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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Scooter Racing

Expert Author Dravor Spencer
The more I look into scooters, the more amazed I become with what can be done with them. From the different Honda Ruckus Parts available to the GY6 Swaps to the fuel injection technology in the Zuma 125, it is quite a different world than I am used to coming from an automotive background. One of the things that have really caught my eye has been the racing I have seen that European and Asian guys are doing!
Drag Racing is probably the biggest one I have seen. Lengths range from a Thirty-Second Mile (roughly Fifty Meters) to full on Quarter Mile. Just like in big bike and car racing, a Thirty-Second Mile drag scooter is set up differently than a Quarter Mile drag scooter. Variator, clutch and CVT belt setups are all different to achieve maximum velocity at their given drags. However, just like their big bike cousins, these scooters are seeing things like custom built, rigid frames with no rear suspension, wheelie bars, and long stretches. To me, this is where a Honda Ruckus would really start to come into play.
The Ruckus is practically built to be the near perfect drag racer from the factory. Its lightweight and the gas tank and engine are already in the perfect position being right there in the center of the frame and low. Getting lowered forks, a lowered seat frame, a chinbone, a set of DROWSports Foot Pegs, and the GY6 with a good stretch and you have the recipe for a perfect dragger! Get the GY6 to 232cc and you can really make it haul. Converting to a rigid frame with wheelie bars wouldn't be too difficult, but you can forget making it your daily ridden bike after that. It will become a pure race bike.
Road Racing is the next biggest racing I have seen these scooters do. I'd expect it to exist, but just not at the level these guys take it. There are full on race series from Stock-Spec. classes to run what you got races with Maxi-Scooters (basically large scooters with 250cc and up engines) and custom suspension scooters. These scooters also aren't just riding along in a single file line and leaning just a little bit; they are dragging knees and sliding the rear of these bikes to keep the engine in its power band range. It's pretty exciting stuff to watch. The perfect bike for this would probably be the Zuma 50.
The Zuma 50 2-Stroke is probably one of the lightest bikes you can buy. It also uses the Minarelli Two-Stroke engine. This engine has been used in many two-stroke scooters in Europe for many, many years. This makes aftermarket Zuma Parts easy to find and use. It is also the scooter of use in many Road Racing Series in Europe and Asia, so finding good handling parts and racing tires is very easy to source. However, since 2002 Motori Minarelli is now a part of the Yamaha Group. The Zuma 50F is also starting to launch here in the US to take over the two-stroke Zuma 50, but it has a lack of aftermarket support for now. Two-Strokes are still produced and popular in Europe and Asia due to a more lax environment towards emissions on small displacement scooters, but look for that to change just like it has here in the US.

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