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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
Helix was made from 1986 through 2007. They are liquid cooled CVT 250 machines with right rear foot brakes and very comfy seats. By current standards, they look a bit quirky but are super reliable.

Having owned three Helixes (2004, 2001 & 2000) but never experiencing the pleasure of riding a Burgman 400, I am curious as to get comparison notes from anyone here who has ridden both fine machines. If so, will you please tell me how you would compare these.

Honestly I am considering buying back my black 2001 Helix 250 pictured here which now has new tires and only 10K miles and all maint records. I can buy it back from a neighbor for $1300.

Thanks everyone. Great forum

Jerry--Central Florida
 

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If the Helix will suit your needs, and you know the machine to be in good repair, I would say buy it back.
A proviso there is - Can spare parts still be obtained reasonably in USA?
Suzuki is fuel injected, Honda has carburetor. No problem if the bike is used frequently, but can be if it isn't.(Fuel stagnation in flout bowl).
You can get ethanol free fuel, still, over there? If so, carb would be much less of a problem.
The B400 is undoubtedly quicker (acceleration); and do you need 75 to 80 mph as opposed to what your old Helix will do? (70 to 75?)
The B400 has more modern, compliant suspension.
That Helix engine was also used in the Piaggio 250 Hexagon - quite a compliment to Honda, given Piaggio's dominance in the scooter market at the time.

It's irrelevant to you what used scoots cost in UK, but $1300 will now only buy us a "for spares and repairs" bike. - Wish it were my choice at that price.
 

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The Helix is a good scooter for around town/local trips, a perfect 2nd bike for quick errands, etc,.
It will go far, but not to fast, simple and reliable, easy to work on, no computers, etc. Parts are very available and very cheap Honda Helix 250 : Scooterpartsco.com. Plenty non ehanol gas availble in Florida and/or fuel treatment in your gas will help with carb issues, keeping fuel tank full and carburetor drained while stored is best thing.

Not very highway capable like the Burgman 400 IMO, especially with crazy speeds nowdays, with avg. speeds of 75 mph + on most major highways/interstates :eek:

IAC for $1300 it's a good deal.
 

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Basically the Burgman is larger, taller, heavier, faster, and handles the twisties better due to the larger tires. I had the Helix first and just assumed the 400 would be just about like it only with more power, but it has a whole different feel and sound, and much different ergos. Just for tooling around town you can't go wrong with a Helix at that price. I would suggest trying to get a test ride on a Burgman so you can see the differences for yourself.
 
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Only you can decide if the riding the Helix fills your needs.

With me not commuting anymore I do not NEED my Burgman 650. I do not plan as many road trips ether now days but if we ever get back to ME feeling comfortable being in groups....

But where I live the posted speed limit is 40 MPG and everyone does 55MPH. A Helix would work for half my needs. But I sometimes need to get out on the Superslab for 120 miles round trip and the average speeds are 75-85 MPH with the cars buffeting you all the time. This is where the Burgman 650 shines.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If the Helix will suit your needs, and you know the machine to be in good repair, I would say buy it back.
A proviso there is - Can spare parts still be obtained reasonably in USA?
Suzuki is fuel injected, Honda has carburetor. No problem if the bike is used frequently, but can be if it isn't.(Fuel stagnation in flout bowl).
You can get ethanol free fuel, still, over there? If so, carb would be much less of a problem.
The B400 is undoubtedly quicker (acceleration); and do you need 75 to 80 mph as opposed to what your old Helix will do? (70 to 75?)
The B400 has more modern, compliant suspension.
That Helix engine was also used in the Piaggio 250 Hexagon - quite a compliment to Honda, given Piaggio's dominance in the scooter market at the time.

It's irrelevant to you what used scoots cost in UK, but $1300 will now only buy us a "for spares and repairs" bike. - Wish it were my choice at that price.
Thanks for this. Yes, Helix parts are still plentyfull. Bike would be used regularly and has been run on 87 octane 10% eth gas its entire life. And yes, it will cruise all day long at 60 mph. Oil has been changed every 1000 miles. Chokes are "automatic" and can be a prob in colder weather but never with this 2001. Yeah, it seems a real bargain and I just might sell my Kawasaki LT Classic 900 and go back to the convenience and pleasure of again riding this fine Helix scooter. Btw I am 80 and ride almost every day, year round.
 

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Seems like you already know what your answer is, Jep. The Helix is a fine bike and will no doubt serve you fine for your needs and that price for a good condition bike is hard to beat. The Burgman is a lot more bike BUT it's also kind of a bear to push around in the garage. FWIW I also have a '94 Goldwing and I can tell you the B400 rides like a 3/4 size Goldwing. It's a similar riding experience although of course the 400 is about 1/4 the engine and 1/2 the weight. But even so, I find the bikes to be similar to ride once you're rolling. The 400 is of course much more nimble.

I lived in San Francisco in the late 80s and was riding my VFR sport bike down the 101 freeway heading to the Moto GP races at Laguna Seca. I was feeling really good...sexy bike, riding at (ahem) a good pace, heading down to see the amazing GP racers; I was feeling tip top. Joe Cool. Out of nowhere a guy on a Helix blows past me like I was doing speed limit minus 10. I laughed at my ridiculous self and moved over to the right lane having been properly emasculated.
 

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I met a guy this summer on a Helix, he said it's best thing since sliced bread, I would have one just to have it 😎
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Seems like you already know what your answer is, Jep. The Helix is a fine bike and will no doubt serve you fine for your needs and that price for a good condition bike is hard to beat. The Burgman is a lot more bike BUT it's also kind of a bear to push around in the garage. FWIW I also have a '94 Goldwing and I can tell you the B400 rides like a 3/4 size Goldwing. It's a similar riding experience although of course the 400 is about 1/4 the engine and 1/2 the weight. But even so, I find the bikes to be similar to ride once you're rolling. The 400 is of course much more nimble.

I lived in San Francisco in the late 80s and was riding my VFR sport bike down the 101 freeway heading to the Moto GP races at Laguna Seca. I was feeling really good...sexy bike, riding at (ahem) a good pace, heading down to see the amazing GP racers; I was feeling tip top. Joe Cool. Out of nowhere a guy on a Helix blows past me like I was doing speed limit minus 10. I laughed at my ridiculous self and moved over to the right lane having been properly emasculated.
Love your note about getting passed by a Helix. And yes, I think I do know what my answer is already. Thanks for your interesting comparison to riding a Goldwing too. Having owned 3, I can relate. I ride 20 to 40 mile trips out in the country at 50 to 60 mph, so the Helix prob will be my choice. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I met a guy this summer on a Helix, he said it's best thing since sliced bread, I would have one just to have it 😎
If you ever get the chance, please ride one. You'll def be surprised
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Did you ever sell a bike and then wish you had it back again? I find myself in this place, With 31 bikes (including this beloved 650 Yamaha) in my past, I still think that 2001 Honda Helix is the most comfy, FUN, cheap and easy to ride, so I might just buy this one back. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
wish Honda would still be making it. My 650 is a year or 2 from going on Social Security
LOL. My Yamaha 650 went to a Yamaha forum member who came 700 miles south to buy it for his wife's birthday. My 1978 Honda 400 Hawk is def on Social Security......lol
 

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I had a Honda 250 Elite Scooter (1986) for many years before acquiring a 2007 Burgman 400. The Honda was a fine machine and very dependable. The Suzuki has the same characteristics but more power, comfort and storage. It's less nimble in close quarters and at very low speeds. My impression when making the switch was that the Honda was at least as fast as th Suzuki from about 0-15 MPH. Overall, no regrets on my upgrade to the Burgman which has remained my main ride despite owning newer, more powerful bikes from Honda and Aprillia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I had a Honda 250 Elite Scooter (1986) for many years before acquiring a 2007 Burgman 400. The Honda was a fine machine and very dependable. The Suzuki has the same characteristics but more power, comfort and storage. It's less nimble in close quarters and at very low speeds. My impression when making the switch was that the Honda was at least as fast as th Suzuki from about 0-15 MPH. Overall, no regrets on my upgrade to the Burgman which has remained my main ride despite owning newer, more powerful bikes from Honda and Aprillia.
Man that 250 Elite scooter is a nice machine. Thanks for your comparison. I rebuilt a basket case 150 Honda Elite and sold it, Then bought an excellent 125 Elite and had good success. At my age, I'm thinking about reducing bike weight as my 2014 Kawi 900 is quite heavy. Also I like the idea of stepping through rather than stepping over.
 

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The only comparison I can give is this. I've owned 2 Helixs and loved them both. Both died tragic deaths from being ridden like rocket bikes. If Honda still made them I'd probably buy another one. Helix did everything I asked of it and was super reliable. I also had a Burgman 200. It went thru expensive transmission parts every 10,000 miles in the front CVT, 20,000 in the rear. Butt dyno confirms the Burgman 200 was slower off the line as well. Burgman was also much more difficult to service and work on, but then again I said the same thing while learning the Helix. Still hate the thought of servicing the front brakes on the Helix.

Conclusion: Both of my Helixs were owned in tandem with a 1994 Honda CBR900RR, hence trying to ride the Helix to hard and it dying a rocket bike like death.

The Burgman 200 was made like new again (after several annoying issues finally fixed) and given to a friend for free.

I always keep an eye out for a clean, fair priced Helix. I tell anyone what a dud the Burgman 200 was and to stay away from one.

I've never owned a Burgman 400 and have no need to now. I found a Piaggio Liberty 150 is the perfect scooter for my needs now.
 

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It went thru expensive transmission parts every 10,000 miles in the front CVT, 20,000 in the rear
Yes, I owned lot's of motorcycles and 6 different scooters, I find the B400 to be extremenly expensive to maintain with oem parts and judging from the wear marks on my 5k miles B400, the parts are not very durable, your service mileage is what I hopefully expect, but :unsure: , the cvt parts on my chinese linhai 300 scooters were more durable, at 12k my SW600 had very minimal wear and zero grooves !!.

I had misguided assumption that since the B400 had been around for "A Minute" , there would be a huge aftermarket market for wear/cvt parts, etc., especially with the oem prices, Maybe out of USA :unsure:. I'm fairly happy with the B400 in
general but I'm taking several preventive steps to help prolong cvt life, more servicing, etc. I enjoy tinkering with mechanical stuff so is no big deal, but the fiddler is going to collect is due, nature of the beast !! ( I know, "Save the Drama for your Mama", but all in good fun :rolleyes:)

IAC the takeawy do your research, more performance/cost/service or adequate performance for your needs with cheap parts and ease of repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The only comparison I can give is this. I've owned 2 Helixs and loved them both. Both died tragic deaths from being ridden like rocket bikes. If Honda still made them I'd probably buy another one. Helix did everything I asked of it and was super reliable. I also had a Burgman 200. It went thru expensive transmission parts every 10,000 miles in the front CVT, 20,000 in the rear. Butt dyno confirms the Burgman 200 was slower off the line as well. Burgman was also much more difficult to service and work on, but then again I said the same thing while learning the Helix. Still hate the thought of servicing the front brakes on the Helix.

Conclusion: Both of my Helixs were owned in tandem with a 1994 Honda CBR900RR, hence trying to ride the Helix to hard and it dying a rocket bike like death.

The Burgman 200 was made like new again (after several annoying issues finally fixed) and given to a friend for free.

I always keep an eye out for a clean, fair priced Helix. I tell anyone what a dud the Burgman 200 was and to stay away from one.

I've never owned a Burgman 400 and have no need to now. I found a Piaggio Liberty 150 is the perfect scooter for my needs now.
Thanks. Good stuff. Interesting. Even though my 2001 Helix is owned by a neighbor, I do the service work which, as you know is mostly easy. Most riders have never ridden a Helix, Those who have are always happily surprised, I love that Piaggio and am happy it suits your needs. Sometimes smaller, lighter is better as we age.
 
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