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Discussion Starter #1
**I am not a total newbie, but thought this would be the best forum for this post***

After installing my new Airflow shield, had a chance to take a ride and test it out. Since the temps were upper 80s, I opted to leave the extension panel wrapped up under the seat so that more air would hit my chest/shoulders. It was GREAT!!! I love the lower profile and the width as well. Just makes the front end seem more substantial.

Anyway, the route I took was fairly challenging with multiple switchbacks, hairpins and decreasing radius curves up and down hill. When I have ridden these types of roads on standard motorcycles (read manual tranny), I would do a good deal of using engine braking and down-shifting to avoid constant application of the actual brakes. Going back to the MSF training, I recall the 4 steps they taught – Slow, Look, Press and Roll. However, there were times when this seemed a bit difficult to accomplish on the scoot. For instance, with multiple switchbacks on a downhill path, I was picking up speed going through them and felt the need to apply some rear brake. Yet, the MSF instructor cautioned against ever using the brake, even the rear, when leaning due to the reduced traction. I get that, but without applying a bit of brake, how do you slow enough when gaining speed and taking curves? Another issue I noticed was when I needed to slow to the point of essentially having the clutch disengage – i.e. a hairpin turn. Rather than just be coasting, I used the rear while keeping the revs up a bit. But again, this is contrary to the instructor's advice.

In thinking back to when I had my first Burgman, I do not recall how I handled more challenging riding or if I even did that type of riding. I was new to two-wheels and probably was not pushing it very much. As I gained more experience on various standard motorcycles, I enjoyed finding and riding more “interesting” roads. The MSF trips were always in my mind while riding. However, now that my ride has a CVT, I am having a bit of mental difficulty in figuring exactly how to apply those. Hoping some of you more experienced folks who ride the twisties can provide some tips on how to ride them on an automatic. Also, what riding posture (lower body) do you use to compensate for not having a tank to grip with your knees?

Thanks all! :)
 

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If you think about it, using engine braking puts the same dynamic forces on the rear wheel that using the rear brake would. If applying a little rear brake to simulate engine braking would cause you to loose traction then using engine braking would do the same.

I use my rear brake when cornering. I also use it in conjunction with a little throttle to keep the clutch engaged for slow speed maneuvering. That is how you simulate the things you would do with the clutch and gear lever on a standard shift bike.
 

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I got a 08 400 in the middle of November last year and rode it 4,000 miles on crooked mountain roads until it was totaled by a rear ender on July 1. I found that braking before the turn and then accelerating through and out of the turn works best for me (did the same thing with motorcycles). About 90% of my braking is done with the front brakes.

I replaced the 400 with a 650 and the 650 gears itself down so it works well in the mountains. The Power button makes it work even better. I don't use the brakes nearly as much on the 650 as I did on the 400. I miss the flickability and 15 MPG advantage of the 400.

Regarding riding position, I rode the 400 with my feet forward and my back against a backrest the prior owner had installed. Never gripped the tank on a motorcycle.
 

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im a newbie but based on a lot of info out there and what has worked for me is that accelerating in the curve would put the weight in back and once you start accelerating you keep doing it through the curve until you're out of it.
 

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A bit more precise brake hard going before going into the curve and accelerate out....works most times except downhill offcamber which requires careful handling.....accelerating in those circumstances can get you into trouble right quick as gravity aids the acceleration and trying to slow down with brakes then can get ahem exciting.
 

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All the above is good advice. But on a motorcycle you can hang on to the tank with your knee and slide your butt down in the seat to lower your center of gravity. On a scoot you can not hang a knee on the tank. So some of us found out that you can cross brace with your foot. Hard left corner slide your butt a bit down into the corner and brace your right foot and push back into the Butt-Stop.
 

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**I am not a total newbie, but thought this would be the best forum for this post***
...
Anyway, the route I took was fairly challenging with multiple switchbacks, hairpins and decreasing radius curves up and down hill. When I have ridden these types of roads on standard motorcycles (read manual tranny), I would do a good deal of using engine braking and down-shifting to avoid constant application of the actual brakes. Going back to the MSF training, I recall the 4 steps they taught – Slow, Look, Press and Roll. However, there were times when this seemed a bit difficult to accomplish on the scoot.

For instance, with multiple switchbacks on a downhill path, I was picking up speed going through them and felt the need to apply some rear brake. Yet, the MSF instructor cautioned against ever using the brake, even the rear, when leaning due to the reduced traction. I get that, but without applying a bit of brake, how do you slow enough when gaining speed and taking curves?
Brake going into a corner, accelerate gingerly through a corner, snap the throttle to streaighten up and get away. I find that the engine braking of the Burgman, even loaded up, keeps it from careening down a hill. If that happens, I use the brakes mercilessly. That's what they're for, but it is rare, and we ride through real mountains.

The MSF instructor doesn't want you grabbing the rear brake in a corner because it can blow your traction out the window, you get that. Racers will tell you that dragging your brake through the corner increases the traction of the front wheel by shifting forces forward, correct, but you have to know what you're doing. And you have to have good tires.

Another issue I noticed was when I needed to slow to the point of essentially having the clutch disengage – i.e. a hairpin turn. Rather than just be coasting, I used the rear while keeping the revs up a bit. But again, this is contrary to the instructor's advice.
Again. consider where he's coming from. He's talking to newbies who ride bikes with clutches, not Burgmans. The fact ther is no clutch removes your bike from the general discussion, and the engine braking adds a whole new dimension. It's up to you to grok it out.

At slow speeds, adding throtle to keep the bike in gear and applying the brake to check acceleration is the only way to maintain control. With another bike they would say to feather the clutch. That's how it in with scooters.

In thinking back to when I had my first Burgman, I do not recall how I handled more challenging riding or if I even did that type of riding. I was new to two-wheels and probably was not pushing it very much. As I gained more experience on various standard motorcycles, I enjoyed finding and riding more “interesting” roads. The MSF trips were always in my mind while riding. However, now that my ride has a CVT, I am having a bit of mental difficulty in figuring exactly how to apply those. Hoping some of you more experienced folks who ride the twisties can provide some tips on how to ride them on an automatic. Also, what riding posture (lower body) do you use to compensate for not having a tank to grip with your knees?

Thanks all! :)
Ride them like on any other vehicle, soft in and hard out once you establish your sightlines. Feathering the throttle is a knack, but you can use it to control the transmission as you go in and out of curves. Roll off slowly as you go in, hold it steady and increase just as slowly until it's time to recover. You need GOOD TIRES and GOOD PAVEMENT to push the limits, bit the Burgman handles remarkably well through corners at speed. It will go much faster than I will.

As for position, I have a 3 Brothers backrest. It is basically a piece of plywood that lifts the butt pad amd moves it back an inch or two. I am 5'10" with a 32" inseam. I appreciate how the lumbar support reduces fatigue. Most of the time I sit straight up, loose and relaxed, my feet down or ahead on the footboards. If I'm pushing my limits, I place my feet at the front and push my butt back into the backrest to wedge me in place. Then I straighten my arms so I am secure and relaxed, erect with no moving parts. After that, the bike does the work. I look where I'm going, lean, and the rest of me shifts enough to carry the bike there too. It just happens.

Go and ride. Have no concern about whether the bike can do it --- it can. Ride within your own limits but be comfortable about expanding them, as you see fit. Hairpins are always hairy (hence the name), but on a flat road the Burgman will not disappoint. It's up to you to watch for gravel, animals and other hazards.

Most of all, ride safe, within your limits.
Scott Fraser
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks so much for all the excellent tips guys! I just love how the members of this forum are always willing to share their experience and expertise. I will just keep practicing and as Scott said, ride within my limits but work to expand them slowly over time as well. :D
 

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If you're like me and find yourself "notchy" or just not making a nice, rounded, sweeping corner, look through the corner, where you want to go(as mentioned) instead of pointing right in front of you. It makes a world of difference for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Mike! I think it is probably a bit of "short looking" combined with a slight lack of confidence due to limited experience on the Burgman. I plan to work on all these elements and hopefully relax and enjoy the ride instead of over-thinking it like I am prone to do.
 

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I am a long time motorcycle rider and former road racer, I find the Burgman to do just fine in the twisty bits using the techniques I developed over the years.
Brake before entering the corner, head and eyes up looking as far as possible where I want to go, trail brake as needed and roll the throttle on smoothly for a clear apex and exit. I also find the using the Power button helps keep the bike more settled.
The key IMHO is to be smooth , no abrupt movements, pick a line and stay with it.:D

Body position is important but hanging off like a racer is not.
 

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Another thing that you might try is the power mode. I always use it going over a mountain with lots of twisties. It's also useful for slow turns, e.g., turning after a stop. The more aggressive throttle response helps me make tighter slow turns.

As for braking, I've always favored trail braking in a turn to maintain exactly the speed I want. It's a light application of the rear brake all the way through a turn. It allows you to use just a tad more throttle and control your lean better, IMHO.
 
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