2013 Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS Review

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All Hail the Mighty Burg

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By Jon Langston 19, 2013 13

Photos by: Suzuki

I caught myself uttering exclamation numerous times the last few days. Bemused or the 2013 Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS left me gaping.

I first “wow” long and low when I twisted the scooter’s throttle, surprised at the smoothness and depth of its Shortly thereafter, I said it matter-of-factly when I looked for a control button that exist.

I hooted it under my while leaning hard an uphill corner, enthralled by the surprising dexterity; I muttered it in after fully raising the windshield and discovering it didn’t reach eye level. I said it impressed, when I used my hand to adjust the rear preload; I said it aloud perplexed, when I saw I’d burned a tank of fuel in just 73 Finally, I mouthed it incredulously to a serious case of sticker

That one word expressed a ton of about the Burgman 650 ABS. I walked away from the more impressed than it’s no wonder it’s the leader with a legion of With comfort, power and after a 300-mile test the new Burgman proved itself a fun tripper and a capable commuting

But it’s not without its issues.

The 650 has been the undisputed king of the for 10 years running. Suzuki stylistic and engineering upgrades push North America of Italy to become the scooter’s #2 worldwide. Germany is tops.

The renowned maxi-scooter celebrates its birthday in 2013, and while it get a tip-to-tail reinvention, the new Burgman a stylistic makeover and several upgrades – the motorcycle equivalent of a spa Does it go far enough to attract a new

For starters, Suzuki turned to the loyal fan base (Burgman club and group members in the tens of thousands worldwide) and them: If you could change about the Burgman, what it be? Unsurprisingly, these devotees find much fault the big step-through, but a few key suggestions kept

First and foremost, ABS, a previously available only the on the Executive, is now standard. (The designation has been respectfully the other features that set the Executive apart from the Burgman, heated seats and are now optional in North America, and equipment in the rest of the world.) Not this was a common complaint, but in it’s a safety feature no motorcycle should be without. The ABS is by the addition of floating discs up

This year’s Burg gets a stylistic upgrade, a slimmer seat, a sportier and headlight arrangement, new taillights suited to a motorcycle than a black accented bodywork, a cutout for easier foot-planting and an triangular muffler to replace the round one.

Instrumentation, dominated by a large, outmoded LED has been given a modern featuring a nouveau-retro analog and tachometer bookending a multi-function LED that displays an odometer, trip meters, a fuel meter, a coolant temperature thermometer, clock, programmable oil indicator, a drive mode (for drive mode and mode), and a gear-position indicator manual mode).

Does a CVT scooter, even one a manual override, really a tach, you ask? A valid we can’t wait to read the in the Comments below.

Other of note: the dash now features a Eco-Drive indicator light; the brake lever was relocated under the right side of the to just below the rider’s thigh for easier accessibility; and the accessory plug in the locking compartment was moved deeper the cubby, allowing multiple and sizes of jacks and accessories to in without blocking the hatch.

The certainly looks updated, but if you a scooterist before, it’s this latest Burgman make a convert out of you.

and perhaps most importantly, new were utilized in the clutch and The result is a much more Burgman. The new version has substantially drag and is therefore significantly to push around while or powered off.

This was by far the common complaint Suzuki from current Burgman who are often older riders who can’t throw a leg over a anymore, and Suzuki responded the new materials that provide a 35% less drag in the drivetrain.

I never had the opportunity to ride the Burgmans, I found the 2013 a breeze to push, whether upon it or walking alongside it. several moto-journalists along for the ride remarked how much the ’13 Burgman felt than its

On the road, the Burgman didn’t in the slightest. Its power is impressive; the 638cc twin-cylinder engine up immediately and pushes the bike traffic and onto freeway with aplomb, and it reaches a speed as quickly as most any in the same range. There’s power at the top end.

Accelerating from 60 to 80 takes and there’s plenty of throttle beyond that; a top speed of than 110 mph isn’t inconceivable. its redline is set at 8K, around town or the highway the Burg prefers a spot around 4,750

The Burgman’s horizontal parallel-Twin is surprisingly adept.

The CVT transmission six gear ratios, atypical to CVTs. Drive mode is the but clicking the Power button your left thumb up the shift points, making for acceleration and more amenable maneuverability. This was handy not on the street but on the California highways, lane-splitting is not illegal and sudden are a must. (Also handy lane-splitting were the electrically rear-view mirrors operated by a button on top of the left switchgear.) I in Power mode for much of the opting for Drive only on the when 6th gear was all that was to move the scooter along at a clip.

For more adjustability, the CVT can be disabled by switching to Manual on the switchgear, allowing the rider to up and down as desired. I say “mostly” even in Manual mode the automatically downshifts when to a stop.

Like lots of The Burgman has you covered.

My only with Manual mode was the Up and Down buttons are both the rider on the switchgear, meaning can only be actuated with the I would prefer a thumb-and-forefinger shifter as on the Honda CTX700 or Spyder. but since downshifting is not in Manual mode, that may be moot.

In the twisties, the Burgman displays agility – and not just in trans-mode. As long as Power is engaged, this maxi-scoot is a hill-climber. The hardest part is in your seat, as the ride is squishy.

But, as previously the dual rear shocks are preload adjustable, and two easy on either side firm up the nicely. And the cornering clearance is – it takes a lot of effort to scrape the centerstand.

There is a point the 15-inch front and 14-inch tires reach their limits, but most of its riders likely never push the Burg that hard.

But is decidedly not the purpose for which machine is intended. It’s a through and through, and for that the Burgman is (almost) ideally The underseat storage claims to fit two helmets, and is certainly roomy to fit a briefcase, a backpack, even an bag. It’s comfortable, has of giddy-up, and is spry yet stout to negotiate the urban jungle.

Suzuki AN 650

And it stress-free, twist-and-go operation.

touring is completely feasible, with the accessory topcase.

So keeps the Burgman from perfection? For one thing, we’d for a cruise control function for a “luxury scooter,” but when Suzuki admitted that a inexpensive CC module such as the prevalent on so many modern would require a ride-by-wire a tech feature the Burgman (yet) boast. Fair

The windscreen is electrically adjustable. in its lowest position, when raised it reached only to the top of my

Another foible, if wind is a priority, is the Burgman’s adjustable The screen itself is fine; it well below the rider’s of sight and provides decent from elements while cooling air hit the pilot square in the But, dialed up to its highest the screen doesn’t angle to provide a functional air pocket, so it not be enough to satisfy a fussy or a rain rider.

Its leading comes a few inches toward the face — then stops, well below eye level. In a any moisture captured by the screen likely creep up the shield and fly into the pilot’s face.

The looks right at home at the biker haunt. Sort of.

Suzuki claims the 35% less in the transmission improves the Burgman fuel consumption by 15% (in Drive That’s a nice talking in and of itself — but after 300 miles, than half of it on the freeway, we higher than 41 mpg. my wife’s Prius makes than that.

Despite the drag, one would be fortunate to 175 miles on a tank.

None of issues would be deal-breakers on scooters, but the Burgman is – as Suzuki tell you – more bike most scooters. And while the is as tight a package as you’ll in the segment, it’s also the

At $10,999, the mighty Burg a full thousand dollars than BMW’s comparable C 650 GT. more than Honda’s smaller Silver Wing and – get this – $3K than Honda’s new no-shift motorcycle. That price in fact, sits higher any other scooter we could and is greater than the MSRP of motorcycles. (Shoot, for eleven I might even sell you the Prius.)

For that kind of price it’s not unreasonable to expect that floors the competition. How an audio system with connectivity? Perhaps the aforementioned control?

Navigation? Any or all of the above? no. For an extra grand (at least), you get is an easy to ride, highway-ready with plenty of cargo and a solid powertrain.

So maybe it is for that tip-to-tail reinvention. despite the nice array of the 2013 Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS has room for improvement. It may be the king of its and have legions of devoted but anyone with a desire to on the maxi-scooter bandwagon won’t to look far to find more attractive options.

Surprising and agility

Capacious cargo

Far easier to push around its predecessors

Suzuki AN 650

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