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Am I missing much not getting a motorcycle?

8858 Views 73 Replies 41 Participants Last post by  Bolzen
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.

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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!

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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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