A Small Obsession

I’m not quite sure what it is about them? Granted, I always enjoyed riding a bike as a kid. There’s something about pedaling around with the wind in your face that every kid should enjoy. I never see kids riding bikes anymore though? While a less “suburban” child might have fond memories of motorized bikes on the country roads or pasture, the first engine I controlled was under a hood with four wheels.

Maybe it’s the $4.00 signage at gas stations, and the realization that in 1996 (when I began driving) I filled my 1987 Honda Accord to the brim with 12 gallons at $1.00 each. It’s sad to have “good ‘ole day syndrome” when you’re only 27. Real sad actually.

And I’m not sure what sparks my interest more; the 90-95mpg or the rugged, bare-bones look of the Honda Ruckus scooter (let’s please not call it a moped) that just grabs my attention. It’s a little 49cc scooter that reaches, are you ready…top speeds of 40-42mph and can ride anywhere besides a highway or service road.


Sure, it’s ugly, but that’s kind of the point. It’s not looking to win any sytle points or uphold any macho image you may have created for yourself. Yet, it won’t necessarily ruin your street cred and induce Nelson Muntz-eske laughs in your direction — “Ha-ha!”

The 2008 models are sold out nationwide and Honda has (speculation) issued an early realease for the 2009 scoot’s. There’s a community of “Rucksters” as they call themselves, joined in a unified effort to ride around like kids to their office jobs, meeting up on weekends to cruise the 45 speed limit roads wherever they can. You have to admit; it sounds like fun!

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  1. moped moped moped. Ha. You’ll get made fun of for it by one student and never ride it again. eh?

  2. If people would do the math they’d realize how foolish it is to buy a 2-wheel-death-machine. If you assume a cost of $2500 for a Ruckster then you’re looking at about 625 gallons of gasoline (based on $4 per gallon). If a fill-up requires 12 gallons, that’s 52 tanks of gasoline. If we merely assume 25mpg (from an existing vehicle), then we’re talking about enough money to propel us 15,625 miles (probably slightly more than a year’s worth of driving). Keep in mind, you wouldn’t be selling a regular vehicle – most people don’t. They just add a 2-wheel-death-trap to their present vehicle inventory. So, they’re really spending an additional $2500, plus whatever gas is required to operate the death trap. Assume they can cut their normal vehicle driving by 50%. Then they’ll drive the death trap about 7,800 miles annually. Let’s figure on 90mpg – that means, we’ll need about 87 gallons of gas. That’s about $348 in gas for the year. So we’re up to $2848 for the vehicle and the gas, not including taxes, licenses, etc. That’s for year 1. Your normal gas expenditure goes from $2500 a year to $1598, for a net savings of $902. So, IF you drive the 2-wheel-death-trap at least HALF of the time (which is impossible in the big city or in north Texas), and IF you keep this death trap for 3 years MINIMUM – then you’ll break even! And IF you drive it 50% of the time, you’ll be dead within the first 12 months so you’ll lose YOUR LIFE and $1804! Sounds like a winner!