Review: Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS from

For what feels like a generation, there’s only been one name in scooter touring: Burgman. Suzuki’s iconic big scooter and its variations remain the only scooter in the Suzuki USA lineup. While smaller sizes have come along (a 400 and now a 200 version upcoming), the Burgman 650 is the flagship machine that most often comes to mind when people talk about twist-and-go touring.

The Burgman 650 ABS saw an overhaul last year and’s Bart Madson took one out for a quick evaluation. With a loyal following, Suzuki took loads of owner feedback into consideration when refreshing the big Burgy.

“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.”

Sounds promising. These days the Burgman 650 finds itself in a much more crowded marketplace. With serious contenders from Kymco, Honda and BMW, the Burgman has to defend its turf in a way it hasn’t had to previously. Will the lounge chair attitude of the big Burgy hold up against its more overtly sporty rivals? Time will tell.

We’d love to hear from you Burgman owners out there. What has your experience been like? Does this review hold water? Sound off in the comments.

Check out Madson’s full review over at Motorcycle USA.

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  • DMP

    I’ve owned two of the 650’s (30,000 in total )and over a dozen other bikes over the years…. it is **far and away** the MOST comfortable…smooth motored bike I’ve owned and yes the push button gear change is a waste and suspension is ———- yet after many hundreds in after-market parts (race-tech and progressive) it’s still very choppy on anything but smooth asphalt…..AND… the power button/over drive are SUPER and although it’s no an RT or Trophy 900 or Gold Wing ( I owned several of each )……. it is for me a near perfect fit ( at 70 yrs. Sage ) with the adjustable seat and after-market back rest make it my favorite bike……just NOT ( 40+ in the city ) short trip choice …for that …. my 90 mpg PCX 150 is perfect

    • Terrific. What pushed you toward the Burgman over the Goldwing for touring duty? Weight? Gears?

      • DMP

        after millions of shifts i got tired of it …with always having to think about what gear i was in ….and no more saddle bags …you can get all you need under the seat and in the trunk….it is for me much easier to maneuver with the smallish wheels and because of the flat low engine.. it is _for me_ much more manageable to balance that any of the Gooses..BMers….or whatevers…or to move around (I’m only a 29 inseam and I can be flat footed on the Burgy….while weight is still an issue ( way too heavy by 100 pounds+ )…it has a very try low center of gravity and with my somewhat short inseam….it gives me confidence in gravel and slippery conditions ( I once tipped over my 2001 ST1100 and had to stop traffic to get help in righting it ! Oops )

        • Makes sense. Those ST1100s are WAY heavier than they look. I dropped my Tiger 1050 (which is really light for its size) twice on a big trip last year and needed help simply because it’s so tall. Thankfully the luggage kept it from toppling completely over so me and one other person were able to right it easily.