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2009 Genuine Rattler 110 Review

Thursday, June 11, 2009
The Genuine Rattler 110 on display in Southern Oregon wine country.
The Genuine Rattler 110 offers a different option for scooter buyers with its 110cc air-cooled 2-stroke engine.
Chicago-based Genuine Scooters is making sure riders don’t live in a world without 2-strokes with its Rattler 110. After a recent day-long test ride, thanks to our friends at Southern Oregon’s Bike Barn, we can say one thing for sure: the Rattler is different. And while that isn’t the greatest story lead ever written, ‘different’ pretty well sums up the allure of the Genuine Rattler 110.

On our modern, near 2-stroke-less American roadways, the stripped down Rattler stands out. And with its zinging air-cooled, 110cc 2-stroke mill the Rattler should be a relatively potent scooter option compared to other small-displacement scoots. Yet the buzz of 2-stroke ownership fizzled aboard the Rattler as we test rode it side by side with the 150cc 4-stroke Genuine Buddy Black Jack.

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2009 Genuine Rattler 110
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Motorcycle USA puts on its scooter testing hat when it rides the Rattler. See what we think in the Genuine Rattler 110 review video.
We expected the Rattler to get the performance edge on its Genuine sibling, but the truth became apparent during even modest road inclines, where the little 110 smoker struggled to maintain momentum. Real world top speeds (on level roads…) in the mid 50s are more than acceptable for the regular scooter domain of urban/suburban surface streets, yet the revvy nature of the 2-stroke meant that useable power was delayed getting from throttle to rear wheel via the CVT drive.

“Power delivery was nothing to write home about,” agrees fellow Rattler test rider and MCUSA graphic artist, Robin Haldane. “But it got the job done. I was able to scoot my way across the countryside at a reasonable 55 mph as long as I wasn’t trying to climb a hill where speeds dropped to about 40 mph.”

On the plus side of the Rattler 2-stroke ledger, there’s the sound of that ringing mill, eliciting a nostalgic response for many riders, particularly those who began their riding career in the dirt. Perhaps the more potent sensory stimulus aboard the Rattler is the acrid smell of 2-stroke smoke, another quirky intangible you won’t find on most scoots nowadays.
As you can see  the legroom is sorely lacking on the Rattler  which is clearly not built for riders over six-foot tall.Sharper turns than this require getting the knee out of the way  as the handlebar has no room to maneuver.
The cramped riding position of the genuine scooter doesn't leave much room between the knees and handlebar for taller riders (top). In tight turns the bar would hit the knees, unless a rider came up with different options (bottom).

When it came time to switch scooters during our test ride, however, the Rattler was always picked last and the reason had less to do with the engine than with its tiny ergos. True, I may look slightly big, dumb and oafish, but my 6’1” 205-lb dimensions are far from atypical for an American male – yet I felt like a giant aboard the Rattler! Oddly enough, the Rattler’s 32-inch seat is on the tall side for a scooter. The blame rests at the high footboard area and the low-placed MX-like bar (strike that, BMX-like bar). Combined with the confined space between the seat and steering column and the result is a scooter with an awkward riding position and steering lock often created by the rider’s knees!

“Riding the little Rattler felt cramped when compared to other scooter models I have ridden,” says Robin, “there were several times where I hit my leg trying to steer.”

On the plus side, the Rattler’s suspension isn’t bad, featuring a telescopic fork and preload-adjustable rear shock. The over 200-lb weights of our test riders may have taxed the components, but they held up with surprising tenacity, more than adequate for a scooter application. The short 46-inch wheelbase makes for a quick turner, although the cramped legs and high seating position lend for a ride on the skittish side. The Rattler specs say it runs 10-inch wheels, but our front was a 12-incher. We liked the wide tires (120/90 front, 130/90 rear), which felt good on the road.

Braking on the Rattler comprises of a semi-useful front wave rotor and rear drum. The front stopper looks good, although we’d prefer a more bitey pinch from the two-piston caliper configuration. As for the rear drum… we mentioned earlier the Rattler’s power deliver wasn’t anything to write home about, but neither is the rear stopper – unless the letter reads: “Dear Ma, The rear drum brake on this here scooter don’t work too good.”
The wave rotor and 2-piston caliper does all the work in the Rattler braking as the rear drum isnt effective. The Rattler may not have the zing to hit the Interstate or large divided highways  but you can still take it out on leisurely backroads.
 The Rattlers small digital display has a speedo and bar-style tach  but the fuel gauge was our favorite aspect.The placement of the Rattlers fuel cap is hard to get to  in particular getting the key under the rear handle.
(top left, clockwise) The front wave rotor does all the heavy lifting in a lackluster braking
package; At 32 inches, the Rattler seat height is actually on the high side for a scooter;
Getting the Rattler key into the rear gas cap is tricky; The digital display is small but
shows useful info.
“The brakes on the Rattler were really kind of scary actually,” confirms a less sarcastic Robin, “especially the rear, which we adjusted way in only to become marginally better. The front was better and certainly looked cool, but I still didn’t feel like I could fully trust them to stop me in a hurry.”

Rattler build quality is okay. Not as pleasing, in our estimation, as its Genuine sibling – the Buddy Black Jack. Some may like the polished handlebar, and it does look good, but I remember it feeling cheap (or am I being hard on it because it kept banging into by knee caps…?) Then there’s the gas cap, difficult to open as it’s placed directly underneath the rear handle, so there’s no room for the key. Speaking of keys, the ignition housing is on the cheap side, too… But there we go, piling on. Hey, it’s a $2,700 scooter, not a Desmosedici!

And style-wise, the Genuine Rattler ain’t too shabby… We liked the dual headlight front, the exposed fork and wave rotor, not to mention the eye-catching rear shock and Rattler Buck Ten graphics. Its clean, stripped down feel actually looks unique in the mod/retro-styled Genuine lineup. It’s different. There’re those words again…
The Rattler works fine as a short-distance commuter or around-town errand runner... Although we dont advise riding to the tavern.
The Rattler works fine as a short-distance commuter or around-town errand runner... Though we don't advise riding to the tavern.

Other positives on the Rattler include its competitive $2,699 price tag (although comparable-displacement scooters from KYMCO cost less) and light weight, at 216 lbs tank full (85 front, 132 rear). The digital display provides useful info, like a fuel gauge and tach. And even though we griped about filling the fuel tank, our single day of riding netted a 70 mpg efficiency - not quite up to the 90 mpg spec-sheet claim but nothing to scoff at either.

The Rattler is also open for a plethora of mods, including windscreen and top case. In fact, the owner of the dealership we borrowed our test unit from, Bike Barn, kitted out his personal Rattler with performance mods to be a wheelie-capable little monster.

So, while it seemed like 2-strokes were dead a couple years ago, they’ve made their low-key return. And while it has its quirks, the Genuine Rattler figures to keep that 2-stroke smoke blowing for at least a couple more years. It’s an intriguing option in the scooter market – and like we said, it’s different.
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2009 Genuine Rattler 110 Specs
The Genuine Rattler 110 is an intriguing option for scooter riders.
Engine Type: 110cc 2-Stroke
Transmission: CVT
Cooling: Air
Curb Weight: 216 lbs
Seat Height: 32"
Fuel Capacity: 1.8 gallons
Top Speed: 55+ mph
Front Tire: 120/90-10"
Rear Tire: 130/90-10"
Brakes Front: Disc Brake, 2-piston caliper
Brakes Rear: Drum Brake
Overall Length: 65 in.
Overall Width: 31 in.
Overall Wheelbase: 46 in.
Claimed Carrying Capacity: 240 lbs
Colors: Red/Black, Silver/Black
MSRP: $2,699
Genuine Rattler 110 Highs & Lows
  • The 110cc 2-stroke delivers snappy personality
  • 70 mpg fuel efficiency
  • Competitive MSRP for unique US ride
  • Cramped riding position for large riders
  • 2-stroke power underwhelming
  • Poor rear brake
Madson's Rattler Gearbag
On regular surface streets  the Rattler has no troubles. On steep inclines  however  the 2-stroke power lags.
  • HJC IS-MAX Modular Helmet
  • Cortech GX Sport Jacket
  • Cortech HDX Gloves
  • TCX Airtech XCR Boots

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Machinegunmike   September 28, 2012 07:48 PM
I can't help but laugh when I read this review.... The Rattler is blast to ride! I'm 6'4" and have no issues, but I don't ride across the country like Dumb and Dumber...lol. Every Yamaha I've purchased only comes with a 12 month warranty. Genuine puts a 24 month warranty and road side assistance on this beast. How can you go wrong? Still love my Zuma though. Sloopaloop
jon -Ride what youi like  January 6, 2011 01:43 PM
Scooters are very much a viable means of transpoprt. All the macho posturing is total BS. I started riding motorcycles at 8 and just turned 57-that's almost 50 years of riding.I also started riding scooters about 4 years ago, and they are a dam riot to ride.They also get great gas mileage. I own an 2006 Harley-Davidson, a 2007 Royal Enfield Bullet, and a 2009 Kymco People 150. It's all good.

As for Genuine scooters not being well made-that's not true. Go to any scooter or motorcycle forum and you'll see lots of messages from people that are having problems. Folks don't generally write in that, Gee whiz, everything is just peachy with my XYZ scooter/motorcycle.These are fairly scooters, but there are Buddys on that forum with over 30,000 miles and still going.

We have this mentality in the US that we just have to have a friggin land-barge, or the biggest motorcycle available. That's partly because we have probably the lowest gas prices anywhere.Wait till it hits $7.00/$8.00 a gallon.

My Sportster gets from a low of 39mpg in the dead of winter cold temps (I ride ALL year) to a high of 59.5 in warm weather cruising on long rides. My weife's SYM HD200, which will easily cruise at 55-65 mph, gets 75-90 mpg. Lately I've been using any excuse to ride that SYM and it's a great form of transportation. Yeserday,I took my back pack, and with that carrying one bag, and the scooter carrying three bags, I went to the grocery store shopping.

As far as I'm concerned people that make fun of whatever a motorcyclist or scooter rider rides, are way off base. Most people grow out of that kind of crap in grade school.If a guy has fun riding a Honda Trail 90, then more power to him.Don't ridicule him because of it.

Jon in Puyallup, Wa.
drekati -Riding position  July 10, 2010 09:49 AM
Not sure why people complain about the cramped riding position but do not ride it as designed. The silver foot pedals are there for a purpose, and you can ride chopper style with legs stretched (front pedals) or even sport bike (back pedals.
The Dirk of the Digler -Self proclaimed macho man extraordinaire  June 26, 2010 07:07 AM
Sounds like to me that the test Rider in this article didn't have the Rattler jetted properly. I think if the bike was jetted properly for elevation and an after market pipe with an expansion chamber was installed, there would be no complaints about power.
ks -genuine  June 17, 2010 06:34 PM
you guys all need to get a life.
therealfrenchlicker -t.g.b's  September 27, 2009 06:20 AM
i have rode for over 40 years'' raced and done all i could to have fun doing it. i ride scooters now, my 50x is very fast and fun. being a mrp dealer & with my mod's done to the drive line and eng'' i don't have to be any faster or cooler. end of story.
Han -Scooter is fun  July 30, 2009 06:29 PM
I have an 06 R6 and a XT225, but I still prefer my Vino 125 for my work route 20 miles each way. Light, precise handling, keep up with traffic makes it fun.
scoot4fun -over 5' 10"?  July 24, 2009 12:26 PM
People who are tall, over 6', this is not a good ride for you unless you mod the handlebars with risers. Or, look at something that fits you. Many people that buy bikes/scooters for their looks have regrets later in how uncomfortable they become the more they use the bike. If you're #2 choice ends up being the overall better ride comfort-wise, that may be the one for you.
stepthrutuner -Re: Milwaukee Mike  June 27, 2009 08:40 AM
I ride a modded Derbi Atlantis(74cc). I guarantee you you will see nothing but my tail lights for at least 1/2 block from a stop light. Also I recently took it on a 120+ mile camping trip to the top of a rocky mountain that I know you wouldn't dare try to ride your gianormous Harley up. Also my investment in the scooter and mods is probably less than you have spent on your mods and accessories alone. So much for the girly man thing!
scoot4fun -question for MM  June 24, 2009 10:55 AM
Doesn't it tell you something that you've been outnumbered in opinion - on a 'motorcycle' website? You're probably just trying to get a razz out of everyone, which is definitely a pathetic cry for attention. You can cry, Mike. We'll all understand.
EAB -To Miwaulkee Mike  June 24, 2009 05:29 AM
The other night someone stated that the folks rolling around on the excessively large V-twins are compensating in some way. My wife responded "My hubbie rides a 150cc scooter so what's that tell you?" While my other bike is a 600cc sportbike that would outrun your HD in second gear with no issues, I do ride the 150cc scoot on occasion. Wanna meet up so you can call me a girlie man in person? Better bring a lunch...
milwaukee mike -Jman and scooter sarah  June 22, 2009 02:40 PM
You two just proved my point about scooters being for girls and girly men. Go on flame away,...but its losers like you that make scooters even more nerdy.
Jman -milwaukee mike  June 16, 2009 11:40 AM
milwaukee mike has to compensate for something. I ride my scooters and have a blast. Then again I have nothing to be self conscious about.
Scooter Sarah -Scooter guys are ultra hot!!!  June 15, 2009 10:09 PM
It's pretty clear to me that milwaukee mike is trying to make up for his lack of manhood. I think his big bike is making up for what's between his legs...lol. It should be about riding, not the size of your bike. Too many people worry about their image instead of having fun. I'm a proud owner of a 50cc Honda & a 110 Rattler...love them both and ride every day! By the way...I'm non-political...ya George Bush lover...I don't vote...because all politicians are horrid...and I ride to have fun...not because of global Warming!
Kaos -High quality bikes  June 15, 2009 08:41 AM
@Bill: I hate to feed the troll, but if you *DO* go to www.modernbuddy.com what you'll infact see is TONS of satisfied Genuine owners who think their bikes are among the highest quality bikes on the market. Sure there's the occasional problem, but *EVERY* manufacturer has those. There are members there that have 30,000 miles on the Genuine Buddy. I'd call that a win for build quality.
Bill -Genuine  June 13, 2009 09:15 PM
Genuine is a wannabe Vespa company that is failing miserably for quality. go to www.modernbuddy.com and look at all the scooter problems. If it looks Chinese and is named PGO it is what it is, may as well buy a $699 Chinese scoot and a spare, same end result.
jasondavis48108 -This scooter doesn't really have any competitors  June 12, 2009 05:57 AM
You really can't compare this scooter to the Zuma since its a 2T and the Zuma is a FI 4 stroke. I like both scooters and they are similarly priced at 2699 and 2999 respectivly. I think its great that genuine is giving its customers so many options, and don't forget, its not the only 2T option in the Genuine lineup. Theres the 50cc Buddy (which I own) as well as the 150cc Stella. I'm also tired of guys who feel the need to tell everyone how thier rides are for girls or liberals or wimps. I'm a 6'2" 200 lb heavily tattooed libertarian and I ride a 50cc Buddy scooter. Stereotypes are for wimpy cagers who feel the need to man up in artificial ways since they weren't born with natural guyness. I'm sorry you can't grow hair on your b*lls Milwaukee mike but that's not this scooters fault.
MikeE -Did it wheelie?  June 12, 2009 02:01 AM
That's all I have to say about this.
lessismore -being macho vs making sense  June 11, 2009 07:10 PM
milwaukee mike, you obviously prefer to look cool on a 1500cc gas-guzzling Harley which sets you apart from "girly men". But what's your ride to work or the shopping mall? Small, light scooters save you time and a lot of money, are practical and MAKE SENSE. I ride a Honda Wave 125 every day here in Thailand, a big bike on the weekends. Especially in the US where single drivers sit in their V8 SUVs and guzzle up more gas on a day than I do in a whole month it would MAKE SENSE for lots of people to switch to a 125cc bike to get a sixpack from the next 7/11 or ride a few blocks to work. But maybe it's easier to start wars with oil-producing countries to keep the luxurious life you're used to. I wouldn't buy this (chinese-made?) scooter but a japanese made 125 anytime.
scoot4fun -wah wah wah  June 11, 2009 02:26 PM
Dude - I own a Yamaha V-MAX AND a Rattler. Some of us own multiple bikes, and LIKE to power down for quick commutes or easy wrenching hobbies. Nice power for a 2T if I may add. If your tall, DON'T BUY A RATTLER. Plain and simple. That part was great to add in the review. I have friends that have HDs that 'chuckle' at my Rattler, but they'd rather see me on that than a Vespa. So would I. Attacking or giving an opinion on the ride is fine. Keep your dim-witted comments to yourself.
Desmolicious -Zuma 125?  June 11, 2009 11:59 AM
A good comparo would have been to compare this bike to the Yam Zuma 125. That bike is $2999, and seems like a much better deal. Also quite a bit cheaper than the Buddy Black Jack. Plus the styling of the Rattler is very similar to the Zuma. The Zuma looks like it will fit normal sized people much better.
milwaukee mike -A perfect scooter for Al Gore girly liberals  June 11, 2009 11:53 AM
I just don't get it. Scooters are for girls and girly men. Just look at the photos in the article of the tester on the Rattler,....doesn't he look just plain dumb? And a two stroke scooter to boot! Liberals going around screaming about GLOBAL WARMING, and they are the ones that are going to be riding these moto-toys.