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Discussion Starter #1
One of the considerations I've had towards deciding on the 650 was what I was told by a friend of mine who is 23 but has been riding since the earliest age Colorado let him do so. He recommended that since I am new to bike's and I'll be doing mostly highway riding, that I get the 650 BECAUSE of the weight. He said that due to my inexperience on motorcycles, a lighter bike might be too heavily affected by the wind(on highway's) and a the 650 would be alot easier for me to handle as it is not so much affected by said wind.

Can anyone here argue for or against my friend on this?
 

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Rice_klowN

My goldwing is 800# dry and the Burger King is 525#. I cannot honestly feel much difference between the two despite the 275# difference.

The Ninja comes in at 300#, IS more affected by winds, but not to the extent you would think considering it's 500# lighter.

My brother-in-law is an engineer for Boeing. His opinion is that coefficient of drag is the primary factor. He feels that since the design teams at Honda etc. have probably reduced the coeffieient of drag of the machine with wind tunnel testing etc, it leaves the factor of "sail" increasing the drag.

he defines "sail" as the riders posture, a passenger, lugguge etc. Anything other than the bike itself that can catch the wind and thereby affect the bikes handling. It seemed to explain why the Ninja isn't much worse off than the Wing. Small "sail" vs large "sail". I doubt there is much difference between the 650 and 400.

You are going to get tossed once in a while and have a few "white knuckle" experiences no matter what you ride. Experience will teach you to anticipate many of the blasts, but you will always be hit by those "ghost" winds that appear out of nowhere.

A little tip from the trailbikers: "When in doubt...gas it out". Acceleration forces the bike to more upright stance and transfers weight to the rear wheel increasing traction.

Have you completed your MSF BRC? End of safety lecture.

Bill
 

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My MSF instructor mused that it was basically wrong to start out on something "small and manageable" - he stated that, statistically, the facts proved that there are more accidents in the first 6 months of motorcycle ownership than at any other time. Which to me sounded logical. But, to the casual observer it may sound not quite right, or pushing it, but then he clairified by saying you are riding the motorcycle, you aren't carrying it.
Further he said - get the bike you want.
If its a thumpin vibratin 883 - great. If it's a huge silky smooth BMW Road Machine - fine...buy it. If it's a flippin 350 Boss Hoss, - buy it.

He went on to say that you are exposing yourself to another 6 months of statistics if you switch from one to another early by buying a lesser machine than you want rather than learning on and becoming intimate with the one you have.
 

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Pete said:
My MSF instructor mused that it was basically wrong to start out on something "small and manageable" - he stated that, statistically, the facts proved that there are more accidents in the first 6 months of motorcycle ownership than at any other time. Which to me sounded logical. But, to the casual observer it may sound not quite right, or pushing it, but then he clairified by saying you are riding the motorcycle, you aren't carrying it.
Further he said - get the bike you want.
If its a thumpin vibratin 883 - great. If it's a huge silky smooth BMW Road Machine - fine...buy it. If it's a flippin 350 Boss Hoss, - buy it.

He went on to say that you are exposing yourself to another 6 months of statistics if you switch from one to another early by buying a lesser machine than you want rather than learning on and becoming intimate with the one you have.
THe last time I went to a safety briefing, they said the same thing. The stats of accidents stated that some very high percentage of folks were riding bikes "new" to them.

This is why motorcycles have such a ridiculous break in procedure. Modern motorcycles still require you to "baby" them for the first 1000 miles.

I started out on a full dress 750...what a pig!! Now that was a trial by fire, but I can say that in some cases, it actually handled better than my smaller Honda 400.

None handled as well as my Burgman 400.
 

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Chris
There are probably more reasons to buy a scooter (400 or 650) then there are members on this forum.
That said let me add one of the least important reasons would be a bike or scooters reaction to highway winds, or it's color. 8)
My BMW was 700 + lbs. while my 400 may move a little more it's not enough to be concerned with !
 

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No offense, Pete, but your MSF instructor is a moron and I'm surprised he hasn't had official complaints made against him. I communicate with a slew of MSF instructors on another site that would...not so politely totally disagree. I've heard MSF is going to allow the motorcycle industry to 'back' the training- maybe they already are. Dealers make a lot more money off big bikes.

Chris, wind is a consideration on any bike until you get used to it. Going bigger and heavier no matter what bike you choose to avoid learning to handle wind is a mistake. Bigger and heavier is going to slow down your ability to gain valuable skills, as it's going to be more difficult for you to control the bike.

BTW, Pete- yes, I agree each time you switch bikes you have to take the time to learn the new bike and those who don't are going to be more accident prone. But it doesn't take 'years' to get to know a bike and unless the individual is somewhat psychic in a way most humans aren't, a new rider has NO CLUE what bike they 'want'. They only know what they think looks good.

Ultimately, what they think looks good may change drastically when they're actually riding it instead of looking at it. Shame to have tons of money tied up in a big, expensive bike- that you hate climbing on.

Just my two cents-

bjb
 

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Thanks for your third post! Interesting input. Yes - bigger = more money (in general - at dealerships.) I haven't had the opportunity to have a motorcycle dealer try and wrangle me into a huge bike. Maybe some others have? Has that happened to you? :?:

Well- I agree and disagree bjb (im a poet and dont know it!)

I agree with the stats he proported. I also agree that you shouldn't "under-buy" just because of all the demons that us MC ppl throw in front of newbies when they timidly inquire and we come back with - "Ooooh - that's too fast or Oooooh that's to clunky or Ohhhh that's too heavy or Ohhhh - that's too tall, or....." I cant say how many times ive wanted to (and have) recommend a 125 or 250 for a new learner - and - now- I am second guessing that engrained train of thought.

In response to the simple issue of "switching from smaller to bigger = bad" then I am sort of on the fence. However it's tough to put myself in that situation because I've been riding motorcycles since I was about 12. And given that, on the surface it seems to make sence. Start small then graduate. I can understand that. I also totally agree with your last flash - cheese - get a big thing that you dont like!? that would not be good. u r absolutely correct. IMO that's where some dedicated research comes in. Hey -nobody can save another from themselves.

The instructor wasn't a moron. it was an intimate group, and he was just giving some facts and attached prsnl opines. Just a "closer" for now - nobody said anything about "years" - tho it might have been implied. Even if it was - an old steed is an old steed and I would assume that the rider on such would be better able to handle issues that a new bike with an experienced rider could.

Don't mean to be crass, and for sure I ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer but I think that you may want to post some more insights so that we all can evaluate these shots of yours in here a bit better (please.) You say "a slew" other MSF instructors? Are you one? Do you belong to some sort of board that has a ton of these very experienced MC riders?

Maybe some (many?) buy what they "see." But I think you may be (in that vein) selling the average self-sufficient, responsible and mature human a bit short.

VR - Pedz.
 

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If bigger is better for a newbie, then why do the folks in europe have to learn on a smaller bike for a year or two before they can graduate to a bigger bike?

Many folks can master many things out of the chute, and many can't, but a newbie starting on a big bike is a bigger mistake... Start small, master the skills, then decide what you want... You in that big of a hurry? A 66 year old riding for about 52 years just said that.

Bill..

PS find a new MSF instructor.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm not still talking about the wind here but more along the lines of noob rider's. Would you all say that my experience with a 50cc scooter would give me an edge over a total noob when it comes to learing the bigger bikes like a B650? Or would you all say that my experience is meaningless and that the big B650 is so drastically different that it will be as if I'm learning to ride all over again?

I think the Vespa weighs in at 216#(98kg) dry. I'm 6'0", 210#.

Furthermore, would you folks say that IF someone needed to jump up to a bigger bike (500-700cc) for travelling reasons or whatever, that a Burgman(ANY) is alot easier to ride than say a sport bike, a cruiser, or a traditional touring bike... again a rider with my experience and size.

I know this is a Burgman forum, but I'm trying to get some unbiased opinions from the riders here that have owned mutliple sizes and types of bikes as to what they think a beginner should get who will be riding the straight (VERY few twisties) interstates of Georgia almost immediately after getting it.

I'm not trying to be cocky or anything by saying that I'll be and can ride the highways right away... it's more a matter of circumstances requiring me to do so. Basically, I'll have about 2 weeks from the time I get the bike, to the time I'll HAVE to take it to Jasper, GA from Savannah. I think thats about 250-350 miles.
 

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Pete-

I started to answer your questions thinking they were honest inquiries- then the "third post" thing sunk in. Considering your inference, it's not worth my time.

Rice-

There are two sites - run beginning bikes or beginner bikes or something along that line into your search engine- that are great for the type of info you're looking for. They're primary focus is helping new riders have the best and safest shot at starting their riding careers- all types of bikes, all types of riders.

I think 50cc experience helps, especially if you've been riding on the street. You're still dealing with road hazards, traffic, learning the basics of balancing, braking, etc.

Yes, there's a huge difference between a 50cc and a Burg 650- but concepts apply either way. The cc rating of a bike is far from the only criteria for a new person and many don't start on 250's- weight and general handling are just as big a factor.

The idea is to find a bike to start on that won't 'magnify' newbie mistakes- that we ALL make- make them worse than they have to be. That's where the start small mantra comes from- it's more forgiving and gives you a chance to learn with minimum repercussions.

In your case, you also need to find a bike that will fit the requirements of the type of riding you have to do- The Burgman owners here can better answer questions regarding the 650 vs 400 than I can. As can folks who live in your area and know the traffic patterns.

If you haven't, get training (MSF) no matter what bike you choose- and if you go with a larger bike to fit what you need to do, please dedicate yourself to putting in a lot of practice time on cornering and quick stops. Even though you won't be handling twisties in your daily riding, you need to learn the control of U-turns and swerving may well save your skin someday- but emergency braking is on the top of the list!

Take care and good luck-

bjb
 

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bluejeanblues said:
No offense, Pete, but your MSF instructor is a moron...
Yeah; why would anyone take offense at someone being referred to as a "moron" based on one brief reference by a second party.
 
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