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Discussion Starter #1
1. Comfort- Close but edge goes to the 650 for suspension while seat goes to the 400.

2. Legroom- 400 wins.

3. Handling- 400

4. Power- 650

5. Fun to ride factor- 400 is more fun

6. MPG- 400

7. Cost of ownership- 400

8. Windshield adjustment- 650 but the Airflow 266 by Givi on my 400 is far better

9. Ability to haul items- 400

10. dash, Ergonomics- 400


If you want a scooter to ride around at speeds less than 70 mph (the 400 cruises at 75 mph quite comfortably) the 400 wins easily.

But, if your goal is a lot of high speed riding at 75-85 mph the 650 edges out the 400.

Those of you thinking the 650 is a BETTER scooter than the 400 would be surprised to read that a guy who thinks POWER is everything still rates the 400 as the better value between the two of them.

The longer I ride my 650 the more I appreciate the Burgman 400.
 

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Call it heresy, but I agree. I like the 400 a touch more too. But I'm eternally grateful that I don't have to make a choice... I have both sitting in my shed. I try not to say one is better than the other, they're just different. And the 400 fits my particular needs more often.

But as much as I like the 400 in my head, there is a visceral, and instant connection to the 650 every time I ride it.

This is best exemplified by when my buddy, trying to decide between the two to buy, and I took both bikes out for a test ride. I told him to start with the 400 for a couple of hours. "You'll find it comfortable, usable, powerful, handles great and will fit most every need you have. Then you'll try the 650 and within 15 minutes you'll want it instead." True to my prediction, he preferred he 650. But its a weekend bike for him, as is my 650. He didn't need it for commuting. (Before everyone beats me up that the 650 is a great commuter, remember I live in Ca, home of lane splitting in the USA. The 400 is better at it).

So which one is better? Up to the user. I dare not say. :D
 

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It is heresy, but my thoughts are the same -- in the end of the day it all boils down which type of riding you do more - city or highway. But what a piece of engineering for both machines.
 

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It is heresy, but my thoughts are the same -- in the end of the day it all boils down which type of riding you do more - city or highway. But what a piece of engineering for both machines.
Well said!

I don't pretend to be the most experienced here or owned the most bikes in my life or the best versed in bike construction, or even a great rider, but I've been around a twisty or two and the Burgmans are, hands down, the finest bikes I've ever ridden.

I appreciate practicality, there's an art to making a functional machine. And that's beautiful to me. Give me a useful bike over a pretty, unuseful bike any day; I'm not swayed by looks alone. But the fact that these machines are both extraordinary practical AND good looking, well sign the dotted line, I'm smitten.

No useful info here, just thoughts of how fantastic I think these bikes are. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I like my Burg 650. I love power so the bigger motor makes my day. In fact, i want a Burg 850. That said, the 650 doesn't balance as well as the 400, has a much higher seat height (I can still flat foot) and feels heavy. The 400 feels much lighter, balances better and is much more scooter.

Since I ride highway/major roads 80 percent of the time I appreciate the 650 for my needs. The 400 is lacking in overall smoothness at high speeds.

But, the better scooter for under 70 MPH GPS rated is the 400. The better Motorcycle (Maxi Scooter) for high speeds is the 650.
They are both great machines but evaluate your needs before spending more money on the 650.
 

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400 every time for me

Mechanical simplicity and less weight

It helps that I'm built like a racing snake so maybe I need less horsepower to fling me down the road :)
 

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Me too Bluebottle. I do ride a 650 from time to time too but I prefer my 400 in most situations. Both are very fine machines. It's difficult to choose if you are new to the maxi scooter bikes if you have no previous real experience of either bike. So test rides are a must. I know so many that have bought the 650 only to find it too much for power, and the weight is just too much for some. The reverse is also true when individuals have bought the 400, only to find it's not the best bike for cruising at 85mph!! and they then trade up to the 650. But unless you are a total power speed freak, either bike will do each others job. If you see what I mean!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Me too Bluebottle. I do ride a 650 from time to time too but I prefer my 400 in most situations. Both are very fine machines. It's difficult to choose if you are new to the maxi scooter bikes if you have no previous real experience of either bike. So test rides are a must. I know so many that have bought the 650 only to find it too much for power, and the weight is just too much for some. The reverse is also true when individuals have bought the 400, only to find it's not the best bike for cruising at 85mph!! and they then trade up to the 650. But unless you are a total power speed freak, either bike will do each others job. If you see what I mean!
I am a power/speed demon. I ride full out on the 400 and even the 650. Still, the 650 is VERY HEAVY and not a great handling bike. I appreciate the 650 for my highway rides and major roads because I like to go 85 mph.

The 400 is a nimble scooter for 400 pounds! Yet, it has plenty of power off the line and will track nicely up to 85 mph. But, the 400 rides best below 75 mph. For a city person the 400 is the better choice while wide open country roads beg for the 650.

Honestly, I want the handling of the 400, the weight of the 400, the Givi AF 266 windshield, the seat of the 400, the suspension from the 650, the tires from the 650 and the engine from the 650.

The bottom line is enjoy your Burg 400 and unless you are racing off the line (both scooters suck for that anyway) or riding at 95 MPH (WHICH i DO) the 400 is your machine.

You can't go wrong with either bike but before you spend thousands more on the 650 make sure you are really going to ride at 80 mph a lot before buying the 650. Since I ride at 80 mph ++ the 650 is a solid choice; but, so would be owning a 400 and buying a motorcycle.
 

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The 650 is heavy when you're in your garage, paddling around a parking lot, or in stop-and-go traffic. On the open road it is a ballerina. If you don't think it's a great handling machine then you need a lot more practice. Due to it's frame mounted engine, it is noticeably better planted than the 400 on any less-than-perfect road that twists, climbs or descents. After a three hour ride on the 400 I'm exhilarated and ready for a beer. On the 650 I say lets go for a few more hours. In spite of its' greater weight, over long distances there is much less rider fatigue - due to it's silky smooth and quiet engine and ECVT.

That being said, day in and day out, the 400 is my go-to machine. It is my best bud bike and is always fun. If your personal riding profile does not include the type of riding where the 650 is clearly superior, the 400 does it all quite nicely. If I had to choose, I'd rather occasionally flog the 400 into 650 territory than spend more for a 650 and not use it's full capabilities.

I'm a lucky guy who doesn't have to choose - I've got 'em both. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The 650 is heavy when you're in your garage, paddling around a parking lot, or in stop-and-go traffic. On the open road it is a ballerina. If you don't think it's a great handling machine then you need a lot more practice. Due to it's frame mounted engine, it is noticeably better planted than the 400 on any less-than-perfect road that twists, climbs or descents. After a three hour ride on the 400 I'm exhilarated and ready for a beer. On the 650 I say lets go for a few more hours. In spite of its' greater weight, over long distances there is much less rider fatigue - due to it's silky smooth and quiet engine and ECVT.

That being said, day in and day out, the 400 is my go-to machine. It is my best bud bike and is always fun. If your personal riding profile does not include the type of riding where the 650 is clearly superior, the 400 does it all quite nicely. If I had to choose, I'd rather occasionally flog the 400 into 650 territory than spend more for a 650 and not use it's full capabilities.

I'm a lucky guy who doesn't have to choose - I've got 'em both. ;)
Jeff,

I agree 100% about the 650 and rider fatigue. IMHO, the suspension is much better on the 650 vs the 400. Of course, the extra power is there as well combined with larger tires makes for a nice ride (closer to a motorcycle).

On bumpy roads or long rides I prefer the 650. The 400 is a great scooter (80% scooter/ 20% motorcycle) vs the 650 being a decent motorcycle (80% motorcycle/20% scooter).

If had to go for a ride over 30 miles I would choose the 650. If I was going on the highway I would choose the 650. For a short trip to the grocery store the 400 is the winner.

Both are great bikes and if you have a bad back like I do the 650 suspension really is better than the 400 making the upgrade worth it.
 

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I have to agree with just about of all the comments here except for the 650 suspension and the 400 cost of ownership. I have a 2006 650 purchased new and a 2011 400 purchased last summer with 1500 miles on it. I think the 400 is high maintenance $$$ and the 650 suspension sux. I've almost 24,000 miles on the 650 and hate the suspension. I put 6,200 miles on my 400 and like the suspension much better. Your mileage may vary depending on the year of your bikes. We could debate these issues all day long but that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Bill...

PS I don't have the hots for either of them. To me they are both just ok.
 

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I am in the middle of a trip where I rode a 400 west to east and a 650 east to west across the country. I have previously ridden a 650 cross country. The 400 has been comfortable, reliable, and economic with all the power I asked for in every situation. I has really changed my mind as the best value, especially considering that most of its use would be in normal short riding stints. I was really impressed with its comfort and how it handled in the wind. Much better than I anticipated.
 

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Unless you track your expenses carefully and need to care about $200-$400 a year, the total cost of ownership of either bike is pretty much a wash. It really depends on how well you purchased it pricewise. In the used market, both bikes can be had for very similar prices. The cost of consumables on the 400 add up over time and tend to cancel any savings attributable to mpg and lower initial price. This holds true for those who do their own maintenance and plan to ride the bike till the wheels fall off. A single significant repair will tip the balance to either side. If you have your scooter serviced at a shop, that may make a difference. In my quick look at both scooters after 160K miles the 400 ended up costing around $23K and the 650 came in at $25K.
 

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Rode my 07 400 for 46k+ miles. Have now put on 14k+ miles on my 09 650. For ME I have to pick the 650 over the 400. I think the difference has more to do with the rider not the bike.
 

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agree too!

My 650 did 127000km before the transmission failed. For the cost of fixing it (plus a little bit) I've bought a 2nd hand 400. I've only done a few thousand on the 400 but I'm loving it. Where the 650's performance excels is when you need power at low speeds. That fancy electronic trans can give you near full power any time. I noticed taking off with a (big fella) pillion the 400's performance took a big hit. Once rolling it's fine. The only other area where the 650 wins is stability at the extremes. While the 400 feels more nimble & fun to throw around, at the extremes, ie bumps in corners, very high speeds and very low speeds the 650 rides like you're on a mono-rail, rock solid. On the 400 you have to pay more attention.

I went for the 650 originally because it felt more durable & 'serious' ie better headlights, Oil pressure AND level warnings as well as a change indicator. 4000rpm @100km/h. I had 127000 trouble free glorious fun km. Sadly when it comes to parts & support from the dealers (in Oz anyway) you're on your own unless you have money to burn.

1. Comfort- Close but edge goes to the 650 for suspension while seat goes to the 400.

2. Legroom- 400 wins.

3. Handling- 400

4. Power- 650

5. Fun to ride factor- 400 is more fun

6. MPG- 400

7. Cost of ownership- 400

8. Windshield adjustment- 650 but the Airflow 266 by Givi on my 400 is far better

9. Ability to haul items- 400

10. dash, Ergonomics- 400


If you want a scooter to ride around at speeds less than 70 mph (the 400 cruises at 75 mph quite comfortably) the 400 wins easily.

But, if your goal is a lot of high speed riding at 75-85 mph the 650 edges out the 400.

Those of you thinking the 650 is a BETTER scooter than the 400 would be surprised to read that a guy who thinks POWER is everything still rates the 400 as the better value between the two of them.

The longer I ride my 650 the more I appreciate the Burgman 400.
 

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This is actually a worthwhile comparison and discussion.

I have had a 400 (loved it but damaged it with continuous high-speed, high-load use) and a Chinese 400 clone (don't waste your money)...both, great handling. I currently have a 650...more ponderous, and a loss of underseat storage room. But the power makes up for that.

Alongside the 650, I have a BMW R1100RT...which I'm disappointed in, handling-wise. The 650 is nimbler and better-balanced...not the cachet, but a better machine in the end. Seriously.

In traffic or the parking lot, the 650 is cumbersome. On the open road it's a joy. And, compared to the 400 AND the BMW...VIBRATION FREE! Smooth, even, quiet power. A joy, to an adult rider who's tired of the noise of open pipes and neuralgia from thumpers and unbalanced boxer-engines.

For commuting, the 400 would be the ticket. HOWEVER...my "commuting" these days is four miles. Generally I take the truck because I have to carry 100 pounds of work gear. Even comparing the 400 to the TRUCK, gas use isn't enough to matter.

I did the math...allowing 6000 miles of riding a season (I'm going by memory here; I have the work on another computer) the mileage between the 650 and 400 (personal experience with both) is about $175 a season. NOT enough to justify both.

And that would assume I would be riding the 400 all the time.

No...since 95 percent of my riding is on the open road, including long trips (Colorado and Texas and Washington State)...the 650 is what I need. The 400...great machine; but I should leave it to people who can really benefit from it.

No wonder I've kept the 650 longer than any other bike I've owned.
 

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Coming up on one year with my 2012 AN 400. I can't compare it to a 650 as I've never ridden one, but I will say this; switching to 18g DP sliders made all the difference in the world for my freeway (yes, I live in Los Angeles) riding. Before, I felt like the engine was straining to keep up with faster traffic. Now, it's totally competent at 80 GPS and I don't need to go any faster. It's not as fast off the line, but still much faster than any car.

In addition to freeway driving, I do tons on canyon riding. My clients live all over town and the only way to get to some of them is via twisty canyon roads which, for me, is AWESOME!

And, L.A. traffic? Fugetaboutit! There is nothing like cruising past a half-million dollar Ferrari that's stopped in bumper-to-bumper traffic on my 400 with a big smile on my face.

In the course of a year, I've learned how to service the CVT, change engine/final gear oil, spark plug, air filter, oil filter and remove the rear wheel.

A year later and still loving the 400.
 

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Ok and here is how the trip ended up. The 400 did the West to East trip of 1750 miles perfectly and was impressive in handling all conditions. Got about 64mpg for trip. The 650 did all but 38 miles of the East to West trip and broke down and ended up on the hook for the last bit. Lots of rain and high wind and was also impressive and got 57-58 mpg for the trip. The 400 was much more nimble to ride and easier to put on center stand and move around. The 650 was smoother on takeoff. Engine braking on this older model is annoying.

The 650 is a 2006 w/ 27000 miles. The 400 is a 2009 with 5000 miles after the trip. Neither are ABS. The CVT was previously replaced on the 2006 but whatever the current failure is is, unless very minor, is likely to tilt the hand toward ownership of only a 400. A breakdown in almost any other part of the trip would have been very expensive and potentially dangerous.
 
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