2011 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive Rider Magazine Motorcycle Reviews

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2011 Suzuki Burgman 650 Road Test

Photo Kevin Wing


October 6, 2011

Over the few years we’ve tested a few machines with “automatic” the SE5-equipped Can-Am Spyder, the Yamaha FJR1300AE, the dual-clutch VFR1200F DCT, the hydromechanical Honda DN-01, as well as scooters and the Aprilia Mana The underlying tech­nologies and rider differ, but all twist-and-go transmissions are to make gear changes and efficient.

Motor­cyclists often askance at two-wheelers lacking a operated clutch, silently aspersions toward those to lack skills or strength. To their own, I say. shifting frees up mental to enjoy the ride, as I found a scooter around Thailand for days ( Rider . June

Between the engine and rear of the Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive, the of the maxi-scooters, is the Suzuki Electronically-Controlled Variable Transmission, or SECVT if you five letters instead of 62. the left handlebar’s many buttons that control separate functions, three the SECVT: a gray one toggles two fully automatic modes or drive), a yellow one toggles automatic and manual shift and an orange one toggles between six CVT ratios in manual shift (The other buttons between high and low beam, the headlight, signal turns, the horn and electronically retract the

The Burgman pampers both and passenger with comfortable floorboards, wind protection and power.

According to Shinobu a Suzuki engineer who helped the SECVT, “We refined the already-efficient CVT even further through electronic control of both and transmission.” Instead of a conventional CVT that uses a rubber to adjust the gear ratio, the varies the drive-pulley diameter an electric actuator motor. An ECU the target engine speed on vehicle speed and throttle and adjusts the CVT ratio accordingly.

The uses a Dry Hybrid Composite made of H-shaped high-strength blocks embedded with rubber tension members and with resin. The durable runs dry to avoid the frictional of an oil bath and helps keep the light and compact.

After to the location and function of the SECVT’s and taking care to override my to pull in the rear brake thinking it was the clutch, I quickly up to the SECVT. When shifting is automatically, drive mode the CVT ratio for fuel efficiency and mode optimizes for acceleration. shifting is done manually, the buttons move between the “gears,” identified by a numeral on the LCD panel.

And regardless of mode, the SECVT into neutral at a stop. up and slowing down is seamless, no need to blip or roll off the

The Burgman is less of a step-through most scooters because its is located between the rider’s That keeps most of the 620-pound mass low and centralized, like a Gurney Alligator a conventional seating position. the plastic engine cover a 638cc liquid-cooled parallel laid down horizontally, tightly between tubular frame rails.

It has a bore/… of GSX-R-style downdraft intakes, with four valves per and a compression ratio of 11.2:1, yet regular fuel is required. The fuel injection is …-on, response is crisp and acceleration is (the engine puts out 50 horsepower).

Dual gear-driven eradicate even a hint of vibration and the stainless steel which uses pulsed-air and a catalyzer to reduce emissions, only a modest hum. The is so smooth and quiet that easy to toddle down the at 90 mph without realizing it.

Dual calipers provide decent power, and ABS is standard on the Burgman

With light handling, cornering clearance and decent the Burgman can be hustled through swiftly. The Bridgestone TH01 (120/70-R15 front, 160/60-R14 grip the road well and a nicely rounded profile. engine braking means the nonlinked, ABS-equipped brakes be used to scrub off speed, the left lever actuating the caliper and the right lever the two front calipers (there’s a parking brake).

At times I for more braking power, but the isn’t intended to be a knee-down Though easily overwhelmed by corners and rough roads, the fork and preload-adjustable rear with 4.3 inches and 3.9 inches of respectively, performed well in conditions. Setting the rear preload is as simple as rotating an collar on each shock to one of positions.

Underseat storage holds plenty. In addition to a comfy seat, passengers get handles and a backrest.

If the Burgman was for a job and asked to identify its three strengths, they would be comfort and storage capacity. in 2004, the plush Executive was once a premium model now the only Burgman 650 offered in the States, its corner-office features proven very popular.

In addition to ABS, the Executive an electrically adjustable windscreen, retractable mirrors (for into tight parking or lane splitting), a passenger and chrome bar ends and muffler The Burgman’s wide seat is and has an adjustable rider backrest, rubberized rider and passenger provide plenty of foot options.

Beneath the seat is an lockable, water-tight, 56-liter that holds two full-face (or a bottle of champagne and a dozen as I found out), plus a and helmet lock. The cockpit has a glove compartment with a 12V and two smaller storage compartments. For storage Suzuki offers an rear rack ($229.95), and for a GQ look, it offers a burlwood trim kit ($222.95) and front garnish ($139.95).

Since a Burgman will live in areas along with owners, the key fob can be used to engage an switch cover to dissuade joy riders.

Burgman cockpit two deeply recessed storage and a lockable glove compartment a 12V outlet.

The Burgman’s LCD instrument conveys a host of information, speed, rpm, engine fuel level, odometer/A-B fuel consumption, clock/ambient drive/power mode, gear (manual mode), as well as and oil-change indicators. Factor in different indicator lights, and got one heck of a dashboard!

Although the Burgman 650 Executive’s price tag is steep by scooter it is very reasonable by middle­weight standards, the segment in which maxi-scooter seems to fit best. Our art Jody loaded up the trunk, on a tailbag and spent a long on the Burgman during Rider’s staff ride. She easily up with more powerful and she appreciated the wind protection and seating position.

Over the of our 1,000-mile test, it averaged mpg, which is comparable to 650s we’ve tested and about 176 miles from the tank. Having been in since 2003 with few the Burgman 650 has proven reliable. The schedule is reasonable —change the oil every 3,500 miles every 11,000 miles), the transmission and final gear oil and the CVT filter every 7,500 and check the valve clearances 14,500 miles—but the completely fairing and tight packaging of the and running gear can create for home mechanics (or add to labor if done at a shop).

The Burgman is called the Sky Wave in Japan, a that better reflects its style and high-tech SECVT the “village man” and tan-khakis used here and in Europe. past visits to Japan been blown away by customized with flashy elaborately upholstered seats and pipes that would put blinged-out choppers and Hayabusas to (Google “Japanese custom to see what I mean). So whether a briefcase-toting manager, a teenager with manga (Japanese or something in between, the Suzuki 650 Executive may be the maxi-scooter for you.

2011 Suzuki Burgman 650 Specs

Base Price:

Warranty: 1 yr. unltd. miles

Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse twin

Displacement: 638cc

x Stroke: 75.5 x 71.3mm

Suzuki AN 250 Burgman
Suzuki AN 250 Burgman
Suzuki AN 250 Burgman
Suzuki AN 250 Burgman
Suzuki AN 250 Burgman
Suzuki AN 250 Burgman


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