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Discussion Starter #1
After much shopping and much debate I just picked up my wife's new bike on Sunday. She has a nice shiny new Burgman 650. My thanks go out to the members of this forum (and the creator of the forum) for making this such a friendly place to get questions answered. Also, many posts convinced me not to try to talk my wife out of the bike she wants because it's a "scooter" and not a "real bike". I will confess, much to my shame, that I did make her sit on a lot of "real bikes" before relenting on the Burgman. Our conversations about the other bikes went like this...
Her: "Does it have good wind protection?"
Me: "Uh... no, but we can add a windshield."
Her: "Will that keep the wind off my legs?"
Me: "Uh... well... it's air cooled, so.. not really. It needs some airflow"
Her: "Is there a place to put my helmet when I run into the store?"
Me: "Uh... Hmm... Well, there's this helmet lock on the side"
Her: "Won't that be covered up by the saddlebags you said we'd have to
install to give me storage space?"
Me: "Uh, now that you mention it... uh... yeah"
Her: "Will my helmet fit in the saddlebags?"
Me: "Hmm... I don't think they're wide enough"
Her: "Why did you lead me over here again? I'm going back to look at
the Burgman."

I read several posts from others (one gal from Texas who was forced to ride a Volusia instead of what she really wanted stands out in my mind, sorry, your name escapes me right now.) about spouses who fall into the "macho trap" and make their wives ride "real bikes" and decided to learn from that example. Thus, my wife rides the machine she wanted to begin with. There really is nothing comparable on the market since Honda's Pacific Coast 800 went off the market. My own Concours is the closest thing but the high seat height, combined with high weight (671 pounds wet) and high center of gravity made it unsuitable for a new rider like my wife.

So.... Sunday found me negotiating a price on the Burgy. I drove it home for her through light rain and found that it is indeed a "real bike" despite the automatic transmission. It's hard to get a feel for the power of the machine when you're limited to below 4000 RPMs during break in, but I don't think my wife will be disappointed. Technologically, it's on the far end of the scale from my 20 year old design Concours, but that's not an all bad thing. The lighter weight combined with the very low center of gravity made the Burgy VERY easy to ride. Wind protection was very comparable to my Concours, even though I never got it above 50 MPH (again, those pesky, but vital, break in rules) I also managed to not kill myself by grabbing the "clutch" when in fact, I'm grabbing the rear brake. The scooter felt sufficiently different that I never lost track of which machine I was riding. I'll admit, it was one of the concerns I had about switching back and forth from Concours to Burgman. I'm going to continue the break in rides (not that it will take much arm twisting, mind you) while my wife takes the MSF course to get her license and learn how to survive the mean streets of Seattle. Would I trade my Concours for one straight across? Nope. I'm odd because I love to shift. I drive a manual transmission car because I love to shift. I'd pay extra for a manual transmission car because I love to shift. (not the little fake "push button" shifts either) My wife has no such hangups though. Her truck is an automatic and she considers it an advantage on the Burgman. I'd also miss the power and handling of the Concours. (not that the Burgman is a slouch in either catagory, mind you) Still, I found myself very impressed and can see why the Burgies built up such a loyal following here.
One final note...
On the way home, I was snubbed by my first fellow 2 wheel rider. It's odd, because I can swear he waved back when I was on the Concours the other day. When I was on the Burgman, he looked right at me, saw the two finger salute (not the one finger salute, which is quite different in meaning) and purposefully looked away. I was a bit shocked. I never snubbed scooter riders as a "biker" because it's all of us against the "cages" so I don't get that attitude, but oh well. I even give that happy wave to those on 49 cc "real" scooters, and find most wave back, aping the salute even though many never got motorcycle licenses and may not even understand the meaning. My wife and I are planning our first multi state adventure together this summer. The Connie is a bit small for two up tours of the length we'd planned, hence her decission to ride her own bike. We'll see you out on the long highways. If you see a green Concours and a silver Burgman traveling the open roads with riders bearing huge grins, join the convoy. You'll recognize us because whatever two wheeled conveyance you're on, we'll be the ones waving!
 

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Welcome to the BurgmanUSA forums Doug. Glad to have you join us. Congratulations on the new Burgman 650. Be sure to pass on an invitation to your wife to join us here too.
 

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Good read, Doug. 8)

The comments about shifting (or not) are just as I might have written. When people say they're afraid of grabbing big bits of brake, I try to put them at ease. In my experience, it just doesn't happen. I'd ridden for many years before I got my first scooter, a Honda Aero 80, back in the '80's. It never, ever, occurred to me to try to shift the thing. Not only is the seating position 'very' different from any other bike I'd owned, but the engine never got to 'shiftable' range. When we ride, we tend to listen to, and feel, the engine as we accelerate. If the engine sounds and feels like it's not gaining significant rpm's while it continues to accelerate, it would feel very unnatural to shift.
I've had several people ride both the old Aero, and the Burger. Even though some have mentioned before riding that they hope they don't grab a bunch of brake (and others have used that as an excuse not to ride a scooter at all), nobody (to my knowledge) has ever found themselves actually trying to get a gear. It just don't happen.

Welcome!

Steve
 

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Hi And Welcome!

Welcome!
I enjoyed reading your post ! I must say Kudos to your wife (especially on the parts where she kept pointing out all of the positive features of the bike.) My favorite however, was " Why did you lead me over here again?" After break in ,that 650 is going to truly surprise you! I also can't wait until those that think that the Burgy is just some ordinary garden variety scooter( which depends heavily upon riding at 45 mph in the breakdown lane of the highway for the duration of it's life) receive a bit of a shock. Again, welcome and enjoy your new Burgy!
 

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Welcome, Doug (or should I say Mrs Doug?).

I hope - and am sure - that the 650 will bring you both many happy and safe miles of fun together.

I know what you mean about the Pacific Coast. Although it was never officially imported into the UK, I've owned two of these beauts over the years. If they would only have fitted it with a larger fuel tank and (ideally) an auto box, Honda would have produced very serious opposition for the AN650...

Regarding running in: I found that the 4k rpm limit delivered speeds of up to about 65mph, which was quite acceptable. Having said that, I calibrated the speedo by referring to my StreetPilot III and found that it was 10% optimistic.

Hey ho. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the hearty welcome folks! This forum really put my mind at ease over the purchase. Your comments are always inciteful and informative. Steve's comments about upshifting are right on. I certainly never felt the need for that. The only real concern I had about breaking was a "panic stop" situation when a cage pulls out in front of me. After riding, I don't think it would be a problem. Despite my miles on other bikes, the feel of the "clutch" starts resisting early enough to let me know that it's nothing of the kind long before I'd "accidently" lock up the rear wheel.
Chief? Thanks for the info on max speed with the 4000 RPM limit. I have a few co-workers who are curious about my wife's new ride. As taking it to work would involve some freeway speeds of 60+ MPH, I didn't want to go there until I knew that it wouldn't over rev the engine. It's good to know. The speed limit on my way home was a country backroad with a 50 MPH limit, but as I hit 50, the revs climbed to 3900 to 4000 making me a tad nervous about exceeding if I went faster. I agree with you on the Pacific Coast. It has a real following even today. I think the two drawbacks were price (listing more than the Burgman way back in 89) and being ahead of it's time.
 

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Doug,

There's a couple of different camps in break in procedure. One is "ride it like you stole it" and the other is to follow manufactures instructions. Either way, they both agree that it is important to vary the RPM during break in. Don't hold the bike at a high RPM for an extended period. A short hop at freeway speeds shouldn't hurt the 650 at all.
 

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billmeek said:
Doug,
...A short hop at freeway speeds shouldn't hurt the 650 at all.
Ah, those 'short hops'. Exhilarating!!
 

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Welcome to you, your wife, and your new Suzuki!
 

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Greetings and welcome to the forum. Your rides with the wife will be so much more pleasant this year with her riding what she wants and not what you wanted. I think you will grow to like the Burgman. It will surprise you once you let it loose after the break in.
 

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Doug I will keep an eye open for the two of you. I drive through Maple Valley every weekend (via 169) heading up to Mt. Rainier. When the weather allows it will be on the Burgman. Look for the blue streak early in the mornings....
 

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Welcome, Doug. :wave:

I think you and your wife are going to have a great time on your "multi state adventure." Last summer I rode from Blaine to Tijuana via I-5, then -- after several days in San Diego and at Disneyland -- came back via the Pacific Coast Highway on Labor Day weekend. It was such fun that I'm going to do it again this summer (first week of August). I'm doing a speed run on the way down, but I'll take my time coming back; lot's of places I didn't have time to see last year.

The 650's trunk held 10 day's worth of clothes and toilettries, camera gear, etc., and the big scoot never gave me a bit of trouble. The smallish tires make it a bit harsh over bumpy roads, but nothing unmanageable.

Last year I also rode up to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympics; twice over to Spokane via Stevens Pass / Leavenworth (more fun than taking I-90); down to Albany, Oregon for a wedding; up to Anacortes for the Oyster Run, where I was the only scooter among 20,000 Harleys and 10,000 Goldwings; and so on.

Regarding speed at 4,000RPM: once you get up to 50 or so, just hold the throttle where it is. Because of the Continuously Variable Transmission, the speed will keep climbing even though the RPMs stay the same, and it should reach 60 or close to it unless you're climbing a hill. It won't accelerate up to 60 as fast as it would if you cranked on it, but it should get there. (If not, just stay in the right lane should you see a silver 650 rapidly closing from behind. :twisted: )

As alluded to above, though; many experts feel that short bursts of high power actually do a better job of seating the rings and such than "babying it." As long as you don't hold steady at high RPMs, a few bursts up to 6,000 for a few seconds might be a good thing. (Just don't say anything to your dealer. They might use it as an excuse to void your warranty in the rare event you have trouble down the road.)

Anyway, congrats on joining the 650 Club. I'm sure your wife is going to love it...if she can keep you off it, that is. :wink:
 

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Welcome to the Burgman world. I enjoyed your post. Like Steve said, "It never, ever, occurred to me to try to shift the thing." I have been riding standard motorcycles for about 35 yrs. and just recently had the opportunity to ride a scooter and have no problems at all switching from my goldwing to my wifes reflex. The scooters are just about effortless to ride just plain fun. I think you and your wife are going to have a great time and I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update

Well, it's been a few months, and my wife has been a happily licensed Burgman 650 rider for several months. She's come a long way and I'm very very proud of her, and the Burgman did great for her as well. Despite the 650 being her first bike of any sort, she has done (almost) everything perfect. She took the new MSF Scooter course to get her motorcycle license on one of their 250 cc machines, then practiced in a parking lot near our home for a while. Finally, she took to the streets on her Burgy. She has now put almost 2200 miles on the machine and had no troubles along the way to speak of. We rode together almost all of those miles, including an overnight trip from Maple Valley Washington to the Grand Coulee Dam and back. The only real mishap was the one time we pulled into a park and she leaned the bike to put it on it's sidestand, but she had forgotten to put the sidestand down. The bike did an ultra low speed tip over all the way onto it's left side and came to rest on the side and the mirror. There was absolutely no damage. Not so much as a scratch on the paint, and most importantly, my wife was not injured at all. As for her riding skills, she's a happy playful little daredevil at speeds below 45 miles per hour or so, but the only thing she can't seem to adjust to is highway speeds in excess of 60 MPH. This still somehow scares her. I took the Burgman out on our local high speed interstate where the limits go up to 75 MPH and brought the bike up to an indicated 90 miles per hour, then did some emergency lane changes and such to test the stability, but the bike was rock steady and not showing any evidence of wobble of shakes. I'm thinking this is something she'll get used to in time, and with luck her "comfort zone" with speed will creep slowly up. Any advice from the anyone who had similar troubles?
 

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Re: Update

caelaris said:
...she's a happy playful little daredevil at speeds below 45 miles per hour or so, but the only thing she can't seem to adjust to is highway speeds in excess of 60 MPH. This still somehow scares her.
Give it time.

2200 miles and a few months isn't much. After 6 months she should be happier at freeway speeds. Of course we're now heading into the rainy season, but next summer she'll have more chances.

If all else fails, put a cardboard mask over her speedometer & tachometer and lead her on some long rides. Don't tell her until afterward what your speeds were.

Or switch it to metric mode for a while. She'll get used to seeing numbers over 80 real quick. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
LOL Brian! Great advice! I should also mention that on a long two lane straightaway with her in the lead, she once accelerated up to 80 MPH and buzzed along for a bit before backing off. She feels better if she knows there is little in the way of other traffic or any turns to negotiate. She explained it to me as "I feel okay in a straight line, but I think that if I turned my head to check for traffic or turned suddenly, the bike would just flop over." I explained that bikes get more stable at higher speeds, and that it's the low speed stuff that she's very proficient at that's tough, but it's one thing to hear something, and quite another to believe it.
 

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I just gotta put in a plug for the Lee Parks riding course called "Total Control." I was amazed at the increase in my confidence and comfort level, especially in corners. I still have a lot of parking lot praticing to do before I will be consistantly "in the zone," but I know what I need to work on and how to correct my mistakes. One thing I would say for now regarding comfort with increased speed is to remember to look ahead. If you look down at the ground directly in front of the bike, you will perceive your speed to be much faster than if you are looking farther ahead. Plus it's much safer to look ahead and see where you will be in a few seconds and be aware of what's comming (but you knew that). I think it's in the MSF class (it's been 40 + years) that they say, " You go where you look." The Lee Parks class is an advanced class so your wife might want a little more road time before going for it, but it really is a class that will take any rider who is fairly comfortable on their machine to the next level, be it a scooter, cruiser, or sport bike, including those who are track racers. Lee Parks has a book out ( Total Conrol 24.95) that covers everything in the 8 hour class. Reading it enhanced by understanding of the course, but by no means could substitute for the real thing. Well worth the almost $300. And I'm sure the more advanced riders will get even more out of it than I did. Just check the web under Lee Parks.
Oh, and welcome. And tell you wife to jump on. BTW, true confession time. My husband signed me up for the BUSA site and actually posted "my" first comment without my knowing :oops: and has done so a couple of times since acidentally as I was already logged in. I would probably still be reading over his shoulder otherwise if he hadn't kick started me. But now he doesn't have to as I have electronic ignition and an automatic transmission. Oh yeah, that's my scooter, not me. :)

Nanette (Burgnan, as soon as I figure out how to change my profile)
 

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Hey Doug...

Thanks for the followup note. Glad to see that she's enjoying her Burgman.

Yes, for some reason, even though you know it works and you've done it hundreds of times, something about a curve always makes me nervous too. One day not long ago, I decided to throw caution to the wind and just ride. My son was following me and he said I was getting probably about all that the Burgman had. Very nearly dragged the pipes on one downhill right hander doing 75 (indicated).

That said, I evaluated what the difference was and why I was able to do that on that particular day and not others and why curves still make me nervous... What I came up with was "Thinking". Seems that the more I think about the curve, the more likely I am to get nervous about it (i.e.; the more time I take to think about it, the harder it is to actually do it).

Get Mrs. Doug to think about that statement. Ask her if she has the same problem. If so, she needs to get like me and try to stop thinking and just start riding. :lol:

Joe
 
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