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Old 02-12-2013, 10:45 AM   #31
Shirker
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What he said.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:05 AM   #32
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Funny things, motorcycles. I started at age thirteen by using my paper route money and the pay I got from hanging around the local Sunoco station so much the owner hired me to clean up and restock the islands to pay a whopping $50 for a 1940 Harley 80 inch flathead with cowcatcher handle bars and a side shifter. The guy I bought from had a car battery strapped to the rear fender because he didn't want to spend any money on it. Showed me how to work the foot clutch and shift and sent me on my way, thru Philly traffic to home. I've had just about every kind of motorized two wheel animal there is, from a Cushman to a 'Wing and just sold my dirt bike, a '72 SL350K2, last year. Still ride street on a '75 CB750k5. This year I'll turn 70 and I don't plan on quiting. Enjoy the ride, ignore the morons and "weekenders" and "profilers"!
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:18 AM   #33
larrylarry75
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Originally Posted by cdwise View Post

.....The advice to ride what fits you is the best you can follow and I wouldn't start with a Burgman 650 as a new rider because of its weight. Get something lighter to start with. Many of the newer 350cc scooters are good touring bikes and easily capable of running all day at 80+ mph have longer maintenance intervals and weigh hundreds of pounds less.....
I agree 100% with everything you say, really good advice & commentary. Thanks for this informative and eloquent post.

LL75
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:15 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by dbk23 View Post
I am new to riding and am trying to figure out what to ride. I have seen the threads about working your way up through the cc's just to go from larger to smaller bikes as you get older. Being 50 I guess my need for speed differs from that of a 20 year old. I never really considered a scooter until I came across some forums dedicated to scooter riding. I want to be able to do long distance touring with my wife and so am looking at the Burgman 650 executive. But then my wife might want her own so would look at the 400 or 300's. Obviously want something that can easily do highway speeds.

I guess am I going to be missing something if I go straight to a scooter and not get a motorcycle? Should I get a motorcycle, experience that then get a scooter if I still want one? Or should I just get one off the bat and not worry about the laughs and looks people on scooters get from the motorcycle crowd. I know there are people who have ridden motorcycles then switched to scooters, or ride both so looking for their advice.

Thanks
Darren
I just went back and reread your original post, and I guess I read it wrong the first time. You said you need something that will do highway speeds and be able to carry your wife as a passenger. For that you will need a decent size machine, whether a scooter or a motorcycle. Out of the 46 motorcycles and scooters I've owned, the only ones I've felt comfortable carrying a passenger on were Goldwings and a 1500cc cruiser. The rest, including an 1100cc cruiser, were just too small. Yes, they have passenger accommodations, but I am on the large side at 220+, and carrying a passenger puts us right at the GVWR of most bikes. Even the Goldwing is pretty close to it's maximum weight rating when carrying 2 full sized adults and with the saddlebags and trunk full. A lot of bikes carrying passengers you see out on the road are overloaded by the book. And that has an adverse effect on handling.

If you are a complete beginner, I would not even consider carrying a passenger for quite some time. You need to ride first, then you need to get good at it. And I would not start out on a bike big enough to comfortably carry a passenger. I started out on dirt bikes and crashed plenty of times before ever riding on the street. Son far, in over half a million miles on the street, I have not crashed, but I have come pretty close many times. Not only do you need to learn how to control the bike, but you have to learn how to deal with traffic. That is the hard part. Traffic is a LOT different than it was back when I started riding on the street in 1975. There is a whole lot more of it, most drivers are less skilled, and most of them are otherwise occupied with cell phones to the point where they are not paying much attention to driving. I got to get used to this slowly, as it was happing. riding in traffic today is not a good place for a beginner. Everyone out there in a car/truck will try to nail you (well probably not actually TRY, but it will seem like it, and the effect/outcome is the same. You are invisible to most of them) I would get the smallest scooter or motorcycle you fit on, take the MSF beginners rider course, and get a couple of years of practice and experience in before carrying a passenger. By that time you will have a much better idea what is suitable for what you want to do with it, and what you like and can afford. Used Goldwings can be a great deal pricewise, but as has been said, they are not for beginners. Learning to ride a bike in traffic is about 10 times harder than learning to drive a car. Learning to fly a plane is easier (I used to be a private pilot) I have heard more than one combat veteran who rides compare it to being in combat. One thing for sure, it is not something to be taken lightly.


I don't mean to try and dissuade you from riding, but I'd sure hate to hear that you and your wife were killed in a motorcycle accident. Learning to ride means embarking on a major endeavor, and requires a strong commitment and the right attitude. It is something that becomes an important part of your life. In fact, some people actually live their lives around it. If you can't take it seriously, then it is probably not for you. I have heard to many stories of someone who got the urge to ride, got a bike, and got killed a few days later.


If none of that deters you, then you probably have what it takes to become a rider. But take your time and do it right. It is not an overnight thing. I've been doing it (including off road) for 45 years, and am still learning.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:20 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
I just went back and reread your original post, and I guess I read it wrong the first time. You said you need something that will do highway speeds and be able to carry your wife as a passenger. For that you will need a decent size machine,,,

... If none of that deters you, then you probably have what it takes to become a rider. But take your time and do it right. It is not an overnight thing. I've been doing it (including off road) for 45 years, and am still learning.
Respect, Jerry. Of all the posts I have read directed at newbies over the years, your comments stand out as being solid, sage advice, every word of it.

Salute
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:21 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
I just went back and reread your original post, and I guess I read it wrong the first time. You said you need something that will do highway speeds and be able to carry your wife as a passenger. For that you will need a decent size machine,,,

... If none of that deters you, then you probably have what it takes to become a rider. But take your time and do it right. It is not an overnight thing. I've been doing it (including off road) for 45 years, and am still learning.
Outstanding, Jerry. Of all the posts I have read directed at newbies over the years, yours stands out as being solid, sage advice, every word of it.

Respect
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:05 AM   #37
Dranrab Luap
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I have gone from motorcycles to maxi-scoots and back a couple of times. I had some buds that ribbed me a little for riding a scooter, but as I pulled out of their driveways to hit the next leg of my tour, I told them to have fun hanging out with their wives working on their honey do list.

I think a maxi with ABS would be a great way to get started. The downside is that if you drop it even shuffling it around in the garage, it can do some expensive damage. If you are short, a Burgman can be a bit heavy and cumbersome. At 5'11" I never had an issue with mine. Two more drawbacks come to mind. If the road surface in the area you intend to ride isn't good, the small tires and budget suspension on the Burgman can make for an unpleasant ride. Add the foot forward riding position and all of that shock gets transmitted up your spine. I find the foot forward position comfortable at times, but on longer trips I need to be able to stand and put some weight on my feet. That said, I managed a couple of extended Burgman tours in relative comfort. I just took more frequent butt breaks.

Truth be known, I had more fun on my Burgman at Deal's Gap (318 curves in 11 miles) than I have had on any of the other bikes I have ridden there. I also like the fact that I can take pics from the saddle with my left hand and not have to worry about a clutch.

Folks may make fun of you a bit, but what are they doing while you are living life on 2 wheels. The Burgman 650 ABS is a great beginner bike and while beginners and passengers don't mix well, this bike will be easy to learn and manage, leaving you more confident and capable with a passenger earlier in the learning curve. Most passengers report that the pillion seat on the Burgman is a comfy one!
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:18 AM   #38
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Jerry's comments really resonate with me. My advice: read and re-read his post. He knows what he is talking. I have been riding for decades. Riding with a passenger is challenging. All of a sudden you have a lot of weight up high. Trust me, it is harder to control a bike that has a lot of weight up high. Learn to ride solo for a while. Expect to drop your first bike at least once. Slow speed manoeuvres and tip overs happen. A maxi scoot as a first bike, in my mind, is a bad idea. Get a smaller scoot or a dual sport bike. Or a baby Ninja, CBR etc. Riding is a skill. It takes time and a lot of practice.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:24 AM   #39
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One other point: try not to give a damn about what other people say or think about your ride. It's what's important to you. I can't stand it when people buy something just to look cool or impress.

Again, only my $.02.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:43 PM   #40
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I ride both a motorcycle and a couple of scoots. I freely admit I like my Honda Silverwing best. Although labeled a 600 it actually has 582cc for power and it's crazy fast - especially since I added the 24 gr Dr. Pulleys to it. I often leave motorcycles in the dust at red lights. Always love the stunned look I see in my rear view mirror. So no, I don't miss my BMW much at all when I'm riding the Swing.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:36 PM   #41
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I've had my motorcycle endorsement for 4 years now. I started out on a 125cc scooter and put 19,000 miles on it in 2 years. Sold that for a ninja 250, put 3,000 miles on it. Sold it for a Vulcan 900 and put about 9,000 miles on it. Sold that for Triumph Bonneville and put 4,000 miles on it. Tomorrow, I'm trading the Bonnie in for a Vespa GTS 300.

My favorite so far is the 125cc scooter (Genuine Scooter Co.) followed closely by the Bonnie. Of all the bikes, the scooter is the one I regret selling, which is part of why I'm getting back to scooters.

Take from that what you will. :)
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:47 AM   #42
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Finding what you like means you have to find a machine that resonates for you, and if you don't have that connection with the bike you won't be attracted to riding. We drive cars most of us for their utility, their load carrying capacity and weather protection and ease of use. With motorcycles or scooters there has to be some visceral thrill to induce you to ride. Unless the bike you choose gives you that thrill, indefinable yet real you won't ride.

It doesn't matter if its a scooter or a motorcycle, you can adapt motorcycles to carry groceries and you can ride scooters like tourers, usually its the rider's limitations that limit the machine not the other way around. You have to find something that turns you on. Unfortunately you have to kiss some frogs to find the princess, as it were, so the best advice I can give is follow your instinct, and buy used because when your instinct is wrong, as it will be in the beginning, a used bike costs less to buy and resell. Or to buy and drop on the ground.

I love riding my Triumph Bonneville, a modern motorcycle derided by many as a slow overweight heaving pig and a pale reflection of the superbike the Bonneville was in the 60s. You don't have to ride a scooter to get negative reactions from other people. Nevertheless I get a cheap thrill every time I ride the "heaving pig". Which is why I put 15,000 miles a year on it year after year. These things defy logical explanation. I also enjoy my Vespa but the Bonneville is the nicest and most enjoyable power two wheeler I have owned since 1970 and I have no logical explanation. I ride it in town, on the highway and on Iron Butt rides. I once rode it 48 hours straight with just a few hours sleep. And rode again the next day. Weird but I'm stuck with it.

Good luck.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:07 AM   #43
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I've had my motorcycle endorsement for 4 years now. I started out on a 125cc scooter and put 19,000 miles on it in 2 years. Sold that for a ninja 250, put 3,000 miles on it. Sold it for a Vulcan 900 and put about 9,000 miles on it. Sold that for Triumph Bonneville and put 4,000 miles on it. Tomorrow, I'm trading the Bonnie in for a Vespa GTS 300.

My favorite so far is the 125cc scooter (Genuine Scooter Co.) followed closely by the Bonnie. Of all the bikes, the scooter is the one I regret selling, which is part of why I'm getting back to scooters.

Take from that what you will. :)
That sounds a lot like my story. I started out on a rented Honda Spree in 1990 and have had many bikes and scooters in between. And what do I ride now? A mint condition red '82 Honda Cub/Passort and an 80cc 2 stroke '85 Honda Aero. Full circle. I would probably have a Honda Reflex or a SilverWing or a Burgman 400 (in addition to what I currently own) but I bought a '99 Miata a year and a half ago and simply "can't have it all." Because we have three kids and my wife and I both need vehicles for work, we have a Toyota Camry and a Toyota Sienna too. When our nest is empty though, watch out.

klx250sfguy screwed with this post 02-14-2013 at 05:53 AM
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:09 PM   #44
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The one bike I seriously regret selling was my Triumph Bonneville. It was not a modern Bonneville, it was a 1966. And it was unreliable. Mostly the carbs, electrics and cables. But it was the most fun to ride bike I've ever owned. I had it for 3 1/2 years, and spent about as much time working on it as I did riding. Getting rid of it must have seemed like a good idea at the time. But that bike had some kind of magic that nothing else has ever had. I test rode a newer Bonneville and found it pretty bland, though the right pipes would have probably helped a lot. I'm not part of the loud pipe crowd, but motorcycles need to make some noise and vibration. Right now the only bike I own that does is my XT225 with an aftermarket exhaust. Not Harley loud, but sounds and feels like a dirt bike should.

The one thing you will not get with most scooters is character and personality (My Genuine Stella and most vintage Vespas excepted) but they are tons of fun in other ways. I especially like the smaller ones. They are an absolute blast to zip around on, and also fun to take long trips on. My Vino 125 and Zuma 125 are comfortable, and can turn a trip of a few hundred miles into a real adventure. I have 24,000 miles on the Vino, and have enjoyed them all.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:00 PM   #45
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I am a fairly new rider, but here is my 2 cents.

I decided to get a motorcycle license at 43 because I rented scooters in Hawaii and thought they were fun. I enjoy the MSC and liked riding a shifter bike too.

I wanted something big enough to do highway miles without too much effort an settled on a Kymco Downtown 300. I enjoy it more than I thought I would and find excuses to ride it to work or run errands. I have a modified sports car with about 400hp and I enjoy riding the scooter more than driving the car.

I would like to add a new Ninja 300 (against objections from the wife) to go and ride with friends through some twisting roads and all of them have motorcycles. For this kind of riding, the shifting would be fun and I think I would prefer it on these pleasure rides more than the scooter BUT........I really think I would use the scooter more for day to day stuff. I don't care if it looks dorky. The mileage is better if that matters, and if I were going on a long weekend trip with several hundred miles I would probably still take the scooter for utility.

The model I bought is great, but seat comfort could be a little better and the suspension could be improved. Lots to choose from though. So my short answer is if you get the right scooter, you won't miss a motorcycle that much. You may find you want a motorcycle for certain rides but if you are like me, the scooter will be more desireable in most riding situations.

I did have one lady come out of a bar get on her Harley, get next to me at a light and tell me to put "That foreign piece of sh*t in the junkyard." I flipped up my face screen and told her I was going to get a Harley but did not like the cheap whore-ish women they attract. That was just a put down for the right moment, I am fine with whatever somebody wants to ride and don't care for stereotypes but it got my point across and made me giggle. But I basically don't care what somebody thinks of something I enjoy. The guys I work with are all in their mid forties and we still play video games so if someone points to me and says "DORK!"... then guilty as charged.
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