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Hello all, first post here. I live in Manhattan, NYC.

We're looking at moving out of Manhattan to the NJ burbs, approx 45 miles one way. Does anyone here do a similar commute on this board? Either the tunnels, GWB, or via Westchester/Long Island?

Briefly about me: Ducati & Honda MCs right now, neither are adequate for this commute. Long time scooter guy, this will be my 10th bike. My needs are for commuting only. I'm not afraid of speed, dark, cold, rain, trucks, but out of towners in SUVs on cell phones scare me silly.

From what I've read, the 400 is plenty adequate for the price for what I'm looking to do. I've got no interest in touring on a scoot (although when I did BRP last fall I saw a guy on one, either Burgy or 'Wing!).

Here's my questions:

1) The 400: Enough power to be comfortable in the ultra-competitive traffic? Specifically 78/Turnpike/Lincoln Tunnel.

2) Heated handgrips: Are they available? I'm a 24/7/365 rider. Only snow & ice keep me from riding.

3) Rain performance: Legsheild & windshield offer enough protection from elements? (and yeah, I have full rain gear plus Gerbings).

4) Lane splitting. Good? Bad? I'm a freaking pro at this (if I do say so myself), and not having the option means not buying the scoot.

5) Keeping them clean. Why do they all look dingy a year or so from purchase? Does the plastic degrade? Is it the owner, the paint, what? Every one I see just seems dirty. Is it just me?

6) Are you happy with yours?

Thanks in advance for dealing with all of these questions. This board is a fantastic resource.

-Joe Grant
NYC, NY USA
 

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Answers in order:

Plenty of power is objective. You would simply have to give one a go and see what you think. I think it's plenty of power, but then so was a 250 Helix. I run mine on the interstate at 80+ with no problems.

Aftermarket heated grips as well as factory handgrip "shields" are available.

Rain protection? of course, all scooters offer superior protection from the elements.

The rear brake pushes a LOT of dust to the rim, but beyond that it's easier to clean than a conventional motorcycle.

Happy as can be!!!!
 

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Joe

Lane splitting isn't legal nor tolerated in NJ by either drivers or police.

Drivers will get pissed if they see you do it and, typical Jersey, even try to "get back" at you for doing it. Police in Jersey don't turn a blind eye to it if they see it and you'll get a ticket.

Other than that, commuting on a B'Man will be great.

Welcome to the Garden State!
 

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Here are my six eggs:

1. Will you fit on a 400 comfortably?

2. The 400 has the power and stamina that your intended use demands.

3. If you go the heated grip route I would recommend the genuine accessory ones from Suzuki - BUT also consider handlebar muffs which in many ways are just as effective. (I used these in English winters).

4. 45 miles is a decent enough time to get cold and wet. The Burgman affords excellent weather protection on the move - but when you stop at a light you are going to need good rainproofs.

5. Lane splitting - leaving aside the legality or the likely neurotic reaction from cell phone using gun toting cage drivers - Yes the 400 is ideal and much better than the 650 (even with trick mirrors).

6. Keeping clean is easy peasy - a gentle hose down will keep the accumulated road grime to a minimum and a half hour thorough job once a week will keep pristine. (Here is where I cheat - I would have kept my 400 if I could afford the garage space but I need that space for something else now). :)
 

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Not that I was trying.... :D
Can't disagree with a thing Norman said. :)
I would also add the 400 will leave all but the real muscle cars standing at the light when it changes.
And no worry merging on express ways.

Personally I would only do that commute with a tank.
 

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Well - manufacturers accessories - from the dealer. (I have been told that Suzuki's heated handgrips are made by Honda - do not know if there is any truth in that).

Aftermarket ones - bike accessory shops/web.
 
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