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Old 09-19-2012, 04:42 PM   #1
GREY.HOUND OP
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More Talk, less action..?'s about Maxi's

In my original post a couple of months ago, I asked for some scooter advice and got some wonderful answers. Still in the "planning" stage and have another question:

Are the bigger maxi scooters: Burgman 400, Majesty, TMAX, and Silverwing such a bad idea for a beginner? Here is why I ask. In reading about advice for beginners, often mid size cruisers come up as OK for starter bikes. Why not a maxi scooter then?

I'd prefer to buy locally and have 3 shops. My choices are Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kymco and the Italian Trinity.

As much as I love the looks of the BV350 and Vespa 300's, I'm a little uneasy with all the supply type issues.
The kymco dealer only has the Super 8 150, so that leaves the big 3 Japanese dealers. The 100-150cc's aren't what I want, but I actually like the zuma and PCX. That means I'd have to go with the bigger 400-600cc's.

BTW, the CBR250 and the NC700x look like great fun, but I'm more interested in scooters; though as you can see, I clearly like to talk. I am 6'1 and 190ish lbs.
Thanks,
Sean
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:50 PM   #2
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I take issue with the idea that engine displacement matters when choosing a starter anything. Any bike should be absolutely fine as long as you make sure you gradually summon more power based on how comfortable you are.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:30 PM   #3
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Engine size relates to price. Because most people go for "bigger is better."

It is possible to have too much engine; I did exactly that as a new rider with a Kawasaki 750 three. I came off a Yamaha 350 two-stroke; the difference was shocking - and frightening.

Too much.

I don't think you'll get that on a mid-size maxi-scooter. The big concerns are, price; depreciation if you don't like; and will it work for what you want.

Going back and forth to work on city streets--> 250 cc should do you fine. For highway use, you'll want a Burgman 400 or bigger. Some 250s can work up to highway speeds - wide open. You don't want to run a scoot that way on a regular basis.

For touring, it depends on how big you are and how much gear. A Burgman 400 can carry the gear if you're under 225 pounds; but if you want to make miles cross-country, again, you'll be running up against the redline at 80 mph-plus.

Bigger size--> bigger appetite. My Xingyue 300, when it's running, gets in the upper 70s. My Burgman 650 in the mid forties. A Burgman 400 in the upper sixties. A PCX will get in the high nineties....150 cc.

There. You. Are.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:57 PM   #4
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I would say from all my recent research that none of the Japanese maxi scooters are ideally suited for a beginner. These bikes may be scooters, but they have nothing in common with smaller scooters like the Zuma 125 and PCX150. I have ridden motorcycles since the late '60s, and currently ride a Goldwing 1500. I got on a Majesty, and almost dropped it. Yet it's engine is only 1/3 the size of the Goldwing. I almost dropped it because even with a 34" inseam, I could not reach the ground with my feet. It is one WIDE scooter. I have also ridden several 650 DS bikes. I can't get both feet on the ground on those either. But they are narrow and lightweight. I have sit at stoplights on those, and rocked them back and forth, from one side to another. I never felt like I was going to drop them. Besides not being able to touch the ground on a Majesty (I was on a Silverwing, due to cutouts in the floorboard) maxi scooters feel very awkward compared to mid sized motorcycles. I have yet to ride one. But they definitely feel like they would be clumsy in low speed maneuvers, like in a parking lot. I'm still getting one (looks like the Silverwing at this point) because I like the automatic transmission. But it is going to mean relearning to ride all over again.

I would like to add that ALL my experience with these scooters WAS from just sitting on them, NOT actually riding them, so my impressions could actually be way off. I'm looking for a decent deal on a nice used Silverwing, and I'm going to buy it, then figure out how to ride it. It may very well not be as hard as I think. But it is very different from a motorcycle.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:14 PM   #5
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You raise a good point, Jerry. The Burgman 650 is over 600 lbs...that's Goldwing territory. And at slow speeds it can be wild to hold...somehow, the angle at which your feet are out to balance or push (yes, I'm flatfooting it) makes the feet likely to slip. Which makes a panic attack certain.

I don't know what the Burgman 400 weighs. My Xingyue clone weighs in the high 300s...it's not killer but it's a handful.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:47 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input. The Burg650 is much more than I want but you brought up a key point in my questioning and that is the weight. 500 lbs. seems like a lot at low speeds. The listed weight on the majesty,TMAX, and B400 are all under 500 but not by much.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
I would say from all my recent research that none of the Japanese maxi scooters are ideally suited for a beginner.

I got on a Majesty, and almost dropped it. Yet it's engine is only 1/3 the size of the Goldwing. I almost dropped it because even with a 34" inseam, I could not reach the ground with my feet. It is one WIDE scooter.
I agree with your assessment that maxi scooters aren't for beginners - but for a different reason. They are fairly fast and smooth and the SW and 650 Burger are quite fast. With no transmission to shift speed accumulates faster than the senses can catch up until you become used to them.

As for the Majesty being too wide for you - my inseam is 30" and I have no trouble riding mine - or putting my feet down when I come to a stop. Not flat-footed but comfortable. My 650 Burgman is wider and I can get both feet down just fine - not flat-footed but close.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseyJones View Post

It is possible to have too much engine; I did exactly that as a new rider with a Kawasaki 750 three. I came off a Yamaha 350 two-stroke; the difference was shocking - and frightening.

Too much.
I had a similar experience. In 1969 when Kawasaki came out with the 500 H1 Mach 3 (the white one) I jumped on the first one available. It was serial no. xxx498 - same as the total cc of the motor and had the CDI ignition which was much better than the point system they stuck in the later mach 3's. I went from a slug - a Honda CB350 - to the Mach 3. What a change! I had the dealer install the optional 1/4 mile gearing. WOW. I could pull the front wheel in the first 3 gears and that was with my balls over the gas cap! With a passenger I could pull the front in fourth as well. I got 6 tickets in 3 months on that Honda - I never got one on the Kawasaki and I didn't ride it slowly.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:43 PM   #8
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I have re-read your post of 6th June where you describe your daily 6/7 mile commute. A Honda PCX 150 or Yamaha Zuma machine will be fine for that commute.

If you are already planning of leaving your family for days of over 4 hours riding then it would certainly be beneficial to have a larger machine. Indeed, have you considered the effect on your family of purchasing a maxi-scooter? Would it not boost their confidence to see you master a small machine before graduating to something larger?

However, if you choose to totally ignore what you need and focus on what you want, then get whatever takes your fancy. I know one lady who bought the bike that their husband thought they would look good on - very nice leathers, very sexy etc. Not what she need at all but more what her husband wanted to look like. After a year she has given up riding bikes for ever.

While we on the subject.....would anyone on the forum care to explain why the are so many used Honda Silverwings for sale out there that have covered only 1000 miles per year?

When I purchased a scooter 2 years ago, I also wanted a T-Max or Silverwing for my 20-mile each way commute, but I knew for certain that I did not need one. I bought a light-weight (172kg/350lbs) 250/300cc instead - with absolutely no regrets.

Good luck with your choice!

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Old 09-20-2012, 10:53 AM   #9
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FWIW, the weight and balance of a maxi is not something I'd recommend for a beginner. Heck, my husband who had been riding small scooters, Buddy 125, Vespa ET 4 150, and a couple of dirt bikes was never able to get the hang of our Burgman 400 at slow speeds or moving it around the garage. Okay, he has short legs - 30" inseam but mine is only 31" and while I got the knack of moving it around and handling at slow speeds it was never one I'd choose if my primary use was around town. Even the 400 has more in common with the Goldwing mentioned earlier for in town use. We traded it in for a Piaggio BV 500 and haven't looked back. While the weight isn't that much different 420ish for the BV and 435ish for the Burgman 400 the handling difference at slow speeds and balance is very different with more of the BV weight being lower.

Despite all this talk of "supply chain" issues for Piaggio/Vespa/Aprilia scoots I've never had an issue related to supply chain that kept me from riding any of the scoots and we've owned 6. As mentioned in many other threads it is as much dealer dependent as it is the actual brand. Just make sure that if there isn't a good dealership near you that you are willing/capable of doing work yourself or you develop a relationship with a good mechanic near you who will work on it. In Breckenridge, CO if I don't want to take it down to Denver I use an independent mechanic in Dillion ( 12 miles away vs 70 to go to Denver) who works on many brands of motorcycles and scooters. He's the one who was able to fix an electrical issue with the Burgman that a dealer hadn't been able to figure out for example.
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:14 PM   #10
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All my riding was a lower CC bikes Honda 350 /360 BMW R27. When i returned to riding I picked a Riva 200. I put 50,000 fun filled miles on it.



When I bought the Burgman 650 I was looking for something that I could do 2 up cross country touring on. It took a little getting use to. I have dropped it twice (I did the riva too) both times in loose dirt going at a walking pace.



If you are new to riding or returning buy something used that you don't mind making little learning mistakes on. Ride it for a year or 2 then buy the bike you are lusting after. Chances you will loose little to nothing on selling the first. That is the advice I give anybody that asks. Keep in mind there is only one person you need to make happy, that and the S.O.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:21 PM   #11
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I've got a Honda Helix, a Silverwing and a CBR250 in the stable. If I'm planning on more than one 250+ day the Swing is the most comfortable though I have done the same trips on the Helix and CBR. For any kind of around town or close by riding the 2 smaller bikes get the call every time. They just have a bigger smile factor.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:49 AM   #12
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More CC often mean more gas cost and also up front cost to buy it. Really How many of us need to go 70 MPH day after day ? An Old gl 1100 gold wing gets about 40 mpg. Most big CC maxi get 50 mpg to 60. The New honda 700cc scooter get 70 MPG which is the highest . Sometime I think it would almost be worth have to scooters . a 50cc for short hops because they get 125 MPG. A bigger cc helix etc for the 4 or 6 days a month you want to hit the road.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:03 AM   #13
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Bikes are about passion (there I've said it, even if it makes me sound like a fruitcake!).
I've found over the years though, that riding anything is better than sitting in a traffic jam having run out of your favourite CDs.

A few other things for new riders.......
1. You DON'T need a 600 Supersport, no matter what your "mates" tell you, they won't feel real fine after you've killed yourself in the first month. They build a LOT of speed REALLY quick.
2. Weight for a first bike is important, less weight and a low CofG means easy adjustment of lines and stability in braking.
3. Being slower than the rest of the traffic takes a lot of skill.....that newbies don't have yet.
4. Being a lot faster than the rest of the traffic also takes a lot of skill.......that newbies don't have yet.
5. do a rider training course, confidence is the key.

For pick for a first bike (my personal theories, with no relevance to science) in scooter land, one that needs to sit on 70mph on freeways, would be a 250cc something, followed very closely be a 400cc Maxi-something (better stability).
The big Maxi's are too heavy, the smaller scoots are too nervous.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:30 AM   #14
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I agree with the passion part, in many areas; without it, it's just something to do. A car you love can make a commute enjoyable, As for a bike, with so many choices there's gotta be one that makes us all as individuals say, "Yeah, that's my ride."

Way back when the bug bit me, I never considered a scooter, didn't know they were so versitile. I just started reading up on motorcycles. Everything says start small, 250cc or so. Basically, Honda Rebel, the little dual sports then I saw the Suzuki TU250 and though BINGO! I have to say, I actually like the standard style bikes the best. I took a visit to Honda's website and was blown away by the variety of bikes and their purposes. I saw, "sport touring" and was like, yeah that's my idea, sporty and comfortable, kind of like a BMW M5; bonus = it has built in storage, brilliant!. So, guess where I went, to the BMW motorcyle website. Whoa, sweet! but alas, too big. Then I see they have scooters, WTF? That's not a scooter, right? So then I realize, a scooter is pretty much what I would rather have since there are plenty of smaller displacement scooter and the seating position looks comfortable and all the great things I have now read about them. What I'm finding though, is that while there are plenty of scooters between 50-125 cc and the big maxi's, it's difficult to find the 250-350 scooters since it's pretty much kymco and the Piaggio Co. in that range.

Because of that I am definitely going to be taking a closer look at the TU250 and the newer CBR250 w/ABS. I will also contact my kymco dealer and see if he can get the Kymco 300's and check my Vespa dealer and take a closer look at the Aprillia's and Vespas. They had them in the summer, but I was only looking at the Zuma,

Oh well, after taking the MSF course, I'll have a better idea. I am about 1/3 of the way through "Proficient Motorcycling". Hopefully, I can get a great deal in the next couple of months on a bike, as winter looms.

Last thought, based on MODNROD's post, what about the Burgman 400 for noobs? It's got tons of storage, plenty of power, and ABS, but man, it looks huge. If anybody would like to chime in on the whole engine mount swing arm thing I wouldn't mind a little short course on that. I've seen it mentioned before but never payed much attention to how it affects the bikes handling and ride
Sean
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:21 AM   #15
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I gave my 2 cents on a Burgman for a first scooter earlier in this thread. I'd say NO based on our experience owning one but many folks love them and they do have their place. Personally, if you were only going ot have one scoot a BV 350 would be my choice. Big enough for the freeway, good storage - not quite Burgman class but if you aren't in California or New York you can remove the evap canister and reclaim quite a bit. My only complaint is I'd like a little more floorboard room on it but it is as close to a good all around scoot as you can find. There is a Sym and Kymco that are close runners up if I recall correctly in the 300cc category. Scarabeo 200 is almost as fast and has the big wheels that make it stable on the freeway but it doesn't have as much storage. A topcase will remedy fix any need for additional storage regardless of what you get. Any of them will have more than the small dual sports you mentioned.

If the Burgman after you see it is what you want I'd suggest either getting used or getting a used smaller scoot to practice on before buying the Burgman. Buying used means you can most likely resell it at close to what you paid for it and it won't be so heart wrenching if you do drop it. FWIW, I'd make the same recommendation if you were buying a motorcyle - pick up a used one of the type you want first. I've gone all over the country on the Piaggio/Aprilia 500cc scoots and loved every minute (okay I wasn't thrilled with the 50mph cross winds and 80mph gusts or the shredded tire outside of Texarkana but those are a bitch on 2 wheels regardless of what type). For me the Burgman 400 wasn't as comfortable and it doesn't handle as well in cities but excels if freeway riding is the marjority of what you will be doing.
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