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Discussion Starter #1
Today I went to Santa Fe to a bike shop that claimed to have a 400. All they had was a 650. I tried it, but with the taller seat and relative heaviness, I found immediately that I could not manage the weight of the scooter. The salesman tried to interest me in a Yamaha VStar 250, which I could manage, but I'm not tempted in the least. I'm quite saddened because I simply may be too small for a Burgman large enough to whisk me through the mountains of northern New Mexico. You may remember my post of a few days ago: I'm 5' and weigh 110 lbs. In your knowledgeable opinions, would a 400 be noticeably different for someone of my size and weight? I'll continue to look for a 400, but am feeling a bit undone. Thoughts?
 

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The Burgman 400 is a tiny bit smaller and about 150 lbs lighter than the 650. However a Burg 400 is a bit bigger and about 150 lbs heavier than the 250 v-star. A Burg 200 is almost exactly the same size and weight as the v-star. If you can find a 400 give it a try and see if it is too big and/or too heavy. It is better to start off smaller and then trade up later than getting a bike you can't handle. However I have know gals of similar size and weight who can handle bigger bikes. It just takes practice and so know how.

The Burg 200 might be perfect for you. Also take a look at the Honda Forza 300.
 

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I would not give up on the Burgman 400 just yet. The Burgman 400 has a lower seat to begin with. In addition, the front of the seat on the Burgman 400 is a bit narrower. That means your legs will go more directly down to the ground than on the 650. Before I bought my 400, I sat on many bikes, both 400's and 650's. There is a significant difference.

If the weight bothers you, I would suggest looking seriously at the Burgman 200. I rented an Aprilia Atlantic 200 many summers in Greece. It was very similar to the Burgman. While at my weight, 240 lbs., I don't think I would want to do extended stints at highway speeds of 70 mph+, it did 60 mph in mountainous Greece quite easily -- even with me on it. My wife and I took rides to the beach two up. It handled the two of us nicely. She's 5'5" and 125. So, the 200 handled 365 lbs. without a problem. I would think the Burgman would do even better.

These Burgman's are a class act. I would think there would be a dealer in the Albuquerque area that could get you on a Burgman 400 or 200. If not, there are 4 used 400's listed on scooterfinds.com presently in that area. One of them is a bike I almost made an offer on. It's the 2008 in Albuquerque with the Givi Airflow windscreen (highly recommended) and around 4,000 mi. I love New Mexico and would have relished the experience of buying out there and riding it home.

Good luck with your search.
 

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200

I agree try the Burgman 200. I have also been impressed in what I have seen and heard about the Honda Forza (sp?). It (the Honda) is about 300cc and is a pretty good scoot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all. I will persist! The 400 may be the answer, and if not, the 200. Thanks for the info: more puzzle pieces make for an easier and more satisfying solution. You guys are great.
 

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I have sat on both the Honda Florza and the Burgman 200. The Florza is definitely smaller feeling and might be worth a look. It's 279 cc engine might give you a little more power to work with too.

I know what you are going through in your search. My late wife was also 5 foot tall and she had a longer torso shorter leg build to boot. When she decided she wanted to ride back in the late 70s we had a devil of a time finding a bike that she could ride comfortably.
 

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I had assumed the Burgman 200 had a lower seat than the Burgman 400. I just checked the specs and I was wrong.

Burgman 650 -- 28.7 in.
Burgman 400 -- 28.0 in.
Burgman 200 -- 28.9 in.

This means the 400 is close to 2" lower than the 650.

As mentioned in another post, the shocks could be set to a lower setting also. At the OP's weight, she could probably benefit from the lower shock setting and reduce the seat height at the same time.

John
 

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I'm always a big burgman fan and definitely suggest trying the 400 & 200 (if you can afford a new bike).

But, if those are in short supply, you might also want to consider a Honda. The Forza is new, but you can get a used Helix or Reflex. They're 250s, but fully capable of highway speeds, 75 mph.

The helix in particular has an extremely low seat hight. 26" I believe and they are bullet proof. My buddy recently rode one from AK to LA. 4k miles or so with no problems. They have a long wheel base, good for highway, but still very maneuverable at slow speeds.

Good luck on your search. Mustn't be easy.
 

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The down side of a Helix or Reflex for her would be that they are not fuel injected. Since she plans to ride in the mountains the carburetors on them would cause performance to suffer at higher altitudes unless they re-jet them.

Another option for a low seat height is a Yamaha Morphous. The seat on it is 25.8 inches high compared to the Helix height of 26.2. Engine size is about the same as the Helix but it is fuel injected. I think the last year they imported them was 2009 but used ones can still be found.

If the 07+ Burgman 400 is still to tall you can look for an 03-06 model. The seat on it is 27.4 inches so it is a little lower than the 07+ models. The seat is a little narrower too which makes it work better with shorter legs. Good used 05 and 06 models can still be found. On a ride to the Davis Mountains in south west Texas a friend on an 05 400 had no problems keeping up with the rest of us on our 650s. Highest highways there were about 6,000 feet.
 

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One thing I noticed about the 2013 650 seat was that the base of the nose was wider. It hurt just holding it up in the driveway. It could be used as a training tool for giving birth...

Regarding the 400 seat height, in the years that they made model changes, they ended up increasing the seat height. The 03-06 series had the lowest seat. One of our riders sold her 05 400 and later got an 09. She was fine on the 05 model but the 09 was too tall.
 

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There's always the option of wearing shoes with a thicker soles, or having thicker soles installed on a pair of shoes you already own. If the bike doesn't fit you, you can be made to fit the bike, within reason.
 

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If you can get passed the looks of a Helix then by all means go for it.
I compaired a Silverwing to the Burgman 400, and didn't really notice any difference in "size" other than the Silverwing was much heavier feeling going slow.

Up on the highway the Burgman gets smaller. (I have full size motorcycles also, a Victory Judge and a Yamaha FJR). Getting smaller meaning that as you ride it at faster and faster speeds, the effect of cross wind get more pronounced. The "feeling" you get of presence and command of the road. The faster and faster I go on my FJR the bigger it feels. I can ride it all day long at 90mph or 100 and feel just as safe as going 50 or 140. It is an engineering dream to ride. It's aerodynamics firmly plant it to the road. It's 650lbs feel incredibly solid at speed.

My Victory Judge weighs the same, but as soon as it gets to 80 or more it starts get "smaller". It simply is not designed for these kinds of speeds and the wind starts to really affect how it feels. Crosswinds tend to make it drift around.

Now back to what makes that relevant. As I get up to speed on the Burgman, it feels "big" riding around town and parkways. Anything under 50 mph and it feels large safe and secure, big. As I get going faster, ie freeway speeds, it starts to get smaller. I mean it feels less and less secure at these speeds. Although I doubt I'll ever be over 80 on the bike, I'm very comfortable doing 60, 65, even 70, all day long. It feels about right, but it is noticeably smaller feeing at these speeds.

My local Suzuki shop has a full line of Kymco scooters. They have a 250 right next to a 500. If you didn't see the numbers on the side of the scooter you can not tell the difference. They are, for all intents the same size. However the 500 has an entirely different feel to it due to it's heavier weight and more power. There is also the Yamaha Majesty.

Other than the close up "details", the Burgman, the Silverwing, and the Majesty all look the same to me. You can't hardly tell them apart from their shadows, or more than 50' away.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, problem solved! I found a used 400 in Santa Fe, 2007, great shape, well maintained, good price for all the extras, including a Givi windshield and safety blinking on brake and headlights. I sat on it, and if I move to the front of the seat, can stand almost flat footed in my hiking shoes. Your help has been indispensable. Now I'll try to find a pair of size 5 motorcycle boots with thick soles. I can use my 40 below snow boots, but risk fried feet in our warmer summers. We trailer it up next week, so look for the adventures of britdawgs as I learn to ride it.
 

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Keep trying on the 400. I'm 5'5 or 6 depending on what I'm standing on and 130lbs soaking wet. I had a Suzuki GSX650F that I was practically tip toeing at the red lights. I had enough of wrestling with that top heavy thing and 6 gears to go though every time you take off. I'm telling you that thing would run like a scalded dog! Anyway the 400 is very easy to maneuver in the garage because of the low center of gravity. Easy to ride around town with enough power for the highway. It's at least worth checking out before you buy.
 
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