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Discussion Starter #1
I've been taking test rides on maxi scooters the past few weeks, and today was Burgman day. Headed over to my local Suzuki World for a spin on the "LTD edition" Skywave 400 (a regular AN400 fitted with a high screen, bark busters and heated grips, as well as a back rest). Pics of the goodies on Suzuki's Japanese site

Unfortunately, the set route didn't include any dual carriageway, so I couldn't take advantage of the bigger motor, but came away impressed with the overall package. The handing was great in city traffic, and filtering was just as easy as on a colleague's 250 Majesty I ride now and then. The throttle response is good, but I'd still prefer a little more oomph off the line (I'm shopping for my first big scoot after a long run of motorbikes, so perhaps I'm asking for the impossible given the limitations of a CVT). Anyway, if I were to get a thumper, I'd probably go for the 400 over the 250, because in my neck of the woods only the 400 has ABS, and also for extended runs on the superslab. Moreover, since whatever I get will need to have heated grips and an oversized screen fitted for the chilly winters here, the LTD package would be convenient.

Anyway, after I returned, the manager said a 650LX tester was also available. For some reason, I'd always imagined the 650 to have GL1800 proportions, but up close it's practically the same as the 400. IMO, the updated styling looks really sharp. Except for the backrest. I only ride solo, so that would have to go. Just had a look at the US site, and no backrest appears on the bikes pictured there, so hopefully a fill-piece of some kind is available.

It runs super smooth and quite at idle, and there were no noticeable vibrations during the ride (which again included no motorway). The Power mode turned out to be a surprise, making overtaking on an incline and jumping off the line a breeze, and overall makes the scoot feel like a typical bike. In short, it delivers the aforementioned oomph. Ditto for the manual mode. Just checked the weight now, and the specs says 277kg. Whoa! Quite surprised as it didn't feel anywhere near that heavy.

Reading some reviews now, I noticed that some testers didn't like the cluster of buttons in the left-hand switchgear, but I didn't have any problem and found it intuitave enough. The seat, although better than the 400, is still a little too low for my 34" inseam. Also, the backrest prevents my legs from straightening out when in the "feet forward" position. But I guess a "humpectomy" would easily fix that.

One more thing. The manager said the 2014 650 will be out later this month, and that the only physical difference from the MY2013 is the "S" logo on the nose. But he added that it's possible there could also be changes to the software side of things. I wonder if that's something to consider, given that 13 models are starting to be discounted...


The Skywave 650LX


XL-size full-face helmet and Dainese jacket easily fit in the underseat compartment.
 

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I'm asking for the impossible given the limitations of a CVT).
Limitations of the CVT??? not on the 650 - the ECVT is a whole new world as you've discovered.
Hard to get some to appreciate the change the Power button makes in the nature of the bike.
Glad you discovered it early. :D

Both my 650s smoothed out after 20,000 km - the very little vibration went to undetectable. Just a super smoooth turbine to dial in.

You should be perfect for one of the Clearview screens - it's wider and taller and really is what should be on the factory bike. Don't overdo the height - the medium is still 1.5" taller than stock and really covers off wind on hands and shoulders.
 

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I'm asking for the impossible given the limitations of a CVT
You can lift up great part of these limitations by tweaking the variator. There're a couple of solutions, the most effective for the money is change from weight rollers to sliders. The B650 will not leave 400 with 15 or 16 g until at least 40 mph (65 km/h), i.e. the usual city traffic speeds.
 

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I never imagined that I'd love the scooter/ECVT concept so much. The 650 is just a great little machine, can't think of life without one now :cool:
 

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A new 2003 and 2007 Cheeseburger 650's in the past but now I'm thinking of getting the 400 as it sure felt good to sit on and looked sweet!

Sam:)
 

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intergalactic, check you had the front seat backrest is set right. It's adjustable in case you didn't know. You can get almost any riding position to suit long legs.

Both the 400 and 650 are similar in riding position but the seat on the 650 is slightly higher as you no doubt found out. Both are great bikes and whichever one you buy won't disappoint. It's just the 400 will be less money to buy and run, without much loss of everyday performance over the 650. But if you've got to have the ultimate, then the 650 performance is the one to go for. Good luck.
 

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........................ Both are great bikes and whichever one you buy won't disappoint. It's just the 400 will be less money to buy and run, without much loss of everyday performance over the 650. ............................(clipped for context)...........

Speaking as someone who actually owns and operates BOTH 400 and 650 regularly, I would have to disagree with this statement in your comments.

Riding almost everyday, and tending to take one bike for three days a week, and the other for two, I can assure you that there is a big loss in "everyday" performance in the 400 in comparison to the 650. While both bikes are eminently capable of running at highway speeds comfortably, there is a huge difference in how they get there.
Part of my commute is on the racetrack which is US19 in Pinellas county (Picture the M25, with traffic lights, and vehicles coming off and on randomly from side roads, and you'll get an idea of what it's like), and for merging into this, and getting off the line at the lights, the 650 is much more confidence inspiring.

As far as running costs, I do appreciate that the situation in UK is different from the US, but here in Florida, my insurance costs for the 400 are two-thirds of that for the 650, or giving a difference of less than $100 p.a, My tags (equivalent of the tax disc) costs are identical for both, and my new 650 (admittedly during break-in, and being gently treated) gets a better average mileage than my 06 400s (and again, in the interests of full disclosure, does not have the healthiest of engines). My 2011 650 (which is not treated gently) averages less than 5mpg less than the 400.
I have yet needed to replace a tire on either 650 in a combined 5,000miles, and have had to purchase 4 tires for my 400 in 6,500 miles. I've also had to replace the belt, rollers, brake pads, and other items, none of which I've had to do on either 650.
While I'm the first to acknowledge that this is not a fair, or direct comparison, the point is that in my case (at least) maintenance costs on my 400 are higher. I'm sure others who own both can confirm that overall, the maintenance costs are pretty much on par between the two, if you do your own work.

So overhead is similar, maintenance costs are similar, and at least in my case, mileage is not wildly different.
I would say there is a big performance difference between the two, and a small difference in operating costs between them.
Purchase costs are different, especially when new, but to a degree, both bikes could be purchased used at the same price point, though not like for like.
But these are two very different rides, and as you correctly state, both are great bikes.

I believe the 400 is more fun to ride, the 650 is the better machine, and it's horses for courses.
 

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So overhead is similar, maintenance costs are similar, and at least in my case, mileage is not wildly different.
I would say there is a big performance difference between the two, and a small difference in operating costs between them.

I believe the 400 is more fun to ride, the 650 is the better machine, and it's horses for courses.
While I don't have a lot of experience with the costs of the 650, I'm very familiar with the 400's and I would tend to agree, they're about the same. The 400s fuel savings are offset by more frequent transmission repairs. I've spent $2k on belts, clutches and rollers alone in my 400s 35k life span. That's a lot of gas you could put into the 650.

So far as performance, well that depends on how you measure it. Yes, the 650 will smoke the 400 in a straight up race, but I'd rather have the 400 getting through standing city traffic or even on mountain twisty roads. It's a good deal more maneuverable. But Also, the 650 is a better two-up bike and has a killer transmission.

So the best of the two really comes down to how you're primarily going to use it.

For me, the 400 is the better general purpose bike, lighter, more maneuverable around traffic and parking lots, bigger trunk. Does just fine on the freeway. I use mine 5 days a week to get to work and It was my only bike for 7 years. Definitely can fit the bill for a one-bike rider.

The 650, however, is a touring, two-up dream. It's my weekend, open-road, devil-may-care how fast I'm going bike. And the transmission power setting is something to behold, lots fun can be had there. lastly, it Eats up highway like candy.

Not to say that either bike could not fill the other's shoes, it just which one fits your purposes better.
 

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I'm trying to develop a corollary based on the number of times a rider's feet touch the ground per mile (stop lights, stop & go traffic, parking, etc). The higher this number, the more suited the 400 is to the task. The longer one's feet stay on the floorboard, the better the 650 looks (throttle responsiveness, smoothness of the engine (especially at speed), versatility of the ECVT and better handling due to frame-mounted engine.

I take "everyday performance" to mean solo riding, mixed in-town driving which includes many stops, limited 'twisties', limited climbs/descents, and modest highway/interstate commutes, much at rush-hour speed. I think the svelteness of the 400 makes it the clear winner over the bulkier Lardy.

Fatjock - you seem to put a premium on being the first off the line, and when merging at speed to be ahead of the line instead of filtering into an available slot. (I guess when you enter a racetrack one's tendency is to 'win'). Clearly the 650's horses better match this requirement. I don't know how many riders put the same priority on this aspect of a daily ride.

I agree with you about the operational costs and mileage differences. I too think the 400 is more fun and the 650 is a better machine, with the caveat that after a 175 mile run on a 400 I think 'that was a blast, let's call it a day and grab a beer.' On a 650 it's 'this is a blast, let's go another 125'.
 

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I'm trying to develop a corollary based on the number of times a rider's feet touch the ground per mile (stop lights, stop & go traffic, parking, etc). The higher this number, the more suited the 400 is to the task. The longer one's feet stay on the floorboard, the better the 650 looks (throttle responsiveness, smoothness of the engine (especially at speed), versatility of the ECVT and better handling due to frame-mounted engine.
Lol, that's funny and very true. I love this analogy.

My only caveat would be riding in the twisties. I love the 400s nimbleness, but always longed for a little more power. I love the 650s power setting and manual shifting, but find I can't throw the bike around as well. So it's a bit of a toss up for me. Now if the 400 came with the 650s transmission, I think there would be a clear winner in this category.
 

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Liam

I checked out your profile and see you have over 30 years riding experience on motorcycles and scooters. This is a lot more than my 8 years on Burgman 400 & 650. Unless I'm mistaken, you are still pretty new to the 650. Trust me when I say you will soon be throwing the 650 around as well as the 400. When you do you'll realize that because the engine is frame mounted (like a motorcycle) it is more stable and well-planted in bumpy wide sweepers and tight twisties due to its lower unsprung weight.

While both bikes are equally fun, your turns on the 650 will be faster and more 'graceful'. At the end of a day of challenging riding, you will be less fatigued on the 650.
 

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Liam

I checked out your profile and see you have over 30 years riding experience on motorcycles and scooters. This is a lot more than my 8 years on Burgman 400 & 650. Unless I'm mistaken, you are still pretty new to the 650. Trust me when I say you will soon be throwing the 650 around as well as the 400. When you do you'll realize that because the engine is frame mounted (like a motorcycle) it is more stable and well-planted in bumpy wide sweepers and tight twisties due to its lower unsprung weight.

While both bikes are equally fun, your turns on the 650 will be faster and more 'graceful'. At the end of a day of challenging riding, you will be less fatigued on the 650.
I agree. It took me a bit longer to get it thru my skull that I was on a bike, not a scooter. I can carve the twisties with most sport riders. I use to do a 258 mile run with a 5 minuet stop for gas, visit with my dad for 4+ hours and then ride back the 258 miles. And I did NOT feel like this :coffee: :D
 

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Speaking as someone who actually owns and operates BOTH 400 and 650 regularly, I would have to disagree with this statement in your comments.

Riding almost everyday, and tending to take one bike for three days a week, and the other for two, I can assure you that there is a big loss in "everyday" performance in the 400 in comparison to the 650. While both bikes are eminently capable of running at highway speeds comfortably, there is a huge difference in how they get there.
Part of my commute is on the racetrack which is US19 in Pinellas county (Picture the M25, with traffic lights, and vehicles coming off and on randomly from side roads, and you'll get an idea of what it's like), and for merging into this, and getting off the line at the lights, the 650 is much more confidence inspiring.

As far as running costs, I do appreciate that the situation in UK is different from the US, but here in Florida, my insurance costs for the 400 are two-thirds of that for the 650, or giving a difference of less than $100 p.a, My tags (equivalent of the tax disc) costs are identical for both, and my new 650 (admittedly during break-in, and being gently treated) gets a better average mileage than my 06 400s (and again, in the interests of full disclosure, does not have the healthiest of engines). My 2011 650 (which is not treated gently) averages less than 5mpg less than the 400.
I have yet needed to replace a tire on either 650 in a combined 5,000miles, and have had to purchase 4 tires for my 400 in 6,500 miles. I've also had to replace the belt, rollers, brake pads, and other items, none of which I've had to do on either 650.
While I'm the first to acknowledge that this is not a fair, or direct comparison, the point is that in my case (at least) maintenance costs on my 400 are higher. I'm sure others who own both can confirm that overall, the maintenance costs are pretty much on par between the two, if you do your own work.

So overhead is similar, maintenance costs are similar, and at least in my case, mileage is not wildly different.
I would say there is a big performance difference between the two, and a small difference in operating costs between them.
Purchase costs are different, especially when new, but to a degree, both bikes could be purchased used at the same price point, though not like for like.
But these are two very different rides, and as you correctly state, both are great bikes.

I believe the 400 is more fun to ride, the 650 is the better machine, and it's horses for courses.
Hi fatjock, yeah...I can see your point. But I too speak as someone who owns the 400, and has regularly ridden the 650. I'm comparing the newer bigger, more powerful and more economical later 400 to the one you had. So bear that in mind. Over here in the UK the 650 will cost twice as much to service at the dealers as the 400 during the first 3 years of ownership (source: Suzuki Uk). If you are doing it yourself, then it's more comparable to the 400. Insurance is much cheaper too on the 400. To buy the 650 in the first place new, it will cost an extra $5500 or more. In real everyday mixed riding, town, country roads and highway, to most people there is little difference in the performance unless, like you, they are in a position to use the full extra performance the 650 gives and want to do so. On most commutes over here you cannot do that. But it is different for some I appreciate that. I use my 400 for the same rides and commutes I used my Suzuki Vstrom 1000 on, and my 400 is much better for those rides irrespective of the fact the Burgman 400 has less power. The 650 Burgman I have been using periodically belongs to a friend, and it does my commutes in an identical way to my 400, same comfort, poorer fuel economy by some 20mpg less, but some extra performance if I could use it. I cannot on my commutes. Even going to the South of France, my Burgman 400 was better than my 1000 Strom for lots of reasons in spite of the fact my Burgman could not maintain 100mph for hour after hour like my Strom. 70-75mph was fine and less tiring than on my Strom. The 650 Burgman might have been faster if I had needed it but would it have offered anything substantial to the ride other than a big increase in fuel bill?

So my whole point was that while the 650 is faster and does give that extra acceleration and a bit more top end speed (which is just not needed by most) it's often not worth paying the extra outlay for performance that someone won't or may not use. The comfort is comparable on both bikes. And you don't have to wrestle with the extra weight of the 650 either if you go for the 400. And the running costs of the 650 both fuel and servicing are definitely notably higher unless you are doing it yourself. I know because I ride and have worked on them all (ex-tech). Gotta say, that you seem to have had an unusual amount of high maintenance costs on your 400. That's just not normal over here. Tires go 10k miles plus for rears for most people or more and fronts 15k. I know your extra heat in your region can account for some of that but it still seems high. Brake pads 10K to 25K or more depending on use. Belts and rollers 15 to 30K or more for rollers.
 

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While I don't have a lot of experience with the costs of the 650, I'm very familiar with the 400's and I would tend to agree, they're about the same. The 400s fuel savings are offset by more frequent transmission repairs. I've spent $2k on belts, clutches and rollers alone in my 400s 35k life span. That's a lot of gas you could put into the 650.

So far as performance, well that depends on how you measure it. Yes, the 650 will smoke the 400 in a straight up race, but I'd rather have the 400 getting through standing city traffic or even on mountain twisty roads. It's a good deal more maneuverable. But Also, the 650 is a better two-up bike and has a killer transmission.

So the best of the two really comes down to how you're primarily going to use it.

For me, the 400 is the better general purpose bike, lighter, more maneuverable around traffic and parking lots, bigger trunk. Does just fine on the freeway. I use mine 5 days a week to get to work and It was my only bike for 7 years. Definitely can fit the bill for a one-bike rider.

The 650, however, is a touring, two-up dream. It's my weekend, open-road, devil-may-care how fast I'm going bike. And the transmission power setting is something to behold, lots fun can be had there. lastly, it Eats up highway like candy.

Not to say that either bike could not fill the other's shoes, it just which one fits your purposes better.
Liam, I have had customers who have spent out on just two belts and one set of rollers in 40k miles. Original clutch fine still as is the rest of the bike. Costs have been very low for them. Why have your's been so high? Did you have clutch problems?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Many thanks guys for all your comments on their respective merits as well as real-world info on cost of ownership.

Gotta say I'm surprised to read so many positive remarks about the 400 from those who own (and praise) the 650. I guess no matter how mechanically superior the Burger King is, the extra weight inevitably takes a toll on handling/maneuverability, allowing the lighter engine-on-swingarm thumper to have the edge in certain situations.

At this point, despite the 400 being the more than enough for my needs (80km roundtrip commute on metropolitan freeway at moderate speeds, some city riding, the odd Sunday ride out to the twisties, grocery runs...all one-up), I'm leaning toward the 650 for all the usual irrational reasons...the purring of the twin versus the "chug, chug, chug" of the single being one of them. (Argh! Now you know how shallow I am)

Anyway, won't be making a decision for a few more weeks, so expect me to swing back and forth a few more times. Ah, First World problems...

[Edit] Just read Quantum Mechanic's post, and for comparison, the 650LX is about $3,000 more than the 400 out the door.
 

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>>The 400s fuel savings are offset by more frequent transmission repairs.<<

Interesting, as that's the first time I've heard this argument. (?)
 

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I've had both a newer 400 and a 650. I would never consider either one new because there are so many low mileage used ones available at a good price. Since both have advantages and disadvantages, it is a toss-up as to which one is better. Therefore, I based my purchase on the scooter that was available in the best condition at the best price. The first time it happened to be a 400 and the 2nd time it was a 650.
 

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[Edit] Just read Quantum Mechanic's post, and for comparison, the 650LX is about $3,000 more than the 400 out the door.
Yeah...I should point out my price comparisons are relating to the costs in the Uk. Everything here is mega expensive compared to what you guys pay. Gas is around $10-11 per Uk gallon (4.54 litres) so we probably pay more attention to what a bike does mpg ways. I guess that translates to around the $8+ per US gallon (at 3.6litres per gallon) if prices were the same each side of the pond. To the South of France on the 400 I get 70-72mpg approx. On the 650 I get 52-54mpg. Never been able to get it any higher on the 650. My Strom 1000cc managed 42mpg but I would be cruising at near 100mph most of the time on wide open almost completely carless roads.
 
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