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Discussion Starter #1
First let me start by saying I love my Burgman 400. I think it's one of the greatest things since sliced bread. But .... I had a chance yesterday to ride the Burgman 650. Now, I'm starting to think I made a mistake with the 400. I should have bought the 650 instead. For anyone just riding around town, the 400 is a great little bike. But for any kind of touring or longer distance rides, the 650 is a much better bike.

I went out yesterday for a short ride up the Natchez Trace Parkway and called a 650 rider I met via the web. He drove down and met me at the north end of the Trace. He'd added the passenger backrest and the wood trim to the 650. It surprised me how good the wood trim looked on it. Other than that, the 650 was stock.

After chatting a few minutes and answering questions by a lady that asked about the bikes, he offered me a chance to try out the 650. By the way, THANKS Ronnie! He took my 400 and we headed down the Trace with him in the lead. I'm glad he took the lead position because he forced me to ride a little more aggressive than I'd normally do on someone else's bike. The north end of the Trace is a 40 MPH zone. I think maybe one time we were down at that speed. Most of the time we were pushing well above that. :D

First thought ... “**** is this thing smooth”.

Sure, I knew it would have much better acceleration, but I didn't expect the ride to be that much smoother. On the 400, you can feel a lot of engine vibration where on the 650 it's just about non-existent. The combination of the larger tires and the shocks make the 650 have a smoother ride. I never really realized how rough the ride of the 400 is on the open road. I also noticed the stock 650 provides more protection from wind than the stock 400. The windshield seems about the same height and width. After talking it over with Ronnie, I think it may be the angle of the shield combined with the mirrors providing some additional wind deflection. I didn't like the mirrors. They seemed too far away and didn't look like they had the same amount of coverage. I suspect they'd grow on you though and I'd eventually become comfortable with them.

One thing that was very comfortable was the seat / leg position. I've wanted another inch or 2 on the 400 and the stock seat of the 650 provides it with no modification. For those 6 feet and taller, you'll appreciate the extra room. I can see how someone who is shorter could have a time handling the 650. With the butt rest all the way back, it was perfect for me and I flat footed the bike with no problem. If I was several inches shorter, it might be a little difficult. The extra 120 pounds of the 650 didn't seem to be a problem at all. Even with the bad hip, I put the 650 on center stand with little effort.

Coming from the 400 to the 650, I think those that say the Burgman 'needs' a 750, 800, 900 cc engine, well .... I think you're nuts. I never touched the power button. Didn't have the need to at all. Just twisted the throttle and the power was there and smoother than silk. It was also quiter than the 400 too. I did notice the compression braking others have mentioned. However, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Personally, I liked the effect and actually missed it on the ride home on my 400.

Once again, I want to thank Ronnie for riding down and letting me have a go at the 650. It was great to actually chat to another rider in person and a blast riding the 650. On the bad side, now I want one.
 

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Ahhhhh!! The old Lardy Arse Bug has bitten again........Muhahahaha :twisted:

Fun isn't it :!: :!: :!: :!:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yep. But until I get back to work, there's no chance I'll be trading in for a 650.

On the Trace, I saw 9 motorcycles (besides us), 21 bicycles, and on the way home (just after dark) 62 deer and 1 raccoon. I spotted one buck and he was the only one that actually ran from the bike. Most of the doe just stared at me. Except for one ... that was walking down the road in front of me. I had to hit the horn 3 times before it got out of my lane. Now I know I have to replace the horn when it will not scare a deer from 50 feet away. :?
 

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billmeek said:
Coming from the 400 to the 650, I think those that say the Burgman 'needs' a 750, 800, 900 cc engine, well .... I think you're nuts.
The 650 Burg weighs 240kg dry but only has 50hp. I definitely thought it could use more grunt, especially if one is going to load it up for two-up touring/camping for a week or so.
 

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Hey Bill, one of our newcomers also made a negative comment about the 650's mirrors in his feedback to Suzuki post. I've got to say that they are among the best mirrors I've ever had on a motorcycle. Big, they stay clear at all speeds, and they hold their adjustment nicely. Plus you can fold them out of the way when parking in the garage. I think it is just a matter of learning to glance down at the mirrors. I adapted to it rather quickly.

Glad you got a chance to ride one. They are a sweet machine.
 

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billmeek said:
Except for one ... that was walking down the road in front of me. I had to hit the horn 3 times before it got out of my lane. Now I know I have to replace the horn when it will not scare a deer from 50 feet away. :?
One rider at Scootercade encountered a deer in the road. He had just had Jac Vinson install turn signal beepers on his 650. He said that he turned on his emergency flashers, which triggered the beeper - and the deer bolted.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I knew my comment about engine size would get comments. Try riding a 400cc bike for a season, after that ride a 650 for 20 minutes, and then complain about the engine size. In my opinion, the Burgman is not designed to be a racing bike. It has plenty of power to be a very effective touring machine.

Like I stated, I could probably get used to the mirrors. I do a lot of looking at the mirrors to see what's coming up behind me. I just didn't like them being that low and having to look down to see them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
pauljo said:
One rider at Scootercade encountered a deer in the road. He had just had Jac Vinson install turn signal beepers on his 650. He said that he turned on his emergency flashers, which triggered the beeper - and the deer bolted.
I used the horn several times to keep the deer from bolting out in front of me. The one that I had to use the horn 3 times wasn't crossing nor was it "Deer in the headlights". The deer was slowly walking down the road away from me. I had to slow down and was within 50 feet before it moved (slowly) out of my way. After seeing several deer, I kept my brakes covered for the rest of trip down the Trace.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
DonRich90 said:
Hey Bill, you didn't make a "mistake' - it's called a "learning experience"
Don,

I origionally was looking at the 400. Reading the forums convinced me I wanted the 650. But I bought the 400 partially on impulse. I (now) wish I'd stuck with what I learned on the forums. Ah well; we live and learn ... and trade in. :p
 

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Hey Bill,

Yeah, the 650 is "globally sized" whereas the 400 is a bored out 250 which is largely intend for use in the Japan domestic market. Both great bikes for their intended purposes.
I quite like the vibration of a single, and the deep rasp of the exhaust even with the standard muffler. I also like climbing aboard the 650 and being whisked along with the girlfriend in our separate seats and backrest without one iota of vibration being transmitted through to the saddle.

I suppose I’m lucky to have both. :wink:
 

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Hey Jim,

There is no clearer demonstration that hp means far less than ft lbs on a touring motorcycle than riding the AN650 fully loaded or with passenger. It may only have 50bhp, but it also has 45ft lbs of torque. Couple this with CVT keeping the engine constantly in the torque-zone and you have a bike that performs similarly to a litre bike (not ridden to the redline, but who rides a litre bike to the red-line? Most people like to ride on torque) and outperforms the 240kg 85bhp / 70ftlbs R1150RT.

Although your Fazer 1000 has more than double the torque of the 650 available at 7,500rpm, it produces 45ft lbs torque at 4,000rpm. I never use more than that around town on my 1100, and rarely use more than 6,000rpm when touring. Imagine that you have torque equal to 4000rpm on a 1000cc Fazer available in an instant at any road speed due to CVT, and you begin to appreciate why the 650 does so much with so little.

If you ride it and expect warp-speed you’ll be disappointed. Think diesel power. Put a passenger on the back and take a test bike out for a daytrip – you’ll find the performance is totally unchanged from solo, only struggling a little on uphill mountain passes at 2000m plus. But my 160bhp / 80ft lb 1100 feels weaker than normal at those altitudes too, so this is to be expected.

If you can grab a test ride of a BMW 1150RT twin do so, it will give you a good base for comparison of the 650s performance with other two-cylinder sports-tourers. I think that BMW are doing free one-day test rides at Fukuda Motors at the moment in Akasaka. If it’s your first ride of an RT you may be in for a surprise… The GS1100 that you used to own let alone the 1200 will leave an RT standing. That cannot be said of the AN650, or indeed the SilverWing 600, and is the 'apples to apples' comparison for the AN650 and SW600.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
lycheed said:
I suppose I’m lucky to have both. :wink:
Yep! You are. If I could, I'd keep the 400 for short trips and ride the 650 on the longer trips. Only problem with that idea is my short trips often change into longer trips. The trip on the Trace started off as going to eat breakfast just down the street. :lol:
 

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Bill, you say your 400 has some vibration. Mine is about as smooth as it can be; nothing felt in the seat, grips, and mirrors are clear at any speed.
Just curious, where are you getting vibrations on yours?

And speaking of the 650; I had about convinced myself I had to have one, until I rode a friends for a short while. Was glad to get back on the 400. All depends on ones style of riding and needs. Sure glad we have choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ted,

Before I rode the 650, I'd describe the 400 as being a very smooth ride. It wasn't until I compared the 2 that I thought the 400 had a slight vibration. It's not enough to rattle the mirrors, but the engine on the 400 just isn't nearly as smooth as the 650. You can also feel the imperfections in the road more on the 400.
 

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In general, you will feel the individual power pulses from a single more than from a twin. Bigger cylinder going "bang" half as often...

Moreover, the AN650 is the smoothest big twin that I have ever ridden. The power pulses from my V-Strom are much more distinct, but not at all objectionable. Ride an old British single or twin (be sure to take inventory of the fillings in your teeth after the ride...). Today's counterbalanced singles and twins are all extremely smooth compared to the vintage bikes.

To me, what low frequency vibration you do feel from a single or twin, is much more relaxing than the high frequency tingle that the 4 cyl bikes produce. I am sure that I would not find any of the current 400cc to 500cc single cylinder scoots unpleasant to ride in that regard. You can just feel the engine working a bit more - and I don't mind that at all.
 

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billmeek,

Happened to me too, riding 2 up, I traded the 400 after 3 -4 months. **** salesman threw me the keys to his 650, all done from there.
 

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lycheed said:
There is no clearer demonstration that hp means far less than ft lbs on a touring motorcycle than riding the AN650 fully loaded or with passenger. It may only have 50bhp, but it also has 45ft lbs of torque.
The Jan.'05 issue of Motorcycle Consumer News lists the Burgman 650 as having 37.4 H.P.(rear wheel) and 58.6 lb.ft. torque(rear wheel). That demonstrates your point even better.
In this Performance Index, MCN's Rating System rates the 650's performance as "Very Good", one step below their highest rating. Both the VStrom and the R1150RS (no RT shown) are also rated at "Very Good".
It doesn't list the 400 in this Performance Index.
Don
 

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confessions of a 400 rider

Suzuki has the AN650 rated at 54hp in all of info that I have been able to obtain about performance. Haven't paid much attention to torgue. As for the #'s that Don gave those are proberly true #'s, as manufactors measure output in a different way.

Butch 8)
 

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Going on 9 months ownership with the 400 after trading my 650 for it and I'm happy for the choice I made.
Not happy for the price I had paid but I used up my other choices in life and I can't
call a friend.

The 400 is easier on gas and oil and insurance. Easier too on oil changes and parking
and I don't need shims to adjust the valves.
It's tires are cheaper than radials. My feet touch the ground flat-on now.

---

There was an article recently about trading-in often. One of the scams
from finance companies is to add the yet to be paid-off amount of the
trade-in onto the finance contract for the new vehicle. Having done the
deal "upside-down" with no equity from the trade-in, the poor consumer
then pays more for a higher principle on equity that will never exist over
the term of the new finance contract.

Dealing a trade-in on any vehicle that is not paid-off at contract signing time is
the same as taking a room on the Las Vegas strip and calling it home.

Ever wonder why the terms of some finance contracts are printed with grey lettering that needs a lot of light to read?
Because judges use a lot of light when they read them.
 
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