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I went to one of the area dealers a few days ago to talk about a Burgman 400. He wouldn't let me take a test drive - said then the bike wouldn't be new and they couldn't sell it as a "new bike". Whatever. Anyway, as fortune would have it, there was a gentleman just getting ready to start his '05 400 in the parking lot. I went over to talk to him and ask him how he liked it, and he invited me to take it for a spin, so I did. Here's my question: there was just over 600 miles on it, and when I applied full throttle to accelerate to 50 mph, the rpm's never went above 4500. This seems low to me, and I thought the acceleration was a little sluggish. Is this normal, or will a 400 pull harder at higher rpm's as it gets broken in?

Other than that, I loved the bike.

Still working on the Significant Other.

Mike
 

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Welcome Mike!

As you may already know, these scooters have continuously variable transmissions (CVT). They go to the fat part of the torque output rpm and then stay in that to give you the best (pleabian) pull. That "fat part" is either decided mechanically (al la the 400cc) or electronically (al la the 650.)

If you are used to owning or driving regular mid to large sized motorcycles (like me) then yes, the accelleration is a bit (at first glance) dispondent. There is no manual clutch to toy with - hence the lack of your control over the engine rpms. In my opinion, my 650 is "sluggish" off the line. However, when I get her rolling then it's a new deal (even in the [sorta :wink: ] "power mode" that is available to me.)

"Where" the 400 "comes alive at" - I am not sure.

The 650 has a notable grab around say 40 or 50mph-ish (I haven't taken notes - too busy driving.) It (The 650) doesn't "switch gears" but the pwr plant/xmission just happens to feel like it is in that "fat part" and it's ready to run at those speeds - it's sort of neat not down shifting yet downshifting never the less.

I had about 15 years of a significant other and well...I understand. Bless her heart she just wants you around for a while longer! :wink:

The maxi-midi 400 is one cool ride. Far as I can tell, plenty fast, very comfortable, and, maybe not as fast as a 600 or a 650 - still a very very nice midi scoot. I would imagine that it "comes on pipe" about 18 feet away from a standstill and then pulls very nicely from there. Say 10mph on out.

Justa guess.

Hey - it's a scooter Mike - That's what they do. They go slow till your goin' so fast you are scarin' yerself.

Be carefull - don't let these "little scooters" trick you into "they are not fast" paradigm. The are plEEenty fast enuf.

Again - Welcome.

Ciao.
Pete
 

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400

I have 2300 miles on mine, and it takes off fastest when I use about 80-90% throttle. That's about 5000-5500 rpm. It's not street bike fast, but it will get you out in front of the cars easily. It's not fast from a dead stop, but after you get it rolling, it goes pretty good. Just remember, you get great mileage, and can haul lots of stuff to boot.
 

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I like my 400 lots,it has all the zip I need.Compare the 400 and 650 400=3 series BMW auto,650=7 series.
 

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Mine feels like it idles until about 2800-3000rpms but I could be a little off.

I feel like I only am in the 4000 rpm range for a short amount of time. Mine goes into 4500-5000 range around 40+mph. It wants to go faster and there's plenty of throttle. I've been on I-94 passing semi's at 80mph and still had room left in the throttle. It's plenty fast. I can do a quick pick up if I want to but I avoid it because I am not sure it helps the engine or gas mileage.
I love my 400. I can see wanting a little more weight in the future but I am not sure I'll be doing enough cross country distance riding (tank to tank) to justify a 650. If my wife wants to ride more often in the back and we decide to go out on long rides or drive long distance on a highway, I might think about trading in sometime in the distant future.

The talk of speed in a 650 is a bit frightening knowing how quick my ride already is/can be. How fast do you really wnat to go? I stick with the argument of a 650 for two up riding long distance before I'd go with speed.

Jay
 

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The idea of a CVT is to put the RPMs into the engine's designed optimum power band and keep them there regardless of speed; this is actually more efficient (and usually faster, even though it doesn't feel like it) than wrapping a motor up real tight. I've never seen 6 grand accelerating, I don't think; just while doing 70-80 on the interstate.

I read an article somewhere on web about the best way to accelerate with a 400. Tha author suggested pausing for a tick or two at half-throttle, then giving it the works. I've found this to be the best method for my bike.

If you want fast, get a 650. In terms of performance, the 400 is _adequate_, not _good_. Me, I'd rather be cheap than fast. But your mileage may vary.
 

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As suggested above, you have to roll the throttle on easy with the 400 to get better acceleration from a standstill. Early on, I bogged the engine down several times by trying full-throttle from a stop and got left at the light :oops: And, IMHO, the transmission is sluggish anyway up to 45-50 mph. After that, it opens up pretty well. If you're a laid back rider and don't like to go fast, you may not notice it much.

For me, the bike is very manueverable in moderate in-town traffic and interstate riding. I haven't rode a 650, so I'm not certain how manueverable it is. From what I read, perhaps a bit less than the 400. Depends on your riding style too. Some riders are comfortable riding right behid cars or packed up with them. Personally, I like my space and will (safely) manuever as needed to get it.

You can also modify the 400's variator with aftermarket kits (search the forum for Malossi or Bettella), which gives you higher RPMs and more pep from a standstill. (No increase in top end speed though, just changes how you get there.) For me, this gave me the extra performance that had me thinking about the 650 at times. And was cost-effective - not cheap - just much cheaper than upgrading to the 650. I'm happy with my 400 now and have a decent investment in aftermarket stuff. If anything, would keep it I AND get a 650 for 2-up or longer touring.

Good luck on whichever way you decide to go!
 

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I've always considered that the take off from a dead stop to be one of the best attributes of the 400. The fact that you jip away without having to switch gears is a definate plus, and I've not had any problem with pulling away from a stop light ahead of all the other traffic.

I have also read that the 400 is faster from a dead stop than the Majesty 400, even though the later has two additional horsepower (but more weight). I also have no problem from a stop with my 650, but don't notice a big difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies.

I should have been more clear. What I was seeing was that driving along at 40 to 50 mph, the rpms were around 4500. When I opened the throttle, there was hardly any noticeable increase in rpms, which I found odd. My understanding of a CVT is that the rpms will increase under acceleration, then drop down when the velocity is constant.

Am I misunderstanding how a CVT works?

Thanks again,
Mike
 

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When you give the throttle a twist the cvt will take the engine up to the rpm at which the engine is at the best torque point for acceleration and then keep it there while the scooter picks up speed. If you were already at that point because you had not reached the speed that was dictated by the previous throttle setting, then you would not notice any increase in rpm. Once you reach the appropriate speed for that throttle setting, then the cvt would shift into a higher range and the engine rpms should drop back to the rpm necessary to maintain that cruising speed.

This was the same thing I experienced on my 250cc Honda Helix, which has the same kind of mechanical variator that the Burgman 400 uses. I would twist the throttle and the engine would take the scooter to that torque point, not maximum rpms, and then keep it there while the speed caught up. It did not sound like the scooter was accelerating because the engine sound and the rpms did not increase, but the speedometer was registering a constant and respectible increase in speed. The same thing happens on the Burgman 400 only the speed gain is greater and you can see the rpms on the tach (the Helix did not have a tach).
 

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The engine produces peak power, efficiency and torque at 4500-5000 RPM. Since the tranny is infinitely variable, it will do whatever is neccessary to keep the motor there, except at very high and low vehicle speeds where it's simply impossible to do so. There will be some variation, but very little. A hybrid's motor operates only at absolute peak-performance RPM, as well; this is part of the secret of the vehicle's efficiency.

That is my understanding of how it's supposed to work. I admit I may be wrong. But, for what it's worth, my bike behaves exactly as you described and both gets good fuel economy and outruns most cars off the line.
 

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Peak torque will usually occur at a lower rpm than peak horsepower. Torque is what the cvt thrives on. I believe under hard accelleration that the 650 ecvt is programmed to do most of it's ratio changing when the engine is at peak torque. It is a weird feeling at first. The engine seems to stall or stick at a certain rpm, but you continue to accelerate. Once the cvt is in "high ratio", engine rpms resume climbing.
 
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