Here's the Best Bike to Learn On
by Mo Berry
(Saugeen Shores, ON)
2008 Suzuki Burgman 400
I took a rider's safety course at my local college last summer. They supplied the bikes. I rode a 250 something or other. Just a small powered bike - perfect for negotiating the pylons, etc. I easily passed my test and now was hunting for the ideal bike to own.
My husband took me to lots of cycle shops and I tried out all kinds of bikes. I was thrilled he wanted to buy me one, but which to choose? I am about 5'3" tall, and some sat too high and my feet didn't comfortably set on the ground (you'll need to - for stops!) Some I couldn't reach the shifter with my left foot; often the culprit was the wide gas tanks. Some bikes were too heavy to push backward into a parking space, and this is something to consider as well.
One day, we saw a Suzuki Burgman. What a neat "bike". It is classified as a "scooter" but boy does it go! Read the rating results/comments on the Suzuki Burgman website. I ended up buying a 2008 400 cc. and it really is peppy and I can keep up with other bikes any day. After all, roads have speed limits where I live, and a good speed is generally 97 kms. per hour which the Burgman can do for as long as you want, no problem at all. The seat is super comfortable and I can ride for hours and not get "numb-butt". :)
It has fantastic storage capability (I brought home a pumpkin using under the seat storage last fall, and can do a ton of grocery shopping and put it under the seat as well!) There is a large expansive glove compartment below the instrument panel by the handle bars and a device to charge your cell phone while riding.
Now the best part! It handles beautifully, and is a smooth ride. The instrument panel has digital readouts and gives you all the information you need when riding. It is automatic and for those people with carpal tunnel syndrome in your left hand, your fingers won't go numb as there is no clutching to do. It is sleek and sporty looking - almost space-agey!
With this bike, you can practice your cornering and handling and how to drive defensively (looking out for cars and others on the road) while not worrying about switching gears.
Some people say "It's not a REAL bike" 'cause it's automatic". I tell them that if they have a car without a shifter, "Well it's not a REAL car, cause it's automatic". LOL!
Some people are what I call bike snobs. Unless it is a particular kind, they look down on you and don't offer for you to ride with them. This Burgman isn't a bad boy bike but as a female it is perfect for me as a newer rider. But you know what? Burgman's hold their value better than other bikes and are perfect for city commuters. Hey, maybe I need to start my own Burgman riders club!
The price of gas will be going up this summer they say, so whether it be a bike or a scooter, this mode of transportation will be the best way to strike back at the oil companies!