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Discussion Starter #1
I was curious to hear about how the Burgman has handled unavoidable encounters with road "debris" with the smaller wheels. Any tales to tell? Helpful tips on handling on impact?
 

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I think it is highly maneuvarble and stable. I practice all the time by "dodging" imagined targets on the road. I spot some visually different patch of asphalt on the road, ride up very close to it, and then countersteer sharply to miss the supposed target. Also in some sharp corners that I am familiar with, I practice panic stops or swerves just in case. To practice a panic stop in a sharp curve, I first stand the bike up out of its lean and then give it full braking. You can get a cheap thrill that way but its best to get one in practice so you can survive one in reality.

I just dont have the guts to lean this little 400 over far enough to scrape the kickstand but I have no doubt it will handle that. You can lean it and flick it around pretty good but if you are familiar with doing that on a standard cycle, there are some differences. On the Burgy, you dont have your weight on footpegs and your legs are not gripping a gas tank. You cant throw your body weight around to provide as much steering effect on the burgy like you can on a cycle so you might need to practice countersteering more so than with a standard cycle.
 

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In 9500 miles so far, it's handled so well that I haven't needed to find out. Don't sweat the small stuff, but try not to hit anything bigger than a rabbit.
Steve
 

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Because of the relatively small wheels and limited ground clearance on the Burgmans, I'd do anything possible to avoid hitting or running over any debris, small animals and such. Like Jbird, I'm always practicing swerving using marks on the road surface, manhole covers, etc. My 650 reacts to countersteering much quicker than any of the motorcycles I've owned and I'm convinced that, if I react quick enough, I should be able to swerve and avoid hitting most (inanimate) objects that suddenly appear in my path.
Again like Jbird, I practice emergency braking a lot. Start off at slow speeds (15 mph or so) and try to stop your bike in the shortest possible distance using both brakes without locking either wheel. After you get the feel of your bikes reactions, bump your speed up a little and keep trying to stop in the shortest possible distance. Remember to keep your head up and your eyes straight ahead until you stop. Don't start at 15mph and then try 45mph - do it in small increments. In a curve, bring the bike up out of the lean and then brake. Don't brake hard while the bike is leaned over.
If you can't avoid running over something, try to hit it as straight on as possible. If it's something like a piece of lumber, shift your weight to the rear, stand up on the boards ( or get your butt off the seat) and pull back on the bars just as your front tire reaches the object. Hopefully, you'll be able to ride over it. Try to keep the front wheel straight - if the front wheel is deflected, it could cause the bike to go down.
And, as an animal lover, I hate to mention this but, if you find it unavoidable to hit a small animal try and hit it in the middle of it's body. That's it's softest spot and gives the least resistance. If you run over the front or rear (skull and hips) there is more of a chance it will deflect your wheels and put you down. If it's a deer or cow ....... :shock:
Don
 

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Ran right over a quarter bale of hay awhile back. Heck of a jolt, sort of up and over, then brief wobbling ensued, then it straightened out. The hay bale had fallen off a truck, broke into several sections, one of which I plowed into. Happened all to fast to dodge. Couldn't do anything but hold on, and keep it going straight.

Stopped as quickly as I could to examine the 400 but there were no visible damages. Truck owner was nice enought to come over to see if I everthing was ok.

Picked straw out of unside for couple of weeks.
 

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Like all the above posts avoid if you can, but an interesting point is made by Ted, the same small wheels that will cause you trouble if you hit something will also help to stabilize the bike after the hit.
It really is somewhat odd when you think about it, a large wheel in a lot of cases can hit and deflect (or roll over) a rabbit ,cat, small dog, ect. but that same wheel will have a hard time stabilizing after the contact and you are more likely to "loss it".
My self I would go with the smaller wheels for 2 reasons,
# 1 a much better chance of "slipping" by an object, and # 2 better control or faster regain of control after you hit something. :)
 

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Randy, good point. also, I failed to say that I was doing about 60-70 mph when this occured.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Darn debris

Avoidance (i.e., swerving, braking) is, as mentioned above, a skill that can be practiced and seems best suited for sub-55mph speeds. The thought of an unavoidable hit mostly pops into mind when at freeway speeds (70-80mph) and a fast freeway combined with traffic leads one to think of miscellaneous somethings (a rabbit? :( blanket? :eek: coyote chasing a rabbit? :shock: ) appearing from underneath the car immediately in front. Naturally there are things you can do to minimize this danger, such as allowing adequate spacing and riding on the outer edges of the lane so as to see the bunny ahead. Nevertheless, this is not always possible so I was curious about those that had actually experienced the unavoidable. Thanks for your comments.
 

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I found the book "Proficient Motorcycling" very good for helping to identifiying potential road hazards. And if I modify my seating position slighty - feet back and to the side of the Burg close the passenger pads, leaned forward - I get a bit more control of the beast and find it easier to push turn.
 

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I hit a metal object that was thrown from an adjacent lane in front of me. There was no time to react and I jumped right over it. It was equal in size to a to 2x4 about 2 ft long except metal. It could have been the remnants of an exhaust system. Any ways the bike handled it well with no wobble after impact. I immediately pulled to the shoulder to check the tire as I hit the object so hard I was expecting the tire to be punctured. It was not. The 650 handled it extremely well with no damage.
 

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DonRich90 said:
If it's something like a piece of lumber, shift your weight to the rear, stand up on the boards ( or get your butt off the seat) and pull back on the bars just as your front tire reaches the object.
In the MSF class, they also said you should give the throttle a twist providing a bit of extra lift to the front wheel right before contacting the object.
 

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The giant wheelbases of these things make them extremely stable. This makes them recover very well after hitting obstacles as well as extremely controllable in the turn if the rear slides or loose gravel or wet leaves.

As some have already hinted, the best way to survive hitting obstacles is either to avoid them if you see them early enough by countersteering, or if unavoidable, to hit them like you mean it. I was at full bank on the 650 a couple of months ago with the girlfriend on the back going around a left hander at about 45mph in the mountains. A dog ran across the road, and loitered right on my line. I delayed turn-in to give him about 1 meter of grace at his position of that time, then committed myself to cutting the sucker in half. I'm a dog-lover, but I love my girlfriend and 650 more. :wink:

Luckily, he ran the correct way and I didn't have to find out what happens when 400kg of bike strikes wandering dog.
 

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debris enconters-tales of terror

I remenber right after i bought my 400 burgie last year. I was comeing home from a town 25 miles north of where we live. I had got on the bypass and had brung the scoot up to around 75mph. It was dark and i was humming right along. When in front of me i see a rock in my lane, no time to brake or swerv. I just remenber saying to myself in that split secound. :shock: GOD HELP ME!!! :shock: Well he must have sent some angels and carried my little burgie over. I felt a small tump under my wheeles. And it was over. There is a God in heaven, and he was looking after me that night. :angel5: I had just got back to rideing, after a 17 year break. Very little rideing experince. Some people call it luck. I choice to call it devine intervention. :D
 

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Sitting here both laughing and crying about some of the hazards you guys have encountered. The one that scared me most was the thought of a blanket flying out of the back of a pickumup truck and wrapping me and my burgy in darkness at about 65 miles an hour. GEEZ! :( :cry: Thats one I had not thought of. Guess its kind of like combat.....you never see the one coming that gets you.

I recently rounded a corner and thought I saw a busted up hay bale on the road but it turned out that the road crew had mowed the side of the road and the mowing machine threw all the chewed up remains out across the road. That stuff was slicker'n snot on a glass door knob!
 

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Re: debris enconters-tales of terror

doug collins said:
.............. had brung the scoot up to around 75mph. It was dark and i was humming right along............... Very little rideing experince.
Hey Doug, sounds like you were overriding your headlights. Slow 'er down a little - God may not be watching the next time :wink:
Don
 

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It was my priviledge to bus' open a 'possom a week ago. I'm not sure whether it was "playin possom" or not but it wasn't after meeting with the 400. Like Ted I was pickin' out but it wasn't straw.

Tim
 

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The ones that worry me the most are the rattlesnakes when I ride my bicycle. There are two fords near here where the roads cross dry river beds. In the last five years I have ridden across three dead rattlesnakes before I saw them. One of these days I am afraid one of them won't be dead.
 

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Mi SeaRider said:
I was curious to hear about how the Burgman has handled unavoidable encounters with road "debris" with the smaller wheels. Any tales to tell? Helpful tips on handling on impact?
While not in the "debris" category, the smaller wheels have a problem with large, deep potholes. The wheels will sink more deeply than larger wheels and the suspension becomes severely compressed. The rebound can pitch you forward with a lot of force. Since most riders use the feet-forward position, standing on the pegs in order to use the legs as shock absorbers, is not an option. You may want to develop and practice a technique in response to this type of hazard.
 

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30MuleTeam said:
Since most riders use the feet-forward position, standing on the pegs in order to use the legs as shock absorbers, is not an option.
I do ride in the feet forward position and 'stand' when hitting a hard bump. It is a bit more difficult than with pegs but still is doable and makes a big difference in the amount of shock.
 
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