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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all .... First posting here!!!

Just looked at a '03 650 with Givi windshield and trunk. 1350 miles, and seems extra clean...!!! Really want it!!!
My question ... I've never ridden a bike before, and would really like to start with one of these. Is the 650 good for me as a Super-Newbie??? What is the main thing to look out for when starting to ride one these???

Thanks in Advance....Great site!!!!

M
 

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Mark,

Welcome to BurgmanUSA. You'll find lots of discussion on new rider issues in the forums here. The biggest issue is that you need training. Try to get into an MSF course asap. That cute scooter performs like a mid-size motorcycle, and the dynamics of riding a motorcycle are way different than a car, truck or even a bicycle. Without proper training you run a significant risk of damaging the scooter, or worse, yourself. We can't get you off and riding safely via a few posts, but that is what the MSF instructors are trained to do. After proper training, you can start with a 650. Some would advise a smaller investment at first though, like a used 250 such as the Honda Helix. If you take a low speed spill or two on it, it won't be as discouraging. Then after a year or so, move up. Either way, get trained before you ride. :wink:
 

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I would not hesitate to recomend the 400 as a first bike but the 650 may be a bit much. In part it depends on your physical abilities. If you are a big strong guy with good balance and reaction time, it might work for you. The 650 is no lightweight at 550 pounds or so wet. It is also deceptively fast; you don't feel like you are going as fast as you really are and the throttle is very responsive. The engine braking can throw you off as well.

That said, I learned to ride on a 650 BSA. It was powerful, temparmental, and difficult to start and operate. Nothing at all like the Burgman. I had the physical abilities and I was highly motivated though and that was enough.

Take the motorcycle safety class before you even take the 650 for a spin. It will really help. Good luck with your decision.
 

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Welcome MarkO!

You didn't mention anything about your size, strength, or physical state. These things are important. The 650 is a big bike, heavy, & powerful. If you intend to start on it (as I have) you need patience, strength, patience, fear (*read respect), patience, & practice, practice, practice.

Spend time getting familiar with it, move around your yard & driveway w/o power, this will get you familiar with balance points & handling characteristics. When you can comfortably & safely wheel it around under your own power, park it & get out the manuals (owner's & maintenance, if possible) & memorize them, know where everything is & what it does.

Then go wheel it around manually some more, it'll help get the muscles accustomed to the use, & you want to know when it's manageable & when it's going (not might) to get away from you. You'll want to lay it down, first on one side, & then the other to practice picking it up by yourself. There are several threads on this site that discuss this very important issue, & without their help, I'd never have figured it out on my own w/o hurting myself. The search function at the top of the page will become invaluable!

Next step will be to acquire properly fitting safety gear, boots (over the ankle), gloves, & a helmet that is comfortable & fits right. While you are obtaining these things should be a great time to sign up for your state's Motorcycle Safety Course (prerequisite of the course is having the above mentioned gear. You don't have to use your own bike for it either, appropriate cycles are provided in every state I've heard of).

NOW, the fun begins, take your gear & go attend the class. Even seasoned riders learn some great things in these classes, things they may not learn otherwise! Once you have completed the course, then the real fun begins! You get to go practice what you learned, particularly low speed maneuvering, situational awareness, & a proper level of paranoia (for instance - That ALL motorcycles & their riders are utterly invisible to other traffic on the roads & that you should ride like you cannot be seen, ever!) Remember my mentioning earlier about practice, practice, practice?

Once over these minor hurdles, then you can get brave & try out the street, bearing in mind always that you are INVISIBLE.

I know this may sound somewhat tedious, but it is the path I have taken & I am still working up the nerve to hit the streets. Now before you start thinking I'm a wuss, think again hombre, I'm 100% pure native Texan, with both the size & the attitude to prove it (look around at some of my posts & ask some of the folks that hang out around here).

I fear nothing that walks on 2 or 4 legs, but what you have to contend with on the street outweighs you considerably (several hundred times at least!), is a lot faster than you are, waaaay stronger than you are, and are generally operated by brainless idiots on cell phones that never seem to be looking in the direction they are going in at breakneck speeds. And that's on a good day! Road conditions & weather only complicate matters 10 fold. Riding on the interstate introduces you to cross winds, semi's, the deranged, the stupid, & the uncaring AND YOU ARE STILL INVISIBLE! Only now you're doing it all at 55-75 MPH, with no steel cage around you for protection from the denizens or the road itself!

Sounds scary as hell doesn't it? All of the folks on this board, with but few exceptions, deal with all of the above & more all the time to be able to enjoy riding their two wheeled tickets to freedom. If approached with the proper respect for the rules, the proper safety equipment, well maintained bikes & bodies, & a clear head, it's all good!

Go get 'em tiger, we're right there with you! Oh! By the way, did I mention patience?
 

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I personally strongly suggest that a newbie start out on a 150-250cc scoot, as I did, though others disagree. I credit this decision with saving me from either death or severe injury twice during my learning process. Lighter, smaller bikes are simply easier to handle, and since (again, in my personal opinion) no newbie has any business on the Interstate for the first few months anyway, and since a 150/250 will cruise at the 55MPH required for all other roads, nothing is lost in terms of utility. A newbie can go anywhere on a 150/250 that he _ought_ to go, in other words. Buy a used 150/250 from a reputable maker, ride it a few months, then sell it for about what you paid for it. I did.

If you untilize the site's search engine, you will find _numerous_ lengthy threads on this subject. They are quite informative; I'd suggest them as must-reads before you buy. There's also lots of other useful discussion in them about helmet-buying etc.

Happy scooting!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all!!

I am about 6'4" ... close to 300lbs. :(
I looked at several silverwings, but was drawn to the little larger engine (and the looks) of the Burgman. I have a friend/neighbor that has a GoldWing and he said he'll help me along. My wife and I plan on taking things slow and learn correctly. Neither one of us are 'speed demons' while driving!! I have a very nice long, smooth, blacktop alley behind the house that is usually the testbed for the R/C cars, but looks like a great area to practice!!! No traffic!!

Again, thanks for the answers, and I hope I can contribute something to the site once I learn to ride!!!!! I think I'm gonna take the plunge and get it!!!

M
 

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I still consider myself a newbie. Last summer I took the MSF course, passed it, and got my license. Then I went looking for something to buy. Actually, I started window shopping while I was still in the class, which turned out to be a good thing.

I'd go into shops, be very honest about my status, and ask what they recommended. All of the recommendations were for bikes in the 500-700cc range. I was surprised; expecting much smaller recommendations. Then I figured "Of course, they want to sell me the bigger bike to make more money." So I separately asked two of the instructors of my course. They both said "Based on your size [I'm 5'11", 200 lbs] and how you're riding in class, you probably want to start somewhere around 500cc. You might even consider going up to 750cc."

I quickly eliminated the "normal" bikes. I don't see myself as a Cruiser type. And I'm definitely not somebody for a crotch rocket.

Based on the stores' and instructors' recommendations, I eliminated the Helix -- too small. The SW, both Burgers, and the Majesty were still in competition.

Majesty was brand new and I couldn't find any dealers with it yet. I didn't want to wait. That eliminated the Majesty. So, the SW and both Burgers were still in competition.

Just sitting on the bikes, I liked how I fit on the lardy (650) Burger best. So, after I finished the class and got my license, I asked if I could try it. The cycle shop had one of their guys ride it to the parking lot of an unused building and said "Try it here first. If you feel comfortable on it, and if <their guy> thinks you look confident, then take it out on the road." I tried it; I loved how it handled; I bought it.

Most of my driving is on country roads that are posted around 45-50 mph. I've driven faster on some 4-lane roads. But I haven't taken it on any limited access or interstates yet. I use it primarily for driving back & forth to work on those aforementioned country roads.

I think I made the right choice, but sometimes I wonder if I should have gotten the smaller one. The 650 is heavy, so if it starts falling, you probably won't be able to stop it. On the other hand, owning the bigger bike I know that it's ready when I finally decide that I want to tackle the Pennsylvania Turnpike. :shock: (Also, I had enough trouble convincing my wife that I should buy this one. I definitely didn't want to buy into a scenario where I'd be looking to replace it in a year or two.)
 

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To reiterate one thing, helmet and safety apparel. It may be classified as a scooter, but you can get just as hurt in an accident being on one as you can on a cruiser, gold wing, or BMW tourer. Even Road Rash isn't nice.
 

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Hi and welcome mark! :D

I was going to chip in my 2cents but read Wyldman's post, wondered if I could laminate it and decided I have nothing to improve upon it (as well as the other replies). If you read Wyldman's post 100 times it wouldn't portray it enough. Well written Wyldman! I'd make some Texan comment here but I try not to crap where I eat! ;)
OH, one other thing...
That alley you mention. I would advise against it. I would suggest a parking lot with few poles/bumps. Something large with lots of space. After all, you do plan on turning on the road, right? Somewhere you can make large circles, smaller figure-8's, looping u-turns and maybe even set up small cones to practice around. You will see what I mean so much more after you take the MSF course! :)
Take it easy and ride safe! :D

ADDED AS AFTER-THOUGHT: I could hardly wait to get back riding again (after over a decade) but I still made sure to take the MSF course before flying to Florida and riding back on my 400 to Texas! Gamble with money, money can be replaced.
 

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Thanks for the kind words, Stu. Feel free to laminate it, or whatever you like! 8)

When I started writing that, there were no replies yet & thought I would be able to get the first licks in :lol: .

Lapine Rider is correct, starting small & working your way up is the preferred method. Like Mark, I came across the 650 first, loved it immediately & purchased it, all of this before finding BUSA.

If I had it to do again, likely I'd go the slower, safer route & work up to it.

But, sensing Mark's excitement, identifying with it & knowing the position he finds himself in, I tried to share my experience the best I could. He's a big boy, can probably handle the bike better than I can (he & I are physically very similar, except for my spinal & neurological problems) & I think that as long as he can go slow & excercise the patience I stressed before, he'll do fine!

MarkO, I cannot stress it strongly enough, if you decide on this course of action, do it by the numbers, don't get impatient & try too hard or cut corners. These things can all lead to disaster real quick, I know, I made some mistakes very early on & am just now healing, physically & financially from the damage done.
 

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While fundamentally I agree with just about all the posts here, it seems somewhere along the line we have forgotten a couple of basic facts of life.
#1 scooters (all scooters) still make up a very small part of motorcycle sales.
#2 scooters are easer to handle then there counter parts.
My point is every year thousands of "newbie" motorcycle riders take the MSF course, go out and buy full size motorcycles and manage to stay alive and well.
Why do we most times feel that a newbie scooter rider should start off on a small machine.
Most MSF courses are given (I think) with a 250 or smaller bike, how many "newbie's" after graduation do you think buy a 250cc bike as there first ?
You don't need to learn to drive a VW before you buy an SUV, you need to learn to drive !
Last point, I think going from a smaller scooter or "bike" to a larger one is just as hard a starting out with the larger one.
If you have not learned how to drive, you should not be on the road with any size bike.

Again, just my 2 & 1/2 cents worth
And now i will get off my soap box..........
 

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Welcome Mark! I bought the 400 after looking at the 650 (and reading a bunch of posts here). Think that next spring, I'll trade the 400 in on the 650 as I've gotten pretty confident now. Had not ridden in 20+ years and was leary of getting on another. Had my 400, "Homelite", out today for a cruise through the Mark Twain National Forest...very enjoyable ride. Gas prices went through the roof here and parked the SSR till they come down a bit...gas hog.

Again...welcome! These guys are great and fast to answer any questions!
 

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MarkO said:
I have a friend/neighbor that has a GoldWing and he said he'll help me along. My wife and I plan on taking things slow and learn correctly. Neither one of us are 'speed demons' while driving!!
As nice as it is to have friends and neighbours offer to help in the learning process, nothing, absolutely NOTHING can substitute learning from the MSF course. The MSF course teaches everyone the correct way to ride. The people who teach the courses are real instructors who know how to teach. Don't make a move without signing up. When you pass, ask your instructor what to buy, he will know your strengths and limitations better than any of us could ever guess at and will be able to put you on the bike that's right for you.
 

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I was a newbie when I bought the big burgman, 5'11" 220lbs. 47 yrs.
I had never ridden before the Motorcycle Safety course.

This big Burgman was the perfect fit... I LIVE to ride it. So will you.
Yes, I fell over a couple of times and walked it off. OOPs, oh well.
 

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I am a total 2 wheeler newbie as well. I have been riding for three days now. I got the 650. I am 5'11" and about 220#'s. I have dropped it twice now, once in my driveway at 2mph and once in a parking lot around the corner at about 5mph. I am planning to take the safety course in about a month after getting a lot more parking lot practice. Today I just learned how to counter-steer. good luck and be safe.
 

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I hadn't ridden in 42 years, wanted to get get back in the saddle.

I started out looking at Vespas, quickly realized I wanted something more highway capable.

Got the 650, dropped it 3 times early on, partly due to leg length problems, partly due to underestimating the weight involved.

It's heavy!

Haven't dropped it since I had the seat lowered, and since I now know how heavy it really is, it never gets to lean over except in fast corners :twisted:

Once you learn to handle the weight, it is very docile, just keep it upright when stopped or moving slowly. :)

Also, the throttle must be treated with respect, it's a fast machine, but it will learn to do what you tell it to do.

I'm happy with my choice. :D
 

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Marko,

First thing without investing any $$$$$$$$, I would take the MSF course if nothing else to see if riding is for you. I had a friend who started taking the course but realized as she was walking the bike out to the course the first time that she didn't even ride a bicycle. She walked the bike back to the storage area and left. Only out $25.00 at that time.

So, if I were you I'd really try to find out if cycle/scooter riding is really for you first without investing more than the course costs. Based on your height, weight and that you mention touring with your wife I would think of something bigger than a scooter. Yeah, scooters are great around town for handling, but on the road I want something like a Wing or a BMW K1200 LT for comfort and luggage space.

I've been a "Gold Winger", but now in my older years, find the scooter is best for me, but if touring was to be my intent I'd go Wingin' again.
 
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