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Discussion Starter #1
I've been thinking about getting a 650. It seems like a pretty cool bike,
but as I've been reading various Burgman forums and reviews on the
internet, there are some Negatives that keep cropping up. Here are some of the more consistint ones:

Bad rear suspension

Poor gas milage (about 30 mpg or less)

Severe engine braking

An engine that's difficult to access and hard to work on

Mechanics who don't yet know the 650

Very expensive to have shop-serviced

Problems with the clutch & transmission ranging from minor to
full-blown failure

An oil level window that's been described as being "Impossible"

Tire valve stems that are extremely difficult to access

Wheel bearings that wear out quickly

Failure of the Speed Sensor rendering the 650 incapable of going
faster than about 20 mph

A strange engine noise that just won't go away

An ineffective windshield that produces severe,
head-shaking turbulance

Failure of the hinges on the gas fill door

Excessive brake dust

As a prospective 650 buyer, I'd like to know if current owners
feel anything listed here is a truly legitimate concern. Thank you.
 

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"I've been thinking about getting a 650. It seems like a pretty cool bike" - Fact

"Bad rear suspension" - Fiction. Neither my wife or I are slim and trim, The burgy handles very well and most of our riding is 2 up

"Poor gas milage (about 30 mpg or less)" - Fiction. Just at 400 miles and avg 45 mpg.

"Severe engine braking" - Fact - but it has seemed to lesson as more miles are rolled on.. You learn to use it.

"A strange engine noise that just won't go away" -Fact for some - You learn to appreciate it..The famous Burgy diesel

"An ineffective windshield that produces severe,
head-shaking turbulance" - Fact for me. I have a Clearview on order. Minor

"Very expensive to have shop-serviced" - My first 3 services were thrown in with my purchase. Can't say

"An oil level window that's been described as being "Impossible" " - Fiction, just bend over and look

Sorry all the others I haven't experienced and hope I never have to
 

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Sam said:
I've been thinking about getting a 650. It seems like a pretty cool bike,
but as I've been reading various Burgman forums and reviews on the
internet, there are some Negatives that keep cropping up. Here are some of the more consistint ones:

Bad rear suspension

Poor gas milage (about 30 mpg or less)

Severe engine braking

An engine that's difficult to access and hard to work on

Mechanics who don't yet know the 650

Very expensive to have shop-serviced

Problems with the clutch & transmission ranging from minor to
full-blown failure

An oil level window that's been described as being "Impossible"

Tire valve stems that are extremely difficult to access

Wheel bearings that wear out quickly

Failure of the Speed Sensor rendering the 650 incapable of going
faster than about 20 mph

A strange engine noise that just won't go away

An ineffective windshield that produces severe,
head-shaking turbulance

Failure of the hinges on the gas fill door

Excessive brake dust

As a prospective 650 buyer, I'd like to know if current owners
feel anything listed here is a truly legitimate concern. Thank you.
I now have over 1250 mi on my 2004 AN650 Executive. My previous scooter was an AN400.

Bad rear suspension: the suspension is OK and much better than on the AN400

Poor gas mileage: on the AN650 I can drive about 7 mi less per gallon (3 km/l) than on the AN400. Gas mileage on the AN650 is between 48-43 mi/gallon (20-18 km/l). This is not very good but still acceptable.

Severe engine braking: compared to the AN400, the engine brake on the AN650 is much stronger. I see this as an advantage. The actual problem is that the clutch decouples rather late. You'll get used to that.

Strange engine noise: not yet on my AN650. I hope it stays away because it has been solved in the factory.

Ineffective wind shield: the wind shield on the AN650 offers more protection than on the AN400.

Excessive brake dust: not more than on the AN400.

Maintenance: To me the AN650 engine seems better accessible than on
the AN400

Wear out of rear wheel bearings: not yet, but someting I monitor closely. Hopefully Suzuki has used better bearings.

Transmission failure: not yet. In a number of cases the root cause was an electical contact failure
 

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Hi Sam :wave:

Failure of the Speed Sensor rendering the 650 incapable of going
faster than about 20 mph
- theres a switch attached to the center stand, if this switch gets excessively dirty or the center stand isnt all the way up .....20 mph max is the result. I always lean over and tug on the stand as well as using lots of WD40 on the switch after rain or a wash.

Excessive brake dust - not that I've seen. Due to the High engine breaking you mentioned wich is true theres barely any need to use the breaks.

Tire valve stems that are extremely difficult to access
- they can be a pain to get at sometimes I agree. I did purchase a 90* digital gauge wich makes this issue a non issue for me.

A strange engine noise that just won't go away
- It will go away if you get the little gear replaced under warranty, However the noise goes away as soon as the bike is under load or power. You only hear it at idle and it's really a non issue.

An engine that's difficult to access and hard to work on

Mechanics who don't yet know the 650
Yes the engine is a little tight to get at. Look at all the scooters though with all the body panels and I'm sure there all harder to access than a standard motorbike.
The 650 was new last year so yes the mechanics havent seen many to work on. But with them not seeing them to work on means that there really not breaking down or you have a lot of at home mechanics

Hope this helps in your decisions. Others have covered your other questions and I agree with there responses.
 

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Sam,

Ditto on the other posts, however I didn't know about the center stand switch (thanks Allwalk).
One more thing to remember, new bikes, like autos, are becoming more complex. I remember "garage mechanics" bitching like hell when computers came on cars, (me included). Look under the hood of a new car vs. a 1960's - 70's model. It's the same issue with motorcycles. Working on a 60's - 70's era BSA, Honda, Triumph, Harley, (take your pick) will always be easer. Motorcycles have taken a while to "catch up" so to speak, so yes, most newer models ARE harder to work on. Technoligy is great and also a pain at the same time.
Hope I didn't confuse you, but it's really not that bad to work on once you get the plastic off.
 

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Sam,

I have a 650 that I've put over 4000 miles on, and I've been monitoring these forums for over a year.

>Bad rear suspension

Best scooter suspension out there, but not as good as some motorcycles. I've ordered Ikon (Koni) shocks, which should make it very good (under $300).

>Poor gas milage (about 30 mpg or less)

Absolutely false. I average 48 mpg on 87 octane gas - and I don't baby it.

>Severe engine braking

The engine braking is actually quite useful. It can be disconcerting to a new rider when coming to a complete stop. Hitting the manual button when you get under 20 mph will lessen it a lot.

>An engine that's difficult to access and hard to work on

True, but there are other fully faired motorcycles that have this characteristic. The full bodywork does make it easier to clean, which you will be doing much more than working on the engine.

>Mechanics who don't yet know the 650

Varies from dealership to dealership. This is only the second year for the machine in the USA. Some dealers are enthusiastic about it - others have attitudes. If your dealer has a shop manual they should be able to service it. You can buy a shop manual for $31 plus shipping.

>Very expensive to have shop-serviced

Can be, but this can also be the case with any motorcycle. You can also buy maintenance contracts at many dealerships that cover all maintenance for three years.

>Problems with the clutch & transmission ranging from minor to
full-blown failure.

Not true. The only failure I've read about is failure of the speed sensor, which causes the transmission to stay in low gear. This has not happened frequently - I've heard of maybe 2 cases. Easily repaired.

>An oil level window that's been described as being "Impossible"

Not impossible, but you do have to get on your knees to see it.

>Tire valve stems that are extremely difficult to access

Any scooter, having smaller wheels than a motorcycle, will have this issue. There are tire gauges that work pretty well though. I use one with a flexible hose. Not cheap, but since you should check tire pressure at least weekly, well worth the investment.

>Wheel bearings that wear out quickly.

I've never heard of this. False, as far as I know.

>Failure of the Speed Sensor rendering the 650 incapable of going
faster than about 20 mph

Has happened once or twice. Not a common problem.

>A strange engine noise that just won't go away

The noise has absolutely nothing to do with the engine. There is a gear bushing in the drivetrain that slaps around a bit at idle. Doesn't hurt anything, but produces a "dieseling" sound. There is a fix available under warranty if you request it.

>An ineffective windshield that produces severe,
head-shaking turbulance

The stock windscreen is too short for most riders and can produce some turbulence. Same is true for many new motorcycles - my V-Strom was much worse than the Burgman. There are inexpensive aftermarket windscreens that take care of this.

>Failure of the hinges on the gas fill door

Never heard that one... In any event, not typical.

>Excessive brake dust

There is some brake dust. I just squirt the wheel with a cycle cleaner like S100 or Dirt Squirt and hose it off. No big deal, cleans right off.

>As a prospective 650 buyer, I'd like to know if current owners
feel anything listed here is a truly legitimate concern. Thank you.

I'd buy my 650 again in a minute. I enjoy it immensely.
 

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Sam said:
I've been thinking about getting a 650. It seems like a pretty cool bike,
but as I've been reading various Burgman forums and reviews on the
internet, there are some Negatives that keep cropping up. Here are some of the more consistint ones:
I've had my Burgman 650 for nearly a year now and put 6,000 miles in the first six months. Here's my take on the points raised.

Bad rear suspension - Pretty firm, but not bad. Adjust it a bit and it will serve just fine.

Poor gas milage (about 30 mpg or less) - I average between 45 and 50 depending on speed and weather.

Severe engine braking - I think of it as superior engine braking. Saves wear and tear on the brakes, just a little tough to push around the garage.

An engine that's difficult to access and hard to work on - Takes time to get to due to the body panels and certainly not an easy access engine, but I do all my own work and have no complaints.

Mechanics who don't yet know the 650 - Not sure how this is any different than any other new motorcycle when it is introduced. The concepts are the same really, other than the transmission.

Very expensive to have shop-serviced - Goes back to removing plastic mostly. I know two shops in my area that add an hour to remove and reinstall the body panels. At what shops charge per hour, that certain can add up. If you do most of your own work, it won't be too big a deal.

Problems with the clutch & transmission ranging from minor to full-blown failure - Like any machine, there are always a few isolated issued out there. All I can say is I've over 6,000 miles on mine and a friend has close to 12,000 without issue.

An oil level window that's been described as being "Impossible" Depends if you can bend or not. I have no problem leaning over and looking at it. Sure is easier and cleaner than having to pull a dipstick like my Honda Reflex, or my car for that matter.

Tire valve stems that are extremely difficult to access - Challenging might be a better word. I added 90 degree valve extension and it is easy access now.
Wheel bearings that wear out quickly

Failure of the Speed Sensor rendering the 650 incapable of going
faster than about 20 mph
- Again an isolated incident, not a design flaw across the line.

A strange engine noise that just won't go away - While I wish it wasn't there, it doesn't bother me either. Still much quieter than most motorcycles when all is said and done.

An ineffective windshield that produces severe, head-shaking turbulance - I didn't think it was that bad, but if you want a touring windshield on it, there are several choices available. I went with Givi and love it.

Failure of the hinges on the gas fill door - Not a problem with anyone I know personally.

Excessive brake dust - Not significnantly more than my Reflex. Now if you aren't used to disk brakes, than I can see why people might think there is a lot of brake dust.

Sam said:
As a prospective 650 buyer, I'd like to know if current owners feel anything listed here is a truly legitimate concern. Thank you.
Guess the best way to put it is, if I was given the choice of being given any motorcycle in the world for free, I'd take the most expensive one, then sell it and buy a Burgman 650!
:wav:
 

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My turn:

Mine is 650K3

1. Bad rear suspension not so. Works fine. Bikes handles well.

2. Poor gas milage (about 30 mpg or less) I average 47-48. Best 52

3. Severe engine braking No big deal.

4. An engine that's difficult to access and hard to work on Can't answer

5. Mechanics who don't yet know the 650 Can't answer

6. Very expensive to have shop-serviced Can't answer

7. Problems with the clutch & transmission ranging from minor to
full-blown failure None to report. Haven't read any complaints in any 650 forum

8. An oil level window that's been described as being "Impossible" Not a problem

9. Tire valve stems that are extremely difficult to access not a problem with the right guage or filler end

10. Wheel bearings that wear out quickly So far so good

11. Failure of the Speed Sensor rendering the 650 incapable of going
faster than about 20 mph I've read where the problem is a dirty side stand contact

12. A strange engine noise that just won't go away It is a drivetrain noise at idle. No problem

13. An ineffective windshield that produces severe,
head-shaking turbulance The windshield should be replaced with eith GIVI or Clearview

14. Failure of the hinges on the gas fill door It is plastic. Will break if you bump into the door while open. New hinge cost $3.00 and takes 5 min to install

15. Excessive brake dust my wheels are clean

Best answer about owning one is that I would do it again without hesitation.

Eddie
 
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