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Discussion Starter #1
Trying to plow through all the motorcycle/scooter info and at my age (62) along with being new to riding (well, with the exception of 12 hours of riding in a parking lot in the MSFclass, it's been 40 years since my last ride) I believe I have narrowed my choices down to the T-Maxx, c650GT, the 400 or 650. Could afford new but feel like as a new guy that my first bike "investment" ought to be used until I get a better handle on the type of riding I will actually do.

Size (6'2"/200lbs) and a few body nicks here and there (bad hip - probable replacement in the not too distant future) have been contributing factors to the step through decision. Originally thought I would go to a KLR 650 as I liked the idea of being able to go off road once in awhile, but am thinking I need a few miles under my belt before going that route.....if I ever do.

Also, think often of just getting on the bike and going cross country. No specific plans, and can't peg the likelihood, but having the option is appealing.

From what I've been reading, the maxi-scooter ride seems to keep most people happy most of the time. Also, as a new rider it will be a number of miles down the road before I do any 2up stuff......unless you consider my golf clubs which I will bungee cord on lightly with the hope that maybe they will fall off and get run over by a semi ;-/.

I am not qualified to do real mechanical work, if that makes a difference, and live in a suburb of Cleveland, OH; I have dealers in all brands so could get work done by pros.

So, with all that as background, any suggestions to help narrow my choices?

Appreciate the help.
 

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Welcome aboard the board SteveADV.

If you plan in riding 2 up a lot of the time, or, if you plan on doing lots of higher speed Interstate riding, then IMHO your best choice would be the Burgman 650 or Honda Silverwing (if 2 up riding is reasonably infrequent).

If you ride agressively and want a really "flickable" ride, again IMHO, the T-Max is your best bet (limited stock storage capacity) followed by the Burgman 400.

If you want an all 'round, general utiltiy maxi-scoot that does most everything fairly well, then I'd suggest the Burgman 400 or the Silverwing (which will give you much more power than the Burgy 400).

It really depends on your riding preferences and how you plan to use the machine. Maintenance wise, they are all pretty reliable.

My $ 0.20 worth.

~ Bugjr ~
 

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Hi SteveADV.

I'm also 62, and have owned about eight motorcycles of various styles and sizes before buying a Burgman 650 Executive. In my humble opinion, it is very hard to beat. It is just as much at home on the side street as the expressway. It's fast and agile, while being easy to drive. I think you'll have a tough time finding something better.
 

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Hi Steve,

I think suziblu summed it up pretty well (although the Silverwing never excited me much - seems like the Volvo of scooters). The TMAX is known as the sport bike of scooters, great power & loads of fun in the canyons. Tradeoffs are storage and comfort on longer rides.

As both a Burgman 400 & 650 owner, I can tell you the 400 is my daily go-to bike. It does everything including longer distance touring. For day trips and multi-day touring, the 650 cannot be beat. The frame mounted, twin cylinder engine is much quieter and smoother than the 400, to say nothing of much more powerful. It is more stable in cornering and on the open road. And the electronically controlled CVT offers a lot of useful options in different kinds of riding/road conditions. Once you get used to the bulk/weight, it's just as maneuverable. On 3+ hour riding days, this translates into less fatigue. Fun factor between the two? Tie. For a first bike: the 400.

The BMW 650GT is nice - really good performance and handling. I'm sticking with the Burg650 because it's better for 2-up riding, has better storage and the ECVT is invaluable in the mountains. When my long distance touring days are over, I will take a serious look at it.

At 6'2", you need to sit on each of these bikes, I think you may feel a bit cramped on the BMW.

Good luck and welcome to the maxi-scoot fraternity.
 

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As a new rider - definitely lighter new or used - The 650 is quite heavy compared to the 400 - I think the BMW you will pay a premium as there are not many used to pick up Can't talk to the TMAX or Silverwing,

the 400 is a good first bike in my opinion because its cheaper, especially used ( 3-4k for a good one vs 5-6k for a good 650) , so if you drop it - (or when you drop it) you wont be thinking about how much its costing you - I loved my 650 Burgman it is ,as said, a great bike, I started on a 250 and jumped to a 650 because of freeway and long distance touring needs I thought I had, but I just did 1000 miles on a 400 in a weekend so could have started there.
 

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Jeff - why the 400 and not the FJR?
 

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Steve,

You've taken the absolutely best first step in returning to motorcycling by taking this course.

Now. Go directly to the first Burgman 650 that fits your budget.

I'm 70 and have been riding motorcycles since I was 16.

The Burgman 650 is, by far, THE best bang for your buck ... I hate it that I have to add IMHO in this post.
If you can score a 650 Executive, more power to you .
Don't have a dog in this fight. Just bringing lots of years of ownership and riding experience to the d[discussion.

Regards,

Dan
 

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Jeff - why the 400 and not the FJR?
oh I have both :p - but as far as a scooter (step thru) choice, I would go 400, as I said 250 was too small for freeway (well for the onramp I have to negotiate where its 0 - 65 pretty quickly to join the carpool lane) , I jumped past the 400 to the 650 which was a great choice but I think 400 would have done me well too and my wife could have ridden it too - Of course the OP is about 6 inches taller than her - so 650 would work - its all a tough choice frankly for me - I would recommend either - bit as a new rider back then the 650 was a hand-full for me.
 

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I would go with a 400. It is more forgiving than the 650 and I was much more comfortable on it as I gained skill and confidence on a scooter. It is not as slick and as smooth as the 650 but it does everything well.
 

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Jeff - I meant why did you do your 1000 mile trip on the 400 instead of the FJR?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, one thing is for sure....I'm in the right place to ask. Thanks guys. I found a new 650 Exec (2012) I can buy in Va for about $8k. Also, found what seems like several good used options including a 2009 650 Exec about 2 hours south of me for an asking price of $5,700 that has another year left on an extended warranty and new Metzler Feelfree tires. Is there a big difference between the '09s and the '12s? One problem with the new 2012 is that I would have to commit by the end of the month as there are rebates that will end at that time not to mention the travel distance....but then again if going to buy a new Burgman, I doubt the trip will be anything but enjoyable.

So, what do you think?
 

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Trying to plow through all the motorcycle/scooter info and at my age (62) along with being new to riding (well, with the exception of 12 hours of riding in a parking lot in the MSFclass, it's been 40 years since my last ride) I believe I have narrowed my choices down to the T-Maxx, c650GT, the 400 or 650. Could afford new but feel like as a new guy that my first bike "investment" ought to be used until I get a better handle on the type of riding I will actually do.
The $64,000 question...

The 650 is big and fat and heavy. It is as long as my 1100 V-Star and weighs more. It is a pig in a parking lot. It is in its element on the road, not necessarily the open road, either. It handles corners very well and you can go dangerously fast. It is meant for the highway, will go 60 all day effortlessly and has the capacity to cruise at 90 if you're so inclined.

The biggest challenge you face is to decide what kind of riding you want to do, then find the bike that fits that best.

Size (6'2"/200lbs) and a few body nicks here and there...
The ergonomics are very important. Scooters are made for short people. I'm not as tall but I have long legs, and there are times when I wish the footboards were another inch or two farther. (I ride with my feet forward.)

Take the time to visit the dealerships and kick the tires. Sit on the bikes you're considering and see how they feel. Bear in mind that with the Burgman 650, at least, you can gain another two inches by hiking the backrest.

... I think often of just getting on the bike and going cross country. No specific plans, and can't peg the likelihood, but having the option is appealing.
I'd love to have a V-Strom, too, but I wouldn't ride it. My knees wouldn't take the beating. If I wanted to tear through the woods I'd get a trailer and a 250cc dirt bike to throw around. They are small and light and lots of fun.

If "cross country" means a trip somewhere a couple of hundred miles away and back, then you are correct, the maxi is a very comfortable way to travel.

From what I've been reading, the maxi-scooter ride seems to keep most people happy most of the time. Also, as a new rider it will be a number of miles down the road before I do any 2up stuff......unless you consider my golf clubs which I will bungee cord on lightly with the hope that maybe they will fall off and get run over by a semi ;-/.
As for two-up, we don't do that except when we have to. My wife also has a 650. If your goal is to travel with a passenger, start with a Vulcan 900 or Honda 750 and then buy a GoldWing in a couple of years. That's what they're designed for. To me, the Burgman doesn't have the same secure seating for a passenger that a cruiser with passenger footboards and a sissy bar has.

I rode along the highway,
Ruth on back of me.
I hit a bump at ninety
And rode on ruthlessly...


On that note, a second Burgman is another option. Is your missus open to the idea of riding? We started on a 125 Vino and a few weeks later I bought her one and we took the course. A year later we bought the Burgmans. This is the fourth year we've had our 650s, which now have 25,000 miles on them. We strike out on our holidays for two weeks at a time. We also ride on the weekends, outbound 200 miles on Saturday, back Sunday after a night in a different town.

I am not qualified to do real mechanical work, if that makes a difference, and live in a suburb of Cleveland, OH; I have dealers in all brands so could get work done by pros.
The Burgman is a PIA to disassemble because of the tupperware. The routine work can be done by removing the lower left panel and is simple to do. I do the routine servicing myself, with a handful of appropriate tools and phrases. LeDude's pages are a boon (TYVM, sir!). Dealers are expensive, so you will very quickly recover the cost of a set of wrenches. The service manual is useful, too. Anything I don't understand, like the powertrain, I leave to a wizard in a shop across town.

Regards
Scott Fraser
Calgary
 

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Steve - just to give you an idea, in my area Honda of No. Hollywood has 2 new '12s they are asking $9899 (which is no bargain). I think the $8K your dealer is asking sounds like a pretty good place to start (if he doesn't try to tack on freight or dealer prep). Final price depends on your negotiation skills.

For used bikes, check Craigslist and/or Cycletrader to get a sense of the market. Can't comment on the 09 example as you didn't mention mileage, but $5700 seems high. I've had 4 Burgmans, 3 I bought used (none had over 3000 miles on it). If at all possible, let someone else pay for freight and take the depreciation hit.
 

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Hi Steve,

I'm in the same situation as you. Took the MSF course in April. Sixtieth birthday present from the bride. When I went looking for a bike I hadn't considered a scoot. I was looking for something in the 500-750 range. A couple of places I went had Burgman 400's. One let me go for a test ride (the other wouldn't; guess who I bought from). When I went out on the street alone for the first time it took me about thirty seconds to realize the 400 was what I wanted and not a regular motorcycle. I'm 6' and 225 and the 400 does just fine anyplace I've ridden here in southern Arizona. I don't think you will be disappointed with a 400.

Happy(and safe) riding no matter what you get.

Rick
 

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For my sixtieth Birthday, I took the MSF course and then bought a Piaggio MP3 500.. after 2 years and 6,000 miles I traded it for my Burgman 650.. I've had that for 16 months now and 6500 miles and love it !
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey Rick,

The 400 is on the radar. Did you have motorcycle experience prior to taking the MSF course?

Steve
 

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I don't feel so alone now.

I also turned 60 this year and did the MSF course and bought a 2012 400.

Enjoying the heck out of it.
 

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I was 62 hadn't ridden in 25 years took the class after I bought my 400 used. Rode it for 4 years & 46k+ miles sold it & bought a used 650. :cool:
 

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My first bike since 20-hood (in my 50s now) is a Burgman 650. Used 250 at motorcycle school and decided that a 650 (anything) would be an appropriate size for my commuting needs. I can't compare it with any of the others you mentioned, but FWIW, I love Love LOVE my Burgman 650. It is smooth, quiet, comfortable but has plenty of get up and go. Can't imagine enjoying anything else more.
 
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