honda ruckus scooter shuttle carrier build - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-04-2017   #1
 
Aurora, Colorado
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honda ruckus scooter shuttle carrier build

I want to build a way that I can do a self-supported shuttle on short river runs with my truck. I don't really want to go to a motorcycle class to learn how to ride one and then get a special license and get the registration and insurance.

So I bought a used 2007 Honda ruckus on Craigslist for $900. Just needs a bit of TLC like a new front tire, new seat, battery, battery box, some wiring, and a new inner frame cowl. This scooter doesn't weigh much more than 200 pounds, requires a 3 year sticker rather than license plates, and tops out at 35 mph.

I think I would like to mount a front receiver hitch on my truck and then build a removable carrier with tie-downs and a ramp so I can load and unload it easily. Sometimes I pull someone else's trailer, so I want to be able to choose if I mount the scooter on the front or rear of the truck. My truck is a lifted, extended cab, long bed 2003 dodge ram 2500.

I think this build would be perfect for a 2 day Westwater trip if we wanted to take 5-6 people and 2-3 rafts with one vehicle. I know it won't be ideal for longer trips with a lot of people, but I don't think there is a silver bullet shuttle system.

What do you think?

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Old 12-04-2017   #2
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Weld county, Colorado
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You may want to check with etrailer.com, they have a bunch of specs for what you need for a receiver hitch. I think class 3 will do it but I think there are some mounting brackets you have to add for that much weight. I've used these guys a few times, they have been great. Fast shipping and great customer service.

You may consider lowering the hitch so you don't have to wrestle that scooter up and down and it won't block as much air flow to your radiator. But I'd say go for it.
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Old 12-04-2017   #3
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Weld county, Colorado
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I didn't notice the welding as part of your user name. Build yourself your receiver. I'd still check specs of other hitches say class 4 or so.
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Old 12-04-2017   #4
 
D-town, Colorado
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I am a self support moto shuttle guy myself. I have a platform on the front of my trailer, have hauled up to a KLR650 in this configuration (great bike, too big for me to easily unload from the trailer alone) but a big cc bike makes fun/fast shuttles through the sand and mud of some Utah shuttle runs!

I am sure you can buy all the components you want on Amazon between the receiver for your truck and the moto carrier. None of that sounds out of the ordinary. You might want to watch temps if towing with the moto in front of your radiator or trans cooler.

You have a stronger ass than me if you want to run a westwater shuttle on a scooter. You might see us out and about this year, we will be rolling a Grom with knobbies, it seems like the best solution for me.
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Old 12-04-2017   #5
 
Aurora, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCo View Post
I didn't notice the welding as part of your user name. Build yourself your receiver. I'd still check specs of other hitches say class 4 or so.
Thanks NoCo,

I checked etrailer for ideas. I really like their designs, but I want to go with something beefier since I also want to build a 5 ton winch attachment for forestry work (skidding out big logs). Most of etrailers designs have a single member stretched between the truck frame rails which will be subject to a lot of torque and potentially deflection, so I think I will put in a double member. I also want to make things easier on myself by welding big angle iron directly to the frame rails to allow easier bolt on surfaces and so I don't have to remove the bumper for clearance.

I put together a model in AutoCad fusion 360, using stock I have on hand in my steel shed and 1/2 inch grade 8 bolts (~17k pounds shear strength if memory serves). It is probably overkill to simulate this in AutoCad, but they provide load and deflection calculations.
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Old 12-04-2017   #6
 
Aurora, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SigNewt View Post
You have a stronger ass than me if you want to run a westwater shuttle on a scooter. You might see us out and about this year, we will be rolling a Grom with knobbies, it seems like the best solution for me.
The scooter is so slow I don't think I will bruise on a shuttle run. I plan to overbuild my carrier so that I can upgrade to a full on motorcycle but I hope I don't have to. I have done some crazy crap in my life but I admit I have always been scared to ride a motorcycle.
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Old 12-05-2017   #7
 
Aurora, Colorado
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I welded the mount angle iron to the frame rails, welded the box together with the receiver, and drilled all the bolt holes and the hitch pin holes. This is what it looks like when assembled.
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Old 12-05-2017   #8
 
Aurora, Colorado
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Here is the start of the carrier platform. This is basic angle iron and expanded metal 6 inches wide and 6 feet long.
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Old 12-05-2017   #9
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Weld county, Colorado
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I wouldn't weld it to the frame, I'd bolt it. Frames twist as loads change on them that's why you have rubber cab mounts, if you didn't you might not be able to open the door because you pulled a heavy trailer. With the frame ends it not as bad as say forward of the axle. I would also bolt it because a big yellow bus could hit it in a lot and bolts are easier to deal with than grinding welds in a dirt lot. Still I like the idea, I just hope your not blocking too much of your grille. I once had to move a plow truck with plow in July, it ran HOT hot hot.
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Old 12-05-2017   #10
 
Aurora, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCo View Post
I wouldn't weld it to the frame, I'd bolt it. Frames twist as loads change on them that's why you have rubber cab mounts, if you didn't you might not be able to open the door because you pulled a heavy trailer. With the frame ends it not as bad as say forward of the axle. I would also bolt it because a big yellow bus could hit it in a lot and bolts are easier to deal with than grinding welds in a dirt lot. Still I like the idea, I just hope your not blocking too much of your grille. I once had to move a plow truck with plow in July, it ran HOT hot hot.
I absolutely agree with you on the bolts. The receiver hitch itself is bolted to angle iron welded to the frame. Bolting directly to the frame would require fishing bolts through the frame with wire and fabbing backing plates so the bolt heads don't turn when I cinch up the nuts (PITA), accurately drilling through the frame (big PITA), and removing the bumper and intercooler to access the frame rail ends (huge frigging PITA). If I wanted to remove the receiver hitch I would have to go through the same process. Building my own with this design was probably faster than installing a commercial receiver.

I do not think I will overheat because:
  1. The grill is bigger than the ruckus.
  2. There is a gap between the seat and front forks and a gap under the seat, so air will flow.
  3. The grill and radiator are built to cool the big v10 and much hotter yet, the diesel engine on this model. I just have the little 5.7l v8 hemi gas engine which doesn't generate much heat (comparatively).
The receiver is 20 inches from the ground (I have a 6 inch lift on the truck). So if I do overheat when I test it, I can drop the carrier and/or move it out from the grill.
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