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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I've been wanting a burgman since I first heard about them in 2003, and now it looks like I might have my chance to pick one up. I'm a professional Fligth Major at LeTourneau University in East Texas and seeing as my available financail aid for next year is increasing, I may be able to squeez a few more thousand than normal and get a bike.

Being a Flight Student, I have to get to and from the airport three or four times a week which is about 15 minutes away with an aerage speed limit of 50mph. On top of that, "home" is in South Western Virginia, which is just at 900 miles from here. Being a guy, naturally I want to go with the 650, but im wondering,from a safty and comfort view if the 400 will be able to give me enough to get home a couple of times a year.

I'll be buying the bike used to save some $$$, so im wondering what I would pay for a used bike in good mechanicle and good-ok cosmetic in both the 400 and the 650. Whats average? A deal? A Steal?

Thanks
 

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Kelly Blue Book lists the retail value of the 2003 400 at $4260 and the 2003 650 at $5775. I'd suggest looking thru the Classifieds forum and see what the prices have been on bikes sold here. You can also watch some of the eBay auctions and see how they're selling. Suzuki still has a promotion going on for financing a new Burgman for $99 / mo. For details see :

http://www.suzukicycles.com/Products/AN ... fault.aspx

Depending on your physical size, the 400 might be a good choice. The 650 does provide a little more space for taller riders. Since you are a student (and I assume on a budget), the lower cost of the 400, better gas mileage, lower insurance make it a very attractive bike. Even with my 230 pounds the 400 can ride the Interstates at 80 MPH no problem. Note - both the 400 and the 650 take a big MPG hit at freeway speeds. The new 650s have an overdrive to provide better touring economy. Do I think the 400 would be a good choice ...you bet'cha. But if you really want the 650, you may not be happy 'settling' for the 400. You'd really need to test ride one to make an informed decision.
 

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Like Bill said both will do the job for you and do it well. so really it's what will make you happy .
The 400 is cheaper to buy, own ,service. The 600 has got more power, cost more , and did I say has more power..
From your post the 600 is just more bike then you need, but your the one the has to be happy. :)
One last point, put a Corbin seat & Givi windshield on a 400 and it will take you cross country let alone 900 miles, and when your back to city traffic the handling and mpg will also help out.
But the true bottom line is if your not happy then do matter what you get will be wrong :)
 

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400 cc is more than enough bike for what you'll be doing.

When I started riding I had a Honda 360 I rode all over heck and back. I loved it and it had more power than I ever really needed. Back then, a "big bike" was a Triumph 650. Honda's 750 started the race to bigger and bigger bikes.

I own a Silver Wing and Burgman now and can't wait to test ride a B'man 400. I'm pretty sure the 400 is where I'll end up and be very happy.

All the power you need, cheaper to buy, maintain, insure and better gas mileage, why not go for a 400 ?

Good luck and with either one, you are going to have a ball !!
 

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Also check on Cycle Trader.

I just used them to sell my V-Strom and had very good results.

I love my 650, but I agree that a used 400 that has been well cared for would probably fit your needs perfectly.

A used Honda Helix would be even cheaper. At 250cc, it will be pretty well wound out at 70 mph. Regardless, two guys rode them from California to Arkansas for the Scootercade meet last year (and they do it every year). They have been in production for about 20 years so parts are plentiful. They have a good reputation for reliability too.
 

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You might keep an eye on our "Classifieds" section. There's usually a couple of Burgmans avaliable at reasonable prices.
What town ya from? My wife's family are in the Pound, VA area, just west of Abington on the KY line.

Don
 

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My "little friend" (5'2") is looking to get into scootering Paul. After what I've "heard" via this great forum, I think she oughta look at the Helix also. Yeah yeah - she loves my Moonpie but I don't think it (or the 400) would "suit" her well. I am gonna start keeping my antennas up for a clean Helix for her. She just wants to "jaunt around town" and get the cool "experience" of motorcycling (AFTER she take the soup to nuts MSF course!) Good call. If you've NEVER driven a motorcycle - that may be the right beginner's rig.

Edited to get the "doesn't suit her" thing right - i think both are too much motorcycle.
 

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I've still to complete my first year on two wheels, so maybe I can offer some insights. First, I'm glad that I did _not_ learn to ride on a 400 or (especially) a 650. Instead, I bought an Aprilia Scarabeo 150 used, and rode it for three months. The experience was _invaluable_ when the time came to move up, and I sold this scoot for as much as I paid for it. Frankly, I still miss it quite a bit when just zipping around town. It was light and cheap and very carefree. It was also _much_ easier to ride than a Burgman, and far more forgiving of mistakes. You might consider picking up an Aprilia used, or even better a Kymco 150, and spending the first few months of your riding career just using it to hop back and forth the the airfield, leaving the long-distance work to your cage.

I'll go even further here. In my opinion, a new rider has _no_ business on an Interstate highway for at least the first four or five months, period-- no matter _what_ they are riding. So, having the smaller bike won't handicap you a bit as to where you can and cannot go during the learning period. And, frankly, ten months into my riding career I'm still not sure my skill and experience level is up to really long trips of the sort you describe. There's the equipment factor to consider as well. Are you prepared to spend, for example, just shy of two hundred bucks for a rainsuit to carry with you on these long trips? How many (expensive) tries will it take you to find a helmet that won't fog up in rain and high humidity? Or that won't leak in the rain, like one of mine did? What about the cold? Even worse, what about cold damp fog in the mountains? Are you going to spring for insulated boots and heated clothing? I can assure you that _I_ need these items or something similar to them at 50-55 degrees or less. These are common night-time temperatures much of the year in much of the USA, and thus you need to be prepared to face them unless you limit yourself strictly to daylight summertime work. (I live in Tennessee, and ride in such conditions all of the time.) How about the saddle? When I bought my 400, I test-rode it for half an hour and all was fine. However, I learned only after buying my scoot that 45 minutes or so into a ride the saddle became acutely, distressingly uncomfortable. (It took a $600 investment to fix this, and the fix is still not quite perfect. Even worse, I wasted another $200 first in ineffectual fixes that did not help the situation at all.) It'll take you time and (if you're unlucky) lots of money to figure out what you need to change about your bike, what works for you and what does not. Bikes are, I have learned much to the distress of my bank account, far more personal in nature than automobiles and thus require much more expensive and personalized gear and accessories. It's just a fact of life. And, the longer your trips, the truer this is. For example, I would not have replaced my saddle at all if I'd only wanted to use my scoot for errands around town. But for traveling, I had no choice.

For what it's worth, I started out with an attitude much like yours towards scooter travel. I planned on taking a 1000 mile trip four weeks after buying my 400, and had I done so with the gear and experience I then had, it would have been one of the stupidest, most miserable things I'd ever tried. So, I'd advise getting a small cheap scoot to begin with, and using it not only to learn how to ride but also to learn about things like cold and wind and buffeting and rain. Then, I'd go buy a 400 (from what you describe, I think it would suit you best) and then, _after_ a year or so of ownership and gear-accumulation, consider using it out on the long trips.

Just my .02 worth.
 

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I have to agree with Lapine. I only feel somawhat confident with my new burgman because I'd had 20+ years worth of experience riding smaller scooters. I started with a 50cc Yamahopper. That was my learner, and where all of my mistakes were made. It was the one that taught me how slippery some road conditions can be. And when it slid out from under me on some leaves it was only a little weight on me, not a 600lb 650 on me.

I had a Honda 125 scooter long enough to realize it wouldn't go 45mph with me on it. Traded it within a week for a Honda 250 Elite. Spent 18 years with that 250 and became one with it's handling and balance characteristics.

That experience is what told me I could handle a Burgman. Yet the Burgman is huge, and far more powerful than that 250. So I tread lightly, taking every opportunity to learn it's characteristics away from traffic and on roads I'm familiar with. I can't yet throw it around like I could the 250. I don't yet have fine control over engine braking. The mass earns my respect. With time the 650 and I will also become one, extensions of each other. But experience tells me it will only be because of that time I spent on smaller scooters before.

Dave B.
 

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Whatever you decide welcome. I lived in both Longview and Hallsville many years ago. I assume Johnny Cace's is still in business? How about Bodacious BBQ? Both good stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, what a small world. Donrich, Abingdon is my stompin ground. I used to do a lot of huntng up in pound... And the trout fishing is out of this world.

And yes, we still have bodacious, the unofficially Letournea Restrurant.

I bought a yamaha vino (little 50cc deal) after I graduated highschool at 16 and used it to get around town and up to the community college i went to. At the college I took a couple semsters of the MSF classes to get a feel for real bikes and this is going to be my first "real" purchase.

From everything i've seen the 400 looks good to me. I'm going to be increasing my Student loans this semester to cover the cost of the bike, that way i only have to worry about gas and maintenace until I graduate.

Oh, BTW, im about 5'9" and 250 pounds so I dont think I'll be hurting for leg room, but more for butt room.

Abouther quick quesiton, I've looked around a little bit on the windshield rain problems, whats the general consenses on what to do? is their a prioduct that works, or do you just have to look over the top? I know there is stuff that we put on our airplanes that keeps the rain off, but the aiplane is glass.

Thanks for the info everyone. I think im ging to head down monday for a test ride of one of the 2005's
 

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A lot of members have tried a lot of products for the rain, so far nothing seems to work better then looking over the top..
Your best bet will be a Give windshield because it is larger then stock and offers a lot more protection from the wind and cold -not to mention anything flying around-
But, one thing at a time. :)
 

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jyurong said:
Hey everyone,

. Being a guy, naturally I want to go with the 650, but im wondering,from a safty and comfort view if the 400 will be able to give me enough to get home a couple of times a year.


Thanks
Hello jyurong
My 2 cents is that the 400 will be and do everything that you want. Also I think that it is very easy to learn to ride, even though I started on a smaller scooter. I think that because the 400 is so much lighter than the 650 and is automatic it is a lot easier to handle especialy for beginners and you would learn to ride very quickly on it. Some of the guys mention that it takes more than a few months to become really proficient riding and I agree that even after a year and a half of riding I found that there were things that took me by surprize and I learned something new about riding. The motorcycle manual (at least the one in my state) say that most motorcycle crashes occur with people that have been riding less than six months. It is something that seems to take a lot of riding to really get good at it. But I think that as long as you take it easy and take your time even the 900 mile trip would be well within your reach with the 400.

As an example of if the 400 will be enough "especially 1 up"
I have been riding with a group of motorcycle riders called The Southern Cruisers and I'm the only scooter. A 750 is the smallest cc in the group except mine while the others or 1100 cc or up with most being in the 1200 to 1500cc range. On one trip when we stoped to eat one of the guys with a big "and also very loud" Harley came up to me and said
"what size engine does that have" and then he seen the 400 marked on the side and he said "man I am impressed, your keeping up with us with any problem at all" and I just said "thank you"
On another trip which was today our group got split up by having to wait on traffic and I was the first of the 3 last bikes that got split up.
When we finally got going the road ahead of me was clear so I cranked it up to catch up with the other bikes and they had been riding 70-75 all day and when we arrived at our destination The guy who had been right behind me came over to me (he rides a Suzuki intruder) and said " that thing really gets up and goes doesn't it?" and I said "yea it does don't it?"
So espescially if you new to riding and are trying to decide 400 or 650
I say the 400 is a much better choice.

Steve
 

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jyurong, I have to agree with the above assessments.

I am getting a 650 soon, and am a little nervous about it, (and excited of course)
I rode for about 4 years on a 150cc and a 650 twin, 40 years ago.

Only a few dirt bikes in between.

I picked the 650 because I am going to be doing a lot of highway cruising, riding 2 up and need the extra power that entails.

I'm taking the safety course next week, and hope to revive some forgotten skills, and learn some new things too.

While I can't wait to get my hands on my burg, I realize that it has been a long time, the roads are a little more crowded now, and that I am a lot older.
I am going to treat the Lardy with the respect that a heavy, powerful machine deserves, until, a little at a time I am one with it, and know what it (and I), can do and what it/we can't. :wink:

I would rather go a little too slowly at first (as opposed to overconfidence), than take a chance on banging up all that beautiful tupperware, (or myself either).

The 400 should suit you just fine, based on your stated experience, just take it real slowly at first, until you really know the machine, and you'll be fine.

Enjoy your burg, and happy riding.
You'll find you're looking for excuses to go places soon. :)
 

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Hi jyurong. :salute:

I've ridden a lot of bikes over the years, but I've only owned scooters.

My first, a Honda Elite 125 didn't work out. I was too big, and asked too much of it. It died a horrible death, and the next year Honda removed that model from the US market and replaced it with a 150.

Not wanting to risk another engine failure, I next got an Elite 250. That did everything I asked of it, including some pretty long stretches on the freeways, but it was just barely manageable at high speeds and high winds. After a couple of years it was stolen, and I took the insurance money and used it as a down payment on a new Camero Z-28. (I was 30-something, and needed a status symbol).

The Helix was the next scooter I looked at, but I decided not to buy. I got out of riding for a while. Then when I decided it was time again, I looked at the Honda Silverwing (a nominal 600), the Burgman 400, and the Burgman 650. I got the 650 and haven't looked back.

I agree with others, though, that for the kind of riding you're planning on, the 650 would be ideal but not required; the 400 could certainly handle it, and there are some economies in purchase price, insurance, fuel, etc. The tradeoffs are a little less roominess, and a little more maintenance (the valve train is more labor intensive, for example). No big deal, though. A 400 will do the job.

Look at it like this: a Helix (still on the market) is like a Cessna 152, a Burgman 400 is a 172 Skyhawk, and a Burgman 650 is a 182 Skylane...well, maybe a Mooney Ovation or Bonanza. :wink:

Retractable gear and constant speed prop are nice, but you can do a lot of cross countries with fixed gear and a climb prop, even if you loose a little efficiency at high speeds and high altitudes. And for shooting touch and goes or doing pattern work, who needs the aggrevation of a complex aircraft.

It's the same with the scooters. The 400 is easier to manuever in tight spaces, including city streets and parking lots, than the 650, and is also easier to afford. Your short hops to and from the airport will probably be easier and more fun on the 400. But the 650 will handle freeways with a little more sureness, and will carry a larger payload without pushing the envelope, so it might be marginally better for riding home to Virginia and for carrying a passenger. (Is there a "First Officer" in your life, or do you always fly left seat solo?) I don't know the stats for the 400, but the 650 has a "max takeoff weight" of 999 pounds and a full-fuel weight of 607 pounds, for a useful load of 392 pounds for pilot, copilot, and baggage.

So with all that in mind, you have to decide what will meet your needs best.

HTH.
 

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Wow that was a pretty neat anology Brian. :!: All I was going to say based on what the maj said was that the 400 would be just fine for him.

I also want to point out that even though Suzuki is offering a 99.00 a month deal that that is no deal. They are charging 9+% interest rates.
You are better off going to a credit union if you have one as there is no minimum to borrow and they have a simple interest rate meaning you can pay it off whenever you want with no penalty. Also interest rates are usually higher for used scoots than new ones, so you may want to take that into consideration when financing your new toy :)

Good-Luck and let us know what you buy.

Evelyn
 

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Like most of our riding friends, I think we are hung up on the 'scooter image', at least a little. Before I got my AN650, a '73 Suzuki 500 was the biggest bike I'd ever owned. Later, I purchased a '75 GT380, and was never disappointed with it's ability to cruise at whatever legal speed, or higher, that I desired. Since then, for the most part, posted highway speeds have dropped, rather than increased.

What I'm saying here, is that most 250cc or bigger bikes I know of, including scooters, with regular maintenance, are fully capable of loaded touring at legal speeds. No, you're not going to keep up with a Hayabusa off the line. But, I suspect that's not why you bought your scooter to begin with.

Steve
 

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Well, now it's time for my two cents worth (and they're Cannadian cents to boot so they aren't worth a heck of a lot). It's best to be very honest with yourself regarding the type of riding you will actually be doing. Many people buy the wrong bike because the idea they have of what they want to do is very far from the reality what they actually can afford, have the time for and are capable of handling. You say home is 900 miles away. That equates to about 1 1/2 - 2 days riding one way. How often will you be making that trip? I think the 400 is a better choice given the details that I have read. In the end scooter ownershp is about fun and I think the 400 should give you more than enough fun about 98% of the time. I know that for my situation the 400 will be absolutely perfect for weekday commuting/errands and weekend adventures/camping.
All this must be taken with a grain of salt though because where I live and the roads I ride on are a far cry from Texas asphalt. (I've never been to Texas so I really don't know what I'm talking about)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow Brian, someone who thinks like I do, Will you adopt me? There were about six of us on the floor around when I read that and we all stared at each other and busted our sides laughing.

Someone Mentioned you were a Maj., In what branch? Were you an aviator?
 

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jyurong said:
Wow Brian, someone who thinks like I do, Will you adopt me? There were about six of us on the floor around when I read that and we all stared at each other and busted our sides laughing.

Someone Mentioned you were a Maj., In what branch? Were you an aviator?
Not sure about any reference to a Major. I was enlisted in the regular Air Force (Law Enforcement Specialist), but was an officer in the Air Force Auxilliary (Search & Rescue Officer & Cadet Programs Officer). I was a 1st Lt. and getting ready for Captain when my squardon was deactivated. I flew right seat as an Observer, and also taught aerospace education classes.

I also flew privately, but lost my medical when I developed diabetes. I may see about getting it back now that I've been stabilized for several years.

As for adopting you, well...

Do you have a huge trust fund we could share? :wink:
 
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