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Discussion Starter #1
I guess this would be the best place to ask these questions, I am not a "newbie" yet, but am seriously considering it. I am active duty Navy (17.5 years), and I am being transferred to Pensacola, FL. The thing is that my family will be located in Orlando, FL (about 440 miles), and I guess my main question is would a Burgman 650 be the right bike for me to make a weekend commute back and forth? It would mean almost 900 miles EVERY weekend. But I am seriously considering it, mainly because of gas prices, I own a large SUV, and paying roughly 450 a month just for gas to see my kids seems extreme. It would only cost about 160 if the gas mileage that I see here is accurate. I used to have a bad back, would the Burgman be comfortable enough on a 6-7 hour trip? How is the handling in the rain? Are passing and being passed by Tractor Trailers a problem? Am I going to be pushing it trying to keep up with traffic on I-75? It seems if you aren't going 80-85 on that hwy you could get run over. Thanks for the help, and please respond via e-mail, I don't know when I will get back on the sight, but I have learned alot and I will come back as soon as I can.
 

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Welcome, Navy.

The Burgman 650 will do all you ask, and more. The question is, will you? 440 miles on a motorcycle of any kind is pretty much an 8+hour day. I see some saddle-soreness in your future.

Steve

Gear up!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
saddle soreness

Never experienced that particular soreness, is it miserable? Or just slightly irritating?
 

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I find an 8-hour day 'tolerable' in bad conditions, 'exhilarating' in good. I guess it most depends on whether you like the road your on. If it heads towards your wife and kids, you probably will.

Steve

Gear up!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
lots of questions

The more I browse the forum, the more I think I am going to give this a try. Just keep having more and more questions, what is the difference between "K3", "K4" and "K5"...I see these numbers alot, but so far I haven't found an explanation. Thanks again for all the help!!

Patrick
 

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How much other riding experience do you have? There appears to a solid majority here who feel that a 650 is simply too large and powerful for a first bike, and that even the 400 might be too much. (A newbie was recently killed trying to learn to ride on a 400, though the death was admittedly the result of a freak accident that occurred largely through neglect of several basic safety principles.) I learned last year on a 150 scoot, and would _strongly_ suggest that, if you have no experience, you buy nothing larger than a 250 used and then resell it in about three or four months, probably for about as much as you paid for it in the first place. Several times during my first months, I did things that undoubtedly would have crashed my 400, but from which I easily recovered due to the 150's small size and low power. You can use the learner scoot for errands and such, all the while gaining experience, and use it to pass your riding test (much easier on a small bike) if you need to.

I'll state one thing flatly. If you are a new rider, you have no business _at all_ on the interstate highway for the first six months to a year of your learning curve, except maybe for one- or two-exit hops at slow periods after the crucial first few weeks are over with. (You won't be visiting your family at _all_ once dead, except as a ghost. And scooter-riding can get you quite thoroughly dead indeed, something we riders can never, ever afford to forget.) Since the small bike will do everything the big bike can except cruise the interstate, you really lose nothing at all in terms of utility.
 

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Like Lapine Rider said it would depend on your experience, 440 miles it not to far with either machine, but it is a good ride. but you should also ask yourself what you intend to use the bike for the rest of the week .
If your really a newbie and you will use the bike in town all week I would go with the 400 and stay off the expressway till I got some experience, nothing to do with the 400, you can go state to state with it, it's the rider that has to be up to it.
 

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Too bad about the p-cola thing. cept in real life, it is cheap and slow. and i like that.

Nav - that's a long haul. Sigh. The big burger will do that fine. It is up to your butt and hands and all else...no different than other cycles 'cept it may bit more relaxing cause you dont have to switch gears. It'll go 75+ (real) alllll day long. And if a group of 79mph sumpthin Altimas and Mercedes piss you off you can go ahead and go past them (carefully, at a measured TON.)

Plus you'll get all of the what the heck is that and how fast does it go and how much did it cost boo-ha.

sigh.

pete
 

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Discussion Starter #10
650 or 400

I really appreciate everyone's reply. It is helping me become aware of the issues involved. I did some dirt bike riding as a kid, and owned a moped as a teenager, I have also been known to jump on a friends bike (usually those god awful fast sport bikes) and zip around town a bit. Not a total newbie to the 2 wheel scene, just haven't owned one in a long time (I am 36 y.o.). Old enuf to be slightly scared of it, and mature enuf not to do anything incredibly stupid. Of course a safety course is in my immediate future. I just hate the thoughts of getting the 400 and in 2 or 3 months wishing I had got the bigger bike, and I have seen several posts in here where that was exactly the case. As for the highway cruising, that will of course wait until I have some experience in many driving conditions. It's hard to tell what sort of things you can come across on a 440 mile trip. But with the savings in gas money, and the fact that I have wanted a motorcycle for quite some time I am really leaning towards a 650, fairly soon. I am probably going to "pull the trigger" in the Aug/Sep timeframe. Does anyone know when the 06's are going to be available? I figure once they hit the showroom, I should be able to get a great price on an 05. Now that I have more or less made a decision, what sort of suggestions does everyone have as for accessories, helmets, extra storage, electronics, apparel..etc?? BTW: I am 5'8" and weigh about 180, will the stock windscreen be tall enough? How many people that use the scoot for cruising long distance end up getting a new seat? What brands? The questions are just endless, lots of great info in the message boards, but it's so varied to individuals that I can't seem to get a consensus on things like the seat and the windscreen.
 

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The new 650 models have typically been released late. They have been hitting the showrooms in the early months of the actual model year. Based on that pattern, it is unlikely that you will see an '06 in the Fall of 2005. It fact, we have just been getting our first info/rumors on the next model year changes about that time, because that is when the dealer shows are held. Of course, anything is subject to change, but my guess is that you will still be looking at '05 650 models until early in 2006.
 

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I'm going to go against the common wisdom here, and say that for your intended purpose I would definitely go for the 650 and not the 400.

Since you intend to do some really long weekends, and since you say you've had back problems, I think the bigger engine and bigger wheels on the 650 will be appreciated from day one.

Any bike is going to be a pain in the butt on long trips compared to a car; there just isn't as much seating position flexibilty on a bike. But having done many 200 and 300 mile days (and several 500 and 600 miles days) on the 650 I think it's an excellent choice.

You'll know after you've got a thousand or so miles on it whether you want or need an aftermarket seat enough to justify the cost. Do a search (one of the buttons right under the logo at the top of this page) using the key word "Seat" for lots of discussions.

Same thing for windshields. At 5' 8" the stock screen may be okay for you, or you may want to go one size larger. Again, lots of prior threads about windshields.

And I wouldn't worry about riding on the freeways in Florida (except maybe in the Miami or the Tampa/St. Pete areas). For the most part, freeways are safer than "surface streets" because everyone's going in the same direction and no one's likely to pull out of a driveway or cross-street into your path. Just maintain a 3+ second following distance at all speeds, and keep up your visual scanning to both sides, behind, and well up the road ahead. Space = time = safety.

Good luck.
 

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Hi Nav,

I just returned home from picking up my new (to me) 2003 AN400(K3).
I rode it from Port Saint Lucie, FL. to Texas and stopped in at the naval aviation museum in Pensicola even.
My suggestion would be to get yourself the 400 and move up to the 650 later because of gas prices and your high amount of mileage you would be riding. The 400 cruises very well at 80 and better at 70ish. How fast are you going to want to go? The 650 is nice and I would recommend it to someone who has the money to spend the extra $2000 and the extra gas and insurance for. I believe you would be as comfortable on either (with the same aftermarket upgrades) and both will have basically the same features/advantages over a standard bike. The 400 will get 10-20 MPG better than the 650. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The 400 does SEEM like it would fit the bill nicely. Just concerned that it might not be quite enough on those long road trips, if there is any traffic on I-75 (like weekends), if you aren't moving at 80-85 you could get run over. Even the slow lane!! I will not rule it out as a choice that I still need to make though. I just checked the map and there does seem to be plenty of secondary roads.
 

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I agree with Brian and , if you are comfortable on the 650 and can put both feet on the ground, don't be overly concerned about the engine size. As on any bike, YOU control the power and speed (with some training and experience). In this regard, a 650 is no more difficult to handle than a smaller displacement bike. You can get into just as much trouble with a 125 or 250 if you can't control the throttle and brakes.
With the riding conditions you describe, I feel that the 650 would be better suited. Not that the 400 couldn't handle those conditions, it's just that I think the heavier more powerful 650 would be a better choice. And, based on my experience with long distance touring, 900 miles every weekend in all kinds of weather will get very tiresome real quick on any kind of motorcycle. Maybe you should consider trading your SUV on a smaller car or truck.

Don
 

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Nav,
I took I-75 from Port Saint Lucie at 3pm Thursday up the entire I-75 to Ocala and then got on 27 to 19/320? all the way to Tallahassee (checked in at midnight). Not only was it very windy and a good deal of traffic on Thursday (including bunches of trucks) but raining much of the way. I did stop just south of Orlando at one of the service islands/Citgo for about 45 mins to an hour because it was dumping buckets but other than that I really had no problems on the 400! Just get yourself a rainsuit for those rainy days and I used a textile jacket with a liner (layer clothing for temperature changes) and you will want to invest in an aftermarket windshield (Givi, etc. Clearview is supposed to be coming out with one soon - which is what I'm holding out for I think). I went 75-85 almost the entire way home to Texas. Granted, the extra $2000 for a 650 will get you more power and you can go faster but save extra for those speeding tickets as well as the added weight, insurance and gas! I saw a good 20+ highway/state troopers on I-75! (none on 27/19) ;)
EDIT: BTW, the highbeams are so bright you gotta wear shades! From close to 2 miles away folks will flash you to turn em down. WAY brighter than most any cage's highbeams!
 

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I would also say the 650. That many hrs. in the saddle, the additional weight will help overcome some crosswind issues, and I feel the ride is a bit better. The 400 will cruise fine @ 75+ solo, but when me and my wife went touring, we did hit all types of weather. If you hit some higher winds, say 20 -25 mph and it's a head wind, the 400 would really be working to maintain that cruise speed. I've always been a believer in having a reserve, that includes power as well. You never really know what you will hit, in a 400 mile run in one day.

As for the soreness issue, well untill you (and your butt) get used to it, you will sleep very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Great!

I have never done any type of cruising, but from looking around at the "big bikes", and comparing to the Burgman, there doesn't seem to any comparison. In most cases the Burgman appears to be BETTER suited to long distances than the big cruisers, and I for one don't have 20-25,000 dollars laying around to spend for one of those.

Don,

Can't get rid of the SUV, what would I pull the boat with?? I am stuck with it till it falls apart, and will probably get another one when that happens. I absolutely love my truck, (2000 Tahoe). But the gas...whew!! Filled up today...$48.00, that lasts about a week, if I JUST got to work and back.

Selias,
Love that you are cruising around my stomping ground. Would like to meet up with you sometime in late June/early July. I am in VA right now, but will be in Orlando on leave in June/July.

All,
Thanks to you all for the tips and the hints. It's great to be in such good company on the internet of all places. Feels like that corner bar where everyone knows your name!!
 

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Nav,

I don't usually cruise your stomping grounds. I flew to Port Saint Lucie and bought the AN400K3 from a private seller (for $3400) and rode it back home (in texas, real close to LA. border). In fact, it was the first time I've ever been on those roads! :) However, the roads are nice and I had a good trip.
If you have the cash for a 650 I would consider buying one if it fits into your budget. I was in the navy back in the late 70's and money is not one of the reasons for joining. Saturday Night Live (the original) had a faux-commercial about the Navy, showing scraping paint, cleaning heads, etc. and the buy-line was.. The navy.. It's not just a job, It's $96.78 a week.
I related to that back then. Now I make about 20 times that but we have 5 kids also and I am the sole income. Money is still a concern for me. That is why I chose the 400. I'd love to have a 650. Of course, another reason I bought the 400 is that the resale on the burgmans are very good.
I imagine I'd be able to resell my 400 at over 10K miles for the same that I bought it (more if I add options to the bike). Others here have valid points about the 650 being more suitable. It's also been suggested by folks around here that the 650 is a pretty big baby to start with for folks not accustomed to riding bikes. Just use your common sense, be careful, weigh in as many factors that personally affect YOU (and yours) and make a decision, go for it and do yourself (and those you love and who love and need you) a favor and take the motocycle safety course before you hit the highways! :) Better than developing bad habits that are difficult to break and it's much more enjoyable the less stress you have riding. :D
 

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Selias said:
...BTW, the highbeams are so bright you gotta wear shades! From close to 2 miles away folks will flash you to turn em down. WAY brighter than most any cage's highbeams!
I can second that.

Because of the hours I work, I do a lot of night driving. The 650's headlights are among the best I've ever seen. If the 400's are similar, then they're bound to be excellent too.

Bright, white, sharply focused. Very nice.
 
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