For Discussion: Maxi vs. Middleweight Motorcycle

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by GREY.HOUND, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

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    Just wondering. When reading about the new BMW scooters or Silverwing & 650 Burgman, they can be described as cumbersome or other such negative words. However, when reading about bikes like the Honda NT700v or the BMW 800GT and others like that, they can be described as a great combination of comfort, weight and maneuverability. Great for commuters and do everything type bikes. Even the Honda NC700X with DCT & ABS is over 500 lbs.; add a top box and panniers and it's close to what, 525 lbs?

    Why does a maxi scooter that weighs somewhere in the same range not usually get called perfect or ideal for a do everything bike.

    FWIW, my SC250 is about 320 lbs and it's just fine by me. I really couldn't imagine another 200lbs to move about.

    GH
    #1
  2. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Okay...I went from a dual-sport maxi to a Burgman 650. And I did it partly because I wanted a bike that was shiftless, like I'm shiftless; and because it was getting hard to get a leg over; especially on that tippy-tall R1200GS.

    Weight distribution on a maxi-scoot is a little bit high. More so when you factor in that in touring, you're gonna be using your storage space. But then, it was also on my BMW. Well-balanced...but a bit high.

    Heresy though it may be, I'd rate them almost comparable. The Burgman is well-balanced.

    But...the RIDING position is entirely different. One STRADDLES a bike; even a cruiser. You sit ON a maxi-scoot. In the twisties in the Rockies, I kept having that feeling that I was going to slide off my seat on the Burg. I really wasn't; but I did miss that feeling of support; of having something firm between the knees.

    And I think that's the difference. I, and other maxi-scoot adaptees, we got used to it; learned to live with it and love it. Not everyone can or will.
    #2
  3. lcseds

    lcseds Adventurer

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    Folks that don't own these scoots will never recognize them for what they are. I traded my NT700v for my '12 Silverwing. It's my third Silverwing. Kept trading for a motorcycle. Now I'm done. The Swing does everything better IMO. Jeepers, I was supposed to remove the seat (which means the left pannier has to be opened to access the latch), and then use a cable to lock my helmet with the NT. Then put the seat back on and close the pannier. Really? I can put it under the seat or use the simple and dandy helmet hook under the seat of the Swing. Drawbacks? Yep, these scooters are not really set up for side panniers. They can be fitted but there is no aftermarket stuff for these in quantity. What I really want is a more powerful machine. Not a lot, but some more. So I will trade the Swing when Honda rolls out the Forza 900.:D
    #3
  4. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    I ride a Honda Reflex which I guess could be considered "mid-weight". It's heavy for a scoot (IMO) @ 330 lbs. (I think). My DR650 weighs about the same. However, compared to the DR, the Reflex's weight is mostly down low so it doesn't feel too bad (I don't think the DR feels tippy though).

    I used to have a Honda Trans Alp and I consider the NC700X to be a modern version of that (even though the TA is still sold, by Honda, outside of the US). I hated the TA because the weight was mostly up high (440 lbs). The NC7 would be great but I'm guessing, based on appearance, that the weight is up high on that, too. My friend that owns one loves it (and has only had it for a few months). If he could only have one bike, that would be the one to have (according to him).

    The only downside about the Reflex (and scooters in general) are the small rim diameters. The Reflex has 12" & 13". I prefer the ride of the DR (21" & 17") because it's capable of handling bumps and undulations with more aplomb. My preferred commuter would be a small (250cc) dual sport (possibly in sumo configuration). Then, I could get the fuel economy, the necessary speed (55+) and light(er) weight. And old NX250 would be the ticket.
    #4
  5. John Bentall

    John Bentall Been here awhile

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    It's all to with folks' favorite hobby of pigeon-holing stuff.

    A scooter is meant to be an SC250 so a Burgman is unwieldy.
    A tourer is meant to be a Honda ST1300 so an F800GT is a great combination of weight, etc.

    Ignore them all.....

    HTH,

    John
    #5
  6. alicethomas

    alicethomas Been here awhile

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    A maxi scoot priotorizes comfort much more than a motorcycle.
    #6
  7. DandM

    DandM Long timer

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    Some say and think:
    You either have big gonzolas or no gonzolas to ride a scooter.
    I love my 650 Burgman.
    Anyone can decide if they think I'm a man or woman.
    I don't give a rats ass what anyone thinks.
    Do you care what others think of your car/truck/motorcycle/ watercraft/airplane/etc. purchases?
    :deal
    The damn 650 Burgman is easy to mount, very comfortable at any sane speed, respectable gas mileage, good insurance price, easy to do routine maintenance, can keep up with most riders on whatever they are riding, etc.
    All I can say is: test drive one or all the maxi's you can.
    If you like any one of them, next step is to check the size of your gonzolas if you have a pair.
    #7
  8. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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    what john said. to reviewers, a scooter's "agility" is measured by the vespa "standard". a motorcycle's agility is measured by the "standard" for its class or classification: a road king for baggers; an st1300 for tourers; etc. it's not wrong; rather, it's just that scooters are never a benchmark point in general motorcycle reviews.
    #8
  9. John Fabian

    John Fabian Fabe

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    I have to agree with this statement. Nor should scooters, as currently defined, be a motorcycle benchmark. They are a different species.
    #9
  10. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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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?) Hand-shifting. Going more than 40 miles without frantically dumping it and standing by the roadside, rubbing your backside in pain. Modulating the brakes. Adjusting the brakes. Just stopping with the brakes of those times.

    Today, with FI, light controls, ABS...the manhood quotient is way down. I'd posit that it's easier to ride a motorcycle than drive a manual-shift car.

    The touring scoot, with its variator or auto drive, takes it one step further. Nope...no heroics in going for a ride.

    The heroics are in standing the withering stares...from the grey ponytails with the HARLEY-DAVIDSON tattoos, who trailered their garage queens to Sturgis. Have you THAT kind of tough?

    Then, and only then, you'll be a man, my son.

    Get on your Burgman - let's go.
    #10
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I am looking at probably getting a midsize motorcycle in the future but have very little interest in a large Maxi Scooter. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with Maxi Scooters, just that for my style of riding, a motorcycle would work better. It all depends on how you plan on riding it.

    Unlike most here in Battle scooters, I prefer a manual transmission over auto. I have come to like the CVT's on my small scooters, especially around town, but on the mountain roads I really like riding, a manual just works better. I also like to ride off the pavement and scooters just don't have the suspension or ground clearance of something like a DL650 or Versys. They also don't have enough cornering clearance for me except maybe the T max.

    Where the Maxi Scooters have a big advantage, IMO, is for touring. The Maxi's have great built in storage, good wind protection and comfortable seats. If I wanted to do a lot of long distance two up touring I'd be looking at something like a Burgman 650. IMO, The Burgman is more of a replacement for something like a Gold Wing rather than a midsize motorcycle. Compared to a Gold Wing, the Burgman suddenly looks pretty light weight and inexpensive.

    However, while I have owned and/or ridden hundreds of motorcycles, I don't have that much experience with Maxi Scooters so I may end up changing my mind and getting one in the future.
    #11
  12. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    I think the number of people who would consider one of those two options is pretty small... some folks like motorcycles and can't imagine riding a scooter (embarrassed to say that I used to be one of those). There are plenty of scooter riders who don't see the point of heavier weight, lower mileage, lack of storage, and having to "throw a leg over." And then, that smaller number of folks who really would consider both or either.

    The discussion of Maxi-scoot vs Mid-weight motorcycle is interesting, but the bias on a scooter forum will be different from that on a motorcycle forum.

    Ride 'em, pick what suits you. If there was one two wheeled conveyance that was the best, we'd all be riding it. Ten years ago, I couldn't imagine anything but a Harley dresser. Six years ago, it was a BMW RT. I downsized to a V-Strom when our riding tastes changed. And now, we're on little Honda PCX scoots... and having more fun than we've had in a long time.

    Riding any bike (or scoot) isn't a lifetime commitment. Enjoy it for what it is WHEN it is.

    Best wishes,
    Captain Jim
    #12
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Actually, on this forum there a large number of riders who have owned both motorcycles as well as scooters. I currently own 2 scooters and 2 motorcycles. I don't really have a bias since I can see the advantages, and disadvantages of both. I guess that If I have a bias it's that I prefer small and light wieght over big and heavy. I have owned a few big bikes and while I enjoyed all of my bikes, I have come to prefer smaller and lighter. That applies to motorcycles as well as scooters.
    #13
  14. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

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    Great replies. I didn't mean it so much as what is better, just noting that big maxi scoots are reviewed as too heavy while a 500 pound motorcycle isn't. I am not in the market and I love my sportcity. If the time ever comes for something bigger I do like stepping through and auto and built in storage and footboards.
    #14
  15. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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    :clap

    when i'm on the scoot, i wave at every harley. i know the real riding fans by the few who wave back.:deal
    #15
  16. johnyrrr

    johnyrrr Been here awhile

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    Im 42 and love to hear the colected view of the guys who have ridden and matured for years and years. im still in the transition period of sccots and cycles:evil
    #16
  17. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    You mean "old dudes"?
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  18. Houndguy

    Houndguy super noob!!!

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    :y0!

    OK let the super noob throw his $0.02 into the ring. I'm still learning how to ride properly and everything else. I'm still new so I remember my reasoning and thinking about buying a bike.

    When I decided to start riding I did what a lot of people do. I got my ugly butt a Yamaha Zuma 125 scooter to commute on. Great little bike with good gas mileage and storage. Sadly my commute changed from 30 miles round trip on slow moving roads to 35 miles one way on two highways :eek1

    I figured I would need something mid range (250 - 650 cc) to carry me safely to work and back. I started looking for bikes in that range that I could afford. Not a damn one could be found for 5K or so. Lots of older bikes with low miles (wonder why?) but nothing really "felt" right for me. I did fall in love with a Triumph Bonneville and was looking long and hard at a Honda Shadow V600.

    What it came down for me was storage. I needed to carry my lunch, my laptop and a few other things back and forth. None of the those bikes had those...but I did discover the Burgman 650's. I ended up buying a 400AN. This was 3 years ago.

    Two or three months ago I needed a new bike. Again I was looking at several bikes. Triumph still offered the classic Bonneville (and I will have one eventually). Again I gave a long and hard look at the Suzuki S40 models. However after talking to various people I ended up with a scooter. I just was not getting the good reviews from the various riders I know and respect concerning that model.

    I ended up with a Kymco Xciting 500 which meets about 85% of my current needs. That being said I am also having more fun on this bike than I did on my Burgie. It was however what I could afford at the time.

    Your ride has to fit your needs and your wants. You have to feel comfortable on it. I just think that most motorcycle manufacturer's forgot this. We are seeing a new influx of mid-range cycles that offer storage, good fuel economy and comfort.

    It's a nice change from the large muscle bikes that seemed to dominate the market for a while.
    #18
  19. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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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.
    #19
  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    It's all relative. Compared to my Super 8, my Sport City feels pretty heavy.
    Displacement is also something that everyone views differently. 650cc is big for a scooter but many motorcycle riders consider it small and only suitable for "beginner" bikes. There are some out there that won't consider anything under 1000cc.

    My recommendation is to keep an open mind and if you get the chance to ride different scooters motorcycles or scooters, do it.
    #20