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So, I just sold my 2019 BMW C650GT scooter. And am now going back to the Burgman.
I was asked to put up a comparison, since the two bikes were now quite fresh in my experience.

A little about me. I’m 62 yrs old, 6’2, 32” inseam, and weigh 178 lbs. I’ve ridden 3 Burgmans prior, over the past 10 years, my last one being this past summer, and have about 80k miles on them all together. Much of this will be a matter of opinion and personal tastes.

Each time I sold my Burgman, I soon regretted it! Then when I got another bike, before long I realized what I’d lost. #*@%. You think I’d learn.
It’s was so easy for me to get bored, or think maybe the grass was greener on another bike. The Burgman is that good. It lulls you into such a state of comfort, it can seem a little numb. My analogy would be a Lexus vs BMW automobile.

The BMW is a very nice bike, for sure. Well made, solid. The Tupperware is all fastened down with torx head screws, and a few plastic push rivets. The tabs that help alignment seem beefier and less susceptible to breakage (vs the Suzuki’s, which are quite easy to break).

BMW instrumentation is ok. However, the tach is completely worthless. It is tiny, hard to see, and only indicates in 1k increments. Irritating for such a premium bike, and something BMW should upgrade on future models. Otherwise, no complaints.

The switchgear on the BMW are excellent and I wish the Suzuki was more like the BMW in that respect. Much simpler and more intuitive on the BMW. Fewer buttons and better placed.

The BMW handles more like a regular motorcycle and has a more compliant suspension. It is a sportier ride all in all. It handles potholes and bumps “a bit” better too. The front end seems lighter than the Burgman. Not sure it’s even worth mentioning. Ergonomically, the BMW has more leg room, and my legs hang down more than stick out in front, as on the Burgman. The Beemer also has slightly more under seat storage.

The BMW seems more top heavy. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the rake or camber of the front forks, or something like that. But when moving it around the garage, WHOA!!, it almost got away from me. It felt more tippy. Don’t turn the steering unless you have that puppy straight up and down!

Engine wise, the BMW is LOUD!, and has a continual growl/snarl, as well as a rumble/shake. A lot of folks like the rumble/shake and loud snarling sound. And I get it. That’s why so many buy Harleys. I have to admit at times it was satisfying, and the bike seemed more alive and invigorating than the Burgman. BUT, when just trying to cruise around town leisurely, I found the noise level unacceptable. Granted, my 62 yr old ears are more sensitive to noise than they used to be. It’s a common malady for aging folk. Certainly, your ears may differ. On the highway, again I just found the noise level intolerable. The engine is buzzy at highway speeds, too. This, and the noise level, is probably the main reason I sold the BMW.

The CVT transmission is purely mechanical on the BMW. Centrifugal forces alone are what makes it work. And in my opinion, this is a huge difference. The BMW seemed to be “stuck in 2nd gear” all the time. No respite from the revving. You can hear the CVT whining faintly, but it’s not obtrusive. You can also sense the belt flopping about at times as the variator and clutch spool in and out respectively. You never get that with the Suzuki.

The fuel door access on the BMW is a design flaw in my opinion. A terrible place to put it. One must take great care to get the pump nozzle in properly, and more care not to spill gasoline on the way out. Additionally, to get a full tank you must fuss with the pump nozzle again, all while craning your neck to see if you’re there. Not nice.

Bottom line for me is that the Suzuki is just so incredibly silky-creamy-smooth and quiet, it wins for my tastes. Suzuki’s Electronically Controlled CVT is just amazing. Quiet and smooth at all speeds, with a little growl when giving it full throttle. No shake or vibration...ever. Instrumentation is superb. Fueling up is a breeze. Did I say quiet and smooth? Nothing else compares to it for long distance cruising. If you prefer Lexus, you’ll prefer the Suzuki.

Hope that was helpful to anyone on the fence. If you are looking to buy I hope you can find one to test first.
 

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Bravo RollingStone !

“the Suzuki is just so incredibly silky-creamy-smooth and quiet,”

The perfect girlfriend....
 
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I currently have a 2015 Burgman 650, 2008 Yamaha Majesty 400, 2002 Honda Reflex 250. All so similar but yet so different. I also own 2 Harleys, Drifter 800 and a 1982 Spectre 1100. Yes, I am an addict. I am alway pleasantly surprised when I get back on the Burgman after riding the other bikes. So simple to ride, so quiet and smooth. Life is a buffet, enjoy the variety.....life is short
 

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"Suzuki’s Electronically Controlled CVT is just amazing. Quiet and smooth at all speeds ..."

I owned two of each and ended up with my current 2016 Burgman 650. This comparison is right on the money. Two very different rides, each outstanding in its own way.

I had one of each in my garage for awhile and sold the BMW, but I can see owning one again. It definitely gives you the BMW motorcycle experience. For everyday riding, though, the silky-smooth Burgman is unbeatable.

RollingStone ... have you tried foam earplugs? I started using them a few years ago and won't ride without them now. You can still hear voices and traffic sounds but the roar disappears and it feels like you're on an electric scooter. For shorter rides, I re-use them, storing those in an identical plastic bottle I labeled "Previously Enjoyed."

92521
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The perfect bike, again IMHO, would be the Burgman drivetrain in the BMW chassis. WOW, would that make an incredible scoot!! If only Suzuki and BMW would get together on that.

I use earplugs, but not the foam variety. They tend to make my ear canal burn/itch after they've expanded for a few hours. (Guess I'm becoming a wimp o_O) I'm experimenting with a cheap noise cancelling headset. Tearing it apart, and seeing if I can apply the components to the inside of my helmet. There's actually a YouTube video of some fellow doing just that, and it worked amazingly well.
 

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So, I just sold my 2019 BMW C650GT scooter. And am now going back to the Burgman.
I was asked to put up a comparison, since the two bikes were now quite fresh in my experience.
A little about me. I’m 62 yrs old, 6’2, 32” inseam, and weigh 178 lbs. I’ve ridden 3 Burgmans prior, over the past 10 years, my last one being this past summer, and have about 80k miles on them all together. Much of this will be a matter of opinion and personal tastes.
Bottom line for me is that the Suzuki is just so incredibly silky-creamy-smooth and quiet, it wins for my tastes. Suzuki’s Electronically Controlled CVT is just amazing. Quiet and smooth at all speeds, with a little growl when giving it full throttle. No shake or vibration...ever. Instrumentation is superb. Fueling up is a breeze. Did I say quiet and smooth? Nothing else compares to it for long distance cruising. If you prefer Lexus, you’ll prefer the Suzuki.
Hope that was helpful to anyone on the fence. If you are looking to buy I hope you can find one to test first.
Late to the party but here anyway. I have had my Burgman for about 35K miles so far. I agree with what you are saying. The Burgman does have some flaws but overall it just does most everything pretty well. There are faster and better suspended bikes but for being a 650 that you can tour with or ride comfortably around town, it is certainly one of the best. Good on for making the right choice for you.
be cautious of noise cancelling headphones, they WILL get you slapped backside of your head if worn indoors at home
Merely a guess or personal experience?
 

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I read somewhere that BMW is discontinuing the 650GT to the US. I guess we are losing probably both of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was in Nashville BMW several weeks ago. The owner told me BMW was doing an update/refresh on the 650. Said it could be sometime in '21, but did not have anything more specific. He did tell me that it has not been a big seller for his dealership or BMW in general (at least in the U.S.), and so he rarely even has one in stock.

He had a 400 on the floor. I sat on it, mulled it over. It was simply not a big enough bike for what I want. Felt more like the lil' toy scooters we typically see.
 

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Sad to say but the big scooters have a limited appeal to the US market. I think many times the 400 and below are what the people want for their in town rides. I can understand that but when coming from a big bike, the 650 feels easy to handle IMO. I sat on the BMW models a couple times while getting my other bike serviced. They just didn't have the overall feel and looks that would make me want to share my funds to get one. I think the Burgman has always been the better choice of the two.
 

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I cant find the post I sent earlier where I was warned about pre-2016 BMWS. There's a 10,000-mile 2013 at a local dealer which I rode today just to get the feel. I've had 3 Burgman 650s but it has been about 5 years since the last one so I may not recalll everything. Most important fist impression is that the BMW fits me much better than the Burgman. More leg room and the stock BMW seat is much more comfortable for me. I think I recall that I could flat-foot the Burgman but I can't on the beemer. Other than that I was very impressed with the BMW.

One question I have...were the earler Beemers OK after they had the recall? Were there ongoing problems other than the one that dictated the recall? I really like the fit and the other features of the BMW. I know I can get this one for well under 5G.
 

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I remember reading about this some time ago. It was for the cam tensioner if memory serves me. It was a few years ago and I never read/heard anything further on it. I would think the BMW would be okay as long as the recall was completed if that bike was one in the affected range. My sitting on them a few times wasn't much to go on but I do recall not seeing anything I didn't like about them. My choice would still be the Burgman but if I was in the market, I wouldn't rule out the BMW.
 

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I think I may have had my decision made for me. I've owned three 650 Execs and sold all three because the ride was just a bit harsh for someone who has had two neck and two back surgeries. The seat on the BMW Sport fit me wondefrully and the suspension seemed a bit more compliant, though I would need to ride it more to make sure. I looked on the BMW forum and learned that the CVT belt should be changed every 12,000 miles! Not good compared to the Burgman which pretty much goes forever. I also read that the Corbin seat is a major improvement to the Burgman (and Beemer) I was thinking of a Russell.on a Burgman with some better rear shocks. On my last Burgman, a 2012, I had Ikon rear shocks and a car tire, but it didn't soften up that muich. Not sure what to do now, but shelling out a grand or more every 12,000 miles makes me wonder about the Beemer. I've owned several BMW motorcyles and I can testify that parts and service are definitaley not cheap!
 

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Changing a belt every 12k miles would mean a belt change every other rear tire change.

I think I would find an old Honda Pacific Coast for Ice Creams and Parades and a Mazda Miata for my everyday ride.
 
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I think I may have had my decision made for me. I looked on the BMW forum and learned that the CVT belt should be changed every 12,000 miles! Not good compared to the Burgman which pretty much goes forever. I've owned several BMW motorcycles and I can testify that parts and service are definitely not cheap!
Wow, I did not know that. Just my opinion but a CVT belt that has a life span of 12K is a poor design. Even if the bike was head and shoulders above the Burgman, that fact alone would knock it out of the running for me. What I would call a significant component needs to last more than 12K. I would almost call that a wear out item like tires but more expensive. Not acceptable to me but I am funny that way.
 

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i am quite new to the burgworld. i bought a 2003 650 late last summer and had a few city rides and just 1 short freeway ride (NO shortage of power there). i like pretty much everything about it but to me, the burgman feels big and comfy but the wheels feel too small when going over bumps/railroad tracks. i don't know if that makes sense but that's what it feels like to me. anyone else have that impression or is this just something that i will get used to, like the more pronounced engine braking when coming to a stop ?
 

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i am quite new to the burgworld. i bought a 2003 650 late last summer and had a few city rides and just 1 short freeway ride (NO shortage of power there). i like pretty much everything about it but to me, the burgman feels big and comfy but the wheels feel too small when going over bumps/railroad tracks. i don't know if that makes sense but that's what it feels like to me. anyone else have that impression or is this just something that i will get used to, like the more pronounced engine braking when coming to a stop ?
You are exactly right. Considering the weight of the bike, comparatively speaking the wheels are somewhat smaller than what you would find on a comparable weighted bike. I personally wish they would add 2 inches to each wheel diameter but that would cut into space in the trunk and a change in steering geometry and a few other things. I have gotten used to that feeling of the smaller wheels, the presence of small bumps and grooves in the road are more pronounced to be sure. This was just one of those things that I overlook about the bike. They're a great machine but not without a few warts.
 
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