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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,

This is a great forum. I like it better than the Yahoo group because the topics are sorted. Thank you.

I'm a recent returnee to the Islands after almost 40 yr. absence. Boy have things changed. Like, there must be two cars for every adult living here (pop. of Honolulu is about 750,000) so the freeways are a mess like any other major metro area in US. This island is only 35 miles long by roughly 25 wide. There are more cars than registered drivers: 1.2 million cars!

A year ago the "Squeeze" and I went to a charity concert with a silent auction as part of its fundraising for the event. I won a no contest bid for a MUZ Moskito scooter (50cc). Now, I have become a complete convert to scooting and hardly drive our second car. Fortunately, my wife likes to ride w/me, but I think I'm going to have a bit of resistance to get her to go along with my plan for a Burgman 650-Texas Side Car combo (see TSC website at http://www.texassidecars.com/).

Yesterday I went to see the 650 at the Suzuki dealer. She stayed in the car, not knowing what I was looking for. But I think she knows since I've been surfing the net for days looking at maxi-scooters. I was quite surprised by its heft. It's the last one on the shelf and the dealer's starting at $7500. The side car adds about another $3000. I'm also considering a trip to US mainland to pick up a 650 wherever it is and ride it down to Texas Side Car for installation, then back to CA for shipment to HI. Yes, I know it's a long way across this country....have done in cars, train, airplane (including a Cessna 140). It'll make for a great urban legend for our family history.

I need the side car arrangement these days. Pure grit can no longer overcome the degeneracies of aging (I'm 63 y.o.)

Looking forward to many more hours reading everybody's postings. And I might add, the civility and goodheartedness of the contributors and moderator are much appreciated.
 

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Well Aloha Chickenman! :D Good luck in the pursuit of your 650. I have a Silver 650 myself. I think your wife will love it once she experiences it. I envy your year around riding weather :( . Mine is put away for the winter and its getting harder and harder each day to read how everyone else is enjoying theres. Let us know when you get delivery of your machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Phase I of major manipulation

Hi Mizg etal,

Yes, it is an ambitious project. I'm on the road right now on the "quest." Flew to San Diego from HNL last Friday and drove up to Van Nuys for a visit the next morning at Doug Bingham's sidecar shop; see http://www.sidestrider.com for an education on sidecar basics. He was most gracious in showing me pictures and several installations there in his shop. He's been in this business since the late 60's and is passionate about his work.

I then drove up to San Francisco for other business and discovered the International Motorcycle Expo was in progress at San Mateo Expo Grounds so spent the afternoon looking over the maxi Aprilias, Kymcos, Hondas and the Burgman 650 and 400. What a stroke of luck to be able to see all the models in one afternoon.

I'm headed back to Anaheim Thursday 11/13 for a few days then to San Diego for a week and will look for more Suzuki shops.

I have good news and bad news. The good: My wife has conceded that I should have a Burgman. :D The bad news: She is adamantly against my sidecar idea. :roll: But I'm a patient man, and reason will ultimately prevail once we dump it over on ourselves at a stop light some day. My chicken legs are consistent with my moniker.

The big decision of the moment is whether to go for the 650 or 400. I know it's a matter of personal preference, but honesty is fighting emotion here. In Hawaii, I need a 650 like a hole in the head. There are only a couple of roads where you can even get up to 70 mph for just 4-5 miles. The rest of the time it's 55-65 on the highways other than at rush hour. Around town you may be able to get up to 45 for a few blocks at a time. So admittedly, a 400 is all I need. But who can pass up a 650 if the price is right. The Honolulu Suzuki dealer has quoted me $6995 for a brand new 650 (plus tax, lic, etc.) but we haven't begun to bargain yet, so I'm sure I can shave a little more off. He also has a new 400. Apparently, these two machines have been sitting in the showroom all year as the data plates show a January 2003 manufacture date. Anybody know what dealer cost is for the respective models?

Unless I find a spectacular deal while here in CA in the next couple of weeks, I'm going to buy either the 650 or 400 depending on how the discounts work out. The sidecar project will come later. :twisted:

Riding weather here in CA last few days has been beautiful. The drive up I-5 was incredibly smooth. I was doing 80 and many people were still passing me like I was crawling. We made the trip from Van Nuys to Silicon Valley (Mtn View) in about 6 hours and didn't see a single CHP cop the entire way.

A 650 would definitely be the scooter of choice for that trip.
 
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