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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I've joined this forum because my wife and I are considering buying a 400, probably in the Spring. I've been reading everything here for a couple of weeks now, and have gained a ton of knowledge already - thanks to all!

But as always, I've got some unanswered questions. First, an outline of what we expect to use the Burgman for: it's main use will be me commuting daily - I drive about 15 miles each way to and from work, about 2/3s of that on the freway and the rest on surface streets. I figure with fuel prices what they are here in Silicon Valley I will be saving about $100 per month over my current ride - a Ford F450 diesel, getting about 12 mpg!

We also are envisioning using the scooter when we go camping - many of you won't call it camping, though - we use the F450 to tow a 37 foot fifth wheel. One thing I need to work out is how to carry the scooter on the fifth wheel - my options are: a rack of some kind on the back of the trailer or a small trailer behind the fifth wheel.

So, let's get on to the questions (if you're still here!):

* How hard is it for someone in his 50's to learn how to ride a scooter, considering we've never ridden any kind of motorcycle before?

* Can the Burgman 400 carry it's own weight (in two people!) for short distances - we're not really interested in long-range touring, just going from a campground into town, or short trips like that.

* How much under MSRP are dealers willing to go to make a deal?

I'm sure I'll have more questions - thanks in advance to everyone here!

Alan Hepburn
 

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Hi Alan,

Welcome! :)

I can answer a couple of questions.
1. Re: learning to ride a scooter. If you can, I'd recommend taking the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course (both you and your wife). Preferrably before you get the 400. It will help you understand and practice a lot of the skills you'll need. If you've ridden a bike, you've got a sense of how to balance on a scoot. If you've got basic coordination, you should be fine. Just give it whatever time you need to feel comfortable. Bear in mind, it's easier to handle any motorized vehicle at speeds above 15 mph.

2. Re: MSRP. We bought one Burgie 400 for $500 off the sticker price and got the other for $200 off. The $200 off wasn't bad considering they had to drive about 160 miles roundtrip to find one for us. (And they also gave us a 10% discount on accessories...now they give us 20% because we happen to ride with an informal group that does rides out of there.) You may be able to get a better deal, if you're willing to travel or have it shipped to you.

You also may want to check out the Classified here to see if someone's selling a bike.

Good luck,

Bryna
 

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Alan,

Welcome to BurgmanUSA. I think the ease of learning to ride varies with each individual - and age isn't all that significant. Byrna's suggestion of taking the MST course is good. If you are going to drop a bike while learning, it might as well be one of their training bikes, and not your new Burgman!

The 400 will carry two people. Heck, I saw a couple touring 2-up on a 250cc Honda Helix in the Black Hills this Summer. They were moving a little slower than me - but they were doing the ride through the hills just the same.

Good luck with the carrying issue. I think there are platforms that can go on the back of the 5th wheel rig that can carry a motorcycle or scooter, but I don't know much about them.
 

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Allan, you live in a good part of the country for riding. I purchased a Burger 6 weeks ago and have about 2,300 miles on it. I took the motorcycle driving course and it was worth every dollar I paid. I had not been on a motorcycle for almost 40 years so it was like starting all over again.

As previously stated age is not really a factor other than when considering your physical ability to handle weight i.e. balancing the bike when stopped, pushing the bike in/out of a parking spot etc. The 650 is about 100 lbs. heavier then the 400, both bikes are easy to handle once you are moving. The 400 is a great performer if riding solo and somewhat slower with 2 up especially riding uphill. The 650 is far better for 2 up and mountain riding. Given the type of riding you will be doing the 400 will most likely be o.k. for you.

I have the same dilemma as you regarding hauling the Burger with a 5th. wheel. I guess that all one can do is get a rack welded to the frame of the 5th. wheel to carry the bike. Then there is the question of how you get the Burger on/off the rack? I guess a ramp would do the trick, something that will fit in the pickup box.

Good luck……cheers Al
 

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carrying ramp

they have trailer platforms that fit into receiver hitches that tilt for bike transport. I am not familiar with 5th wheel trailers but if you can get a regular hitch mounted to the trailer than you can fit the carriers.

Don
 

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Alan,

Take an MSF riding class before you buy any scooter/motorcycle. Don't buy a scooter thinking you will save money on gas because you can buy a car that gets 50 mpg instead. Buy a scooter because you really want to ride a scooter. Being out in the elements isn't worth saving a few bucks on gas (Unless you like it).
The 400 is fine for two-up unless you want to go 90 mph all day then you need something bigger. My wife and I are near the same weight as the 400 and we have no problems. But please take the MSF school first.

Thanx,
Russ
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the replies, everyone. Some comments:

Russ and others said:
Take an MSF riding class before you buy any scooter/motorcycle.
This is a common suggestion, so we will definitely check into this before we buy anything!

Russ said:
Don't buy a scooter thinking you will save money on gas because you can buy a car that gets 50 mpg instead.
If I could find a 50mpg car for the same price as a scooter, I'd consider it. There is a company in Santa Rosa, Ca that is trying to get certification on the Smart Car for sale in California, but their price tag is going to start in the $20K range - a bit too rich for my taste. Then there's the registration fees - much higher on a $20K car than on a $5K scooter. And let's not forget the insurance...

Don said:
they have trailer platforms that fit into receiver hitches that tilt for bike transport. I am not familiar with 5th wheel trailers but if you can get a regular hitch mounted to the trailer than you can fit the carriers.
I've seen some carriers made to mount in a standard 2" receiver - but when you put a 400 lb scooter on the back of a trailer you remove a lot of weight off the front of the trailer - I'm looking at how much that will affect the truck and trailer on the road. Right now I've got about 3200 lbs of pin weight - putting a 400 lb scooter on the back will lower that pin weight by about 350 lbs. That shouldn't cause any problems, but I'll have to try some experiments - I could always add about 400 lbs more to the front storage to counterbalance things! And I need to talk to a frame guy to see if the trailer frame can handle that weight hanging off the rear - the trailer manufacturer refuses to comment at all - here's their reply to my question asking if the frame can be reinforced to handle the weight:

Fleetwood cannot advise you or assist with any type of aftermarket
modification. The reinforcements and bike rack you are referring to are
types of aftermarket modifications, Fleetwood would not be able to assist
with your inquiry.

We hope this information is helpful. If we can be of any further
assistance, please contact us at our toll-free number, 800 322 8216.
... Yeah; that was real helpful... but I can see their position. If they say okay and something happens some ambulance-chaser will sue their pants off - if they say no then they get the reputation that their frames are weak - the best solution is to say "no comment"... and leave me to do the research on my own!

Al said:
Allan, you live in a good part of the country for riding.
Yeah, the weather is generally pretty mild here - I'm familiar with your area, too - I was born in Trail, raised in Trail and Vancouver, but I've been living here in California for over 40 years now. I've still got relatives up in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto!

Thanks everyone for the comments!

Alan Hepburn
 

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Hi Allen

Im 72 and I handle the 400 O.K. but I have had some previous experience on dirt bikes and one 750 road bike. The Honda Nighthawk 750 weighed about the same as the 400.......which is about 400 pounds and a bike that heavy can take some grunting when duck walking it backwards into parking spots,etc. I have to park my burgy under a patio cover then duckwalk it backward and in a half circle before I can fire it up and take off. That is over uneven ground and is a tussle.

Sounds like those campground trips is a major part of your life. If gravel roads are common around those campgrounds, I wouldn,t recommend you ride the Burgy or any Street bike on gravel untill you are more experienced. That is a lot like riding on ball bearings and if you have to stop your bike for some reason and put a foot down, your foot rolls on those same gravel bearings and WHAP!, down you go.

Let me give you an alternate idea. If you look at the posts in this string by Mr. Sheaffer, it shows him laying in front of a small scooter, looks to be about the size of a 50CC scooter. Talk about a great way to get familiar with motor cycling! You can buy two smaller scooters in the power range of 50 to 150CC for you and the wife for less than the price of a Burgy 400 and have a hell of a lot of fun more safely learning the art of motorized cycling. Just great for putt-putting around campsite areas and site seeing. Much easier to go slow and enjoy the scenery. Will handle some gravel more safely. When you get ready to move up to a larger machine, you wont loose much resale value on the price of the smaller scooters.

I just bought a Yamaha Zuma 50CC scooter to go along with my Burgy 400. I cant stay off the little critter. Zipping down to the store, zipping here, zipping there. Small enough that I can man-handle it if necessary. Top speed is only about 40 on the Zuma but you can get a little larger 150CC scoot that will handle your short freeway runs to work. A 50CC will cost you about $2000 out the door and a 150CC will be about $2500 out the door prices. About $4500 and you and your wife can both have some really fun machines to learn the cycling life on.

Just thought I would throw this idea out as an alternative. I really believe in my Burgy 400 for a little longer road trips but danged if this little 50 CC hummer hasnt won its way into my heart for short range zipping about. I even can ride it in some off road stuff. Not jumping logs and such stuff but in my area we have lots of unpaved roads through some beautiful hill country where I can just putt putt along with my head on a swivel enjoying the scenery and not worry about getting tripped up like I would on a bigger cycle.
 

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Hey Alan,

Welcome to the BurgmanUSA forums. Glad to have you join us. Given you've never ridden a motorcycle before, take the MSF. The investment in time / money is well worth it. You will need to become very comfortable on the bike before riding 2-up.
 

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To buy a bike or scooter because you would like to save gas money is a bad idea..
I would not even think about buying a scoot till I have taken "The Course".
Sounds so ominous, truth is it a fun day learning to have fun safely..
And yes the 400 will handle what you want to do.

Don't get me wrong a scooter can (an is) a practical means of transportation
but above all it should be just plan fun. :D
 

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Randy said:
To buy a bike or scooter because you would like to save gas money is a bad idea..
But it does make a wonderful "excuse" to buy one. :D It's the same one I used to justify purchasing mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
billmeek said:
Randy said:
To buy a bike or scooter because you would like to save gas money is a bad idea..
But it does make a wonderful "excuse" to buy one. :D It's the same one I used to justify purchasing mine.
While it may seem like a poor excuse, when you crunch the numbers, the savings do indeed pay for the scooter. In my case, my commute vehicle is a Ford F450 truck - it gets 12 mpg - I buy about 55 gallons of diesel per month, at $2.40 per gallon (price as of today) - so I'm spending about $130 per month just on fuel. If I were riding a scooter at 50 mpg, I'd be buying about 13 gallons of gas per month. Gas right now is about the same cost as diesel, so I'd be spending about $32 per month on gas - a savings of about $100 - the Suzuki web site says they have a deal right now for payments of $99 a month - the fuel savings WILL pay for the scooter!

The wife has already approved the purchase, but wants to wait 'til Spring, since riding in the Winter (even California has Winter!) is an unpleasant undertaking. She's even entertaining the thought of buying 2 scooters - her commute is a bit shorter, and her vehicle gets better mileage, but even so she's open to the possibility of scooting to work herself!

We will definitely look into taking a class, if we can find one locally. And we'll continue to hang out here listening to all the great advice and stories ... this place is a lot like some other sites we frequent ( http://www.thedieselstop.com for Ford diesels for instance, or http://www.irv2.com and http://www.rv.net for RV's) and it's amazing the amount of expertise that can be found when you make Google your friend!

Alan Hepburn
 

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Alan,

My commute to work is 84 miles each way. I can appreciate the savings. But the real reason to buy the Burgman is the fun. For shorter commutes you may end up not saving any on fuel as you'll end up riding "the long way" to work because it's so much fun. :D

Alan_Hepburn said:
We will definitely look into taking a class, if we can find one locally.
For the California Basic Rider Course, see : http://www.ca-msp.org/
 

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Alan_Hepburn - billmeek

As it happens I agree with you both, I bought mine because I wanted a lighter bike, But you may have missed my point.
If you never road a bike before and have no idea what's its all about I would think you should have more motivation then mpg .
The more I think about it --I could be wrong , after all you have to start someplace but don't you think you should know (or think) you will like riding :?:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Randy said:
... you may have missed my point.
...don't you think you should know (or think) you will like riding :?:
I see your point - it would not be a good idea to buy a scooter if I will be miserable riding it. I agree - and I appreciate the thought. For the record, I enjoy riding a bicycle, and think I'll also enjoy riding a scooter. It will definitely be a "fair-weather" ride - it'll stay in the garage when it's raining, or really cold but will undoubtedly get a lot of use in fair weather!

Alan Hepburn
 

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Randy,

Looking at the number of low milage bikes I've seen selling over the past couple of months, you do have a valid point. I wasn't sure I'd keep riding when I bought my Burgman ... but after a couple of months there's no question now. :)
 

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Be gentle: I'm still a virgin.

Re: Be gentle; I'm still a virgin. That's what happens if you get married before you have sex. Any married man could have told you that there is no such thing as sex after marriage.
 

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Hi, Alan. I'm new here, too. My wife has the Burgman 400, when she can get me off of it. I have a Kawasaki Nomad, a 1500 cc, 850 lb. bike that is great on the road but nowhere near as much fun in town as her Burgman. The only problem I have with the Burgman is the seat. I have a bad back, which is why I have the Nomad. I also have a 5th wheel trailer, 32 ft. I have doubts about mounting the Burgman. My trailer verifies the tale that you don't need a washing machine in a trailer, just use double wrapped garbage bags with soap, water, and clothes tied to the back of the trailer and they'll be thoroughly washed when you get where you're going. Also, I started riding (wife and I took the MSF before buying) at the age of 57 and I do fine. Bear in mind that a scooter is much easier to ride and handle than the motorcycle you'll ride in the MSF. We rented Honda 50's on a vacation and while they're lighter, the back end of my trailer is pretty active on some (seems like most) roads. I'll watch this thread to see if someone knows a solution.

Mike
 
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