I am surprised that you call the BMW a motorcycle and the Burgman a scooter. I my opinion, they are bother motorcycle, while the body design is that of a scooter. My Burgman 400 handles just like a motorcycle but has the simplicity of a scooter. I have been riding "motorcycles" since I was 15, now 72. I recently downgraded from a Harley Dina Super Glyde T sport to my Burgman. The Burgman is much better for what I use it for, local hoping around and shopping.The Burgman 650 has a big butt. It still looks like the right side of a bathtub from behind. But man, after being away for a couple years, I bought a 2016 B650 Executive yesterday morning and I was blown away.
Was my 2013 this comfortable? Why would I not keep a bike that's so smooth? (short answer: the dark spectre of belt failure freaked me out). The SECVT is stunningly efficient. I had forgotten what a good feeling it is to cruise at 50 mph while only subjecting the bike to 3,000 rpm's.
I picked up the bike from an old Army guy in the heart of the Everglades (Everglades City, pop. 402). On the way home, I rode past panther and bear crossing signs, gators by the side of the road, vultures and gorgeous vistas everywhere. This is a place where people do not ride at night. They just don't do it. In the circuit board density of South Florida I'm used to, it's easy to forget there are places where wild things outnumber the people. I loved it and will always associate my new Burgman with that.
I did 90 mph on Alligator Alley (I-75) and the bike had a ton more power left. I felt more stable and secure than with my BMW C 650 GT scooter (but not by much, to be clear, the BMW is rock-solid on super-slabs). The Burgman is heavier with a lower center of gravity. It feels very grounded at high speed. I can't say I had the big, goofy Burgman grin because I was focused on riding a new bike I bought 14 minutes ago, but I was close to smiling.
(I was also pretty happy about my deal ... $5,500 for an Executive model with 1,937 miles, and garaged every night of its young life)
Comfort-wise, there is less legroom on the Burgman. I had to take the buttrest off to extend my legs fully. I can almost do that with the stock seat on the BMW. Shorter Japanese engineers vs. taller German engineers? I wonder the same about windscreen height. Burgman and Honda Silver Wing screens are useless; too short and there's a ton of buffeting, while the BMW is higher and better. I woke up early this morning and bought a GIVI screen before I had my tea.
With the Burgman buttrest gone, it's not terribly ugly and cheaper than paying $750 to get a pushed-back Corbin. I can stretch out, which I really enjoy.
I have them side-by-side in my garage now. BMW design kills Suzuki. There's a reason they call the Burgman "Ol' Lardy." BMW's sound and motorcycle handling is something a Burgman can't touch. The C 650 GT is a motorcycle, period. Nobody asks me about the Burgman; 3 or 4 people a week ask me about the C 650 GT -- some roll down their windows at stop lights. It definitely commands attention and respect.
But ... I am planning a summer ride from Florida to Rochester NY, where I will spend 30 to 40 days in my hometown. Right now, if I had to pick a bike, I'd go with the Burgman, sound and design and respect be damned. The Burgman is made for long trips, big and sure-footed, silky smooth and effortless. I honestly didn't think that way when I woke up this morning, before I bought it. Like I said, I had forgotten what a great bike this is.
Either way, I am a lucky man to have such a choice. It's great to be back as a proud Burgman 650 owner.
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