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Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by doogiepooch, Nov 5, 2012.
Compared to a KLR it is, compared to a Vespa GTS or Genuine Buddy it isn't.
I disagree with CDWISE regarding low speed handling. I have a Burgman 650 and the center of gravity IS lower than a Vespa GT/GTS. Low speed handling is fantastic, and in some situations better than my Vespa.
If by low speed handling you mean moving it around in the garage, then yes, the Vespa is easier to push around. But if we're talking about low speed riding, the short wheelbase and smaller tires of the Vespa make it a *little* less steady at low speeds on it's own. The Burgman just seems to want to stay upright.
Having said that, I ALWAYS ride the Vespa on short hops and intermediate distances, because it's just plain more fun. The Vespa also does just fine for longer touring rides.
CD, I see you post this same thing about the Burgman often, and it surprises me. You are a real rider, and you have a wide experience with many types of scooters, but your description of the Burgman just doesn't make sense to me. I wonder...were you riding a 400 or a 650? Because the spring vs. unsprung weight makes a difference in handling. Anyone who has ridden a newer 650 will feel the balance and great low speed handling of the machine.
I can totally understand if the ergos didn't suit you, because that changes in function of an indidual's body type and riding position preference.
Needs a tunnel bag.
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But honestly, nice ride either way.
I know I miss mine.
Keep the KLR buy the Burgman.
Crosswinds are terrifying on a KLR. The wind catches that high fat front fender and tries to jerk the handlebars out of your hands. :eek1
I own a 2001 klr that i bought at a moving sale with 1000 miles on it. The carb was gummed up and the fuel tank was ugly inside. I cleaned the carb, used muratic acid on the tank and the bike fired right up. This bike replaced a xt 350 that I rode for 10 years. I also own a 2002 bws 100 that I have had for almost 10 years. The bws is fine for 100-200 mile days on back roads and I rode the klr to James bay and both ways on the trans-lab last august. The klr was the right choice over the xt 350 or the bws. I think if you buy a good used bike (klr total < 1700.00 with homemade luggage and gas can racks) you can own the right bike for the mission. I have also ridden my flht in the 2011 hoka hey with 18,500 miles in less than 3 weeks on back roads and it was the only bike I would have tried it with. I am puzzled why so many people on this site ride on the interstate when you should be looking for the back road experience, especially on a scooter.
For most, at least for me, it's a time thing. I can't really get more than a week off in a row. I pushed it this summer and took a Friday and the entire following week. 10 days allowed me to do Yellowstone and back, 4 days to get there, 4 days back and 2 days to see it. Would I have like to have had the time it took to do that trip on nothing but back roads, heck yeah. But if super slab will allow me the experience with the time I currently have.....I'll slab it for days on end to see some of the exceptional sites this country has to offer.
Been reading and really appreciating all you guys have to say. I rode today about 200 miles, some twisties, some 60 mph 2 lane hwy to get between riding spots and then some super slab home. I even swapped over and rode my buddies NC700X for a few miles just to see how I liked it. Oddly enough I don't really. It's practically a naked bike, no wind protection. Engine while it feels torquey, is like a single in the aspect that you have 2,000 - 3,000 rpms of power and then you need to shift. I'd say it tops out in the low 100's. I tried to think the entire time what I was really looking for in a bike I kept coming to comfort and wind protection, which sort of falls under the comfort. Those being sort of daily riding qualifications. My mind couldn't imediately stumble on a bike that was on my short list more than a maxi, maybe I'm just have tunnel vision at the moment. My cousin has a versys and I've riden it, while I like it, passenger space isn't even close to good enough. A strom is pretty nice, I like them but man they are a big bikes, outfit with luggage enough to compete with Burg luggage space and it's an even larger package. Don't worry I'm still looking and open minded but seriously leaning the way of the scoot. Keep the answers coming if you will, it's all good food for thought and I can't be the only one getting info out of this thread.
I like the 10 day blast to Yellowstone idea (the ride through ten sleep pass is spectacular) but I think the altitude changes in the high country would be hard on the cvt transmission. I am hard on my bikes because they are always in the rain/mud/poor roads etc... I purchased my flht new in 2001 and with the glut of touring harleys out there nowdays I would not buy new again. All my other bikes I have purchased were ones that sat awhile and needed a little tlc. This enables me to have the right bike for the mission. Have you given any thoughts on the kawasaki concours? The pre 08 bikes were 1000cc/shaft drive/6 speed with a huge gas tank. They are sporty, offer weather protection, and are nimble. The luggage pops right off for city riding. They can be had on craigs list for 1500-3000 fairly easy. You don't have to invest all that much money and that leaves more money for the scooter. As far as the new bikes out there, all of the sensors that control the bike are hard to fix on the side of the road if they do fail. The carb bikes are not as efficient and you have to use the choke, but they are much easier to handle if you get a load of bad gas. My bws I found overseas and had it imported to the US as they are not sold here. I did pay 1800 back then but I have a 64 mph that looks exactly like a zuma 50.
Post a pic if you pick up a scoot!
One thing I'm not understanding is how everyone thinks a maxi scooter is so easy to ride around town. I had the opposite experience. Both a KLR and a Goldwing can be a handfull around town, though I found the KLR much easier, because of it's lightness and narrowness. It's main issue is it's seat height, a problem I solved with an XT225. The Goldwing is huge, massive, and heavy, but it has a low seat and a low center of gravity, since the engine and gas tank are both down low. And with footpegs instead of floorboards, I can easily put my feet on the ground. Despite the Goldwings size, I found it handles very well when moving. And for me, it even handles better in tight parking lot maneuvers and duck walking, because it seems so much narrower than the maxi scooters. To me their biggest flaw is the width of their floorboards. I almost dropped a couple because of those superwide floorboads in tight parking lots. My 125 and 150cc scooters are so small, light, and narrow they are perfect around town. They easily keep up with city traffic.
But, when you get right down to it, an adventure bike is very narrowly focused and not very good at anything but long distance touring over very bad roads/terrain. That's why I sold my last KLR and got the Vulcan 750. It was 10 times the road bike, and that is mostly where I ride. The Vulcan is way more comfortable and easier to maneuver than any maxi scooter I tried. I never got the feeling was going to drop it, and it is a lazy boy on wheels. I got the XT225 for when I felt like riding off road, mostly locally. In my state, even the worst trail is considered a street legal road, so you have to have a street legal bike to ride on them. A dirt bike can only be ridden on private property and in state "OHV parks" which are crowded, and have very high fees. And you have to haul them there.
Don't know why anyone would complain about floorboard width (apart from Majesty 400), as most seem to have a "waist" cut (indent) between rider's and pillion's foot positions:
While the Burgman 400 has a 710mm seat height.
The burgman will be great for commuting in imperfect conditions.
Your riding season and days can be longer and start earlier, plus ur riding season goes year round. As long as there is pavement around.... Bc of the great protection from the berg.
....I know ur klr guys are gonna say "not true not true, I ride yr round in all types of weather!"
While that may be true, the guy on the berg will be better protected from the elements and be more comfortable. Meaning he can ride longer and more often on a the berg than the klr. While wearing less gear.
The berg is like a form of motorcycle Viagra.... U hate it when people find out that's ur deal, but the fact is, you put out! A lot more and more often, Haha...
In all seriousness, I have a Helix and a Sherpa, smaller version of Klr650.... The klr650 will not be passenger friendly as the berg. And the berg may make u have to pass the local motorcycle roadhouse in shame and park across the street.
U could get a Honda helix. It would be cheaper than a burgman and its pretty close to the same thing just not as big as the berg, it's 250cc.
Or just keep both....
ST 1100 is sounding like what you need. 1996 to 200?. The cops use them around town here and they make a great touring bike . I
Adventure bikes are the most versatile overall bikes out there. Remember, a KLR is on the small side of adventure bikes. Most adventure bikes are 2 or more cylinders. Most of them can be used for easy off road, bad roads, touring, and they make really good sport bikes on twisty roads since they are usually easier to ride fast than real sport bikes.
However, for ease of use and practicality, a scooter may be even better as long as you stay on relatively good paved roads and don't want to go real fast. Also, most adventure bikes are tall and the multi cylinder ones are usually quite expensive. It sounds to me like for what the OP wants, a Maxi scooter might be just right. However, until he gets one and puts some miles on it, we really won't know how it will work out
Jerry, I have a very short inseam, and I'm 5'7-1/2"...yet I can flatfoot the Burgman 650. Maybe you have an even shorter inseam, but the Burg is slightly lower than my GT200 with the OEM saddle.
I'm wondering what model and year you sat on? Mine's a 2011 650, and the cutout in the floorboard does it's intended job just fine.
We had a Burgman 400. While I could handle it at slow speeds my husband hated riding it at anything slower than freeway speeds. Around the garage he never got the knack of moving it around. We both felt it had pig like characteristics below 20-25mph. I prefer the shorter wheelbase and balance of the traditional style scooter. I find them to be extremely stable at slow speeds and can balance my GTS or Buddy longer without putting a foot down than I ever could the Burgman 400. I think which you find better is also a function of ergonomics and experience. FWIW, most of the folks I know who love their Burgman 650 has come from a motorcycle background. While those who prefer the Vespa, Buddy, Kymco People and similar styles start on them and move up or not. Though there is a surprising number of Harley riders who buy and love Vespas. I remember a thread a few years ago on Modern Buddy from a guy used to riding big bikes. He kept complaining that the Buddy was "squirrelly" and very unstable. He had nothing good to say about the handling for the first few months he owned it. I'm not sure if he ever got over how "twitchy" to quote him the 10" wheels were since I don't recall seeing anything from him recently.
Our Burgman 400 was a 2007 and it just didn't suit either of us. We bought it because he really liked the looks, had heard such good things about the Burgmans and thought it would be a good choice for some touring we had planned. I have friends who think the Burgman 400 is the best thing since sliced bread, others who swear by the 650 which weighs far more than I want. Heck, it weights over 100lbs more than the Mana (which I keep eying) or one of the other motorcycles I've occasionally considered buying (but my husband would want me to sell one of the others if I bought another bike and I'm not willing to do that right now.)
I've ridden the Kymco Xciting and Yamaha T-Max and none of them suits me though of the 3 I think the Xciting was the best of the maxi for me, if I had to ride a maxi. I may test ride the new BMW just for chits and grins but its step through is so high I'd just as soon ride a motorcycle.
I do think it is a good thing there is a variety of bikes/scoots available because there is no one bike that will suit everyone.
BTW, I agree that it is easier to flat foot a Burgman and a GTS. My husband has a 29" inseam and he could flat foot our Burgman 400. Houston Metro cops use Burgman 400s for their motorcycle cops.
Ex Burgman 400 owner here. I now own a Wee Strom, and the wife is the owner of a new-to-her 2008 Burgman 400. My Burgy was a 2008 that I used for touring, picking up groceries, commuting...you name it. I really like the scoot. Comfortable, great gas mileage (80 mpg, Canadian gallon), awesome storage, great headlights, very good brakes, and fine handling once you got used to the rearward weight bias. I got 30,000 km (18,000 miles) out of the rear tire, drive belt and rear brake shoes. Never had a problem. The scooter ran like a champ on a trip from Toronto to Virginia, Minnesota for a scooter rally, and a month later from Toronto to Council Bluffs, Iowa for the Wife's family reunion. The wife's Hyosung cruiser was another story. (mostly prematurely worn parts) Why did I sell my Burgman? I'm 6'5" and it was a bit cramped, which the Strom is not. I sold it with 40,000 km on it and the new owner (a friend) has put another 60,000 on it and it still runs really well. The wife is 5'1" with really short legs and needs platform boots to flat foot the Burgman, but with no foot controls that's easy. And she likes being able to keep both feet down and control the throttle and the rear brake. And the Burgman has some serious cut outs in the floor boards to allow short-ish people to reach the ground.
Good thread, with good answers and perspectives- and very applicable to me, seeing as I still haven't made a move yet from my Linhai 300 scooter up to a KLR650. I thought the KLR would be the perfect combination of more power and the ability to off road more. I figured it would be better for longer trips- but every time I look at that seat I cringe. It just looks so darn uncomfortable on the KLR. :huh
I'm one of these rarities that started out on a bigger (275cc) scooter later in life- and was thinking I'd like to move up to a dual sport... But from the comments in here, perhaps a vintage Vulcan 750 or a Nighthawk 650 with those big ole comfortable seats and nice big windshield is going to be more for me. I just don't have enough interest in the trails/dirt that I thought I would. So the Burgmans are something I have been eying for quite a while too. Can't we just get Suzuki to make a Burgman 525 cc and be done with this? Seems like THAT would satisfy the power crave, while still keeping the weight down. .... Heck, I dunno.... Burg650 too heavy, not nimble enough, and the 400 piggish, lacks power. So gimme a 525. The end? The Tmax very cool, but zilcho for storage... and that's important to me...
I also do not understand the negative comments about scooter width. I have a Silver Wing and can flat-foot EASILY something I could not with my KLR. In addition I have my wife's Metropolitan and my grandson's Kymco Like 200 here that I have to ride to keep battery charged for him . The Like is a more traditional scooter design but it is also an easy ride.
The KLR is slightly easier in very slow maneuvers due to being able to feather the clutch but once the bike stops the advantage switches to the scooter. My 2 cents.