I used to think that 1970s CBs were the most heavily customized Hondas. Until I discovered the extraordinary subculture that has grown up around the Honda Ruckus. Yes, it’s a scooter and it’s got a meager 49cc. But it’s a distinctive looking machine, with wide tires, a bare bones frame and twin headlights. In Japan—and some pockets of SoCal—it inspires fervent devotion.
Over the past five years, the USA has really caught on to the Ruckus—especially in California, New York and Florida. One of the leading lights is a company called Rucksters; based in Arcadia, CA, it supplies a dizzying array of custom parts.
This machine, nicknamed “The LV Project” after the luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton, is a collaboration between Rucksters and the tuner BTX Industries. The stock engine was the first thing to go: it’s been replaced by a 150cc GY6, an engine commonly used in larger scooters.
Breathing is helped by a Mikuni TM28 carburetor, a custom header pipe and a Yoshimura exhaust. With a curb weight of less than 200 lbs, you’re looking at a useful turn of speed. Certainly more than the 40 mph top speed of a stock Honda Ruckus.
The frame and body have been stripped back and refinished in a mix of Du Pont ‘Champagne’ paint and brown anodizing. The rear wheel, in case you’re wondering, is from a golf cart. (And no, I don’t know how it goes around corners.)
As for the rest of the bike … there are too many changes to list here. Head over to Honda Tuning Magazine for the full story and a spec sheet.