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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new to this board and the Burgman line. I'm a late 40's guy that is 5'9" and returning to motorcycles after 30 years being away. I have two (err make it four) questions:

1. Everytime I read about the Burgman, I have to wonder - what is "Burgman"? Is it just a brand name that Suzuki uses for their scooters? Or does Suzuki acquire the bikes or design from a 3rd party?

2. I was serious about buying an S40 (the new name for the old Savage), but am reading up a lot on the 400 Burgman. Can anyone compare the experience from riding the two (or anything similar in size and power)? My interest is riding around town and some weekend short trips on 2 lane state highways near my home. I don't plan on long distance cruising or doing much freeway riding. Is the Burgman 400 or S40 clearly a better fit?

3. My wife is potentially interested in riding - but doesn't consider a traditional motorcycle (where she has to shift gears and throw her leg over the seat) to be her cup of tea. Anyone have experience getting a non-motorcycle riding wife to try a scooter like the Burgman?

4. Whe I go to the dealership I see lots of motorcycles and relatively few scooters. I read that motorcycle sales in the U.S. have topped 1 million for each of the last two years. Does anyone have any idea of how scooters are fairing in term of sales and market acceptance? When I travel in Asia - I see lots of scooters. Here in the U.S. - I don't see many. Am I just ahead of the game in considering a scooter? Or am I just a "sissy" to consider it?

Regards - Andy
 

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Hi Andy and welcome to the forum. I have experience with both the Savage and the 400 having just traded in the Savage (S40) for the B 400.

Trust me, buy the 400. Not only will you absolutely love this scoot but so will your wife, who may be inclined to give it a try since there is no shifting. Also for safety's sake since you have not ridden in a while take a motorcycle saftety course.

The 400 is far superior to the Savage in comfort, speed, trunk space capacity, and quietness of engine. The 400 has a larger fuel tank and better gas mileage which means that if you ever decide to go on a trip you will not have to stop umpteen thousand times to fuel up :!:

The 400 is also heavier which translates into not being blown all over the road as much as the Savage. There is nothing scarier to me than to ride down the interstate and feel yourself and the motorcycle lifted up and moved sideways due to wind. I found the Savage to be a comfortable ride at 50-55 mph but anything higher and it was straining. The 400 sings at 75 mph with no effort.

While the Savage is a good beginners bike to learn on I think you would regret your decision after a short while not having bought something a little more substantial. The scooter was also cheaper to insure.

I think you will see more and more people buying scooters here in the future because we are finally able to get one that is powerful enough to move efficiently and quickly on the interstate. The only reason why I bought a Savage 5 years ago is because at the time only 150cc scooters were available in my area, which I did not think were powerful enough riding down kamikazee run. As soon as the B400 became available I sold my bike and have been a happy camper ever since (3 weeks - 400 miles)
:wink:

Good-luck and let us know what you eventually buy.

Evelyn
 

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"Burgman" is the trade name for Suzuki's scooters outside of Japan. In Japan they call them "Skywaves." Definitely not a 3rd party bike sold by Suzuki; they are Suzuki Burgmans.

Lots of discussions here about what Burgman means and why Suzuki chose it (do a Search for all the threads) but I think only Suzuki knows for sure.

Dealers don't carry a lot of scooters compared to standard motorcycles because they're into volume, and scooters -- despite recent gains in popularity -- are still a small segment in the US. What scooters the dealers do get -- particularly the big scooters -- tend to move quickly, so that's another reason you don't see them on the dealers' floors.

I'm single, but several members here have talked about significant others who didn't like riding, but came to enjoy riding the Burgmans. Instead of a "pillion" (from the root word for "pillow") they have a true back seat; much more comfortable.

They've also found that the "Twist-and-go" type of bike easily converted back seat passengers into enthusiastic front seat riders in many cases; to the extent that many have become two-Burgman families.

Andy Borchers said:
When I travel in Asia - I see lots of scooters. Here in the U.S. - I don't see many. Am I just ahead of the game in considering a scooter? Or am I just a "sissy" to consider it?
I'm 6'5" and 230 pounds. Former Air Force police, former bodyguard, ranked in Japanese martial arts. Anyone calling me a sissy better be smiling when he does it! :twisted:

:lol: Just kidding (mostly :wink: ).

Good luck in your search, and may the better bike (for you) win.
 

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Hello!

I might have just talked to you yesterday on the Yahoo! list...

"Burgman" is to Suzuki what "Silverwing" is to Honda; just a bike name.

I think you'd do well with the 400, particularly if your wife wants to learn to ride. Myself, I learned on an Aprilia 150 scooter, which was quite a trick at 310 pounds. I honestly think about a 150cc scoot is an ideal riding teacher. First you learn to ride, _then_ you learn how to shift and handle more power and weight. However, the 400 is not totally out of the question as a learner, I think. Though I'd buy a 150 scoot used for her, and then resell it later.

Most people who ride alone seem to find the 400 more than adequate for almost anything except steep mountainous grades, and many are happy with them even there. Two-up, opinions are mixed. On level ground and two-laners, most are still happy. In the mountains and on the interstate, some remain pleased while others do not. I'll add that I would _not_ try to teach anyone to ride on a 650. It's too **** heavy, and too **** quick.

Other than its carrying capabilities and general versatility, the most remarkable thing about Burgmans seems to be their near-total reliability. While there were some relatively minor issues with the pre-2003 European Burgmans that used carbs, 2003-and-up fuel-injected Burgmans seem almost _never_ to break. This is the result of engineering improvements by Suzuki since the older models were made. One (out of a thousand members on this forum) 400 owner has had a major motor issue; there was another that resulted from a dealer who failed to refill the oil after servicing the bike, but I refuse to count that on against the Burgman. Also, some individual 400's _do_ seem to eat up headlights; mine does not. (This forum can connect you up to a source of cheap replacements that seem to last much longer than factory units, if you get unlucky.) And, 400's will consume enough oil at very high RPM's that the crankcase level needs to be checked fairly often, if you cruise at 70 or more for a long time. (There is no apparent harm in this.) Otherwise, the scoots seem pretty bulletproof.

Suzuki as a company seems less pleasant to deal with than their products; they have a record of being a bit reluctant to pay out on warranty issues. However, so far as I know once their feet have been put to the fire, they've always paid. I'd strongly suggest that you take the time to research this forum; you will not find a better database on Burgmans (or super-scoots in general-- lotsa non-Burgman stuff too!) _anywhere_.

Your question about sales is very much to the point. The big scoots seem to be far more popular in the USA near the coasts than inland. (I live in Tennessee, where there are hardly any.) It's difficult in this part of the country to find a dealer who will even stock them anymore, and I can't blame them. Here, scooters are seen as "non-macho", "wimpy", and "effete". I'm an amatuer science-fiction writer, however, and I'm firmly of the opinion that scooters are the primary two-wheeled transportation system of the future. If you're not mesmerized by pure, raw performance that you will rarely if ever use (likely killing yourself along the way if you do) and if your masculinity is not threatened by the absence of a clutch and shifter, then the application of a little logic will show you that a scooter is _far_ more comfortable and practical than a conventional motorbike, for most uses. Sure, there will always be Harleys and ninja bikes; scooters are _not_ intended to replace these. But will there always be street cruisers and Goldwings? I'm beginning to wonder...

Currently, scoots are a very small percentage of the market. I fully expect, however, to live to see that change. Behold Europe and see our future, bike-wise.
 

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Welcome to the forum Andy!
From the brief description you've provided about your intended "riding envelope," I'd say that the 400 would fit your needs rather nicely!
Either way, you've come to the right place to find out out about almost anything you ever wanted or will want to know about the Suzuki line of forward-think transportation units! :wink:
Pete
 

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BIKES & SCOOTERS

WELCOME to the forum. you ask why more biker then scooters in the show room. Scooters are just starting [ in the last few years ] to come out with larger cc engines which makes two up riding and longer trips possible and the biking world is just starting to notice them. A couple of dealers said at this time Suzuki is only bring approx 2500 units into the USA a year so they can make sure they sell all they bring. I went from a 1000 kAW TO A 650 BRUGMAN-will not go back to bikes for several reasons. GOOD LUCK on your furture decision.
 

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Hi Andy,

I'll take a shot at your third and fourth question.

3. I'm not clear if you are talking about your wife riding as a passenger, or the driver. My wife used to ride behind me on my Gold Wing back in the days before I became a clear thinker, and started riding scooters myself. She liked it, but wasn't that excited about it. She could drive manual shift motorcycles, and enjoyed that very much. But then she found a scooter at a yard sale. It was a transforming experience for both of us. In late 2000, we traded the GW for two Honda Reflexes when we found out they were going to be brought to the US. We took a lot of day trips, and week end jaunts on those bikes, and loved each one. In 2003 I got a Burgman 650. She still has her Reflex. Last year we traveled to Scootercade, a round trip of some 1700 miles for us. The Reflex did well for the wife, but she is looking to get something larger, and the Burgman 400 is one of the bikes she is considering. She loves riding, and now, I ride as her passenger everyonce in awhile.

4. I just read in Rider magazine that the Motorcycle Industry Council estimated that 83,000 new scooters were sold nationwide last year. That's quite a few. I also read in Twist N Go magazine, a British publication, that the Burgman 400 was the top seller in the UK in the over 350cc category so far this year. No you won't see as many scooters as motorcycles in dealerships, in fact, you will probably find some of the less enlightened dealers to be sort of hostile to the notion of selling them. I think though, that with more maxi scooters coming onto the market, you will see all kinds of changes in attitude.

Evelyn suggested that you take a motorcycle safety test since you are a returning rider. I'd echo that idea. It's a great way to spend a week end, and a great way to polish some skills. If you and your wife take it together, you'll double your fun. Besides the basic rider course, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has introduced a new program called Scooter School 1. That one is new, so it's offering might be kind of scarce for awhile. Check the schedules where you live for them.
http://www.msf-usa.org/

What ever you do, have fun looking, and have fun riding!
 

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Andy,

Welcome to BurgmanUSA.

The Burgmans are definitely designed and built by Suzuki. The large displacement scooters are a relatively new class - they came out in 2003 in the USA. Prior to that, the largest displacement scooter you could buy in this country was 250cc, and to most riders, that was viewed as inadequate power for our highways. 250cc motorcycles have not sold well either, being viewed as "beginner bikes", and most beginners even preferred buying in the 400cc and larger categories. There are still many riders that are not aware of the existance of the maxi-scooter category, or the performance that these machines offer. I have had many people stop and ask questions about my Burgman 650, and they were usually quite fascinated and impressed with what they saw. Sales are doing well, and I think they will continue to increase.

Quite a few of us come from motorcycling backgrounds, and some of us kept our current motorcycles when we bought the Burgman. We found ourselves riding the Burgman much more often than the motorcycle. In my case, I was riding my Burgman 650 more than twice as often as my Suzuki V-Strom 1000. I sold the motorcycle last weekend. I really couldn't justify paying the higher insurance, property taxes and registration on it. The Burgman 650 is much handier, it is fun to ride, and I've done 500 mile touring days at cruising speeds of 80 mph on it (and plenty of power left for passing). I love riding it. The 400 is less powerful, but it will still cruise at 80 mph - and it does get better fuel mileage. Both machines are great alternatives to a motorcycle.
 

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Welcome to the forums Andy :D I agree that for the riding you will be doing, the 400 would suit you much better. Just imagine, you can enjoy the ride without worrying about what gear you are in, just twist and go!!
I always enjoy the sights more on a scooter that I do on ANY motorcyle, no matter what size the engine. 8) And as far as being a sissy, like Brian said, when you're like me or him (6 ft 5 in, 230+) you don't worry about what people think. And you shouldn't either. Just buy what you think you would enjoy. 8)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Evelyn

Thanks Evelyn for your note. As for safety training - I'm registered to take the MSF course in early May. I'm not going to buy anything until after I've completed the course.

Regards - Andy
Also for safety's sake since you have not ridden in a while take a motorcycle saftety course.

Evelyn
 

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Welcome to the BurgmanUSA forums Andy. Glad to have you join us.

As that '1 in a 1000' that Lapine Rider mentioned that had a major engine failure on a Burgman 400, I still think the 400 is a great bike. It took some pushing by my local dealer to get Suzuki to honor the warranty and repair the bike. (It pays to find a good dealer) Once the engine is rebuilt and I go thru the break in period, I wouldn't hesitate to ride the 400 anywhere.

I think the 400 would be a great bike for both of you. You could start out with one, get the wife addicted, and then add another bike (400 or 650) to your stable. ;)
 

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Andy
Welcome to the forum

I will add to the answers on 4. Most dealers know bugger all about maxi-scoots.
The dealer I bought mine form admitted that - he was so nervous of stocking them that when offered up to a dozen if he made the decision today by Suzy UK (at a huge discount) - he took 2. He sold them so **** fast (I was first :) ) he got back onto Suzy to buy more but the deal was no longer available. The dealer principle actually did the PDI test ride on mine because he was curious as to why they had sold so quickly and what the appeal was - he confessed he was completely blown away and loved it!

I guess that is not untypical in the US dealer network either.
 

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Andy;

The first 3 questions are free, the 4th is charged on a per answer basses .
Please remit your check for One Thousand Dollars b/4 your account becomes overdue :hello2:
 

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Guys, I am so happy to be a woman and not have to deal with all of that "macho stuff". Although I am curious about that big guy who knows all that karate stuff (never mind I got side tracked here) :) Anyway Andy, don't worry about those Harley Davidson burly boys, because anyone that has to put others down or ignore the passing bike sign cause "you are beneath me" are jerks anyway. You would not want to know them, because they are just way too superficial. Do what is right in your gut and with your wife and you will be happy as a clam :)

Oh, and guess what, when I was looking for a Givi trunk, the salesperson told me that 4 HD guys had just come in to buy 4 trunks for their, are you getting this, Scooter :p Which leads me to believe there are a lot of scooter riders out there amidst the HD facade :!:

So if you and your wife would attend that safety course I think that it would be money well spent and you would have another common thread to add to your relationship. Plus keep you both around for a long time to enjoy each other.

Best of luck with your decision.

Evelyn
 

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Hi Andy,
I bought my 400 new when I returned to 2 wheels after about 15yrs bringing up a family. I had bought, for my daughter, a 50cc scoot to go to college on but I had to try it first of course! I was immediately impressed with the twist and go transmission and thought "one of these with a real motor would be great". :twisted:
A couple of years later and the Burgman appeared, so I bought one from new and never looked back. So easy to ride you can just sit back, relax and ENJOY. The bike is five years old now and still as good as new. I'm trading up to a 650 only because I can afford it, if there had been any doubts abot the 400, I would have sold it long ago. :D
 

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Well Andy you've received some great advice here. So all I have to say is welcome to the forums and good luck with your upcoming course. The 400 will be a great machine for you and your wife.
 

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Evelyn said:
Oh, and guess what, when I was looking for a Givi trunk, the salesperson told me that 4 HD guys had just come in to buy 4 trunks for their, are you getting this, Scooter :p Which leads me to believe there are a lot of scooter riders out there amidst the HD facade :!:
A lot of HD guys refer to their bikes as "scoots".
 

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Hello Andy and welcome. Let me just add, I think you would enjoy riding a scooter. In 1998 I bought a Honda Valkyrie and rode it for 5 yrs. In 2003 I bought an 1800 Goldwing which I still have and ride, but just a few weeks ago My Wife and I bought a Honda reflex scooter. Today I went for a short ride and chose the scooter over the wing. I don't worry about what others think about me or what they think about my ride I just do what's right for me. Do yourself a favor and ask lots of questions and do the research, then choose what you want and enjoy the ride.
Mike
 

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Welcome Andy.
Don't worry about what others think.

When you have done your research you will know in your mind what you are getting ( and getting into).

I have gotten a little attitude from my neighbour/friend and my boss, who both ride "real" bikes.

Water off a ducks back. 8)

If they want to feel the thrill of winding it up and popping the clutch, more power to them. I can relate to that, I used to ride motorcycles, but it's no fun in stop and go traffic.
Especially if your clutch hand is many decades old. :wink:

I want to be able to "twist and go", no fuss, no bother, no chrome to polish, no wind on my knees, no rain either, sitting comfortably on my "chair" that I didn't have to throw my hip out of joint to mount.

I want to be able to carry a rainsuit with me at all times, along with extra fuses, tire patch kit, a snack, water, maps, or anything else I deem necessary with out having saddle bags hanging out in the wind slowing me down and costing me mileage.
I want comfort, performance, good looks, and reliablity, and economy, a little exclusivity too.
I want my passenger to be comfortable too. I owe her big time. :wink:

I want to feel the wind, smell the smells, (rain, trees, hay, cooking, fresh cut grass), see the sites, flying along on the backroad twisties, enjoying the moment, thanking my lucky stars, without having to worry about a lot of maintence, chains, or whether or not I have all the latest chrome thingys etc.

I KNOW what I want, and I'm getting it!

Go for it!
 

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I am shamelessly repeating what everyone else has already said.

I come from a Motorcycle background and went to scooters with a Honda Helix. Last year, I was moving up from my 250 Helix and took a Shadow 1100 for a test ride.

I liked the feel, the vibration between my legs and the "I am macho" sort of idea. That lasted about a mile.

Then I noticed the amount of wind i was catching on my legs, imagining it as "rain." YUCK. I twisted the throttle and, without downshifting, it had no beans at all, very poky.

Then I finally got ready to turn around. A low speed u-turn, balance, feather the clutch, the break, counterbalance, don't fall over......."

It hit me....WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO DEAL WITH THIS EVERY DAY!!!??? YUCK.

I got back on my Helix and hit the closest Suzuki dealer. I now have a 400 Burgie.

My wife didn't think she would get into the scooters. Then she saw an Aprilia Scarabeo 150 and said "I WANT IT!" So that's what she rides.

Oh, one more thing. My B400 would eat a Savage (or whatever they are calling them ) for lunch. It also has a trunk, wind protection, fuel injection and automatic transmission.

Simply put...no comparison.
 
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