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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All! I have learned more from this forum about my new AN400K5 than anywhere - including the dealer! My issue, being a newbie scooter rider, is that the weight displacement is different than standard cycles. It is lower and when I have to take a direct turn from a stop, I find it awkward. On the turn, the bike wants to auger in. A couple of times I have had to put my feet back down to steady it or had to go wide. Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? I haven't taken my MSF course yet - everyone is getting cycles and they scheduled me for Sept 1, 3 and 4. I am sure that will help. I have ridden before and do understand to look through the turns and such, but I have noticed that this scooter seems to have a mind of it's own. Would tire change help, or is this something that one just gets used to. Hasn't caused any problems, but just catches me by suprise every now and then at a stop or signal turn. Also, the oil question - answered a billion times, but I still don't know what to use for my first couple of oil changes. I know not to use synthetic until after break in. But I just want to know the best brand to use that won't break my wallet!
 

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Ahhh...haven't taken the course, eh? Anyway, I have never heard of the term "auger in" but if you mean the bike feels like it wants to fall over, then you are on the right track.

Whether it be a motorcycle or a scooter, this will happen. In the MSF course, they will teach you two things about low speed turning.

The first thing they will teach you is to use throttle to keep the bike upright. On a "conventional" motorcycle, you can literally let the bike almost fall over and then "burp" the throttle and the bike will literally pick itself back up. With a scooter, the technique is a bit different because of the automatic transmission and lack of gyro effect from the small wheels. If the bike starts to fall over, it may very well be too late, as you have well found out. The the tecnique is to keep constant low throttle while dragging the rear brake, letting up on the rear brake when you need more throttle. THis keeps the drivetrain "loaded up" so to speak and keep the bike from rolling over.

The second thing to do is to let ONLY THE BIKE lean in a low speed turn, steadying the bike, using your weight as a counterbalance. If you are turning left, you need to keep your body upright and sit somewhat on the right side of the seat. Again, with a scooter, this tecnique is a bit different. First, on a motorcycle, you can usually get away with leaning over with the bike at anything over 10mph because of the large wheels and the knees against the tank helping balance. But the scooter has very little gyroscopic effect from the wheels AND no way of holding the bike up with your knees. However, the weight is so low on the scooter that you don't really need your knees to hold it up.

What you are finding out is scooters are different. In my opinion, they are better once you figure out the differences. For example, at speed if you don't lean with a real motorcycle deliberately, the bike will wanna go straight. In curves at medium speeds, you have to lean with the motorcycle and really look through the corner and push the bar towards the turn to get the bike to take hold in the corner. If you roll off of the throttle in a curve, again, a conventional motorcycle will wanna stand up.

But on a scooter, heck, it's like throttle on, throttle off, light braking in the middle of a corner, the scoot doesn't care. Another cool thing, during a curve, you don't have to lean with the bike so much unless you are really hustling it. You see where you wanna go through the curve, a small nudge of the bar towards the curve (again, MSF will cover this) and that scoot will lean right over and away you go. It's a hoot, really.

I know it was a long post, I sure hope it helps.
 

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Excelently expained. I have been scootin for 7 years now, and some motorcyclin too and that was the best explanation of the handling diffs I have ever read. My Scrabeo 150 with the bigger wheels, had the "gyro" effect and was very m-cycle like with all that "stability" but its the nimble-ness and technique of an automatic scoot that I love. Of course shifting a 4 speed scoot is a whole other ball game. Automatic are wat cool, but my 64 Vespa and 03 Stella are packed with so much fun and torque that I find myself torn between whatto ride. Lately the Type S birgman has been winning out! weeeee..... I love it!

Scoot On... Marbles :wink:
 

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When I ride my wife's Scarabeo 150, I have to be thinking differently when I go into some high speed (ok, relatively, it's a 150cc) curves because the Burgman, you just think about the curve and you are already through it. The Scarabeo, even with the scooter drivetrain, will require a bit more input from the bars.

And conventional motorcycles. I haven't ridden one consistantly for over 4 years so my skills have diminished to where I have to be pretty deliberate and careful when I ride my buddy's 1100.

As far as the Stella, I am JEALOUS!!! When can I ride her?
 

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All good information above.
As far as which oil is best to use, well first you have to answer which is the best of anything.
Is there really a best , Milk, butter, eggs.
So long as it's rated at or above your needs, pick the oil in the "can" you like best ! :)
You will not have any problem.............
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info! I will try that technique tomorrow and see how it goes. I know it is just an adjustment and that I will get used to it, but it did take me by suprise at first. Still, the Burgman is the easiest scooter or motorcycle I have ever ridden. As for the oil, I am going to tack all the labels of the various brands and throw a dart! No use asking the salespeople - they always steer you to the most expensive. javascript:emoticon(':roll:')
Rolling Eyes
 

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Two quick tips on technique that might help.

1. Keep your eyes parallel to the ground. Don’t tilt your head relative to the road surface. I’m willing to bet on low speed turns you are unconsciously looking down and in.

2. Knees in the breeze. Throw the knee on the side your turning toward outward. Taking a right means right knee points out and so on. On a right turn you can also bring your left knee in tight (towards the center) Both feet stay on the boards. This has more of an effect on motorcycles with their center of gravity being higher than scooters but it helps even with scooters. To get used to this try riding a straight line at 10 to 30 mph and move your knees to one side or the other. Your scoot will want to follow them.

Good luck!
 

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Suzuki oil

djdressler said:
Thanks for the info! I will try that technique tomorrow and see how it goes. I know it is just an adjustment and that I will get used to it, but it did take me by suprise at first. Still, the Burgman is the easiest scooter or motorcycle I have ever ridden. As for the oil, I am going to tack all the labels of the various brands and throw a dart! No use asking the salespeople - they always steer you to the most expensive. javascript:emoticon(':roll:')
Rolling Eyes
I buy the Suzuki Oil (not synthetic, altough with 8600 miles I could switch but choose to stay with non synthetic) at my dealer 10W40 and the price is only $2.90 a qt.
 

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Also if your 400s are like my 250 the front wheel in offset to the front of the fork and to make things worse the handlebars are offset toward the rider, so the front wheel wonts to fall over when it is off centre ... takes a bit to get use to :)

Greg ...
 

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Jim B 01930 said:
Two quick tips on technique that might help.

1. Keep your eyes parallel to the ground. Don’t tilt your head relative to the road surface. I’m willing to bet on low speed turns you are unconsciously looking down and in.

2. Knees in the breeze. Throw the knee on the side your turning toward outward. Taking a right means right knee points out and so on. On a right turn you can also bring your left knee in tight (towards the center) Both feet stay on the boards. This has more of an effect on motorcycles with their center of gravity being higher than scooters but it helps even with scooters. To get used to this try riding a straight line at 10 to 30 mph and move your knees to one side or the other. Your scoot will want to follow them.

Good luck!
THe Motorcycle Safety Course teaches that the knees always stay in, up against the "tank." This may apply to a scooter even if we don't have a Tank.

Please don't flame me, it's the MSF that is saying this, not me.

As far as oil, I use Shell Rotella 5w40 full synthetic, less than 4 bucks a quart at your local WalMart.
 

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djdressler said:
It is lower and when I have to take a direct turn from a stop, I find it awkward. On the turn, the bike wants to auger in. A couple of times I have had to put my feet back down to steady it or had to go wide.
While you are stopped, turn your front wheel slightly in the direction of the turn. When you start to move, KEEP THE WHEEL TURNED and gently roll on the throttle and ease the bike thru the turn. You want to be looking thru the turn where you want to go and not down at your front wheel or the road directly in front of your wheel. Try to get your feet onto the floorboards as quickly as possible (knees in) and not paddle-walking or dragging your boots thru the turn. It takes practuce but it works.
Most people will turn the front wheel slightly while stopped but, as soon as the bike starts to move, they straighten the wheel and the bike goes a short distance in a straight line and then they try to turn the wheel into the turn. This generally ends up in the bike going too far out into the turn lane which then requires a sharper turn of the wheel (and more lean and/or counter-balancing) in order to complete the turn and still remain in the turn lane.
You instructors will explain this all to you when you do the exercise for taking a turn from a stop in your MSF class.

Don
 
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