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650 or 400?

5436 Views 21 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Bevan
Two lane roads, 55 mph. A simple single or the complex twin?


I rode the Atlantic 500 and it seemed to have enough power.
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Hey Russ,

The AN400K3 is my choice for back-roads and 55 MPH.

Burgervan Page

How about "simpler"? Yeah, the new bikes are getting fairly complex. At least when the rod breaks, I'll know which one it is!


P.S. That Supermono has got to be the prettiest motorcycle ever made
Suzuki Engineering

Yep Covert,

Those Skywave Project engineers have done well. When I called Suzuki, a few weeks before I bought, they insisted that the 650 is superior technology.

If you don't mind reading translated Japanese, here's their designers:
The shim valve on the Burgman 650 are much harder to adjust than the screw type on the 400, but I have found, that shim adjusted valves hold the initial adjust for a long time,but still need to be checked.
I find the 400 Burgman a more useful package for my needs, at a much lower cost, and longer real world inuse time.
400 vs. 650

Owned both. after not riding for 25 yr. decieded to get back in. Started with the 400 figuring the same as you, 2 lane 55. @ 50 yrs. old, me and my wife allways ride together. The 400 is fine and can cruse at 70 no problem (once broke in) with 2 people on it. However we decided we could sill do long trips (2-5hrs.).The ride is a bit bumpy, and dosen't like crosswinds too well. After about 1 hr. the vibration starts to numb you know what. On a calm day, smooth roads, great. We put 3,000 on it. and Sept 12 traded it in on a 650. What a difference. Drove the 400 in the rain and wind to pick up the new scoot. Drive the new 650 in the rain and wind home. Felt MUCH safer on the 650, cross winds no problem, crising 60 mph @ 4,000 rpm, much nicer than 60 @ 5,800 rpm. very inpressed with the 5 speed trans. on the 650, as opposed to the 1 speed on the 400.

Bottom line, the 400 is fine for short hops 50 miles or less a day, after that it can start feeling like a job. the 650 should be good for 2-5 hrs. with more comfort and power.
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I have traveled over 400 miles a day on my Helix, backroads, some interstate, but not two up. The 400 would be fine for my type of riding. If you cruise two up on interstate, the 650 may be better. I feel that the 650 is too new to judge its long term durability. I shall be purchasing a 400.
The cross-wind thing should be a big consideration if you live in the mid-west, or anywhere else where it is frequently windy. The 650 is hands down the most stable 2-wheel machine in windy conditions that I have ever owned. It was very windy here yesterday. Left the V-Strom motorcycle in the garage - took the Burgman 650.

I bouhgt the 400 in early June, baed primarily on price. Put 1000 miles on it, and then took a test deive on the 650. It is, hands down, a vastly superior highway bike. I bought the 650 two weeks ago, and have 750 miles on it. I leave the Volusia at home, because I am totally fascinated with the performance of the 650.
getting what you pay for

I don't believe how many weekends that I've left dirty laundry, dirty dishes, bills to pay and carpets to clean... just to get out on the Burgman!
Apples & Oranges to me

As a long time rider I currently own two scooters and a "real" bike (Suzuki Intruder 800, Bajaj 150 and Honda Aero 80).

I am considering getting a Burgman and just trying to decide between the 400 and 650. They offer totally differant rides to me (V-Twin vs Single, low rev/vibration vs high rev/vib, heavy vs less heavy).

If taking shorter rides, commuting and buzzing around town ... the 400 wins out. If cruising, riding 2 up or replacing my Intruder ... the 650 is the way to go.

Wish I could afford two new rides!
400 ordered


I had the same delema until I saw the 650 and the 400 side by side. The 650 is a big vehicle and for my purposes (city communting) I felt the 400 would be better suited. The 650 may handle the high way better but I have other bikes for that and besides the 400 will handle trips up to 70 mph anyway.

The decision to buy the 400 was also based on incsurance costs. There is approx. $300 yearly difference in yearly costs here in Vancouver, BC Canada. I wanted a vehicle that I could use instead of my car for about 5 months out of the year for commuting. I road tested the 650 and I purposely road it at a snail pace to see if I liked it. It handled very nicely but try parking this thing in a crowed shopping mall. The thing is as large as a Goldwing and even though it felt OK at parking lot speeds I didn't like the size.

The maintence probably would be more troublesome for the 400. Valve train is simplier but may need checking more often and the belt will probably last only 12K miles or so. As far as I know, you never have to change the belts in the 650 but the valve adjustments for most people will be a task left to an experienced dealer. Removing the camshafts is crazy so good thing its not required often. I also heard the muffler system on the 400 although being constructed out of stainless steel doesn't last at that long. Some European riders have gone through a couple of exhaust mufflers in a 20K miles period.

My opinions...I'm glad I ordered the 400 and wait anixiously
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re: SCOOTNVA post (Apples and Oranges)

The Burgman 650 is a parallel twin (not a V-Twin). There is no low rev vibration. The engine is smooth from idle to 100+ mph - almost like an electric motor.
I might add that the length of the 400 is vertually the same as the 650. The 650 is a bit wider, and about 130 pounds heavier. I have owned both. The only major difference is in performance.
At 110mph the Burgman does not become light in the steering like a conventional motorcycle Plus negligible gyroscopic forces of wheels/tires does not make for maneuvering stiffness at 110mph. These two attributes can make a rider too confident at high speed.

Be sure to set tire pressures correctly before setting three digits into the mph speedometer. Most of us have new AN650's with new tire sets and have no experience with high speed blowouts...yet.

Encountering sharp road debris at 100+ mph can make a Burgman
as safe as the doomed Air France Concorde had been on lift off from Paris France.
The comparatively increased time that a stock AN650 requires to become effectively braked will work against any rider traveling at high speed regardless of road conditions.
Hello ajwood,

I would like to pick up your comment about the handling of the 650 at over 100mph or 160kmh.

When I bought my 650 I found the handling at all speeds to be fantastic.
But getting towrds the 6000km mark my Burgy developed a high speed shimmy - nothing dangerous but still disconcerting. I put this into our German Forum and low and behold I was not alone - everyone but everyone who had enough kilometers on the clock complained about the same thing.

There were all sorts of remedies discussed. Change the tyre pressures, different shock settings, filling the tyres with nitrogene, removing top cases and so on and so forth.
Well I don't have a top case and I tried all the suggestions without success. So I went to my dealer showed him a print out from our forum and all the complaints about shímmy.
He took the Burgy out for a test ride and came back and said he didn't notice anything!!! Well what else would he say?
So at 6000km I had a complete set of new tyres fitted (roughly the half way mark for wear and tare) but this didn't solve the problem either.
I nagged him until he agreed to get the Suzuki Test engineers out to look at the problem.

Well on day X the engineer arrived - took my Burgy out for the test run.
When he came back he said there was no shimmy!!! I said "bye the way how fast did you go"? "I went 160kmh" he replied - I said but the problem starts after that speed!

OK guys here come the ultimate of all answers. "I drove up 160kmh on the clock (and we all know that the clock is 10% fast so he was really only doing 144kmh) because this is the top speed stated in your papers and anything beyond that is not covered by us". grrrrr blankety blankety blank

Well I called him all sorts of names under my breath - but I said to him "well this is the way you loose customers" - he replied "my hands are tied".

All this still hasn't solved the problem but there seems to be a correlation to shimmy and the mileage on the clock - it wasn't there to start with but it's there now - so what has changed? Well the tyre factor I corrected so it now can only be (in my opinion) the pressure in the front fork. I plan at the next service to get the fork oil changed and replaced with some high quality product oil and see if this solves the problem. Maybe the old oil has aged and lost it's compression values - I don't know, this is a tricky one. Any thoughts from your side would be appreciated.
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I forget where I read it but I do remember 1 Burgman rider saying that he had a front bearing go bad on him to improper lubrication from the factory. The front wheel is not to hard to remove. I suggest you remove it and quickly inspect the condition of the front wheel bearings. It may be comforting to at least rule them out as the culprit.
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