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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I've been riding scooters since... well my first was a used 1962 Vespa - then a 1979 P200E Vespa, now a 1992 Helix. Probably have 35K miles total on all three. I can never turn down a perfect day and quite a few not so perfect days...

So, I saw and rode the 650 - Wow! BUT, how are they holding up? Are there any serious issues? I've read of an on the fly transmittion failure - True? If you can point me to any threads that will bring me up to speed, thanks. I will - I WILL, have a 650 some day and will be "studying up" untill that day arrives.

Oh, big question. Are there two separate transmitions? I can visualize a solenoid going back and forth (engaging one or the other) when you switch between Manual and Automatic - so to speak. It would be cool to have a back up transmition!

I'm glad I found this SITE! Thanks to any and all replies
Rob
 

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HI ROB
I have 3500 care free miles at this point on my 2003 650-nothing but fun. Best bike [scooter] I've had in a little over 40 years of driving. Good Luck and welcome.
 

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Rob,

Welcome, I have 5,600 miles on mine and others have well over 12,000 miles on theirs. I have had no serious issues with the 650. Next week I plan on a 1,000 mile trip with no concerns about the trans. As far as the selenoid concern, swithching from manual to auto mode, None. I rarely use manual. The auto is great, the more the throttle, the higher the RPM. I ride 2-up 90% of the time.
 

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Hi Rob! Welcome to the Forum. Nice to see someone from the "Eastern Shore".
I was down your way a couple of Saturdays ago. We rode the loop from Chesapeake City down thru Rehobeth then back over to the Bay Bridge to Annapolis for lunch and back north to PA. We usually make a lunch stop in Ocean City but not during "tourist season". I love to ride, but not in that traffic!
I've had my 650 since May and I've got about 2,000 miles on it now. I've enjoyed it more than most of the bikes I've had over the last 30 years. A real FUN ride. Hurry up and get one. :D
Don
 

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RobK said:
So, I saw and rode the 650 - Wow! BUT, how are they holding up? Are there any serious issues? I've read of an on the fly transmittion failure - True? If you can point me to any threads that will bring me up to speed, thanks. I will - I WILL, have a 650 some day and will be "studying up" untill that day arrives.

Oh, big question. Are there two separate transmitions? I can visualize a solenoid going back and forth (engaging one or the other) when you switch between Manual and Automatic - so to speak. It would be cool to have a back up transmition!
Hi Rob,

Welcome to BurgmanUSA! Enjoy the site.

I have 11,500 miles on my Burgman 650. I've owned it for 1 year and 2 days. I've done some touring with it, errand running, and a lot of joy riding. I don't baby it. No reliability issues so far.

There have been extremely isolated failures involving the transmission or clutch. Nothing that shows a pattern. You'll get that sort of thing with any machine you buy, whether scooter, motorcycle or car. Any complex mechanical machine can fail - and a certain percentage of them will. I'd say that the failures I've heard of are well under 1% of the 650s sold. 99% reliability is extremely good. Of course, with the internet forums and listservs, when one person has a serious problem, there can be an immediate panic. Some groups are very prone to that, I think you'll find this group to be a bit more realistic. There are not two separate transmissions. Same with the cars that have automatics with manual shift modes. "Gears" are emulated by electronically positioning the belts & pulleys at preset ratios. You will not ever find it necessary to use manual mode. I use it once in a while just for fun. Power mode is useful when riding very tight curvy roads. Auto mode does the job just fine 95% of the time.

Tha AN650 is the most versatile and useful 2 wheeler I've owned - and I've had 17 motorcycles and 3 scooters prior to buying it. It is a lot of fun to ride as well. I think you would enjoy it.
 

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Welcome from SE PA! (about 15 minutes from New Hope). We love our 400 (aka Sushi) so much, we're hoping to get a second this month while Suzuki's still got the $99 per month special financing!

Cheers,
Bryna
 

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Hi RobK

Welcome to the forum. :wave:

You have come to the right place to research. But boy have you a lot of reading to do. Stick the term 650 in the search engine and 'search all forums' and there is probably about 20 hours reading there. Also have a look at the gallery for customisation ideas.

Forums can be a little bit misleading when judging reliability and problems. For a start not all owners join forums. In the main people who join forums are interested in their machines as more than just transport, want to understand their machines better and if they have a problem to get an effective repair quickly. There is much more chance of someone searching out a forum to say 'Hey I have a problem - can u help?' than someone hunting down a forum to say ' Hey I have a Burgman and it does not have any problems!'.

I am a member of 5 Burgman forums and I have to say there are relatively few major problems discussed with respect to the 650. For sure they happen, but not significant in terms of population and useage. Try looking on a Mercedes Benz forum (I am a member of 4 of them too) if you read some of those you would not touch a Merc with a ten foot bargepole- but they are essentially forums for guys seking solutions to enable them to do their own wrenching and save mucho $$$$$.

You probably stand more chance of your 650 being off the road awaiting a replacement tyre than you do having transmission failure! :wink:
 

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Welcome to the BurgmanUSA forums Rob. Happy to have you join us. The only consistent issue I am aware of with the 650 is the 'dieseling noise' it develops. Most of the 650 riders just think of the noise as part of the character of the bike. :wink:
 

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Wanna be....!!!!

Howdy Rob! Just thought mention that you're not the only "wanna be" in the bunch. Wife and I are in the middle of moviing and selling a home. Paper work should be comp in a matter of days but the move(storage issues,place to park etc. )might take a little (I hope) longer..I know the feeling..you see it,you ride it and all of a sudden you're mind's made up...then you see (or hear) something negative and..well you know..You've found the very best place to put those fears to rest and to enjoy the company of some really nice folks who know what they're talking about. I've owned several..(not as many as SOME!!)..since..ahem..1958..Hurcules JB.. anyhoo a couple of test rides on the Burgman has convinced me..I want one.. I've taken to refering to it as a STM Step Thru Motorcycle.. Seems as soon as you say "scooter" riding folks get pre-conceived visions of the ole Cushman or Vespa..then it's winks and nods all around..However "I'm looking at a Suzuki Burgman STM..looks great,lots of pep..."you'd be surprised at how different the reaction is..I've not said a lot about the STM on the forum..Don't know how it'd play...whadda you think?....Oh by the way Wife Jeanne and my umble self are brand new members the the site..like I said..a wanna be..But NOT for long...welcome to the neighborhood and ride safe..Pete
 

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Re: Wanna be....!!!!

pete+jeanne said:
I've taken to refering to it as a STM Step Thru Motorcycle.. Seems as soon as you say "scooter" riding folks get pre-conceived visions of the ole Cushman or Vespa..then it's winks and nods all around..However "I'm looking at a Suzuki Burgman STM..looks great,lots of pep..."you'd be surprised at how different the reaction is..I've not said a lot about the STM on the forum..Don't know how it'd play...whadda you think?
Sounds ok to me. But I like referring to my 400 as a scooter just to see the reaction on their face the first time they lay eyes on it. :shock:
 

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There is a big difference in the feel of riding my motorcycle and my scooter. I like them both a lot. But I definitely see the Burgman as a super scooter. And I'm perfectly OK with that. Each machine has distinct advantages over the other, but both are great fun to ride.
 

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Step Thru Motorcycle

Bill..Paul..Don't get me wrong fellas..I like the pic of "Surprise" written on the back of a Burgman..and yep! Burgman is a Super Scooter..it's just..well it seems special enough to have a special class of it's own..I guess what I'm trying to say is that the term Scooter just dosen't seem to do it justice....Phew! Just might be a case of newbie wanna be lust..And I gotta agree when introducing Burgman to those gainsayers it is fun to watch the expressions change...BUT..at the same time I just though it kinda funny just the changing of terms makes a difference to some folks..Guess I've got to get a grip..just imagine in a couple of weeks when I pick mine up..(pant,pant) thanks for the input....Pete
 

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Pete,

I guess any post that hints at "scooter phobia" just pushes a button with me. Always does - and I should lighten up on that I guess.

I've owned many motorcycles along the way and ridden lots of miles on them. I still own a very nice one year old 1000cc motorcycle - and I do ride it. But I bought the AN650 to go along with it because it is a unique machine. It fascinated me - and this year I have ridden it more than the motorcycle.

Is the scooter as fast as my motorcycle? Not even close - there is a lot more adrenalin released with a twist of the V-Strom's throttle.

Does the scooter ride as well as my motorcycle? Sadly, no. The 19" front wheel and 17" back wheel of the V-Strom, along with longer suspension travel make that no contest.

Does the scooter handle as well as the motorcycle? Overall, yes.

Does the scooter get better mileage than the motorcycle? Slightly - about 4 mpg on average.

Can the scooter carry more stuff than the motorcycle? That's about a tie if I put the sidecases and tank bag on the cycle. But I seldom do ride it with the side cases - and the storage on the scooter is handier.

Is it easier to get on and off of the scooter? Absolutely.

So there are trade-offs - the scooter wins a few and loses a few. The reason I ride it a lot is the totally different feel of the CVT automatic, the "footless" operation, and the ease of getting on and off if I'm going to be running some errands. It is so much easier to ride than the cycle, that I can focus on traffic and my surroundings more - and just enjoy the ride. I always feel safer on the scooter too.

So, looking at the stuff I've just written, the main reasons I ride it a lot all have to do with the "scooter" aspect of the machine. The stuff that sets it apart from a motorcycle. I guess that is why I get testy when folks want to "de-scooterize" it. I bought it and I ride it because it IS a scooter - and the most fantastic scooter currently available in the USA.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks - great replies!

To all, thanks for the hearty welcome!

After moving from my Vespa to the Helix, I can't do short wheel bases and small tires anymore. I've got to get those taller tires under me. At seventy MPH, the thought of those RPM's spinning under me... can be unnerving. The helix has a fat rear tire but still short... And I do 65 to 70 all day long!

Norman B, your picture takes me back to the 70's... but your Profile puts it in perspective - Portsmouth UK (don't read too much into that!) I've read many of your entries - that pictures everywhere.

Pete and Jeanne, Good luck with everything. I think I will steal (with your permision) your STM line - good one!

Thanks again for the answers to my questions - etc...
Rob
 

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Re: Thanks - great replies!

RobK said:
To all, thanks for the hearty welcome!

After moving from my Vespa to the Helix, I can't do short wheel bases and small tires anymore. I've got to get those taller tires under me. At seventy MPH, the thought of those RPM's spinning under me... can be unnerving. The helix has a fat rear tire but still short... And I do 65 to 70 all day long!

Norman B, your picture takes me back to the 70's... but your Profile puts it in perspective - Portsmouth UK (don't read too much into that!) I've read many of your entries - that pictures everywhere.

Pete and Jeanne, Good luck with everything. I think I will steal (with your permision) your STM line - good one!

Thanks again for the answers to my questions - etc...
Rob
Pray enlighten me Rob, as to the undercurrent swirling in the maelstrom of those cryptic verses. So that I may come to learn better the ambiguosity inherent in our erstwhile common language. :) But Rob, do not tarry or delay, for it is clarification I seek before once more enjoining in this cornucopia of information, opinion and general verbal jousting. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK you asked for it...

NormanB,
Ok where to start... how about Meatloaf... the Rock and Roll singer. Your picture made me think of him - which took me back to the 70's. The pint of beer, I can picture you in a pub in Portmouth...? That pictures everywhere... everywhere your post is - from a newbe's viewpoint, it stands out!

Now for a question, from a 46 year old "balding" guy, is that your hair? Is it still that long? If not got a current picture you'd like to share? Just wondering and not trying to make anything of it.

Smile - Rob
 

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:laughing3:

Hey Rob you're OK - I was teasing - you know that - right? :wink:

Meatloaf - Nah - Ozzie
Hair - zero
Curent pic is in the gallery - but I have dumped the beard so that is Hair = minus1!

:D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm Smilin....!

Later
 

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What's in a name?

Ouch! Ow!! Hold up guys..didn't mean to push any buttons Pauljo..believe it or not no scooter phobia here..even tho this IS a Harley neighborhood....so what.. As always Paul you've put things in prespective..one that I share..and again you're right about trade offs..It's just that I do find it kind of laughable in folks reaction to the different terminology..you guys probably have a whole lot more miles under me on two wheels and I know you have more when it comes to the Burgman..Having said that I will bow to the older(?) and wiser heads.STM shall ner' darken these portals again.. Rob..Norm..play nice guys!!..Thanks for putting up with a newbie...Pete
 
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