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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering how the 400 manages steep, long (miles :shock: ) downhill stretches. I have read posts where a couple of people were caught off guard with the free-wheeling nature of the 400 transmission. At the moment I'm in the Kootenay area of British Columbia and looking at some of the most beautiful twisty roads that I'm planning to frequent when I get my Burgman. I know the 400 would be an absolute blast out here but I'm not so sure how much fun it would be going down some of the mountain passes. I would hate to suffer from brake fade (I don't think having to use the truck run-away lanes would too cool on a bike). :roll: I've seen posts by BlueBurgerBob who has a 650 in the vicinity but he hasn't posted in quite a while.
 

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The burgie stay's "in gear" once the clutch is fully locked up, which is about 12 MPH. Before 12mph, you are pretty much freewheeling.

Even with the clutch locked up, it doesn't provide anything resembling a conventional motorcycle "compression braking." The good news is that the scooter manufacturers in general know this, which is why the scooters do come with substantial braking systems. So I don't think you will have any issues with "overheating" of the brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks bechtoea,

I take it the transmission uses a centrifugal clutch to engage and once in motion the moveable sheaves do thier magic 'shifting'. I'm also assuming that the drive (engine) pulley has 'priority' over the driven (wheel) pulley so that the transmission will hold and not be pushed to any great degree once engaged.
 

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Rubble
Sounds like you have a good "handle " on it.
Also one of the main reasons for the holes on the brake rotor of modern bikes is for heat dissipation
 

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Rubble,

I think the 400 will handle the long steep hills you are thinking about. I've done those roads (in BC interior) numerous times with motorcycles but from knowing how my 400 runs around in Vancouver, and there are some very steep hills like the Taylor way cut and the upper levels highway, where there really isn't alot of engine free wheeling going on. That at least my impression whenever I came sailing down #1 into the second Narrows bridge.

Maybe its time, you got down to getting a dealer to give you a test ride. If North Shore Suzuki in North Vancouver had a demo, you could ride it on the upper levels and then you would see the 400 handles this kind of stuff just fine. I just bought the 650 and if you are intending travelling alot into the interior, maybe the 400 isn't enough. Give this some serious thought because I did and the result was purchasing the 650.
 

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I had a Honda Elite scooter back in the mid-eighties, which had the same drivetrain as the Honda Helix. I would think that it's transmission was very similar in operation to the Burgman 400. I rode that scooter to the top of the highest mountain peak in New England (Mt Washington). The auto road going up the mountain is mostly hard packed dirt and gravel, lots of curves, very few guard rails, and pretty steep in places. When it was time to go back down I was nervous. The Honda 250 did not have the same quality brakes that the Burgman 400 has. But it was really not bad. You are NOT free wheeling. There is some engine braking effect - just not as much as you get with the ecvt on the Burgman 650.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Timothy Ma said:
Snipped: Maybe its time, you got down to getting a dealer to give you a test ride.
Timothy, it's way past time for a test ride. I'm actually in Castlegar for the next 4 weeks minimum. This is the only weekend I'll have time off and it's still very early spring around these parts, so I doubt a test ride on anything, except maybe a snowmobile, is in store :lol: There's tons of sand on the roads from the winter. I really want to compare the 650 and 400 side by side. From everything I've read about the 400 here, I think it would do me just fine for my riding style, I like the price, the mileage and cheaper insurance, but I need to make sure that I don't need the seductive power of the 650.
The Cut is pretty darn steep and if you felt comfortable on that grade I doubt there would be any problems in pretty much any area except perhaps going in to Bella Coola.
 

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pauljo said:
You are NOT free wheeling. There is some engine braking effect - just not as much as you get with the ecvt on the Burgman 650.
I agree with Pauljo. We have a couple of steep hills around here "not as long as the mountains of course" but the 400 will actually slow down going down these steep hills if you release the throttle and not even touch the brakes. I just slowed down the amount I needed to when I came to a curve (almost but not quite) like you would on a level road and never touched the brakes.

Stephen
 

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Rubble said:
except perhaps going in to Bella Coola.
Now there's a scary road. :shock: It's been 30 years since I've been on that road and I have to say it was the most frightening road I've ever been on ever - period. It was full of switch backs, no guard rails :shock: , and man it looked like a long way down to the valley floor if you screwed up! :?

On a positive note, the view from the top was great! 8)

I sure hope they've improved it in the last several decades.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Reg; I've never actually been over the Bella Coola road but I spent 9 years driving over the one in the link below. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. The last year in the area I was driving a 60 passsenger school bus and would shuttle the kids and parents over the mountain for field trips etc - we went to Victoria and stayed at The Empress in the spring of '97! If it looks steep in the pictures, try driving it in the winter. :shock:

http://www.cayoosh.net/missionmtnrd.html
 
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