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Discussion Starter #1
First time rider just passed motorcycle safety course looking at a 2003 Burgman 650.
This was the first model year correct? Any concerns with the 2003 model what questions should I ask about the bike? thanks
greg
 

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Greg, the 2003 is the first year in USA. 2002 for the world market. So the 2002-04 all have a issue that has the CVT sounding like a VW Diesel Rabbit. There is a $250ish fix for this noise issue.

The 03 had bad wheel bearings and a bad ignition switch that both needed to be replaced under warrenty. You can have the VIN run at any dealership to see if the recalls have been done.

While the 20-04 do not have a 6th speed (OD) the bike will go to a higher gear in auto than 5th gear so yes it does have OD.

I liked my 03. I think it ran smoother that both my 08's and I also think it had a quicker to 70 MPH and it was faster in the top end too.
 

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First model year - thus it lacks eleven years of incremental improvements. Pay as little as humanly possible and plan to ride it until it gives up the ghost.
 

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Another thing to watch on the 03 is the centerstand. They are weak and can fail if used a lot. Suzuki did several rounds of adding reinforcing ending with the 08 model. Not a big deal to replace with an 08 or later stand. Alternately if you have access to a welder or know someone that does you can add the extra reinforcing braces to your 03 stand.
 

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My '03 is still going strong, about 40,000 miles. I do not ride it as much as I used to, but still feel confident enough that if I want to do a weekend run 500 miles from home, I have no worries.

What price are you looking at ?

$2,000, 2,500 would be reasonable, if it was maintained.
 

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First model year - thus it lacks eleven years of incremental improvements. Pay as little as humanly possible and plan to ride it until it gives up the ghost.
Other than a reinforced center stand and ABS brakes what improvements? They have made some changes, like how the PPG adapts to the engine ( with smaller splines if I understand right) , a narrower profile, smaller drivers saddle, analog gages, combining the transmission an engine control modules into one, and my favorite, a key with an engine immobilizer. I wouldn't exactly call all these things improvements, maybe for Suzuki's bottom line, and I am sure I have missed a few. Anyway I am saying that there are no real game changers made on the scooter since it has been on the market.
I have an 2003 with 25000 mi, it runs and drives great with no issues. I did put the Polish adapter in. I have no plans to buy a newer model because, this one is just fine and just older than most.
 

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I'd hold out for a 05+ model. Suzuki sorted out some problems in the first few years of production.

Welcome to BUSA from sunny Los Angeles.
 

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I'd hold out for a 05+ model. Suzuki sorted out some problems in the first few years of production.

Welcome to BUSA from sunny Los Angeles.
What he said , plus and this is my opinion . Regardless which year model you purchase you want the lowest mile one you can find . The reasoning is because you are likely ON AVERAGE to have some type of CVT problem right around 50,000 miles on average . It may be just a belt or a complete failure , if you cannot fix either it can get very expensive at the dealer . How expensive ? Well , more than the bike is worth in most cases .

The 03 and 04 models have a diesel noise problem that is fixable for $225.00 in parts . They also have a reputation warranted or not for early CVT failures . Personally I would not hesitate buying an 03 or 04 if the price were right and it had less than 10,000 on it . When I say priced right I mean like no more than $2,000 . I would also want the plastics to be in as in pristine condition as possible . The better condition the bike is in the more it will be worth if the CVT blows .

As far as we know the CVT can go any time or never , no one to date has found any rhyme or reason for the failures . Either your lucky or your not .
The problem isn't that the CVT is inferior because it's not , it's just very time consuming to get to it and then to repair it . There are people here that have paid as much as $4,000 to have a dealer rebuild one , so you see why some consider them to be a disposable bike . There is a way around that , if you have the skills and the time you can do it yourself . Or if you can find a low mileage wreck / parts bike for the CVT , the dealer will do an R&R for right around $730.00 U.S. Which to me is the way to go , if you can find a little used CVT . (not easy to find)

The key IMO is to first buy the right bike at the right price , then you're pretty much home free .....ON AVERAGE !

TheReaper!
 

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Other than a reinforced center stand and ABS brakes what improvements? They have made some changes, like how the PPG adapts to the engine ( with smaller splines if I understand right) , a narrower profile, smaller drivers saddle, analog gages, combining the transmission an engine control modules into one, and my favorite, a key with an engine immobilizer. I wouldn't exactly call all these things improvements, maybe for Suzuki's bottom line, and I am sure I have missed a few. Anyway I am saying that there are no real game changers made on the scooter since it has been on the market.
I have an 2003 with 25000 mi, it runs and drives great with no issues. I did put the Polish adapter in. I have no plans to buy a newer model because, this one is just fine and just older than most.

http://burgmanusa.com/bkb/650+Year+Differences
 

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Knowing what I know now, I would have gladly purchased a k3 or k4 to save lots of money on the purchase price and loose only the manual OD compared to my K7.
But I'm in a totally different market, where the price is nearly tripled due to motor sales taxes on new vehicles.
 

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The early cvt failures on some bikes is increasingly being put down to owners not running in their bikes properly. Ignoring the Suzuki advice and warnings in the owners manual to run the bike in properly using the tried and tested 'book' method of steadily increasing the revs and work load as the miles go on, and varying the throttle lots. That doesn't mean you have to go slow, but it does take a little longer before you should use full throttle. Instead, an increasing number of riders are using the 'fast run in method' known as 'Motoman' where up to full throttle is used almost straight away. This causes severe stress to the engine and in particular, the cvt belt and bearings. It generates too much heat and stress weakening the belt so it fails early. I've replace two belts plus a whole bunch of bearings on two early failures. Both with very low miles. One of which we know had been 'Motomaned'. The other we don't know the full story on. But it's likely that was Motomaned too. The Suzuki Burgman 650 is NOT suitable for Motoman running in type techniques. I've since gathered information from several dealers here in the UK that they also have noticed that Motomaned bikes are the ones mostly failing early. It's not a scientific study, but the evidence is gathering that this is the reason for early failure of the belts over here at least. That's why I'd never buy a second hand 650 Burgman, you just don't know how it was run in. Run in correctly and serviced right, the tranny's are good for 100.000 miles in my opinion.
 

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I've contended for a while that proper break in of the CVT belt on the 650 is a more important consideration than break in of the engine. For that reason I've recommended against the "ride it like you stole it" fast break in methods.
 

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I've contended for a while that proper break in of the CVT belt on the 650 is a more important consideration than break in of the engine. For that reason I've recommended against the "ride it like you stole it" fast break in methods.
Yup, agree 100%
 

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The early cvt failures on some bikes is increasingly being put down to owners not running in their bikes properly. Ignoring the Suzuki advice and warnings in the owners manual to run the bike in properly using the tried and tested 'book' method of steadily increasing the revs and work load as the miles go on, and varying the throttle lots. That doesn't mean you have to go slow, but it does take a little longer before you should use full throttle. Instead, an increasing number of riders are using the 'fast run in method' known as 'Motoman' where up to full throttle is used almost straight away. This causes severe stress to the engine and in particular, the cvt belt and bearings. It generates too much heat and stress weakening the belt so it fails early. I've replace two belts plus a whole bunch of bearings on two early failures. Both with very low miles. One of which we know had been 'Motomaned'. The other we don't know the full story on. But it's likely that was Motomaned too. The Suzuki Burgman 650 is NOT suitable forMotoman running in type techniques. I've since gathered information from several dealers here in the UK that they also have noticed that Motomaned bikes are the ones mostly failing early. It's not a scientific study, but the evidence is gathering that this is the reason for early failure of the belts over here at least. That's why I'd never buy a second hand 650 Burgman, you just don't know how it was run in. Run in correctly and serviced right, the tranny's are good for 100.000 miles in my opinion.
I've contended for a while that proper break in of the CVT belt on the 650 is a more important consideration than break in of the engine. For that reason I've recommended against the "ride it like you stole it" fast break in methods.
Yup, agree 100%
I'll jump on that hay wagon too. While I do believe in the "Motoman" method for some engines, the Burgman's, 400 and 650, are not to be done that way.

But I am sure that some of the owners of failed 650's CVT's will state that they followed the go slow method if they bought it new. I got this current 650 with 305 miles on it. I do not know how the Farmers Wife rode it for those miles till traded in and then the dealer's crew rode it for about 15 miles for the total of 305 miles when I got it. But I did the Go Slow for 200 miles then slowly bumped it up to not over 4000 RPM for another 600 miles before I ever hit FULL throttle.

I am at 65,000+ miles now. I have had some noise from my CVT area at about 55,000 miles but it went away after I did the CVT filter cleaning and used compressed high volumn air to blow out the CVT chamber. I got a small amount of debris out of the chamber.

So proper run in, correct maintenance and time will tell. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks guys for the info I pulled the trigger and bought the 2003, 650, my first bike I'm looking forward to taking it our on my first ride.
 
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