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I had a great time last week at Americade, and demo'd eight bikes while I was there, thinking that I might want a cruiser again for awhile. Just for the heck of it, I also decided to demo the Burgman 650, the big brother of my 400. I was in for a few surprises. The first - It was booked for the day when I first went to sign up for it! The woman says it's the first bike to "sell out" for the daily demo rides. (of course, they only had ONE on the line, and one 400)... So, I came back early the next morning to grab an appointment. I really wasn't thinking that I would get the bigger scoot, I am quite happy with my Sylvester, and was just considering supplementing him with a cruiser for variety. Then, I got on the beast. I cannot flatfoot it like I can the 400, but I can hold it up ok on the balls of my feet. We pulled out of the line, and then I had my next surprise... The throttle was MUCH touchier than my 400 - the pick-up was immediate! Suzuki had a nice demo ride through the backroads of Lake George, and that's when I got my next surprise - this beast wants to GO! I was riding in the middle of a line of new Boulevard cruisers, and the Burgie seemed to be impatient to get moving. More than once, I had to brake as I found myself riding up the butt of the timid cruiser rider in front of me. The Burgermeister almost seemed to whine with discontent at the speeds we were going. When we finally opened it up, it just hummed right up to cruising speed and happily kept pace in the line ... I came back from the ride in a state of quandry... I thought I might get a cruiser and keep the 400. Now I'm thinking of just "trading up"... I also test rode a couple of Boulevard 50's, and really liked the S model, too...I just took out the Burgman on a lark, but now... I'M SO CONFUSED!! :oops:
 

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Get the 650, get the 650, get the 650. Burgman is the wy to go :D

Janine :)
 

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Dear Confused of NYS! :)

Great story - I will be interested to hear what you decide to do.
I would wait until the Mega Lardy 1000cc Burgman with optional afterburner arrives! :p
 

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Hi Diane,

I obviously can't tell you what is the right choice for you. I can tell you that I just returned from a 1000 mile romp through some pretty desolate territory on my '03 650. Once again, it performed flawlessly, and I had a ball riding it. For me, it has been a great choice. I don't have any problem getting my feet down flat though, and that is something you need to think through. With a little seat work and maybe some thicker sole boots, you might be able to improve on that situation.
 

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bikinbiddy said:
I thought I might get a cruiser and keep the 400. Now I'm thinking of just "trading up"... I also test rode a couple of Boulevard 50's, and really liked the S model, too...I just took out the Burgman on a lark, but now... I'M SO CONFUSED!! :oops:
I know how ya feel! I have the 650 and was thinking of trading it in for a nice big cruiser (can't afford to have both). When it comes down to reality, I like the looks and sounds of the big cruisers better. BUT... that's where it all ends! The 650 has the speed, the natural ability to take twisties, under-seat storage, great wind protection, better dash, hassle-free transmission. Once you've driven the Burgy for a while, try riding a manual-shift bike on the freeway in rush hour - you'll be begging to go back to the auto trans!

Bottom line: if I actually traded the 650 for a great looking cruiser, I'd have a great looking cruiser WITHOUT any of the above features!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
pauljo said:
Hi Diane,
With a little seat work and maybe some thicker sole boots, you might be able to improve on that situation.
Thanks, Pauljo,That's what I was thinking, too... even if the seat were a little narrower, it might make the difference. I commute with my 400, (and it can't be beat for that, hands down), and have been on a number of group rides where I'm the only scooter (and smallest displacement) in the group. I was thinking of getting a cruiser for these rides, but the 400 has been stupendous, and the dissing remarks I get from some in the beginning of the ride turn into amazed compliments at the first rest stop :D . In fact, those with whom I've ridden previously now warn those who haven't seen it yet that they'll be eating their "you're gonna be riding THAT THING?" remarks along with their lunch! Since the 400 has been able to handle all of this so far, I wonder if trading up to the 650 would be worth the extra expense. I do like it's extra pep and power, but I've not been disappointed in the 400 yet... Has anyone else on the board started on the 400 and traded up to the 650?
 

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Diane,
I had my 400 for a year (and still do) before getting my 650. I use the 400 mostly for errands and the 650 for longer trips. You are right, the change was, for me, like going from a Miata to a Ferarri as far as the throttle goes. I did have the seat cut down and narrowed on the 650 just to fit better. Both bikes are wonderful but they do have different qualities. I find the 400 a little more nimble in traffic but the 650 is more comfortable. I know some have had concerns about the 650s weight but I find it so well balenced that parking lots and low speed manuvers are a breeze as long as you drag the rear brake. I outfitted my 650 for my week-end trips and so far it has been more fun and easier than I could have imagined to tour the southwest and make new friends.

Maybe focusing on your riding habits and needs will help you find your way out of that confusing maze! As for me, I could not figure it out so I went with both!

Good Luck!
 

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santafedr said:
I know some have had concerns about the 650s weight but I find it so well balenced that parking lots and low speed manuvers are a breeze as long as you drag the rear brake.
After you get more saddle time at lower speeds, you'll find you'll no longer need to drag the rear brake so much!
 

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Great story Diane. You don't strike me as a wannabe. Are you considering the cruiser because of the people you ride with? I'm totally surprised that the 650 was one of the first machines completely booked. We have the exact opposite up here at our demo rides.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
why a cruiser?

allwalk said:
Are you considering the cruiser because of the people you ride with?.
Hi Allwalk... BTW, I'm so glad to hear you're ok after your scary ordeal - hope to hear you're back in the saddle soon!...
I'm afraid I must admit that there might be a bit of "peer pressure" and image consciousness when it comes to wanting the cruiser, but not entirely. Sometimes, I miss the footwork and manual shifting. It's an art that I'm not sure I want to be out of practice on. I also miss having engine braking at times. Doing all of the demo's was a good confidence builder for me, that I could still ride a "regular" motorcycle, especially after my recent abdominal surgery. Like I said, I didn't even consider that I might be in the market for the bigger Burger until I went to ride it. I decided to try it partly because I thought it was a challenge to try a heavier machine that I couldn't flatfoot. When I took it out, though, the ride was so enjoyable, I started wondering why I'd bother again with a manual shifter.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
allwalk said:
I'm totally surprised that the 650 was one of the first machines completely booked. We have the exact opposite up here at our demo rides.
I was surprised, too - especially since over at the Yamaha tent, the Majesty was always available - usually the outriders took it because nobody wanted to ride it. I rode two different V-Stars from Yamaha and didn't have time or desire to try the Majesty myself.
 

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What they should do is combine the look and sound of a cruiser with every thing else for a Burgie.

Now that would be a bike :D
 

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I used to smoke cigarettes but quit years ago. I will never light up another cigarette because of the same reason I won't ride a Burgman 650.

Because I know, and I mean I JUST KNOW if I get on a 650 Burgman I will want it AGAIN AND AGAIN.

The first time I ride a 650 Burgman will be the day I ride it off the lot. I love my 400 and it is so much more practical for what I do than the 650. But the ability to twist the right wrist and blow the doors off of about anything out there has got to be a rush. It is a rush that I haven't had since I got rid of my Yamaha 750.

I will have one one day though, I just know it.
 

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Chuck 807 wrote

You can find a bike almost like that here:
Ridley Motorcycles
Look at the automatic transmission models
Yes, I have seen those bikes, they look great. But, as far as I can see they are only available in the States and the cost, after exchange rate makes them very expensive. Not to mention what sort of conversion they would need to operate here in Canada.

But yes, that is the idea, if only one of the larger bike manufacturers was doing the same.
 

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AlexR said:
Chuck 807 wrote

You can find a bike almost like that here:
Ridley Motorcycles
Look at the automatic transmission models
Yes, I have seen those bikes, they look great. But, as far as I can see they are only available in the States and the cost, after exchange rate makes them very expensive. Not to mention what sort of conversion they would need to operate here in Canada.

But yes, that is the idea, if only one of the larger bike manufacturers was doing the same.
You may be seeing that in the future. I went to one of those (well paid) surveys for scooter owners. Although they don't tell you who the sponsor of the survey is, or the purpose of the survey, it seems to me that the survey pointed to: would you buy a cruiser if it had automatic transmission?
 

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bikinbiddy said:
Since the 400 has been able to handle all of this so far, I wonder if trading up to the 650 would be worth the extra expense. I do like it's extra pep and power, but I've not been disappointed in the 400 yet...
Diane,you have the answer above, 650 added power, comfort, weight and expense. 400 does every well, easier to maneuver and handle at low speeds. Both have good points and not so good points. I have had two of each. I can not make up my mind either and cannot afford both.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I saw the Ridley's at Americade, but YOWSERS, my pocketbook can't afford 'em... They weren't available for demo rides, just displayed in the forum. They're cool bikes, and I sat on a couple of them... but, you know, I'm not sure I'd buy a cruiser with an auto... One of the reasons I was looking for a cruiser is that sometimes I just feel like riding a manual shift bike... I'll always keep the burger for commuting - the trunk is just so convenient, and the auto trans is much easier for city riding. I'm getting REAL close to making a decision... think I'm keeping the 400 and getting an S-50... The dealer gave me an offer that is REAL hard to refuse : $100.00 over his invoice... nearly $1000 under MSRP...
 

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bikinbiddy said:
I saw the Ridley's at Americade, but YOWSERS, my pocketbook can't afford 'em... They weren't available for demo rides, just displayed in the forum. They're cool bikes, and I sat on a couple of them...
Never saw one other than in pictures. I heard they're 3/4 the size of a regular cruiser. Did you notice any noticeable size difference when you sat on them?

As for the price... way way overpriced!
 
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