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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! First post, been lurking a while though!

I've been way into vintage Hondas since I got the bug about 4 years ago... These will be my 11th and 12th Hondas (yes, since four years ago!!!


Ok, so my wife and I visited an awesome historic Georgia city not to long ago where they rented scooters... I rented (argh) a 200cc Piaggio / Vespa scooter. First time she would ride with me... we had a blast!!! So, out of a little boredom, and convenience to a cycle shop she wanted to look at some scooters... What I told her was "You can pick anything out, so long as it's a Honda" One thing leads to another, and she falls in love with the Silverwing scooter... Of course! An $8500 dollar scooter... Craigslist we come!!!

In the mean time, I'm looking to get rid of a 600 class Kawasaki Ninja and replace it with something like an older CBR or even something like a PC800 (the Pacific Coast) Something kind of modern and highway capable... So, for the last month and a half I've been searching CBR's, Inteseptors and things of the like....

Then while looking for a good deal on a Silverwing scooter, I am once again reminded of the Silverwing Motorcycle and well once again, I can't get that vintage bug out of my mind!!! And I love the transverse twin concept!

So I'm out looking at GL's... (To hopefully use as my daily ride:)

I've found a couple...

An 83 GL 650 standard and a fully equipped GL500i...

If I like the idea of no windscreen and more power, is the 650 really all that? And how hard is it to put interstate side bags and a two up luggage rack also from and interstate (eBay?) on to the bike....

Or, if I want the space more than the uber power of the 650, will the 500i be the way to go and just enjoy (get used to) the windscreen? (I use a full face helmet with a vent system)

Both bikes have about 22,000 on them... both are about 1400 dollars... (As someone who has done well with "The Art of the Deal" on vintage Hondas; does this seem a little high?)

Apparently these things will run forever...

... But what is the achillies heel (weak spot) on them???

Will my wife’s future Silverwing scooter out run the GL500i ?!?!?!?

Anyway, I sure can't wait!!!!

I know it's a long post... but... ....I truly look forward to your replies!!!

Thanks in advance!

Adam
 

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The 650 is a considerable amount of power more than the 500 and they both get the same gas mileage.



Parts like bags and other things would be easy to swap back and forth.



I must warn you that when people ask for the achilles heel they make things sound like it's going to self destruct some day and be useless. But that's not true.



Ok so here it is. The problem that these bikes run into is what we call a triple bypass. What that involves is needing to change the cam chain (possibly tensioner), mechanical seal and stator. In total that's about $300 when you do it right and buy all the extra stuff. Then you get back on the bike and ride it another 50,000 miles.
 

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"Will my wife’s future Silverwing scooter out run the GL500i ?!?!?!?"



Probably! But not by much.



For a lot of years I used to do small errands and stuff for my local Honda / Yamaha dealer. One day - just after he´d got the first Silver Wings in - he asked me to go to nearby Malmö (~ 20 km away) with some stuff for a fellow dealer.



"Take this one", the owner said, pointing at the scooter - "you´ll be surprised to see that it´ll run better than your CX".



I thought about it. Power / weight figures weren´t too different, and 600 CC is just what it says - 600 CC. So maybe - but that transmission...??? I simply didn´t believe him. But soon learned better..



I´ve got no figures to compare with, only what I felt when riding that thing (which I did some more times, later). The acceleration was really fine - no doubt just as good as my CX can do, or even slightly better. You never have to worry about what gear you´re in - just crank the throttle and it´ll "fly".



On the motorway I let it go flat out. In the sixties I owned a bunch of Vespa scooters (150 - 160 cc) and one more (200 cc) in the eighties. These would do 90 - 100 kph on a fine day, depending on model, but far from always.



This one - althought brand spanking new (~ 10 km on the clock) cruised easily up to 160 kph (indicated), me sitting upright with very fine wind protection. Once inside Malmö I filtered easily through traffic. But I didn´t like the "scooter feeling" - no fuel tank between my knees. I don´t know if a run-in example would do better, it probably will.



I really believe the scooter will out-accelerate a GL 500 I - especially with full luggage and fairing. Top speed would be just about the same for both. A "naked" CX will have a higher top speed, but not by very much..



As far as I remember



Sture
 

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Have your wife ride a Burgman 650 scooter. It is in my opinion and in the opinion of those who have ridden both, a better scooter than the Silverwing scooter.



The 3 mode transmission is also a big bonus.



The Burgman will do anything that a CX/GL will do, plus give better gas mileage. It can also be fitted with a car rear tire and go for 40K before it needs changing. It will outrun a CX/GL and will hit 130mph if you are brave enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the replies!

Scooter wise, yes, we may look at a Burgman... Though I'm really a Honda guy! The build quality, fit, finish and over-all reliability of the Hondas is what got me hooked to begin with... The other (bike) makers may offer a few more bells and whistles, but when it comes to actually fixing things (or maintenance) the Hondas always seem striaght forward. But yes, a Burgman would be worth checking out.

For me, I get to get a new bike after the 600 is sold. The GL650 seems like it would be a great all around bike. (Errands, trips, commuting, ect...) So now the question is Standard or Interstate... Desisions, desisions!!!

So now one of the questions is "To windshield or not to windshield..." that is the question


Thanks again guys!

Adam
 

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>snip<It can also be fitted with a car rear tire and go for 40K before it needs changing. <snip>


Really??







What size? I'm just curious is all as this seems rather unorthodox.



Peace



Owen
 

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Thanks for all the replies!

Scooter wise, yes, we may look at a Burgman... Though I'm really a Honda guy! The build quality, fit, finish and over-all reliability of the Hondas is what got me hooked to begin with... The other (bike) makers may offer a few more bells and whistles, but when it comes to actually fixing things (or maintenance) the Hondas always seem striaght forward. But yes, a Burgman would be worth checking out.

For me, I get to get a new bike after the 600 is sold. The GL650 seems like it would be a great all around bike. (Errands, trips, commuting, ect...) So now the question is Standard or Interstate... Desisions, desisions!!!

So now one of the questions is "To windshield or not to windshield..." that is the question


Thanks again guys!

Adam


If you ride in the winter you will WANT a windshield.

Get one you can put on and take off at your leisure.
 

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Since I am the resident Burgman 650 owner, I'll jump in.



Performance wise the Burgman 650 is very close to the GL650 in acceleration. I have not ever "raced" one but would guess that there's not a bike's length difference in the quarter mile. However, in the twisties the Burgman is the unquestioned master. All the weight is below your feet. The engine is parallel to the ground between your ankles. The gas tank is under your butt. It is a very predictable and neutral handling bike. You don't have to push it into corners and the front end will never tuck. Top end is about 115 mph. Gas mileage is about the same as the GL650, maybe a touch better.



Luggage wise I think the Burg will hold more under the seat that the GL will hold in all bags, combined.



Weather protection is better on the Burg than on any bike I've ever ridden, period.



Tire wear? A stock Burg tire will only give me about 6,000 miles before I have to chuck it. That is not acceptable. At least for me. I bought my Burg in '07 to ride to Alaska. I was looking at having to change rubber at least once during the trip. Since the its 14" scooter tire is still not stocked at most Suzuki dealers, I'd either have to drop ship one or or find an alternative. Enter the Bridgstone Potenza 165/65x14 car tire. A few people on the Burgman forum had tired it without problem so I bought one for about $20 and popped it on for $5. I was amazed at how well it handled! After a few days of palying with pressures and testing the limits in a controlled environment I headed off to Deals Gap for a true test. I was still able to lean far enough into corners to grind a little metal off the centerstand with no unusual handling quirks that made my rather sensitive butt nervous. Mileage wise, it gave me 20,000 before the wear made me uneasy in the rain. It was still not to wear bars but I decided to replace it. I had a spare wheel mounted with a Michelin "Gold Standard" Bias tire that is a bit taller than stock rubber so I put it on. I'm expecting between 8-10 thousand miles from this tire.



Smooth? The Burg sets the standard. It's so smooth it's almost boring. The CVT took about 1 mile to adapt to. This no shifting thing might just catch on! Of course if you want, you can use the button shifter to go between 6 preset gears. Just like the paddle shifter in car automatics.



Reliability? I now have 27,800 on the bike. The only unexpected issue was with the "pulley stop bolt." It is a rather substantial bolt that holds the CVT's primary pulley base plate to the bike. a handful of owners had their's shear after 20 to 30 thousand. That is not a good thing. However, the fix was to replace it with a upgraded bolt from Suzuki. Total cost $10, total time, 5 minutes.



The Burg has a 500 watt alternator. It came in handy on my Alaska trip with my heated riding gear drawing more than 100 watts. With the gear turned on to max and high beams on (Dual 60's) the bike would drop below 12.5 V, barely, at idle.



I thought I'd wind up hating the Burg when I bought it, but after taking it on many long, and mostly RAINY tours I have come to love it.



On the way back from Alaska I stopped in at Dave Weiner's where he had a chance to ride it. I was chasing him on his wife's immaculately restored 400 cc Kaw and could not keep up, even with my 200 pound weight advantage...
 

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Hi AdamP, as my signatureline suggests, a have a GL650 (Interstate), -- and a Burgman (AN650). I.m an avid "Honda" addict too, but the general consensus and forum reports seem to favor the Burgman (both 400 and 650) well above and ahead of the Honda Silverwing Scooter. Heres the Burgman forum website http://www.burgmanusa.com/ ---topnotch, just like the guys and forum here. Try to test drive them both,- the best one is the one that suits your needs best.



Parts for the 650s Honda can be a little harder to find than the 500s.



The transmission on the Burgman is AWESOME, and can be switched from automatic to manual,- but manual is finger/hand controlled vs, hand clutch and foot gear petal. Its a blast to ride an "automatic", but then I always like to fall back to the real macoy (foot shiften GL650).
 

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Hi AdamP, as my signatureline suggests, a have a GL650 (Interstate), -- and a Burgman (AN650). I.m an avid "Honda" addict too, but the general consensus and forum reports seem to favor the Burgman (both 400 and 650) well above and ahead of the Honda Silverwing Scooter. Heres the Burgman forum website http://www.burgmanusa.com/ ---topnotch, just like the guys and forum here. Try to test drive them both,- the best one is the one that suits your needs best.



Parts for the 650s Honda can be a little harder to find than the 500s.



The transmission on the Burgman is AWESOME, and can be switched from automatic to manual,- but manual is finger/hand controlled vs, hand clutch and foot gear petal. Its a blast to ride an "automatic", but then I always like to fall back to the real macoy (foot shiften GL650).


I have a 400 burgy ('07), and unlike the 650 it doesn't have near the grunt of my GL's. Single Thumper vs a twin as well. The CVT seems to take a bit of lag off the line to spool up, vs the 1-2-3 snap on the GL.



Not sure if the 650 is similar, but when we were shopping for it, my short wife 5'3", maybe, couldn't comfortable foot down on the new Wing, but can easily on the burg, so we went with the Burg.



Scooters with the smaller wheels don't have as much gyro effect at speed, they aren't as stable.
 

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Adam, the GL650 actually displaces 674CC's

Held off 750/fours up to 100 MPH

It has CONSIDERABLY more grunt than the 500. Hard to measure but I sold my 500 as soon as I rode my 650.



I seem to recall something about a 12 second 1/4 mile.



Stan
 
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