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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at buying either a 650 or 400. I've read about the heavy engine braking when you let off the throttle. Will this also happen if using the manual mode? Another question. If I were to be in "3rd" gear, will it stay there no matter what the throttle position or road speed is? Or will it drop to "low" at a very slow speed?

Thanks for any help.

Mike
 

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It drops into first if you come to a stop. It also won't let you start out in a higher gear than first. About the engine braking in manual, it's there, but as others have said, it's welcome 99% of the time as it works wonders helping you slow the big beast down.
 

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A side note Mike - when in manual mode, the logic in the xmission expects you to keep up with your speed and rpms. If you dope off you will find yourself in 4th when you really need to be in 2nd, and the thing will bog, shudder, and buck just like any other manual xmission conveance. Yes - when you come to a stop it will automatiocally place you back in first (ie it won't stall) but you will loose the engine braking that you have in either of the auto modes while you are decellerating (if not downshifting), and you will find yourself not slowing as you "normally" do.
- Pedz
 

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Last night I was too busy playing with the center stand. Tonight I'm going to have to actually ride, and try out some things with the manual transmission. I keep forgetting it's there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
but you will loose the engine braking that you have in either of the auto modes while you are decellerating (if not downshifting), and you will find yourself not slowing as you "normally" do.
- Pedz[/quote]

That's the info I was looking for. I'm looking to buy a Scooter for just puttin' around on the back roads riding two-up. I want to be able to let off the throttle and coast and add a little throttle when I need it.

We ride motorcycle and my ST1300 is getting a bit large when we just go for an evening ride on the back roads at 35mph. Will be keeping the ST.

Thanks,

Mike
 

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mikerides said:
I'm looking at buying either a 650 or 400. I've read about the heavy engine braking when you let off the throttle. Will this also happen if using the manual mode? Another question. If I were to be in "3rd" gear, will it stay there no matter what the throttle position or road speed is? Or will it drop to "low" at a very slow speed?
Twinrider said:
It drops into first if you come to a stop. It also won't let you start out in a higher gear than first.
My '03 650 not only shifts to 1st at stops, it will automatically downshift such that the RPM never falls below 1000. I can watch it self-shift from 5th to 4th to 3rd, etc. as I slow.

It also won't let me up-shift into a gear that would cause it to go below 1000; the gear indicator will just blink at me a few times.

What it won't do is automatically down-shift if I pour on the throttle. It'll just sit there, putting along, while I'm hanging in the breeze trying to pass a semi on a hill. (No; it hasn't actually happened to me. I was just testing the system.)

That's one reason I almost always leave it in automatic mode; either Normal or Power. I have better things to do with my concentration than worry about shifting grears when I want to move out.

As for using manual mode to minimize engine braking? Why would I want to defeat such a useful feature?
 

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mikerides said:
...We ride motorcycle and my ST1300 is getting a bit large when we just go for an evening ride on the back roads at 35mph. Will be keeping the ST.
Mike, if you're going to keep the ST then I would suggest the Burgman 400 over the 650 as your second bike.

It costs less to buy, less to insure, and less to keep fueled, and for the kind of riding you'll be using it for is more than adequate. The 400 also has much less pronounced engine braking compared to the 650, even though it doesn't have a manual mode.

I love my 650, but I do a lot of touring and freeway riding on it. If I were only using it around town I might get tired of the extra bulk and the lower fuel economy compared to the 400.

HTH.
 

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I've had my '04 AN650 for over a year now, and can count on two hands the times I've used the manual mode. I find it works exactly as Brian describes earlier.

Shifts in manual mode are just plain sloppy, and downshifts are jerky unless the throttle is perfectly managed, which is hard to do.

As far as the engine braking goes, I've posted about that before, and I'm in the minority in that I'm not a huge fan of it, but I do see a benefit. With gas at $2.60 and up now, though, I'd rather be able to coast to my advantage and have better gas mileage. There might be slightly more brake wear but I would also factor in less engine braking and ease off the throttle sooner when coming to a stop.

I have heard that the engine braking on the '05s has been toned down a bit, but haven't seen anyone post that that's the case. Has anyone out there ridden an '05 back to back with an '03 or '04 that can attest to this?

I think what was said about the choice of a 400 over a 650 in your case deserves consideration, especially if you'll virtually exclusively be riding it on back roads at sub-freeway speeds. You'll spend less money out-the-door, you'll get better mileage, and you'll have 90% of a 650 anyway. I'd strongly consider it if I were you.

However, in my mind, for extended high-speed touring the 650 is the choice. I owned a 400 before I traded up to a 650. To me, the 400 just doesn't feel quite as planted and stable at freeway speeds, and semi drafts are much less "dramatic" on the 650. The 400 is great for around town and occasional short freeway jaunts, but I feel much more comfortable and secure on the 650 when I'm going cross-country.

I wish Suzuki would put this transmission on a Boulevard!

WLB :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm thinking the 400 would be the better choice also. The used market seems a little thin around here, but I'm in no hurry. If I need to wait for the '06s to come out, just the better I guess.

Mike
 

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Mike - think versitile.

The 650 is that. No - it's not a miserly 60+mpg scooter. It's a Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde kind of a scooter. You can play Mr. Waldo on his big modern slowish Helix, or you can play "I want to surprise that 883 Sportster." Driven "nice" it will give near 50 if not more mpg, and well - to me 47 or 49 is **** miserly. I wanted to say that it "amazes me" why more ppl dont utilize the manual mode - but ya know what -I do understand why - and its because its just so darn good left alone that the xtra attention and calories spent diddling around with the paddle buttons just ends up seeming fruitless. That's them. I'm me. Familiarity to thumb placement on the up down paddles isn't a big deal for me and I like the return on investment with pwrplant and chassis response when I upshift or downshift on my own accord - my only bitch is that the pipes don't report that sporting nature when I do "do my thing."

Keep the ST - buy a 650 - you'll like your decision.
 

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I used manual mode a few times today touring with the wife on the back. Made a noticeable difference in acceleration when I wanted to pass a car quickly. Oh, and as someone else pointed out, engine braking is minimized in manual mode if you're running at low rpms for the "gear" you're in.
 
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