I am happy to have found this forum. I have been researching scooters for sometime and have fallen in love with the Burgman. Only problem is my husband is totally against my getting anything with less than 3 wheels! We live in central Florida and have lots of traffic. He firmly believes I will be killed or at least maimed if I get a bike. I thought a scooter would be a compromise but he isn't buying it. I did get him to agree that it would be less money in upkeep and better on gas mileage but that is as far as I've gotten. I even went as far as promising to cut my hair if I got a scooter! (He likes short hair....I like it long!)
Any husbands, significant others or wives that have comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Living in South Florida, I can say that although the traffic is crazy, it's actually not been that bad. The Burgman is large enough to be seen fairly well, and as long as you drive defensively, I'd say it's safe. I would highly recommend a safety course however - they are well worth the money! They'll teach you things you wouldn't think of normally.
Interesting post. 99.999999999% percent of the time it is the woman who doesn't want the husband/boyfriend to have a bike. I never heard of a situation where it was the other way around. Times are a changin'
I just got my 400 today! I've never regularly ridden motorcyles. I did used to regularly ride a 3-wheeler on trails and in the dunes.
My husband has ridden for 35+ years, and has a Harley. I wanted nothing to do with shifting gears. When he told me about these scooters with automatic, etc., we started looking. I finally broke down and got one. We went for a ride as soon as we got home. I can't wait to get some miles behind me so that I can start riding it regularly...for errands, to work, etc. I've got a lot of practicing to do first, and I'm well aware of that. I have no intention of putting myself in traffic situations until I'm comfortable on it. So it will be late afternoon or early morning rides on the weekends for now, in the neighborhood. We got to practice cornerning, turning, LOTS of stops today. And even though I have the motorcycle endorsement on my license (grandfatherered in), I plan to take a motorcycle course. I figure if I learn just ONE thing from it, it will be well worth it.
you have to admit that the countersteering thing is not quite intuitive!. This morning I just found that it applies to something as mundane as a simple bicycle. I have been riding bicycles since I can remember, and for the last 4 years I've been rinding to campus on one on a daily basis (save for the 5-month summer we get over here...), and just this morning I noticed that if I put a little pressure on the right handle bar the bicycle would turn...right!
I always take turns by shifting my body weight, which just until this morning I found is what also happens by applying pressure on the handle bars on what would seem the opposite direction. But thats exactly what that does: if the front wheel is slightly turned in one direction, the bike will lean in the other direction....
Anyways, I'm set to take my MSF course this very weekend. They have a huge demand, you are put on a waiting list and everything. I sure will keep eyes and mind open to try to get the best of it!
Yeah, I remember my surprise when I first tried countersteering too.
I had been riding motorcycles for about 10 years - somehow - without understanding it. I read an article in a motorcycle magazine describing how it worked. Got my motorcycle out, took a deep breath, and tried it.
Wow! A year later, I took a niece of mine for a ride. Poor girl weighed over 300 lbs and was dying to ride on a motorcycle but didn't think anyone would ever give her a ride. Well, I did. She outweighed me by at least 100lbs, and was a bit tense too. I couldn't have done it safely without understanding countersteering. I understand she still talks about the time uncle Paul took her for a motorcycle ride - and that was a number of years ago.
I've never taken the MSF course. I've been riding for almost 40 years, and I've probably done at least 250,000 road miles. Both my wife and my son learned to ride by taking the MSF course. I think I'll get signed up for it next year. A guy up the street from me is an MSF instructor, so I'll ask him about that wait time issue - maybe I need to sign up now for a course next Spring.
I have found that the best, and safest, "convincer" for counter-steering is to keep both hands on the handlebars, at highway speed, and slightly attempt to steer the bike from one side of your travel lane to the other, by turning the bars (no body movement) in the direction you think you want to go. You will, invariably, momentarily go in the opposite direction.
Why? I don't know! Physics or sometning like that, I guess.
Scubagirl. I have no idea why your husband feels you are safer on three wheels. I have a Volusia with a sidecar. It is a totally different ride than a two wheel ride.
It is fun, but a different kind of fun. It requires more work to steer. Especially in a long curve on an interstae highway. It only wants to go straight.
Is it safer? Not on your life!!! It may be more visible but it is wider, and therefore requires more room to swerve out of the way of something coming at you. It requies more distance to stop. It is easy to lift the sidecar wheel off the ground in a hard right turn at high speed.
Is it less safe? No! Just different.
Maintenace is higher on three wheeled vehicles. Rear tire get about half the miles.
Go ahead and let you hair grow. I like long hair better. It flows in the wind better than short hair.
Thanks for all the great information! I am planning on taking the basic and advanced rider course. I can't wait to try counter-steering....on my NEW scooter! Sold my car on Friday (by gosh that left me with no way to get to work...unless dear hubby drives me....) and Jack actually took me shopping for a scooter on Saturday! I didn't get a Burg...he made me get a little "Twist & Go" 50cc. BUT, it's a start. Yesterday he told me that once I get comfortable on it and get my motorcycle endorsement that I can upgrade to a Burgman if I still want to! I feel like a teenager! (I'm wondering if turning 39 today has something to do with it?).
Can't imagine why or what changed his mind since a week ago getting anything that resembled a bicycle with a motor was off limits! (Unless it was the "test" drive he took it on after adjusting some things and making sure it was safe for me to ride!)
I took it to church yesterday and to work today. So far I've already experienced 2 cars pulling out in front of me, 1 truck trying to merge and push me off the road....even when I had the right of way...and a major accident blocking the road w/emergency vehicles coming up the rear....so far so good! Only thing that makes me a bit nervous is crossing traffic lanes to take a left hand turn since this thing can't get out of its own way...I must say that I am MUCH more alert now than when driving a car...kinda' scary.
I can certainly relate to what you said about the scooter not being able to get out of it's own way! I rode a 50cc for about a year, and the main reason I got rid of it was because when your top speed is only 40-45, you're already going slower than everyone else. If you need to speed up, you can't. This leaves you rather vulnerable. I'd push for a bigger bike as soon as you can... you'll feel -and be - much safer.
For now though - enjoy! I know that the 50cc is much more nimble than a big Burgman, so it's fun on smaller roads in less traffic. Take the back roads as much as you can - that's what I did. It might take longer, but hey - you're out there to enjoy the ride anyway right?
I'm happy that you got your new scooter. I think you'll want to upgrade to a larger one soon. What hubby is missing in his reasoning is that the bigger scooter is far far safer than the tiny one. A super scooter has larger wheels and better tires, much better brakes, and, as you noted, the power to get out of its own way. Also, bigger equates to more visible - especially on two wheels. I've had big cycles and small cycles - I've definitely been cut off more on the smaller ones. But with any two wheeler, you need to ride as though you are invisible - because to many of the four wheelers out there, you are.
One tip. Try riding with your high beam on during the day. It will make you more visible from the front, which is where most of your threats will come from. Also, be very careful the first time you have to ride in the rain. Wet roads can be quite slick.
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