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Probably worth giving a bit of background so as to give context to what is obviously a personal but I hope objective view of my 2014 Burgman 650.
I am 61 years of age, retired and have been riding powered two wheelers off road from the age of 12 and on road from the age of 16. I have have owned 50+ bikes of all types in the interim 49 years and I am a qualified DVLA Direct Access Instructor. I have ridden 12,000 miles plus a year including any some longish trips such as round the coast of the UK 3,600 in six days.
Over the last couple of years I have been alternating between Triumph Bonnevilles and Suzuki Burgman 400's. My riding now is purely for pleasure and consists of taking off for the day just going wherever the road takes me covering 2 to 300 miles in the day.
I really loved the last Bonneville. A cracking down to earth bike. Unfortunately I was starting to find that after a couple of hours I was getting rather uncomfortable and I was all aches and pains for the following couple of days (yes I had changed the seat/suspension etc.).
Time for a change then, another Burgman 400 then. A known quantity. Comfortable, frugal and practical beyond belief. The negatives were few but included, slightly lethargic off the line, suspect clutch operation (totally random, my ZA was really bad) and the back end could become a trifle lively should one ride with a modicum of enthusiasm. What about the 650 then, nah! To expensive, to heavy, to thirsty to complex. Several weeks of should I shouldn't I followed but I was pushed over the edge by by being offered a stonking deal by my long term acquaintance at B & B Motorcycles of Lincoln. The day arrived and full of doubt handed over my much loved Bonnie and road off on the Burgman. Now 2,000 miles on was it a good decision or a stupid expensive mistake.
Initially I had serious misgivings as to the wisdom of the change. Don't misunderstand me I fully appreciated the sheer quality and sophistication of the Burgman from day one but something was missing. Not something tangible that I could put my finger on, that spark, that Ah!, that ?.
What's good. In short a heck of a lot. The performance is excellent. The mid range, that all important 40 to 80 mph is strong and very accessible and rolling on and off the power for A road overtakes is a thing of great joy. The handling is a revelation, chuck it in and it sticks to line like a politician in the run up to an election. Compared to the 400 it gives a little ground in reactiveness but is in a different league with regard to stability, indeed I have pushed it pretty hard and haven't been anywhere near the limit. The straight line stability is also impressive, I have given it a good shake at shall we say "speed" and it refuses to complain it just shrugs it off a ploughs straight on.
The brakes have great feel with the reassurance of Abs. One can "howl" the front tyre with the Abs just on the point of coming to the party. Now if thats not good feedback then I don know what is. Also worth noting is the design achievment this is given the very low center of gravity as the tendency would be for the front to push under heavy braking but the Burgman does not suffer this. The standard fit Bridgestone Battleaxe tyres give good grip and feel in the dry. I have no experience of the wet weather performance at this time.
Comfort, the riding position for me (5'6") is spot on. The ride I found to be very harsh initially but this this has improved with miles. It will however never be described as "plush" nor could it be and still handle the way it does so for me thats fine. I can ride all day and suffer no ill affects. Wonderfull. I did find that my right Index finger was going numb after a few hours so there must be some vibration at a frequency that I was unaware of but a set of Grip Puppies have completely sorted it.
Fuel consumption has come as a pleasant surprise. The onboard Mpg readout yesterday showed 58.6 Mpg and that was on varied riding fro spirited back roads to motorway cruising. This was backed up by brim to brim, odometer arithmetic.
I thought the heated seat would be a gimmick but it is extremely effective suppose it should be really given the amount of blood flow in that area.
My only gripe is the noise of the airflow coming off the screen. My head is not being buffeted but the noise is awful. We made progress with this yesterday. Whilst on the motorway I lifted the front of my Shoei Multitec. Voila. Quite. Now riding with a flip front lid open is very bad practice indeed and in the event of an incident is a first class ticket to a broken neck so we need to sort it.
And then it happened, as we rolled into Cleethorpes at lunch time it all gelled. It clicked, the bond was made. The "it doesn't get any better than this" feeling hit. I don't know why it took so long but this is completely different for me. Normally I am passionate about a bike then pick faults as the miles rack up this time however I was initially far from sure but now I am. A marvelous machine and for me at this time, exactly the right choice.

Geoff.
 

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Wow, quite a story/review. I have a 400 now and am very happy with it, but if and when I decide to replace or upgrade chances are it will to be a 650 due to your review, and other like reviews, from people who own them on this website.
 

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Nice review. Congrats, you made an excellent choice and I'm happy to hear you are now wearing that famous Burgman grin like many of the rest of us. :D The 650 is a great bike on the road and around town. Enjoy!!
 

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"a stonking deal"

Is this correct? If so, I'd like to incorporate it into my own vocabulary :p

Really a nice review - thanks!
 

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macamxthe1st great post, thank you. You are confirming what 99% Burgman 650 owner have realized since 2002, the 650 is exceptional all around bike that do so many thing very well. Am pleased to learn that you get 58+ mpg on new bike, perhap gentleman that claim earlier it only get 38 mpg will learn of this. I have own a 2005 and 2009 now will be purchasing 201? in next 2 year (looking for deal on white 650).

You are correct, it really do not get much better than this marvelous machine.

Burgman 650, motorcycle industry best keep secret.


It is a stonking deal and bike.



 

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Good review and you discovered quickly how incredible the 650 is in the twists and not the least of it the braking.

Have you made acquaintance with the Power button as yet? :D

A Clearview standard with a vent might clear up the buffeting but at your height might be too tall.
They will do a custom size.
The Clearview is wider by 3" so takes away airflow on the hands and makes cool weather riding a treat.

That "howl" of the tires on the edge is a very cool sound...and as you said rock stable....for that feature I'll give up a little plush ;)
 

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Congrats on your AHA moment

My last three bikes were a 2003 Royal Star Venture, 2001 Goldwing GL1800 and a 2010 Can Am Spyder RTs. All were great machines and gave me years of great touring memories.

Sold the Spyder and trailer last summer and bought a Fiat 500C for darting around in the open air. Very pleased with the car. It has exceeded my expectations, but over the winter I started getting the itch to return to riding some sort of motorcycle.

My only challenge was deciding on what sort of machine to purchase. The search was on! I really wanted an automatic or semi automatic transmission, an adjustable windscreen, ABS brakes, on bike storage capacity, a driver backrest, heated grips, heated seat, power to cruise on freeways and take on some twisties at speed, not too complicated for DIY maintenance, comfortable floorboards, good wind protection..... Well add up all of those "wants" and you sort of travel down a very narrow path that ends up at the doorstep of a Suzuki Burgman 650.

The scooter has truly exceeded my expectations. It is simply a fun machine to ride and after man handling 1000 lb machines for the past decade I had forgotten what it was like to handle a mid weight bike. I have heard some refer to this machine as a "baby Goldwing", and I can definitely appreciate where they are coming from. I can live with the harshness of the ride over rough roads because I expected it due to the short wheelbase and smaller tires. Since I did not buy scooter this for off roading I can live with that minor shortcoming.

Like the original poster, it was a slight leap of faith for me to purchase the Burgman 650. Unlike the original OP though, my aha moment came a few kms down the road on my first ride. Isn't it grand when life deals you a winning hand.

Enjoy it while we can.
 

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Good review Geoff - do us all a favour and put your approximate location in your profile.
 

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Excellent review, Geoff. Man, wich I had your talent for eloquent writing.
 

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My 07 got 49mpg riding from B'town, IL to the smoky mountains in one day, totaling 675 miles. Some of the interstate touring as at 75-80 mph. My riding partner rode a 1200cc Harley sportster and got the same gas mileage except he was using high test and I was using regular.

Good to hear that the newer Burgman 650s get better gas mileage
respectfully,
David miller
 

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My 07 got 49mpg riding from B'town, IL to the smoky mountains in one day, totaling 675 miles. Some of the interstate touring as at 75-80 mph. My riding partner rode a 1200cc Harley sportster and got the same gas mileage except he was using high test and I was using regular.

Good to hear that the newer Burgman 650s get better gas mileage
respectfully,
David miller
Yep. On touring days spent mainly on backroads I can get up to 55 mpg (2-up with saddlebags, even in the mountains). Adding just a little bit of high speed Interstate riding into the mix and the mileage quickly goes down to 50 and below.
 

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I couldn't agree with you more! After putting 70,000 mi. on my trusty '07' I recently brought home a new 2014 and I love the new refinements.

I have ridden bikes for years and it took me a short while to come around to the step through frame and the "scooter" moniker. The realization came for me one day, (probably while carving around a twisty at 60 with my luggage fully loaded and headed toward someplace glorious). I'd look around at some of my friends who can't get out of their own way, who have zero protection from the elemets and who's idea of luggage is a wallet. when I realized that the Burgman is really just a smarter motorcycle... sort of a Swiss Army Bike.
 

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Hello, I was immediately sold on the Burg 650 with the first test ride. For me it had been 30 years since I had ridden, so I did not have any prejudices from riding a conventional motorcycle built up in me. I fellow coworker at the shop is a Harley owner and still looks at maxi scooters as mopeds. He is quit jealous, His Harley cant pass a repair shop or sports bar.
 

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I couldn't agree with you more! After putting 70,000 mi. on my trusty '07' I recently brought home a new 2014 and I love the new refinements.

I have ridden bikes for years and it took me a short while to come around to the step through frame and the "scooter" moniker. The realization came for me one day, (probably while carving around a twisty at 60 with my luggage fully loaded and headed toward someplace glorious). I'd look around at some of my friends who can't get out of their own way, who have zero protection from the elemets and who's idea of luggage is a wallet. when I realized that the Burgman is really just a smarter motorcycle... sort of a Swiss Army Bike.
Right on... with those sentiments.
I myself may have never found scootering if it weren't for travelling through and living in Asian countries where scooters are so common. I got hooked pretty early on. The same applies to foldie (fold-up) bicycles, which I've also developed a passion for. The last trip I took back to Sydney I put my Dahon Courser 20" foldie, complete with front and rear suspension, in the large shoulder bag. Rode the bike in Sydney round the CBD and nearby suburbs, but the number of people staring made it obvious to me that my sense of normal was not shared by all..
Too bad... didn't/doesn't stop me riding what I like and works for me...
 

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Like the original poster, it was a slight leap of faith for me to purchase the Burgman 650. Unlike the original OP though, my aha moment came a few kms down the road on my first ride. Isn't it grand when life deals you a winning hand.

Enjoy it while we can.
Same for me, but when I went to test drive - being new to the machine - I had left the screen at it's lowest setting on a day with dreadful wind conditions, and couldn't believe the buffeting! Despite that, I went back to the owner knowing that this was THE bike and told him I'd take it. Things have only got better since.
 

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I am in the process of negotiating a trade in (09 Burgman 400) for a 2014 Burgman 650. I have never driven the 650 so I am taking a leap of faith. It's good to hear your positive opinions.

Shark88
 

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Yep. On touring days spent mainly on backroads I can get up to 55 mpg (2-up with saddlebags, even in the mountains). Adding just a little bit of high speed Interstate riding into the mix and the mileage quickly goes down to 50 and below.
Mind you, Jeff's wife weighs about 90 lbs., if that. Nice lady, but tiny. And Jeff is in excellent shape himself.

So suffice it to say, your milage may vary. :D
 

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I am in the process of negotiating a trade in (09 Burgman 400) for a 2014 Burgman 650. I have never driven the 650 so I am taking a leap of faith. It's good to hear your positive opinions.

Shark88
I love both bikes for different reasons. Since you're used to the 400, you'll transition just fine to the 650. It's heavier and not quite as easy to throw about, but the power will bring an instant burgman grin and is well worth the trade off. If you do any kind of touring, you will love it.

Good luck with the trade.
 
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