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Discussion Starter #1
I was at an adventure bike camp and ride held by Romney Cycle center in Romney West Virginia this weekend. Suzuki brought their big hauler in with a lot of their street legal models. I was interested in riding the Burgman scooters since I've been very interested in big scooters for years and no one around me has one that I know. They didn't have the 200 but that was ok as I was primarily interested in the difference between the 400 and the 650. I got to ride them back to back as many times as I wanted(most of the other folks there are only interested in the V-Stroms from Suzuki). Ok by me. Here are my seat of the pants from riding the two 2015's. Bare in mind this is the first time I've ridden either of these models and I put about 32 miles of varied mountain roads 55-75 mph plus small town 35-25 mph stop n go and turns on both with a full face Bell helmet. The 400 compares fine with the 650 for power all the way to 75. The sound and "feel" of the motors are different and I liked the 400 response from the throttle the best. The 650 had a slow spot at low rpms where it lagged, almost like turbo lag you get with a turbo charged motor before it spools up. It made the 650 seem heavy off low rpm. The 400 just wanted to run hard from a stand still. I do not like the 650 mirrors. I'm old school and I had to hunt for tem and they do not give ME the rear look I want. The 400 mirrors did not vibrate and I had good rear vision but they look like they came off a 1968 Honda S90. They need upgraded on both scooters, IMO. The wind screen on the 400 is flimsy and flutters at high speed, doesn't do a whole lot to keep your head from getting buffeting, it's cheap and thin. I'd buy an aftermarket if I bought a 400. Oh, it's just the right height for me as it's top is at nose level that I like. The 650 shield is nice and doesn't flop around like the 400's but too narrow and aftermarket wins again. The up n down electric adjustment was nice but the travel was small for what it must cost. Suspension on both was great for me at 200lbs. The seats on both fit fine for my 31" inseam. The cheap thin dash plastic for the storage bin covers ,on both, is a joke for what Suzuki wants for either of these scooters. Controls on both are easy to use. I have ridden scooters before just not big Burgmans so I didn't let the 400's rollers disengage on long down hills so it was always ready to accelerate and I used more brake than I did with 650 since it has decent compression braking. I never rode the earlier 650 so all I can say is the compression braking is less than my V-Strom 650. It's just fine in that respect. Both bikes accelerated and could stay with any of the other bikes out on the mountain twisties and I didn't feel outclassed on these scooters. Looks wise ...ahhhh...well there really isn't a difference color and mirrors. After all the riding and "feeling" for differences; I like the seat of the pants feel of the motor in the 400 the best. Neither bike felt heavy or hard to navigate with in town. I didn't like the low RPM flat spot of the 650 motor at all. It was slower off the line. Both are the same physical size except for wheels and tires. The 650 was probably the most neutral steering bike I've ever ridden and I've ridden a lot. Where you put the bike on the road it stayed, it turned and ran fast or slow turns the same, always in control. The 400 has the small scooter feel in turns and you need to stay in control, it is quick steering and changes line with the slightest input at the bars. The 650 wins the steering/handling, no contest.
Conclusion: The 400, Pro's: Price, motor response-feel, mirrors. Con's: handling and the quick scooter-like steering, simplicity of the overall design(motor and controls). The 650, Pro's: excellent superb steering and handling. Con's: price, that motors flat spot, mirrors, complexity of the overall design(motor and controls).
I had a great time riding both of these bikes but when I do get a big scooter, and I will, if it is a Burgman it will be the 400. I can live with the fast steering and scooter like handling on the 400 but I cannot deal with the 650 dead flat spot at low rpm. It's hard to explain but besides it being like turbo lag it is also like trying to accelerate from low RPM in high gear. And please don't say "use the power button" or " just shift it with the buttons". If I have a scooter I want automatic! It should run fine in standard mode and that's where I would leave it. Twist and go. The 650 just has way to many bells and whistles that I don't need or want.
Well that's it, have a good day folks............Mike
 

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You must try the older version of the 650. It's not the engine, it's the retuned tranny and its Eco features and higher MPG. The older big burg pulls like a freight train with no power lags, has significant engine braking, but is very twitchy with throttle in slow speeds, especially on "Power" mode.

But the rest of it was very observant. I like the 400 exactly because of its fast steering and lighter handling; you can't go wrong with it.

Glad you had a chance to try them. They're both awesome machines.
 

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Very nice review of the new 2015's!
I'm a little jealous, my local dealer doesn't have any burgies on the floor.
 

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Nothing has changed for '15 on either. Your dealer may not have any but plenty of dealers around you have plenty of Burgmans. Just look in the back of the sales floor!
 

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Gunruner, great review! I too like the 400 more. I have ridden two of our works 650's frequently on intercontinental trips (and I've done the same on my 400) in the past and that too is a great bike, but overpriced and doesn't necessarily give much more than the 400 in the sub-75mph bracket. I prefer the lighter handling of the 400 too. I found the new 2015 650 is ok regarding the power lag. Once they are run in it seems to be fine. Those motors are very tight indeed when new. It's possible also the one you rode was in need of a motor tweak to get rid of that lag.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks folks. I did try to look at both with the "They are new" and not broken in yet. I went back and forth many times to get the feel of both and difference. Both were very comfortable and a person could live with either easily. I'd have to have a big top case on either as I like storage. I'd put a dark sticker over that annoying eco light the first day. I don't need a computer telling me when I'm cruising that I'm saving anything! I liked them both but the 400 is the one for me.
 

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Good choice and since there are no changes you can still buy new 2013 and 2014 Burgman 400s at a good price if you look around.

I like the Burg 6, I love the Burg 4!
 

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My 650 K4 definitely has zero "throttle lag" (which is probably "CVT controller lag" not the engine itself). I'm sure that the tradeoff is lower gas mileage. And there's no silly stupid "eco" light.
 
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