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The Story of John Y.

John Yanzuk and his Father's Red Burgman 400OK, you asked for it. Nobody, and I repeat NOBODY, likes to babble more than I (editor's note: Oh, poor John, he doesn't really know the Evil Scooter Kitty's propensity for vociferous rambling). Here's my story - about how I obtained a motorcycle license and now, I want a scooter, Maxi, with luggage space, and highway capable. Shifting be damned!

After bumbling around, going from Cycle World, Motorcyclist, BIKE, Rider and other published literary drivel about two-wheeled conveyances,  I visited my family in New Jersey only to discover this:

Dad: "Johnny, guess what Mr. Lindsey bought."
Me: "Another computer with deca-core processors, crossfire graphics and RAID capable..."
Dad: "No, he got a Suzuki."
Me: "You mean a motorcycle?"
Dad: "No, a scooter. It's huge."
Me: "That could only be the Burgman."
Dad: "Yeah, he got the 650."

...pause while I vainly try not to look flummoxed. The Burgam 650 is known as ScooterBusa for a reason, and now my Dad's best friend just bought a nice, shinny white one. Yikes.

Me: "Wow, that thing is expensive... and awfully fast..."
Dad: "I'm picking up a red Burgman 400. Whenever you come down to visit, since you got a license, you can ride it."

...again, pause as I vainly try not to look flummoxed. Now I gotta figure out my work schedule so I can bum rides on the Burgie.

Fast forward to my first ride on the 400. I had, weeks earlier, scared the wits out of myself when I boarded my brother's 2004 Honda CBR600RR for a short test ride. Let's see... about 420 pounds, and almost as much horsepower as my Corolla. Zero to 70 mph in... yesterday... in one gear...
Seeing the red Burgie for the first time I was not expecting much. After all, I rode a vehicle with three more cylinders, and about 70 more horsepower. The exhaust note of the Burgie burbled like a true thumper. Grab a handful of throttle and, hey, is this SCOOTER doing 70 mph??? How is that possible??? It's a SCOOTER for crying out loud!!! First ride becomes second, and third, and... I think I'm on my 50th ride by now. Need to get a second (or even third) job to get one. MUST get one. Life unfulfilled without one...

I still cannot believe how many people are caught unawares by the speed of this thing. CVT, Twist & Go, whatever you call it, it works wonders in stoplight shenanigans. I had one annoying instance when a fellow on an 883 Sportster (Harley) would not return my greeting. I sat next to him at a stoplight wondering why he was blipping his throttle... oh well. Green light, grab W.O.T. and leave him gasping. Next. On the road the Burgie has touched 90 mph. It is eerily stable on flat ground, some hopping on expansion joints and pavement heaves, but otherwise a great ride. Two full-faced helmets fit under the seat. Is a top box even necessary? Of course, you can carry more helmets that way.

Mid 50s fuel economy. Cannot take a "splash and dash" at the gas stations. People are drawn to it, the look, the color, the fuel economy. But, flip the key to open the under seat storage, and jaws drop. I can see wheel turning... people are thinking, "You know, that scoot is a better idea than a Ford Expedition..." Yeah, no kidding. For solo transport, you can't beat the freedom and fun of a scoot.

Braking is awesome. Very little front end dive, even on panic stops (yes, they are trying to kill us, me more so because I ride a bright red scoot). Very little finger pressure needed, and I'm comfortable modulating the brakes. ABS... a necessary evil? Nah, just another way to tack another grand on the price of the scoot. Practice your panic stops. Life is good.

I admit that I have, at some time, wanted a Ferrarai or Porsche, or other four-wheeled sporty conveyance that costs more than a house. The scooter is more fun, hands down. Let me say that, ten years ago, I got to test drive a Dadge Viper. It was the only vehicle to scare me more than the CBR600RR. The scoot is more fun than the Viper. The tires will last longer, and it's just more fun with less. Yup, two wheels, one cylinder, one billion times more fun. Not to mention that the Viper struggles to get double-digit fuel economy...

Have you had your fill of my rambling? OK, I'll stop. But the source of this rambling is a new-found joy in the art of scootering. I cannot wait until I get my own.

John (johnnyscoots from the Scootdawg forum)

John Gets a Scooter

John Yanzuk on his New Kymco People 250

After "playing" on a Burgie 400, John got himself a Kymco People 250. He blames the poor Evil Scooter Kitty for influencing this decision, but we all know that the People 250 can "sell itself" just fine! in John's words:

Hi Dave:

Well, here we go: The fruits of Evil Scooter Kitty.  That would be a 2007, yes, a 2007 Kymco People 250 in Grey.  Yes, that is my actual smile that you see plastered across my bald head.  New owner smile? Perhaps...actually, that would be the smile of one who is far more pleased with his purchase than you could ever imagine.  Lots of exhaustive research, both magazine and Internet, led me to purchase this wonderful machine (top box, windscreen, and aftermarket pipe to follow shortly).  What really sold me was the glowing, witty recommendation of Evil Scooter Kitty and Bob "The Mad Scoot Meister" Hedstrom and his faith in the P250's chances in surviving a 24 Hour ride, or "Le 24 Heures du Minnesota".  Then, I made a fateful trip to the dealer, MiniTrailBikes on Route 30 West in Lindenwold, New Jersey.  Ken, the salesman, has had nothing to say but positives about Kymco...not just the machines, but the company as a whole.  Customer support: Top Notch.  Parts Supply: Top Notch.  Build Quality: Top Notch.  In fact, Ken will proudly tell anyone within earshot (and I mean anyone) that his dealership has been, "With Kymco from the Git Go!"  Ken, if car dealerships were as enthusiastic as you guys, as knowledgeable, and as die hard about the product...every salesman would be salesman of the month.

John Yanzuk Looks Happy With His New Kymco People 250
As you can see, the P was purchased without the windscreen.  Bad move, but exhilarating nonetheless.  Although annoying at times, there is something to be said about wind blast in the chest at 50mph. 
There is a noticeable difference in weight between the P and the Burgie.  Although it has the highway wheels (16") it turns with very little thought or effort...that, and the fact that you are sitting bolt upright allows you to get some good ole' leverage when you need to.  The lack of a sport bike style fairing (a la Burgie) brings the environment right up to you...you can't see the front wheel, so it looks like the roadway is REALLY right under your nose, assuming you can ignore the speedometer/fuel gauge binnacle.  I mentioned the ease of handling, but, seeing as how you already have one (I assume all Evil Scooter Kitties are as smart as you) you probably know that.  It is night and day what 60+ lbs. will make when handling is concerned, and I mean handling as in turning left and right, parking lot maneuvers, braking (both normal and panic stop), accelerating, and enjoyment.  I feel unimaginably comfortable on this machine...I wish I had tried one earlier, but hindsight always being 20/20, I'm glad I waited until the warm weather set in first.
There has been some niggling sputtering after a few miles, but it is clearing up as the engine breaks in.  The mirrors may have to go, for they vibrate at ALL speeds...need to find some good aftermarket ones.  I won't be getting quite as large a top box as you, but the Kymco box I saw has the integrated brake lights and turn signals.  Not to mention that the under-seat won't fit my full face...thank God for Top boxes!
Speed wise, although the engine is quite green, it is a hoot.  It is almost a match for the Burgie RIGHT NOW, although it is down 135cc to the Burgie (2005 Burg 400 is actually a 385cc machine).  We'll see for sure when I take it in for the first service at 250 miles...and get the Kymco pipe put on!!!  My brother Joe (he what owns a CBR600RR) is amazed.  His first impression was, "Gosh, up to 50 miles an hour it's REALLY fast!"  This coming from a guy who can wheelie, and has a bike that can cover the quarter mile faster than all but a few super sport scars.  Another P250 owner in the making, perhaps???
I've had two people (no pun intended) ask about it already.  What is it, how fast is it, how much is it???  MiniTrailBikes' price was $3995, not another red cent for freight or prep charges...just pay sales tax.  That said, my out the door price was a shade over $4300.  Awesome value.  Awesome machine.  Insurance is just $173 per year.  I have to stop gushing...There is still a little light outside and it's still warm...
...The Ride Beckons, whispering sweet nothings to that part of my brain that craves enjoyment; I heed the call, the whisper gradually increases to an insistent hammering in my brain...turn the key, thumb the starter and the voices suddenly become silent...not even a pin dropping .  Release the People 250 from its center stand, gradually twist the throttle...yes, the voice returns...not the insistent hammering, but a joyful yelp...the Ride Begins Anew.  Enjoy the Ride.
John Yanzuk

An Engine Problem With a Kymco?

Well, I picked up Kym on May 9, 2007.  Bought the Kymco windscreen (wonderful as a bird repellent...my current count stands at 12!) and...4600km in, Kym begins making some VERY odd noises...pack her into my brother's truck, take it to the dealer...Start her up, and the dealer makes the "Kill It" sign.  Then he says, "We need to keep her for a week.  We are very booked up with repairs and service, so we'll call you".  Now, one week later, they call me with some very disturbing news:
"Looks like ya made history.  The crank journal is worn very badly...Kymco will warranty it, but it may take some time because this has NEVER happened before...so the parts may be a while".  It turns out that I lost Kym for the entire month of July, and several days of August, but got her back just in time for my first scooter rally on August 10-12.  The ride to the rally was 140 miles one way (southern NJ to Harrisburg, PA), and I was awestruck by how much quieter Kym had become...I could no longer hear her over the droning wind!  I had to baby her for the Rally trip...no more than 55 mph indicated.  The guys at MiniTrailbikes did a great job...but they couldn't get me a top case in time for the Rally...so I got acquainted with Mr. Cargo Nets and Mrs. Bungee Cords...24 bungees, and 2 cargo nets at good ole WalMart: Also, a three person tent...75" X 40" inflatable mattress, change of clothes for 5 days, travel sizes, PowerBars, extra engine oil and gear oil, and me.  Following the good Evil Scooter Kitty's advice, I ordered a 45 liter Binetto top case on August 20, but am still waiting for it to arrive...back-orders are the bane of on-line shoppers!!!
In addition to the top case, I have ordered a new belt (Athena Kevlar from Scootertrap.com) and 19 gram Dr. Pulley sliding weights (also from Scootertrap...OEM are 18gm I believe).  The original belt had worn to under 22mm, so it needed replacing.  The OEM weights were fine, but I felt the need to tinker.  The aftermarket weights are noisy!  I also took the plunge and purchased a Garmin E-Trex GPS, and discovered that Kym will top out at 120km/hr...her speedometer is off by 7.8%...but she will hit 144km/hr with the right downhill!  The top case conundrum...hmm...a Givi was readily available, and I probably would have had it by now, but the Binetto only set me back $99.  The belt was $80, and the weights were $40 for the set of 6.  In addition, I needed to invest in an impact wrench to get the variator nut off...another $70...darn, tinkering is getting to be expensive...but worth it!
I have since made a few more trips to the Harrisburg area (wonderful riding area for a scooterist) and am going there again this weekend.  Last weekend (September 16) I managed a cruising speed of 110km/hr indicated and 72mpg for the whole trip.  Wow.  I now stand at 9025km as of this writing, and am loving Kym more every ride...why didn't I do this sooner?
John Y.

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Last modified: August 09, 2017