What we at Desert Street Scene love seeing and writing about are vehicles that have been modified with a passion; vehicles that have been recreated based on a vision that exists solely in the eyes of their owners… but what we love even more is seeing mods done to vehicles that you wouldn’t commonly see stopped at the signal next to you. It was with this in mind that we sat down with four valley locals to ask them all about their Honda Ruckuses and to find out why, in a world full of fast cars and tall trucks, they would choose their unique set of wheels.

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     We began with Matt Cabanas, who revealed to us that when he originally purchased his scooter on July 3 of 2013, his plan was to simply buy it to enjoy the fireworks and cruise the town for the 4th of July and then to sell it, but his plans quickly changed after having ridden it. Matt told DSS that he had seen everyone back home building Ruckuses, and he liked the idea of being a little different with a Metropolitan. However, this choice to be unique has come with a few problems while in the process of building, such as trying to make a wire harness that was originally created for a Honda Ruckus fit his Metropolitan, as well as having a difficult time with relocating the battery. Of course you would never know that any issues were ever had when looking at his build because of its pristine condition and spectacular selection of modifications. His clean and simple self-designated style is evident from the tip of his Original 8 handlebars to his Gorby Gear “Bride” seat cover down to his Ruckus rear frame, and everything in between. With too many mods to count, we asked him to narrow down for us what his favorite was, to which he replied “My 150cc gy6 swap”. Kaotic Creations is a sponsor for Matt, and must be thrilled to be so when this vehicle is bringing in awards like 1st Place of the special interest category at the 2014 Phoenix Dub Show. But winning awards hasn’t changed Matt’s humbleness, which he proves by recognizing the support and friendship that he has received by throwing some shout outs to JR Burns, Andrew Preston, Ken Michaels, and, of course the crew he is a member of, AscensionAZ.

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     We then turned our attention to Brad Frazier, who, though he has only had his Ruckus for 4 months, has loved every mile he has put on it since driving it out of the dealership’s parking lot. In fact, he put over 400 miles on it in the first week of owning it, saying “I loved scootin’ around town on my bone stock nerd machine”. But bone stock wasn’t meant to last long, as he quickly drew from the inspiring mods he had seen other Ruckus owners had done. He started off as building a low and slow little street sweeper, but soon changed direction after blowing his shocks and listening to the scrape of his dragging exhaust. It was at that point he decided he wanted to keep it “functional”. A chopped and lowered seat frame, GP turbo kit exhaust with custom header and O2 sensor bung, and custom Velocity Stack style intake are only a few things you’ll find having been changed on this red beauty, and while awesome, they unfortunately don’t rank up there with Brad’s favorite of modifications to his scooter. What is his favorite you may ask? “My Copsme rear wheel sticker. I’ve been pulled over, like, 10 times now in 4 months and never ticketed!” he said with a smile. His sponsors at NextCare Urgent Care must love him too, since they know that there are big things planned for the little vehicle, such as a different motor set up and a change for the rear frame, as well as little mods here and there and some additional tuning to get every MPH out of his little 49cc engine. So who does Brad thank for his passion for scootin’? Rocky Hampton, who he says exposed him to these beautiful creations, and Casey Tozier, who helped Brad out and was always happy to share ideas.

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     DSS next spoke to Robert Weaver, ready to hear the story behind his almond cream colored Ruckus with candy teal, powder coated wheels. After owning it for over a year, Robert has wasted no time crafting his vehicle to match his simple, yet effective style. Truest Form and Sellouts Limited Clothing have enthusiastically decided to sponsor Robert, no doubt because they love his long list of modifications and unique flare as much as we do. Though Robert’s personal favorite mods are the many custom pieces that he has had designed for his scooter, there are also a great many other pieces that he has that weren’t the result of his creative genius, though the complete look is nothing but his vision alone. With a relocated headlight bracket, a custom fatty wheel that plays off the look of the stock front wheel very nicely, and a speaker setup that was handmade by KQ Ruckit, this unique ride is nothing but individually crafted, which fits Robert well because that was the reason he chose the bike to begin with: he wanted something that you wouldn’t typically see while on your daily commute to work; he wanted something that would be seen as being out of the ordinary. The only issue with having a passion for working on something unique is that it often takes time and patience to gain the necessary knowledge to take your vision and make it a reality, but Robert has received so much support from his sponsors, as well as others who have been a part of the various modification stages, that learning how to modify his vehicle has never been seen as a problem, but only as an opportunity to enhance his knowledge and skills while spending time with some great people. The sky is the limit for this little vehicle and its owner, especially since one of Robert’s driving forces is to see the Ruckus/Metro scene grow out here in Arizona.

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     Last, but certainly not least, we spoke with Kyle White, the owner of a gorgeous golden Ruckus that he has been proud to call his for a little over a year. Sponsored by Sellouts Limited Clothing and currently sporting more mods than stock pieces, it isn’t any wonder that he walked out of Import Face Off with a Best Bike win in 2013, and it’s easy to see more wins are in this vehicle’s future, especially when Kyle is saying “There is always something you can do with these bikes, so the future and possibilities are endless”. And even with not always having the correct tools on hand or coming across the problem of a part not fitting quite as it should, Kyle has continued to tweak and change his scooter by doing things like extending the brake throttle and gas lines, adding a custom straight handle bar with BMX headset, and changing out his standard tires for white walls, all of which help Kyle get closer to his Old School Bobber Chopper style. His favorite mod is his exhaust though, simply for what it offers to the overall look of this vehicle. Just like any other true enthusiast, it is obvious that Kyle has put a lot of time and energy into altering his Ruckus, so we asked where he drew all his inspiration from, and why did he select this bike over all the others he could have chosen to purchase, to which he replied, “All the rucks I used to see online got me interested in building one of my own, and they’re fun to ride, and get great gas mileage.” He then said, “The individuality between all the rucks is awesome to see”, which DSS couldn’t agree with more!

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     Kyle’s comment about the extensive amount of individuality is obviously very true as we look at the creative differences on display between this month’s four highlighted vehicles, but for those of you who may still wonder why someone would chose a small scooter for their project when a plethora of other rides are out there, ready and waiting for some aftermarket love, here’s the reply Brad gave us: “There’s something about stopping at a gas station, or just to answer a phone call, and without fail, every time, someone walks up and asks what this thing is. I could park next to an Old School Bobber Chopper and a few street bikes, and there will always be people coming up to me asking me what I’m riding…it’s different, that’s why. I mean, we’re all in the car game, doing something different, being something different, rebelling if you will”.

Article by: Kat Montgomery

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