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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. I am new to this forum and I am writing because I am considering purchasing a 2011 Burgman 650. I have owned all kinds of motorcycles, mopeds up to Goldwing. I have always preferred scooters. When Honda introduced the SW in 2002 it was the first time I bought a new bike. I have owned three SW's since then and they are wonderful bikes. I have traveled long distances on them, 4-5000 mile trips. Most of my riding is local though. I am now considering the Burg as a chance to try something a bit different. My Honda dealer has seriously warned me against it, he thinks I'll be disappointed in the quality. Please give me some feedback as to what I can expect. What are the differences that you might know or imagine concerning the ride, maintenance and cost of maintenance, reliability, comfort, etc...and anything about the 2011 I should be aware of...I really appreciate any help you might offer...Dan
 

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I recently switched from riding my Gold Wing to a 07 Burgman 650 Executive. I love the Burgman, but seriously considered the Silverwing, since I've always been impressed with Honda quality. After test riding the Silverwing, I considered the CVT too grabby, etc. So far, I love this Burgman, but have ridden it just 1000 miles. If Honda replaces the Silverwing, which I hope they do, maybe with that DCT transmission, then I'll probably own one.

I have zero complaints on the Burgman, but it's not the supreme touring bike like the Wing. However, my yearly touring miles have dwindled down to about 5000 yearly from 15,000. The longest ride on the 650 has been about 150 miles. Time will tell, but must admit, the Burgman beats the Wing in many ways, no shifting, lightness, maneuverability, fuel economy, underseat storage, electronic windshield, mirrors, etc.
 

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I’m a newbie in the cruiser crowd. As a cager I always held Honda in highest regard. Bought a Honda PCX150 three years ago. Extremely satisfied, as far as a 150cc bike goes.

Last month began shopping for a larger bike. First thing I tried was an older SWing with very low miles. I was scared off by how heavy and rough it felt. I couldn’t get it to pull away from a stop smoothly. Difficult to control at slow speed. Did not stop smoothly. Okay at speed, but my username might tell you that I need a bike that handles well in town. Surprised and disappointed, I went to a dealer and tested a newer SWing. Repeat performance. Was glad to get back on my PCX which I could handle. Perhaps 600cc is too big for me and a Majesty or Burgie 400 is more my size.

A week later at a different dealer, the only scooters they had were two 650 Burgmans and two SWings. Oh well, I guess I could turn a few circles in the parking lot on the Burgman just for kicks. I was blowed away! The Burgman handled like a precision machine! Very precise, and well controlled. Yes, heavy, but entirely manageable. The salesman sent me for a ride down the pike. I came back with stars in my eyes. Y’know, maybe I was too harsh on the SWings… Can I take one of them out in the parking lot too? I only got 10’ out of the garage before I hit the brakes and cut the engine. No thanks! I’ll stick with a Burgman. Two days later I brought mine home.
 

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Of course a Honda dealer is going to say a Suzuki isn't any good. I can tell you I sure haven't had any problem with my 09 650 with just over 30,000 miles on it. Oh I also put 46,000 + miles on a 400 before selling it with no problems.
I don't have anything against Honda, heck my first bike was a Honda. They make some nice bikes but nothing that compares to the 650. The SWing is more like the 400 Burgman then the 650. :wink
 

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Any one who has done a 5,000 mile trip on a Silverwing scooter IMO deserves a vote for martyrdom . While the Silverwing is a very reliable scooter and easy to maintain , it can't hold a candle to a Burgman 650 . I have had both , in fact I still own some Silverwings that I got for practically nothing $ While you can compare a Silverwing to a Burgman 400 , you really can't compare it to a 650 . Really and truly the 650 Burgman is in a class by itself . The only thing the Silverwing and the 650 Burgman have in common is they call them both scooters . I would strongly suggest you take one out for a spin and you'll see what I mean . The 650 has a fairly severe engine brake that takes a little getting used to , you have to treat the throttle more like a rheostat than a throttle . Once you get beyond that you'll get hooked like the most of us did . Maintenance wise the 650 Burg is pretty much maintenance free , until the CVT belt breaks or just blows up . If and when a CVT issue does occur , if the dealer fixes it the cost will in most cases exceed the bike's value . OR CLOSE TO IT ! One I heard blew up at only 10,000 miles , but that was the extreme example . Most get 50,000 miles on average before and issues occur . Some get as much as 80,000 miles before any issues occur , but know going in that the 650 Burg is no Silverwing longevity wise . If Honda came to me and said if I sold all my bikes they would give me a brand new Silverwing every year ,and they would pay all insurance and maintenance cost on it , and all I would have to do is make it my only bike , I would turn them down .












TheReaper!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Reaper,

Not sure if you are saying that the Silverwing will outlast the Burg or the other way around?? Thanks for the convincing review...Dan
 

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I've owned both and the Burgman 650 Exec is the best all around bike I've owned. ( I've owned two )

I just sold my 2009 after 4 years and 63,000 km where the only thing that failed was a battery.

You have to replace the Swing belt every 20k km ( 12k miles ) and it's not cheap at a dealers.

This was the review that got me into the category

http://www.onewheeldrive.net/2006/10/04/scoot-touring-the-honda-silverwing-and-suzuki-burgman/

and I switched after a year with the Swing and it the Burgman 650 was a big step up. It was the handling in the twists that really is astonishing.
The bike is better than most riders including me...but one member here knows how to ring the very best out of it.....see below.
Even in the review above the VFR800 rider says "if this were a race there would be no losing the Burgman"....pretty impressive.
Brakes are amazing and the Power button in the twists combined with the engine braking really sets it apart.

THIS is a jaw dropper tho.

http://burgmanusa.com/forums/12-general-discussion/70658-high-praise-650-burgman.html
 

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The burgman 650 is the better bike. Heck they don't even off the Swing anymore. Nothing against it, but the big burg is better. Smooth as silk and virtually maintenance free, save expendables. Rides more like a motorcycle, because it is. Fantastic touring bike. I put 450 miles on mine in one day just last month. I wasn't even sore (note that an Airhawk pad is almost a requirement for long days though)

But you have to buy it right. For all intents and purposes, for the mechanically disinclined, the bike is limited by the cvt belt. Arguably it will last 75k miles, the later the model year, the more likely it'll reach this milestone. The bike depreciates tremulously because of this fact.

So the trick is to buy a low-mileage, late model bike for a third of its cost new. If you can swing $3500 for a standard or $4,500 for an Executive model, you'll be getting the most bang for your buck. Buy one with less than 10k miles, and you'll have 60k+ miles at a very reasonable price. When the belt breaks, move on to the next. Simple as that.

So good luck. Let us know how it goes.
 

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Reaper,

Not sure if you are saying that the Silverwing will outlast the Burg or the other way around?? Thanks for the convincing review...Dan

Odds are due to the Burgman's CVT and only the CVT , IMO the Silverwing has the Burgman beat longevity and cost wise . For me and most other Burgman guys , that little fact is not the least bit important . All that said , if some one were a $10 an hour wage slave and asked me which one to buy to get back and forth to work every day , and he didn't really care about the comfort factor , I would tell him to buy a Silverwing .

In the end it's all about you , you obviously know the Silverwing , so test a 650 Burg out and see what YOU think . Just remember the engine brake takes a little getting used to .The Silverwing mechanically speaking is a great scooter , and that's where the great part begins and ends IMO . Most all scooters have the CVT in the swingarm , that's what gives you that rat tat tat vibration on take off . The Burgman 650 and the T-max have a different set up and have much smoother take offs .

I have a pristine 2005 with 11,000 miles on it (paid $3,500) looks and runs perfectly . A few weeks ago a pristine 2007 with 6800 miles on it came available 500 miles away for $3,000 , I made the deal over the phone hooked up the trailer and went and got it the next day . Like I said above , if they gave me Silverwings for free and I had to actually ride it I wouldn't take it . For me the Burgman 650 is pretty much the perfect bike ergonomically speaking FOR ME . The only gremlin in the 650 Burg IMO is the CVT , knowing all that I'm still hooked on them .

As far as I'm concerned if you buy one right with low miles , the CVT gremlin is immaterial . A 650 Burg with good plastics with a blown CVT will still bring $1,500 , so if you paid $3,500 or less you are only putting $2,000 at risk . A small price to pay IMO . I look at it like this , if it blows it blows I'll just buy another one .

What I look for in a 650 Burg is first low miles for sure as in less than 10,000 miles . Then it must be in all around pristine condition for $3,500 or less . I look for a standard model 2005 to 2008 , I don't particularity want an executive model . The Executive for me has extra stuff that I don't want or need or have to repair .

Drive one and decide for yourself if it fits you , then be patient when shopping for one . Also asking prices are just that ASKING ! , this is a buyer's market so act accordingly .

TheReaper!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What great responses...thanks guys. Tell me why one has to be concerned with the belt going? On the Silverwing one has to replace the belt at 16k. Does the Burgman have a time when it's belt should be replaced? Everyone makes it sound like you just wait til it breaks. That seems odd and probably does a lot of damage and is dangerous??
 

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I have only test drove the Honda and it is a nice bike, a little dated since it has not had many changes for years. But I can tell you is The Honda Silver Wing is a Chevy and the Bugman is a Mercedes. I own a 2013 that is the first year of major changes. Is has many more features and very comfortable lots more storage room. 60 HP makes this a very powerful bike and with a 230LB rider and gear I still manage to get a minimum of 52-54MPH in stop and go city driving. Highway into the 60's.

As for the tech saying that you would not be happy you must experience for your self. Suzuki has been making the same model Scooter for over 12 years now. So I think they have it down. I don't know about the 2011 one I like NEW and you can get it at 0.0% for 60 month $0.0 down. Thats how I got mine. Love FREE money. I'm sure the used one will be cheaper but if something brakes you will pay and it is about same as a Honda expensive. That is why I get new have 1 year Warranty and I take very good care of my bikes. If you check around there are some 2013 new still available and 2014 Burgmans. If you find one you can usually negotiate a good deal 2016 coming out soon dealers want to clear old inventory and with 0.0% its a sweet deal/.
 

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What great responses...thanks guys. Tell me why one has to be concerned with the belt going? On the Silverwing one has to replace the belt at 16k. Does the Burgman have a time when it's belt should be replaced? Everyone makes it sound like you just wait til it breaks. That seems odd and probably does a lot of damage and is dangerous??
Ya you need to read up on this a bit more.

The Burgman has a totally different set up as the silverwing. The Swing has more of a traditional scooter transmission belt. It is basically a big rubber band between the engine and rear wheel, and transfers the power between the two, using the cvt plates to vary the speed. Thus it needs replacement every so often.

The B650 has an electronic cvt and uses a special Kevlar belt made of small metal shims; it's designed to last the life of the bike, good news is no maintenance; bad news is, when it breaks, the bike is toast. The belt is buried deep in the beast and cost upwards of $2k to replace, Given the cost, it's generally the death knell of the bike as the repair costs exceeds the bikes value.

The 650 tranny is very unique and quite wonderful. With the computer controlled cvt, it probably adds 100ccs of power compared to a normal bike, so it's like riding a 750. No maintenance is fantastic (just oil). But there's that big "if" or rather "when" will the belt snap.

But the fact is, most bikes never make it to 75K miles; most bikes are lucky if they make it to 50K miles. So to many of us, the belt is not a limiting factor. Most bikes are doomed by falls, spills, broken plastics, neglect, and many more, non-maintenance issues. We just happily ride it; Burgman grin in place. The day will come when we can't, to be sure, but that day is not today. :D
 

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The belt itself cost nearly $400.00 U.S. , when it goes some times it takes other parts with it to CVT heaven . So if it needs a rebuild , parts alone for the average rebuild run $1,300 and possibly more if the case gets damaged but that is rare . Then if you have to pay the dealer to do it , parts and labor can run from $3,500 to as much as $4,800 depending on how much damage there is .


The problem is it's difficult to get to the CVT because it is attached to the side of the engine under the frame . It wasn't until recently that some one figured out how to remove the CVT without taking the entire bike apart which was a BIG JOB . Still it's a pretty big labor intensive job , that is why most owners never fix a blown CVT . They either sell them whole or part them out .


The CVT can go at any time , but on average one could safely expect to get 50,000 miles out of one . There is a catch however because it is on AVERAGE , what I mean by that is you could be the one that blows very early . Or you could be the one that gets 80,000 miles or even more if you are lucky . To increase your odds don't buy a 2003 or 2004 model , and buy one with super low miles .


I look at a Burgman 650 as today's ride and tomorrow's parts bike , that is why I want the bike to be in otherwise pristine condition . For me it's a numbers game , that way if I get unlucky and it blows my losses are very limited . If mine blows my loss is limited to $2,000 , which in reality is what you would normally lose on any bike . I could do the repair myself , but I really don't like making major repairs . So chances are I would either part it out or sell it whole , and then move on to another newer one . In other words like one of our members said , "it's a disposable bike" .


It would not surprise me one bit if more of these get wrecked long before they have a CVT blow up . I've done three surveys on the average 650 Burg for sale , and each time the average one had around 11,000 miles on it .


To answer you question about a recommended belt change interval , no there isn't one .


TheReaper!














What great responses...thanks guys. Tell me why one has to be concerned with the belt going? On the Silverwing one has to replace the belt at 16k. Does the Burgman have a time when it's belt should be replaced? Everyone makes it sound like you just wait til it breaks. That seems odd and probably does a lot of damage and is dangerous??
 

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Clearly there have been some 650 riders who have experienced early cvt failure. I think they are in a very small, but unfortunate, minority. I don't think anyone but Suzuki knows what the real percentage might be. I do know that, regardless of the subject, folks with negative experiences tend to post more than those who have nothing to say because their meal was good, or their room was clean, or their bike rides just fine. This makes the issue appear riskier than it really is. Doubt creeps in and overshadows otherwise clear choices.

In terms of risk - we ride fast on two wheels. By our own choice we accept a huge degree of catastrophic risk to our own bodies that makes a $4000 cvt repair bill laughable. But we reduce our risk by riding smart, wearing the right gear and maintaining our rides. You can reduce the Burgman risk by buying new with warranty, adding an extended warranty, or by buying a low mileage, late model used bike to minimize the financial impact of a future low-probability problem.

In a perfect world, I'd have the mechanical skills of a Buffalo or LeDude, the marketing skills of The Reaper and my own good looks. But in a perfect world, the 650 would never break - meaning developing these skills in our non-perfect world is another way to minimize the financial risk.

The Burgman grin is universally recognized. Is there such a thing as the Silverwing smile? (If there is, I bet it looks a lot like the Volvo grin). We eagerly await your decision.
 

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Belts on a Silverwing vs. a Bjurgmana 650

The SW's belt is easily replaced in just about an hour. The Burgman's requires engine disassembly for access, about a $2500-3000 cost.

The SW's jerkiness is improved with replacing the variator rollers with DR. Pulley sliders, less than $60 and if included in a belt change it adds little labor cost to the job.

Google Dr. Pulley sliders to learn more about them if you're interested.

North West Buggy parts carries them in the U.S. although they're from Taiwan I think.

Ray Nielsen, in Minneapolis.
 

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I haven't owned a 650, but I had a 2002 Honda Silverwing for 7 years and put 113,000 miles on it and I will tell you they are great bikes, had almost no trouble with it in that time. When I got rid of it 2 years ago I bought my 2008 Burgman 400 for a smaller and more light weight bike and so far have 52,000 miles on it and couldn't be happier with it honestly. I'd consider them close equals in quality but I will admit Honda is better in my opinion.

Now that being said I'd buy either one with confidence - just comes down to which fits your needs / likes better.
I've had a few odd things go wrong with the Burgman I wouldn't expect - but again its a great bike and has been very reliable in all weather as a commuter just like the silverwing was.
 

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I have not ridden a Silverwing 600 and would have a hard time doing so due to the poor ergonomics. I'm 6ft-5in and 350 lbs of country fried table muscle and even though I only have a 32 inch inseam, my legs are cramped and the seat forces me forward and even the footing is weird to me. Before I bought my 2012 Exec, I had a deal lined up for a brand new 2012 Silverwing, for $8,000 out the door but after actually trying it on for size, I'd never have one. I belong to the Silverwing forum and the Folks are great and the scoot is too but it's not for me.

Sam:)
 

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I've had a 2004 Burgman 400, a 2010 Executive and now have a Silverwing. The SW feels a bit cramped like the 400 did. Exec had lots of legroom. The 650 also had gobs of power that the SW doesn't. The CVT on the SW is also more lurchy than the CVT on the Burgman 400. It also has a much softer suspension and sort of hops through turns. The 650s bigger tires and firmer suspension were more sportbike like. The SW is MUCH easier to manhandle around the garage. I really had to survey where I was going to park with the big Burgman because I was not able to push it backwards up a slight grade at all. Based on the riding experience alone I preferred the Executive. I'm not quite as deep of pocket as some here who say if and when the belt goes in the Burgman 650 throw it out and get a new one - so based on the reliability factor I'm happy with the SW for now.
 

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I'm not quite as deep of pocket as some here who say if and when the belt goes in the Burgman 650 throw it out and get a new one.
Well, ultimately, nearly every thing is disposable. I doubt any of us still have our car from college for instance. Everything has a life expectancy; everything gets replaced. On the Burgman 650, we just know what one of the big killers is beforehand. It's actually kinda convenient knowing what you can expect.

75k miles, that's what I'm hoping to achieve. Till I reach it, I'll put some money away each month for its replacement. When it dies, I'll say "thank you very much" and put a proverbial sword through it like a matador to a bull. On to the next fight. Ole!
 
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Ridr44, you must remember that everyone's experience with each bike is different and the feedback you get are those experiences being translated into opinions. For my experience, the Silverwing 600 was a great bike, that I preferred at slower speeds to the B650 unlike someone else's review. At higher speeds the Burgman is way smoother and the SW seemed more buzzy. But compared to most motorcycles, all these maxi-scooters vibrate alot. I had better take off on the Wing due to having some Dr Pulley sliders installed in the variator and the bike felt more nimble to me, but the big Burg feels more like a Cadillac to me, smoother, a little quieter and heavier. And I will mention that when I went to sell the SW, it became apparent that taller riders didn't like its ergonomics the way that shorter guys like myself and the buyer did.

Another thing you really need to consider, ridr44 is that you came on a forum dedicated to the Suzuki Burgman asking about a comparison to its rival bike. How objective of an answer do you think you'll get? If you go to www.silverwing600.com (which I was very active on during my SW years) you'll get totally different answers. There they call the Burgman 650 "lardy" and speak of its lesser reliability, excess heft, excessive bells and whistles cluttering up the handlebar buttons with potentially more things to break down. Some even dropped down from the Burg and are so pleased they feel they'd never want to go back. And then there's that busted CVT issue they warn you about, telling you it's better to change a belt with peace of mind, etc, etc. Well, you get the picture.

In all my years traveling around the US and many foreign countries, I've noticed that everywhere you go, people there will tell you their's is the best state, town, municipality, island, nation or whatever. That's why they are there in the first place because if they didn't think that way, they wouldn't be living there for very much longer. So you just take it with a grain of salt. Just like these forums. All we can do is give you our experiences or like the Honda dealer, our recommendations. Everyone has a dog in the fight. You just have to find a way to test ride both, although dealers and private sellers sometimes make it a hassle, and hopefully there are places that rent these things for a day the way they do in Waikiki, Hawaii. Then and only then will the decision be totally on how you feel on each bike and having sorted through the mass of information out there thrown at you.
Best of success to you, ridr44.
 
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