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Having been away from riding for 20years I'm ready to hit the road again by the end of the summer. I signed up for the Harley Davidson Learn to ride msf class. (It's the closest to my home and work.) I have been looking at bikes, mostly a C50 or the bergman 400 or 650. It won't be my primary transportation. An occasional commute on a nice summer/fall Friday, a weekend just for the joy of it ride. Some of my co-workers have the c50 T and love it. I've heard from others that the Bergman scooters are a much nicer ride and slightly more practical for that kind of riding. I think we will be taking some day and overnight trips so what do you recommend as additional luggage, passenger backrest options ?

I'm also having trouble locating a 650 in my area. I have found 2 400's (southern NJ).
 

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I was in a similar situation. Hadn't owned a bike in 25 yrs. For about 7 years I rented maxi-scooters in Greece and when retirement came I knew I wanted a scooter.

I went back and forth in deciding on a 400 or 650. In the end, because they are both great rides with no real downsides, I decided to go with the one that was the best deal at the time I was ready to buy. I found a relatively close 400 at a very good price and grabbed it.

In the last week since I got it, I've put nearly 500 mi. on the bike. It has done everything very well. Next week end I plan on loading it up and doing a camping trip. I have no doubt it will handle that nicely. Today was the first time I did any freeway riding. I did 10 mi. at 70 mph into a stiff 20 mph wind. The bike did quite nicely, although there were times I was pushed around a bit from gusts.

The only part I don't like is the windshield. The wind stream hits me about shoulder height. I've ordered a new windshield for it and think that will be a good addition.

Good luck with your search. You really can't go wrong with either Burgman.

John
 

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Two up really has to be the Burgman 650 but go easy as a back to riding choice...it can bite.

I'd commute a while on the 400 ( ideal ) with some longer rides to get comfortable again then perhaps switch up.

If you are average or tall and reasonably strong then the 650 should be fine.

Height challenged tho 600 lb can be a handle at slow speeds. We do affectionately call it the lardy for good reason.

It's brilliant slab or twists because the weight is down low - but slow speed will test your skills.
400 more nimble in town and in traffic but still will be fine on the highway.
Just iffy for two up touring.
 

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I had a 400 (totaled when rear ended) and currently have a 650 and a V-Star (similar to a C50). If I was returning to riding after a long layoff, I would prefer the 400, followed by the 650. The 400 is the easiest to ride and gets the best fuel mileage (it is the most "tossable"). A cruiser handles much differently than either scooter because of the rake and seating position. It is a more challenging ride. I use the V-Star as my putter around the backroads and mountains bike but either scooter is far superior on both those roads as well as trips. The 400 has a slightly larger trunk capacity. If you plan on taking longer trips on major highways, I would suggest you get the 650. The 400 is adequate on the interstates but the 650 is more stable due to the weight. If you get either scooter, you will want to upgrade the windshield if it still has the original. I had a GIVI on the 400 and have a Clearview with a vent on the 650. I liked the GIVI but the Clearview is far better.
 

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100% agree all these assessments. Little more to add other than I call the 400 the Swiss Army Bike because its just so darn useful, it does most everything competently, not great, but very, very well. It's awesome for its usefulness and its shortcomings are only because it doesn't specialize in any given task.

The 650 is more touring and two up oriented and a fine choice should that be your riding preference. But MacDoc is right, not exactly a beginners machine.

Cruiser, eh. Don't know much about them. But I did see a chap riding today on one. He and his lady friend had all sorts of storage items hanging off of them, bags, purses, things strapped to the back and tank. She was even holding on to an ice cooler, the guy smoked a cigarette while riding. They almost got hit they were so distracted balancing all these items and smoking.

I thought, "now there's why I ride a scooter." Thoughts of evolutionary theory also crossed my mind. So where do you want to be on that scale?
 

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No one ever said "I want less power". Go with the 650
 

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Buy the one that interest you the most. If you buy something else because someone recommended it you will always wish you had bought the one you really wanted.
 

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I had a C50 several bikes ago. Came with a mustang seat was really comfy, but ride feedback was like a Buick Le Sabre(Boring). While riding, if the wind would gust head on ,it would slow down, not flickable in curves due to long front rake, needed another gear and more power as well as vibby above 65+!

Sold it after the second long ride coming back from the BRP same day! Got home at 2:30, listed it on CL, had it sold by 4:30! That bike broke me from ever wanting a mid size vtwin cruiser again! Keep in mind I am Burgman admirer and am saving up to add one to the garage!

J
 

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I had a C50 several bikes ago. Came with a mustang seat was really comfy, but ride feedback was like a Buick Le Sabre(Boring). While riding, if the wind would gust head on ,it would slow down, not flickable in curves due to long front rake, needed another gear and more power as well as vibby above 65+
You're describing my V-Star. However, I bought it knowing it would be that way. I bought it as a backup for my 650, replacing my BMW R1200CLC and BMW R80RT. I had had them for years but as I have aged, I found the CLC to be very heavy for me and the R80RT to be tall for my short inseam. That wasn't as much of a problem before I became Medicare eligible. The V-Star is the worst handling and has the least power of any bike I have had since the Honda CB500T I sold in 1979. However, there is something about riding a real motorcycle occasionally and realizing how special my scooter really is. I would never want a cruiser as my only bike but I do enjoy it for what it is. I wanted a V-Twin after singles, vertical twins, boxer 4, transverse 4, boxer twins, V-four, horizontal four and a horizontal triple.
 

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After a 25 hiatus from riding I bought a 2005 C50 with 11K on the clock back in 2009. Put 50K miles on the 2005 C50 over 3 years and found it to be a fine reintroduction to riding. I got tired of shifting and found I was starting to have les enthusiasm about riding so 2 years ago I traded the C50 in on a Burgman 400. Since then I've put 40K on it. I'm a daily commuter and ride ~75 miles a day, about 400-450 miles a week.

For entire time I owned the C50 I was always thinking about what my next bike would be. I have never had similar thoughts regarding the Burgman.

Both are fine motorcycles with very similar performance. Both cost about the same to ride. The slightly higher fuel cost of the C50 is offset buy the higher tire cost on the Burgman. Since I am a commuter, the protection provided by the extra body work on the Burgman makes weather much less of a bother. The storage volume under the Burgman seat (65 litres) is about the same as the largest bags (30 quarts x 2) I could find for the C50. It is a little easier to transport 115lbs of animal feed (50lbs of layer feed, 25 lbs of scratch and 40 lbs of dog food) on the scooter but you tend to get noticed doing so. If I still had the C50 I probably wouldn't bother trying. I'd just take one of the vehicles.

For me the Burgman is much more to my liking. If you go over to VolusiaRiders.com, you'll find guys over there that came from Burgmans. That's how I came to be here.

For completeness, I'm 190lbs, 6 feet and I never ride 2-up (although the feed is pretty near a passenger). My commute is 15 miles of 75mph slab, 23 miles of light urban roads and 1 mile through downtown Tampa.
 

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I had a 650 about 3 years ago and one day I had to push it. I lost my balance and the bike fell over on me. I hit the ground scuffing up knees and elbows. I couldn't lift the thing back up, someone stopped and helped me. Years ago I could have lifted up by myself but approacing 70 years I'm not as strong. I sold the 650 and went with a China 150. It was a fun bike to ride the neighborhoods since it was so light. Now at 70 years of age with a new girlfriend the 150 wasn't enough for us to go out 2 up riding. Last week I bought a 2008 400 with 5k miles on it. It feels heavy after riding the 150 but I'm getting used to it. I think I've found the happy medium for my riding now.
 

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Like the C50, but...

My brother has a C50, which I tooled around the neighborhood on. My assessment is limited first by the fact that I never went faster than 40MPH indicated and was taking corners on residential streets, and second by my limited time on manual motorcycles. I assume the C50 is more at home on the highway, and I know how to ride a manual but I don't have enough time on them to feel confident. That said, it's a very cool bike, subject to the shortcomings others have cited. I very quickly concluded that I would not want one as my only bike, or my second bike, but I would happily take one as a third bike behind my Burg and a mid-sized standard, assuming I somehow grew a money tree, or had these imaginary extra bikes bestowed on me gratis in some parallel universe!

Seriously though, I wasn't comfortable with the rake and the forward engine weight. Obviously that is partly because I am used to the Burg, pretty much the opposite, and my feelings would probably change if I logged more time on the C50.

I will also put in a plug for the 400. Love that bike in town and on the highway! Sadly, it might fall short for substantial 2-up riding, unless your passenger is on the small side, but I would trust it for light or limited 2-up duty.
 

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Congrats on getting back to riding ! Such a great hobby you'll love it!! However I would not plan on riding 2 up until your completely use to it.I love my 650 but I think it's too heavy to learn on. A 250 is a ideal bike to learn on. Mark
 

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I had a 650 about 3 years ago and one day I had to push it. I lost my balance and the bike fell over on me. I hit the ground scuffing up knees and elbows. I couldn't lift the thing back up, someone stopped and helped me. Years ago I could have lifted up by myself but approacing 70 years I'm not as strong. I sold the 650 and went with a China 150. It was a fun bike to ride the neighborhoods since it was so light. Now at 70 years of age with a new girlfriend the 150 wasn't enough for us to go out 2 up riding. Last week I bought a 2008 400 with 5k miles on it. It feels heavy after riding the 150 but I'm getting used to it. I think I've found the happy medium for my riding now.
The 400 is a nice compromise between those two bikes. You'll love it. Burgman quality, nice amount of power, but over 100 lbs less and much easier to handle.
 

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I'd like to add: I was going to buy a C50 before I bought the burgman. The C50 was quite sluggish and had floorboard vibration at 80mph, after all it is a V twin and they are trying to corner that market with this bike so I'm not by any means knocking it.

I then decided that the burgman was in my thoughts. I test drove both motorcycles for 20 miles and decided upon the burgman.

The top speed of the C50 is at 87 mph actual... The Burger is about the same if it's a 400, but because it's a single piston it doesn't have the vibration thump...

I would prefer the Honda CTX 700 any day of the week over the V twin. I like the smoothness of Parallel twin motorbikes
 

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I like the smoothness of Parallel twin motorbikes
The V or rather L is actually smoother than parallel twin. If they are not, the problem is the engine design itself
 

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The V or rather L is actually smoother than parallel twin. If they are not, the problem is the engine design itself
Boxers or opposed twins, are the smoothest twins, then comes 90° V or "L" twins. Old school BMW don't vibrate, but neither the Ducati, nor the Guzzi L-twins know they are supposed not to vibrate.

V-twins of any other angle vibrate more, and cruiser twins, Harley or metric, are supposed to vibrate.

British parallel twins always had the pistons going up and down in unison, but Honda had one piston down and one up, which took some vibrations away, but gave others.

Yamaha pioneered the principle used in all parallel twins today, the balance axle"s), called the Omni-Pfase.
Using a pair of balancers (one to stabilize the imbalance of the cylinders, the other to counter the rocking caused by the first balancer), Yamaha’s Omni-Phase balancer essentially eliminated vibration in the TX750, producing a smooth ride previously thought possible only in a triple or a four cylinder
Our Burgman 650 engine has this system to thank for its smoothness.
 

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Yamaha pioneered the principle used in all parallel twins today, the balance axle"s), called the Omni-Pfase.
Their Super Tenere does vibrate more than my V-Strom.
 
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