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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to riding as I will be taking my rider safety course this spring then getting my licence. I am trying to figure out what to ride. I have seen the threads about working your way up through the cc's when riding a motorcycle just to go from larger to smaller bikes as you get older. Being 50 I guess my need for speed differs from that of a 20 year old. I never really considered a scooter until I came across some forums dedicated to scooter riding such as this one. I want to be able to do long distance touring with my wife and so am looking at the Burgman 650 executive. But then my wife might want her own down the road so would look at the 400 or 300's. Obviously want something that can easily do highway speeds.

I guess am I going to be missing something if I go straight to a scooter and not get a motorcycle? Should I get a motorcycle, experience that then get a scooter if I still want one? Or should I just get one off the bat and not worry about a motorcycle? I know there are people who have ridden motorcycles then switched to scooters, or ride both so looking for their advice. Also my local Suzuki dealer has a 2010 Burgman 650 executive I can get for about $9110.00. I was wondering is it worth waiting for the 2013 model 650 with the new upgrades or would the 2010 be a good buy? Thanks for all your assistance, I look forward to being a member of the group.

Cheers
Darren
 

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Darren,
First, 2010 650/exec for $9100 is outrageous. Stay away from that deal.
2nd, You and only you can decide what it is you want. A lot has to do with what you can handle.
When i was in my 20's and 30's i had motorcycles. My late 40's and now 50's i have a scooter.
I find the scooters soooo much better than a motorcycle. No shifting, better protection from the fairings,
and storage all over the place. I started with the 400. It was a good way to learn the feel of a scooter vs a motorcycle.
Since the 400 weighs considerably less than the 650 it is easier to handle. The problem with the 400 is it is pretty much
a around town bike.Chris a.k.a. Daboo will now chim in and disagree with me. :lol: But, if you want to travel the interstates and tour
the 650 is the bike of choice. I switched to the 650 about 2 yrs ago and i do not regret it one bit. I DO NOT travel the interstate with my bike.
I like to travel the back roads. Sometimes it takes longer but Due to the lack of respect for motorcycles in Florida i stay of the interstate.
Plus, the old folks and snowbirds just plain can't see you.
The only problem with the 650 is the questionable reliability of the CVT. I think whatever bike you decide on, the 400 or 650 you
will not be disappointed with either one.
Good luck, be careful when dealing with Suzuki dealers. There main objective is to make money and take your hard earned money.
 

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JMHO; I'd spend half that for a good used 650 and spend the rest on a motorcycle and enjoy both. It all depends on "what you want".

I have a 03 Burgman 400, and a Honda ST1100. Everytime I start feeling that it doesn't get any better than my ST, I get back on the Burgman and the Honda is parked for the next 2 or 3 weeks. Most of my riding is a commute around Houston (literally get to go around it) in medium traffic. My recreation riding varies from running around town because I'm bored to "day" trips somewhere for lunch (when I'm lucky enough to have the time). I will say that if the trip is under 150-200 miles it's a toss up as to which I take. Above that is a no-brainer - that's where the ST excells - 7.4 gallon tank; 45+ mpg, and how fast did you want to go again?.

You should be able to get a good used Burgman 650 for about $5K +/-. Then buy a PC800 or such (there are many bikes that are good highway cruisers) for about $3K and other than loosing garage space - you win in both categories. The only reason I didn't suggest the ST is that it's 100hp and could be a handful in a new riders hands (plus it's 600+ lbs.). I bought mine for under $3K, but was VERY lucky and do most of my own work (and it needed some TLC).

Honestly, for a new rider at 50 (I'm 51), I would suugest getting a good used Burgman and going from there (I'd even consider a 400). You can always buy something else if you want, but seriously as far as the experience goes the only thing you miss when riding a Burgman over a motorcycle is shifting gears.
 

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dbk23 said:
I want to be able to do long distance touring with my wife and so am looking at the Burgman 650 executive. But then my wife might want her own down the road so would look at the 400 or 300's. Obviously want something that can easily do highway speeds.
I have put almost 12K miles on my 400 since the end of March, '12. Probably 2000 two-up before my wife chimed up...

[attachment=0:e4gdtuqj]Two Scoots.jpg[/attachment:e4gdtuqj]
 

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Hi dbk23, welcome aboard.

Sounds like you are on your way to a happy riding career. I completely agree with the comments presented above. Most people who long for a motorcycle ( I am 53) want to relive some experience we had as youths. I really would like a Triumph America, but only for the nostalgia. When I think of what I want to do on a motorcycle, ride, see the country, have a unique riding experience, and focus on my photography, the scooter does all this nicely, and better than most motorcycles.

I have ABS brakes, infinite gear ratio, great weather protection, smooth ride, lockable storage comes standard too. I think the Burgman 650 is a great choice for highway riding, and most riders have said it is good for back country too. My 2011 400 Burgman is great back country, and nice on the highway, but I have had to make a simple change to give it the legs to operate on the highway. If you become a 400 owner you will learn about some simple modifications you can make to tailor the bike to you and your desires. I also like the 400 because even though it is 480 pounds, that is lighter than the 650, and I do have to shuffle em around in my garage to make room.

Best of luck, ohh, also that seems a little high for a 2010 Exec, do some comparison shopping and get a bidding war going if you have a couple dealers. Worked for me!

Tim
 

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It seems like you may be having a mid-life crisis.. Most fatal M/C accidents occur in the age 50+ category. Get the scoot and see how you like riding and being so exposed - if you really like it then get a motorcycle also
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Actually thought about the mid-life crisis thing too, but actually always wanted to learn to ride just the timing never worked out till now.

Darren
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Also the 2010 I am taking about is brand new on the dealership floor with no km on it.

Darren
 

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I would buy a used 400 to learn to ride on. DON'T BUY NEW because you're going to drop it and it hurts more when you drop a new bike in the gravel in a parking lot. The 400 is easier because it is lighter and has a lower seat. After you master the 400, you might choose to upgrade to a 650 but many of us prefer the 400. One of my other bikes is over 700 pounds and lighter is better, especially when you are learning. My first bike of a dozen was a 185cc Suzuki I got in 1965. It was much harder to ride than a 400 because it had a higher seat and gears,
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A question for Tim;
you had mentioned modifications you can do on the 400 to make it faster on the highways, what mods do you need to do to the 400 to achieve that?

Thanks
Darren
 

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dbk23 said:
Also the 2010 I am taking about is brand new on the dealership floor with no km on it.
Darren
I don't know about Canada, but here they are advertised between $8999 and $9999 on cycletrader for the 2012 Exec.

osbornk said:
I would buy a used 400 to learn to ride on. DON'T BUY NEW because you're going to drop it and it hurts more when you drop a new bike in the gravel in a parking lot. The 400 is easier because it is lighter and has a lower seat. After you master the 400, you might choose to upgrade to a 650 but many of us prefer the 400.
The main reason I would recommend a used Burgman. All it will take is one little oopsss to take a few $K off the value of a new bike (if not more)! And if you decide it's not for you, somebody else has already paid for the depreciation! It sure beats paying for it yourself :)
Reference to the 400 on a highway. I wouldn't hesitate to take a Burgman 400 on any but the fastest highways (some in Texas here are Speed Limits of 85 - I wouldn't do that - I might even avoid them on my motorcycle - too much happens too fast {in a cage :D }). Mine goes on our regular speed limit 70 interstates all the time and doesn't have any issues "keeping up".
 

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I'm puzzled by those who say the 400 is not highway worthy without modification... I must be doing something wrong, 'cause my I take my Burgie to work on the NYS Thruway all the time, manage to keep up with traffic, and it never complains. Now, two-up, that might be different, but I'm always a solo rider. Early on, I went from a 400 to a 650, but went back to the 400. Just a lighter, more comfortable ride (I'm 57, 5'2"). I also ride a Yamaha FZ6R on weekends for fun, but if I had to give one of them up, it'd be the motorcycle.
 

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Happy to fill in some details. The 400 is a very capable machine. I noticed during my first year of ownership that doing 65-70 mph on the highway resulted in about 7,000 rpm or more (it varies based on wind resistance and load). This didn't seem like a comfortable pace for a bike with a 8900 rpm redline. I also noticed my MPG suffered at that speed, still good, but not great. After a little research and some past experience I decided at 3,000 miles on the odometer, to switch out my variator weights.

The variator is one component of our transmissions, it converts high rpm motion to lower rpm motion creating torque to turn the rear wheel by the belt. Its ratio is governed by weights and centripetal force. You can change the weights and effect the gearing, there is also a special after market weight called a slider that behaves in a very unique and favorable manner. The slider can deliver better take off power and quicker starts, but as it progresses in the variator, it can also yield an over drive gearing that drops the engine rpm from about 800 to 1000 rpm at cruise speed, compared to stock gearing. After the change, which involves removing the cover and a bolt using an impact wrench, I am able to cruise comfortably at 70 mph, at around 6100 rpm, and my MPG improved slightly, not bad for a $60.00 modification, most 400 riders agree that Suzuki should ship them from the factory like this.

Hope this description helps. I have ridden my 400 around the smokie Mtn range, and plan a trip riding it to Tennessee this year. I have no qualms that it will be a cake walk, and I can pack all my gear without looking like a nomad. The scooter is a very versatile machine, and most motorcycles that eventually catch up to me are quite surprised. :D
 

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I am 71 yo now and have been riding since i was 17 yo - and have ridden just about everything on 2 wheels with a motor - from suzuki GSXr-1000;s, Boss Hoss w a Chevy v8 engine, etc, etc........ Now I have a Goldwing GL1800 and my Burgman 400 - and am happy with both of them. The 400 can easily do highway speeds of 70-80 MPH AND is easy to handle and FUN :thumbup:
 

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Want throw in my 02 cents, I had a 650 and it is a great scoot, I had no issues keeping up with most cruisers , it's comfortable, and my wife loved the stock rear seat.

However, I found the rear suspension 2 up to be an issue, I'm 200 and my wife is about 170 and any type of turn at speed ( requiring any lean caused a scrape.

I'm also new to mc's and the 650 is a lot of bike, I got there via a 150 and 250 scoot, so I would suggest starting with the 400 (I went new cos I knew little about bikes and was worried I'd buy a bad one) if you decide want more then go for the 650 and keep the 400. I'm 53 been riding just 2 years

I am now riding a mc and frankly wished I could have both but couldn't afford it, but gear changing is big pain in the rear end ! It's distracting ( am I in the right gear !?) and so dangerous, IMHO, for a new rider. I know many do it, but why are there so few automatic motorcycles??!!!

All that said congrats on deciding you need to do something you wished to do all your life, you won't regret it, I dont
 

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My advice:

As others have said, don't buy new because you will let it fall over during the learning curve. We all do regardless if we want to admit it. Let someone else eat the depreciation of a new bike. By the way, most of us let them fall over trying to balance the damned heavy things with our legs while coming to a stop. If it starts to go over (especially if you get a Burgman 650) just get out of the way so it doesn't land on your leg. A no speed tip over does more damage to your ego than it does to the Burgman but a 600 lb anything laying on your leg is hard to get away from.

DO TAKE THE DRIVER SAFETY CLASS !!!

You will always wish you had bought a 650 if you get the 400 and a 650 Burgman has much in common with a lot of motorcycles. I bought my current 650 for $3K, it's an 07 with 30K miles on it and it runs perfectly and looks great. $9000 is at least 3K more than you should have to pay for a 3 year old 650 even though it has no miles.

The automatic shift on both the 400 and the 650 are amazingly durable, although to have work on the 650's drive parts would cost considerably more in labor. Automatic bikes are not new by any means and you will get a long service life out of whatever you get as long as you do the preventive maintenance and don't treat the machine like a Formula 1 racer. The 650 is a true touring machine and does great on the interstate but the 400 may serve you better in city traffic. Both are easily capable of cruising all day at 60 mph.

You will miss nothing by not buying a motorcycle and getting yourself a scooter instead....especially one of the larger ones. Whatever you get, wear a helmet ALWAYS, drive like you are invisible to the other traffic on the road, and enjoy the ride.
 

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are you missing anything by going to a scooter and not getting a motorcycle, well, yes, several thousand clutch compressions with your left hand, a couple of possibly terrifying and certainly embarrassing, dang ;wrong gear moments, a few now I gotta buy storage cause I can't haul my breath on this thing thoughts, some serious depreciation when you drop it and you will, and some when you sell it and you will eventually especially if you plan to get or ride a scooter later A little wish I got better gas mileage action if you get a truly worthy beast like a goldwing and lots of trips to the dentists if you get a vibromachine like a hardley some fresh and interesting hemmoroids from dragging around the heavier big bikes and cold feet and legs or burnt feet and legs depending on which model you choose but they look cool , but not cool enough to get you nevermind , your wifey will swat me if I say anything other than apple pie
Now as to the Burgmans, no they will not get yo any apple pie either, only my inherent coolness does that and I could ride a gopher tortoise and still be cool but that is beside the point. The 650 and the 400 may look the same and the weight is not all that much different but the tranny makes them as different as man and woman, er, differenter if wifey is amenable to a 400 down the road I'd suggest getting her bike first, learn on a 400 then move to a 650 if you think it's necessary but ride both and check out the different trannys first before investing and elephant pile of money in a 650, there are a buttload of used 650;s on the market out there, few 400's this tells me people are willing to let go of a 650 but finding a used 400 is like mining for gold in gumball machine with a road grader and finding one at a reasonable price at a stealership is another indication of their scarcity and value , hey not just my opinion, the market bears what the market will bear. A little research into the 400 may show it has more capabilities than you thought. No you are not going to smoke the tires on a 400 or a 650 but they both will get up to killing speed much more quickly than you anticipated. And if your wifey is going to be on a 400 why do you want to be gulping fuel faster on a 650 when you have to putt along at 45 mph with her getting 60 mpg on her 400 unless you plan on hauling weight enough to require another 250 ci just to compensate, dude get a uhaul or is the 650 for hauling testicles? go for it , all us 400 riders know the 650 guys are compensating :lol: :lol:
so anyhow welcome , this is a great source of information lies and laughs and if you can figure out which, you are doing good :)
 

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dbk23
Starting a riding career on something like a Burgman 650 might be a bit of a challenge. It's a big, powerful and heavy machine.
Don't let the "scooter" designation fool you. I've been riding 45 years and it's best all around ride I"ve owned and I'll ride aggressively in the twisties - the Burgman is a superb machine for the experienced riders.
I'm riding an St1100 in Australia and aside from very top end speed there is little to choose - both powerful machines, brilliant acceleration and braking. The Burgman 650 I'd take in a heartbeat in the twisties tho and the ST1100 is a sports tourer!!!!

I'd really suggest you get a used reasonably late model 400 as a starter machine and then ride a couple of seasons before jumping into the upper end and two up touring.

You are NOT missing anything by choosing a maxi over a motorcycle. It's the future as the offerings by other manufacturers show and the Burgman's have led the way. You can concentrate on riding without having to learn clutching and downshifting.

If you are tallish and strong - then the 650 "may" be okay but I think the 400 will be less of a handful.

This is an "okay" deal for the year
http://alberta.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehicle ... Z443113219
If it has ABS then quite decent.
Try the buyer at $4200.
It's still got 10k until you need a belt change.
 

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Seems pretty simple really. If you want a scooter, buy the 400 Burgman. If you want a motorcycle with the advantages of a scooter, buy the 650.
 

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I bought a new 2009 400 and added a Danson trike kit and could not be happier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I weight 240 but my trike still tops out at over 70 mph and gets better gas mileage than a 650. And... the 400 can actually hold more weight than the 650, if u r gonna be 2 up. And.. no tranny problems with the 400 ( I did get the Suzuki extended warranty just in case ) My front tire is original and with a trike, I can ride on it much longer than with a 2 wheeler ( over 11,000 miles on the front tire and its still ok)
 
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