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Old 04-21-2012, 11:53 AM   #1
ScootDude OP
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New Scooter - Recommendations?

I've been considering getting a scooter (I don't ride at all at the moment) and trying to decide which scooter to get.

So far on my list I have looked at:

* Kymco Downtown 300i
* Burgman 400
* Burgman 650
* Silverwing 600

I want something that can handle the motorway (70-80 MPH comfortably), is suitable for riding for e.g. 5 hours, but is also good for around town.

I had originally looked at the Kymco after reading reviews and watching videos of it, but then considered the Burgman 400 for the fact the engine is slightly more power and thus better for motorway work. As happens, I then started looking at the 650 Exec instead (hey, it is a slightly bigger scooter right, and a bit more capable? ) but then I found I was looking at larger and larger bikes and loosing focus on what I wanted: cheap to run, easy to ride, plenty of storage and suitable for the highway.

I kept reading that SW owners moved to the 650 and loved it, so didn't really look at the SW 600 seriously until the last couple of days. I'm now stuck!!

The Burgman 400 was looking like the one to seriously look at (e.g. options, etc..) but I read a few posts here about the Kymco Downtown 300 and now I'm REALLY stuck.

Apparently the Burgman 400 isn't so good when it comes to handling side-winds, and the Kymco apparently handled them without issue. It also seems the Kymco is good for motorway work over good distances. Add to the fact it seems really economical (I keep reading of real-world economy of about 75 MPG) that it is very much back on the list.

I got looking at the SW 600 after reading that it is a solid bike, and between the Burgman 400 and Burgman 650 in terms of engine. It is also about the same price as the Burgman 400.

At this point I'm lost. I liked the Kymco because it is cheap and efficient, but it seems it is at the bottom for engine capacity for motorway riding. I don't want to get a small scoot that is small to the point the mechanics are going to get hammered when riding the highway (which I do quite a bit of even on local runs).

If I had to list an order of preference:

* Comfort for me the rider
* Ease of riding
* Ability to safely and comfortably handle motorways without killing the bike
* Fuel consumption
* Storage

All the bikes seem to have pretty decent storage capacity. The Burgman 400 seems to most closely match what I'm looking for, but the side-wind handling issue has put me off.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:22 PM   #2
Dranrab Luap
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I have owned a Burgman 650 and 400. For my purposes, I liked the 650. It felt more like a motorcycle than the 400. That said, I would not hesitate to get on either and ride them from coast to coast. Both will get shifted around in a crosswind. Nothing like the very popular V-Strom 650 though. The Burgman 650 has plenty of passing power. Passing takes a bit more planning on the 400. I was always able to get 50 MPG+ on the 650 on the highway and 60+ on the 400. Some 400's are known for using oil at continued high speed operation. The 400 can be had a good bit cheaper than the 650. DO NOT overlook the Yamaha T-Max. It doesn't have quite the storage of the other two, but it can be had for a good price and the ride is reportedly very sporty.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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A 300 Kymco or a 400 Burgman are fine bikes and they will do 70 to 80 mph but there is a big difference between 70 and 80. At 70 both of those bikes will run forever. At 80 both of those bikes are working harder and that will have an impact on ultimate engine life. Do you want a bike that will last 40,000 miles or 100,000?

If 80 is important and you want more urban friendly that a 650 Burgman; I would look at a T-Max. They are fun and sporty and will run effortless at 80 unlike the smaller bikes.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:18 PM   #4
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If you are looking for highway capability AND in-town maneuverability, I would look at any of the twin-engined bikes. Having the engine mounted to the frame in the center of the machine versus out back on the swingarm makes a big difference when it comes to maneuverability. Before I bought my Silver Wing I test rode a Majesty and it felt like a pig compared to the Honda. You can feel that weight distribution when you are making tight, slow turns. I haven't ridden a B650 or a T-MAX but I assume they handle as well or better than my Wing.

I went with the Wing because of the ease on maintenance with the traditional CVT and it has been a workhorse for me. It is quite literally my car and it doesn't let me down.

I haven't tested the Downtown, but I have heard that it is a great bike.
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:17 PM   #5
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I think you want more than one.

An economical around-town ride isn't big enough for the freeway. A good freeway cruiser will lumber about on city streets.

I'm now the proud owner of THREE scoots; a Burg 650; a Burg 250/400 clone; and a BigRuckus clone. The Rowdy-Ruckus is a lot of fun on city streets. The Burg-Clone is good on country roads up to 65 or so (right now speed is limited for an out-of-balance tire) and gets me 75 mpg. The 650 I just bought...but I think I'm gonna love. Had it up to 75.

I report; you decide. My total outlay on this is about $8500...less than a new 650. Bought mine used; the Burg-Clone new but marked down. The 150 Rowdy new at $1450.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:46 AM   #6
ferrix
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I bought Kymco Downtown only a month or so ago. I chose it because I wanted something manageable in the city yet open road capable, but for me the balance was very much skewed towards the city use with just occasional trips out into the open. For this role Downtown is great. By the same token if you care about freeway more than city use, one of your other choices might be better.

Downtown will cruise on 70, no problem - I am not so sure about 80. To be honest, I haven't tried that yet, nor am I likely to in my environment.
It does seem to handle cross winds pretty well from what I've seen so far but again I haven't ridden in seriously miserable conditions yet. As for fuel consumption so far I consistently get about 3.5l/100km - sorry, I'm feeling lazy so you'll have to do your own conversion to mpg :)
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:02 PM   #7
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You can't judge a bikes performance in the first month. It can take 5000 or even 10000 km for a bike to start to run it's best. My SYM Citycom really started to perk up after 8000 km. Still just because a bike will do 80 mph doesn't mean it's a good idea unless a bike is specifically engineered for those sustained speeds.

A 250 Ninja will handle an indicated 140 klicks no problem; with a short stroke twin that really comes alive at 10000 rpm plus. My Citycom 300i , a long stroke single really intended for midrange speeds would quickly be thrashed run at those speeds sustained, even though it would do it.

Modifying the bike for more speed which is the usual rider response only makes things worse by upping the stress level on the machinery. For sustained 80 mph running I would be looking at a 650 motorcycle.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:24 PM   #8
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As you are seeing, if you ask 20 people, you will get 20 different answers. Here's my $0.02.
You said you don't ride at the moment. Does that mean you have never ridden? If so, I'd suggest going smaller to start out. A 125 or 150cc will be easier to learn on and be able to cruise comfortably in the 50-55 range. Back roads are usually more interesting anyway.
Your use of the word motorway makes me think you are somewhere that has tiered licensing. That would be another issue to consider.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:09 PM   #9
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Silverwing

There is nothing wrong with a Silverwing. I have had mine since 2002 and still love it. I thought I wanted something new and looked at the Burgman, but, it looks like a bloated Silverwing with a slightly bigger engine (big deal). There are some really good deals on low mileage SW's around, thats where I would start.
Big scooters are easy to ride, if you haven't ridden before, start with a MSF rider course first, anyway.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:59 PM   #10
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My choice: Burgman 650 executive

I have ridden the B400 quite a bit, and own a 2007 executive. The 400 is a fine bike, but I absolutely LOVE my exec! In fact Im writing this from San Ignacio (BCS). Rolled over 50,000 miles here in Baja, 60 miles of dirt road a few days ago, with a stop at Cocos Corner. I don't recommend dirt roads, and doubt I would do them again, but at least I can say I did it.
I find its a great grocery getter - big trunk. I have zero problems maneuvering in town or out. For trips, I go to Puget Sound to visit family, and have been to most of the western states. Oregon and California coast, Las Vegas, Yosemite, Yellowstone/Tetons (twice!) Glacier and Crater Lake National Parks, the Zion Canyon area, and points between.
It has a rock solid cruise at high speeds all day long, averaging about 50mpg most of the time (45mpg until it hit about 5,000 miles, then jumped up). I really can't say enough about this amazing bike! Best I've ever had...
Side note: my wife bought a 400, and I was breaking it in for her while she was waiting for her class. I liked it and bought the exec. About a year later she was a pretty skilled rider and I suggested she try mine. She did, and says "You cruel, cruel man - you new about this and let me ride the 400?!" She now has an exec!
Yeah it's heavy, and yeah it takes respect and caution when you're first getting the feel, but it gets to feel so natural!
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:33 PM   #11
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If you're truly new to riding then +1 to Rick.

If you've just been away for a while, & are getting back to it then it really depends on your emphasis.

If by "the motorway" you mean just hopping on for an exit or so then off I'd be inclined to the Kymco (of the ones you've listed). The s'wing & the 650 work, but are not as nimble in town as some would like.

If by "the motorway" you mean you're doing most of your 16k+ commute on it at 110KPH+ then I'd go with one of the bigger bikes.

My two bits

- Preference towards the 650 if you're planning on touring, extended trips etc.

-The Tmax if you're going to be in town more shorter rides, & like a sportier type of feel.

- The S'wing is a good bike, & similar to the big burger but more "scootery" in it's feel.

- The B400 is a great compromise for many. It can tour, & it's enough lighter in town than the 650 or s'wing that you feel it For longer higher speed runs the 650 is probably a bit better, but there's a fellah 'round here who runs his 400 on the highway for long runs pretty much everyday who has just shy of 50k on one.



Of note have not ridden a tmax in town, just a quick test (was nice but like my 650 better for now).



All that being said any of those will do what ya want. I'd be opportunistic & nab which one fits ya best at the best price. If you're new to it save some bux & buy a prescratched one cuz you're likely to drop it yourself.
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:43 PM   #12
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I'll second or third or whatever Rick about starting with a smaller scoot if you are new to riding. All of the ones you've mentioned are heavy (maybe not the Downtown, I don't know enough about it to say) but I had a Burgman 400 and found that it wasn't all that comfortable for me on long trips and was a pig in town, especially compared to my Vespa but even compared to the 500cc Aprilia Scarabeo & Piaggio BVs I we own. We originally bought the Burgman for my husband who absolutely hated how it handled - he mostly rides an Aprilia Sports City which is extremely manuverable and he took it from Colorado to California going 80-85 by GPS on I-15 for several hundred miles (insanity to my mind) but he liked it on the dirt roads in national parks during the Utah part of the trip.

I've taken several 1,000+ plus miles on 4 different scoots with a mix of backroads (more fun) and interstates (boring but efficient and sometimes the only really viable option) ranging from my Vespa GTS 250 (Amerivespa 1,180 miles total), Burgman 400 ( 1,276 miles and I traded it in after that trip for a BV 500), BV 500ie (6,400 miles over 4 trips) and Scarabeo 500ie (5,012 including a recent 3,400 mile round trip from Houston to DC and back, hitting the Dragon, Blue Ridge and a bunch of those Skyways from Georgia to Virgina).

Most comfortable one for me is the Scarabeo, 500 mile days without an airhawk on just the stock seat. Least comfortable for me was the Burgman 400, the foot forward seating position just doesn't suit me at all. Besides I get 10 mph better gas mileage on my Scarabeo than I did on my Burgman. I did love the underseat storage capability of the Burgman though. I'll give it high marks for storage but the stock windshield and seat just aren't good enough. (Note, I did swap out the stock windshield on my Beo for the OEM summer screen which suits me much better.)

cdwise screwed with this post 04-22-2012 at 05:54 PM
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:24 PM   #13
vortexau
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScootDude View Post
I've been considering getting a scooter (I don't ride at all at the moment) and trying to decide which scooter to get.

So far on my list I have looked at:

* Kymco Downtown 300i
* Burgman 400
* Burgman 650
* Silverwing 600

I want something that can handle the motorway (70-80 MPH comfortably), is suitable for riding for e.g. 5 hours, but is also good for around town.

. . . .
Very few folk with a motorcycle background contemplating acquiring a scooter ever consider whether they have any preference for rigid-motor mounting (like a motorcycle) or if swing engines are not an issue.

Only two machines on that short list have a rigid-motor mounting.

Myself, I have to admit that I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of any motor larger than 300cc twisting up-and-down with suspension movement, along with the exhaust & muffler. . . . . and I did start out on a Majesty 400.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aidanpryde18 View Post
If you are looking for highway capability AND in-town maneuverability, I would look at any of the twin-engined bikes. . . .

Twin engines? As like Piaggio (HyS0) hybrids with their electric motor on the rear hub handling drive issues along with the ICE at the usual swingarm pivot mounting?

Or, did you simply mean Twin (Cylinder) engines . . . . another thing entirely.

Still, nothing wrong with a 500cc single if its properly mounted and balanced.





Three scooter offerings powered by 500cc single-cylinder engines.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:48 PM   #15
ferrix
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Originally Posted by vortexau View Post
Myself, I have to admit that I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of any motor larger than 300cc twisting up-and-down with suspension movement, along with the exhaust & muffler. . . . . and I did start out on a Majesty 400.
Yes, same here. 300cc is as high as I would go with a swingarm mounted engine. This is somewhat arbitrary point though, based simply on the fact that Downtown (300cc) seems to do just fine for my needs while larger swingarm scooters such as Majesty and Scarabeo 500 do not have a great reputation for their handling. I rode T-Max a couple of times and I thought it was fantastic and I attribute that largely to the fact that it has engine mounted in the frame. In fact I think T-Max is the best of the lot, the reason I didn't get it myself was purely financial - T-Max was simply out of my price range while Downtown (just) fit into my budget.
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