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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! As some of you may already know, I am new to this forum, and I am picking up a nice, clean 2005 Burgman 650 (5900 miles) this weekend, after years of conventional motorcycles. Looking forward to it greatly!

My worry, if you can call it that, is about what I have read about the extremely high cost of replacing the 650's CVT belt if it goes prematurely. Here in Canada, we seem to get the royal hose when it comes to parts costs and shop labour rates (not to mention the scarcity of competent shops/mechanics in the first place). I am hearing this constant nagging from the back of my mind: that "what if..." question.

So, although I understand it is not a common occurrence, just how rare is this issue? For that matter, what is "early" and what is the expected lifespan? Obviously, I can't tell how the bike was treated with previous owners, but is there some way I can ride it that minimizes wear on this belt, and the likelihood of it failing? Any preventative maintenance I can do?

I realize this may be a silly concern, and an even sillier series of questions to ask, but I don't want this nagging feeling of financial dread (I am not a man of means, and every dollar counts) ruining what may otherwise be an enjoyable ownership experience.

Thanks in advance for your answers.
 

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I had the same concern, it caused me to consider the 400 for a while. But I eventually decided that the CVT issue was probably more smoke than fire (you only hear about the few failures, not about the thousands of 650s that have been 100% reliable). So I bought my 650K4 last August and have put about 6000 miles on it including a recent 2200-mile road trip down the coast and back. No worry at all about reliability now.

I take it pretty easy on my bike, very few hard starts and stops and very little wide-open-throttle. I think riding as smoothly as possible is the nicest thing you can do for the CVT (and other systems too).

You might think about becoming a gearhead and doing your own maintenance and repairs. The Burgmans are much easier to work on and repair than your typical 4-wheel monstrosity. Then you won't have to worry about being ripped off by dealers whose competence worries you.
 

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I had 54,000 miles on my frist 03 650 whan I used the wrong oil and toasted the bearings. I am at 52,000 miles on my 3rd 650, my second one made it to 19,000 miles before the RED Chevy factor took it out, a big Red pickup and I met at 40 MPH.
So on my first and third, over 50K miles of "Ride it like ya stole it", NOT babied at all. I ride in rain, snow and rain. ;)

A few 400 riders like to push our buttons on the CVT failures and make it seem like it happes alot but in the 10,000's of 650's made the failure rate is very low.

I am not worried yet, nor will I be soon. What comes comes.
 

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If you use the search function and input words such CVT belt, CVT maintenance, etc. you will easily get 100's of post already covering this subject over the last 8-10 years. Any question you may have will have plenty of answers for each question.

You can also easily use the BKB section as well it has a ton of answer for you.
 

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Maybe when you get to 50k on it you can start thinking about a new belt. That's twice as long as a 400 will go on one. How many miles do you ride a year, 5k,10k start worrying in 2020. ;)
 

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As to the question of how rare is it, we really have no way to tell. There is not enough information available on total numbers of 650s out there or how many of them have experienced a CVT problem. For that matter we don't have a lot of information on the average miles on the 650s out there. My guess would be the majority never have enough miles put on them for the problem to rear it's head.

Suzuki does not give an expected life for the belt. Of those that have had CVT issues failure of a bearing seems to be more common than the belt failing. I can only think of a handful of reports on here of a stand alone belt failure. One of those was the belt on my 650. It failed at 84,000 miles. I pulled the CVT and replaced it myself. Working on the CVT is definitely something a person can do in their home workshop using hand tools.

As best we have numbers on and given no other problems in the CVT the belt will likely last about 80,000 to 90,000 miles. However earlier failure is possible. I'm helping a friend replace his belt that failed at 44,000 miles. This was on a bike that experience a CVT bearing failure at 52,000 miles. There may have been some extenuating circumstances that occurred at the time the CVT was repaired that contributed to the early failure of the belt.

More likely than a belt failure seems to be a bearing failure on the primary pulley shaft. There have been a number of reports of those on here. The mileage seems to be clustered around 50,000 miles but some have occurred earlier. Again no real way to quantify the likelihood of that happening. Just not enough reliable data available to do a decent statistical analysis.
 

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Ditto with Miken6mz. I bought my 2005 in September last year with 3500 miles, I'm now at almost 10k. I've ridden it out to Death Valley and Palm Springs a few times, no problem on 650+ mile trips. I completely trust this bike. However, my limited experience with the bike is of little use on longevity concerns.

From what I've gathered in reading this forum, the 03-04s had some belt issues, but if they lasted 10k, they lasted the bikes lifetime. 05 and on the belts will pretty much last the life of the bike.

Okay the big question, what is the life of the bike? Well that's up to the owner and what he's willing to do to keep it alive. If you look at the average bike, I doubt many last even 25k miles (not that they cant, just that they dont). It's the nature of the beast. Many are scraped due to accident, or often forgotten to deteriorate in some backyard, expensive mechanical issue puts them down or just never ridden. It's fairly rare to see 100k+ mile bikes when compared to the overall bike population. And my guess is a lot of those 100k bikes are touring bikes. Size matters, you don't see many 100k Vespas. The point is, motorcycles by there nature, are generally not designed to be ultra-high mile machines. Realistically 100k is really pretty good for the average bike / scooter.

So looking at it in that context, and again from what I've gathered from this site, the cvt belt should last 75-100k, on average. I look at it this way... I will probably put 10k per year on my 650. That means I have 6 to 9 years before I have to worry about it. By then, I think I will have gotten my money's worth out of the bike and be ready for a new ride.

So fret not, you've miles to go till your bike sleeps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As to the question of how rare is it, we really have no way to tell. There is not enough information available on total numbers of 650s out there or how many of them have experienced a CVT problem. For that matter we don't have a lot of information on the average miles on the 650s out there. My guess would be the majority never have enough miles put on them for the problem to rear it's head.

Suzuki does not give an expected life for the belt. Of those that have had CVT issues failure of a bearing seems to be more common than the belt failing. I can only think of a handful of reports on here of a stand alone belt failure. One of those was the belt on my 650. It failed at 84,000 miles. I pulled the CVT and replaced it myself. Working on the CVT is definitely something a person can do in their home workshop using hand tools.

As best we have numbers on and given no other problems in the CVT the belt will likely last about 80,000 to 90,000 miles. However earlier failure is possible. I'm helping a friend replace his belt that failed at 44,000 miles. This was on a bike that experience a CVT bearing failure at 52,000 miles. There may have been some extenuating circumstances that occurred at the time the CVT was repaired that contributed to the early failure of the belt.

More likely than a belt failure seems to be a bearing failure on the primary pulley shaft. There have been a number of reports of those on here. The mileage seems to be clustered around 50,000 miles but some have occurred earlier. Again no real way to quantify the likelihood of that happening. Just not enough reliable data available to do a decent statistical analysis.
Thank you so much for this answer - very concise and clear. So basically, I should just stop worrying and RIDE. :) You can't predict or control something that is out of your control, for the most part.
 

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As a side note, any year CVT will swap in by using the correct PRIMARY adapter for your bike. So a 2003 will fit in a 2009 and a 2009 will fit a 2005 and so on. You can always find a crashed Burgman with low miles on www.copart.com for about $600 plus fees so about $900 out the gate. Then use what you need and sell the extra wheels, seat, engine...... and get most of your money back.

Agian, I am shooting for 100,000miles and am not worried.
 

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Maybe when you get to 50k on it you can start thinking about a new belt. That's twice as long as a 400 will go on one. How many miles do you ride a year, 5k,10k start worrying in 2020. ;)
That's true. You need rollers as well, and I needed a new clutch on the 400 at 30k. But they're fairly easy to get to and the whole lot, with work was less than $800.
 

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That's true. You need rollers as well, and I needed a new clutch on the 400 at 30k. But they're fairly easy to get to and the whole lot, with work was less than $800.
Agree but if it breaks on you with a 400 you'll need more parts then just those. Don't ask me how I know. ;)
 

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And how much for the dealer to do all those repairs on the 400? Comparing a 650 CVT repair with dealer fees to do ALL the repairs and a 400 with "Do it y'rself" costs is not fair. Apples to apples.
 

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OP - also in Canada and I have 45,000 km on two different 650s - my first one is still going strong with another rider.

It really is of low concern until the mileage gets well up there...100,000 km which given our shortened riding season is a ways away.

In addition I have a wonderful mechanic in Milton should anything serious go wrong plus we have this board as a resource.

The Burgman 650 is the best all around bike I've owned in 45 years of riding and far and away the most reliable.
The total cost of "repairs" if you can call it that were two batteries.
The bike has never let me down. - I don't baby it - I ride hard in the twists and often some extended stretches at 140 kph +
My only caution at those speeds is watch your fuel consumption and my 2005 would use some oil ( not burn it ).
Apparently some oil can migrate out.
The oil level gauge ( not the oil warning light but the level light ) will come on if it's down a tad.

The 2009 has not shown the same useage.

Your's is hardly broken in ...both of mine got smoother as they approached 20k km.

I'd recommend full synthetic then I skip an oil change.
Do be careful that you or your mechanic use the correct oils for the various components.
A Suzuki dealer will know but a regular bike mechanic may not know.

I've not changed plugs nor touched valves on either machine tho the 2009 I may change the plugs this next servicing period.

You made a superb choice.

Join up http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforum/forum.php?
If you are not a member.....need more Burgman riders to counter the nonsense we get from a few of the "real motorcycle' riders there. :D

Maybe this summer I'll tap you for some info on good roads around the Huntsville area.
I'm in Mississauga but frequent day trips all over
 

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I agree with many of the comments on here. It is not something to be of major concern. I have carried out two CVT overhauls in the last year (belts and bearings replaced) on 650's on a professional basis now. My opinion is it is a good transmission. However, as said, there are some that fail early. There is at least some empirical evidence gathered by techs in the trade at two dealerships that I occasionally help out that 650 Burgmans that have been Motomaned are definitely more at risk of early belt failure. The belt itself does not like early high stress loads. I know one of the bikes that I overhauled had been Motomaned, it's owned by a friend. The 650 is one of the best all round bikes on the market, that is apart from my 400! :lol:
 

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"Motomaned?" Never heard this term before.
It is a theory that instead of breaking in your motorcycle per manufacturer's instruction that you just ride the bike like you are going to ride it after breakin. The last new motorcycle I bought was in 1971, so I don't really have an opinion on this.
 

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And how much for the dealer to do all those repairs on the 400? Comparing a 650 CVT repair with dealer fees to do ALL the repairs and a 400 with "Do it y'rself" costs is not fair. Apples to apples.
My $800 figure was dealer installed. No DIY here, trust me. But the belt and rollers are every 20k ($500) and the clutch ($300) every 30k. So add it up and the cost is probably about the same as replacing the cvt belt at $75k ($2k).

It just comes in easier to digest, smaller chunks on the 400. :D

And honestly, if I get 75k out of my 650, I'll probably just buy another bike at that point. I only spent $3200 on it.
 

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"Motomaned?" Never heard this term before.
It's a controversial 'break in' method. Amongst other things, it involves the use of full throttle from the word go with just 20 miles on the clock. It has always been a racing break in technique which works well on race engines (because they are set up to use it with bigger ring clearances etc) but can be contraversial on road bikes (which are not set up to use it) as there is some evidence it shortens the life of some engines. The Burgman 650 may be affected by that type of run in method and is definitely not recommended by manufacturers.
 

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Just for the **** of it I just took the first 25 Burgman 650's for sale on a Craigs mash list , then averaged the mileage on all 25 . The average bike had 10,160 miles on it , only one had over 30,000 miles .

I love statistics :D TheReaper!
 
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