Suzuki Burgman USA Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am a novice rider. Way back around 1980 a friend let me ride a naked Honda ‘cycle that had, as I recall, a 350 cc engine. I futzed around with gear shifting and what not and realized I didn’t really care that much to master it, so I never became “hooked” on riding. Several years ago I took a trip to Key West and rented a moped. I jetted around the island for the better part of the day and enjoyed the sensation, the ride. Life intervened, though, and I realized I had a lot of other things to do with my money before buying a moped, so I never did.

Early last month, having just come off a hellish several weeks of non-stop overtime at work, I realized I had some play money, so I went out and bought a Kymco ZX-50. In Indiana, street-legal mopeds don’t need to be licensed or insured or a motorcycle endorsement needed, so I figured it would be some fun. What I didn’t realize is that I would become hooked so quickly, and want something more.

While I was out shopping for the moped I had seen a silver AN400 at a dealer in South Bend. I didn’t really give it much of a second thought at the time (other than that the thing was huge compared to a moped) but as the days went by I found myself thinking more and more about the AN400. I did some internet research on the bike and checked what the insurance was going to be. (I had decided to go ahead and insure the ZX-50 anyway; it was a very reasonable $158 a year.) Surprisingly enough, the premium wouldn’t change for the AN400. The dealer I bought the AN400 from also carries Honda scooters, and I had looked at them on the internet. However, when I got to the store and sat on the Reflex I realized that the AN400 seemed like a lot more bike for the money. Without even riding the AN400, I decided to go for it.

Although the AN400 is miles separated from the ZX-50, I realized right away there were some things about it I wasn’t happy about with the AN400. For one thing, it sounds like a golf cart. I was hoping for a smoother engine sound. Another issue I had with the AN400 was getting it to lean enough when taking corners and curves. Now, I’m not talking high-speed daredevil stuff here. Taking easy sweepers on our country highways here in Indiana, I would seemingly get to a point where the bike just didn’t want to lean anymore and would start wanting to follow its own line out of the curve, even though my speed was at or below the posted recommendation for the curve. This had me slightly baffled, and concerned. Also, while there was substantially more power than with the ZX-50 (of course) I felt like it needed more oomph. Although the AN400 achieved highway speeds easily enough I was less than impressed with its highway demeanor; a lot of buffetting at speed, somewhat skittish. I started wondering what the AN650 was like.

Back to the drawing board.

I started doing research again, this time on the AN650, and liked what I saw. That’s when I found this board, which is a godsend as far as I’m concerned. Further, a check on insurance rates found that my rate on the AN650 would be the same as the AN400, so that kind of cinched the deal. Even though I’d just bought the AN400 a few weeks before I knew that I wouldn’t be happy unless I had the AN650 so I went to the dealer and ordered one, sight unseen, and took about a $1500 hit to trade in the AN400. I’ll be the first one to admit I’m a tough customer, but the AN650 has so far exceeded my expectations.

I took delivery of my black AN650 last Friday, Aug. 6, late afternoon. From the moment I touched the start button I knew I was on a bike that was leagues above even the AN400, as good a bike as that is in its own right. It was smoooooth… no vibrations through the seat when it ran.

I rode it around the dealer’s lot a few times before leaving and immediately encountered the engine braking that’s built into the AN650. The AN400 does not have this and at first it surprised and concerned me until I remembered that I’d seen something about this during my research. I’ve since come to appreciate the benefits the engine braking can offer, but I do feel it needs to be tweaked somewhat so it disengages more smoothly as speed comes down. On mine, it seems like it really starts biting around 20 MPH, hauls the bike down, and then disappears all at once around 8-10 MPH. Like I said, I’d like to see this smoothed out a little bit.

I left the dealer and was immediately in four-lane rush hour traffic; a relatively novice rider on a machine I’d never ridden before. In a few short minutes I started feeling comfortable. Even though it had cost me a lot more money than if I’d just started with the AN650, going through the moped and then the AN400 first gave me some much-needed experience. I goosed the throttle and was utterly amazed at the smoothness of the power delivery. I was intrigued with the sound of the bike; it has a very throaty, almost a semi-diesel like sound; it’s hard to explain. After some riding, I think this is the transmission, since riding low behind the windscreen reveals a totally different engine sound. However, it’s not an unpleasant sound; in fact, it sounds like power to me.

I decided I wanted to get some miles on the bike to get it in for its break-in service ASAP so I took it out on our “bypass”, which is a relatively new four-lane with a 55 MPH limit. At the Michigan state line this goes to a 70 MPH limit. I put a few hundred miles on the bike first at lower speeds, then hit the highway.

Again, what a difference from the AN400! The bike is totally smooth at freeway speeds; the engine quietly sings. I did experience moderate wind buffeting, but I suppose that’s to be expected. Closer to the 600-mile mark I did some speed runs, tweaking it up to 85 and back down quickly. The bike is totally composed even at these speeds… the darned thing just flies! Passing and being passed by semis was a little intimidating at first, but now I’m getting used to how the bike responds and I feel more comfortable handling the buffeting.

I remarked earlier about the difficulty I was having with the AN400 and cornering and curving… I do not experience that at all with the AN650, and I’m not sure why that is. I went back to the same roads I was traveling with the AN400 and, with the AN650, had no problem following the lines I wished to follow running the speeds at which I felt safe. That’s a mystery, I guess.

The engine on the AN650 is everything I was hoping it would have been on the AN400. The AN400 ran rough at lower speeds, although it was starting to come out of it as I neared the 600-mile service. Closing the throttle would produce little backfiring noises and there was a lot of engine vibration in the bike. As I mentioned earlier, it sounded like a golf cart; the engine sound just doesn’t match the image the bike presents. I would like to see Suzuki massage the AN400 engine so it’s smoother and has a better engine note. The engine on the AN650 purrs like a kitten; when I’m at highway speeds I can’t hear it because of wind noise in my helmet, but if I lean in front of the windscreen I can hear it whirring away. Marvelous.

Which is another point; the inadequate (for me) windscreen. I’ve seen in other forums how many people are replacing the OEM windscreen and I’m sure I’ll be doing that too. Aside from the fact that all the wind is annoying I’m sure it’s not good for your hearing over the long term and I really don’t want to resort to ear plugs, which present their own issues. Right now I’m leaning towards the Clearview. I sent a query in through their website but haven’t gotten a reply yet. If I don’t hear from them soon I’ll call them.

There’s no doubt about it; the AN650 is one heavy bike. That was one of the things that convinced me to go ahead and get it, figuring that perhaps it might feel more composed at highway speeds relative to the AN400, and I was right. A conundrum here, for me, is that even though the AN650 is over 100 pounds heavier than the AN400 it seems to handle much more, shall we say, ‘accurately’. The lightest touch, the slightest lean moves the bike predictably; hold your balance at ease and the bike is right there with you. The rider feels at one with the bike. The AN400 felt respectable, but many times, particularly in the aforementioned corners and curves, I felt I was wrestling with the AN400, trying to get it to cooperate.

Today was my last ride before the service, and I decided to do a bit of acceleration running. On an isolated country road straightaway I flicked on the “Power Mode” , came to a stop, and then quickly rolled on the throttle. Man! I didn’t even go full throttle and in no time at all I was doing supra-legal speeds. This thing may not have the response of a crotch-rocket but it’s sure fast enough for me! One of the little joys of this bike is walking away from people at lights… they just don’t see it coming. I dusted a Harley the other day… that was fun. (LOL)

As far as the suspension goes, I’ve read remarks from others regarding the pitching over frost heaves, etc., and I have to agree. I’m not sure what Suzuki needs to do to fix this but I’d like to see the suspension be a little more compliant with frost heaves and bumps in general. Going over rough overpass bridges on the freeway can be downright punishing. I’ve gotten used to raising myself up slightly when going over these things and that helps, but I’d rather let the suspension handle it for me.

Anyway, tomorrow I take my AN650 in for its break-in service. I have 597 miles on the odo right now, and it will be right at 600 when I get it to the dealer, who tells me the service will run around $110.

Well, this has gone on long enough… thanks for reading. Overall, I’m very impressed and happy with my AN650. A big thanks to those who administer and moderate this board, as well as the contributors; it’s been an invaluable resource for me.

WLB :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,278 Posts
Great post. Thanks for taking the time to write it. You now have me wanting to go test drive a 650. But I know better than to allow myself to since I don't need to : spend the money trading in, almost doubling my insurance, or getting any speeding tickets (knowing me). :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
But I know better than to allow myself to since I don't need to : spend the money trading in, almost doubling my insurance, or getting any speeding tickets (knowing me).
I know what you mean. :wink: Whenever I'm riding I watch the speedo like a hawk. I went past one of those friendly roadside radar monitors the other day which gave me an excellent chance to check the speedo accuracy, and like my AN400, the AN650's speedo is exactly 3 MPH fast. Although at first I was a little non-plussed by the techno-gadgetry of the AN650's digital dash I've grown to appreciate being able to see my speed to the exact MPH, and the MPH display is nice and big. However, I wish the gas guage had 10 or 12 bars rather than just the five it has. :cry:

As far as the insurance goes, I'm 47 with a clean record so my rates through Progressive are good, and as I mentioned above they were the same for the moped, the AN400, and the AN650 ($158/yr). Knock on wood, that's where they'll stay. I did the entire insurance transaction with Progressive on the internet, practically painless (except for paying for it. :roll: )

But seriously, the AN650 is really something to aspire to... not to take anything away from the AN400 which is a great ride in its own right, and don't tell Suzuki this, but even if they bumped the price up a couple grand more than it already is over the AN400 it would still be worth it. It's that much better than the AN400, IMHO.

Now, if we could just see something like, say, an AN1000... oh my. That WOULD be nirvana. :D

WLB :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Welcome to the forum and the wonder that is the AN 650. I have been riding black 04 for about 3 weeks and if it would just stop raining for a few days I will be ready for 1st service. Riding the Burg is addictive, fun and economical!

Ride Safe,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
605 Posts
Thanks for a great story....I too have a 400 and have decided to purchase a 650 just because of this site and stories such as yours. People here have had such good experiences with their burgmans and I still love the 400 though. I use it mostly for my commute to work and at 40-50 mph it is an ideal mount. The 650 would be better for my summer trips so come the spring of 2005 there will be a 650 in my garage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
Excellent story!! I too started w/ a 50cc scooter. Within a month became bored with it and wanted more. Looked at Reflex, Burgman 400 & 650, Silverwing, and some other maxiscooters. I definitely decided on the Burgman. Narrowing it down between the 400 and the 650, I knew that if I went with the 400 I'd want more. So I went directly with the 650. Had it for 2 months now and never regretted a dime of it! But I have to admit, the other day there was this absolutely gorgeous Harley next to me... and I don't mean your typical Harley... this was a decked-out touring bike that made the Goldwing look cheap! Other than that, there's not much else I'd want to trade the 650 for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,411 Posts
WLB :>) said:
...I went past one of those friendly roadside radar monitors the other day which gave me an excellent chance to check the speedo accuracy, and like my AN400, the AN650's speedo is exactly 3 MPH fast.
...at 30MPH.

At 20MPH it's 2MPH fast, at 50 it's 5MPH fast, and at 100 it's 10MPH fast.

See a pattern?

(Hint: it's 10% fast.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
...at 30MPH.

At 20MPH it's 2MPH fast, at 50 it's 5MPH fast, and at 100 it's 10MPH fast.

See a pattern?

(Hint: it's 10% fast.)
It's interesting you should bring that up, because I did two separate runs at different speeds... one at about 25, the other about 40, and the speedo was off by exactly 3 MPH in both cases. Admittedly, there may be some variance in at 50, or 100, as you state. Has more than one person found that the speedo is 10% fast across the board?

At any rate, for ticket avoidance issues I'm using 3 MPH across the board... this way I don't have to worry. :)

WLB :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,411 Posts
WLB :>) said:
Has more than one person found that the speedo is 10% fast across the board?
Yes, several.

In fact it has been reported that all Suzukis are 10% fast. However recently there has been a report that the 400 is only 6% fast, so more research seems to be indicated.

[Read that as an excuse for me to resume my high-speed shenanigans. 8) ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,363 Posts
Regarding the speedo error discussions in this thread: I believe all inaccurate speedometers are off by a percentage - rather than a fixed amount. There are a couple of electronic boxes on the market designed to correct speedometer error, and they are designed to correct a percentage - not a fixed number of miles per hour. So I personally can't buy reports that a 650 or 400 speedo reads 3 mph high or 6 mph high at all speeds. It has been generally assumed for quite a while that the error is 10% - not just for the Burgmans, but for other Suzuki motorcycles too - like the V-Strom that I also own. And some folks have done GPS tests that seem to verify that percentage of error. I have not run my own tests - I don't have a GPS - but I think the only question is exactly what the percentage of error is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,411 Posts
Stormsteed said:
pauljo said:
Regarding the speedo error discussions in this thread: I believe all inaccurate speedometers are off by a percentage - rather than a fixed amount.
I would expect that an analog speedometer could be off by a fixed amount, as well as a percentage... the fixed amount would depend on the calibration.
That's a good point, but it just doesn't figure.

As a watchmaker, I know that sometimes people bring in watches where the seconds hand, for example, is not on the 12 when the minute and/or hour hand are. Irrespective of the error in the watch's rate I can pull the hand and reset it to line up.

With that in mind, on the 400s one could probably pull the speed arrow and put it back on in such a way as to be accurate at a given speed -- say, 30MPH -- and the error at other common speeds would be dimished as well. But it would still never be the same error at all speeds if there is a percentage error involved. It might just be a small enough difference that it's not noticed.

For example, let's say that the 10% figure most of us have heard is true.

Current errors would be: 20MPH shows 22, 30 shows 33, 40 shows 44, and 60 shows 66.

After adjustment of arrow: 20 shows 19, 30 shows 30, 40 shows 41, and 60 shows 63.

At speeds below 50 the error would be so small that it might not be noticable (I don't know how big the arrow is nor how many hashmarks there are; I've not examined a 400 speedo that closely).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,411 Posts
Stormsteed said:
Brian said:
But it would still never be the same error at all speeds if there is a percentage error involved.
.. and that would be the key caveat. So therefore, there can be two errors: Percentage error, such as caused by tire size not nominal resulting in f.ex. more revolutions of a smaller tire, and Fixed error, such as caused by calibration of dial off.
Yes, but both cannot occur together, which is what I thought you meant when you said:

Stormsteed said:
I would expect that an analog speedometer could be off by a fixed amount, as well as a percentage... the fixed amount would depend on the calibration.
I understand now that that is not what you meant.

BTW, in the case of the AN650 it's not just a case of a calibration error or tire size miscalculation, as the odometers are very accurate. And one 650 owner who changed tire sizes (to a larger tire) said that his speed error dropped from 10% to 5% (if I recall correctly), but that his odometer was then off by the same percentage but in the opposite direction.

Either someone in Suzuki's engineering department misplaced a decimal point while programming the computer, or it's a deliberate move to make us think we're going faster than we are -- for safety reasons or for marketing hype, your pick.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top