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Discussion Starter #1
The groups with whom I ride comprise mostly motorcycles versus scooters, and the riders tend to be serious in terms of ATGATT and riding skill. Among others, I ride with MSTA members from time-to-time, and those guys are impressive, indeed.

I don't expect to maintain position on my 2012 AN650 around the curves with sport bikes, but I'm working on improving my riding skills so I can ride "sweep" without holding anyone up much but still be "riding my ride." Although I've never had a bike with a manual transmission, most of the cars I've owned had them and I'm familiar enough with the process, so I decided to see if some manual shifting would help me out. I started by punching the Power button before I entered a hot curve, the result of which was some welcome engine braking and ability to power out of the curve at the apex with more authority. From there I started riding in completely manual mode when I attack the twisties, and most of the rides here in Northern Kentucky are full of those. I've coming to really like it; I have a lot more control over the speed of my "Rosie" both into and out of the curves, and although I'm running faster I actually feel a lot safer. Today I rode about 200 miles mostly in manual mode, negotiating the the twisties primarily in 3rd or 4th. (Surprisingly, my fuel economy was GREAT --- >50 mpg ---- even though I was doing some fast revving.)

I've tended to view the manual feature as more of a gimmick than anything that the engineers expected anyone to use much, but I need to rethink that. So here's my question: What knowledge do any of us have about the reliability impact of manually shifting the transmission as a matter of habit? Am I wearing anything out significantly faster than I otherwise would if I left it in "D" all the time? Anyone else use manual mode frequently and, if so, what was your experience?
 

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I think you want to keep it in auto for normal day to day riding to maximize mpg and less stress to drive train. On the occasional fun of mountain passes and twisties and riding at the extreme end of your skills then manual control of you acceleration, engine braking and being in precise control of your power-band is not only wise but a lot more fun.

For longevity & mpg I think the built in computer will be hard to out think.
 

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I use manual every morning for the first 3-4klms or so I go over steep hill almost straight away and D drones like there's no tomorrow :-(
Also in winter until it's at operating temp.
Also the odd blast to remind other bikes it's not sloooooow :)

Greg
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I use the manual mode when ever I need to get going the fastest. But in most steep hilled twisty roads I use POWER mode.
My 2003 does not have the same high lock up in manual mode as a 2005 and up.
I do use manual 1st gear when creeping in traffic as I can go just a bit slower with a bit of throttle, like 2 MPH but in AUTO I can maintain about 4 MPH.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
For longevity & mpg I think the built in computer will be hard to out think.
For longevity, probably, which is why I ask, but experience indicates that I can definitely improve my mpg with manual shifting because I know what's coming up when the computer doesn't. Unlike a car CVT, which seems to have a bias toward shifting up as quickly as possible to maximize MPG, my Burgman seems to have a bias toward providing power quickly if I want it. For one example, if I gently dial in a little additional throttle, the RPMs increase more than I would expect and then settle back down. In manual mode I can prevent this from happening, as long as I'm careful not to lug the engine. The average MPG readout is definitely higher when I shift manually to conserve fuel, all other things being equal.

That said, these machines don't use enough fuel to obsess about the MPG. It's just a little game I play sometimes when I'm riding and the road ahead lacks inspiration.
 

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That said, these machines don't use enough fuel to obsess about the MPG. It's just a little game I play sometimes when I'm riding and the road ahead lacks inspiration.
A couple things, each worth 1 cent. "Attacking" the twisties? That's sort of optimistic on a Burgman. Let's call it, hmmmmm, "Buzzing Into" the twisties. Shall we? Naaah, who do I think I am? Call it what you want. I haven't attacked a twisty since 1997 (and it was at Road Atlanta).

I think my mindset is much like yours in this respect dogboy. I have in my mind that I think that in order to justify the limited abuse I take in riding a scooter, that said scooter should regularly knock down at least 50 mpg. Now that I have a true trip meter correction factor, I'd say my mpg measurements now are 99.5% accurate or better. And about the best I can do is upper 47's for mpg. The $ difference between that and 50 mpg is nothing to obsess over. And I ride for mpg too, for fun, and because the ride otherwise would be a bit boring. So I ride in ways I think conserve fuel, just to make things interesting.

As for shifting the CVT manually. I've given some thoughts about it. Mainly regarding, how to reduce the heat buildup in the CVT. Where I'm at with that thinking, at the moment is, that it probably makes an unmeasurable difference (in heat and maybe linearly with mpg) if I control it manually or let it do it automagically. The exception is, when I'm out on the interstate and droning at 70+ mph, I hold it up in 6th just to minimize the rpm. I don't believe minimizing the rpm does much for lowering the heat in the CVT, but it should reduce the amount of air passing through the cylinders, and thusly the amount of fuel needed to mix with that air. But even at that, my true calculations are generally just under 48 mpg (dern gas-hog).


7milesout
 

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I've followed you on rides, if someone claims you're holding them up, IMO, they're over riding the road/group. No a Burgman is not going to 'carve da twisties' like a sport/superbike...physics. But within the bounds (and speed limits) a Burgman is well capable of holding it's own with a good rider. As for the use of manual mode, no clue if it contributes to premature failure of CVT belt or not. The secondary pulley has the CVT fan on it, so its rippums determine how much air is being moved through the CVT. Secondary pulley rippums are going to be determined (when the clutch is engaged/locked) by rear wheel rippums. I'm sure a thread of biblical proportions on the math, physics, and 'reasons' for and against using manual mode or not could be as epic as oil and darksiding threads...but I digress.

I utilize all modes based on the road, traffic, and weather conditions and don't worry about the CVT in general...but I'm not trying to pretend that I'm going back it in and pull a dank nooner coming out of a corner after passing Rossi or Marquez....just sayin'

Ask Bill B if you can ride the gix'r once? either you'll gladly give it back or begin a search for a sport bike to keep Rosie company in the garage.
 

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Unfortunately, to ride like that up here would be suicide due to all the gravel kicked out onto the road by bored kids spinning their tires.
 

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The last time I (sort of) attacked any twisties, it was on the Tail of the Dragon, and had full knobbies. Maybe I should have "attacked" it on my side of the road only though … oh well. There were a few sport bikes that got whomped by a my thumper too.

Slap on your headphones … or earbuds, buds.



7milesout
 

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A couple things, each worth 1 cent. "Attacking" the twisties? That's sort of optimistic on a Burgman. Let's call it, hmmmmm, "Buzzing Into" the twisties. Shall we?
As for shifting the CVT manually. I've given some thoughts about it. Mainly regarding, how to reduce the heat buildup in the CVT. Where I'm at with that thinking, at the moment is, that it probably makes an unmeasurable difference (in heat and maybe linearly with mpg) if I control it manually or let it do it automagically. The exception is, when I'm out on the interstate and droning at 70+ mph, I hold it up in 6th just to minimize the rpm. I don't believe minimizing the rpm does much for lowering the heat in the CVT, but it should reduce the amount of air passing through the cylinders, and thusly the amount of fuel needed to mix with that air. But even at that, my true calculations are generally just under 48 mpg (dern gas-hog).

7milesout
Agreed. On the rare occasion when I want to wick it up a bit, in reality I am just about up to the speed of most sport bike riders but I don't care. It feels good to me and in my mind I am a lot faster that I really am so I am happy. Using the "gear selector" is a fun thing to play with on occasion but the changes in performance or MPG would be negligible in my opinion. There might be a benefit but certainly not enough to change the outcome of most races. I will sometimes lock it in "6th gear" when on a long flat stretch of road but nowhere else. Even then it has to be monitored very closely due to limited amount of torque available. As a rule the auto mode works really well on the Burgman in every instance. It allows the engine to spool up when needed and then brings it back to correct RPM range when the power demand is passed.
 

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Yes it does. However, someone mentioned using the POWER mode until about 60 mph I believe it was. I tried it. It does seem to work effectively. Switching back to regular mode at 60 it does feel as though the rpm falls back to a point of higher torque, and the acceleration improves. I started another thread about finding a torque curve for the 650, but so far, no luck. Using a torque curve, the optimum shift point could be more precisely determined.

The Power mode button is kind of like a HI / LO gear selector, or a 2-speed, however you want to think about it. Start off in 1st (Power Mode ON), hit 60 mph and switch to 2nd (Power Mode OFF) for maximum acceleration. For daily driving, its not nearly as practical as just leaving it in normal mode and letting the CVT do it thing.

But in the case you need to beat a soccer mom in her minivan through the parking lot to get the good parking space, maximum acceleration may be required.


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Utilizing manual mode in the 'twisties' does makes sense in that the engine braking effect is more predictable and consistent than in auto or 'power mode' as you roll off the throttle. And as you roll back on the throttle, there is much less 'lag' and rippums surge because the CVT controller isn't trying to change the ratio. IMO, trying to hold the throttle in the engine braking sweet spot is more than I prefer to have to manage whilst backing into a corner preparing to pull that dank nooner as I pass Rossi and Marquez on the exit. ...just sayin' 😁
 

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7 I like the music and am persuing it , the video was great too, I see it says toe of the dragon, never been, and am curious, somewhere between the toe and the tail, is there a sorta roundabout??? or a tar pit?
 

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No roundabout or tar pit that I'm aware of. I just made up the "toe" part. Because it is a little dirt road, supposedly for 4WD vehicles only, and closed in the winter.
91375
 

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I can only imagine the extra strain on the belt and the stopbolt, driving enthusiastically. That will definitely add heat to the pulleys and most definitely the belt. I am also concerned about an improvement in mpg with such driving.
Having said that I do enjoy twisties and with the Burgman I have found that leaning your body over aggressively is the way to prevent the beast from wanting to go straight. I once read an article by the great Valentino Rossi, and he states that when he goes through a bend, his arms are totally relaxed. He feels that one should be able to flap your elbows in and out at that time, and if you can't, then you are to stiff. By stiffening up your arms is a sure way to go down. I always let the bike rotate through the bend on its own, I will merely move my weight and push forward the left grip or right, depending on the direction of the bend, relax as much as possible. Oh and a bit of faith in a good asphalt.
 

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No roundabout or tar pit that I'm aware of. I just made up the "toe" part.
I thought maybe it would be between the toe and tail around the upper thigh area
 

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There's the story of the fellow who rode that stretch of road so slowly his bike simply didn't lean, not even once.

He's known in legend as "The Snail of The Dragon".
 

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That said, I recall one scooter group ride I was on (riding sweep, as usual) and we were making pretty good time (participation was self-selected for experienced riders) westbound up in the hills above Malibu, CA. I want to say Latigo Canyon Rd, but this was a few years ago so I'm not positive.

Anyhow, a group of three sport-bikes decided we weren't going fast enough to suit them, and passed their way through our pack (of about 18 bikes? Maybe only 12? Again, it was a few years back) rather aggressively. 3/4 of a mile later two of them were off the side -- fortunately, the uphill side, since downhill would have meant a long drop. No major injuries, but at least one of the bikes wasn't going to be moving again on its own tires...

We had been literally going as fast as conditions allowed -- these guys tried to go faster, and failed.

I'm pretty sure the ride leader that day was on a Burgman 650; if not, it would have been his 400.

It's worth noting again that these were the group's self-selected experienced riders. We did (and will again, darnit!) have ride opportunities for riders of all skill levels and bikes of all engine sizes.
 

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Yes it does. However, someone mentioned using the POWER mode until about 60 mph I believe it was. I tried it. It does seem to work effectively. Switching back to regular mode at 60 it does feel as though the rpm falls back to a point of higher torque, and the acceleration improves. I started another thread about finding a torque curve for the 650, but so far, no luck. Using a torque curve, the optimum shift point could be more precisely determined.

The Power mode button is kind of like a HI / LO gear selector, or a 2-speed, however you want to think about it. Start off in 1st (Power Mode ON), hit 60 mph and switch to 2nd (Power Mode OFF) for maximum acceleration. For daily driving, its not nearly as practical as just leaving it in normal mode and letting the CVT do it thing.

7milesout
The power button does nothing more than change the operation of the CVT by adding about 1000 RPMs to the current engine speed/vehicle speed ratio when activated. The venerable 650 is limited on the amount of torque it produces. There is little to work with so they substitute engine speed. By spinning it with another 1K faster it gives mildly better performance. It does help only but only slightly. If you are hoping to win a race with a 650 you need to select your opponent carefully.
Utilizing manual mode in the 'twisties' does makes sense in that the engine braking effect is more predictable and consistent than in auto or 'power mode' as you roll off the throttle. And as you roll back on the throttle, there is much less 'lag' and rippums surge because the CVT controller isn't trying to change the ratio. IMO, trying to hold the throttle in the engine braking sweet spot is more than I prefer to have to manage whilst backing into a corner preparing to pull that dank nooner as I pass Rossi and Marquez on the exit. ...just sayin' 😁
I ride the twisties of NW AR fairly often and usually a few times each ride through I will give the manual button a push just to see how it feels. I have heard about the feel of engine braking being different between the 12 and earlier and the 13 and later models. I have a 17 model and even in auto mode the engine braking is predictable and effective. Using the manual mode is way more effort than it is worth to me. The CVT controller in the Burgman is spot on in just about every instance I have found. As much of a fan of shifting gears as I am, the Burgman is far superior in auto mode. Even in the twisty roads. No frantic dropping of gears or remembering to upshift before the limiter kicks in. Just roll on or off the throttle and ride. The big burger is fun to ride at a brisk pace but no fun if you think you need to shave seconds off your time.
 
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