Suzuki Burgman USA Forum banner

1 - 20 of 63 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
For starters, yes I HAVE read a lot of threads and done some searches. :) However I'm still on the fence and think I'll post for a few tips since this IS the newbie forum. The only Burgman in a local dealer is a 400, and there's snow out so I'm not going to be going for any test rides anyway, but I'd be willing to put in an order if I knew more securely what I wanted. For reference, I'm a 5'10", 210# (ashamed to admit I'm up to that) 32-year-old male with a 30-31" inseam. And single, but given the demographics, I don't think I'll be finding a female riding partner in my age bracket on this board. :roll:

Although it seems that 400 would do me well for the most part, a little vioce :twisted: tells me I should go for the 650. The idea of surprising the occasional sport bike or cruiser is tempting. As is the 'I told ya so' that I can tell a guy at work who keeps chiding me for wanting 'a scooter?!, they'll never respect you on the road on one of those...' Also, I'm tempted to do a few long-distance tours, from Michigan to Colorado and/or New Orleans, and am wondering if the 400 is good enough for long tours involving some wide interstates. I'm riding solo, but wondering if the 650 would be the better choice for more than a few hours at a time, or for freeway riding.

Also something I've considered is that although there have been a few people here who have traded down from the 650 to the 400, more seem to have traded up. So I'm wondering -- if I'm on the fence should I default to the 650? :scratch:

What I like about the 400:
*cheaper is always better (although I could afford either)
*better mileage
*lighter/more maneuverable
*analog gages (I prefer these to the 650's digital speedo)
*simple handlebars (not cluttered like the 650's video game buttons)
*linked brakes
*Type S option, (which I sorta like - I'd put a larger fairing on for long tours)

What I like about the 650:
*automotive-style CVT, for low maintenance and 'geek factor' (I'm an automotive engineer)
*more power
*bigger wheels for smoother ride
*more stable on highway and with crosswinds
*frame-mounted engine
*dual front brakes

Most of my riding would be commuting and weekend camping trips. My commute is about 40 minutes and going home is in the dark given that I work second shift (are the headlights of one better than the other?) Weekend jaunts could be as much as 8 hours one-way for a weekend trip, mostly on 2-lane roads but with some 4-lane interstate. We have 70mph limits in Michigan, and occasionally the flow can be 80mph, so the ability to scoot above that is nice.

So, anyone got any good input/advice for me? Aside from riding one, which I know I'll have to do but will need to wait. :?

Thanks in advance... :thumbright:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
I own a 400, and like you could have had a 650 if I'd wanted it. Striaght up, I'll tell you that if you wanna cruise at 80MPH, get the 650. The 400 will do an honest 80 and more, but the 650 sure seems to like it better. Or, at least the demo 650 I rode seemed like it would. If this was only, like, once or twice a year for short bursts, I'd suggest the 400. But for any frequent work at all at 80 MPH, the 650 would I imagine be worth every penny of cost and every pound of weight. If you're an automotive engineer (and I know many), then you're probably a lover of fine machinery. Therefore, you'll probably never be satisfied with a bike that has to strain to do something you need done routinely.

Me, I like to cruise about 50-60 MPH, and _hate_ interstate riding. The 400 is perfect for me, until my habits change. (I'd probably even be happy with a 250 most of the time, were they available.) However, I don't pretend that my needs are typical.

Spend the bucks, I say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,323 Posts
I say get the 650. It won't be working as hard as the 400 given what you want to do with it. I bet it will even perform better than your Hawk.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,076 Posts
I agree with Lapine Rider, at constant higher speeds, the 650 would do you better. Not only that, longer trips will probably mean, loading up with gear and equipment, possibly equaling the weight of a passinger. Combine that with steady higher speed, the 650 will be working a lot less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Frugality, I recently traded up to a 650 so here are some random thoughts.

The 650 seat is higher than the 400.
The extra weight is noticeable, but you get used to it after a while and take it for granted.
Driving a 650 in slow moving traffic is not fun. The 400 does much better here.
The 650 uses a bit more fuel.
You have more power available when carrying a passenger.
I took someone for a spin yesterday and she commented that she she felt so confortable and secure that she didn't even feel the need to hold on to the grab handles.
The 650 is much nicer to ride at highway speeds.
The lack of linked brakes does take getting used to.
I haven't done any night riding yet, but if the 650 lights are equal to the 400 you should find them okay.
The digital speedo on the 650 is huge and all it takes is a glance to check your speed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,363 Posts
It kind of depends on what you have ridden before. The Burgman 650 is way easier to ride in slow traffic than any motorcycle I have owned. Most of my motorcycles did not have linked brakes so I am used to that. The two that did (Honda Goldwing & Yamaha Venture) were ok, but I wasn't overly impressed with the feature. If you have only ridden a lighter scooter, I am sure the 650 will seem more challenging to handle at first, but in the overall realm of two wheeled vehicles it is a very easy machine to ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
605 Posts
OK Guy,

I bought both. First the 400 and after a full year of commuting (took the car off the road for 7 months), it is the perfect two wheeled vehicle for a city like Vancouver. When I decided, like you, I wanted one of these mega scooters because of the coolness and the costs. I rationalize it because of the cheaper insurance, cheaper on gas and I'll save money on my car insurance. Well when the time came to decide I had both the 650 and the 400 side by side. I decided on the 400.

Mind you, I rode tested only the 650 and thought this is one big heavy scooter so when I finished processing it all, I picked the 400. One year later living with the 400, I did it all. I commuted, I took it out to a BMer rally and loaded it up with all my camping gear, got lots of positive feed back from all kinds of strangers and friends. During this trip when I was sitting at a ferry terminal and some guy on his R1150RT BMer was waiting with me, I could tell he was consciously ignoring the Burgman. All I could think of is does this person really know what their missing because when I looked at their BMer with all the body panels, it kinda looked like a larger scooter anyway.

Then I went on a trip with my V11 Sport. Mind you this was only a full day ride (Vancouver to Spokane) but about 4 days out. While hunched over with the Guzzi beast, I had my epiphany. Wouldn't this be better on a 2005 650 Burgman...just like my 400 but better on the highway? The Guzzi is a beautiful looking bike and has lots of character but this could be alot more enjoyable with an upright riding position. So right then and there, between Spokane and Seattle along #2, I decided the 650 is going to sitting in my garage come this spring. So there is my process. Still have to decide what to do about the 400. Good luck guy and I hope this story helps with your conumdrum.

On my 400, I stored both my sleeping bag and my tent underneath the seat. So with the 650, this makes this an ideal long distance tourer and when you take the purchase price into consideration the 650 is about 1/2 the cost of a BMer, 1/3 cost of a LeadWing and 1/2 the cost of a FJ1300 Yamaha and ST1300 Honda.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,402 Posts
Frugality, I know what you're going through :wink:

I started out looking at Vespas 200cc model.

Then decided I liked the 200 Aprilia better.
Then the 500 Aprilia.

Then I discovered this forum! :twisted:

Tried on the 400 Burgman at the dealers, they have both sizes.

I liked it, liked everything about it, then kept reading about all the people upgrading, thought about how much I enjoyed the power of my old 650 twin I used to ride about 100 years ago, and decided the 650 was for me.

I'll **** well learn to handle the weight, and seat height.
Others have done it.

Getting mine within a month :D

Go for it!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,919 Posts
You'll do fine either way frugal.

Both bikes are the bomb (just a guess because I haven't "drifted" that big as_ 4 hundred into a corner at 95...).

I think that given your age, weight, and length, you'd like the 650 best.

I am 44yo, 5 foot 11 point sumpthin (barefoot), 6 foot plus with shoes, 198 (+/-) pounds, 34/5 inch sleeves, 36 inch waist, 32 inch inseam.

Why may you prefer the 650? Well, for me, simply put, I like the thrust and panache' of the big 650. And I think you'll like that too. But then again, I am (in my own kingdom) known to do some arse-hatted things...like burnouts, stoppies, you know.... that whole dumbnutz gig! :wink:

Hindsight can suck especially if you can afford and decide to mitigate one of them hindsights ahead of time! :twisted:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to all for the great tips. The general leaning seems to be toward the 650. Timothy Ma summed it up pretty well -- the 650 would be the better 'sport tourer'. If Suzuki advertised them as such, I bet their sales would increase. I definitely will be shooting for more 2-lane highway that will be more senic, but sometimes the freeways are a necessary evil :evil: for getting where you need to go to get to the good roads.

lilleyean, I've been following your posts -- 275 posts from a guy who doesn't even have his scooter yet?! :wink: I hope you get it soon, because you need to RIDE. I was a bit worried that the 650 would be a touch too high where the 400 feels very comfortable. But I think I remember a post of yours that said you're 5'7", so if a 650 will work for you, it should be doable for me, too.

I fired up the Hawk today because we got a rare sunny 40-degree (F, 4C) day and I thought I'd warm the bike up and charge the battery from having sat for a while. Getting on the thing made me want to get out there and ride. Not having paid this year's insurance yet nixes that though. Sitting on the running bike, the thought came to me if I'd be doing the right thing getting rid of it and going to a scooter. The thought passed in a moment. The crotch-rocket position is fun for maybe an hour, and carrying anything on it is a nuisiance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
If I'm not too late ....

I've never ridden the 400 and only collected my 650 2 days ago. However...

Until recently I was the happy owner of a brace of Piaggio X9 500s. Wonderful machines. One of these beauties took me, a pillion and loads of gear around the UK in October, in great style too. But (and it's a big 'but'), I discovered that the manufacturers don't recommend that you exceed a total load of 180kg.

Enter 'Arnie', who can gobble up the sort of weight I might have to inflict on him without invalidating my insurance.

Oh, and the 650 is such a beaooooootiful machine and an awesome performer.

For me, the decision was a no-brainer. Should you feel like carrying similar loads, then the 650 must be favourite.

Just my three-penn'orth.

:)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,402 Posts
frugality said:
lilleyen, I've been following your posts -- 275 posts from a guy who doesn't even have his scooter yet?! :wink: I hope you get it soon, because you need to RIDE. I was a bit worried that the 650 would be a touch too high where the 400 feels very comfortable. But I think I remember a post of yours that said you're 5'7", so if a 650 will work for you, it should be doable for me, too.snipped
I know, it's a bit embarassing. I've become an armchair expert :oops: :oops:
But you're right on both counts.
I need to ride :twisted:
It's doable for both of us! :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
chiefkeefe said:
If I'm not too late ....
Not at all. Your 'initial impressions' post about your first day on the 650 was one of the key influences that started swaying me towards the Bigger Burger. :wink: Thanks for the input! I may need to look at changing my screen name if I end up going with the one that's $2000 more and gets 'only' 50mpg...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
639 Posts
My commute is about 40 minutes and going home is in the dark given that I work second shift (are the headlights of one better than the other?)
I have to say that one of the 650's best safety features are those bright twin headlights. They're brighter than my car :shock: & certainly brighter than any motorcycle headlight that I've used before (haven't ridden a Gold Wing yet).

When I am travelling on a dark winding country road at night, those high beams do a great job of lighting up the road. If there is much traffic and I get tired of going between high & low beam, I just squeeze the flash to pass trigger when needed and the road really lights up (both high & low on at the same time), then let go when a car approaches. This is also very effective when leaning into a dark curve and I need to really watch for deer, :shock: which are very plentiful here.

So if you are going to be travelling a lot at night, you'll really appreciate those bright lights on the 650. :) I have not heard of any pre-mature headlight bulb failures that seems to plague some 400's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,411 Posts
Timothy Ma said:
...So right then and there, between Spokane and Seattle along #2, I decided the 650 is going to sitting in my garage come this spring...
That's a nice ride. I've done it several times now (as well as I-90, but US-2 is prettier). I haven't ridden a 400 on any mountain roads (only a few times around the dealer's block), but I know the 650 handles them wonderfully.

I put it in Power mode for the increased torque and increased engine-breaking and then just glided through the twisties between Monroe and Wenatchee. Hardly ever needed to touch the brakes; just twisting the throttle ever so slightly up or down gave me total control.

Stevens Pass always has a bit of snow still visible, even in the summer, and in the fall the trees changing color near Leavenworth are a sight to see.

Even the yellow wheat fields and tan desserts in Eastern Washington, between Wenatchee and Spokane, are a pleasant change from the constant greens of the West side.

Okay, time to check the Weather Channel for next weekend's forcast! 8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
Frugality
You can keep the name, even on a 650, cos its better than the costs of a cage.

My recommendation : the 650

Why

He said, “Come to the Edge”
I said, “I can’t, I’m afraid”
He said, “Come to the Edge”
I said, “I can’t, I’ll fall off”
He said, finally, “Come to the edge”
And I came to the Edge
And he pushed me.
And I flew!

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 – 1918)


Our 650 allows us to fly. Mind you, from the threads, there are a lot of members flying on 400's.

Decision making back to you.

Regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
ladnar said:
Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 – 1918)
Devil's advocate :twisted: -- O.K., but this guy only lived to be 38!


I just finished an interesting Christian book called Wild At Heart, which basically tells us that the church has turned all us Christian guys into a bunch of whimpy 'nice guys'. It calls us to be more daring and adventurous. I took note of an interesting quote that's in the same vein as the one above:

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." -Harold Whitman

(editied to credit author)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Frugality
send me a PM. I live in Ferrysburg and have a 650 with a Clearview XXL screen and just added the VIP top box.
When we have a decent day we can get together and you can try out my big blue. (As long as I can get it out of the back yard.)
Steve :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
frugality said:
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
Thanks, Froog ('frugality' seems so formal :wink: )

I think I'll have this on the wall of my garage, to serve as a reminder :thumbleft:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I just edited my profile to show my real-world name. Dean is good, but I have to admit I kinda like 'Froog'... :)

Steve, does someone who's profile says "Time sure flys when you're dazed and bewildered!" really belong on only 2 wheels...? Just curious... :wink:
 
1 - 20 of 63 Posts
Top