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Discussion Starter #1
It's been over a year since I purchased my 2008 Burgman 400 and I'll admit that I was itching to take it on a long road trip, and this past weekend provided such an opportunity as I decided to ride it from St. Louis down to Madison, AL and back over a long 3.5 day weekend. My goal was more the trip than the destination as I saw it as the perfect opportunity to take the back roads and explore all the little towns with cool sounding names that I would never get close to if traveling the Interstate.

The trip started on a very windy afternoon with 30 mph sustained winds and gusts up to who knows, not the most enjoyable conditions to ride in, but I realized I had a window between rain events and also a chance to beat some of the flooding which was predicted along the Mississippi. Overall, the Burgman handled the winds just fine, I'm not an overly experienced rider, but I have learned to relax the grips and just let the scooter do what it needs to do and then correct to get back on path. At first it was not too bad as the wind was mostly behind me as I explored a few old forts and settlements south of St. Louis on the Illinois side, but once I crossed back into MO at Chester, IL the wind had the scooter riding at an angle and I imagined it must have been pretty gusty as it was not too easy to straighten out the head.

Fortunately, the wind was much reduced on the next day, but it was cold (mid 30's) when I started riding, but applying the many layer approach it was not too bad on the scooter. I was to learn later how dangerous leaves and mud can be to a scooter as I went down to Cairo, IL to explore what is left of the town. Anyways, the town still has a few historic buildings worth checking out and in front of one “Magnolia Manor” I was about to park the Burgman when I noticed mud under the leaves where I had put my foot down, so I thought better find a different spot to park before taking a few photos. The surprise was the loss of traction and before I knew it I had done a 180. Fortunately, the scooter did not go down and I was able to complete my visit to the town with a few snaps at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi which I was thinking was about to swallow the low lying park as the water was already starting to flood the fringes.

The rest of the day was spent cruising through western Kentucky (nice rolling farmland) to the Land Between the Lakes where I chatted a little with a man who was riding his bicycle from Mobile to NY (he had the sound of someone who would have been very happy to trade his pedals for my scooter). Further stops included Ft. Donaldson, Dickson TN, and the Narrows of the Harpeth park. On leaving the park I realized I was way behind schedule and decided to take I65 from Nashville down to Madison, AL. A couple of comments as I'll be the first to say the ride was not nearly as enjoyable as taking the back roads, but the Burgman handled the 90 odd miles of highway speed (72-77 mph) with no problem. I tried to keep the Burgman at 80 indicated which was registering as 72 on the GPS at a steady 7000 rpms on my completely mechanically stock scooter (thinking Dr. Pulley Sliders might be in my future). The other observation was that ones gas mileage does take a hit as I recorded my lowest mpg on any tank during the trip, but it was still a respectable 58.8 mpg.

The next day I returned to Nashville by way of 431 (state highway) and it was so much more enjoyable. After a brief stop to take a few snaps of the Parthenon replica, I made my way to Paris as I figured I had already been to Cairo so might as well add a European sounding city to my list even if it's Eiffel tower is considerable smaller and it seems to be known for Catfish as they were celebrating the worlds biggest Fish Fry, before finishing the day in Murray Kentucky.

On my last day, I had an uneventful ride with only a few stops scheduled in places like Metropolis (needed to check out Superman) and I'll admit my butt was ready to be back home. It was during this stretch as I headed out of Murray on 641 where I had my closest call as I was cruising along about 57 mph when I hit a little shaded patch of road which was made worse by my wearing dark sunglasses, so I never saw the deer before it was right in front of me sprinting across the road at a full sprint. It happened so fast I had no time to take any corrective action and was so close it almost did not seem real and incredible that I did not hit it. I hope I do not have another such close encounter and it made me think why it's such a good idea to always have all your riding gear on.

In summary, the trip was much more enjoyable than I had imagined. The Burgman handled it with no problems with an average mpg in the mid 60's and best tank of 70.1. My biggest complaint would be seat comfort as I really suffered from monkey butt. Probably of more interest is my thoughts on a few of the add-ons I used for the trip, all of which I learned about from reading articles on this site.

Givi Airflow Windshield: It's a vast improvement over the stock windshield. My only complaints would be that it did not do a great job of deflecting bugs from making impact on the helmet, even at it's most extended position. Still, I would invest in it again as it provides good wind protection for the hands and great reduces buffeting at highway speeds.

Bead Rider: I opted for the pricy ceramic version and I'm second guessing myself a little as it made for a very slippery seat. It did improve the airflow which will be really nice on the hot days and probably did improve seat comfort, but I'm starting to think that I might just be one of those people where the foot forward seating position does not work.

Isuzu Trooper backrest: This is a great idea, but since the one I purchased was not notched, there is only one setting and that's all the way back. Maybe if I was a little thicker, it would not matter, but I found that it was too far back to rest against as then my fingers would barely be on the handlebar. I just might need to modify it in the future where I can set it about 1.5-2 inches further forward (anyone have success doing that?).

Cramp Buster: Very basic, but I realized it's very valuable as I could not imagine having to grip the throttle all day long. The negative I found was on the third day of riding, when I tried to adjust it, it started pinching the rubber on the hand grips which lead to it having to be removed to be set in a slightly different position. Not sure what changed as it worked as advertised the first few days, but even with that limitation, on all my long rides I think I'll be using it in the future.

Ram Mount on break reservoir: Just about the correct position for my GPS, I'm very happy I purchased it. I used it with my Garmin 255w GPS which I normally use in my car and I found that if you have it positioned directly in front of you, you can read it without any problems as long as you set the brightness level to 100%. For power, I purchased a cheap adapter from Wal-Mart which allowed me to close the glove box with it plugged in and since it had a flat cable I was easily able to close the door. I used Scotch All-Weater sticky's which I attached in front of my handle bar which was just about the best location I could think of as it was right in line the Ram Mount.

Givi E370 topcase: I realize I could have gone a lot bigger for the Burgman, but I wanted to switch it between the Burgman and my Sh150i so the E370 was about the right balance. Anyways, I could not imagine traveling without a topcase as it served as my suitcase as I would take it with me into the hotel room at night.

One other thing I learned on the trip, that is to bring a spare key as I managed to bend mine and as a result I had to be real delicate or else it would not work (I had fears of it no longer working or my being able to remove it from the transmission which would have made things a little more interesting). One question I have to others, came when getting caught in a construction zone and I was on the milled down pavement, I was thinking about moving over to the smooth pavement, but was second guessing how well the Burgman and it's little wheels would take the several inch bump at 70+ mph, was I unduly worried?

Anyways, that's all for now, I hope someone might have found it interesting or maybe helped some decide that maybe the Burgman is the scooter for them...
 

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Congratulations on the fine ride! At one time, there was a prevailing opinion on the forum that the 400 was only fit for in town riding, and not for anything on the freeway except for short spurts. Definitely not for "touring". Then came members like Mitch (micbergsma) who did some long trips to include 1400+ miles in one day. More and more of us are using our 400s for commuting...then taking them out on a trip like yours and finding they do remarkably well.

Any pictures?

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Chris,

More pictures on the way tonight, but here is one of the Fat Pig (name of my Burgman) loaded and ready to go right before the trip.
 

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I'm Retired
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Ummm...let's not get confused here. ;) The 400 is usually referred to as "svelte", while the 650 is affectionally called the "Lardy". "Fat Pig" will have everyone confused as to which model you have. :lol:

Chris
 

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Great ride... I own a 650 and I love taking the long ride... I got monkey butt after about 3 hrs into and the last tankfull was a push... I tried the bead rider and that did not do it.... I went to burgmanseats.com and Cary Vincent... He built me his "Puffy seat" which is a distance riders friend... I now have a seat that I can ride along with my Goldwing friends and keep up...
I recently added a trailer hitch and have a cargo trailer which I am re-building as the plywood was rotten... I will have it finished in a few days and am going to do some motorcycle camping...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Chris,

Your correct when you write about how the Burgman 400 is plenty scooter to go touring with. The way I look at it, the real joy of taking a motorcycle or scooter on multi-day trips is staying off the Interstate and if you need to get on the Interstate, it handled it with no problems. The other benefits are the large under seat storage and better mpg. The negative is that it can't cruise at 85 mph all day long, but to be honest I do not drive my car nearly that fast, so it's not a real negative for me. The bigger question for me is, which scooter fits you better.

So onto a few pictures of what you can see from the seat of a Burgman 400:
 

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