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Discussion Starter #1
My impression on the board is that most of you have been riding for years. Me, not so much. I've ridden bicycles, but the Burgman is my first motorcycle. Many of the questions and concerns raised on the board are ones I don't understand, and the comparisons to other machines fly over my head.

What are some questions that I as a newbie not just to the Burgman but to motorcycling in general need to be asking?
 

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Hello from Dallas, TX. Have you taken an Motorcycle Safety Course? That is probably the best place to start: safety. I came here many months ago before I bought my Burgman 400 to absorb all I could about the machine and motorcycling in general. I have also found that having the right riding gear is essential to a enjoying it as well. Head out to the Burgman 400 forum and read all you can. Enjoy!
 

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Welcome to the world of two wheels. I agree. If you are new to riding, take a safety course. I grew up on dirt bikes then moved on to street bikes, but the Burgman has got to be a good bike to start with. With no clutch or shifting, you can concentrate more on handling something new and pay more attention to your surroundings. There are no dumb questions. There are a lot of experienced riders here, so by all means, take advantage of that. Have fun!��
 

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What are some questions that I as a newbie not just to the Burgman but to motorcycling in general need to be asking?
Learn how to ride it. This means taking an MSF course or two, taking it to a parking lot with no one in it, and practice, practice, practice. Be sure to practice "panic situations", so that you don't have to practice when they actually happen.
 

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ask yorself this question. am i mechanically inclined, can i work on it myself to make needed repairs?
if i had to pay the stealership to make repairs to my to my 400, i couldnt afford it. 64,000 miles and still going strong.
 

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How about "why didn't I do this before?"
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ask yorself this question. am i mechanically inclined, can i work on it myself to make needed repairs?
if i had to pay the stealership to make repairs to my to my 400, i couldnt afford it. 64,000 miles and still going strong.
The answer to that is 'no'; I've had mine for two years and had very little that has had to be done to it except routine checkups, oil change, and one new tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I should say that a great many skills from bicycling have crossed over, and I did have a little put-put 50cc before.
 

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How about "why didn't I do this before?"
I know the answer. If either of my parents had still been alive when I started, they'd have nagged me into getting rid of it just to shut them up. (As a teenager, my mother's father was in a very serious motorcycle accident, so she had some basis for it.)
 

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How about "why didn't I do this before?"
+1:D

My story is similar to your's - bicycled for years, more than a couple of centuries and a lot crosses over. Got 'bit' and got a 49cc and rode it for a (full, winter included) year and bought a Burgman 400 a bit over a year ago.

i can't say enough good about the MSP Basic Rider Course - it's a great place to start. There's also a lot of other resources out there also. Keith Code's books (Twist of the Wrist, etc.) answered most of my questions about cornering. Keep riding and keep learning.
 

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I should say that a great many skills from bicycling have crossed over, and I did have a little put-put 50cc before.
I agree. I rode bicycles for years before I rode motorized two wheelers. Of course I was 7 to 15 at the time. But it counts. Lol. :D

It does give a rider a great sense of balance, feel for cornering, counter-steering, etc. I rode bicycles well into my 30s, in addition to riding motorcycles. I probably put in 40k miles on unpowered bikes in my lifetime. Great training for the big bikes.
 

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One thing I have learned about riding motorcycles that are not like bicycles is the steering at higher speeds - over 30 or so. Steering your motorcycle by leaning will work but is not the best technique: steering by slightly pushing and pulling on the handle bars work far more efficiently than leaning. However its not like steering a car - actually it is the opposite. Steering the motorcycle right at higher speeds will turn the bike left and steering it left will turn the bike right. On the twisties, this is essential to smooth navigation - try navigating the twisties by leaning and you will go over the hill.
 

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One thing I have learned about riding motorcycles that are not like bicycles is the steering at higher speeds - over 30 or so. Steering your motorcycle by leaning will work but is not the best technique: steering by slightly pushing and pulling on the handle bars work far more efficiently than leaning. However its not like steering a car - actually it is the opposite. Steering the motorcycle right at higher speeds will turn the bike left and steering it left will turn the bike right. On the twisties, this is essential to smooth navigation - try navigating the twisties by leaning and you will go over the hill.
Yes, that's called counter steering and it kicks in well before 30 mph, more like 10, but increases as you go faster. You do it on a bicycle too, but you're generally not going fast enough to notice.

If you haven't taken the MSF course, you should. They teach you all these things.
 

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Take a motorcycle safety course and practice, drive defensively with a capital D. Treat all cars as potential "enemies" and treat all intersections as potentially "deadly". And go slow; speed will always make any collision worse.
 

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I think the 400 would have been an easier "first motorcycle" for me than my 650. But now I can't imagine life without it. I still think about picking up a nice 2nd-hand 400 for running around town, to save the 650 for the long trips on which it excels. Have fun and be safe.
 

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I think the 400 would have been an easier "first motorcycle" for me than my 650. But now I can't imagine life without it. I still think about picking up a nice 2nd-hand 400 for running around town, to save the 650 for the long trips on which it excels. Have fun and be safe.
Ha, that's funny; I bought the 650 to save miles on my 400. And yes, the 400 makes a better beginner bike.

I can also highly recommend the 400 as a 2nd bike, the two bikes are very similar in many respects, but very different in others. Like you're contemplating, I use the 400 during the week, commuting and such, and I use the 650 on the weekends. But sometimes I switch it up just for fun.
 

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Steering your motorcycle by leaning will work but is not the best technique: .... On the twisties, this is essential to smooth navigation - try navigating the twisties by leaning and you will go over the hill.
Oh dear .... I don't wanna start another leaning -vs- counter steering debate ... However, yesterday I rode the Devils Triangle , leaning ... Nary a scratch ... And I have ridden the Dragon numerous times by "leaning" the bike ... I have yet to "go over the hill". I've never understood the nuance of the whole counter steering conversation. In over 50K of riding I've never wrecked, in a curve. A car and a dog got me in a straight line a time or two:(

Sirkitrider
 

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You ARE counter-steering, no other method is available at speed.



I don't like the term either - just ride it..
..that said I will on a rare occasion think about the bar push

Kid had it far over at the advanced rider course today



When you kick your ass over one way the front wheel tracks the other,,,hence the counter-steer term.

Here's a maxi in racing trim and obvious counter-steer

 

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take the safety course, always wear a helmet and glove's and eye protection, remember that you don't have a steel cage around you, and that 10% of the drivers around you are on their cell phones.
 
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