Ultimately, the Big Ruckus is a love it or hate it scooter.
Minimal enclosed storage
Sidestand and centerstand
HONDA BIG RUCKUS (PS250)
The Big Ruckus (PS250) was a well engineered but low selling scooter from Honda, introduced for 2005 in the USA and Canada. After several years of strong sales by the smaller 50cc Ruckus, Honda responded to enthusiasts cries for a larger Ruckus with their 250cc Big Ruckus. Unfortunately most Ruckus/scooter fans found it to be a little too big and lacking the charm of it’s 50cc sibling – and thus sales were slow. The expensive price ($5500) and yellow-only color selection in the first year didn’t help sales either.
After slow sales in 2005, Honda offered the Big Ruckus in silver for 2006. Sales were again tepid which led Honda to drop the Big Ruckus from its North American lineup after 2006. Back in Japan, the Big Ruckus continued to be sold thru 2007 before production ceased altogether. Overall, sales were few but the people who did buy the Big Ruckus generally rave about this scooter. It seems that it appealed to quite a different but passionate audience than intended. The Big Ruckus was first introduced as a 2004 model over in Japan, so all told the Big Ruckus was produced from ’04 – ’07 but only sold in North America for ’05 – ’06. Outside North America, some other colors were used for the frame tubing and the side panels (which were always black in North America) such as Olive Drab Green.
The Big Ruckus shared the same powertrain as Honda’s NSS250 Reflex. This motor is a nice reliable liquid cooled engine that is good for 19hp, 75mph and 65mpg. While not making as much power as similarly sized dirt bike or sport bike, the Big Ruckus’s motor was a very low stress design that has every indication of being an extremely long lasting engine.
The PS250 accelerates well to 50mph, steadily to 60mph and then wanders from there to a top speed of 70-75mph. There’s a bit of a dead spot between 30-40mph when the CVT upshifts a bit too aggressively, which you can find a popular solution to over at TotalRuckus.com called the K-mod. With performance like this, you can hold your own on the highway and cruise nicely on backroads.
Storage & Convenience
What about the rest of the scooter? The Big Ruckus is loaded with clever features. The seat is engineering perfection. The backrest can be folded down to become a passenger seat (see below picture), or it can be folding up to give the driver big time comfort and unveil a handy storage area. This area works great for tossing a knapsack and you can use the handles to bungee your gear down.
Furthermore, the entire seat can slide forward and backwards because it’s on rails. This means that drivers of all heights can find a comfortable setup. The Big Ruckus also has a really cool storage canister on the right side near the back. This handy ‘toolbox’ is a rugged styled plastic cylinder that resembles a black military canister. I love how well this storage area fits the overall design of the PS250. This area is great for storage a few tools or your lunch. Other clever touches including a parking brake, handy access to the front of the engine area and a trip odometer. Another nice perk is that the Big Ruckus has both a centerstand and kickstand as standard equipment.
On the downside, there isn’t any enclosed storage besides the toolbox. Accordingly, you won’t be able to stuff your helmet in this scooter. The open concept design of this scooter suits creative individuals who will be able to bungee nearly anything down in the large space behind the seat.
So what is there not to like? Besides the 30-40mph acceleration deadspot, extended high speed riding can be somewhat tedious without an aftermarket windscreen as the Big Ruckus offers virtually no wind protection in its stock form. There’s also the styling which always seem to polarize people into a strong opinion one way or the other.
Ultimately, the Big Ruckus is a love it or hate it scooter. If you like the styling, you’re going to adore this scooter. If you don’t, have a look at Honda’s Reflex which shares the same motor and many other similarities while offering more normal styling. None of the cons are deal breakers and most of them can be addressed by you. If you hate the styling, none of the cool features like the adjustable seat are going to change your mind. The bottom line is that this is a pretty solid scooter with unique styling that you can judge.