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2013 Burgman 650 ABS Scooter First Ride

Monday, August 12, 2013
Maxiscooters have carved out a specialized niche in the world of motorcycling. The big-displacement step-thrus offer motorcycle-like performance in a myriad of roles: trusty commuter, weekend play bike and even a touring rig. Suzuki helped define the maxiscooter segment in America when it introduced the Burgman 650 in 2002. Now a decade and 83,000 units sold worldwide later, Suzuki gives the 2013 model a well-deserved redesign.

Suzuki press folk claim changes to the latest Burgman stems from direct customer feedback. Burgman customers are typically older, a lot of whom are experienced riders that have selected the step-thru design specifically because of mobility issues. The focus groups didn’t demand wholesale changes, but instead specific refinements.


Foremost on the fix-it list was alleviating the Burg’s heavy feel coming to a stop and during initial roll on. Riders also wanted to make the 613-pound scoot easier to push around in the parking lot (see also those mobility issues mentioned above…). To resolve the first request, engineers altered the Suzuki Electronically-controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (SECVT) settings to spin out a lighter, more responsive engine at lower rpm. The final drive gear utilizes a new low-torque bearing and clutch plates are revised as well, with Suzuki claiming a 35% reduction in drag friction. So while the scoot’s curb weight remains a portly 613, there’s less resistance from the drivetrain – making it easier to roll around in the garage or parking lot.

Burgman owners also requested a styling facelift to freshen up the dated look. Arriving at Suzuki Motor of America’s headquarters in Brea, California for our two-day test ride, the Burgman’s new lines aren’t dramatically different, but a definite improvement. The more slanted, angular bodywork trim up a sportier look that makes the predecessor seem quite conservative by comparison. Small touches like the black wheels and LED position lights in the front cowling also improve the curb appeal. Same goes for the new triangular exhaust.

Straddle the Burg and it’s an easy reach to the ground, with the 2013 model featuring cutout footboards for this exact reason. And while the Burgman remains a heavy machine to be sure, it’s easy enough to push around without herculean effort. If it doesn’t move, like at all, check to make sure the parking brake is disengaged. Not that I’d know from personal experience or anything… Speaking of which, the parking brake was repositioned from below the right-side dash to under the left side of the seat.


The move improves the storage up front, with the 650’s cockpit totally redesigned. The front dash features three compartments – a pair of flanking 1.3-liter spaces up top and a lockable 5.2-liter compartment on the bottom right. The latter sources a relocated DC outlet, recessed to make room for the GPS and phone chargers – subtle refinements courtesy of Burgman customer feedback. The wiring harness below the instrument console is also ready and willing to be plugged into aftermarket systems or Suzuki accessories, like heated grips and seat (this year’s Burgman 650 is effectively the Executive model, sans these last two accessories). The switchgear and instrumentation is revised too… but we’ll touch on that in a minute.

Kickstands up and the liquid-cooled 638cc Parallel Twin purrs to life. The Twin’s internal dimensions are unchanged, but new valve springs and piston rings reduce tension and the fuel injectors emit a finer spray. These tweaks combined with the revised transmission settings and reduced friction make for a more efficient powerplant, with Suzuki claiming a 15% increase in fuel efficiency as a result.

Operating the zesty Burgman’s twist-and-go throttle is idiot simple. It’s easier than driving a car! And, like a car, you don’t see the engine at all. So the steady Twin is disembodied, but transmits an ample supply of steady, accessible power. A Hayabusa it is not, but it’s not supposed to be, and the Burg makes for a pert ride. It delivers rapid acceleration as the CVT spools up with more than enough oomph for the freeway.

Riders demanding more engine performance can source the Power mode, which contrasts the standard Drive mode setting in the SECVT system. Throttle response is much snappier after riders literally press the Power button on the Burgman’s crowded handlebar controls. Also noticeable in Power mode is that heavy handling sensation at low speeds. Thankfully, the CVT settings in Drive mode totally wash this out. So riders can Drive through the urban stop-and-go, then Power up for the freeway and backroad fun – it’s easy to swap back and forth on the fly.

Hopping on the freeway our Burgman-mounted posse charged into LA traffic – the belly of the beast as far as nightmare commutes go. At first the traffic flow accommodated 70 mph cruising no problem – where the Burg proves more than game for superslab maneuvers, like high-speed passes. At such speeds riders appreciate the electronically adjustable windscreen, which deflects air without a ton of turbulence and even at its highest setting I was afforded a clear view of the road ahead.

The Burgman's switchgear features a whole lot of buttons, particularly on the left handlbar. Meanwhile the LCD dash looks much better and offer plenty of information, but the easy-to-read digital speedo is now a smaller analog gauge.
And in LA that view often means thousands of cars parked on the freeway. Time to engage in that cherished birthright of California riders – lane-splitting. I minded the tech presentation before our ride and recalled how the mirrors retracted – so I reached up, folded them in and then filtered through the maelstrom unhindered. Then a colleague sped up and showed me the blue button atop the left switchgear. I pressed it, and the mirrors folded out. I pressed it again, and the mirrors folded in. [Queue the bright lights and angels singing hallelujah!]

Yes. I like that magic blue button. Does it have any palpable effect on the splitting? Not really, maybe gaining an inch or two of mirror clearance at most. But it did transform my non-Californian brain’s thou-shalt-not-lanesplit-for-fear-of-dire-retribution hesitance into damn-the-torpedoes-rush-hour kamikaze. I love the Burg’s retractable California mirrors way, way more than they warrant – but unapologetically so!

However, the magic button on the left switchgear encompasses my main beef with the Burg – its confusing switchgear and instrumentation. The left side handlebar hosts a passing light trigger, aforementioned magic blue button, high/low beam toggle, the Power button, turn signal toggle, a horn and yet another toggle at the bottom to switch between Drive/Manual mode. That last one, Manual mode, requires the up/down gear shifter toggle – also on the left switchgear! That up/down toggle on the left side not to be confused with the electronic windscreen control toggle, located on the top of the right handlebar… It’s a lot to get used to.

I welcome Burgman owners to disagree, but a Manual shift mode seems unnecessary. I used it on occasion during our two-day test ride to Santa Barbara and back – at first out of curiosity and later to see if I just wasn’t getting the point. But every time I tired of manual shifting almost immediately. The CVT does a better job in the Drive/Power settings. Instead Manual mode clutters things and spoils the new instrument cluster, which now features analog speedo and tach.

Who looks at the tach on a scooter? I suppose folks who ride a scooter in Manual mode. And the previous model’s large, easy-to-read digital speedo front and center on the LCD is replaced by a smaller left-side analog unit – less easy to read. The actual LCD screen on the new Burgman is a vast improvement, highly visible and beautifully backlit much like the new V-Strom 650. The flanking information displayed – including a fuel gauge and clock, as well as a frost-warning idiot light (a nice touch) – is well executed, but the info displayed on the LCD’s central display toggles between ambient air temp, fuel consumption and gear position, if in Manual mode. I spent the first half of the freeway jaunt flabbergasted that every time I looked down the Burg was so smooth and stable at 82, 83 and 85 mph! Oh wait, of course, that’s the air temperature dummy… So riders can stare at how hot or cold it is, or their estimated fuel economy – another bit of info from which I’ve never acquired an appreciation (for a separate spoiled motojourno rant, read sidebar exegesis on the Burgman’s ECO light).

By the way, the Burgman can go 85 mph – a lot higher actually. And it’s a deceptively sporty package for its size and weight. Surviving LA superslab our test ride snaked up through the curvy roads around Malibu. Tight, technical and sometimes choppy, these roads gave an honest account of the Burg’s handling capabilities.


Riders can lean the big scoot over a surprising amount before any hard parts touch down – and only on the tightest right handers did we scrape the centerstand tangs. The base suspension is setup for commuting comfort, and rightly so. It smooths out the ride, but gets overwhelmed when the heavy Burg starts to hustle in the curves. The shocks offer easy hand-turn adjustment, and ramping up pre-load two turns on Day 2 made a marked improvement in the handling, though at the expense of some of that commuting comfort. But considering the ease of adjustment, riders can quickly switch it up depending on the expected roads or pillion/cargo loads.

The Burgman 650 comes with ABS standard, and the 2013 model sources a smaller, lighter unit. The dual disc front brakes also now source floating instead of solid rotors. In regular applications, the brakes get their job done just fine. But sportier riding demands see them wrestle with the Burg’s hefty dimensions. As we pressed the pace on a steep canyon descent in Malibu, the Burg skipped and chattered as I scrubbed speed for a rapidly approaching corner. The ABS shuddered and levers pulsed. I pulled off the pace considerably after that close call, but still encountered more uneasy ABS moments on that descent as the system cuts in early and often.

The Burgman makes for an intriguing touring platform. Our test ride odometer ticked 250 miles, give or take, without major complaint. The seat is comfortable and riding position relaxing. Tall riders may wince for a little more legroom, but it’s not uncomfortably cramped. The Burgman’s standard storage capacity makes for effortless short tours, and I packed all my own gear on our overnight trip – including a laptop, backpack and camera case shoved into the 50-liter underseat compartment. The main compartment is big enough for two full-face helmets as well, which can also be strung thru the helmet lock. The three dashboard compartments can hold a bevy of gear – and there was plenty room to spare even with two water bottles tossed inside. To top it all off, the Burg should manage a respectable range from its four-gallon tank. My dash claimed fuel economy in the high 40s for the trip, and I noted one gas stop at 52 mpg.

Pricing is where the $10,999 Burgman 650 ABS faces some challenges. It has always been billed as a premium scooter offering, but the 2013 Burg is a thousand more than the model it replaces. At $9990 the all-new BMW 650 GT also comes in a full grand less. The Burgman does offer features unavailable on the Beemer, namely the various engine maps and manual transmission selections. But the pricing disparity is there, no question.

Pulling into the parking lot at Suzuki, however, and worries about MSRP weren’t in my mind. Scooter haters won’t ever get the step-thru appeal, but we were quite pleased with our riding experience. Overall we reckon the Burgman 650 delivers on its promise. It checks those specific upgrades demanded by its existing loyal ridership. Plus, it’s an engaging, versatile platform for those not initiated into the maxiscooter ranks. The next decade figures to be a good one for the big Burgman.

2013 Suzuki Burgman 650 Photo Gallery
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2013 Burgman 650 ABS Specs

Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, Parallel Twin
Displacement: 638cc
Bore x Stroke: 75.5mm x 71.3mm
Compression Ratio: 11.2:1
Peak Horsepower: 54 hp @ 7000 rpm (claimed)
Peak Torque: 45.7 lb-ft @ 6400 rpm (claimed)
Fuel System: Suzuki Fuel Injection
Transmission: Automatic - SECVT
Final Drive: Gear Drive
Suspension Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Swingarm type, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Dual disc brake with ABS
Brakes Rear: Disc brake
Tires Front: 120/70R15M/C 56H, tubeless
Tires Rear: 160/60R14M/C 65H, tubeless
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.0 gallons
Overall Length: 89.2 in)
Overall Width: 31.9 in)
Wheelbase: 62.4 in)
Ground Clearance: 4.9 inch
Seat Height: 29.7 inch
Curb Weight: 613 pounds (claimed)
Warranty: 12 month unlimited mileage limited warranty
Color: Pearl Bracing White
MSRP: $10,999
Burgman 650 Customer Demographic
burgman riding group
The Burgman has cultivated a loyal ridership in the America, which is closing in on Italy as the second-largest market for the model (Germany is on top – Burg being German for city, for those not sprechen no Deutsch). The Burgman 650 demographic in the States is typically older than the average American rider –which is itself a hot-button issue for the motorcycle industry. Much has been made about the need to attract younger riders in the US, and justifiably so, with the OEMs responding by adding more affordable entry-level bikes to model lines (including Suzuki with its forthcoming GW250). But a more immediate need, perhaps, is milking the last penny out of the outgoing Boomer generation.

There is a growing market for gentlemen, and ladies, of a certain age – who have the will and the means to continue riding, but for whom tossing a leg over a gargantuan motorcycle is not feasible. The step-thru Burgman is no lightweight itself, at more than 600 pounds, but it is more manageable than that many traditional alternatives. Wrestling in the parking lot with a Gold Wing or 700-pound cruiser is strenuous even for a young buck, much less a rider with 60-year-old knees and joints. And, no, we’re not poking fun. BMW has a 650 scooter now too, aggressively priced to capture some share away from Suzuki’s Burgman. The Can-Am Spyder has also enjoyed great success as well, for similar reasons. There’s a market for these big scoots, one that is likely to grow in the upcoming years.
Lighting Up the ECO Light
ECO Sidebar
The Suzuki Burgman’s dash incorporates the ECO indicator light that’s making its way onto more and more models. I won’t presume to speak for the motorcycling community entire, but here goes… Please OEMs stop plying consumers with eco-gimmicks. The green ECO light pops on when the engine is running at optimum efficiency, ensuring a good MPG return. I want to save gas and the planet too, but the ECO light is mildly irritating at best, and a real distraction to the rider. Perhaps over time I would start to look down fondly at the green light, doing my best to mind the throttle and milk an extra mile or 10 from the fuel tank. As it stood, during our two-day ride I kept glancing down involuntarily whenever I saw it flash, thinking an idiot light was warning me of something amiss... Then I'd grumble to myself about remembering to write a scathing sidebar, about how ECO lights are mostly a feel-good marketing ploy and of little practical use.
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hbrector   October 31, 2014 01:51 PM
I have been enjoying the comments on the Burgman Series scooters. I have been riding for over fifty years; dirt bikes, imports from 100cc to 750cc, Goldwings, BMW and Harley's. I used to rent scooters when island hopping or visiting Key West, which is now my home. When I moved to Key West I kept my Sportster and my BMW K1200LT. I used the Harley as a scooter around town and the BMW as my road trip bike. The BMW just got to be too much of a beast so I finally sold it. I decided to get a Burgman 650 as a trial for scooter. To my surprise and delight the Burgman 650 fit both rolls, around town scooter AND short/long distance road bike. Sold the Sportster and have never looked back. This Suzuki is a great machine for the money. It takes some getting used to, but once you master it, well, that may be where the Sport Bike comparisons come from! Pound for pound it is the best performing machine I have ever owned and ridden. I have heard complaints about the Auto/Manual/Power modes..........again, after reading the manuals and riding with the different settings I am very appreciative of the control that has been engineered into this scooter. The true character and performance of this bike cannot be gleaned from a simple test drive; however, get one for a weekend and take it around the city, then out to the country and back again........you should discover what I did; The Burgman 650 does it all! Check out the weeks and smoking' tires on You Tube!
Timbo64   September 21, 2013 10:57 PM
My wife and I have a 2012 Burgman 400 that we just love to two-up on, but we will be getting a new Burgman 650 within the next two years. Parked in our garage is a 2009 Zuma 125 scooter, the above mentioned 2012 Burgman 400 scooter, and a 2014 Star Bolt. A quick note on the Bolt after 1600 miles: The HD 883 Iron looks a hell of a lot better, but the Bolt rides/performs a hell of a lot better. I spend more time riding than looking, so I bought a Bolt. Of course, when I get ready to sell the Bolt, I'll damn sure wish that it had the resale value of the Harley. I have 35 years of riding experience, my first bike was a red 1978 Yamaha DT100 Enduro that I cherished, and some of the most fun that I've ever had on a two-wheeler is when my wife and I are cruising some Alabama backroad on our Burgman 400. It's smooth, comfortable, and has a ton of storage. If you're reading this article and have never given a maxiscooter a try, just remember, don't knock it till you've tried it. I've let a few friends and relatives who are experienced riders take our Burgman out for a spin and they have all said that it's not what they expected. They are always shocked at how much they enjoyed RIDDING A SCOOTER.
AussieInUSA75   September 8, 2013 06:41 PM
85mph and couldn't see the value of manual mode? clearly you weren't driving it hard enough... I drive my 2009 Burgman 650 everywhere, use the manual mode all the time, learn to use it and you can get far snappier punches out of the corners and dump a gear on acceleration to really pass on the interstate :) Speaking of the interstate, I've seen over 100mph on I75 here in Dayton, OH and that was two-up at that with around 410 lbs of body weight between myself and my pillion. So I don't know why you'd make the comment that you only saw 85mph but knew it had more? twist the throttle and give readers the true numbers.
Xyclibu   August 20, 2013 11:43 AM
I have to admit, your Bergman was a bit alien to us when it first arrived here on planet Xclilub but I don't know how we evolved to the top of the food chain without it. You will feel a bit strange when you first ride one, what with its portly stance over the relatively-small wheels, but you'll fall in love with the storage combined with the smooth, quiet power delivery. Just for fun we like to challenge sportbike and sportcars to races on Muxlciolline Drive :) you should see their fecriencres flare when we beat them, it's so much fun :)
woodco100   August 17, 2013 09:37 PM
Fat, old short guys everywhere are very excited!
Piglet2010   August 13, 2013 08:28 PM
@ comptodw - Did you drag against a V-Rod? Of course one can argue that it is not a real cruiser, but I would put money on the V-twin Diavel being faster both in a straight line and around the corners than a Burgman 650.
Piglet2010   August 13, 2013 08:24 PM
Was Adam Waheed able to get the Burgman to wheelie? ;)
Poncho167   August 13, 2013 04:45 PM
I like it but couldn't justify it based on the mileage. Yes, I know a full dresser couldn't get this mileage but I average over 60 mpg on my Kawasaki KLR650.

As for the BMW coming in less than the Bergman, that would be an interesting selling point and would require some consideration.
comptodw   August 13, 2013 01:15 PM
I felt compelled to add an additional comment. Seems I keep seeing people compare the Burgman with Sport bikes. How on earth can anyone compare a scooter with a Sport bike, other than to say the Burgman Half-a-Busa is actually receiving wonderful comments when someone compared a Burgman scooter with a Sport bike. Kind of like comparing a Honda Civic to a Ferrari. I have ridden my Burgman all over the country, many times hauling it in my pickup while pulling my travel trailer, using my Burgman after arriving at my destination. There is no better machine to ride down a beautiful coastline, through some majestic mountains, watching beautiful scenery or a quick run to the store than a Burgman 650, alone or 2-up, its very pleasant, quiet, smooth and comfortable. But... its NOT a Sport bike, now or ever. Be careful to try a Burgman out, because there is a good chance you'll get bitten by the Scooter Bug and wanna buy one. While out riding, I get 50 positive comments or questions for every 1 for my FJR, Wing or WR450 combined.
comptodw   August 13, 2013 01:00 PM
I have owned my Burgman 650 since new and its a 2007 non-ABS Standard model. I also own multiple ATV's, Dirt Bikes, Street Bike and of course my 2007 Burgman 650. After reading your reviews, it is clear to me you didn't really ride the Burgman well enough or long enough to render a true, non-biased opinion. Allow me to point out a few objective comments concerning your 2011 and 2013 Burgman review. 1)First off, lets remember its a scooter, not a sport bike, although during Bike Week in Laughlin, NV, the only V-twin cruiser bikes that could out perform me and my 650 were the big 1850cc and above,except the Harley's. I could not find a single Harley that could get me off the line or catch me within the 1/4 mile. I'm talking about stock Harley's the way they came. 2)The Power button does not give the Burgman more power, but changes the shift function to remain in a lower gear until higher RPM's are reached. Not a real good observation for a so-called professional bike reviewer. 3) The ability to shift manually is best used for climbing long grades, since the CVT trans wants to shift or move into a lower gear whenever stress is put on it, such as when climbing a hill. 4) Handling & Cornering: I have run a Bridgestone Potenza G019 car tire on my scooter (165/65-14) on the rear of my Burgman since I wore out the OEM rear tire and I now have 24,600 miles on my car tire. I can turn my Burgman in much sharper circles than I can my WR450f or my FJR1300 and again, there is not a cruiser bike that can even begin to keep up with my Burgman in the twisties, regardless of the experience level of riders I have ridden with and I have been riding for over 35 years continuously. 5) Performance: I have had my Burgman up to 105mph and still had a bit to go. However, at that speed, it was a bit freaky, which caused me to want to slow down. But, I have also ridden it to Loa Angeles twice, riding in Friday afternoon traffic. I easily cruised at 75-80 all the way there from Phoenix, AZ and lane-sharing was no problem what so ever. Summary: I love my Burgman simply because its so fun to ride, easy to get on or off, great mileage on Regular gas, it handles superbly and I can fit three bags of groceries under the seat. The one and only negative is the comfort rating of the seat. I do get a sore butt if I go on long rides stopping only to get gas. I have a larger after-market windscreen on it that works great. I do have a few riding buddies that say "I wouldn't be caught dead riding a scooter", but they are simply insecure with who they are. At 6'4" and 260bs, there are not many things or people that intimidate me. I have suffered no problems since buying my Burgman new. It starts and runs perfect each and every time I ride it, only ever doing oil & filter, air cleaner and rear gear oil changes and keeping it clean. Overall, I love my FJR, but I ride my Burgman much more simply because its so convenient and easy to just jump on and go, saving my FJR for touring mostly.
weitzman   August 13, 2013 12:39 PM
Being an avid motorcyclist for over 50 years and more than half a million miles (Irv Gordon I am not), i can say the Burgman 650 is a great machine. I currently own a Burgie 650 plus a ZRX 1200, an ST4s and a XR1200X and ride the Burgie because of those very mobility issues currently. Mine is a 2009 and concur with most everything said. First it goes like stink, very quick and responsive. My speedo is about 5 mph fast at 65 mph. It is heavy but once rolling it handles reasonably well. I have owned this 650 for 5 weeks and 1200 miles and am now getting 55 mpg in moderately aggressive driving. Did 200 plus miles this past Saturday going up Highway 50 from Placerville to South Lake Tahoe (going full throttle in all 9 passing zones) and had no problem staying with my riding buddy who rides a Duc 916. He was impressed with the cornering power and lean angles of the Burgie. Coming back from the north end of the lake via I80,the Burgie was again flawless. Two accidents caused a total of six miles of back ups. Thank goodness for lane splitting (I left the mirrors out, mine are not electric folding). Mileage for the trip was 56 mpg. Ride is on the firm side. Before the Burgie 650, I had a Burgie 400 for 3 and a half months and 2,700 miles. While smooth, it is not electric motor smooth like the 650 and while it makes ok power, it is not up to the 650's. But fuel econ is amazing for the 400 averaging 65 mpg throughout the 2,700 miles and on two rides to Lake Tahoe it averaged 68 mpg again going full throttle in the passing zones. When you get up to 7,000 feet the 400 gets a bit wheezy and accelerating to 70 mph (uphill) is not snappy. On the 650 it had lots of snap at the summit of almost 7,400 feet. Acceleration at speed was still brisk. By the way I always ride in D. A 650 Burgie is nothing more than a step through motorcycle with a trick auto tranny and lots of storage without the need of saddlebags. It's funny how life is. I started riding on a 1947 two speed sliding gear 4 hp bathtub Cushman ($75, I remember going to a gas station and buying a quarter's worth) graduating to a 1956 150cc 6 hp three speed (on the left handlebar) Lambretta ($110) before going to motorcycles (the first being a 1960 250 Jawa, $300) and now I own a scooter again, but it is a far cry from a Lambretta. A Burgie 650 would embarrass a 1956 Triumph 650. I have ridden the BMW 650 and it sits too high and the bars are too low, but it has very good power and handling.
Allworld   August 13, 2013 10:57 AM
The Burgaman 650 will no doubt keep it's market share in the Maxiscooter market here in the USA, but lighter would be better. I used to have a Yamaha Tmax, great scooter, no longer sold in the USA, pity. BMW's new offering could give Suzuki a run for it's money.
BobJohnson   August 12, 2013 06:15 PM
AM - if you ever saw the steel frame of a Burgman you'd know why they weigh so much, it's a real tank. It also has the heaviest "small" wheels and tires imaginable.... As the original owner of a 2006 Burgman 650 I can address the "mobility issues." Try pushing that thing backward on a 35 degree morning. Between the seating position and wet clutch drag mine is virtually impossible to move backward - I have to use the old "compress the front forks and when they bounce back up hop the scoot backwards a few inches and repeat" routine to back mine up on cold mornings. Hopefully the new one is better but you won't know until winter comes to Medford. The scooter will do an honest 100mph and is dead stable. The brakes suck and it doesn't look like the new model is improved in that respect. Having used mine on the LA "freeways" for seven years, the folding mirrors are great - I just fold the left one in and use the right one normally to scan for the guys on R6-s with the D&D pipes flying between the cars - hate to slow them down..... The manual shift feature is, for me, useless. The driveline on the Burgman 650 is the most sophisticated in the two-wheeled world - it is not a conventional CVT but a computer controlled transmission that maximizes the performance of the engine at virtually all times. You can snap the throttle and watch the revs immediately jump to maximize acceleration - faster than you can shift for sure. "Power" mode however is very useful as it effectively lowers the final drive ratio and results in much faster throttle response, both open and closed - perfect for spitting lanes. Ignore for the moment that the driveline on earlier models (mine included) has had a somewhat checkered reputation for reliability - hopefully Suzuki has fixed all that as failures are catastrophic when they occur. For me at least maxi-scoots are really substitutes for cars, not motorcycles - a lot more practical than a motorcycle but not nearly as much fun (ask that guy on the R6....).
AM   August 12, 2013 02:05 PM
What's up with this scooters engineers that do not know how to make a scooter light?? At a 613 lbs are they aware that it's 30 lbs heavier than a ZX-14R?