One piece of commonly accepted bike wisdom is the idea that it’s more fun to ride a slow bike fast than it is to ride a fast bike slow. To a degree, that’s true. What’s the point of having the fastest, smoothest, nimblest machine if all you’re going to do is get stuck in traffic jams all the time?
That’s one reason that small-displacement, low horsepower machines like the Honda Ruckus are magnets for customizers (and would-be customizers) who want their own quirky palette for self-expression. While engine swaps in Honda Ruckuses aren’t uncommon, though, most people don’t generally decide to swap engines from rare liter bikes into them.
There are practical reasons for this. Consider weight, for example. The 2008 Honda Ruckus you’re seeing in this video had a curb weight of just 194 pounds, according to Honda. By the time that the first Honda CBR 1000RR rolled out into the world, it tipped the scales at a hair under 460 pounds at the curb. Of that, engine weight was around 145 pounds or so, give or take—which is just about three quarters of the weight of a stock Ruckus.
Sometimes, though, the heart wants what it wants—and nowhere is that truer than when building a bonkers custom project with your buddies. In this video, we get to see the Grind Hard Plumbing Company steadily make the impossible and impractical come to life in this CBR1000RR Repsol Edition Ruckus build.
Even cooler, we get to see some of the more experienced guys in the group show Will, who’s a bit less experienced, how to tackle some of the TIG welding, CAD design work, and other technical pieces so that he’s learning with his hands as well as his brain. (If you’re the kind of person who learns better that way, you probably appreciate how important that is.)
After careful consideration, they decide that the best place to put the engine is out back, mostly behind the saddle. They have to cut into the Ruckus frame to make things fit properly, which seems a bit sketchy at first. After all, a major part of the appeal of the Ruckus is its unique aesthetic, particularly the frame shape.
While it may make you raise an eyebrow, sometimes you just have to trust the vision of the builder. This is one of those times—and as it turns out, that trust is not misplaced. Somehow, over the course of just over half an hour, the big parts of this build all come together into a vehicle that’s able to roll out of the shop and support the weight of an average adult man.
The wheelbase is significantly longer than either the Ruckus or the CBR1000RR, of course—and it’s not running just yet. There’s a lot more building yet to accomplish before this project is complete. Still, in the space of a couple of weeks, the team managed to get an awful lot accomplished.
What will a 180-ish horsepower custom Ruckus be like to ride? Hopefully, we’ll find out in the next video (or thereabouts).