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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Hope each and everyone of you is doing great! I'm in LA and I have been riding scooters since 2009 starting with a 150cc all the way up to 250cc, two of them. They were all made in china and I had nothing but trouble with them. My mechanics both here in LA and even in South Florida would always ask why I bought Chinese. My reply was that I can't afford better!

Anyways, day before Halloween I purchased off of Craigslist a 2003 Burgman 650cc with 65,000 miles for $1,400. It was very well taken care of inside and out. I figured even though 65k for a scooter is a little too high, for such a top of the line scooter, I should get a good 3 more years out of it doing minor servicing along the way.

Boy was I wrong. Just a week later I was cruising down the road at 35mph I hear a bank and for the next 1.5 miles the engine was making a very loud almost chainsaw noise. The scooter lost compression and ultimately shut down. It refused to start. Obviously something wrong with the engine, BIG TIMES.

I think it ran out of oil? To be perfectly accurate, the previous owner said oil change is needed within 1000 miles, I had ridden it for 444 and for 3 days before that, the change oil indicator came on and when I stop the scooter, light but smelly smoke would bellow up from below while drops of oil hit the ground.

This is what lead me to believe the my engine breakdown was because of no oil. In an act of desperation, I poured in a whole bottle of oil, but no luck, the damage was done. Since an entire bottle was poured in with no back flow, more proof that there was no oil? Am I accurate to think that? I don't know where to check if there was any oil there or not. This just goes to show you how new I am to this bike.

Continuing more, here is what I did. I had it towed to a Motorcycle salvage shop in South Los Angeles. They have a 2003 motor with a tad less than 20k on it. The cost of purchase is almost $800 after taxes plus $500 to swap the supposedly defective engine with running replacement.

I'm glad this happened because after doing some research on this it seems that after 50k the Burgs need a major overhaul.

Here is the issue I'm having, I'm only getting the engine. According to Suzuki dealers I spoke with, I won't have a scooter with 20k on it because I just swapped engines. Apparently the drivetrain needs replacement...

Truthfully, I am just regurgitating what I've been told. We got the engine taken care of, now there is CVT, Clutch, transmission, final drive, and rear wheel.

The salvage shop makes their money by selling each item individually. Example, the CVT costs $1,600!

So my main question for all of you experienced Burg masters, apart from the engine, per a scoot with 65k on it, what from the drivetrain do I need definitely replaced and the very least taken a look at so I can really have a scooter with 20k on it???

Please note I bought this cheap because I'm not a rich person. As of now, I've spent $1,400 on the scooter + $120 for towing a total of a say $1,500. I don't mind pouring up to $1,700 additional dollars in it because the KBB value for it is $3,015. An experienced dealer/mechanic who wanted to buy it off of me for parts said if I can truly make it a 20k scooter for $3200, then I'm better off that way than buying a Burg 650 with same mileage for same price because in my situation now I know for fact that the drive train has quality parts. Does this sound like rational thinking to you?

With Chinese scooter, I have wasted thousands in money pits that at the end I just gave up on them and sold them literally for a fraction of the money spent on them. This is way I do not do made in China. Now I find myself in the same exact situation with the Burgman, but my research shows that this is a top-notch machine, and thus, overhauling the scooter via major breakdown now is actually well worth it...?

So all of you who have way more experience than I, please let me know what is the best I can do in this current predicament so I can end up with a Burgman 650 that will give me at least 30k with regular oil changes and maintenance for $3200?

Thank you so much for your time and support!
 

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To check the oil level look on the left side of the bike behind the side stand. There is a window there that you can see the oil level in. If you don't see any oil in that window then you are at least a 1/2 quart low.

My guess is that the oil seal on your water pump went out. When that happens oil is pumped out through a weep hole in the water pump and drips down on the exhaust. That would have been the source of the oil dripping out the bottom when you stopped.

That seal going bad can cause rapid loss of oil. It went out on a friends bike while we were on a ride. Those of us following noticed a trail of smoke behind her as she went down the road. We stopped her and inspected the bike finding the oil dripping off. We checked the oil level and it was very low. We added over a quart and she road the bike back up the road about 3 miles to a service station where we could leave it and go get a trailer. In just that short ride it lost most of that quart of oil we had poured in.

We trailered the bike back and replaced the oil pump. A relatively simple procedure. She has since traded the bike for a newer model but I know the fellow that bought it. It is still running and last I heard it had was had over 96,000 miles on it.

As for the comment that the engines on the 650 need a major overhaul after 50,000, not sure where that notion came from. I know quite a few folks that have well over 50,000 on their 650s. I myself have over 116,000 on mine.

If the engine is good then the next item you will likely have to deal with is the belt in the CVT. Those usually need replacing somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 miles. Replacing them is no little detail as you have to remove the CVT from the bike first. If you are having the engine replaced you might want to have the CVT belt replaced at the same time. Have the bearings is the CVT checked while they have it apart and replace any of them that are showing any wear.

The rest of the drive train is pretty much bullet proof and you should not have any
problems with it.
 

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I wouldn't fix the bike. I would sell it broken and buy a newer and lower mileage bike (there are a lot available if you look around). Or you could buy one that has been dropped or not treated well and change the plastic from yours to it. You don't want to spend enough to buy a good one on a 2003 with the miles it has.
 

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I wouldn't fix it either. At 65,000 you have an unknown maintenance history with this thing. Although your purchase price sounds reasonable, motorcycle parts costs will (unpleasantly) surprise you.

Just scanning the 650 side of this site, I see expensive problems with the 650s.

I bought this 08 B400 for $3K two years ago, with 6500 miles, and it is a good machine. The 400 seem to be simpler and easier to fix than 650s, again just from reading on this site.

However, heed what Buffalo sez first. Anything major though, you should consider cutting your losses.
 

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While you're considering your next move, check out the BUSA Classified section. There's a sweet '07 with 20k miles for sale in the LA area. It's . . . oh wait, that's my bike! ;)
 

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I can't jump on the just scrape it and find another used bike bandwagon. A good used bike is probably going to cost you in the neighborhood of $2000. You know you can get the engine in this one replaced for $1300. To replace the engine they will have to pull the CVT so you are not going to have to pay extra to have that done. What you will have to pay extra for is to have the case on the CVT split to replace the belt and bearings. Doing that and paying for the parts should not cost you any more than $700.

So for the same money you end up with a used bike that has 20,000 on the engine and a new CVT belt and inspected or replaced CVT bearings. You know the CVT is good and you know as much about the rest of the bike as you would know about any used bike you would buy. I guess I am kind of agreeing with your experienced dealer/mechanic.

There is one other thing you might want to consider doing though. The 2003 models have a weak spot in the primary pulley adapter they use. You might want to consider upgrading to the "Polish" adapter that has been discussed often on the site to resolve that issue on 2003/2004 model bikes. As an alternative you might want to get the engine from a 2005 or 2006 model bike and when you have it installed use Suzuki's upgraded primary pulley adapter to mate it to your existing CVT. Suzuki's upgraded adapter will not fit the 2003/2004 engines which is why you would need the "Polish" adapter if you go with the 2003 engine.
 

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I can't jump on the just scrape it and find another used bike bandwagon. A good used bike is probably going to cost you in the neighborhood of $2000. You know you can get the engine in this one replaced for $1300. To replace the engine they will have to pull the CVT so you are not going to have to pay extra to have that done. What you will have to pay extra for is to have the case on the CVT split to replace the belt and bearings. Doing that and paying for the parts should not cost you any more than $700.

So for the same money you end up with a used bike that has 20,000 on the engine and a new CVT belt and inspected or replaced CVT bearings. You know the CVT is good and you know as much about the rest of the bike as you would know about any used bike you would buy. I guess I am kind of agreeing with your experienced dealer/mechanic.

There is one other thing you might want to consider doing though. The 2003 models have a weak spot in the primary pulley adapter they use. You might want to consider upgrading to the "Polish" adapter that has been discussed often on the site to resolve that issue on 2003/2004 model bikes. As an alternative you might want to get the engine from a 2005 or 2006 model bike and when you have it installed use Suzuki's upgraded primary pulley adapter to mate it to your existing CVT. Suzuki's upgraded adapter will not fit the 2003/2004 engines which is why you would need the "Polish" adapter if you go with the 2003 engine.
You're suggesting that he spend $2,000 ($1,300+$700) to make the bike into the bike he thought he bought for $1,400? How do you justify spending $2,000 to repair something that was worth $1,400 on the open market? He would be in deep trouble if someone damaged it and he tried to collect what he had invested in the bike and the repairs. I was an insurance adjuster for 31+ years and ran into the same problem with cars. Replacing a used engine with another used engine doesn't increase the value.
 

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The question would be could he find another bike that would be in as reasonable a shape for less than $2,000. If he did would he know any more about it's condition than he would by repairing the one he has. At least if he repairs what he has he knows the history of the parts he repairs.

Why would you limit what you buy to what you can get for it if it is wrecked. You are making the assumption that it will get crashed before you get enough utility out of it to make up for the difference in price. Use of the vehicle has value. If it didn't then no one would ever buy new vehicles because their value drops as soon as you drive them off the lot. The cost of buying them would always be more than what you could get for them.
 

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The question would be could he find another bike that would be in as reasonable a shape for less than $2,000. If he did would he know any more about it's condition than he would by repairing the one he has. At least if he repairs what he has he knows the history of the parts he repairs.

Why would you limit what you buy to what you can get for it if it is wrecked. You are making the assumption that it will get crashed before you get enough utility out of it to make up for the difference in price. Use of the vehicle has value. If it didn't then no one would ever buy new vehicles because their value drops as soon as you drive them off the lot. The cost of buying them would always be more than what you could get for them.
I guess my life experiences and being an economics major in college has colored the way I look at things. In addition to crashes, I have seen a lot of people who have a lot more in things than they are worth have to dispose of them due to circumstances. They may be forced to move, be involved in a divorce, change jobs or other things where they have to sell things at a great loss. I worked my way through high school and college fixing and selling used cars. You didn't buy anything unless you could sell it for a profit. I didn't buy anything I couldn't sell to get my money back or at a profit until I was near retirement (including fixer-upper houses). You can't change being a cheapskate like me in your old age.
 

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I guess my life experiences and being an economics major in college has colored the way I look at things. In addition to crashes, I have seen a lot of people who have a lot more in things than they are worth have to dispose of them due to circumstances. They may be forced to move, be involved in a divorce, change jobs or other things where they have to sell things at a great loss. I worked my way through high school and college fixing and selling used cars. You didn't buy anything unless you could sell it for a profit. I didn't buy anything I couldn't sell to get my money back or at a profit until I was near retirement (including fixer-upper houses). You can't change being a cheapskate like me in your old age.
Your life experience is not a lot different from mine and I have two business degrees one in accounting. We just have different ways of assessing the worth of an object. Yours is short term always looking for the present value to be more than cost. Mine is more long term adding utility to my calculation of net worth. Maybe that is why I tend to buy and ride until they are so worn out they can't be fixed again. We're both cheapskates just in different ways :)
 

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osbornk - I tend to agree with you, BUT, if I had Buffalo's skills - the ability to break down and reassemble a 650 while blindfolded - I think my opinion might be different. What seems like 'good money after bad' to me, is just a hassle to overcome -for a reasonable cost - to Buffalo.

I'd be thinking I just spent over $3k on a high-mileage 11 year old bike (and be worried about the next breakdown), Buffalo might see it as 'this baby's still got 40 or 50 thousand miles in her' and ride with confidence.

Still, LA Suzuki has a tough decision - much of it based on his faith in his mechanic.

Apologies to Buffalo if I've used your name in vain.
 

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Your life experience is not a lot different from mine and I have two business degrees one in accounting. We just have different ways of assessing the worth of an object. Yours is short term always looking for the present value to be more than cost. Mine is more long term adding utility to my calculation of net worth. Maybe that is why I tend to buy and ride until they are so worn out they can't be fixed again. We're both cheapskates just in different ways :)
I look at things based on present value for a reason and that is the fear of disaster. I was married just over a week when I woke up in the hospital in traction after losing 3 days of my memory due to a car wreck. I had 5 fractured vertebra, 2 broken shoulder blades, a concussion and multiple other injuries. I was in traction 50 days and wore a back brace for 2 years. The doctors said I should not be able to walk and made it clear my days of physical labor were over. That forced me to get a degree and work with my mind. With the early disaster, I decided I would stay prepared in case the worst happened. I paid cash for everything I bought except for my house. To avert foreclosure in the case of disaster, I always made sure I could rent the house for less than the house payment (same for all 5 houses until paid for). I married broke at 20 but I am such a tightwad, I retired debt free with enough savings to pay my bills and buy my toys at 55 (now 67).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks to everyone for their feedback. I have learned A LOT! I'm going to go with Buffalo's advice and stick with what I have. Here is why.

Like someone mentioned, I am selling it on CL for $500 the way it is. However, I've been getting calls for $200 and one guy wanted to trade me his POS Chinese 260cc for my burg PLUS I PAY HIM $1200 ON TOP for a scooter that has been sitting in a open garage since 2008!!!

Like most said, it would be best to cut my losses and buy a more recent burg with lower miles. Problem with that is even if I sell my scooter for the $500 I'll still be $3000 short. I never thought in my wildest dreams I can afford a Burgman until I saw it for $1400 on CL.

Another problem I've had with CL, I have bought 4 scooters from CL since 2009 in LA and South Florida, literally, days later they would fail with a major issue and after wasting tons of money, I would sell them for a fraction of what they cost me.

I'm now a believer that CL sellers hide the truth upon a sale, that their scooter is on the verge of a major breakdown and they are cutting their future losses by pushing it off on some one like me.

The only good thing about rebuilding the scooter is that I would know for certain that it is in good condition with new parts and taken care of by factory trained mechanics with years of experience.

I'll perhaps see if all is well with it in the end if I can sell it for 2.5 to 3k then add some money on top of that to get a newer scoot with less miles....

For the person who recommended getting a late model engine instead of 2003, I actually had a chance and still do for 2007 with 13,xxx miles. However, the dealer who wanted to buy my scoot for parts told me he bought a different year engine for his scoot because between 2003 and 2009 all Burgs are virtually the same, while the engine did work, the communications between the engine and the onboard computer had major issues. So he had to replace the computer with a same year as the engine.

So I guess this would be a warning to those who want to replace Burg engine with a different year engine, yes it would fit and work, but have communications errors with the onboard computer unless that too is replaced by same engine year version.

To Buffalo, regarding your friend's scooter loosing oil, you started off by saying it was an issue with the water pump, but in the end, the oil pump was replaced? Was it like that or did you mean to say that the issue was the oil pump and water pump slipped in there by accident???

Thank you all for helping me!
 

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To Buffalo, regarding your friend's scooter loosing oil, you started off by saying it was an issue with the water pump, but in the end, the oil pump was replaced? Was it like that or did you mean to say that the issue was the oil pump and water pump slipped in there by accident???

Thank you all for helping me!
Sorry that was a typo. We replaced the water pump on it not the oil pump. The leak was in the oil seal on the water pump drive shaft.
 

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As for using a different year model engine. You are definitely going to have issues if you go with a 2007 or later year model engine. In 2007 Suzuki changed the throttle bodies going to computer controlled ones. That required an update to the the computer coding.

If you stay with a 2005 or 2006 you would likely not have that issue. Alternatively, if you use the throttle bodies off you 2003 on a later model engine you should also be OK.
 

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I guess my life experiences and being an economics major in college has colored the way I look at things. In addition to crashes, I have seen a lot of people who have a lot more in things than they are worth have to dispose of them due to circumstances. They may be forced to move, be involved in a divorce, change jobs or other things where they have to sell things at a great loss. I worked my way through high school and college fixing and selling used cars. You didn't buy anything unless you could sell it for a profit. I didn't buy anything I couldn't sell to get my money back or at a profit until I was near retirement (including fixer-upper houses). You can't change being a cheapskate like me in your old age.

Funny when you grow up a certain way it's hard to change , I know I grew up the same way so I too still think and do about the same . I built a business with over 300 employees , so all that thrift came in handy throughout my business career .

TheReaper!
 
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