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I recently traded my 1997 Honda Magna in for a 2005 Burgman 400, which I now ride in Arizona. I am so pleased with the Burgman 400, that I am thinking of trading my Honda Goldwing 1500 in for a Burgman 650, when I return to Washington State in May (We are snowbirds and spend the summers in Washington and Winters in Arizona).

I would like to get some information on the Burgman 650, so I can be sure that would be a better replacement for the Goldwing than a Honda Silverwing. My questions are:

1. Will there be an executive model of the 650 offered in the USA in 2005? Really would like the ABS brakes. Any idea of what the price might be?

2. What are the improvements for the 2005 model year, I have heard of an overdrive being offered, but not sure how that works and what it will do for performance and milage.

3. What kind of milage are you 650 riders getting when the bike is broken in and driven at highway speeds (one up and two up) - is there a problem with the range with the 4 gallon tank.

4. Is there anything coming in 2006 that will make me wish I had waited a year?

5. How much of an improvement is the frame mounted engine and radial tires for handling over the Burgman 400 with the swing arm mounted engine and regular bias tires?

6. How effective is the manual shifting mode or power mode when you want to do a high speed pass. That is something I miss on the 400 that I had on the Magna - the ability to shift down a gear and really jet around a car or truck when passing. Makes for a much safer passing situation.

Thanks in advance for your information. This site is awesome.
 

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Terry,

1. Suzuki USA has not announced the Executive to be released in the USA. The best any of us can do is 'guess' at this time. Since they have imported a limited number in Canada for the 2005 year, there's a chance they may do the same in the USA. But as has been pointed out, the 2005 brochure does not list the Executive.

2. 2005 Burgman 650 changes
  • Center section of front cowl changed from black color to body color for improved appearance[/*:m:2s6y67oq]
  • Turn signal lens changed to white color for improved appearance[/*:m:2s6y67oq]
  • New transmission Over-Drive feature for better fuel economy at highway speeds[/*:m:2s6y67oq]
  • Fuel consumption indicator, temperature indicator and Over-Drive indicator added to the instrument panel[/*:m:2s6y67oq]
We're still waiting for members to give us details on the overdrive. I'd watch the forums and see what's reported.

3. See : http://burgmanusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3416

4. Again, this would only be a guess since there's been no announcements of changes.

5. The 650s larger tires handles rough roads better than the 400. The radial tires also have a longer life than the bias ply tires of the 400, but are offset somewhat by the higher price. I've only ridden the 650 for a small amount of time, but it is a smoother beast than the 400.

6. While manual mode might be a neat trick, most have found the 650 has plenty of get up and go without it. The power button is a lot more useful for times when you want to get on it a bit such as passing or leaving those annoying other vehicles at the light. :)
 

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Terry, I would add to Bill’s comments:

4. Total guess??? “Maybe” the executive.

SW vs B650 – there is no comparison. B650 is better in every category. The most common comment by SW owners when comparing the two bikes is reliability. But, if you look at the old posts on the SW site you will see SWs have their own set of "occasional" problems. I think the reason reliability is used frequently is because the SW comes up short in any comparison of the two bikes.

Ride both and you will know the answer very quickly. The B650 is much closer your GW than the SW.

Prior GL1800 and SW owner
 

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Terry Eade said:
I would like to get some information on the Burgman 650, so I can be sure that would be a better replacement for the Goldwing than a Honda Silverwing. My questions are:

1. Will there be an executive model of the 650 offered in the USA in 2005? Really would like the ABS brakes. Any idea of what the price might be?

2. What are the improvements for the 2005 model year, I have heard of an overdrive being offered, but not sure how that works and what it will do for performance and milage.

3. What kind of milage are you 650 riders getting when the bike is broken in and driven at highway speeds (one up and two up) - is there a problem with the range with the 4 gallon tank.

4. Is there anything coming in 2006 that will make me wish I had waited a year?

5. How much of an improvement is the frame mounted engine and radial tires for handling over the Burgman 400 with the swing arm mounted engine and regular bias tires?

6. How effective is the manual shifting mode or power mode when you want to do a high speed pass. That is something I miss on the 400 that I had on the Magna - the ability to shift down a gear and really jet around a car or truck when passing. Makes for a much safer passing situation.
Terry,

The Burgman 650 is a larger, more stable machine than the Silverwing. The Burgman 650 has a frame mounted engine. The SW engine is unsprung weight sitting on the swingarm. The Burgman 650 has larger wheels and wide radial tires. The SW has bias ply tires. Every comparison test I've read gives the Burgman 650 a distinct advantage in handling. The Burgman has an ECVT (electronically controlled CVT). The Silver Wing uses an old style cvt that is mechanically controlled by sliding weights. There is simply no comparison other than in engine size, and even there, the Burgman has the edge.

1. No, Suzuki has said it will not bring the Executive model to the USA in 2005. Despite not having ABS, the brakes on the Burgman 650 are excellent. I've done 13,500 miles on my 2003 model and I find the brakes to be better than on most of the 17 motorcycles I've owned. Remember that the Suzuki has dual front disks vs only a single on the Silver Wing.

2. The Overdrive is the most important upgrade for 2005. If you are planning on touring, get the '05. It also has a mpg indicator on the dash, which would be nice to have. There is a pretty new shade of Blue available and clear turn signal lenses instead of amber lenses.

3. I get 47-48 mpg on average with a larger than stock windscreen and a large Givi top box. With the stock windscreen and no top box I could get 51 mpg sometimes. But loaded for touring and pushing at a steady 80 mph on the interstate, I've seen my mileage drop to 40 mpg, even 38 mpg twice. That is why the OD on the new 2005 is an important upgrade. Other than when touring at high speed I usually fill up at about the 150 mile point, and there is about a gallon of gas left in reserve. High speed touring through desolate areas I shoot to fill up at 120-130 miles to be safe. Again, the new OD should help with range.

4. We have no clue what may be coming in 2006. Hopefully they will offer the Executive in the USA for those who want it.

5. Major advantage to the Burgman from the radial tires and frame mounted engine. I can hustle this scooter through the twisties right along with the sport-touring motorcycles. I believe that the forward mounted engine also gives an edge in cross wind stability and braking, by biasing weight toward the front wheel.

6. For high speed passes you just leave it in Auto mode and twist the throttle. Since it is an Ecvt, it is smart enough to adjust ratio (downshift) when appropriate. For riding in tight curves, power mode is excellent. I wouldn't miss manual mode if they took it away. I do 95% of my riding in Auto mode. It works better than you can possibly imagine.
 
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