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New Potential Buyer

2944 Views 13 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  NormanB
Hi Everyone!

I am new to the scooter/motorcycle world.
I just got back form Greece and rented a scooter for
1 month. I loved it!
I live in NYC and am really interested in purchasing a scooter (vespa)
or the 400 Burgman. It's all very confusing to me.
I'm looking to use the vehicle to get around Manhattan which involves small and crowded streets.. I also would us it for getting out of the city and taking long rides in the country or to the beach. That would be highway riding..
I'm 6 feet tall and weigh around 180lbs.
I love the way the 400 looks and just want to make sure it would handle slow drivng and close turns in the city. I know it would do well on the highway. And I guess the vespa would handle better in the city?
I just dont want to purchase the 400 and realize I made a big mistake because its not a city vehicle.
Any feedback would be great..
Rob- new to this wonderful sport!
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Welcome to the forum! I'll let our 400 owners answer your question - they are the experts. From what I've read, the Vespa might have a slight advantage in town, but the Burgman 400 would do OK in town and would really be a lot better when you do the longer rides. I also think the Burgman has much better storage space, which comes in quite handy.
Welcome to the BurgmanUSA forums Rob. Glad to have you join us.

For in city, I think the way you intend to ride will have an impact on the better bike for you. The vespa would be more nimble weaving tightly thru city traffic. Being on the cautious side, I don't often ride that way. I tend to ride a bit more sedately. :) For any kind of open road, the Burgman 400 would be a much better choice. I use mine to commute to Nashville (83 miles each way) and it does very well in both city traffic and on the interstate. I'm a bit biased (as most of the people here will be) and would suggest the Burgman 400. I like the power and comfort the 400 provides.

If possible, I would suggest taking a test ride on both machines. See how they handle and perform in different conditions. If you plan on doing any touring, look at the storage of each bike. You need to consider how much power each has if you plan on carrying a passenger.

If you have any questions, just ask as we have several very knowledgeable and friendly people here.
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I am perfectly equipped to answer this question as we own both kinds of bikes you are refering to.

If you are going to limit your speed in the city to "city speeds" as in under 60MPH with 90% of your riding under 50MPH, I would get the Vespa or the even better suited Aprilia Scarabeo 150.

My wife's 150 will run almost 70MPH (not uphill or against the wind), gets 60MPG plus in the city, and has advantages over the Burgie for this kind of riding. Under 40MPH it accelerates almost as well as the Burgie 400. The 16" wheels are better able to cope with the potholes and bumps you will be encountering. It has a REMOVABLE trunk which means you can actually carry your stuff inside by just taking the trunk along with you. Also, because of it's size and appearance, you can get away with parking it in "alternate" places and chaining it to a light pole or bike rack as most folks think it's just a moped. It also turns almost as tight as a bicycle.

The disadvantages are that, at least in our area, the dealer support is spotty and the bike new is way overpriced. But if you can find a used one for $3000 or less, I would go for it. The drivetrain itself is made by Rotax and seems to be very solid.

Of course, if you are looking at some weekend touring at highway speeds or are going on the big roads, you need a Burgman 400.
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I may be on a 650 but I can tell you that after spending last Saturday scooting around Manhattan that it is far faster, and much more fun than taking the car. Parking was easier too!
I am well biased and balanced in the sense that I have a chip on each shoulder. :)

The Vespa is nimble and OK if you like retro.

The 400 is the best for both jobs you have in mind and has the pizazz and wow factors !(Legend has it that you have to fight the chicks off :wink: I am still waiting for that). For commuting into work the 400 is the most practical in terms of storage. For the leisure trips the 400 is a no contest winner.

At 6 foot you are getting near the limit for both machines (probably too tall for the Vespa) so get a test ride on each.

During your test rides try and take a variety of routes to include an hour at an indicated 90 mph!! :D :D :D

and then buy the Burgman

Oh- and welcome to the forum Buddy! :wave:
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I have a Vespa ET4 (150cc) and a Burgman 650. For the type of riding you are planning, I would consider the Vespa GT200 or the Piaggio BV200. The Vespa ET4 might feel a bit small for someone of your size on long rides. I am female, 5'3" tall and average size. I have used my ET4 for both city and distance riding and it suits me just fine. I got the Burgman for long distance touring with my husband. He drives a Yamaha V-Star 1100. We did take the Vespa and the V-Star on a 650 mile round trip ride this spring and I had BUZZ, the Vespa, up to 70 MPH with no problems.

Try to test drive if possible. That really helps in making your decision. Will you be riding solo or 2 up? Either way the 200cc scooters should give you the power you need for flat short to medium distance riding. Certainly the 200cc scooters will be easy to navigate the streets of NYC.

Take a serious look at the Honda Reflex 250. Might be the ideal compromise for you. I've owned one and loved it. Traded it for the 400 as most of my driving is open road and interstate and i wanted a bit more power. Love the 400. One other factor to consider is going with a product that you can get dealer support on. In some parts Aprilla/Piaggo are a rarity.
ted clement said:
In some parts Aprilla/Piaggo are a rarity.
And there have been reports that even when a dealer is nearby, service and parts availablity for Aprilia is not so good. I think Piaggio / Vespa might be a little better off. It is also rumored that Piaggio bought Aprilia, so maybe that situation will get straightened out. I hope so - the Aprilia Atlantic 500 is a very good looking scooter.

Has anyone seen any articles on the Web from official sources confirming the purchase of Aprilia by Piaggio????
And you may have Kymco and Malaguti dealers around the city; if so, take a look at their 250-400 cc scooters. Or the Yamaha 400...I see in cycle trader a dealer in Chicago advertising an 05 Yam 400 for $4999.
NormanB said:
(Legend has it that you have to fight the chicks off :wink: I am still waiting for that).
It's true, Norman! I'm always fighting off chicks! :wink: Actually have had a few 20something lovelies ooh-and-ah over, I mean Sushi. :oops:

But usually it's guys in their 40s-70s who amble over to ask about her.

Welcome, Robbie! My bro lives in Chelsea. I'd say the 400 would serve your needs well, especially for those out-of-town trips (Hudson River Valley, shore, etc.) It's not too big to park but will give you the extra comfort and storage space you'll appreciate on such jaunts.

And my partner (aka Tall Woman) is 5'11" and finds the far-back seat position works pretty well for her.


Yes, Aprilia is going to be owned by Piaggio

pauljo said:
ted clement said:
In some parts Aprilla/Piaggo are a rarity.
Has anyone seen any articles on the Web from official sources confirming the purchase of Aprilia by Piaggio????
Aprilia World Service Inc. Confirms Agreement With Piaggio Group

8/13/04 Woodstock, GA – Aprilia World Service USA Inc. announced today the industrial and strategic agreement between Piaggio and Aprilia. In theagreement, Piaggio will obtain a 100% stake in the Aprilia group.

“We are extremely pleased by this progress and are anxious to embrace the new resources that this merging will bring to both Aprilia and Moto Guzzi,” says Aprilia World Service USA General Manager Tom McDonald. “We know that there is exciting new product in the pipeline for both brands and now the product introductions can now be finalized.”

“The combination of Piaggio, the largest European two wheel manufacturer and the Aprilia Group, the second largest, creates a company with considerable resources. We are excited about the synergies created, ranging from product development and production capabilities to business infrastructure, marketing resources, and brand management,” continues McDonald.

“The employees of Aprilia and Moto Guzzi want to thank our customers and dealers who have kept the faith in our brands. We look forward to the growth of this new evolution of the company.”

Below is the note sent from Italy, by Mr. Francesco Nepi, Director Aprilia
World Service SpA.:

Milan, August 12th, 2004
The Aprilia Spa Board of Directors, assembled today in Milan, examined the state of advancement of the negotiations aiming to ensure the intervention of a qualified Investor to entrust the re-launching of the Aprilia Group. By the suggestion of the president, Mr. Fois, the meeting was chaired by the founder and shareholder of Aprilia Group, Mr. Ivano Beggio. Also invited were the associate advisors of Caretti & Interbanca, who were involved in the negotiations with Ducati and Piaggio.

The preference of an agreement with the Piaggio Group, putting the whole packet of Aprilia shares at their disposal, was decided. T he proposal of intervention of the Piaggio Group is oriented towards the increase of the value of the Aprilia Group from an industrial and strategic point of view. Furthermore, it guarantees the suppliers' integral payment, the satisfaction of the bearers of obligations still less the integral repayment of the new finance supplied last May, together with a supply contract with an important and positive financial effect on the management of the Group.

Mr. Beggio pointed out that the proposal presented by Ducati, while much
appreciated, under the industrial and strategic profile, is less adequate to
the immediate management demands and the expectations of important
stakeholders. The Board of Directors, sharing the evaluations expressed by Mr. Beggio with the support of the Advisors, has approved unanimously the proposal to direct the foreseen agreements with Piaggio & Company. granting the powers
to the President Candido Fois and the Managing Director Franco Cattaneo, to which, the management of the Company will be assigned, together with a new member of the Board of Directors to be appointed by Piaggio, till the closing of the operation for the subscription of the relative agreements.
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Thats actually good news.

Aprilia had some great ideas and engineering but was useless at anything else really.
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