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Old 05-04-2013, 04:04 PM   #31
MiniBike
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Well, I'd start with the fact that most moto-scribblers come from a motorcycle background - weighted toward sportbikes. Just think for a moment about some of the exotics they get to review. Accustomed to shifting to gain immediate access to the torque and powerband of the motor, not shifting is a bit of a letdown. Touring and Cruiser riders probably can accept the change easier. But they would first have to overcome the bigger is better attitude.

I've got a co-worker that commutes on the most uncomfortable Supermoto I've ever ridden. He and I follow the same 50+ mile loop and my Big Ruckus does it in the same amount of time that his DRZ does. In the downtown sections, he enjoys doing wheelies at will, racing from traffic light to traffic light and is perfectly content with a top speed of 60 mph on the expressway. He would no more want to ride my scooter (or my Triumph) than I would ride his bike. But, he comes from a dirtbike racing background and I from a Cruiser/Touring background.

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Old 05-04-2013, 10:13 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quasigentrified View Post
scooters have a MUCH lower center of gravity, and the weight is towards the ass. it's borderline impossible to drop even a heavy scoot on a harsh front brake grab, and it makes them a bit more maneuverable in slow speed situations.
That's the type of information I was looking for. A 500 pounds scooter does handle differently than a 500 pound motorcycle.

I know many in the crowd own Silverwings, Burgies and the new BMW's. No issues or feeling too heavy or cumbersome?
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:31 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by GREY.HOUND View Post
That's the type of information I was looking for. A 500 pounds scooter does handle differently than a 500 pound motorcycle.

I know many in the crowd own Silverwings, Burgies and the new BMW's. No issues or feeling too heavy or cumbersome?
I can speak for the BMW's low speed handling. It balances better than my Yamaha Majesty or any of the motorcycles I've owned. The Ducati Hypermotard was an easy handling bike but it's ceter of gravity is much higher as is it's seat height. The BMW's seat isn't particularly tall but the bike is quite wide when putting a foot down. That means that if you lean too far out of balance and jab the brake too hard, you better be very precise with foot placement. To see what it's like, sit on one with the sidestand down. Then, from a normal riding position, put your left foot down and try to stand the bike up. Low CG and momentum=, stop and lean =
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:33 PM   #34
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I am about as anti sportbike as you can get. I have owned 3. Last one was a semi sportbike, an EX500 Ninja, and the riding position was extremely painful. I sold it with very few miles. To me a sportbike is some kind of medieval torture device. No thanks. I don't have a size issue either, but my main bike has to be capable of cross country travel at freeway speeds. I love small scooters (to me, small is actually part of the definition of a scooter) but the big ones feel clumsy and awkward. They seem much wider than a motorcycle. And then there are the small wheels, which, on a small scooter work fine for me, but its a different matter on a large heavy bike at highway speeds. Given a choice between the Burgman 650, Silverwing, or CTX700N automatic, I think I would take the CTX. It is small, nimble, and easy to flat foot in parking lots, and has a very comfortable riding position. And hopefully valve adjustments would be easier, or less frequent.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:03 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREY.HOUND View Post
I may have phrased my original post incorrectly. I wasn't trying to get into a what's better discussion, I just noted that when describing the big scooters, reviewers say they are too big and heavy. When describing motorcycles of the same weight, that is hardly the case.

Those of you with more experience than me, is there really a difference in perceived size between a 500 pound scooter and a 500 pound motorcycle?

Either way, it's always good to have some fat to chew.
Personally I just think it's bias. I've come across to many riders that don't feel a scooter is a "real bike". People ask "You take that on the highway???" "Where is the wind-up key?"

Hell, I've been asked various questions by people looking to buy a "mid range motorcycle." I ask them what they want and need...most times a scooter will meet those needs. Do they buy one? HELL NO!

I've nothing against any bike (well maybe Harley's but that's another story) but I do think the scooter gets knocked around a bit...if it's deserved or not.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:08 PM   #36
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I may have mentioned it at some other time, but a co-worker asked me the other day if my scooter was "street legal" and "...but you can't take it on the freeway right?" When my buddy started laughing his ass off, she (my co-worker) turned bright red. So again, a bias that's for sure.

I was thinking about bias when reading reviews. Almost as though it is inherent that scooters are small and maneuverable. Therefore, the reviewers make it clear that a SWing/Burgman/BMW is not a 50cc Vespa.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:42 PM   #37
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i'd say most bikers know about and respect scoots, although a few are trolls and will give you shit if they think you are too insecure. most of this perceived bias comes from non-riders (or once-a-year hd casuals) who see scoots as vespas or 50cc toy rides and nothng else. journalists are often a little too worried about their bona fides and, as a result, fill their scoot reviews with irritating caveats. of course a pcx150 isn't a fuckin' cbr600rr, schmucks!

when i post pictures of my bv on facebook, i ONLY get shit fom non-riders (well, and one gal with a sportster who is the very definition of a casual rider). "why do you ride that when you have a motorcycle" i get asked ad nauseum, to which i reliably reply "because it's fuckin FUN."

seriously, don't care, gotta ride. toolin' in town or commuting in stop/go? SCOOT TIME, bitches! headin' out over the pass? -- onto the big boy!

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Old 05-06-2013, 06:30 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by GREY.HOUND View Post
I may have mentioned it at some other time, but a co-worker asked me the other day if my scooter was "street legal" and "...but you can't take it on the freeway right?" When my buddy started laughing his ass off, she (my co-worker) turned bright red. So again, a bias that's for sure.

I was thinking about bias when reading reviews. Almost as though it is inherent that scooters are small and maneuverable. Therefore, the reviewers make it clear that a SWing/Burgman/BMW is not a 50cc Vespa.
There is a large difference in bias and ignorance-the girl lacked information(lack of such causes ignorance & we all have it in various directions) & was apparently asking for such, not a chance at getting embarrased. Read the mantra of Battle scooters,r.e., manhood & don't sweat the small stuff. Simply tell her about your scoot & move on? My wife (who has lived with a greasy guy for 40+ yrs has zero interest in such facts as what is freeway legal or fast or handles curves-we don't have any for one thing). I followed some friends on a mtn ride a few weeks ago and they ride 400/650 burgman & one on a neweer Harley(the quiet kind) and all but the HD guy also own ,BMW's, me on a BMW sport tourer & can assure you they corner decent at speed, nimble- no, fast enough, - yes & I don't even like that scoot, so I suppose that's bias for you-not liking them in spite of what they can do.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:25 AM   #39
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In 1993 I bought a new Honda 250 Helix, in 2013 I bought a new Suzuki 650 Burgman. In between I've owned Harley, Triumph, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki motorcycles. All shapes, sizes, uses, configurations, etc. Enjoyed every damn one of them. What took me so long to come back to a scooter? Will I stay? Who gives a shit! ...
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:02 PM   #40
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To get back to the OP's original question. How do different bikes compare as to being "heavy and Cumbersome" I have owned bikes ranging from my Kymco 150 up to a 1200cc, 750# full dress touring bike. Size and weight is not always a good indicator of whether a bike will feel heavy. However, the question really needs to be asked in two different setting: At speed, and slow or stopped. There are many bikes which are heavy and hard to handle at very slow speeds which then "magically transform" to much lighter bikes at speed.

For example, my 1200cc, 750# Yamaha Venture was not only heavy but had a tall seat and high center of gravity. I'm 6-2 so the tall seat was not an issue but the bike was clumsy at very low speeds. Once moving however, it had light steering and was easier to flick into a curve than my 200# lighter FJ1100 sportbike. There are a lot of factors that good into how light or heavy a bike feels at speed. The main factors are: Handle bar width, front tire size and shape, rake, trail, center of gravity, and weight. My guess is that most Maxi Scoots with their fairly wide bars, low COG, and small tires will feel pretty light at speed.

Where most people have issues with larger and heavier bikes is at low speeds. If a bike is heavy, has a high COG and/or a tall seat (or wide seat), it will often be intimidating at low speeds or when stopped.

If you compare a Maxi scooter with a motorcycle of similar displacement, the scooter will typically be heavier but have a lower COG (except maybe for cruisers). Seat height on the other hand varies greatly by model.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:30 PM   #41
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So right, Klav. The very characteristic you love about a scooter at low speed can be a liability at high speed. For example, a light scooter can't be beat for toodling around town, errands, gas mileage, etc. Take that same scooter on a touring trip where you might need to hop on a freeway for a few miles, and the lack of gravitas (weight) is a liability when a semi passes you going up hill in windy conditions (ask me how I know.) For that planted feeling in gusty conditions, you need weight and power. But that same weight and power are a liability if you head into a parking lot sloped downhill, and need to back up in order to get out.

Pick the bike for the majority of the riding you plan to do. No scoot is perfect for everything, though some do quite well at most everything.

I've taken my GT200 to Canada and back to San Diego, and for the most part it was perfect. There were a couple of spots where I wished I had a Burgman with more weight and power, so I bought one. Over time I realized that the Burgman was mostly sitting in the garage, since I really preferred the ride of the Vespa for 90% of my riding. So I *think* I'm done with larger, heavier bikes. I just plan my route accordingly, and when I'm in a place or condition where the light weight of the scoot is a liability, I realize that this too shall soon pass.

Someone who spends most of their touring time on open highways would likely prefer the Burgman and find their lighter scoot sitting for long periods of time. Like Gogogordy says, a butt for every saddle.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:54 PM   #42
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I love scooters and own three. Three small ones, two 125s and one 150 (2 stroke Stella) They are definitely real bikes, and will take you anywhere in long enough time. They are small, nimble, and great for running around town. They keep up with city traffic fine. But, IMO, a maxi scooter does not have those qualities. They feel big, heavy, and awkward in town. I would not feel comfortable at all riding a Burgman 650 around town. I test rode one, and it actually felt less controllable at low speeds and in tight situations than my former Goldwing 1500. I'm sure it would be great out on the highway, but if you want great handling at slow speeds and heavy stop and go traffic, a mid sized motorcycle would be a lot better, especially a cruiser or the new CTX700. Very comfortable riding position, easy ton get both feet on the ground at stops, easy to see the front wheel and the area around it. You can even lean over and look under the bike because it is so narrow. Leaning the Burgman 650 over made it feel like I was going to drop it, and there was a slight wobble in the bars. I have no problem leaning a motorcycle over till parts drag.


IMO, sport bikes are not good for anything but the track, because of the pain their riding position causes. It's no fun at all riding 20 miles through city traffic with a red light every block, sitting their with most of your upper body weight on your arms. You also have to go through some contortions to get your feet off the pegs and on the ground, because the pegs are mounted so high and far back, your legs are all twisted up, and your toes point almost straight down, caught between the peg and the shifter on the left. Cruisers and scooters have similar riding positions, feet in front of you, and no weight on your arms. Very easy to take your feet off the flat pegs or floorboard and put them off the ground, and you can sit there and hold the bars forever without putting any strain on your arms and shoulders. I mentioned sport bikes because many people think there is nothing else as far as motorcycles go. They are commonly known anymore as simply "street bikes" while cruisers are still called cruisers.


I know for sure I would be way more comfortable on a Suzuki S40 (650 single cruiser) than a Burgman 650 around town, on the highway it would probably be the other way around.


So, for me, a small scooter or a mid sized motorcycle in town, or a maxi scooter or a mid sized motorcycle on the highway.


On the other hand, something like a GTS300 Super should also work fine city of highway. It's not so big that it would feel like the Queen Mary, which is what the Burgman 650 felt like to me. It's sheer size and weight made it very intimidating at slow speeds.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:27 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooktown Geezer View Post
Pick the bike for the majority of the riding you plan to do. No scoot is perfect for everything, though some do quite well at most everything.

I've taken my GT200 to Canada and back to San Diego, and for the most part it was perfect. There were a couple of spots where I wished I had a Burgman with more weight and power, so I bought one. Over time I realized that the Burgman was mostly sitting in the garage, since I really preferred the ride of the Vespa for 90% of my riding. So I *think* I'm done with larger, heavier bikes. I just plan my route accordingly, and when I'm in a place or condition where the light weight of the scoot is a liability, I realize that this too shall soon pass.

Someone who spends most of their touring time on open highways would likely prefer the Burgman and find their lighter scoot sitting for long periods of time. Like Gogogordy says, a butt for every saddle.
That pretty much mirrors my experience as far as the Burgman goes. Had one and just found that the only place it was a pleassure to ride was on the freeway or wide open roads. The maxi form factor just doesn't "fit" me.

I do like the Italian 500s (Scarabeo or BV) but then they aren't much different from the BV 350 in ergonomics and ride. Given a choice between a Vespa GTS and a Burgman (any size) even for a long multi-day trip the Vespa would win out everytime unless speed to complete the trip was of the utmost essence then I'd simply take a car. Yep, I'd take my car over any scoot if getting there ASAP was the prime consideration.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:20 AM   #44
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Yup. It all depends on how you define "manhood." Once upon a time, it took heavy-duty SKILL to ride. Kick-starting without breaking a leg (have one kick back on you and tell me I'm exaggerating, okay?)
LOL! The kick-only Sportster was the XLCH. "CH" stood for "Charley Horse."
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:25 AM   #45
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You dodged a bullet in not getting the S40.

The Savage, it used to be called. On paper; and sitting on the lot, it looks good. Nice naked cruiser; big thumper.

The thing has NO POWER! I swear to Gawd, the TU250, with about a third the displacement, is almost as powerful. I had, briefly, a used one; I couldn't coax it above 70!

Not only that...cold-starting was an exercise in patience. Figure a twenty minute warmup...before you can roll. If any bike cried out for FI, that is the one.

A shame, too. I was ready to like it; belt drive...big single...but it didn't do it. Why it's stayed in manufacture for 25-plus years is one of those eternal mysteries.

Actually I find the S40 a very appealing bike, and I actually fit on it at 6' 225 with a 32" inseam. it's not fast, but it rolls down the road with a nice rumble, and will keep up on the freeway, unless you feel you need 50 mph above the speed limit in reserve. I have put thousands of freeway miles on both a Ninja 250 and a Honda Rebel without any problems. The only issue I have with this bike is it's tube type tires.

I have noticed that scooters cost considerably more than most motorcycles of the same displacement, and can't figure out why. Do they cost more to build?

Then there is the size difference, and the S40 is an excellent example. It's just enough bigger than the Rebel that I can fit on it. It is still a very small bike. Compare it to the Burgman 650 size and weight wise. The Burg is twice as big. Why can't a freeway capable engine be put into a scooter say the size of a Zuma 125 or close? Actually I guess that is what Genuine almost did with the Buddy 170. Make it a full 200cc and it should be a great cross country ride.
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