Howto: Honda Ruckus GY6 Swap


We all know how slow the stock Honda Ruckus 50cc motor can be and even all the small performance mods out there for this small engine can realistically only gain you about 5-10mph in top end without significant time tuning and testing.

So what are the options out there to make your Honda Ruckus faster you may ask. There isn't really a bolt on "Big Bore" kit for the Honda Ruckus out there. The second option is a GY6 swap. This is pretty much replacing the stock Ruckus motor with a Chinese 150cc GY6 engine. It is a completely new engine with 3 times the displacement and power. It is capable of pushing your little Ruckus to 60mph and keeping up with traffic off the line. So how do I do a Ruckus GY6 swap?

This guide will look at a "budget" GY6 swap which will outline all the essential and necessary parts you will need to be rolling without hurting your wallet...much as least. We will also offer some tips on how to make the most out of your 150cc GY6 engine.

When doing a GY6 Ruckus Swap, the first thing you have to do is establish a budget. The bare bones basic GY6 swap can run you around $1000-$1500. Mechanical skills are necessary as you will be wrenching, wiring, and installing parts if you will be doing it yourself. The stock Ruckus motor and harness are not used so you will be removing those from the Ruckus.

Next is to decide what sort of wheel setup you want to run with the GY6 motor. The stock Ruckus rear rim cannot be used on the GY6 motor. It is important to decide at this stage if you want to use a fatty wheel or not as this will govern what sort of GY6 mount you will have to get as well as add or decrease your build budget. You can score skinny style stock GY6 rear wheels on eBay for around $50-$100. Fatty rims will require a GY6 hub and either a 10x8 or 12x8 rim, which we have HERE. We offer our version of the GY6 fatty mount found HERE which is required to be used if you want to run fatty style rims.

Last, you will need a 150cc GY6 exhaust. You can find cheap options online but they are only "skinny" exhaust systems that can only be used with skinny rims. Used a fatty wheel will require a exhaust system that will clear the wider rim. This can be completely custom build if you have the skills and parts or options from Yoshimura, Two Brothers, etc can be found.

Once you have these things figured out, its time to order parts! Here is a list of essential parts you will need:

150cc GY6 crate motor

Gy6 Swap Mount

Ruckus GY6 Swap Harness

GY6 rim or Hub

GY6 Exhaust

Once you have all these parts, its time to put your GY6 swap together. Start by removing everything off the rear of the Honda Ruckus frame. Engine, stock engine mount, and wiring all need to be removed. Next you will want to remove the stock Ruckus wiring. You will need to unplug and remove all the wiring and the ECU (the brain) from under the battery box. This will all be replaced be a GY6 swap harness which will tie in the stock Ruckus controls to the new GY6 engine.

You will need to install the motor and engine mount next. Install the swap motor first per the instructions of the mount. Bolting up the GY6 motor should be fairly easy. Once this is done you should at last how a rolling bike that you can at least get an idea of what the new motor will look like and where you want wires to run.

Wiring should be done next as you now know where all the mechanical stuff will be. The ATR GY6 swap harness is by far the best harness for a GY6 Swap. It offers 95% plug and play ability and ties in all the Ruckus controls and lights. It is also well marked to tell you where everything plugs into. A good stock Ruckus battery should be used as the 150cc motor will require good cranking power to start. Once all wiring is done, it should be time to fire up your new Ruckus GY6 swap!

Something to consider...you may want to invest in a good front disc brakes setup as you will need more stopping power since will you will hitting 60mph. Our guide to disc brakes setup can be found HERE.

Some Tips:

Run a dedicated ground:

The 150cc GY6 motor will need a good ground in order to provide solid cranking power at start up. We have found it almost a necessity to run a dedicated 12 gauge wire from the negative terminal of the battery to a bolting point on the 150cc engine itself. If you don't have good solid ground wires between your battery and the motor/starter, you run the risk of melting ground wires on your harness.

Switching to a 11 Pole Stator:

The stator of the 150cc motor provides charging for your battery and powers all electrics when running. 8 Pole stators normally come stock on crate 150cc motors. There have been numerous issues with it not being able to meet the demands of charging the battery and powering the Ruckus lights. We recommend swapping the 8 pole stator for a 11 pole stator for better charging and electrical power output.

Change the factory oil:

The factory oil that comes pre-filled in the cart 150cc motors can be a unknown substance. It might be oil per se but we have never trusted it. Change your oil once before you fire it up for the first time and again after break in. This step is important in ensuring the longevity and break in of your motor.

Check your bolts:

Check your bolts every 100 miles or so. The 150cc is known for its vibration and it can rattle bolts lose. To ensure the safety of your ride and yourself, be sure to tighten your Ruckus bolts!

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