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Well, I've had my 2012 650 now for a year and while its many virtues are very definitely big plusses, it has one huge downside that I have tried unsuccessfully to ignore or justify.
The suspension. Or more specifically, the lack thereof.
This bike is easily, by leaps and bounds (yes, pun intended :D), the worst riding vehicle, 2 or 4 wheels, that I have ever owned.
I've read all the posts about upgrades and such, but it doesn't appear the effort is justified given the incremental improvements gained.
Another more or less minor annoyance is the gas mileage. Using actual numbers instead of the onboard computer, I'm only getting in the 40-45 range. Heck, I was getting and 51.3mpg average across all 30K miles on my BMW R1200RT! Go figure.
IF I decide to actually go thru with a change, I will most definitely miss the storage, more than anything, but luggage is available for the bike I am considering. The Honda NC700XD, with the DCT tranny and ABS. I've ridden one and the suspension is Cadillac-like compared to the Burgman's Mack truck ride.
I just haven't reached the tipping point yet, but I see it coming.
:rolleyes:
 

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I took a serious look at the Honda NC700XD and decided against it. The side cases seemed quite small compared to the storage space on the Burgman. The Honda may ride better but I doubt that much better. I have done several 300 mile plus days on my burgman and until I installed the back rest my back always hurt. Now it is a pleasure to ride. My last big bike was a BMW R100RT and I can honestly say it definitely rode better than my Burgman. BMWs after 1997, when BMW was taken over by the BMW car division, scare me. They require lots of maintenance.
respectfully,
David Miller
 

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Every body very different, suspension and confort very personal thing, there always room for improvement with anything, me not find 2009 bad, ride 300-400 mile day trip every week, have weekend of 600 + mile often, many time more without badly hurt anywhere because of bike suspension, or position, sometime may already have some pain when start in morning but not cause by 650 suspension. Perhap not old enough yet for this affect me.
 

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I had the Goldwing shocks put on last fall. It definately made the ride much smoother. They were only about $60 on ebay.
 

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Has BerndM ever spent 10 or 11 or 12 hours
in the drivers seat of a MACK truck??
I can assure you, that the ride home each
evening on a Burgman is much better.
 

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I have to agree that our suspension is somewhere between poor and horrible, easily the worst I owned in over 8 bikes and 25 years. I think I rode a friend's Honda Trail 50 that was worse, lol.

I'm a big guy (250 lbs) so I started with the rear preload cranked up on my '13. Big mistake. I backed off to the middle setting and it is still VERY harsh. Simply riding up a common driveway lip is an "event."

If I keep riding my 650 I can see myself looking into the aftermarket for both the front and rear suspension. And I have NEVER felt the need for that on any other machine other than restoring a 1973 R75 with a fully blown-out suspension.
 

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The Honda is a gorgeous bike in my opinion. But I didn't care for the DCT when I test rode one. And you WILL miss the big screen and weather protection. I never had a problem with my Exec's suspension, I thought it was fine.
 

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Why aren't there after-market suspension parts for the Burgman?

Why aren't more riders making suspension improvements?

Why are there still so many grins with this horrible suspension?

Is the suspension that bad, or is the rest of the bike that good?
 

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The DCT sucks - Honda don't do automatics and I found the NC700 the worst demo ride I've ever taken with it's 6500 rpm rev limiter.

On the other hand I was very impressed with the CB500x - light and agile and so many farkles available for it now.
There are 160 pages on ADVrider devoted to the model.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=840842&page=80

Same horsepower as the Burgman, free revving to 8500 rpm - seating position is extremely good - better than the Burgman - upright and neutral.

I view it as a transformer bike ...cheap to start with, extremely good gas mileage and decent acceleration.

Then just make it what you want..



loads of options..
http://www.motorcycleadventure.com.au/shop/index.php?route=product/category&path=101_136_323





It is the only bike I'd currently consider over the Burgman 650.
The BMW GT650 would be a another.

I actually rarely mind the Burgman 650 suspension as I grew up on short suspension bikes and even bottomed the bike is stable which is all I care about in the twisties and most highways are smooth enough not to bother me.
But compared to the big BMW - yes it would suck.
There are always trade offs and the Burgman 650 scores very well as an all around machine.

A tweaked CB500x tho might be even better especially here in Australia where some light off road capability is an addition and speed limits are enforced on the highways so the big tourers idle along with few places to use their speed ( psssst want an ST1100 cheap ;) )
 

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Short suspension bikes always have crappy rides on anything less than smooth pavement. Think the Burgman 650 rides bad? Go take a test ride on a Harley Davidson Sportster Extra Low. You will come back glad to see your Burgman.

Namaste'
Doug from Kentucky
 

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We all have a different idea as to what is comfortable. I find the 650 comfortable (coming off of 4 BMWs). My Harley fanatic friend has not ridden his Harley since he bought his 650.
 

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Is this position upright and neutral, and better than the Burgman?


Really. Want to compare with this?


What if a person is a bit taller. You say it's better than this?


or this


or even this
 

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<<<SNIP>>> even this
I did this once when I was riding on a nice day when I seen three Harley riders ahead doing about 60 in a 70 MPH zone. I pulled the owners manual out of the glove box and put my foot up and acted like I was reading when I passed them doing 70 MPH.
 

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Gee, I rode my 650 for 38,000 miles covering 31 states in slightly over 3 years time.
6 times I rode over 1,000 miles in a single 24 hour period.
One cross country trip was 6,400 miles and I completed it in 9 days.
I'm 300 pounds.
I cranked up the rear shocks as high as they would go and never looked back.

I think a lot of you guys expect too much from a 2 wheeled vehicle.
 

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I think a lot of you guys expect too much from a 2 wheeled vehicle.
Same here , they all ride a little different but it's a bike not a Rolls .
For 3K with only 4800 miles on it I'm not complaining :D

TheReaper!
 

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yknow - I've ridden both and plenty of other bikes.....you do realize his feet are not on the pegs in a normal riding position - tell me how he shifts gears??

nor is your second Burgman rider position normal with his feet flat on the floor boards.

You sit back on the Burgman into the backrest



it's not cruiser but it's close and I love how you can lock into the position nicely .. but it's not upright neutral - it's better than a cruiser for twists but it's not as neutral as an adventure bike.

Your weight is neutral on an adventure bike - body centred over the pegs.



Forward on a sport bike



If you are going to make a case then don't pick photos with non-standard foot positions for Burgman or the CB500x.

Those little footbumps on the angled floorboards on the Burgman are there for a reason.

Sure I'll ride feet down on the Burgman in the city but the lock-in between buttrest and angled floorboards is an excellent feature
..it's one good reason to get a higher and adjustable back rest to take full advantge of that.
..it's not upright seating tho the way my KLR is or the CB500x which IS a dual sport.

I tell you tho on the 650 km round trip jaunt on the weekend I'd prefer the Burgman but it was hibernating back home in the garage. :(
 

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I did some suspension mods (Progressive rear springs/shocks and ATF+4 oil and air modifications for the forks). The mods improved the ride comfort noticeably but I suppose there's only so much you can do with 4.3" of suspension travel. I rode 3,000 miles in March (2,200 to CA and back, and the rest in WA to visit as many islands as possible) and found myself swearing at some of the S**T roads, especially in California. ESPECIALLY US-101 around Santa Rosa, what a disaster. (I won't start a political rant here, although I'd love to) But on great twisty roads with beautiful scenery (101 in southern Oregon) I can't imagine being happier on any other ride. Especially when I discovered an incredible pinot noir in Oregon and decided on the spur of the moment to bring home nearly a case of wine. I suppose I should have taken more socks and underwear instead of buying wine, but the amount of storage with my Givi case installed is amazing. And the Progressive springs were still set at minimum preload.

I did two very long days southbound, 380 miles (11 hours) from home to Yachats, OR (all back roads and US-101, slow but beautiful) and then 640 miles (14 hours) from Yachats to San Jose, CA. Didn't want to do that long day but when the Garmin said that I could take freeways through East Bay and arrive at my buddy's house by 8pm, it was a no-brainer. Most of the pain was in my butt and throttle hand, but 10-minute breaks every 2 hours (100 miles) were all I needed. Having all that room to move my legs around on the floorboards is fantastic, my (worn out right and artificial left) knees never hurt a bit.

On the long trip I averaged between 42mpg ("winter blend" fuel riding into brutal gale-force headwinds the entire 500+ miles from Bodega Bay, CA to Yachats, OR on CA hwy 1 and CA/OR US-101) to 50mpg tooling around San Jose in 80F bliss with no load on the bike other than my lard-butt. I have a theory that the 650's engine is de-tuned to run on regular grade. It's a high-compression engine, 11.2:1, so it should require premium grade. I'd happily pay the extra $ for premium if I could re-map the ECM to get the performance and efficiency that a high-compression engine can/should deliver -- with a significant increase in mpg I'm sure. Best I've seen on my 650 was 52mpg on a 200-mile trip at sub-freeway speeds with summer-blend fuel. Like you, I'm disappointed in the mpg but it improved overnight 2 weeks ago when the refineries switched back to summer blend (freeway speeds it went from 44mpg to 48mpg, and I saw over 50 again a few days ago).
 

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Gee, I rode my 650 for 38,000 miles covering 31 states in slightly over 3 years time.
6 times I rode over 1,000 miles in a single 24 hour period.
One cross country trip was 6,400 miles and I completed it in 9 days.
I'm 300 pounds.
I cranked up the rear shocks as high as they would go and never looked back.

I think a lot of you guys expect too much from a 2 wheeled vehicle.
I'm in the 300 lb. club too, I've put over 70,000 mi. on my '07' and a lot of those miles with full luggage, and the only mod I've done to the suspension is an Airhawk seat cushion.;)

With smaller wheels I just flick the bike around potholes... once in a while one will sneak up on me and loosen my fillings a bit. Other than that I'm okay with the suspension.

Try a Hardtail sometime like riding a cinder block!
 

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Our timing might be conservative (do we have a knock sensor?) but a high compression does not automatically demand higher octane fuel. Modern combustion chamber design figures into it as well. We supposedly have 54 HP at the crank, right? That is not a detuned value for a 650 twin!
 
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