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I just saw this posted on the V-Strom forum I monitor. I can't vouch for its accuracy though.

"I have a friend in Indiana that decided to severe his relationship with Aprilia a few months ago. Looks like he did it just in time.
Too bad really, they are great machines (my opinion)
B.K.

Aprilia has stopped making bikes as it fights for financial survival. The firm must find £5 million by May 3 or be declared bankrupt.
The Italian manufacturer is £147million in debt and suppliers are now refusing to deliver parts – which explains the halt on the production line. The £5 million will simply cover interest due.
The crisis has knock-on effects for Aprilia-owned Moto Guzzi and Laverda and for Shakey Byrne’s MotoGP deal.
Aprilia says there are as many as 15 firms lining up with rescue packages."
 

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I just looked at one of the 500 cc scooters on Sat. They didn't have the Atlanic model I wanted to see. Guess I will have to cross this one off my list to consider.
I found two Atlantic owners web sites & they did not appear to be happy campers. The biggest complaint involved gas getting into the oil. There appears to be something wrong with the emissions control system.
Sometime back there was a discussion here about the Burgman being hard to push. I asked about that & the salesman let me try it. It was very easy to push. He said the automatic clutch doesn't kick in below a certain point & so it is just like a regular bike that is in neutral.
 

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Paul, I heard this too.

I get the feeling that there is a bit of hype around this at the moment - not helped by the Italian and British motorcycle press.

Aprilia bought Moto Guzzi when the market looked hot - well, it's quietened down now a bit. Simialrly, the Italian scooter market which was their care business, has also gone quiet since the introduction of the helmet laws and other regulatory changes.

Bikes are still being manufactured today, although there have been a slowing on two lines, and minro lay-offs. It's very much business as usual - this happens in telecomms every day...

Ducati may buy Guzzi off Aprilia, and to my knowledge they are in talks with a number of potential buyers, as your report indicates.

What else have you heard?
 

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Gruntled, how's life?

Do you know what? If I were you I would only look at a Piaggio or Aprilia 500cc scooter if:
a) you can't find an AN400
b) you can't find a SilverWing 600

These two bikes are vastly superior to the Atlantic and X9. To my mind, the X9 and Atlantic are just lke bored out AN250s - swing-axels, centrifugal clutch, single cylinder engines. They are ok, but the AN400 is superior in quality terms, and the SilverWing 600 has the new-age frame, better quality again, and a smooth and powerful twin cylinder engine.

I went through the same process that you are going through now about two years ago. I test rode everything, and in the end - I bought a Honda Forza (Reflex) 250 ABS with grip heaters, as that best suits my needs for the commute. The X9 and Atlantic are fine, but don't outshine the AN400, and are outclassed by the SilverWing. Costs may be different over there to here, but you could buy a SilverWing for only a little more than than and X9/Atlantic. To be fair, the X9 has a good screen, but a used SW will leave you change to buy an aftermarket screen of your choice. Furthermore, as the Burgman AN650 is the only scooter to have electronic CVT in the world, both the AN400 and SilverWing are centrifugally clutched like the X9 and Atlantic, so they are all easy to push around. It's just the 650 that breaks the owners back at rest... Did Suzuki revise this for 2004?

Over to you. Good luck.
 

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I was all set to buy a Silverwing over a year ago when I discovered the 650 Bergman. I had a hard time getting information on the bikes, especally the Bergman, but since I found this site I have learned a lot.
Trouble is I have added to the list the 400 Bergman, the two Aprilias & now I learn there is going to be a 500 cc scooter from Tiawan.
I am at a point in life where the cost is not a major factor but reliability & maintainance are. When I couldn't afford them there were a lot of bikes I wanted & now that I can everything has gotten too big. (How I longed for a R69 BMW.)
At least for now my 10 year old bike is running fine so there is no hurry but I would feel better setting off across the desert to Las Vegas or Laughlin with a new bike.
 

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pauljo said:
I just saw this posted on the V-Strom forum I monitor. I can't vouch for its accuracy though.

"I have a friend in Indiana that decided to severe his relationship with Aprilia a few months ago. Looks like he did it just in time.
Too bad really, they are great machines (my opinion)
B.K.

Aprilia has stopped making bikes as it fights for financial survival. The firm must find £5 million by May 3 or be declared bankrupt.
The Italian manufacturer is £147million in debt and suppliers are now refusing to deliver parts – which explains the halt on the production line. The £5 million will simply cover interest due.
The crisis has knock-on effects for Aprilia-owned Moto Guzzi and Laverda and for Shakey Byrne’s MotoGP deal.
Aprilia says there are as many as 15 firms lining up with rescue packages."
Paul...I viewed your pic's of the Clearwiew shield and just called Clearview. I inquired about the clearance between the mirror and windshield you talked about. He said that was an error..should be about
2" clearance and said he was going to contact you about getting another shield. I hope to have mine in about 2 weeks.
 

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Gruntled,

Sorry, I missed this. Yes, there are a lot of GT scooters out there.

First thing to decide is how important cost are:
I know you mentioned that costs are no issue, and if that is the case then you have no reason to look at the singles. Period. They are the economical option, in terms of initila outlay and running costs.
Next thing to decide is use:
If the 650 isn't too big for the roads you plan to ride on, and you plan to go for more long distance rides than short it's a pretty good bet. If you plan to do a lot of short distance stuff, as well as some long distance stuff, then it's the SilverWing. If you plan to ride wiht a passenger a lot, you should probably consider the 650.
Maintanance:
I can't comment on - the 650 and SW are both hig-tech, so you have to find a mechanic that knows what he is doing. Especiallly so with the 650. That's no issue in Japan of course...

So, think SilverWing or Burgman.

Ah, almost forgot - fun:
Burgman 650 - the SW can't match the attitude control that the electronic transmission gives you on the 650. The feeling of pushing "Power Mode" and flying past that rider/car driver that has been slightly holding you up for the last couple of kilometers. Last weekend, I made fun of a VTR1000F Firestorm rider on a narrow mountain pass. He was solo, and really trying. I had the girlfriend on the back and 20kgs of camping gear under the seat. He could't get away. Even when the roads opened up, I hit "Power Mode", was able to get on the gas befor he did, and he wasn't able to gap us before it got to the next bend, and we were back on the brakes again. If you want to ride really aggressively, there is "manual mode", too.

Having said that, the weekend before I went touring on the x11, and again with the girlfriend on the back, I had to lift the front using 6,000rpm to out accelerate a Silver Wing from the lights on returning to Tokyo. (Bare in mind that my x11 has [email protected],000rpm at the crank so not much can get away from it, or challenge it). The SilverWing is no slouch either.

Burgman 650 ABS or SilverWing ABS - both great motorcycles. The choice is yours.

Lycheed
 
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