The scooter bug bit me, hard

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by planemanx15, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. planemanx15

    planemanx15 Long timer

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    Ever since starting to restore my 1985 Yamaha CA-50 back to her factory state, the DR650 has been getting neglected. I want another scooter...bad. It started with looking at Vespas. Specifically the GTS 300 Super. I will be starting a new job within the year, that is very close to home, and I will not need to bring my car into work daily (I have to drive some clients around most days, and the DR doesn't get ridden much). I figured a GTS 300 super would look good, as well as perform well. The bigger engine would even allow for some highway duty. Then I saw Piaggio...

    The BV 500, is all of the GTS + more power, bigger wheels and tires, and still has the Italian flare. Its not as good looking at the GTS, but the touring ability makes up for that. Then the Japanese scooters started to appear in the YouTube searches.

    The Yamaha Majesty or T-Max would open me up to full touring ability, be comfortable, and sporty (T-Max). I wouldn't need to buy a top case for most of the trips I would do, as the under seat storage of the Majesty would do. I like the dual front brakes of the T-Max and the twin (its probably smoother right? I mean I'm coming off a DR650, everything is smoother). The majesty is a bit cheaper, has more storage and looks more comfortable for touring.

    So far I've only owned Suzukis, so i looked at the burgmans. The 650 is well out of my price range, especially new. The 400 is pretty nice, good storage, dual front brakes, but is a bit pricey new. I think the Burgman 400 is the best of all the options as far as the maxi's are concerned. Plus there is a ton of support out there for it.

    I'm not quite sure what I want to do. originally is was a small scoot with a big engine to put around town and do short trips (150mi max) as i have my DR650 if I want to go further. But then I started to think about the girl, and I know she will be more comfortable on a maxi scooter compared to the DR. I was leaning towards the Italian brands as I am an Italian-American, and would love to show my grandfather the new versions of the scoots he used to fix and ride in the old country. If i get a maxi scooter, I could end up replacing the DR all together on road.

    I also thought about getting a Maxi Scooter and a Vespa restoration project to have the best of everything :rofl

    Any advice out there? I've been looking in the 5k-7k range, prefer new, wouldn't mind 2-3 year old.

    ...end or ramble...
    #1
  2. knucklehead90

    knucklehead90 Been here awhile

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    Good deals are out there for used maxi scooters. I just bought a 2008 650 Burgman Exec on Friday for $5000 out the door (from a dealer) and it even has warranty left. Its like new and has just 4000 miles on it. I don't think you can buy a new 400 Burgman for that price. I've heard a few guys here mention that the big Burgman seems just too big to take out for local errands. I find that funny - its as easy to get in and out of the garage and maneuvers as easily as the 400 Majesty (for sale) and is much more comfortable than it or any of the smaller scooters I tried out - my opinion and experience of course. I looked at what kind of riding I do - how far I might ride in a day - and the conditions I have to ride in when deciding on which scooter was for me. I initially settled on the Majesty but quickly found out it was a knee killer for me. Nothing can be changed on that bike to change my comfort level so I had to change rides. Enter the 650 Burgman. I'm really enjoying it and I'm comfortable - no knee or back pain. I just wish I'd shed my 'Harley Pride' a few years ago. I'd have been riding these past few years instead of making excuses why I didn't want to go for a ride with my buddies. The only problem now is none of my buddies want to go riding with me. I don't care - I'll find locals with scooters - or a more open state of mind.
    #2
  3. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    For one, the Burgman 650 shouldn't be out of your range at all used. I's seed em going for as low as $3K for a nice running Burgman 650, actually many for $3.5K clean title everything, and for $4K there should be many.

    Depends really, what are ya fixin to do for the most part? Confusing, but just think it over! Do some test riding!

    For one, do ya want to keep the DR650 or just have one scoot all together?

    If you want to sell it, get a 600-650 if you plan on lots of Interstate riding. Keep it, a 400 should be great.

    For one, the Burgman 400. Its a fine scoot. Its perfect for around town, hard to beat for backroad cruising, and country sceneic rides, and Interstate commuting duties it does very well and is plentiful as far as power goes. It handles pretty well too, isn't awefully heavy [around 405-450 pounds or so I believe]. Has lots of underseat storage as you know [Actually, as far as I know it actually has slightly more underseat storage than the Burgman 650], and is pretty comfortable, just a great little all around scoot. Gas milage should be good, somewhere in the 60s I believe.

    NOW, for the negative [yep, for every bike/scoot or anything theres always something!].

    One bad thing. The speedometer, yep, like most other Japanese bikes, its optimistic. If your into Jap bikes not a deal braker. But, it'll typically read between 7% and 10% optimistically. So, think youse doing 65 MPH its probably only about 58.5 MPH, 70 MPH is only about 63 MPH, 75 about 66.5 and 80 only about 72 MPH actual! Kinda scary when youse on a busy Interstate full of lead foot cagers!:eek1 But, this means that the reports you may read from some, are likely a bit inaccurate. Meaning, people or a magizene or site might say the bike cruises like a dream all day at 75 MPH, well this is really only 66.5 MPH or so, according to a car speedometer or GPS/Radar. So to keep up with traffic, you'll need to peg about 80 MPH on the speedo, which is really only around 72 MPH, a typical comfortable freeway speed.

    So, the other thing. If your fixin to do any real Freeway miles, like all day rides with lots of over 70 MPH, espically 2 up, then I'd go for the 650. The 400 will do it, but add in the factors. Say theres a strong headwind, a passenger in tow, lots of luggage, and a few steep hills. Your gonna push that 400 if your doing lots of higher speeds. Espically if you wanna have any passing power. And, it'll get pretty buzzy at these speeds, with that big single. At 75 MPH, your getting pretty close to redline [I believe it redlines at 8,000 RPM and at ~75 MPH your turning around 7,500 RPM]. Not that it ain't capable, but it just isn't as nice. Also, its pretty light, and the bigger, heavier Burgman will be a little nicer on the Freeway, espically with strong sidewinds, it'll feel a lot more stable. The 400 has decent power though, there have been reports with it doing over 90 MPH by GPS. But the engine will be begging for mercy at that speed, and you won't enjoy it either.


    Also, as a side note, supposebly the 400 models after 06 have slightly more power than pre 06 models. The Majesty will have about the same power, and is pretty similar, its also a single.


    The 650 is good. Lots of power, about 50 HP. Pretty heavy, will be very stable on the Freeway. Pretty much a big verson of the 400 really. It is a twin, and much smoother. Also, on the highway, much less RPMs. You'll only turn about 4K or so at 70 MPH. However, there is of course a tradeoff. Its a bigger bike, less nimble, and much less MPG. It'll only get around 35-50 MPG. Theres been lots of different reports, but I believe average is somewhere in the 40s, similar to motorcycles even nearly twice it's size and power. Push it to 80 and it goes way down though. The Burgman 650 is neat though, it offers a 3 mode electronically computer controlled CVT transmission. Mode 1=Regular, cruising. Mode 2=Sport, keeps RPMs way higher all the time, for snappy torquy power on the spot [like riding around in 2nd gear sort of thing], and mode 3, manual! Quite neat. A push button shift, choose between 7 ratios! Quite neat, if you like to control it in the twisties. Although auto is funner, with it'd auto engine braking. Power is more than you need. It'll do well over 100 MPH.

    The Silverwing 600 is similar. Just a 1 mode tranny though. A little different in some ways but not a lot. Maybe more simplier.


    Then, theres the others. Them there 500 is a nice scooter. If I's right, its like the Aprilia Scrabeo 500, right? What a cool little bike. Perfect balance of both. Enough to cruise the highway, yet still almost not much bigger than a 250. Hell, I'm fixin to have one of them Scarebeo 500s eventually! Maybe not as nice as a 600/650 for all day Interstate trips though, with less weight. But still fine.

    If youse plannen to keep attair 650 of yours, then you may get away with a 250. They's cheap. But I think bigger sounds like what you might want.

    I understand about your Italian Heritage though. I want mw a Harley, I mean for one its one of few things still made out here in America, Ford is now less American than Toyota!:cry

    The Vespa 250/300 is a nice scoot, but pricy! It'll do ok for Freeway but not as nice for all day Freeway trips, not that it ain't capable.

    I like your other plan. A Restoration/both. Fine you a cheap Maxi [400/600/650] are avaibible real good prices on CL, then work on a Vespa. Hell maybe if the Maxi does all you need sell the DR and get a Vespa.
    #3
  4. Tacoma

    Tacoma Been here awhile

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    you said about the dual front brakes on the Tmax, the Tmax shares the front brakes and suspension from the R6, but whats more important that sets the Tmax apart from the rest of the maxi scooters is the bigger diameter tires and the low center of gravity that inspires complete confidence at high speed handling and hugging that tight curve, the Burgman is top heavy, riding it it always has that heavy tip-over feel and the small tires restrict high speed handling and heavy vibration with tough straight line steering at high speeds, those small tires wonder all over the road at high speed making you nervous and gripping the handlebars tight,,, the Tmax feels steady at 10 mph or at 100 mph, its happy place is 70 mph where it feels like you are floating on air , plus its sooo quiet you can cruise down the road at 70 mph and hear the birds singing in the trees, plus the Tmax has quick instant acceleration from a dead stop where the Burgman has a throttle delay, from a dead stop the Tmax can beat the heavy cruiser bikes, while they slow down clutching and shifting gears the Tmax is still accelerating..

    but good luck finding the scooter you want,,,, but always remember no matter what other maxi scooter you get, it will never be as good as the Yamaha Tmax

    oh yea; I forgot something important,,, the Tmax is like gold, it goes up in value, my 09 Tmax I purchaced in 2010 for $5400 is now worth $6200 used.
    so if you can find one and buy it, think of it as an investment.
    #4
  5. bbishoppcm

    bbishoppcm It ain't a moped.

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    "Ever since starting to restore my 1885 Yamaha CA-50 back to her factory state, the DR650 has been getting neglected."

    WOW!!! I had no idea Yamaha was around then!!! Holy crap, let's get some pics!!!
    #5
  6. gkgeiger

    gkgeiger Every ride is an ADV

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    You're kidding right? I had a new Yammy in the 60's.
    #6
  7. hexnut

    hexnut Been here awhile

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    "Ever since starting to restore my 1885 Yamaha CA-50 back to her factory state, the DR650 has been getting neglected."

    WOW!!! I had no idea Yamaha was around then!!! Holy crap, let's get some pics!!!

    You're kidding right? I had a new Yammy in the 60's.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Was that in the 1860s???
    #7
  8. bbishoppcm

    bbishoppcm It ain't a moped.

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    1860s? Golly gee... you must remember ol' Abe Lincoln!
    #8
  9. gkgeiger

    gkgeiger Every ride is an ADV

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    Don't pick on the old guy :lol3
    #9
  10. hexnut

    hexnut Been here awhile

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    Now I know why the North won...they had Yamahas :lol3
    #10
  11. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    That kinda dough will get you a brand new....to be available next month Piaggio (italian) BV350. The hottest touring scooter to come along in a long time.

    33hp to the rear wheel, 78 claimed mpg, 99 mph top speed, wet clutch, two-up capable techno tour-de-force!

    I been riding scooters for along time, but at 5499 msrp, the Piaggio BV350 is the one to watch!

    Thats just my opinion, but I have to admit....I've had a stiffy for this scooter since I first heard about it.

    I also have a DR650 and a Vespa GTS 250 ie. I'd rather tour on the Vespa than my DR650 btw...having done both and the Vespa is quite capable in that regard....so long as its all pavement. My belief is that the BV350 will be even better.....more power, better mileage, larger wheels, longer maintenance intervals.

    Good luck with your selection....and welcome to the world of steppin' thru!
    #11
  12. HandKPhil

    HandKPhil Been here awhile

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    I second the motion, regarding the BV350. To me it seems like one of the most advanced scooters out there right now. I'll be looking at one as soon as they come to the Piaggio dealer near me. Might even have to sell the Majesty and pick one up (...and I like my Majesty).
    #12
  13. OKC99

    OKC99 Adventurer

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    Please read my post about my "new" 09 Vespa 250ie. I had a 2007 Majesty, then a Buell Ulysses, then this Vespa. I was surprised by the stability at 65mph. I plan to do many 200 miles weekend getaways. Given I don't plan on any 500 miles weekends, but this Vespa has advantages over Maxis. You will end up not wanting to take out the Maxi on short rides to the store, you'll find yourself saying "I'll just take the car, it's not worth moving it around".


    Oh, and I even had a 150 Aprilia Scarabeo first, but got the Majesty cause I wanted to do weekend trips. In short, the Vespa 250 is the PERFECT balance. Light, easy, stable, full windscreen options that the maxi's don't, etc.
    #13
  14. gkgeiger

    gkgeiger Every ride is an ADV

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    Don't agree. I had a 250 GTS and although I liked it, I feel much more secure on my Burg 400 and it moves around my very crowded garage very easily.
    #14
  15. planemanx15

    planemanx15 Long timer

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    Thank you for the quick responses, its clear that everybody has formed their own opinions on the scooters. I have been thinking about it, and Its really a toss up now between the Burgman 650, T-Max, and Piaggio or Vespa. The majesty and Burg 400 are out. I heard the maintenance costs of the Burgman 650 is high, is that correct?

    As for what I'll be doing with it, it will be a mix of city and highway, not really one more then the other. its clear through my purchase of the DR650, that I bought a bike that can do everything well, but nothing great. I think that's what I'll be looking for in a scoot, and there is a good chance that it will replace the DR if i end up riding it more. I want something light enough for the streets, but heavy enough for the highways and powerful enough for 2 up, with large storage.

    The Piaggio BV350 and 500 are nice, and seem like the perfect fit, its just something about the styling that doesn't appeal completely for me.

    The Burg 650 has everything I'm looking for, but I've been reading that its very heavy. I love the look of it, and all the features.

    The T-max is also very nice looking, sporty but the limited storage space is a turn off.

    The vespa is a classic, but again, limited storage, and it just seems really small for longer highway runs.

    Now to throw a curveball at y'all... I would also be letting my Girlfriend and my father ride this, both have VERY limited experience on 2 wheels. Obviously the maxi's wouldn't be a great choice.
    #15
  16. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    Got an idea based in space.......

    Dunno if you get them over there, but the Piaggio X-Evo 400 is the equal of the Burgie 400 in most respects, and is a true red/white/green flag-waving maxi-scoot.

    Then you can get an old PX from the '70s (cheaper by far than the desirable '60s Vespa's), and you and your dad can restore it for some bonding (I bet he knows heaps of tricks!).
    #16
  17. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    I just picked up an '09 Scarabeo 500ie with 825 miles. I had a Dr650 that I wanted to commute on, started streeting it, was never quite what I wanted. The Aprilia is the perfect commuter for my 38 mile trip, light, peppy, handles well. Speedo is 10% high vs GPS, but it tops out a touch above 100, GPS 93. Decent lighting, storage is less than a Zuki, but I have a Givi box coming. This would work well for touring IMHO, at a bit slower pace than my Beemer. Two up with the wife was good too, she likes the seat!
    There are still some new 500's at dealers going for good prices. Maintenance is pretty simple compared to the Zuki, easy access to most parts.
    Check some of the specific forums for more detailed info on general maintenance and other problems, that's what swung me toward the Aprilia.
    Good luck!
    #17
  18. go.duesouth

    go.duesouth Lord of the geeks

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    The Kymco Downtown 300i is another one you can throw into the mix. Motorcycle.com 2010 scooter of the year. There is another thread about it if your interested. Although, if you plan on cruising more than running around and commuting, you would be better served by a bigger bike. I have a DT, the only other scooter that I personally like better, is the redesigned Tmax (assuming if it ever sees the US), or the BMW C600 due out later this year. I'd try them first if you can, at least sit on them. The one I was going to buy turned out to be disappointing when I got to handle it in person.
    #18
  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    There is a very simple solution to your dilemma.......Just buy TWO scooters, one small and one big. This should solve most of your problems:D

    Just get something small like a 150 for around town and for the GF and father to learn on. Then get a 300 or bigger for the longer trips.
    #19
  20. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Oh, THAT don't do it.

    You start wishing you had the power of the BIG scooter in the LITTLE scooter...and then your thoughts run to hop-up kits, bigger bores, longer strokes....

    I have two Chino-scoots. One the updated successor to the VOG, an XY300t-4. Still a faithful clone of the Burgman. And a Big Ruckus clone - which I find a GAS.

    The XY300t will do seventy as long as you like, no sweat. But the riding position is Burgman without the backrest; and no holes in the seat for the backrest.

    I'd LOVE to take that injected Linhai-Yamaha engine and jam it in the Rowdy-Ruckus. But there's that rational, sane part of me (the smaller part) which knows what I'd be doing is destroying two scoots with probably none running when finished.
    #20