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Old 07-20-2012, 07:04 AM   #31
DandyDoug OP
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Thanks Paul !

The good news for me at least is the great folks on this and other forums who are willing to share time and equipment. I really appreciate all the advice and comments from everyone

I am under no pressure or time frame to make a switch to a maxi/step through, and want to make the most informed decision i possibly can make as this may be my last two wheeler. ( oop's I think I have said that before when dealing with SWMBO )
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:26 AM   #32
chazbird
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After riding around town and on local freeways for about a year I've recently started to tour on a BV250. Its doable. Since the OP states the majority of his riding is in the hills and such I can say on the BV250 you can ride in the hills/mountains all day long and not get tired. But on the open road above 65(which is actually 61) with some gusty winds I started to start to feel beat up after 2 or more hours - it was feeling a little small for that. Maybe the BV350 would fix that. I get 65-80, 73 average mpg on the 250 and its claimed the BV350 gets nearly the same. I'm all for using the minimum size that works for all the conditions and I think a BV350 would work for me. Other than that I'd go for a TMAX (difficult to find), or if there's serious cross country touring I'd like to try a Burgman 650, too.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:20 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DandyDoug View Post
A Burgman is high on my interest list along with maybe the BMW C650GT if they ever get here.

Who can shed some light on the usability of a Maxi in the tight twisty bits ?

How does the engine braking ( off throttle ) effect the machine ?

What about the cornering clearance ?
( all that plastic looks expensive if it gets scuffed up)
I can speak to the Burgman 650 on this.
It does fine in the tight twisty bits. Even the Ducati mechanic who put my new rear tire on thought it handled pretty good.
I believe it is a bit heavier than your BMW; however the weight is quite a bit lower. You can also move your feet around, for instance I tend to tuck 'em back when doing twisties, & stretch 'em out when cruising. Depends on how you fit the bike of course.
The 650 does engine braking, it's effectively always in "gear" above 10mph or so, & sometimes below if you're putting along. You can impact engine braking a bit using the manual shift feature & the "power" button (which increase RPMs & power @ the expense of fuel economy).

Yup the plastic can be pricey. the left hand side has a warning device called the "center stand" mine's a bit scraped. The right does not have one, but it leans over pretty good. It's limit is a bit past mine so far so no real worries.
(This ain't me) http://media.photobucket.com/image/r...urg650lean.jpg
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:46 AM   #34
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Wew- that was a lot of advice, some good, some bad and a lot to sift through. The best advice I read was to keep your BMW until you find a scooter you can live with because after you live with one for awhile, you may find out you like the bike better. Scooters are about compromises, they do everything pretty well, where most motorcycles are focused at a particular task. You already own one of the best universal motorcycles ever made, so you already ride a bike that does everything pretty well. Now if shifting gears is tireing you out, then you need to quit riding altogether. But my guess is that you are riding over your head trying to keep up with the rest of the bikes. When I ride with my friends that race in either WERA or AMA and try to keep their pace I am pooped at the end of the day! A scooter is not going to help that, it didn't for me.

Here are some facts;

Where a scooter really shines is around town and in that domain the small ones excell; 50-150cc.
The 500cc T-max is known as the best handling scooter, yet a 250 Ninja will run away from it anywhere.
When riding the twisty's, the CVT transmission is always in the wrong gear.
The tires wear out far too quickly and replacment choices are limited and expensive.
All that plastic is expensive when dropped and comes in big pieces.
They are more maintanence intensive than most motorcycle.

With that said, I will always own a small scooter, they are just too convenient and useful. Although I put alot of miles on my Burgman 400, I wouldn't get rid of my motorcycle because of it. It is a nice addition to the motorcycles and complements them well. I spent a 3 day weekend this past fall riding the roads down around Mt. Airey, NC. and loved every minute of it, simply beautiful. I rode 800+ miles on the Burgman 400 that weekend and it handled everything I threw at it.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:29 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qaz View Post
Here are some facts;

The 500cc T-max is known as the best handling scooter, yet a 250 Ninja will run away from it anywhere.
Here's are some more facts. I've owned a 250 Ninja and a 650 Ninja and currently own a TMAX. The 250 is not running away from the TMAX, it's the other way around. If the road is all curves without a loooong straight, then the 650 isn't running away from the TMAX either. The TMAX outhandles both of them. Hands down.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:40 AM   #36
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I thought that bit about a 250 Ninja running away sounded a bit fishy. And while the CVT is different than a manual tranny, once you get acclimated to how it runs, you can fly! Ya gotta adapt to these things for sure but that's part of the fun imho.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:27 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qaz View Post
Wew- that was a lot of advice, some good, some bad and a lot to sift through. The best advice I read was to keep your BMW until you find a scooter you can live with because after you live with one for awhile, you may find out you like the bike better. Scooters are about compromises, they do everything pretty well, where most motorcycles are focused at a particular task. You already own one of the best universal motorcycles ever made, so you already ride a bike that does everything pretty well. Now if shifting gears is tireing you out, then you need to quit riding altogether. But my guess is that you are riding over your head trying to keep up with the rest of the bikes. When I ride with my friends that race in either WERA or AMA and try to keep their pace I am pooped at the end of the day! A scooter is not going to help that, it didn't for me.

Here are some facts;

Where a scooter really shines is around town and in that domain the small ones excell; 50-150cc.
The 500cc T-max is known as the best handling scooter, yet a 250 Ninja will run away from it anywhere.
When riding the twisty's, the CVT transmission is always in the wrong gear.
The tires wear out far too quickly and replacment choices are limited and expensive.
All that plastic is expensive when dropped and comes in big pieces.
They are more maintanence intensive than most motorcycle.

With that said, I will always own a small scooter, they are just too convenient and useful. Although I put alot of miles on my Burgman 400, I wouldn't get rid of my motorcycle because of it. It is a nice addition to the motorcycles and complements them well. I spent a 3 day weekend this past fall riding the roads down around Mt. Airey, NC. and loved every minute of it, simply beautiful. I rode 800+ miles on the Burgman 400 that weekend and it handled everything I threw at it.
It's not shifting gears tiring me out by a long shot . If I had any sense I would stop riding for a bunch of valid reason though, actually tried to stop and it lasted less than a month. That's when I bought the Airhead.
I figured I would still enjoy tinkering with an old nail. I don't enjoy the tinkering bit as much as i thought i would. From what i had previously read I thought scooters were not very maintenance intensive, guess i was mistaken.

As for riding over my head; I got that out of my system as both an AMA & a WERRA racer a long time ago. Do I still occasionally go quicker than i probably should ?
Like most , I am guilty of that, but it's rare more than frequent these days.

I have as of yet no experience on a modern scooter or a maxi so the engine braking question was valid on my part. My scooter experience comes from the late 50's and early 60's on Lambretta's, Vespa's, Cushman's and that stuff. My family had no money to buy me anything so i found a way to get seat time by fixing the scooters of those kids more fortunate than me. My regular ride at the time was a co-owned Whizzer Sportsman.

I would like to keep the BMW , but the reality of my retirement and my wife's impending retirement dictate that financially it will probably not be possible to have more than one toy at a time. I was considering a Maxi as a replacement that could do everything I want as a two wheeled vehicle , and be less maintenance intensive than a 28 year old BMW.

As the weather cools I plan to take as many scooter & maxi test rides as i can find. I would only then make a decision.
Doug
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:04 PM   #38
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As far as the price of tires go, I'm paying $40 for a 13 inch Shinko rear that lasts around 4,000 miles and the same for the front that lasts over 10,000. As far as maintenance goes, it's brand specific but on my Daelim you change the oil every 1200 miles (takes less than a quart), the belt and gear oil every 12,500 miles, and adjust the valves when you hear them. Really not different than a bike IMO.
On my 1st scooter I ignored the 12,500 belt change interval and had the 1st belt brake at 20,000 miles and the 2nd belt break at 42,000 miles.
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:44 PM   #39
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Here's an alternative to a scooter that will be better for gravel and dirt roads, too.
The Aprillia Mana 850. Auto or paddle shifts. Ergos and handling like a motorcycle.





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Old 07-22-2012, 03:36 PM   #40
DandyDoug OP
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Me, I have little to no interest in either the Aprilla or the Honda .

One of the things i like about a Maxi is it's a "step through" instead of a "leg over" as i get older that seems to be more attractive .
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:59 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DandyDoug View Post
From the responses so far it sounds like i need to find a way to do some fairly long test rides, if that's even remotely possible !

I stopped riding cruisers because the position hurt my low back .

The small wheels on the lesser sized scooters concern me .
If they are anything like the Lambretta's & Vespa's of old that would make them very spooky handling wise.

I do still ride fairly sporty in my old age, but have slowed down a lot in the last few years. Amazing at what you see when you knock off a few miles an hour and start to smell the flowers.
There are big wheel scooters. My SYM Citycom is a 263cc scoot with 16 inch wheels, a 60 inch wheelbase and an upright riding position. if I was a more normal size person I could have got a SYM HD200 a smaller 16 inch big wheel scoot that is a real pocket rocket; being as quick and nearly as fast as my larger machine.

I have found my SYM to require much less repair (almost none) than my bikes.

I owned a RT-80 for 10 years and the riding position of my scoot very much reminds me of my 84 BMW. If the Beemer is still good; why not keep it for the longer trips and get a nifty agile mid-size scoot for blitzing the twisties. There are deals to be had on noncurrent scooters. If money is really tight a used SYM HD 200 would be very inexpensive. I found that once I got used to my Citycom which didn't take long; my big bike has pretty much been gathering dust.

The handling on my scoot is outstanding. I often find myself cornering faster than I would have on my V-Strom 1000 without even trying.

Phipsd screwed with this post 07-27-2012 at 11:13 PM
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Old 07-28-2012, 05:10 AM   #42
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Pardon my ignorance , but what the heck is a SYM ?
Never heard of the brand, where do you find them , and what about parts/service ?
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:59 AM   #43
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SYM is a Taiwan company that competes with Kymco. They have been making bikes since the 50's as well as cars and bikes for Honda and cars for Hyundai. there is a new distributer in the US that is doing a very good job. They are in fact where my Canadian dealer is getting his SYM parts these days.

I have owned 16 bikes over the last 44 years and so far after 11000 miles my SYM Citycom has been the most trouble free bike I have ever owned. My back tire was still looking pretty good at 15000 km but I picked up a nail so it was time. The stock brake pads were cheezy, the front lasted 8000 km and the rear 15000 km. EBC organic pads improved braking greatly. My fronts now have 10000 km on them and are 25% worn.

The original battery was an el cheapo and after two years it was time. I swiped the Yuasa AGM battery out of my DL1000 which fit and now the bike starts instantly. It's way cheaper to run than my big bikes and good for long day trips. I doubt I'll ever buy another big bike.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:07 AM   #44
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I went from MC's to scooters and Maxis a few years ago and cant ever see going back. I'm not a top-speed guy but enjoy the twisites and my Burgman 400 satisfies. Not brilliant in anything, but all things combined, make it much more desirable to me than a motorcycle. I can scrape the centerstand but only when really cranked over. If you can remember its not an R1, which shouldnt be too hard, you'll be OK. You will still be able to keep up with a nu-Gen sportbike kiddie though. Riding an automatic bike takes some getting used to but I cant see ever going back to a shift bike as a daily rider after time on the maxi.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:25 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DandyDoug View Post
Pardon my ignorance , but what the heck is a SYM ?
Never heard of the brand, where do you find them , and what about parts/service ?
SYM, Sanyang Industry Co., LTD is the 2nd largest scooter manufacturer in Taiwan. Kymco being the largest. They started out as a joint venture with Honda in 1962. They made the Honda Cub for Honda for many years. A couple of years ago their US distributor Carter Brothers in Alabama had a ware house fire and lost every thing. There is a new distributor now that is trying to build the brand back up and add dealers.

SYM is a solid scooter with a good rep. The new distributor is Alliance PowerSports. They don't have all the scooters in their line up that Carter Brothers had but they are working on it.

http://alliancepowersports.com/

More on SYM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SYM_Motors
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