Friday, April 8, 2011

Scooting and Really Scooting

We had so much fun Monday that we decided to take another scooter ride on Tuesday. Since there will be little time left before we need to be in San Antonio after we get the trailer fixed, and we will need to take the most direct and shortest route when we leave, we decided to ride the scooter through the Salt River Canyon to Show Low. It's about 100 miles from where we are staying and we really enjoyed the scenery. Salt River Canyon has some great views and it was nice to end up in the pines of Show Low. After having lunch, filling up with gas, and looking around a little, we headed back to Globe.

The scooter ran fine but we encountered some heavy headwinds in the afternoon. We also often found ourselves climbing long grades where the scooter was not able to maintain the speed limit. Even with the throttle wide open we found ourselves at 55 or 60 when the speed limit was 65.

When we first bought the Burgman in 2005, I considered buying the larger 650 model, but decided to go with the 400 since we figured it would mostly be used around town and that we would only occasionally ride on high speed roads or take long trips. While it does get a lot of around town use, we have found more and more that we like to tour with it. The trip to Show Low was a perfect example, and we have talked about riding some of the parkways and traces on the East Coast sometime. In the 6 years since we bought it, we have put almost 33,000 miles on it. That's a lot for a single cylinder motorcycycle.

I often peruse the Burgman Users Forum for ideas about maintenance, accessories and other talk about Burgmans. I have also kept an eye on the classified section. Tuesday night when we got back from our ride I saw a new posting from a man in Albuquerque who had decided to sell his 2008 Burgman 650. He had purchased it on an impulse when gas hit $4.00 per gallon, but in over 2 years he has ridden it only 895 miles! It is essentially new. It has always been kept in a garage and is in showroom condition. Best of all, he was willing to sell it at a reasonable price. A new one today would cost just about $10,000. He was only asking $6,000. I made a couple phone calls, and.... well, you can guess the rest.

Dianna was all in favor of it too. We made arrangements to meet him Thursday to look it over and close the deal if it was as described. That meant we had to drive to Albuquerque the following day. Nothing like 12 hours notice! Wednesday we drove back north through Salt River Canyon to Show Low, on to Holbrook where we joined I-40, and east to Albuquerque. We checked into a hotel and then went out for dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.

Wednesday night Albuquerque received the first rain they have had in over 2 months. Naturally. It was raining when met with the owner, but the bike was exactly as described. After making the deal and accompanying the owner to his credit union to pay off the loan and make arrangement for the title to be sent to me, we prepared to take the bike out to our friends in Edgewood who have graciously offered to store it for us until we can come get it in a few weeks. The rain had stopped in Albuquerque, and it looked like we might be able to make it to Edgewood. By the time we entered Tijeras Canyon it was cloudy; then it started sprinkling, then raining, then sleeting, and finally hailing on me. Yuck!

The good news though, is that the Burgman performs incredibly. I had a very hard time keeping the speed down to 65. The bike is much heavier (around 600+ pounds), and much more powerful. More than that, it has a completely different feel. The suspension is very different from the 400's, and the transmission is much more sophisticated. Having two cylinders instead of only one also make it much smoother and vibration free.

After parking the new Burgman in Weavers garage, we headed back for Globe. This time we got off I-40 before we got to Grants and drove through El Malpais National Monument before joining US 60 in Quemado, then west through Springerville and down to Show Low again. After dinner in Show Low we made the trip through Salt River Canyon for the third time in as many days. We got home about 8 last evening.

There are many posters on the Burgman forum who used to own, or still do own, Honda Goldwings. Many of them compare the Burgman 650 very favorably to the Goldwing. Of course the Goldwing is much heaver and has more power, but many people prefer the Burgman because it is lighter and easier to handle. They think nothing of starting out across country on a Burgman 650.

Then there's Gerry from Oz, the Australian fellow whose blog I followed a couple years ago when he rode his Burgman 650 from Vietnam, across China and Russia to Europe. We don't have anything that strenuous in mind.

Needless to say, we are really looking forward to getting back to New Mexico and picking it up. After the trailer is fixed, and we are still waiting on parts, we need to so to San Antonio to see Deidra perform in a drill team show at Sea World, and then get some adjustments made to the slide outs on the trailer. After that we will go to Denton where we plan to have some more upgrades done on the trailer. As soon as we are settled in there, we will go over to New Mexico and pick up the new bike.

Stay tuned as we end our scooting days and begin our "really scooting" days.


  1. How fun! I bet you wish you could have made a beeline back to Abq with your rig and swapped scooters right away. Will you try to sell your 400 on the forum you frequent? Do you think it will go quickly?

    Good luck to Deidra. How well I remember band days for my kids and the state championships they competed in. Robin won the highest award both years she was drum major. Be sure to take some pictures (and maybe a video) and post on your blog.

  2. We will sell the current scooter private party in Denton, probably on Craig's list. It's not worth a lot at this point. We'll just clean it up with some Armor All and take what we can get. We only paid $6000 for it so transportation for less than $1000 a year in depreciation is not a bad deal, especially at 60 MPG.

  3. YAY! I'm glad you stepped it up. You'll be so much happier with the 650. If I recall I suggested that back when you bought the 400. ;)

    But the really big question is....

    Do you want to race??? ;)

  4. Sure, as long as it is an endurance race. I'll bet I can sit in the saddle longer than you can.

  5. Well that's not really a race then.

    Seriously I'm glad you got the 650. I am actually a little interested in the 400. My bike only gets 42-44 MPG and as gas goes higher and higher it would be nice to be able to get 60 instead.

    Where are you going to keep the 400 while you try to sell it?