For Discussion: Maxi vs. Middleweight Motorcycle

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

  1. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    This forum is a bit of a rarity in the two wheel world... and a big part of what I enjoy here. I have had my eyes opened recently, and agree that smaller just might be better - depending on the usage. I thought my V-Strom was "a little bike" until we bought these scooters. :evil

    Glory be - I have seen the light! (cue the music, get ready to pass the plate) You demon of heavy displacement be gone! Let the light of the lightweights shine in!! Can I get a witness?

    :clap:clap:clap
    #21
  2. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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    i like all two wheelers! i prefer a low weight and low center of gravity -- motards and big adventure bikes are too top heavy for my n00b skillz -- but i appreciate agility and general potential for misbehavin' :evil'
    #22
  3. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

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    The 250 is perfect for what I do. I never really intended to commute on it, I just wanted to experience "motorcycling". So, a 250 is a great size and I love it so much I commute 3-4 days per week. I also take it on weekend rides into the foothills and outlying communities around here and love that too. That was the plan when I got it. I just passed 2000 miles on the bike and got 79mpg on my last fill up.

    Again, great discussion.

    GH
    #23
  4. MiniBike

    MiniBike Been here awhile

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    There is a bias among those who've never "seen the light" (literally and figuratively). At 6'1", I look funny as hell when I'm riding my wife's little Schwinn 150 Graduate; probably a little funny on my Big Ruckus and still get a few disparaging looks from the "HD only" crowd when I'm on my Triumph.

    DILLIGAF? No, because I'm having more fun!
    #24
  5. Houndguy

    Houndguy super noob!!!

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    A friend of mine visited me a while ago. At that time I owned a 2007 Suzuki Burgman which he took for a little 75 mile ride. He came back all smiles amazed that a scooter could lean over as far as it did; or that it was that quick. :bubba
    #25
  6. Noth

    Noth Been here awhile

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    I'm 63 and pretty new to riding.. Only have about 11,000 miles so far... at 60, I bought myself an MP3 500.. I had no idea it was a "maxi scoot".. I just liked it and it wasfun to ride.. OK.. 6,000 miles and 18 months later.. I got an offer to trade it in on a 2012 Burgman 650, that I couldn't turn down.. so now 5,000 miles and a year later.. I'm on a Burgman.. loved them both.. The MP3 500 seemed a lot lighter, but a lot lesss stable at a high speed.. so I'm just loving the experience and don't care what anyone thinks...:wink:
    #26
  7. Rugby4life

    Rugby4life Been here awhile

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    I've never considered it an "either / or" choice. I've had 31 bikes so far including 2 that are classified as scooters. I buy the bike that best fits my current need/want. My wife only lets me have 1 bike at a time so I have to sell the present one when I buy something else. Thankfully, I've convinced her that scooters don't count because they're just for saving gas going to work and back. :D My current scooter is a C650GT and it is more capable than many of the "real" motorcycles I've owned. So, the choice boils down to what fits your needs the best (and if it fills your wants, that's a bonus). My advice is to buy both and tell your wife how much you're saving on gas plus on insurance with the multi-bike discount.
    #27
  8. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

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    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.
    #28
  9. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    For me, comfort is everything anymore. But, I still need to be able to maneuver around parking lots, etc, and a Burgman 650 is simply to big and heavy for me to feel comfortable with in that type of situation. The Silverwing is much better, but still a bit unwieldy. A 250cc would be fine, but not really enough for long highway trips. The ideal situation would be a maxi for the highway (I still wouldn't get the Burgman) and something smaller for around town.

    But, as to the original question, there are 2 major differences between scooters and motorcycles. You don't have to shift scooters, which can be great for someone with medical issues, and most are a step through design, which means you don't have to throw your leg over the seat, which is good for the same reasons. I have some issues doing both.

    If you are able to get on a motorcycle ok, there is now a great choice between a maxi scooter or a mid sized motorcycle. The Honda CTX700. It has most of the benefits of a maxi scooter, including an available automatic transmission and a comfortable riding position (upright, feet forward, no leaning forward and putting most of your upper body weight on your arms and shoulders, and not having your legs all folded up underneath you) It should handle a lot better than a maxi scooter, and should be smaller and lighter. Maxi scooters seem to be too big and heavy for their displacement. The Burg 650 makes my Vulcan 750 look and feel like a toy.
    #29
  10. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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    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.
    #30
  11. MiniBike

    MiniBike Been here awhile

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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.
    #31
  12. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

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    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?
    #32
  13. Rugby4life

    Rugby4life Been here awhile

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    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=:D, stop and lean =:muutt
    #33
  14. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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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.
    #34
  15. Houndguy

    Houndguy super noob!!!

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    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." :ear I ask them what they want and need...most times a scooter will meet those needs. Do they buy one? HELL NO! :kboom

    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.
    #35
  16. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

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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.
    #36
  17. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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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." :1drink

    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!
    #37
  18. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    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.
    #38
  19. DandM

    DandM Been here awhile

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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! ...
    #39
  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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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.
    #40