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 MotorcycleUSA.com’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.