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Hello,

I'm preparing to buy a bike within the next month and a half, and I'm torn between the Burgman 400 and the Kawasaki Vulcan 500. I'm planning to use the bike for commuting to work and around town. The Burgman has the advantage of storage which would allow me to carry my laptop to work in weatherproof safety.

Around town the Burgman seems perfect, but my concerns are how it is on the highway and also in inclement weather. How does the 400 do on the highway, will it cruise at 70 MPH without straining the engine? Also, how does it feel when it's raining, and does the fairing do a good job of blocking the wind on those cold winter days?

My last bike was a Yamaha TW200 dual purpose, I live in Texas, but during the winter I would freeze my butt off. The Burgman's fairing seems like it would help.

Also, any general info y'all could provide would be helpful, epsecially the advantages over something like the Vulcan 500.
 

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I'm currently selling my Vulcan Nomad to purchase a 650, but in an earlier incarnation I rode a Lambretta 200 on the freeways of San Diego with no problem holding 65 - 70. I'm sure that the 400 would do at least as well.

My point in replying is not to discuss the power issues however, but the benefits of the scooter style over the cruiser, since most of my riding has been on cruisers.

It is difficult, probably impossible, to chart a commuter route that guarantees no puddles. It is nearly impossible to go through a puddle on a cruiser while maintaining dry shoes and lower pants legs. The scooter, otoh, provides an almost guaranteed dry arrival - on non-rainy days. That will also translate to fewer bugs and rocks imbedded in your clothing and skin.

As to luggage, the Nomad's bags may be the best OEM bags on the market, but don't count on everything inside being dry after anything but the lightest mist. The same will hold true for the underseat bucket on the burgies - if it must stay dry, bag it! Even a grocery sack will work for short brief hops - for touring I'd recommend zip lock bags for anything that will fit and waterproofed nylon stuff sacks for bigger things, like laptops.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's a good point about the puddles, I plan on using the 400 mostly to commute to work, and it would stink to arrive with wet pants/shoes.
 

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If you take the Vulcan and run the bag off of it in every gear, it will outaccelerate the Burgman 400.

I point that out because it is the ONLY criteria of note that it beats the Burgman 400.

Beyond that you cannot name ANY criteria where the Vulcan 500 has a snowballs chance against the Burgman 400.

In fact, if I was going to look at a cruiser, I would get a Yamaha V-Star 650 before I got the Vulcan 500. But I wouldn't part with my Burgman for either one.

Remember, on this board, we all chose a scooter so you kind of knew the answer before you asked the question, right.

Take care. Get the Burgman!!
 

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As much as I like the Vulcan line, my wife still plans to keep her 800 Classic, I would recommend a Suzi for anybody considering a smaller cruiser now. They have applied a lot of the big bike - big price upgrades on the 800s (S, M, C, and T 50s) such as shaft drive. For the money you get a lot better bike. The Yammies aren't bad bikes, but I wouldn't buy much of anything without a radiator for anything but very short commute type riding.
 

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I have never ridden a cruiser, but lots of friends tell me all the time that I ought to have one. They usually tell me this when I arrive at work, warm from my plug-in clothing (Burgmans have a larger-than-average alternator, so supply plenty of electric power for heated jackets and gloves) and dry everywhere but the extreme ends of my admittedly rather oversized shoulders if it happens to be raining. Usually their teeth are chattering as they explain to me why cruisers are so much much better, and they're also usually busy wringing the water out of their work clothes. They also tend to tell me about how much more macho and manly their rides are when I run into them at the gas station, as I pump in 2/3 as much fuel as they do to travel the same distance. I've also been lectured about why I need a _real_ bike while loading nine bags of groceries into my 400 and its Givi top box. Plus, they tell me, I'm _crazy_ to take my machine out on the highway, where it seems to cruise just fine to me. I must be pretty stupid, though, because I never quite seem to trade the Burgie in. My friends are growing very frustrated with me, and are starting to get the idea that I own a bike for all the wrong reasons.

By the way, 80% of the miles I ride, there's a laptop (and usually plenty of other stuff) under my seat. I've got 7,000 miles on my 400, and never has so much as _one drop_ or water gotten into my storage area here in rainy, stormy Tennesee. This is despite the fact that I'm not shy at all about riding in the rain.

I guess I'm just too stupid to wrap my gear up in waterproof containers every time I leave home, too. Man, I am _so_ dumb! ;)
 

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The best thing to do is decide why you want the bike.

Is it for YOUR enjoyment? which one feels better to you?

Is it to ride with friends? what are they riding?


Is it to change your image? r u looking to be a biker in a leather jacket? or a "scooter rider"?



It is hard to beat an automatic in city traffic. what is your commute like? lots of stop and go? or all high speed highway?


All bikes are good and fun, just get the one you WANT and the one that will DO what you want.
 

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I had a Vulcan 500 until last year when I sold it and bought a leftover 2003 Burgman 400. I do occasionally miss the Vulcan, but that may be because it was my first bike. I would not trade the Burgie for anything.

I commute to work everyday, all year long (well maybe not in snow laying on the road). My commute is mostly suburb and a little city, and not having to constantly shift is the big attraction of the scooter for me. I do occasionally have to travel on the interstate and have never had a problem keeping up with traffic (65-75 mph) or passing.

As a system administrator, I usually have to lug a laptop and a computer crash bag along with my lunch on the Burgie. Never a problem with not being able to fit stuff in or keeping it dry when I get caught in a downpour. When I had the Vulcan, I usually ended up just taking a backpack because I did not want to fiddle with the side bags. It's easy to burn yourself when screwing around with the side bags.

My Burgie gets 20+ mpg over my old Vulcan. So when submitting my mileage reimbursement, I make enough to cover fuel and maintenance cost.

Food for thought...

Chris

Almost forgot... There was no way my wife was going to ride on the back of my Vulcan with it's little patch of a seat. She has no qualms about riding on the Burgie though. On second thought, that may or not be a good thing.
 

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I flew out to Southern Florida (well, Palm Beach, anyway) and bought my 400 first week of May and rode it back to Texas (1100+ miles) and ever since then I've ridden it to and from work at least 5 days a week (35 miles round trip), also for call-outs and 95%+ of that is right at 70 MPH. It runs a bit higher on the RPM scale than I would LIKE but it doesn't complain and I still have a tiny bit of reserve in case I feel the need to run-up/pass someone. I do not have any experience with laptops under the seat but I think I'd add a thermal blanket between the laptop and the floor of the bucket if it were ME. Never seen a drop of water under the seat but if you put any oil under the seat you might want to be sure to bag it as well as screw the lid on tight. You will probably want a Givi windscreen (or wait for Clearview to produce one for the 400).
Just watch out for major potholes (but isn't that virtually the same for ANY bike?)! :) There are folks here building some higher mileage on their Burgman than I have but I've rarely heard of that proverbial 'other side of the coin' falling on these folks! :D
 

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Well when I had my 400, rode in the rain and my legs and feet stayed dry. Have my Harley now and my legs and shoes got soaking wet.
Sitting at a light or stop sign, have to have both hands on the levers where on the burgman I could just sit there.
Cruiser bike, I'm still trying to figure out how to get my FF helmet in the blasted saddlebag...it just won't fit.
Burgman, I took all kinds of junk around with me. It was locked up and stayed dry during the rain.
Now...I had to get a cruiser instead of a scooter due to other issues but I'm still planning on getting another scooter as soon as financially possible.

Which would you prefer to have? Make a list of pro's and con's for each bike and see which one you can. Sit on both and see which one feels the most comfortable.

I look forward to getting another scooter because of the storage, the ease of operation and the comfort of it.

Good luck with your decision and WELCOME to the forum.

BTW...where at in Texas are you?
 
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