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Thread: Is the C650 too much machine to serve as a first-ever bike?

  1. #11
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    Thanks all for replies...I would also appreciate if any other long-time motorcycle riders choose to chime in.

    @ Low On Cash. Your comment was confidence-inspiring. I appreciate it. However, I am a realist and I also open to hearing things that I do not necessarily want to hear.

    @ t6pilot. There are definitely numerous differences between your 125 lb wife and myself. I don't think such a comparison was valid....at ALL.

    Even as someone totally new to riding, I have to say that calling the C650 "top heavy" doesn't make sense to me, as every scooter is the OPPOSITE of top-heavy when compated to a traditional motorcycle. I appreciate your feedback regarding low-speed cornering and I will keep that in mind.

    I'm not disuaded yet!


    @ davidh

    1) 20 miles mostly freeway

    2) close

    3) change my own oil and let the dealership do the rest


    @ rivetts

    My experience with the Suzuki Burgman....I went to a dealership and sat on a new 650. The plastic molding on the handle bars was shoddy and warped and the attachment tabs had popped out. So that vehicle is permanently out of the picture for me now. And as I said, I don't think a 400 will be powerful enough to let a guy my size overtake at freeway speeds.

  2. #12
    I am female, 5'6" and weigh 135. The C650GT is the first bike I have owned. I took the basic rider course last August but did nothing until November when I made this purchase. I personally don't find it top heavy (not that I have a basis for comparison) and I have had to pick it up twice and was able to.

    My guess, although inexpert, is that you'll be just fine.

    Have fun!

  3. #13
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    tensixmom....

    Thank you!

    I couldn't respond to the thread for a few days...although I wanted to...I think because I was pasting from a text doc.

    @ Low On Cash. Thanks a lot!

    @ t6pilot. I think comparing a guy my size to your wife was a terrible comparison. Also, saying the C650 is top heavy doesn't make sense to me...since ALL scooters are the opposite of top heavy when compared to traditional motorcycles.

    @ davidh

    1) 20 miles,o mostly highway
    2) close
    3) change my own oil and let the dealer do the rest.

  4. #14
    Senior Member davidh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewRider View Post
    tensixmom....

    @ davidh

    1) 20 miles,o mostly highway
    2) close
    3) change my own oil and let the dealer do the rest.
    @New Rider

    Good info. My only caution would be be the costs involved in owning the C650.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewRider View Post
    ...since ALL scooters are the opposite of top heavy when compared to traditional motorcycles.
    This is just incorrect. My GT is FAR more top heavy than my 900 pound Chieftain. I have dropped my BMW but never dropped my much larger Indian.

    Vespas, Buddys, Stella’s, many Piaggios (but definitely not the MP3’s), I agree with you. Not top heavy at all. But the BMW is very top heavy at stationary and low speed. At speed, it is nimble and doesn’t feel top heavy at all. That said, if you can handle the bike in the garage and in the parking lot, it’s a great scooter.

  6. #16
    Senior Member exavid's Avatar
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    I've been riding since 1957, I've owned many motorcycles over those years including the Goldwing which is about as big and heavy as one can get. My first ride was a Harley 74. I Don't think the GT is too big for a first scoot. It would be better if you could rent a scooter or get hold of a small on for a couple hours practice but with care you can do it on the GT. Compared to a motorcycle on which many of us learned to ride these scooters are a lot easier to learn on because you won't have the complication of the clutch and foot shift which doesn't come too easily these days when many haven't driven a manual shift car.

    Motorcycle riders sometimes have difficulty at first dealing with the lack of a rear brake pedal. The scooter has the rear brake lever where a motorcycle has the clutch lever. Embarrassing if you grab the front brake firmly when you meant to shift. One thing to remember on a scooter is to "lead with your left" when braking. Never try to stop using only the front brake, always apply the rear first. And never, never use the front brake on sand or gravel when turning. That tends to lead to "unexpected dismounts".
    Last edited by exavid; 09-12-2018 at 06:23 PM.
    2013 C650GT 1994 K1100LT

  7. #17
    Senior Member SteveADV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Sooner View Post
    This is just incorrect. My GT is FAR more top heavy than my 900 pound Chieftain. I have dropped my BMW but never dropped my much larger Indian....
    Geez oh man you OSU guys (that is the "other" OSU) .... Of course you never dropped the Chief, it carries its weight very low like most huge cruiser set-ups and you are super conscious of its weight. Besides its a freakin' rolling work of art; you better not drop it!

    My guess is most drops with the BMW scooters happen with the incorrect use of the front brake. It is not top heavy, but it is a middle weight bike and obviously heavy by scooter standards. Pushing it around the garage can be exercise for some, no doubt.

    As to the original question, I/we posted some thing about exactly that a few years ago but can't find it. Just as there are knowledgeable differences of opinion about top heavy or not (want top heavy...push my Triumph Tiger Explorer around the garage...that's what top heavy feels like), whether or not the GT would make a good starter bike can also be subjective. It is heavy (great for touring), but it has an automatic transmission and 15" wheels (great for urban stuff). FWIW...You might want to get a couple thousand miles under your belt before lane splitting. And every half hour you spend practicing slow speed stuff in a parking lot takes 10lbs off your bike. After a month or so of 10 or 15 hours of practice and GT will feel as light as a dirt bike.

    I kinda disagree about a 400 not having enough highway power. I also owned a Kymco People 300 and it had plenty of power and speed and IMO a great bike. But you're right about considering your size. I am 6'2" and 200lbs, so not quite as big. But then again, I have kids your age, so your extra weight is probably all muscle whereas mine is, well, not.

    If I owned one bike, I would consider a touring scooter. To me that could be anything 400cc or higher. When touring, bigger is better. But as a beginner, you may find smaller is more comfortable enough from a handling point of view that that is the better choice. Bottom line, it's a hobby that will have you likely owning a number of bikes if you stick with it. Slow speed practice helps a ton. So, could you start with a BMW650GT, sure.

  8. #18
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    I am a new rider and had my c600 for about a month. I took the BRC course and highly recommend it and also had a friend who helped me get comfortable on a vintage honda 450. I find the c600 to be very manageable for me, 5'9" 160lbs, and I live in the mountains. The one place where I feel like it is too much bike is when trying to maneuver it in my gravel, uneven driveway. I have dropped it gently twice in my driveway when trying to back it into its parking spot. When it is stopped, I become very aware of its weight. (not at a stoplight, but attempting to park) I am still having to remember to back into parking spots, because if there is any incline at all, I have a hard time using my feet to push out. On the road, very comfortable, not at all too big. At a stop, on gravel, on hill, feels too heavy. I would purchase again and in general, it is very confidence inspiring. Hope this helps.

  9. #19
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    You might consider using some concrete pavers or just paving a small parking pad for the bike.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewRider View Post
    Hi. I'm a new member...and I need everyone's help.

    I'm seriously eyeing the C 650 GT...and I've never ridden a motorcycle before. Should I get it as a first bike?

    Here's my particulars:

    I'm not interested in mountain twisties (though maybe I will be in the future) or sheer speed. All I want is an every day commuter vehicle...eventually I will ride it on the highway. The 400cc scooters don't seem powerful enough to do overtakes at highway speeds...plus, I'm kind of heavy.

    I'm 6'...240 lbs...in my 40's. I sat on a C650 GT at a dealership and the weight felt manageable...and my feet were on the ground. I will be taking riding classes soon and am purchasing riding gear. I'm leaning heavily towards a C650 but I dont want to be foolish.

    I've done much research and I know that the low COG makes the bike feel much lighter when it's rolling...though I've never ridden one...or ANYTHING with 2 wheels for that matter.

    These bikes are so expensive that the thought of laying one down is somewhat stressful. Is a couple of weekend parking lot rides (plus maybe 2 goes at riding school) enough to prevent this? Then maybe wait a month before going on the highway? Then maybe wait another month before attempting to thread traffic?

    Is the C650 too much machine for me to be starting out with (at 650cc and 575 lbs. wet), having never ridden a single day in my life? So the question is....would this make a good first bike (or is it too much)? Your feedback would be greatly appreciated!

    You'll be fine. I'm about the same size and ride a c600 sport mostly for commuting. They aren't quick compared to say a sport bike, but definitely faster than most cars off the line. The power is very linear and it would be hard to get yourself into trouble. The CVT makes the bike pretty tame (almost too tame for a 650cc). Just take it easy until you get used to the powerband. The weight is down low, so you don't really feel it unless you are walking the bike around in the garage. Plenty of power for highway cruising. I agree 400s aren't enough for real highway riding. On the freeways here, you need to be able to hold at least 75mph and have enough power in reserve for overtaking.

    Take a riding course and then stick to back roads and faster side streets slowly working your way up to the highway. There is a huge difference in how it feels on a bike going say 30-40mph vs 75-80mph because of the wind. Highway riding can be kind of scary at first because of the speeds and in particular, the cross winds. However, highway riding is in fact safer once you get used to it since you don't have to worry as much about cars pulling out, have better visibility, etc.

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