s super exciting to see how this site keeps building.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
7 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

Hearing Lewin is joining the team has me as excited as the guys in video at 21:47. Welcome, and I’m glad I no longer have to navigate deals on ryobi and dewalt tools to read your articles!

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
7 months ago

Word. As much as I like The Drive, I’m looking forward to more articles from Lewin with less advertisement articles and perhaps more oddball topics. Welcome Lewin!

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