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I WOULD LIKE TO IMPROVE THE RIDE OF MY 650 BURGMAN. THE LOCAL FREEWAYS HERE IN SO. CALIFORNIA HAVE SCALLOPED SECTIONS, AND MY SCOOTER WANTS TO BUCK FORWARD AND AFT. I HAVE ADJUSTED THE SHOCKS TO THE LOWEST POSITION WHICH ONLY HELP A LITTLE. I KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON THE TIRE PRESSURE. I HAVE JUST GONE OVER 2000 MILES. THEY MUST BE BROKE IN BY NOW. I BELIEVE EXTRA WEIGHT WOULD HELP, BUT I DON'T WANT IT ON ME OR THE BIKE.
 

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Hi there Ray and welcome to the site.
I have experienced some wash board roads in my area as well. I know exactly of the violent bucking that you talk about. I didn't think it was so much related to the back end as it was to the front forks. I only have 1200 kms on my machine (parked for the winter) but plan on doing some experimenting next spring on different weight fork oil in the front end.
I suggest that you contact member Covert and get his response. He is a long time motorcycle mechanic and could probably shed some light on this subject for all of us.
 

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Yep. I started a thread on the Yahoo Burgman forum just after I bought my 650 in early September. A few folks were very defensive about the fine quality of the stock suspension, so I dropped it. I suppose that if you have only ridden scooters - or maybe a cruiser bike - the suspension would seem quite good. But I've owned some very good touring and sport-touring motorcycles - and I'd sure like to do an upgrade on the Burgman suspension.

It does depend somewhat on where you live & ride. On smooth roads the suspension is fine - and it handles well in the curves under smooth pavement conditions. But I live in Omaha, Nebraska, and many of our local roads are made of concrete slabs - so you get that thump-thump jarring frequently over the (very small) irregularities where the slabs connect. I try to avoid manhole covers on the scooter (I don't bother on my V-Strom motorcycle). This is also big railroad country. The first time I went over a railroad crossing at the same speed I'd take it on my motorcycle, I thought the scooter was going to self-destruct! I slow WAY down for them on the scooter now.

The only thing that came out of that Yahoo thread was an air shock that is made and marketed in France. Someone had tried a set and thought that they were a significant improvement. I'd rather have a non-air shock made by someone like Progressive Suspension, Koni, or Works Performance - and improved fork springs to match. As far as I know, there is nothing like that currently available in the USA. But if someone decides to make them - I'll be a customer for sure.

Paul
 

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Suspension ?

A few folks were very defensive about the fine quality of the stock suspension
I can only disagree. The stock set-up is pretty poor on anything other than smooth surfaces. Maybe I just push the burger too hard :)

Western Australia in not renown for great roads and I'm looking to get into the Ikons on the rear for starters.

The front end scares me as it is under all that plastic stuff.

One end at a time...

nev
 

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After market shocks

Interested to read the feedback on this aspect of the bike as it also accords exactly with my own first impressions when I rode home from buying it a couple of days ago - I spent a little time exploring the village/rual area where I bought the Burger (private sale) and was immediately aware that my liver was in danger of being shaken loose by the choppy ride over the less-than-perfect country roads.

The Yamahe TMax that I'm replacing with the Suzuki behaves much better over such terrain and was a noticeable and welcome improvement over the Piaggio X9 500 which was a sight worse than even the Burger, to the point where you would go out of your way to avoid poorly surfaced roads, or risk losing all the fillings from your teeth. The Piaggio, unlike the Burger, has an excuse for such antics though - a great heavy lump of an engine bouncing up and down with the back wheel, but even this in-built disadvantage was tameable to a large extent by cranking up the pre-load on the rear end to one below max.

Having got the Burger home I checked the tyre pressures which proved to be 24/27 rather than the prescribed 33/36. I found that the shocks were set on position 3 (factory default setting is position 2). I pumped up the tyres to 33/36 then went for comparison test-rides round the bumpiest local roads I could find, first with the shocks on 2, then on 5 (max), then on 1 to see what sort of difference the adjustments made. I then went for a ride over the same route on the 'control' bike, ie the TMax.

Findings? Best setting was 2 (I'm an athletic, handsome 154lbs - well that's my view of things anyway) which brought the ride quality up to that of the TMax; the lower setting made things a little bit soggy and the highest rate, unsurprisingly, made for a bumpier ride, but still nowhere near as bad as my original experience, My deductions therefore are that the problem is more tyre-pressure related than suspension-adjustment related - although I do like the sound of the potential fork-oil adjustment to the front end - I'll be interested to read the feedback on that.

As far as after-market shocks are concerned, Paul Blezard, the guru of all things superscoot, briefly tried a Fournale air-shock fitted 650, the property of one of the T&G readers and found no improvement at all but qualified that by saying that they weren't pumped up at the time and were on different settings each side! No surprises there then.
 

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I just completed a 1000 mile tour on my Burgman 650 which I recently outfitted with Ikon shocks. This was in fairly desolate cattle ranch "big sky" country up along the Nebraska / South Dakota border. Many of the roads I went over were not in the best of shape, and I was traveling over them at 60 - 70 mph (which is in line with the speed limits up there).

The Icon shocks worked really well, and with the stronger springs and increased damping in the rear, the front end behaved better too. There were also some awfully windy conditions on Wednesday. I remember thinking during that ride that the Ikon shocks and the Clearview XXL windscreen had to be the two best enhancements that I've done.
 

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I just came across this discussion while doing a google on "AN650 after market suspension". My problem here in Ottawa, Canada is road cracks and expansion joints. I would love to have a more compliant suspension. One thing that I think may contribute to the problem is that a lot of people adjust their seat with the butt stopper all the way back. I'm wondering if this means that the weight distribution is more over the rear making the front end feel stiff. I find when I lean forward things feel a little more under control and not so choppy (front back pogo).

Anyway I'm still intrested in finding out more about after market shocks. Anyone else have them, pauljo if you're around, do you still have the Ikons?
 

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Yes, I still have the Ikon shocks on my 650. They are an improvement over the stock shocks, but they won't totally fix the problem. Switching to Pirelli tires helped a lot also - they provide a more compliant ride than the Bridgestones. One of our other members went with Fournales air shocks and seemed to like them. I suspect that they improve the ride even better than the Ikons, but they also cost more and you have to deal directly with the manufacturer in France to get them.
 

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Thanks Paul. Are the Pirelli tires the same size 120/60 and 160/60. I though I read about someone putting on tires that were 70 series. The low profile tires must stiffen the ride also although they probably improve the handling..

.. Jerry
 

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Blue J said:
Thanks Paul. Are the Pirelli tires the same size 120/60 and 160/60. I though I read about someone putting on tires that were 70 series. The low profile tires must stiffen the ride also although they probably improve the handling..

.. Jerry
The Pirelli GTS radial series are the same size as stock Bridgestones. (They also made a bias ply version, but I would not recommend going that route.) The new Pirelli Diablo series also matches the stock specs as far as I know.
 

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I'm sorry, I have to let my ignorance show through here, why in the world are motorcycle shocks so God-awfuly expensive! $1K+ for two lousy shocks from Ikon? Why?
 

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I paid $225 for my Icon shocks in March of 2004. They've been worth that I think. Not sure where the $1K+ figure is coming from. In general, motorcycle accessories are pricey I think due to limited production and the fact that it is considered a recreational market in this country (like skiing, golf, boating, etc.).

Note: My shocks came "off the shelf" at the US distributor I bought from. At the current exchange rate then, they would have been around $300 dollars if he'd had to order from Australia (mine were the last set in stock). So with parts manufactured overseas, I think the weakening dollar also is a factor.
 

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Just so I can understand what a lot of people are reporting. Is the suspension too stiff, too soft? What is the cause of the suspension issues folks are reporting? I haven't ridden a Burger yet so I am wondering what you guys are feeling... Has anyone come up with a solution that cures this ride issue?

Longsnowsm
 

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My plans for the near future (waiting for a settlement for my carpel tunnel injuries) are to put Hyperpro Springs in the front forks and Fournales air shocks on the back. Fournales makes rear shock systems for Harley Davidson. I Googled them and read many good things about them. They cost about 600 and the Hyperpro springs are $159. I think that these improvements as well as a Russell Daylong seat will greatly improve the ride. I'm also looking into Glow-in-the-dark paint for the bike. When I get done with my customization I will post pics.
 

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Longsnowsm said:
Just so I can understand what a lot of people are reporting. Is the suspension too stiff, too soft? What is the cause of the suspension issues folks are reporting? I haven't ridden a Burger yet so I am wondering what you guys are feeling... Has anyone come up with a solution that cures this ride issue?

Longsnowsm
I felt the suspension was oversprung and under dampened. I softened the front up, by cutting about 3/8" off the spacer in the tube, then I replaced the 10W to 15 W on the fork oil, to stiffen up the dampning. I think it helped quit a bit, for my style of riding. I believe the front suspension is the same for both, the 400 & 650.

I think the rear has the same issues. It would explain why the ride is much better riding 2-up vs. solo on the 650.
 

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gunrun69 said:
My plans for the near future are to put Hyperpro Springs in the front forks and Fournales air shocks on the back. Hyperpro springs are $159. I think that these improvements as well as a Russell Daylong seat will greatly improve the ride.
You may want to check out the current front fork spring, (pic. from allwalks gallery). http://burgmanusa.com/gallery/album28/forkoil11

Note: they are already progressive wound springs
 

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TO ALLWALK

HI I read where you went to a 15w oil in frt/forks and was happy with the change. Can you comment further on your fork oil chg. Thanks
 

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I read on several forums, that while sitting on the bike, the the suspension compression (springs / shocks) should be about 1/3 of the total travel from the relaxed position. This sounded logical to me, and it seems to work out. The fronts were only about 3/4" on compression. One of our other members, shortened the spacer in the front fork tube, to soften the front end. I did the same by cutting off about 3/8". You can also add washers in the tubes to stiffin it up as well. This acts the same as the preloads on the rear, which the fronts do not have.

Then I replaced the 10W oil with 15W, to increase the dampening effect. One member even found there was a shortage of oil from the recomended specs.

The softer front did reduce, quite a bit, the sudden shock & jolt when hitting bumps and heaved pavement.
The heaver fork oil slowed down the reaction to it.

The front carries the same load, riding solo or 2-up because the passinger sits directly above the axle. But the rears need the be adjusted, depending weather you are riding solo, or 2-up.

Speed is also an issue. typically, the faster you go, the stiffer the suspension should be. A rear setting of 2-3 might be fine @ 45 mph, but at 65-70 too soft, and should be set up a notch. Most wobbling at high speed is caused by
1-too soft a rear setting
2-low tire pressure
3-loose mechanical componets, (steering head, axle, etc)

Many of the aftermarket shocks for the rear have adjustable dampers for the rear, which acts simular to changing the front fork oil weight.

Hope this helps
 
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