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Discussion Starter #1
We talk a lot about the 650 being a disposable scooter here , how if you have to pay a dealer to fix an older unit it would cost more than the unit is worth . But with these plastic body scooters that is just half the story . Recently I saw one get nearly totaled from a simple fall over , a newbie was coming to a stop lost his balance and down he went . When it happened he was probably going 1 or 2 MPH , every thing on the left side was lightly scratched . When I say every thing I mean every thing from the edge of the windshield all the way back to the passenger grab bars . I can’t remember one thing down the entire left side that wasn’t scratched up to a degree . The dealer estimate was nearly $3,000 to make nice , cost wise pretty much equal to a CVT repair . The scooter was $500 to $1,000 away from being totaled , which is a little crazy for a simple fall over . To date I’ve seen a few of these go through the fall over and insurance / dealer fix and all were in the $2,500 to $3,000 range to get repaired . So if you are looking at a used one that has fallen over on both sides , it is basically totaled . But the sellers in their infinite wisdom still expect blue book for their totaled scoot . Little wonder why the vast majority of fall overs never get fixed , at least from what I’ve seen . It’s actually rare to see a used plastic body scooter without any fall over damage , when I look at one the first thing I always do is get down on the ground and look down the side for damage .

About a year ago , I found a supposed to be pristine Silver 2006 650 burg with like 80 miles on it on Craigslist . I negotiated over countless emails with the guy for a month and finally got him down to 4K . So I counted out 40 one hundred dollar bills and a friend and I drove 30 miles to get my new pearl . When I got there the first thing I did was get down on the ground and look down the driver’s side for any damage , sure enough this 80 mile wonder had fallen over . I looked at the seller and said “ I thought you said NOT A SCRATCH “ ? Naturally he said “ I didn’t know” . Needless to say I didn’t buy the bike . When I was walking away I thought , how in the **** does some one wreck a bike with only 80 miles on it ??? 80 MILES ??

So for you newbies when you are getting started , get some thing small and cheap to learn on . DO NOT BUY BIG AND NEW ! And when you are out looking for a used one , keep in mind that if it has fallen over on both sides it is in reality PRE-TOTALED ! Replacing the plastics on both sides at the dealer ,....... probably in the $5,000 range ? Today you can find a used Honda Reflex in the $1,500 range , which is probably still to big and heavy for a newbie , but far FAR FAR cheaper than going to a new 400 or a 650 to start off with . Believe me when you are new to this , if you are any thing like the vast majority you WILL drop it . And always carry full coverage insurance , you never know when you are going to have a mishap . Ask any veteran rider and they will tell you that they have little close calls all the time . One foot slipping on a leaf in the garage with the weight of the bike going the wrong way you can drop it quite easily . I can think of hundreds of ways you can drop a bike , and there are thousands more .........believe me !

TheReaper!
 

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Yup, good advice.

I went to put my foot down at a stop light just last week and almost dumped the 400. Earlier there had been an accident and the broken safety glass left over was like smooth little pebbles which my foot promptly slipped on. I saved it, but just berely.

There are thousands of ways to dump a bike. To the nubes out there, take Reapers sage advice and look into a used, slightly beat up bike. It will save you a ton of money in the end.
 

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+1. Even great riders can and do become victims of the myriad ways a bike can go down.
 

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If the plastics are not shattered why replace them? Why not just repaint? Even a crack or small chip can be repaired with a plastic welder.
 

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I have yet to see a Silverwing that has not been dumped! :rolleyes:
I even saw a "new" one with 7.4 miles on the showroom floor that had been dumped. :confused:
 

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If the plastics are not shattered why replace them? Why not just repaint? Even a crack or small chip can be repaired with a plastic welder.
If you can't re-paint it yourself it will cost you close to what it would be for new plastics, at least that's what it is here in NY.
 

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idk about being pricey to repaint. I got a quote of 200 to repaint my 03 400. and that is everything. and, he only charged me 50 to do the dash area in black. couldn’t stand how it looked from the sun wear. i say shop around for a paint job. they don’t have to be so expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
idk about being pricey to repaint. I got a quote of 200 to repaint my 03 400. and that is everything. and, he only charged me 50 to do the dash area in black. couldn’t stand how it looked from the sun wear. i say shop around for a paint job. they don’t have to be so expensive.
You should elaborate on that $200 thing , like who paid for all the materials , what color and what kind of paint . I've had some plastics painted in that price range , where I paid for the paint and they paid for the rest of the materials . Plastics IMO seldom come out very well , they tend to fog if not done just right .

TheReaper!
 

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Get some stick-on "automotive trim tape", half-round, half-inch wide and apply it do the outside edge of the floorboards and up the side of the front box. It costs $5. The tape will absorb most of the typical fall-over-in-the-alley damage. It's easier to replace than the tupperware, for sure. The mirror lenses are actually not that expensive. On the 650, that's usually what gets damaged.

Regards
Scott Fraser
Calgary
 

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Discussion Starter #11
why are the plastics so costly?
From what I understand it is a difficult and costly process with all the molds and colors baked into the plastic . Then all that equipment set up is being done for a limited production run , then the inventorying and storage of all of it in warehouses around the world . What I'm trying to say is there is more to the stuff than meets the eye . Plus they have to make a profit some where , they sure don't make a lot on the bikes themselves . I spent a life time on the business side of the equation so I have a pretty good understanding of cost , and I bailed 10 years ago last month . Why you ask ? I found it just to hard to make money , I had over 300 employees and 38 locations and sold all of it . I really don't know how these companies stay in business today . I know people say how come this **** is so expensive , but when they dig into it and find all those hidden cost , they say "how do they stay in business?" . And therein lies the conundrum the world faces today .

TheReaper!
 

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well why dont the manufactures try designs with less plastic and something stronger?i know vespas use alot of steel.it may make it pricier,but maybe stronger.
 

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The real question is why don't they make it less easy to break. My ST1100 has two little hard plastic "wings" overlying tubes bolted to the frame on either side of the bike. When it fell over NOTHING hit the ground but those little wings. Never got a scratch or cracked a Tupperware on that bike. And I dropped it at least six times.

See the little grey triangles on the bottom...

https://images.search.yahoo.com/ima...712t22&.crumb=JwvO7PpIBHV&fr=ipad&fr2=piv-web

Nah, Suzuki has a profit motive with the replacement plastics.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
well why dont the manufactures try designs with less plastic and something stronger?i know vespas use alot of steel.it may make it pricier,but maybe stronger.

Ever notice the price of a Vespa ? That said it seams like every year there is more and more plastic on those Vespa scooters . One big reason they use plastic is because of the weight , and even if they made them out of some thing like aluminum it would be even more expensive , and plus the weight again . Personally in one way I hate the plastics , but I also think they are some what an engineering marvel . I also think they could design some roll bars and sliders into the designs on these plastic scooters . Not quite like below , maybe some thing a little more subtle ? :D

TheReaper!

 

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If the 3D printer promise ever comes to fruition the problem would be solved. Dealers could have a printer in their shop and the manufacturers could provide the specs to print replacement pieces. If you needed a piece the dealer would load up the correct file and print it out for you. That would cut out all the shipping and storage issues and cost.

Of course if that happens colors will be limited to those they can produce the plastic in. Otherwise shops would also have to have painting facilities to paint the pieces to match.

On the plus side though, it would likely be easier to obtain panels for bikes as they age. They would not have to keep all that inventory on hand for years and years. All they have to keep is the specs to print out a new one.
 

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The real question is why don't they make it less easy to break. My ST1100 has two little hard plastic "wings" overlying tubes bolted to the frame on either side of the bike. When it fell over NOTHING hit the ground but those little wings. Never got a scratch or cracked a Tupperware on that bike. And I dropped it at least six times.

See the little grey triangles on the bottom...

https://images.search.yahoo.com/ima...712t22&.crumb=JwvO7PpIBHV&fr=ipad&fr2=piv-web

Nah, Suzuki has a profit motive with the replacement plastics.

The BMW K1200LT had something similar and it worked well. The new K1600GT and GTL do not.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
If the 3D printer promise ever comes to fruition the problem would be solved. Dealers could have a printer in their shop and the manufacturers could provide the specs to print replacement pieces. If you needed a piece the dealer would load up the correct file and print it out for you. That would cut out all the shipping and storage issues and cost.

Of course if that happens colors will be limited to those they can produce the plastic in. Otherwise shops would also have to have painting facilities to paint the pieces to match.

On the plus side though, it would likely be easier to obtain panels for bikes as they age. They would not have to keep all that inventory on hand for years and years. All they have to keep is the specs to print out a new one.
I think you are right about the colors and finish being a problem with the 3D printers . I've been fooling around with refinishing some used plastics
, I would like to get a spray on satin finish coating type of thing . The original finish while it looks nice when it's new is really a giant PIA . All I would need is a solid color coating that would hold up to normal wear , then if some thing happened a quick and easy spray re-coating . Any one have any ideas a long those lines ?

Some thing like this would be easy to touch up and not show every little imperfection .I like it !
https://www.google.com/search?q=leather+look+texture+spray+paint&tbm=isch&imgil=NQ3xlGTqa6bK1M%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcRvU2tuhCYNKl943foOF-he9gr-zCXC0D2tUO6paMjy3PKnH3H7%253B600%253B600%253BAXVJSVnTUpBCfM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.farmandfleet.com%25252Fproducts%25252F516418-rust-oleum-multicolor-textured-spray-paint.html&source=iu&usg=__6t9tzqt1NXnL5QOv2R5XIL_cmJo%3D&sa=X&ei=2afGU63FDsyvyASezYCYCA&ved=0CFsQ9QEwBA&biw=1324&bih=597#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=NQ3xlGTqa6bK1M%253A%3BAXVJSVnTUpBCfM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fassets.farmandfleet.com%252Fp600%252F516418-20121004234456-rust-oleum-multicolor-textured-spray-paint.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.farmandfleet.com%252Fproducts%252F516418-rust-oleum-multicolor-textured-spray-paint.html%3B600%3B600

TheReaper!
 

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those little "wings" like on the st sound like a good idea.
They are a great idea and its been around for decades. Suzuki could easily have encorporated those on to the Tupperware-ladened Burgmans, but they apparently choose not too.

I'm sure spare plastics is a very small percentage of business for Suzuki. But, you can't buy them anywhere else, used parts are virtually impossible to find timely, and they cost pennies to make, maybe a few bucks at most. So what's the markup on a $500 front end when its costs $5 to manufacture?

Yes Reaper, I'm a business man too. I understand inventory carrying costs and all the rest. But when your gross profit margin on an item is 99%, some incidental, indirect and G&A costs are negligible.
 

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The real question is why don't they make it less easy to break. My ST1100 has two little hard plastic "wings" overlying tubes bolted to the frame on either side of the bike. When it fell over NOTHING hit the ground but those little wings. Never got a scratch or cracked a Tupperware on that bike. And I dropped it at least six times.

>>>Snip...

Nah, Suzuki has a profit motive with the replacement plastics.
I had a Honda Pacific Coast for 20 years. I had let others try riding it over the years and almost without exception everyone dropped it. No big deal because it had those "wings" as well. They covered steel crash bars on the Pacific Coast. Yes, the plastic "wings" started looking pretty rough after a while, just plastic welded them and repainted them. After about 10 years I bought some new plastic "wings" and put them in my shop. Put them on before I gave the bike to it's next owner. I gave it to him with almost 150,000 miles on it and he is still riding it. It has over 160,000 miles on it now. Still looks pretty good for a 1989.

On my Burgman, if I get rash on it at some point in it's life I won't bother with a repaint. I will use the vinyl 3M automotive wrap on it. Some of the guys on Stromtrooper.com have done this to their V-Stroms and it looks good. It is cheap to boot. Cost to re-do a V-Strom is about $100, I figure I will be able to do the Burgman for less than $200.

Doug from Kentucky
 
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