De-Restricting My Honda Zoomer

The Honda Zoomer is a 49cc scooter and in the UK at least, it’s restricted to a top speed of 28mph which is not only rubbish but pretty dangerous too since generally the speed limit around any built up area is 30mph.

A scooter doing 28mph is not as slow or easy to pass as a bicycle yet is not fast enough to keep a comfortable speed along with the cars. The result of this is a nice long queue of traffic behind you not too dissimilar to being a tractor on a country lane and they all want to pass you but 28mph isn’t an easy speed to pass in a 30mph zone…seeing the problem here? Angry drivers get far too close to your back wheel.

I looked into derestricting my scooter and found this could be done with the Polini Kit shown here:

Pile of Crap

The kit includes a CDI unit which is the computery/technical ‘talk to the engine’ gubbins. Yes, those are technical terms. It also includes different tubes for the air intake, rollers for the speed variator and a sporty exhaust with some brackets.

A few months back Wil kindly bought me the CDI unit thinking that this would be the answer to my de-restricted dreams of 35-40mph. Not so, but what we did accomplish by fitting the CDI on its own was to take away the rev limit so that it didn’t max out at 28mph (or 30mph down hill). It also caused a very random issue when I indicated left or right (but mostly right) in that it would cut the revs like I’d just let go of the throttle for a second and then wind back up…. NOT the nicest thing that can happen to you when you have that trail of cars right on your arse. That said, once the rev limit was gone I did get a top speed of 33mph (35 down hill) although when I hit the top speed I think I was hitting the engine limiter as it would make a high pitch resonating sound that it didn’t make before which could be stopped by letting off the throttle a bit. We thought that most of these little issues would be sorted by fitting the rest of the kit.

Today we installed the exhaust,air pipes and variator rollers.

I’m dissapointed to say the Polini kit is shockingly shitty quality. While the body of the casing is mostly brushed metal effect the end of the pipe is polished only it looks like its been polished and then dropped on the floor a bit. There are many small scuffs and marks around the end of the pipe which at first I thought must be damage to the sticky plastic covering they’d put in it to protect it. Then I found there was no protective covering – the finish on it WAS just that shitty. What you’ll be relieved to know though, is that they put a little plastic covering over the POLINI badge on the side of the exhaust because we wouldn’t want that getting scratched in transit would we!

The kit comes with a small booklet of instructions for installation. Although only a page pertains to the English version of these instructions which seem to have been poorly translated from Italian and they are so vague that they may as well read like this:

“Exhaust – your kit comes with a exhaust. Fit this to your scooter. CDI – your kit comes with a CDI. Fit this to your scooter. Pipes – this kit comes with some pipes and lots of bolts and nuts. Use some of these to fit the pipes and bits to the other bits that you’ve already fitted to your bike”

There is also a page of photos which are intended to assist the written instructions although, they are about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Imagine this:

“Scooter Exhaust – fit this to your bike using the rubber bands and clamp along with the bolts and bracket as in pic A”

(Pic A)

What really didn’t help while following these useless half arsed instructions was that although they listed all the parts that were supposed to be in the kit, they didn’t list them with a picture of that part so it was anyones guess as to what parts were what. This was even more frustrating when we finally figured out that THE RUBBER BANDS required to be placed under the exhaust clamp WERE MISSING!.. You’d think maybe it was just this kit however we encountered the same problem when we bought the CDI on its own originally and found none of the connectors mentioned in the instructions were supplied.

The first part we installed was the pipe that sits between the engine and the can part of the exhaust. Without going into too much detail the fitment of the this pipe was slightly hindered by the lam sensor which was a tight squeeze up against one of the plastic casings covering the engine. The second hitch was the gasket that sits between the flange on the pipe and the can. This was too big to sit well in the recessed circle made for it although the two pieces did bolt together ok. Ask me in a few days if my exhaust has started blowing yet!

The last parts of the exhaust to fit were the brackets. The C-shaped clamp that went around the can had small flanges at the end with holes intended for 2 bolts to go through which would tighten down behind the exhaust to make the C-shape into an O. The bolts supplied in the kit were about 2cm too short leaving no possibility of pulling the two pieces of the clamp together so we ended up supplying 2 much longer bolts of our own.

Once the exhaust was fitted we moved on to replace the pipes on the air filter. The instructions here explained very little so we had to use some common sense and a bit of guesswork replacing these pieces. Again, the kit came with a small set of rollers (shown in the picture above in blue and red – except ours were all blue) which sparked another episode of confusion as the last instruction reads something like:

“This kit is designed for use with Polini Speed Control code no. 12345. This must be upgraded with the rollers supplied”

To me this suggested that we should have also ordered or been supplied with the Polini Speed Controller (aka variator), and then place the rollers we’d been given into it. However, we finally worked on the theory that the Ital-English poor sentence should be understood:

“This kit is designed for use with the Polini Variator. If you are not fitting the Polini Variator use the rollers included in this kit in your original variator” So we did that!

After installing the entire kit I took the scooter for a test run. The lighter rollers in the variator made a noticeable difference in the acceleration speed but did nothing to the overall top speed. The better airflow I believe was responsible for an extra 2mph however, at 34/35mph the bike began to yuck and pull and jerk about as if it was choking or not fuelling correctly. I wasn’t able to confirm if the original indicator fault was still present.

One other thing that the instructions suggested for higher performance or if you wanted to race the bike was to remove the narrow pipe insert seated in the end of the exhaust can. The pictures showed this could be done simply by grabbing the pipe with a pair of pliers – NOT SO! We ended up using our Dremmel to grind away two welds and then removed the piece. The difference in the sound of the pipe after removing that piece is surprisingly good. Instead of the puffy hairdryer sound it previously had the sound became much more basey. More like a motorbike than a scooter. Although this still did not solve the problem we experienced at 35mph.

Given that the indicator fault was present before we installed the rest of the kit we think there could be a problem with the CDI unit we originally installed. So tomorrow we are going to fit the new CDI that came with the kit to see if there is a difference.

Getting your hands on the Polini kits is not a quick job in the UK – at least it wasn’t for us and I’ve noticed a few other people in the forums complaining of delivery times. We originally ordered ours from our local motorbike shop and after a month of waiting we were told that it could be another 3 weeks. We canceled that one and ordered from Motorcycle Technics in Stowmarket, they got it in about 2 weeks. I believe the problems on delivery times lie somewhere between Polini and the importer.

There are some helpful people and some good information about Honda Zoomers (or Ruckus as its also known) on the TotalRuckus forum.

www.totalruckus.com

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35 Comments »

  1. Lindy said

    I think if you lived here you’d probably have to get motor cycle license to drive that on our roads. Speaking of motor cycles why not just step up? Especially with gas prices what they are. And the fun!!

  2. foxsden said

    I do sometimes think about doing my bike license but its expensive to do it… about $1000. Wil did his this time last year so he has the big bike.. I just like wafting about short distances myself and Im not so much into bikes – just scooters. Our petrol is around $9/10 dollars a gallon now hence while we’ve had great weather the last two weeks I’ve used the scooter every day because it does 100mpg

  3. Glenn said

    I just had the fitted the polini variator to my zoomer. Didn’t bother with the exhaust because everyone on the forums said it was shitty. Didn’t bother with the CDI either as I wanted to see what difference each part made in isolation.

    Took it to my local scooter to have it fitted. The honda dealer who sold me my zoomer refused to do it and told me it would void the warranty. Anyway the local dealer charged me £30 for fitting it, and I paid £35 for the variator. My Zoomer now does 36mph.

  4. foxsden said

    Hi Glenn – The variator comes with some different rollers and the best combo is to use 3 blue and 3 yellow, that way you’ll get good acceleration and good speed rather than one or the other being better. You should be able to get about 45mph

    The exhaust is terrible quality but it does make the Zoomer sound really good – a little more bass rather than midtones of hairdryer!

  5. COLIN DAWSON said

    GLENN

    Just Surfed into this site, Did you just fit a Variator and used only the roller combo and nothing else? I have a restricted Zoomer/ Ruckus and don’t want to be buying kit that is unnecessary.

    Colin

  6. Foxsden said

    Hi Colin

    the two crucial bits you need to have are the CDI unit (this tells the engine about the change in fuelling the engine needs for the extra power) and the variator with rollers. You’ll have yellow and blue rollers, you’ll want to use 3 of each for the best performance.

    This only works on the European Zoomer (so I’m told) because the US version is carb’d not fuel injected.

    • Zoomer-boy said

      HEy there fox mate hope this thread still runs but can you possible tell me the part numbers for the upgrade CDi and the part number for the variator i would like to arder these for my “zoomer” but all the ones i see have only the yellow weights so i presume they are the standard variators and looking at the CDi there is now way to tell from a picture.
      Thanx in advance

      Zoomer-boy

  7. Anonymous said

    ej
    pse ja ki vjell agjes tem moton mar ta qi nanen

  8. tracey said

    hey anybody ive just bought a new zoomer and its ok on the pull but shite on the flat ! thinkin about de restricting it but looking into to it im now unsure as to just fit the chip or the total exhaust @air kit etc any help would be mostly appreciated regards tracey

  9. Foxsden said

    Hi Tracey

    You need to install the Polini CDI and the Variator – nothing else. The CDI takes the speed limit off and adjusts the flow of fuel and the Variator allows the scoot to physically move at the faster speed. They are both easy to fit with the right tools.. about an hour job for someone who is competent.
    When you install the variator you need to use 3 blue and 3 yellow rollers. This gives you the best combo of take off pull and speed on the flat/hills. I get about 45mph tops.

  10. Joe said

    Hi,

    I also have a zoomer. Can you please let me know what is the weight of the blue and yellow rollers? I’m using a combination of 3*4gm and 3*7gm. It’s still very sluggish to go uphill about 10% inclination. It’s very embarassing how slow it is upstairs.

  11. Foxsden said

    Hi Joe

    I believe the Yellow Rollers are 2.4 Grams and the Blue Rollers are 3.7 Grams. I think I’ve got all blue rollers in mine which gives a fast top speed but it’s sluggish uphills. I go down to about 28mph on a steep grade. I was told that if you mix the blue and yellow equally you’d get the best of both top speed and take off but I can’t comment from experience on that. I’ve intended to take 3 of my blue one’s out and put in 3 of the yellow, but because the scoot runs ok without, I just haven’t bothered.

  12. Zoomer-boy said

    Was reading thru your comments can i have the part numbers for the Variator and the CDi from anyone the has bought it already

  13. Foxsden said

    The complete Zoomer Polini Kit pictured in the post above is part no. 170.2100.

    The variator (aka speed controller) is part no.: 241.626

    The CDI unit is part no: 171.0526]

    Best thing to do is put the blue and yellow rollers in the variator so that you have 3 blue and 3 yellow but alternating, so one blue, one yellow.. and so on. THis gives you top speed and top acceleration – I replaced mine the other weekend to this format and it’s a marked improvement.

    If you buy the kit you will get the extra rollers you need to replace as I just mentioned.

    • Zoomer-boy said

      Great stuff thanx man!! =D One more thing though does the kit come with the variator or just the rolers? If it does not come with the variator can i just fit the new rolers in the stock variator?
      You say buying the kit is pointless, as you would not even fit the exhuast?

      • Fox said

        Oi! I’m a bird not a bloke 🙂 The kit only includes the blue rollers, you
        need to buy the variator separately and that will come with the Yellow ones.
        You can’t put the after market rollers in the existing variator. I did look
        into this when I had it apart and it just wouldn’t work because the new
        variator is a different size than the stock fitted.

        I don’t think the kit is pointless – just the exhaust is such poor quality,
        although it does have a nice sound. I’ve been careful to spray mine with
        WD40 after use in damp weather to keep the rust away and it’s looking ok a
        year on.

        If I had to do it over again I’d buy the Polini Kit and Variator separately.
        Flog the exhaust on Ebay and buy a nicer exhaust – there are plenty of other
        options about if you look around.

  14. […] Honda Zoomer, Honda Zoomer, Honda Zoomer Faster, zoomer } This is in response to my other post on Derestricting My Honda Zoomer on which I’ve had many questions in the comments. So I thought I’d update with a […]

  15. Yorkie said

    Hi Fox
    Many thanks to you as i have now compleated my upgrades for now.
    Off the clock now and smiling when on the ped rather than growling when been overtaken by everything!
    Thanks for all the hints tips and advice ..invaluable 🙂
    I’m going to run the polini exhaust to death before changing it for a nicer one although already thinking about buying a stretch frame as i’m 6.1 but then i thought well if i’m going to do that might as well put the gy6 150cc whilst i’m at it!…mod zoomer heaven!
    Again thankyoooou for the tips you are a star

    • Foxsden said

      That’s great news Yorkie – it’s definately a better bike once you get out of the 28mph zone isn’t it!

      Thanks for the feedback – I’m glad the information helped someone, that’s really good to know.

      If you do anymore mods and you want to write up how you did it, I’d be glad to host your write up for you.

      • Yorkie said

        Hiya Fox
        Will do so just for the record so far on what have done…
        Variator
        De restriction kit and exhaust.
        Chrome low seat frame
        Foot pegs
        Paint customisation – red trim wheels and red and black ripped camo on the battery cover.
        Well funked up! shame i cant load a piccie in here

  16. Anonymous said

    Can you only fit The Polini Variator part no. 241.626 ? useing the yellow and blue rollers as well? I’ve got a Zoomer and only need it go 35mph. I’m also clueless when it comes to techinal stuff like this – though foxsden has done a great job in helping.

    • Foxsden said

      You can use what combo of rollers you like in it but the Yellow and Blue gives you the best of both speed and acceleration.

      If you put all one colour in it’ll go faster but take a long time to get there, if you put all the other colour it’ll take off fast and then move along slowly! Best to alternate colours in the variator.

      I’m not sure how good of an idea changing just the variator without adding the CDI unit is. Because I thought the CDI tells the bike to adjust fuelling etc for the faster speeds so without it you might get some trouble when you get to faster speeds. Just a thought.

      • fatpie1664 said

        So i could change just the Variator and CDI unit then?
        Thanks for the reply

  17. Foxsden said

    Yeah you don’t HAVE to put the exhaust on.

  18. Chris Bishop said

    get over to http://www.totalzoomer.com for all of your UK Zoomer help.

  19. Tommyzoomer said

    Hi Foxden
    I recently bought my Zoomer and have been having the same stupid problem with the top speed of 26Mph!. Im Just wondering is there any difference between the Honda Zoomer and Honda Ruckus because I would like to get this exhaust from america which is designed for the Ruckus. Do you reckon it would fit and work on my zoomer?

  20. Tommyzoomer said

    If anyone who knows a little about zoomers, I would be greatful for any advice.

  21. Tommyzoomer said

    Ohh my there is no one here :/

    • Jelle said

      Ruckus = zoomer

  22. Jelle said

    They r the same! Ruckus = zoomer

  23. Jelle said

    Foxsden! It appears to be that the yellow rollers are 5.6 grams, and the blue ones 4, which is logic because a heavier roller increases top speed (roller in Polini vario are meant to be fast). Weird that you noticed a change in power uphill, while adding rollerweight!

  24. Anonymous said

    my zoomer does 40 mph no problem. Pollini cdi and variatior change.
    Mapping helps.

  25. Dixie said

    I have venom racing variator,polini cd,polini belt and an Efi auto mapper chip, and nico racing rollers,

    Mechanic put in all 8g rollers, still do 24mph like I did before mods on a flat,, 15 up hill down hill goes 47, tried all 7gs but 6g didn’t use I have 6x 6g ,6x7g,6x8g rollers, can someone give me a good combination?

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