Don't know where you went but obviously they were some very uninformed riders. If it was non riders then it was their ignorance of 2 wheels in general. I was at a Suzuki demo team location last May and you had to stand in line to ride the Burgmans. Lots of very savy bikers with lots of experience. The 400 never sat un ridden but the Hayabusa only went out twice that I saw and once with me on it. It's tough to ride, not comfortable and the Burgmans are fun and nice. I'm right up the road from you in Hurricane and you should experience what I do on my 125cc Vino scooter. It's either "watch that that thing doesn't get away from you" Ha ha ha or "what kind of mileage do you get?" REALLY! where can I get one. I ride a Suzuki V-Strom Adventure bike too and even from other riders I get "how do you like your BMW" . The engine says Suzuki and the side cases say SUZUKI in big letters. I say enjoy your 400 and just smile when some uninformed cretin doesn't understand the 2 wheels your on.I took a trip for the 4th of July Weekend, and got lots of variants on that question. People thought it was a little putt-putt moped and didn't believe that (a) I had come as far as I had and/or (b) it was 400cc.
I too began riding in the early 60's and in 1962 rode my Dayton Albatross scooter (Villiers 250 twin 2-stroke) to Barcelona and back loaded up with my wife and full camping gear. I repeated the journey in 1966 but with a Reliant 3-wheeler + trailer but that's another story.I began riding in the early sixties, there were no Burgman's then but there existed a similar mentality between scooter riders and motorcycle riders - known then in UK as the MODS and the ROCKERS the latter being the motorcyclists...
A popular ride was to Southend-on-Sea in South East England where many horrific fights broke out between the two groups with many arrests by Police when things got ugly - as they always did.
I rode a 350cc motorcycle then but avoided such locations and events at all costs.
I was one of those riders a few years back. As silly as it sounds now, I had no idea what it meant when someone did "the wave". So I didn't wave back when a big burly bearded dude on a Harley would wave. I thought at the time it might mean something negative and I knew I wasn't going to outrun him on my 50 cc Chinese scoot .it is a strange and sometimes annoying North Many scooter riders, especially in warm sunny weather and usually riding 50cc bikes are kind of clueless. I(WTF he wave at me for?)
I dunno...seems about the same to me as being so amazed that people don't know about scooters, "disrespect" them, or whatever. What's really so amazing to ME is that scooter owners are so on top of the issue of what non-scooter owners think about scooters (positive OR negative).It never ceases to amaze me. The 400 is bigger than many bikes out there, dimension wise, but people still call it a moped. Wtf?