I’ve been curious what the real world and riding differences are between the Burgman 400 and 650 scooters. Sure we can read the technical stuff and see the pictures to see how they are different, but I wanted to know how different they were to ride.

Thank goodness Scootergirl from the forum lives only an hour away and was brave enough to let me borrow her 2007 Burgman 400 for a backroads test ride. And that was a perfect way to compare the scooter. I rode an hour on my 650 Executive, jumped off, got on Robin’s 400 and took a long ride on it and then jumped back on my 650 for another hour home.

So what scooters did I compare? Robin has a 2007 stock Burgman 400 and I have a 2008 Burgman 650 Executive with a Clearview screen. Plus, Robin’s has this amazing beaded seat thing cover that makes her seat really plush. We’ll have to get more details about that for sure.

The very first thing I noticed was when I pulled up into Robin’s driveway. It had a slight downward angle and when I pulled up next to where her scooter was parked and jumped off mine it started to roll forward and fall even though it was on the side stand. Apparently the 650 was heavier enough that the slight incline made a big difference. After doing the silly ‘it’s falling over I’m trying to save it’ dance I finally got it firmly planted with the parking brake. Thank you Suzuki for the parking brake. And thank you Robin for letting me take your scooter out right after I nearly planted mine in your driveway. Brave woman.

Now, before I begin this comparison let me offer the following disclaimer. This was just my experience and these are just my opinions. This is not a white coated scientist dyno test. It is just a Burgman rider out riding another Burgman and offering impressions and comments. I encourage anyone that has anything to add or a different opinion to post it in the comments section at the end of this article.

As for cosmetic differences I’ll let the pictures show you all of that. The operational differences were very apparent and while the two scooters are very different in some ways, those differences are not necessarily bad things.

Burgman 400, Left & Burgman 650 Exec, Right

Burgman 400, Left & Burgman 650 Exec, Right

Burgman 650 Exec, Left & Burgman 400, Right

Burgman 650 Exec, Left & Burgman 400, Right

What struck me immediately when I stepped onto the Burgman 400 was how much lighter it is. It was so easy to take off the side stand and manhandle compared to the 650. It was also apparent when I sat on that damn comfortable beaded seat that the distance from the seat to the ground on the 400 was shorter than on the 650.

The first impression when I fired up the 400 was how much more scooter like the engine sounded and felt. It was as noticeable like the difference between a four cylinder car engine and an eight cylinder car engine. It’s not that the Burgman 400 is rough, just different. When giving it gas from a standing start it also sounds more like a scooter and takes a bit longer to get going and get up to speed. And let me assure you that the 400 has plenty of power once you get it going at a steady pace and runs smooth and fast. The big difference between the 400 and 650 with power appears to be that the 650 is faster off the line, faster acceleration and more top end speed. The 400 meets its maximum at just above highway speeds without any reserve for a bit more power. On my 650 I can pass anything traveling less than 100 mph or so, with ease.

Handling on the 400 was super fine. No problems at all. It is easy to lean and handle on the road. The most noticeable differences while cruising were the following items.

  • It might just be purely personal preference but I do think the Burgman 650 mirrors are more helpful than the 400 mirrors. The 650 mirrors are in a very good and comfortable position when riding and even though they seem like they’d be too low they do give you a very broad view of the road. Maybe it was just esthetics but the mirrors on stalks on the 400 would not be my first choice.
  • My Burgman 650 has ABS, the 400 does not. And while you could clamp on the binders on the 400 and bring it to a stop, the braking on the 650 Executive feels much more solid and strong. That is not to say that the braking on the 400 isn’t adequate, it feels perfectly adequate. What I noticed most was that on the 650 with ABS that when I apply the brakes, I get braking RIGHT NOW! And on the 400 I got hard braking but with a less of a massive grip.
  • The weight difference was apparent to me on the twisty roads. On my 650 when I rock it back and forth in the turns it feels more definitive. The 400 was easy to handle but just didn’t give me the same sort of solid rider feedback. It is obviously a feeling that is hard to put into words but for an experienced motorcycle rider the weight feels like an advantage in the fast sweeping turns. But that extra weight, not properly handled, could probably get a new rider in more trouble.
  • I also love the analogue fuel gauge on the 400 rather than the digital four bar gauge on my 650. In fact I think the fuel and temp gauges on the 650 are a disappointment and I’d just like more information than the bars on the 650 give me.
  • On the 400 the disappointment was the initial power and scooterness of the engine when starting to get going. But if you are buying a scooter, that would not be a negative factor at all. And this is where I think the major difference is between the Burgman 400 and the Burgman 650. The Burgman 400 feels, in my opinion, like a powerful scooter and the Burgman 650 feels and handles more like a powerful motorcycle.

Now, that doesn’t mean that both don’t have a perfect place in different situations. With the better fuel milage that the Burgman 400 gets and it’s light weight I’d prefer the Burgman 400 for a daily commute in traffic, run to the store or a lot of riding in an urban area. I also think that anyone that does not have experience riding a motorcycle should start with the 400, not because it is inferior or a starter scooter but simply because the reduction in weight and less rocket start power can make it a safer maxiscooter to start with.

I would strongly suggest that before anyone buys a Burgman 650 that they have completed an approved motorcycle safety class and has previous motorcycle riding experience or can ride with a buddy to get experience. Call it what you want, the Burgman 650 Executive, for all intents and purposes, is a motorcycle with a step through frame.

Both the Burgman 400 and 650 can travel a long distance and I could see myself easily able to ride cross country on the Burgman 400. Both are fine machines, great maxiscooters and perfect fit for that special someone.

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192 Responses to “A Riders Comparison of the Burgman 400 and the Burgman 650 Scooters”

  1. Pete and I trade back and forth with out 650 and 400. I love both! The 400 to me is more sporty and the 650 is the Cadillac.

    When I am in the twisties with the 400 I feel I can throw the bike around a bit more. With the 650 I have learned to use it’s raw power via the power button.

    To get a little more off the line with the 400 simply chnage the roller sizes away from the stock.

    Maggies last blog post..Little Grand Canyon

  2. Steve-thanks for making a good side by side comparison of the two bikes. I’m happy to be able to help out with this exercise and appreciate you taking the time to do so for the benefit of our folks here. I’ve always thought there was a 650 in my future and you’ve helped convince me of that by confirming some things about the power and handling differences. If I can afford it though, I may opt to keep both bikes. Good to have choices.

    Have a good weekend of riding!

  3. Well done both. I like the honesty on parking on the driveway. Says more about the weight than just reading that its heavier. My new 400 has yet to reach max speed and power as faithfully trying to stick to 4000/5000 revs for a few more miles so have no real idea of what it can do, but always my intention to keep for a year and then move up to 650 – if legs are long enough for higher seat? The motorcycle feel and power appeal immensly. Feedback on the seat height difference would be appreciated and how was it for getting up on centre stand. Maybe a good next move would be for Scootergirl to try out moving up to the 650 and let us would be upgraders have an insight into what to expect.

    Stay well


  4. Kingswood-
    Yeah, I’m game. I’ll do that sometime.

    I find the center stand very easy to use on the 400 now that I know the technique. In fact, I prefer to use it for the stability and for starting the bike up while I’m finishing w/my gloves or fiddling with my GPS.

    I’m 5’7″ (30-31″ inseam) and did not have trouble flatfooting the 650 when I sat on it in the dealership showroom. I understand though some vertically challenged folks find the 650 a little tall.

  5. Interesting article. I would like to learn more about the beaded seat for the 400. I would assume this would work for my 650. I love my 650……..anyway to enhance the ride.

    Drive Safe

  6. I’m 5’6″ with a 28 1/2 inseam. I don’t have any trouble putting feet down, but have found that without the parking brake on the 650, if left on the sidestand only, it will roll away on an incline if there is also a little lean to the left on the parking surface. We tried the 400 before getting the 650. It didn’t have the power we needed to ride two up with all our gear. Second reason, and just as important, the 650 has two cyclinders. That means the motor is not working as hard to hold a steady speed. Yes, it is a bit heavier than I wanted, but there was no way around the weight unless we went back to a cycle and Old Woman can’t swing a leg over anymore so a scooter was the only way to go. We have loaded it with 150 lbs of gear just to see what it felt like. Rode 200 miles that way with only one problem and that was not the weight, but the distribution of the weight. Before we head for South America, I will weld up a different rack system for the top box and the panniers. I will the seat down some more and narrow it for her. I have tried the beaded seats and threw it away after two hours. The stock seat is plenty comfortable for us except for size. After Old Woman had the hip replacement on the same side that was partially paralyzed by the stroke, the seat is too wide for her comfort. She also doesn’t like being that much higher than I am, so will chop that down as far as I can.

    I love the mirrors! I didn’t think I would, but they are perfectly placed so that there is little blind spot. I don’t like it that there is no place on the dash to conveniently put the GPS. Like most, I have had to use the RAM mount on the brake fluid cylinder. There should also be an easily accessed point that is only hot when the key is on where and electrical appliance can be connected .

    There should also be a blinking light that flashes “Hey stupid, you turned the key too far and the tail light is on.” Alternatively, the could just as easily be a separate switch if you need the taillight on when the key is off. There should be another flashing light that says “Do you really want park with your nose downhill?” (It was only a little incline, but having ridden lighter machines for 50 years, I thought nothing of going to Safeway, getting my Copenhagen and going back to the scoot—and not leaving.) There wasn’t enough room to turn and so I waited until a young man came out and I enlisted his aid to push me back out of the parking space. I then remembered the Harley I rode when I was 19 and that I NEVER parked nose down, but backed in. Lesson remembered. We need a reverse.

    All in all, the 650 is just about ideal when you learn its foibles, and that is why we chose it for the RTW that begins in April.

  7. This is the place where I ordered my bead seat which made the stock Burgman seat tolerable. Now that I have the new seat , I’ve decided to still use the bead seat not for the comfort facter of the hard seat but for the circulation of air that it affords. Here in Oklahoma we have a lot of humidity along with our hot weather, so the more air you can circulate, the better.

  8. I agree with most of the points you made. I traded my 400/07 for a 650/08 Executive …..here’s what I think on how they differ.
    THE 400
    (1) the 400 mirrors offer a much better view and are able to be ajusted in a flash.
    (2) the 400 gets about 20 mpg better mileage
    (3) the 400 in enough lighter that it makes it much easier to park / turn / and push backward.
    (4) the storeage area under the seat seems a good deal larger on the 400
    (5) it lower to the ground ( I have a 29 insteam) which on a 650 outs you on your tiptoes.

    THE 650
    (1) Power from a stop/ from any speed up/ it’s just a faster more powerful scooter……..DA
    (2) Breaks while the 400 has very good breaks the 650 seems to much better and yes I love the ABS factor.
    (3) Riding two up it handles better than the 400 due to the fact of its stronger power it leans better and will pass without a worry.
    (4) The 650 seems to be built for longer rides (touring) it’s just a much better ride due to the weight and power. Interstate backroads wherever whenever.

    If you are buying a scooter to comute with or to just run errands around town stick with the 400 it will do the job easily.
    If you are looking at doing a lot of two up riding and are of a larger size (I’m 330 my wife is 175) we are both 6’ft tall so we feel much more comfortible on the 650.
    I have friends who are much lighter and smaller than us and they ride two just fine on the 400.
    One of the big things that you will find is the fuel comsumption…..good luck and stay safe.

  9. Great info from everyone.
    I have always had two bikes. One large touring model and a scooter. I have had 3 Honda Helix’s over the years from riding to work and stores etc. I use the Harley Road King for the long 400 miles days trips around Arizona.
    I traded in the Helix on a 400 Burgman and just loved the 400, the ride, handling, etc. Seat hight was ok, but my Harley is lower than both the 400 & 650.
    I drove my 400 for a few months and found that at highway speeds and beyond that the engine was running at very high RPM’s and that bothered me about just how long will the engine last at these speeds. Don’t get me wrong, if I could have kept them both I would! So I started searching the dealers for a left over 2007 Red 650 Exec. One dealer found that they had one in stock, still in the crate down in Tuscon, AZ. I told them I wanted that one and they sent one of their people down to Tuscon on a Sunday to pick it up. I had it that Sunday evening!
    Fist thing I did notice was the seat hight and the weight difference, not a problem for me, just different. I knew right off the MPG were not going be as good as the 400, but everything else made that ok with me.
    As for handling and ride, the 400 does ride a bit smoother than the 650, but that is where it ends. The power, and a real 5 speed with Over Drive Transmission is just great. Now at highway speeds the RPM are much lower than on the 400 and to me the life of the engine will surpass the 400.
    Both are Great Scooters/motorcycles and what one you ride, you won’t be disappointed at all.
    This time of year “Summer in Phoenix, AZ” is just HOT 110-115 everyday for approx 4 months. When riding the Harley the heat coming off the engine is enough to burn the inside of your right leg and I mean to tell you that is very hot. The 650 & 400 ride much cooler during the summer months here.
    My Harley buddies think I am nuts for owning a scooter, until I let them take it for a ride. Funny they have all returned with that Burgman Grin on there face!!! They can say what they want, but that grin gives the away….
    All in all for me I love both the 400 & 650, if I could afford them both I would have them both.
    I am very happy with my Scooter in every way. I do believe that they could have installed a radio and electronic cruse control, and that would the total package for sure!
    Ride on friends, and ride safe.

    Old Dog-Bob
    2007 650 Burgman exec Red
    2005 Harley Road King pushing 1000 lbs with all the things I have added

  10. Janice: Thanks for the website for the beaded seat. I checked it out and I will be getting one.
    Drive Safe

  11. I have a 2007 Burgman 400. I’ve got 13,500 miles on it. I have a friend who has a 2003 Burgman 650 that I’ve ridden a lot; and another friend who has a 2007 Burgman 650 that allows me to see the difference in the two models four years apart.
    I disagree that the mirrors on the 650 are better placed. To me they are too low. I like the mirrors on the 400 better because 1) I’m used to it, having had this arrangement on all my past bikes — BMWs and Suzukis, and 2) I like the mirrors so they are in the same visual plane as the instrument panel. I do like the fold-back feature of the 650’s mirrors.
    The Executive model of the 650 has the ABS braking. The non-executive model doesn’t, if I’m correct. I never had ABS on a motorcycle and am not sure I want it. The jury is still out.
    I find the 400 to be more lithe on curves than the 650 which fedosels slightly more cumbersome, though the difference is hardly worth talking about once you ride either one for a while.
    I LOVE the analog gauges on my 400 rather than the Buicky tachometer and other gauges on the 650. I HATE the fact that, like on all Japanese bikes, the instrument maker seems to have made a moral decision to try to slow riders down by making the speedos read faster than you are really going. Mine reads 6 mph fast at cruising speeds. I think an instrument maker’s responsibility is to make accurate instruments, not moral judgements.
    One thing that makes the 650 superior to the 400 is the technology of the drive. On the 400, there’s a centrifugal clutch, which I thought went out with General Custer’s Cushman scooter. The variable front pulley is made of a too-soft material that grooves in places when one drives at a constant speed, like to work every day. Eventually, the belt can’t get out of the groove. One dealer told me this was about the only problem they saw with the 400. The 650 has a torque converter and a string of gears leading to the rear axle. It’s just better.

    Lastly, the 650 has tires one step larger than those on the 400. That would make for longer wear with the same speeds and power delivery and weight; but, of course not of the three things are equal between the 400 and the 650; so tire wear just depends on the rider and religiously checking tire pressures.

    Joe the Rider

  12. I figured out why I like the placement of the mirrors on the 650 a bit better, for me. It is simply a hold over from being a pilot. When I fly I’m a maniac about checking the panel and gauges. Falling out of the sky is not my desired goal.

    Out of habit I frequently check the instruments on the 650 when I’m cruising and the reason the mirrors on the 650 seem well placed for me is because they are right in line with the instruments. When I glance down to check the instruments it is just a quick glance left and right to check the mirrors.

    But then again, that’s just me.

  13. Excellent comparison, and excellent follow-up replies. When I bought my 650 Exec, I too compared the two, but only at the dealer, without extensive riding. I’m glad to hear that the differences you found were in line with the differences I had compiled. I’m glad I made the decision to buy the 650 Exec, as I ride 2-up 90% of the time. I’m very happy with the 650 and would recommend it to anyone.

  14. Thank you all for the comparisons of the Burgman 400 & 650’s.

    I have been on the fence deciding if I want to upgrade my 2008 400 to an Executive.
    In the mean time I love getting out and riding my 400.

    I have a question, has anyone up graded the the automatic clutch on their Burgman 400?
    Is a Malossi clutch a good one?
    Will this upgrade improve my Burgman 400 slow starts?
    Will in improve any other aspect of performance?

    What does ” change the roller sizes” mean to accomplish getting more power off the line?

    Keep the dialog going.

    Ride Safe,

    Marc Gadoua

  15. I would be real interested in having Scooter-Girl ride your executive and giving her views and comparisons.

  16. Thanks great article. I have just sold my Kawasaki Vulcan VN900 and want to buy a new Burgman. I was thinking of a 400 (it’s all I can afford) but now after reading this , I’m more convinced that the 650 might be better (but it would have to be second hand).
    I live in Spain – despite the UK email address – and here Suzuki seem to have made a crazy marketing decision. Dealers here in Mallorca now no longer have the straight 400 model and can only get the 400 Winter edition. Doesn’t make sense here in Mallorca where the winters are so mild. I don’t need heated grips and muffs – and certainly don’t want to pay for them – can’t see myself ever needing them. There must be lots of riders like me, so full marks Suzuki, marketing wise.

    James Randalls last blog post..Key fob 20a

  17. Hi,great article & replies. I live in New Zealand & have been considering the 400 & the 650, Now Ive made up my mind thanks to all of you. Im going in tomorrow to get the 650. Safe riding everone. Tom.

  18. I have been riding my Bergman 400 for two years.
    Due to working ER for several years I had never even been on a motorcycle of any kind…However…
    I have learned to ride safely and even have my own “ditch” story and totaled bike to prove it. (He didn’t SEE me!!!!!!!)
    I have traveled all over Ohio with the scooter and been to southern Virginia.
    I have more take off than my husband with an 1100 and highway is a comfortable ride at high speed. Harley guys pretend not to see me when I pass them.
    Gas mileage is good, 66mpg last time I checked.
    Maintainence is the one drawback. It was a nightmare trying to do anything other than the oil change.

  19. I am new to your web site and think it is SUPER, good job. I have owned several motorcycles through the years, Harley, 3 Goldwings, Bergman 400 and now a 650. We haved toured 13 states on Goldwings. I put around 3000 miles on the 400 then fell in love with the 650 due to the extra power with two up. I now have 21,000 miles on my 650 with no problems. It is the next best thing to a Goldwing. I have heard talk they are going to try the same transmission set up on the Wing that the Bergman has, with reverse of course. Ride safe, hope to see you on the road sometime. Don

  20. I am a 58 year old woman who got her motorcycle license in April this year. As a new rider I know I have a lot to learn. I bought a slightly used 650 and seem to be having some difficulty with its height and weight. I really don’t feel safe and comfortable (mainly stopping, parking, backing up and going slow). I am only 5’4″ and not as strong as I could be if I was more fit. I haven’t decided if the problem is my lack of experience or the height and weight of the scooter. I would like some feedback from others who ride a 650 and have been in my position. I’m not sure if I should look to buy/trade a 400 or wait it out until I have more experience to see if I gain more confidence and skill. In all the above emails, no one mentioned how high up the rider sits compared to other motorcycles. Does that bother any one other than me?

  21. Hi Grandma Rider-

    Thanks for posting your questions and concerns. I don’t have a 650 but I know I thought the 400 was a lot heavier and bulkier than I now think it is after having 14,000 miles under my belt on the thing. My advice would be to keep getting out there and riding. It’ll make it easier to handle each successive time out. If you haven’t already done so, a great and safe place to practice the things that challenge you would be in an empty school parking lot on the weekends. Mastering the slow stuff is crucial to safe riding. With my height, I’d prefer a higher seat and find the 400 a tad on the short side. You could check out Burgmanusa.com forums and see about lowering your seat by shaving foam off or going w/a custom saddle. Oh, and if you haven’t taken a motorcycle safety course, I highly recommend that. Most states offer them at reasonable prices and usually have space available in the off season.

    Good luck and welcome to our community from one female rider to another!

  22. Grandma, stay with the 400. the 650 is to heavy for you and you will not enjoy being on the edge of your comfort zone all the time. The 650 is a great machine but if you are riding single the 400 will keep up with any of them and believe me your rides will be more enjoyable. Good Luck, ride safe/ Don

  23. Hi Burger Riders,
    Having had both 400 and 650 executive I found that the 400 was too light on roundabouts and tended to slide away going round them but the 650 holds the road better.When I bought my Ist 650 it was so fast on take off I felt that I had been riding a Chicken Chaser for 2Years.Driving the 650 is a pleasure I cannot do without even in our English weather(plenty of room for waterproofs under seat).This years model has both heated grips and seats which is an improvement for our climate.I do a lot of miles both in England and across to France 7000 since March 08 on tha 400 it was hard work on distance but a dream on the 650.To be negative about the 650 the fuel tank is too small and the Labour charges to get a job done on it too high(just had a louder horn fitted £79 ) this was done to let people know I am there when they are using mobile phones.
    You cannot have it all but with the 650 you are very close to it .
    Do not forget the saying ONE LIFE LIVE IT! on a Burger of course.

  24. I’ve had a Burgman 400 K4 and a K7. I just purchased a 2009 650 exec. The reason I went with the 650 was for the ABS and engine longevity. I used my scooters as my main transportation during the riding season and felt if only made sense to invest in safety. Not that I felt unsafe on the 400, but I wanted what the 650 had to offer. My K7 had 16,000 after just two years..and much of that is 60+mph. Though the engine ran fine at higher RPMs, I wanted the lower RPMs and twin cylinders of the 650, which will increase longevity. I only have 850 mile on the new K9, but here are my impressions. I thought the electric mirrors and windshield were gimmick add-ons to justify the higher exec. price. They are not gimmick. Those mirrors really stick out and it is nice to have them retractable when parking or in narrow paths. The electric windshield is a safety item too. You control wind and visability as conditions change. The most recent statistics I’ve heard about ABS are that they do add a significant safety advantage when it counts: This was one of my main reasons for getting the Exec. The power is nice but as a solo rider, the 400 was good enough. The power of the 650 and trasnsmission give you greater control for passing, and positioning in traffic. When you accelerate there is no waiting. I also admit, it is fun to really get up and go too. What I really like is the 650’s transmission. The wet clutch is a positive start and go. It is also easier to maintain a slow speed than the 400. I think this is also a major safety advantage and the same could be said for the greater power, but in unexprienced or foolish hands, power can be dangerous. The added weight was a negative to me only when having to push backwards with your legs. You have to be aware of this when parking. I was surprized how little the extra weight affected maneuverability at slow speeds. Not to say it can’t get away from you easier, but the turn radius was about the same. I’m comparing this ( get away from you feel) to a 2000 goldwing, When you got past that lean limit, you felt all 800+ pounds really start to pull, I have not felt that on the 650 (yet?). You just have a greater mechanical advanage with the low center of gravity of a scooter. The weight is also a safety advantage in the wind and higher speeds. The 400 is light on the front wheel and this affected stability in wind and sometimes in turns. The 650’s weight distribution feels more stable to me: more planted in a turn. I will miss the higher MPG of the 400, but this is the cost of getting the 650’s advantages. The headlights are much safer on the 650. On low, since both are lit, you have better lighting, plus you don’t look like a car with out a headlight. On High, they are brighter (or have better light distribution) too. The instrument panel on the 650 is a bit disappointing. I don’t mind the LCD gagues.. but I can barely see the blue high beam light in the daylight. I also think MPH and TEMP should be independent readings as on the 400. I like the mirrors on the 650 because they are part of the body not the handlebars. To me, this gives a consistant rear view.. not a view that changes depending on where the front wheel is turned. The mirrors also give a very broad view. I felt the 400’s mirrors were not a broad enough angle of view. Being set farther apart, the 650 lets you see behind the rider better and to the sides: more panaramic than the 400. I did not find the lower set mirrors hard to adjust to. The wider set front turnsignal lights are more visible to motorists coming toward you when you are behind other traffic. Another compromise is less storage than the 400 but this could be expected with the larger engine. If you take it easy on the 650, you can get very good MPG… Easily over 50 MPG but unfortunately, you have to figure exact milage yourself since the MPG meter only goes to 50 ( what were they thinking??) I found that I rode the 650 more conservative than the 400. I’d almost always full throttle my starts on the 400, but not the 650. The 650 is quieter than the 400. It’s positive clutch engagement, adds a level of control that is missing on the 400. Even if you don’t “push” the 650’s performance, you still have the thrill of its power and are up to urban speeds before most cars even start rolling. The slightly broader body on the 650 also provides a bit better wind protection. This may be an illusion since the airflow design around the windshield is very different on the 650. I’m not sure if I’ll get a wider windshield for the 650 since the adjustability gives you control. I really like being able to see over the shield. I had a GIVI on my last 400 and it was very nice but added alot of backpressure and blocked visibility: Especially important in rain. One thing I’ve added to my two previous burgmans is enhansed running lights. I mount two very bright ambers under the headlights, two bright constant on reds ( under the mirrors) and two more ambers facing rearward for the turnsignals. This helps me stand out in the night and day.. and that’s where we get into trouble the most: Not being seen. This is also why I got the white K9! – These are all just one person’s opinion. Hopefully it will be good food for thought for those who are thinking about owning a Burgman, be it a 400 or 650…

  25. Tom-

    Great comparison comments for us to ponder. Any chance we can see pictures of your added lighting or some manufacturers info. on which lights you added? I’ve often thought the lighting on the 400 was lacking and would love to get ideas to increase my conspicuity.



  26. Hi Scootergirl… Those pics of your bike and the 650 are great for comparison. I just got my 650 exe in November, just bought the newer larger/ brighter LEDs for her and will put them on this Spring when she wakes up from her winter nap. I have pictures of the new lights. It will give you an idea what they look like. It is hard to show how bright an LED really is in a photo. For the size I have found no other LEDs as bright as these for the size. I really believe in LEDs because the purity of color of the lights are very noticable. As more cars use them this may be less of an advantage, but regardless, they will attract attention. I’ll post pictures here and when I get them installed, I’ll be sure to get them up here as well.

    I’m not trying to advertise a specific company but for the price, size and brightness I have found nothing that compares.. plus the have a lifetime gaurantee. They are called Boogey Lights at boogey.com. They gave me a discount code that I put up at the burgmanusa forum if you want an extra 10% off. I also wrote up a more indept description there as well.

    This pic will show the size, 2″wide x 1/2 H x 1/2 deep.


    Their lighting is intended to use for show not as “running lights” but this is how I use them. Also, be aware that legally you can only have red/ amber lights facing rearward and amber / white forward. Blue colors are confused with Law Enforcement and may get you a ticket.

    They sell “kits” that come with what is in this picture. RED/AMBER are less expensive than White/green./ blue/ purple/. They will substitute colors and lighting styles if the are fair values. I got 4 amber and 2 reds. Since four of these lights are constant on, I will wire directly off the battery terminals ( or close to them) and use the kit’s switch and fuse assymbly.

    [img] http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc317/Oz1zO/Boogey-lights-wiring-kit.jpg/img

    This is the red in daylight. You can’t really tell from the pic but they are very bright for their size. I had the small version of this and you could see it in the day and they were very bright at night. The MEGA lights are 4 – 6 time brighter.


    The yellow are not as bright but under the cowling beneath the headlights where it is dark even the small ones stood out in the day. These MEGAs are 2 – 3 times brighter than the small yellow


    The light kit comes with double side car molding tape and a special surface prep “brush” that bonds the adhesive to the surface MUCH better than tape alone. I find that velcro is nice because you can readjust the light if you need to. Plus you can remove the lights without a scratch to the bike and transfer them to your new one. I did this for two bikes and still have the old smaller lights. They re gauranteed for life so why not?

    I’ve thought about this a lot when trying to light my bikes where the best places are to put the lights. through trial and error I’ve come up with the two ambers under the headlights, in the shadow beneath the fairing. This makes them visable day or night. Plus they emphasize you are a bike not a one eyed car. Constant on Reds beneath the mirrors on the 650 or above your knees on the 400 will keep the red out of your eyes while still being visable to other drivers behind you. Plus they tend to light up the bike and rider and make them visible too. The red does not “night blind” you either if they are below a surface as mentioned, so you can see with that red glow around you just as well as without. Another advantage of having the two constant on reds on the mirrors is it makes the bike appear wider and there fore closer to other drivers I thought about putting the forward ambers on the mirrors to but this may deemphasize the flashing ambers on the mirrors. Better to keep flashing and running lights seperated. Two more ambers will be on the mirrors and hooked to the flashers. Very easy to do on the 650. These are bright enought that you can easily see them during the day if you’ve left them on after a turn.

    Hope this helps stimulate some ideas for you.. feel free to ask if i can help more..


  27. I’ve ridden the 650 a couple of times and for some distance. The engine is a bit smoother than my 400K7 and has noticably more power, but other than that I am extremely pleased with the overall performance of my 400, including braking and handling, even two-up. It cruises comfortably at 70mph and gets 70 mpg. It will do another 30 mph if pushed, but I’ve only been there once . I’ve toured the Montana Blackhills two-up, and my 400 loved the fast curves, and climbed every hill at the posted speeds. If a person was to ride two-up in mountainous terrain regularly, I would recommend the 650 for it’s additional passing power. But being a prairie dweller, my 400 does everything I ask of it. Another plus, is that the cost of registering and insuring the 400 where I live is about 1/3 what a 650 would cost, a savings of $500/year. I also own a 1500cc Cruiser, but the 400 is such fun, it often gets chosen for highway rides over my 1500.

  28. “The 400 meets its maximum at just above highway speeds without any reserve for a bit more power”

    I don’t know what your highway speeds are like but I have been riding my Bergie 400 for over a year and have found it maxes out somewhere over 100.

    I often find myself doing the 90’s on the freeway with my Harley pals, not even realizing it. I have never takin it over 100 but then again I have never had it close to redline or full throttle.

  29. I have a 400k7 in sliver and I must say it makes heads turn and asked is that a scooter.
    I have had a lot of bikes over the years & I think Suzuki have done a grate job with the 400 & 650.We in the UK need more Sun for riding.

  30. Has anyone installed a radio on a Burgman. I would like to have a radio when I ride. I’m not into the MP-3 stuff. Please help me.


    Sam Gervase

  31. Hi everyone
    I just purchased a 650 Burgman 2009, I called
    Corbin Seats to see if they make a heated seat

    for the Burgman, they do not. If any one knows a
    website where I could purchase a heated seat please let me Know.Thank You

  32. Hello Good People,

    I bought my Burgman 650 Executive a bit more than two weeks ago. I have also compiled a comparison, which I like to publish here in a similar fashion; not sure how to go about it.

    Here my comparison of the 400 vs the 650: http://www.max.grenkowitz.net/show.asp?topic=786&r=8

    I rode the 400 for 2.5 years; had the 650 for two weeks now, and already clocked up the first 1,200 km.

    And yes, sorry for the use of the metric system; I may get around one day and convert to imperial :o)

    Cheers, Max

  33. Hi Everyone!
    Many thanks to the thoughtful riders who have posted all this valuable info. I have been considering the purchase of a “mid-range” scooter for over two years. Since a total wipe-out on a Vulcan 800 5 years ago & the breakdown of my 1996 Geo Metro–necessitating use of a (non-motorized) Schwinn–procurement is becoming more imperative. Although I’ve had plenty of experience on smaller scooters & MC’s (Vespas, Hondas & Kawis) & wipe-outs, as well, now nearing 71 years of age & being on a rigid, fixed income has made buying a Burgman 400 the most desireable course of action. ( Although I never thought it would happen, my “need for speed” has changed dramatically over the years.) Also, even though I’ve saved enough money to buy, say, a 125 cc outright, the fact that I plan to carry my lady-friend to work–a distance of 20 miles–on occassion indicates that a 400 would be the economical ride of choice.
    Thank you all & safe riding,
    Middletown, NY

  34. Haha ^^ nice, is there a section to follow the RSS feed

  35. You can follow the site by email or RSS feed. See the button in the top right hand side.

  36. i would like to learn more about that beaded seat so if anyone has the website i would be very pleased if he/she told me. thanks

  37. Hey Sam & hello to all my fellow Burgmam riders!,
    I have a radio installed on my 03 Burgman 650. I went with the Alpine IDA-X 100M, which is a marine unit. Didn’t need it to be waterproof, but it’s the only unit that’s compatible with the alpine MC-10 marine remote. I like the full display on this remote. It allows you to see everything the radio itself displays (except album art from the iPod). The unit doesn’t play CDs, but acts more as a media center, which allows me to plug in my iPod. I also installed Sirius sattelite radio. The Alpine interface unit & the Sirius unit are small enough to screw on the side of the radio kit. I’m considering adding a capacitor for battery backup & HD radio. I will post pics, but, if you have any questions, feel free to shoot them to me. Safe riding to all…..

  38. Thanks for the side by side review of the 400 and 650 – it made very interesting reading. I have just upgraded from the 400 to the 650 and I have to say that the power and handling of the 650 is better and it does feel more sturdy somehow. The 650 is a lot heavier than the 400 but when you think of everything that is on-board, it’s hardly a surprise. She is easy enough to put on the centre stand, once you know the technique – though it is fairly common with all bikes!

    The only thing I would say is that when you slow down from high speeds, the 650 does tend to ‘lurch’ a bit when she’s changing down the gears (in auto obviously!). Otherwise, she is simply a beautifully smooth ride – and if you do get one, whatever you do, get an alarm for her!


  40. We’re a multi-national ‘scooter’ family. My wife has the Burgman 400 and I have the Scarabeo 500GT-ABS. I ride them both and find the Beo more ‘motorcycle’ like (with the 16″ wheels) but both are absolutely GREAT. If you are not quite ready for the big scooter, try the Scarabeo 500GT-ABS (with the panniers,touring kit, etc.). It’s taller with a 31″+ seat height and handles just beautifully – – as the Burgman.

  41. Well.. I’ve got about 3000 on the new 650 now. Here is a little update on my impressions. I’ve had two burg 400s. A K4 and a K7. A little over 30,000 on between the two.

    Both are great bikes. The greater total weight and forward weight distribution makes the 650 much more stable than the 400. There is very long, curved exchange ramp I travel daily, that is curved enough ( and arched) to give you a very long left lean ( half mile+). They did a terrible job with the cement work and there tends to be bumps or waves in the cement that the 400 had a difficult time with over 50mph. I now realize it was the lighter front end. I also noticed this at higer speeds ( 80+mph) in the wind that you could feel a loss of positive steering. This is the one characteristic I did not like in the 400s. The K4 was much worse. Something about the 650’s stability gives me more confidence in the bike. I like the ABS too but now that is optional on the 400.

    I do miss the milage of the 400 but it has been worth the trade for me. If I make quick starts- my milage on the 650 has been about 40 + or – 2mpg. If I’m conservative I can get 50 + or – 2mpg. The 650’s engine/ transmission are in a totally different class than the 400. Some complain about the engine braking but I find this a plus in most situations. I rarely use much braking to stop. I’ve started playing with the manual shifting too which changes the performace and MPG ( + or – as you choose) if you want to do something different and fun.

    I have a love/hate thing going with the mirrors. They tend to get blocked by your arms sometimes but I prefer them to not move with the handlebars.

    Love the dual headlights on low beam. That was a terrible design on the 400k7.

    The weight has only been an issue when backing out of inclined places. The floorboards don’t give you enough leg room to push back against the added weight. I can make these three inch lunges and back up, but it is best to just be aware an back into these areas and power out.

    I really like the adjustable windshield – It lets me control visability, wind (noise) and rain. I’ve started wearing a FF helment and a jacket and pants of that mesh type and need to wind for cooling. I was thinking about a new windshield but since I got the jacket/pants – think I’m satisfied with the stock. I don’t like the distortions in the stock though. That alone may be reason enough to get a replacement.

    I tend to agree that the 650 could be more bike than needed for some. ( cost weight, lower MPG ) It’s sort of like comparing two different types and weights cars or trucks. You really need to do your homework to know which may be best for you. It’s been my experience that the 650 has been a more enjoyable ride for me. But that’s based on personal preferences.

    Both bikes have their +/- but are great bikes.

  42. Hello, Burgman Riders.

    I want to buy a maxi scooter. And chose to test ride a Burgman 650. I was well impressed with it, and told the salesman so. He said, now try the 400, back to back, I think you’ll be surprised. He was quite right. There really wasn’t much difference, in the ride, of the two. Obviously, the 650 is heavier, and seat is 1.5″ higher, but I’m wondering, if that really matters, as it seems to me that we could easily slide forward off the seat, when we come to a stop. Has anybody (who, like me, is a bit short of height) tried it? I never thought of it, on my test ride! I am 67, and 5ft. 6 ins; with an ” inside leg ” of 28/9 ins. My current bike is a Fazer 600, which clocks 140 mph and gets there PDQ, but with a 31.5 ins. seat height, I’ve been known fall off it. Only when I stop!!! Another point, the salesman said its £800 for the 650’s 15,000 mile service, against £250, for the 400’s. Thats because its more difficult to get at the 650’s engine, apparently.
    As we don’t have your interstate highways over here, in England, I’m leaning towards the 400, as I did find it that much easier to man-handle, and I liked it very much. It ticks most of my boxes. But I would miss the “manual” gears, engine braking, adjustable screen and folding mirrors. Now I’m back where I started from!!!! Help!!

  43. Hello, Burgman Riders.

    I want to buy a maxi scooter. And chose to test ride a Burgman 650. I was well impressed with it, and told the salesman so. He said, now try the 400, back to back, I think you’ll be surprised. He was quite right. There really wasn’t much difference, in the ride, of the two. Obviously, the 650 is heavier, and seat is 1.5″ higher, but I’m wondering, if that really matters, as it seems to me that we could easily slide forward off the seat, when we come to a stop. Has anybody (who, like me, is a bit short of height) tried it? I never thought of it, on my test ride! I am 67, and 5ft. 6 ins; with an ” inside leg ” of 28/9 ins. My current bike is a Fazer 600, which clocks 140 mph and gets there PDQ, but with a 31.5 ins. seat height, I’ve been known fall off it. Only when I stop!!! Another point, the salesman said its £800 for the 650’s 15,000 mile service, against £250, for the 400’s. Thats because its more difficult to get at the 650’s engine, apparently.
    As we don’t have your interstate highways over here, in England, I’m leaning towards the 400, as I did find it that much easier to man-handle, and I liked it very much. It ticks most of my boxes. But I would miss the “manual” gears, engine braking, adjustable screen and folding mirrors. Now I’m back where I started from!!!! Help!! P.S. Keep the feed-back coming, its very helpful.

  44. I’m 5’7″ and my inseam is 30. I have no problems with the 400s or with my current 650 regarding sliding off the seat. The foot forward design lets you lock against the back seat when you press back with your feet. If you keep your feet back on the floorboards, that could be tricky if you are stopping quickly. I’ve never tried it though. The seat height has not been an issue for me either. Pushing the 650 around with short legs can be a challange if you have to back up a slight incline: If you’re legs are strong its not impossible just awkward. large incline you’ve got problems. It is a very heavy bike. The 650 really shines in the added stability at higher speeds ( 70 miles/hr and up. It takes wind shear better too. The 400 has a light front end that can feel less secure than the 650 in some situations. Not bad but less stable and I really appreciate the feel of the 650’s stability. The 400 is a great bike and you can’t go wrong. If you’re not taking long trips two-up, you would be pleased with a 400. I personally had two 400’s. They are great bikes but the 650 exec rides like a traditional motorcycle. The engine/trans, the adjustable windshield and STABILITY are well worth it for me. Hope this helps a little..


  45. Thanks for your feed-back, Tom, it’s much appreciated. Infact, all the posted comments, are very helpful to anybody trying to decide which one to choose.
    And getting back to why I want a scooter, in the first place, makes it easier.

    Thanks to you all……Stay alert and safe, everyone.

    Alan T. of Twickenham.

  46. I have a Suzuki AN650 Burgman since 2004. I had the 400 before that and on each machine I have covered a lot of long distance touring.The Burgman 400, While it is a very nice machine, it comes no where near the 650 in most fields, apart from been much lighter. but that all. There two different machines. One is a true scooter and the other a motorbike designed to look like a scooter. I have just finished a tour on the Burgman 650. We started from the West of Ireland in a small village called Killala, in Co. Mayo and across all the way to Belfast. Then onto the ferry and once landed all the way to Fort Williams in Scotland. From there we toured all Scotland and back the same way again. She a very tuff machine and has never let me down in all the years I have had her. And that includes filling her with Diesel the first day of the tour. I use a Diesel car, and with out thinking fill her up with diesel and never cough on until two miles down the road when she let me know. I missed my ferry crossing as it took a few hours to clean her out. The fuel tank is under the seat, but finding it, took all the time. If I was going to do long distance in the future, like in the US or Auz, I think it would be a good idea to fit a tee in drain off valved so that in future it can be drained off if the unforgivable happened again. Only one big problem with this machine, Corrosion. I cannot understand why Suzuki slip up very badly here. At present I have her stripped down to finish a job Suzuki should have done in the first place. But, putting that aside, She the best touring motorbike you can get, Yes, I said Motorbike, as her engine in mounted in the frame and not on the rear Cassie as in a scooter. That the difference between a Scooters and a motorbikes. And what a difference it makes in the twisty pot holes back roads. It a much safer bike. By the way, The tour was for five days. In three of them, it rained very heavy and this is where the Burgman 650 out performs all motorbikes and some of the very expenses touring machines. I have always went for 650 as a single machine and 1200 as a two up. And in this size and performance bracket, she out performance most big touring machines on the twistier roads of Europe. Fort Williams in Scotland to Killala in Co.Mayo, Ireland is a fourteen hour drive at a nice pace. When I reach the ferry I was tired, I had only covered one third of my journey, but I was grateful for the auto box when taking the bike onto the ferry. No clutch, so you can have your hand on the brake for fast stopping that is required in tight spots you only get on a ferry. It all go, go when they load and unload from a ferry. Moments like that and if you can stall a bike it will happen, Murphy law, as they say. But with this auto box not a chance will that happen leaving you to concentrate on other things. To use her as a touring bike when you are six foot one, there are a few mod you have to do, such as a wider and higher screen, heated grips, handlebars extenders and wind side skirts as well as handlebars deflectors. You can even fit cruse control if you like. It’s all up to what you want and this machine will pay it all back in time. I have toured all Ireland, England and France on a touring motorbike and no where near do they come to the 650 Burgman. Most of my bikes I hold onto for two to three years, This one is the longest I have ever hold onto and will be my last new one my. I will keep her now until the steel Hyvo belt need to be replace. A job I will do myself. Secondhand Burgmans are very cheap for some reason. That where my second bike will come from and this one will be spares. I have come from the motorbike family and have notice a lot of snobbery from that brigade. My answer to you all is, Your lost my Gane. As a single man touring machine, with two way radios between bikes. like I did with my brother on the tour we did, You cannot beat the 650 Burgman, She out performed them all in comforted, weather protection, reliable ( on our run, a brand new BMW and Gold Wing the same year as my machine would not start in the wet damp weather of Scotland) and performance on the road as she is a lot lighter than two up touring machines. Well that my story on the Suzuki AN 650 Burgman.


  47. Thanks for you input, Gerard. Its most welcome. I didn’t consider doing my own maintenance, on these scooters, as two dealerships I spoke to, said their macanics said, working on them, especially the 650, is a real pain in the aft-end. (my words, not theirs). I’ve seen pictures of the corrosion, but I think Suzuki now paints them.
    All the Best…….Alan T.

  48. Like ever thing, first time is the hardest. Knowing where all the clips and screws are is the hardest thing. That at first is a pain. Changing the spark plugs is a big deal. Lucky they will last for about 20,000 miles if you treat the bike with kind hands. To change them. You have to take of the black PVC cover from the front of the radiator off first. There is one hex bolt in the middle of the left side of the bike radiator. The radiator is on a hinge on the right, that will let it swing forward with out draining the coolant. It is very tight and you will need a plug spanner in two half as the plug is down a bit and you do not have enough room for a standard plug spanner. I made up my own tool. I pick up two cheap short socket extensions bars and welded one end to a plug spanner which I cut down to as close as you can. Make sure you take out the rubber plug grip before you start welding. It works. If you are planning on holding onto this machine like I am, then get the service manual from Suzuki. It will cost you. But the next service you do, will pay for it. The good thing about this machine is the general service is straight forward only major service will be very costly unless you do it yourself. If you do not use the machine over winter, then that is the time to do a major service. Again get the main service manual before you do anything. And do not touch the mechanical part of the bike unless you are mechanical minded. I have been building and servicing engines since my teens and that is over thirty five years now. Part of biking for me is learning and solving problems that always come your way with this form of transport.


  49. G’day to my fellow Burgmans (Burgmen?) I response to an earlier post, I have a 400 K8 with a sound system installed. I wish I could say I did it, but I bought it last week like that with after market mirrors with built in speakers and tweeters. By the way, the mirrors are bigger than the stock ones, from what I’ve seen. There are also 2 speakers built into the door of the main glovebox and a 200 watt amp in the trunk (which does not hamper the ability for it to hold 2 full face helmets). It is all conected to a mp3 player with FM radio capability velcrowed next to the left side small glovebox and a earpiece conector that relays the sound to the speakers and amp. (I hope that made sense). It is pretty loud on full, I can hear it fine at all legal speeds which is 110 kmh on the highway. I suspect I would hear it fine at the bikes top speed as well, wink wink. I also have a GPS which I use for the more acurate speedo and touring. Well, this thread was longer than I intended, so I’ll leave it here. Cheers, from Down Under.

  50. Hi, I jus t purchased a Burgman 400 and want to install a GPS but the 12 Volt power is so close to the compartment tht if you have it plugged in you cannot close the door does anyone know where you can get a plug that is a 90 so you would have clearance to close the door? Thanks Keith

  51. Hi ! In reply to Keith’s comment, I’d like to say, I read about this dadly thought out piece of useless accessory, in a two year old English scooter magazine. Now, I don’t know whether Keith’s scooter is new or not, but if the problem still exists, it ought be brought to Suzuki’s attention, for rectification. And it strikes me, that the best way, is as a group, through this web site. Several people have said they would like this or that on their machines, well, take a vote, on them, and put it to Suzuki. What have we got to loose?

    Ride On…..Alan. T.

  52. I have an 05 400s and it has been a great bike. I did a test ride on a used 06 650 a while back thinking of trading up. I really enjoyed the speed of the 650, and no doubt it is more capable in the power department than the 400.

    However, when I was riding at slow speeds or slowing down it seemed to jerk pretty bad. I did not know what this was, but further reading afterward I understand the 650 is performing engine braking.

    It could have had something to do with the settings on the bike. I asked the owner to make sure it was in the automatic mode. I assume it was as i was not familiar with that mass of controls. The bike was not in the cosmetic condition I was told it was in, so not sure if my impressions of the engine braking was indicative of the 650 as a whole or if there was another issue with this particular bike. In any event, the way the 650 handled at slow speed and the jerkiness was quite a letdown and one that I hope is isolated to this particular bike.

    I am 6-1 210, so the size of the 650 was not an issue with me. Frankly, for me, I did not seem to see a big difference. Maybe a smaller person would. I certainly see the 650 as a natural step up for a 400 rider that wants more power.

    In the end, i decided to stay put for now with the 400. The jerking with the engine braking along with minor things like the mirror placement on the 650 and the digital display just did not win me over for now. Also, the gas mileage on the 400 is a plus.

    I would love for someone to explain to me what the issue I was experiencing with the jerkiness of the 650….

  53. I have a Yamaha 600 Fazer, which has very good engine braking, but it doesn’t jerk or judder at all. Here in front of me, I have issue 59 (Nov/Dec. 2007) of Twist & Go magazine. The headline reads, “Armed with a new engine mapping and exhaust system, the 2007 specification 650 Burgman is more powerful and even faster than ever before….”. There’s no mention of any jerks or judders. But I suspect the Re-mapping was done, to cure the jerky nature of the earlier 650’s, as an even earlier issue of Twist & Go (No. 47. Jan. 06.) criticized the 650, saying…” The unwieldy feeling is reinforced by the transmission which, clever though it is, delivers a jerky on/off throttle in auto mode….” Their words, not mine. I hope this answers your question, Doug.

  54. Doug,
    The engine braking on the 650 is “normal”. People unfamiliar with the 650’s transmission need to understand that it is unlike any other transmission / bike. The charasteristics of the engine braking, responds to the accelerator’s position and the shift “mode” you are in. You have to control your roll off and the bike resonds precisely to this control. Your not controling the gas flow on this bike, the computer is. You’re telling the computer what you want the bike to do. If your roll-off is not smooth, your decelleration will not be smooth either. The smoothest mode to be in is “manual”… Manual mode is telling the computer to stay in one gear until told to do other wise. But if you let the power to speed ratio get too low, the computer will downshift to the next lower setting. When you come to a complete stop it “shits” through the different ratios till it gets to first. If the RPMs get too high, it will not shift but limit the RPMs. This mode is most like a “regular” transmission. In Power mode, the computer is keeping the engine at a higher RPM so when you decelerate, it is also keeping the RPMs up… this is the most sensitive mode to decellerate in. To control this I found I hold the end”bell” of the handlebar to stablize my grip and lightly control the throttle. It’s a whole new level of control of the bike. I’ve also found that if you come to a stop you can just release the throttle while you’re at a higher speed and it will automatically “down shift” smoothly but with a faster deceleration than normal or manual modes. It takes a bit of practice to “become one” with this bike, but when you do, it becomes an amazing experience. It is in a totally different league than the 400 in this respect or from any other bike. Those who decide they don’t like this bike because of this charasteristic of engine braking, have not understood this unique quality of the bike and think it is a negative charasteristic.

  55. I am glad to hear that I was not experiencing something unusual since I had not had an opportunity to ride a 650 before that test drive. I am glad to also hear that the jerkiness was something that could be cured with learning the bike. I kind of felt that way when I was on it, but I asked the guy about this that owned the bike, and unfortunately, he did not have the ability to articulate the way you have done here.

    I think all in all, I think I prefer the handling of the 400, but the bigger wheels and the power improvements are a big plus for the 650 and someone looking for that should go for the 650. Also, I was not riding a current 650, so as the other commenter mentioned, some of the jerkiness in the engine braking may have been cured.

    Not to get off topic, but while I am going to keep my 400s, I am considering another bike with more power. I am not sure the 650 is enough of a game changer for me. I am considering an Aprilia Mana 850, the new automatic motorcycle. I would love to know how any of you think about that bike against the 850. I know they are really different beasts. I would probably be most comfortable with the step through design of the 650, since that is what I have now, but I have seen some neat videos of the Mana, one was with Jay Leno, no less, giving it a test drive that was very interesting.

  56. I’ve noticed several responses mentioning the advantage of the larger wheels on
    the 650, but what owners may not realize, is that the 650 has lower profile tires, so the overall diameter of the 400 tires is about the same as the 650 tires. In this case, it’s probably not wheel size that contributes to handling/ride. I’m more inclined to believe that without the extra weight of the engine being part of the swingarm, the 650 would have the better rear suspension action. Personally, having put many miles on both, I’ve found minimal difference between ride and handling of the two.

  57. I am interested in a bergman 650, riding a vulcan vn900, 79 years old, the legs just don’t raise as high as they used to, I would like to get a good honest corrected mile-per-gallon figure. not that it matters alot, I just hate surprises.
    I have read a lot of your comments, all of which are very good.
    My 900 gets an honest 40 mpg an I suppose Imay be a little heavy handed

    Smile be happy—Ride Safe.

  58. This can be a tuff one as everyone will say different. I find that you can get from the forty’s up to the sixties on fuel economy. Most of the time it hovers between late forty and early fifty’s. My brother has a 1.5 V-twin and she gives around the same mileage. The big difference is the Burgman 650 has a faster take off and you will cover longer distance better as she has no vibrations and good weather protection. Also, if you find it hard to put up on the main stand which seem to come with age, you can use the side stand with the handbrake and she quite stable on flat ground. Hope this answers your question.


  59. Hi!

    I’d like to thank everyone who took the trouble to post their opinions of both the 400 and 650 Burgman scooters. You may like to know (or not) that, armed with your input (or in-spite of it), lol; I have ordered a new AN400K9, to be ready for the road on 1st. September. And it can’t come soon enough, for me!

    I contacted my motorbike insurer (Dial Direct) , to add the 400, to my policy. But they said Norich Union won’t do it. They would insure the scooter on a separate policy, but I would have to start the insurance from scatch, without any of the “No Claims Bonus” I had accrued with the bike policy. Alternatively, they could do me a new policy for both scooter and bike, which ain’t cheap, but I would also loose 2/3s of the 6 months money remainding on the bike policy, when it was surrendered. Is this normal practice, or am I being hung, drawn and quartered?

    Ride well, and enjoy.

  60. I think it would pay you to shop around. I have my Burgman with State Farm, but my wife is an agent with them. I see many say they get a good deal with Geico. I think it would be in your interest to get several quotes because pricing can vary quite a bit.

  61. Thanks for your message, Doug. I have already started looking around for the best quote, I can get. I’ve got plenty of time to sort something out. I omitted to say I live in England, so State Farm, and Geico are out, as they are not over here. Many thanks, anyway.


  62. G’day again. To answer Roy’s question on fuel economy, I am 5’11” 260 pnds and get an ave of 28.5 kilometers per litre which comes to 67 miles per U.S. gallon or 80.46 miles per U.K. gallon. I travel about 43 kms each way to and from work in a range of speed limits from 40 to 100 kms. I test rode a 650 and although I loved the extra power I feel the tank is not bigger enough for my taste. I can get over 350 km per fill-up on the 400 and I doupt that the 650 would get me 300 km, so the range is what put me off. Steve, what range do you get between fill-ups on your 650? Cheers.

  63. I find it average around 130miles (209Km) to the tank. That is average on most motorcycles bar the touring ones.

  64. I guess I should have mentioned that I have the 400 K8 Burgman.

  65. Steph, I new that would get a reply. The Burgman is a scooter and is sold as one. But technique it is not. All scooters have there engine/gearbox attached to the rear suspension and a motorbike does not and nether does the 650 Burgman. So it is a motorbike that looks like a scooter. That why it is a much safer machine to use and I should know as I also had a Burgman 400 for two years. The fuel tank is very small, But then it was design as a city commuter and it just turned out to be by chance, one of the best single man touring machines you can get.


  66. G’day Gerard. I know the 400 Burgman is a scooter. I agree that the 650 is a step-through motorcycle. I was just commenting on the fact that the 650 has a range that is much less than the 400 despite the larger fuel tank. I am also not a newbie on motorbikes, my last bike was a 1200 Suzuki Bandit and before that a Honda CBR1000. I have had over 20 bikes in my riding life, which goes from the age of 14 onwards. I am curently 42, so there are alot of riding years there. As for safety, I could argue the point for and against either the 400 or 650, but that would be a waste of time, just pick what you enjoy riding and enjoy the ride. I do love the 650, mind you, just the lack of range, so I’ll stick to the 400 untill I work out how to get a larger fuel tank into the 650.
    Take it easy, mate, and enjoy.
    Tip. Ride like they’re trying to kill you on the road, because the bastards are.

  67. Thanks Steph, Like you, I came from the motorbike side and have been building and riding then around the same age up to my young 51 years. What brought me over to the big scooters was a trip to France. I got into a conversation with a French lad who had one, It was one of the first feet forward Honda Scooters and he let me take it on the road. It was all setup for touring. Well, By the end of the day I was hoofed. My mate had a Harley and I do not have to tell you what he called it. But when I got to the end of our days run, He was walking like John Wayne all stiff and shaken to bits while I had a smile that has not left me since I passed over the line to the scooter side. When I got back from my holiday, I traded my bike in for a small Yamaha Majestic 250 the next day and from there on to the Burgman 400 and then the 650. This is the longest machine I have ever held on to. The power is just right and I cannot see why any one would want more power. But then I think a lot has to do with, mine is bigger than yours, frame of mind. I see that the only machines selling at this moment are medium to large scooters and the Burgman is up there on the top. The general public tend to go for the best set up, Again this Piaggio MP3 500 set up might change all that in time. It has got some very good reviews from a lot of journalist who from the start were against it , Check out U-tube. Its road holding is said to be out standing. Well if the Japs bring out a version like the Burgman 650 setup, Then you are on to a winner. An all weather machine, that includes ice and snow cover roads. I have seen one, there near enough the same width as my Burgman. Now that would be a nice test, to see which machines can go all year long in all weather. Who for it.


  68. G’day Gerard. That story about your mate made me laugh. I saw the MP3 a few months back, and although I agree that it must hold the road really well, I feel that it probably cost more to maintain and maybe has a higher chance of having something break. I guess that comes from my piloting days. I flew ultralight aircraft, and I remember my teacher and I talking about the advantages of 2 engines vs 1 and he told me that with 2 engines there are twice as many components that could break, and that contrary to popular belief they do not fly as well with 1 as with 2. I would love to travel around Europe, you lucky son-of-a-gun and hope that your adventures were more than half what I would want. As for power, well, in my case too much power isn’t enough power for me. lol. I guess that makes the 400 a strange choice, but like I said, I love the range. To tell you the truth, if it wasn’t for my weird left foot injury which makes it very painful to change gears I would still be on the Bandit. But I really don’t care, because to be on 2 wheels is all that really matters, am I right?

    Respectfully yours

  69. Steph, My advice to you is, Make time and take a tour. Were all getting older, In a few years it will be to hard to manage a heavy machine up mountain roads and so on. I find that if you can go with a good friend who is into biking like yourself, again with his own machine, you will make the move and enjoy it more. As you get to know lads on the run you make new friends who you can go on a tourers the next year with. I always find one bike to a person is the only way. The best thing about it all, is the planning for next years run. It’s something to look forward to. If you do, I would advise investing in GPS and also a two way radio between the two of you. The GPS shows the lay out of the road before you, so there are no surprises around the corner and the two way radio is good when you get confused or just want a talk as you ride. To get you up and running, There are lads who organise it all for you. You just stay with the other riders on the tour. I did one this year around Scotland with my brother and it was outstanding. There was about fifteen of us, from all ages between twenty seven up to seventy one, Irish and English all sizes from 400 up to 1.8 in engine size and we all got on very well. The web site that has all the information is, http://www.motoireland.com. He also covers the Alps and hopeful this time next year myself, Brother and friends will be there. I am looking forward to it. Check it out.


  70. Gerard, sounds good. I wish I could, but I have a family and to take them all would be cost prohibitive. However, I do take shorter tours here in Aus and this Christmas I will be going to Uluru from Adelaide, South Australia. It’s only about a 2 day trip each way, but still great fun. I already have a GPS and have wireless intercom in my helmet, good for about 500 metres or so. Naturally, I always carry my mobile (cell phone ) with me. Anyway, glad to hear about your trips and I know you are having a blast. Who knows, maybe I’ll come into money later and take the family and I might get to meet you in Europe.Cheers, mate.

  71. This comparison, like most, should be taken with a grain of salt. Although an honest attempt was made to compare the bikes, the reviewer already owns and lives with a 650. The standard for him is the 650 and it’s up to the 400 to compete. The reviewer can’t help but be biased but he kind of misses the whole point.
    Is anyone surprised to hear that the 400 is slower off the line? or has a lower top speed? or does not match the braking of an ABS equipped bike? The reviewer was “disappointed” with the power of the 400 because he has been riding a much bigger more powerful bike.
    Had the reviewer been riding a Honda helix for the past year, he would have been blown away by the power of the 400.

    Also, I can’t help but notice that the reviewer seems to be ashamed that he owns and rides a big scooter, preferring to call it a motorcycle and hoping we will accept that term. The Burgman 650 is not a motorcycle! It has all the attributes of a scooter, step through design, rear mounted engine, automatic transmission, small wheels, lots of storage, big wide seat with back rests.

    He also claims the heavier bike handles better in the twisties. Again, this is clearly a result of his experience and confidants having owned and ridden the 650 for some time. Let him live with the lighter 400 for a year and get used to it and then we’ll see what opinions he holds.

    Also the claim that the 400 has nothing more to give above HW speeds is again, a result of the reviewer being used to the power and speed of the 650. An example of a scooter that truly has no more to give at HW speeds is the Honda Helix, which I’ve taken on 400 mile HW trips. The vast majority Burgman owners that post on the different forums, say the 400 has more than enough power (even 2up) for HW riding which includes passing slower traffic.

    This is not to rain on anyone’s parade and as much as it sounds like it, I’m not dogging the reviewer, just pointing out that it is impossible to compare a bike you have ridden a few miles to one you are used to and have ridden for thousands of miles.

    It takes many miles to get used to a different bike. People often cunfuse familaraity with “better”.. It takes time to get used to something different. Had I written a review about my Honda helix two years ago, it would read completely different than it would now.
    This applies to professional reviewers as well, You can’t spend an afternoon with a new scooter, motorcycle or car and reach any real conclusions. Especially when you are comparing something to what you already own and ride.

  72. Also, The fact that the engine of the 650 is frame mounted does not make is a motorcycle. The Aprilia NA 850 Mana is an example of an automatic motorcycle. The Burgman 650 is a scooter with the frame of a scooter, the weight ratio of a scooter, the motor position of a scooter etc.

  73. I currently ride an 05 400s and love it for reasons I have articulated previously. I would love something with more power, but after a test ride, the 650 is not it for me. I think the attributes you mentioned between a scooter and a motorcycle is what is making me lean toward the Aprilia Mana 850.

  74. Would be nice if you sign off with your name and let us know which article you are referring to. First, Look up a technical dictionary for the different between a scooter and motorcycle. Second, Read the four entries I enter. Just to refresh you. I owned a Burgman 400 for two years and covering over 50,000 Km, before moving up to the 650, So I do know what I am talking about. Third. I am not stuck up on scooter, motorbike, three wheeler or what ever you like to call them. To me, it is a open air form of transport I have been using now for thirty five years. Also, If you new your two wheels history, you would know step thought motorbikes were on the seen way before scooters, but never cough on. Also I am here long enough to remember when Honda bought out the Helix and ever scooter fan would take the head of you if you called it a Scooter, which it is. Technical the lay out design of a scooter and motorbike in engineering terms are well defined and it is not me who say it is a true scooter or not. I mention it because I new it would get Conservative going. And it worked.


  75. Gerard’s english does not even reach the third grade level. I own a Burgman 650, not Executive, and am very satisfied with it. I have owned a 1982 Honda Silverwing gl500, and a 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 and my Burgy beats them both.

    The road is mine at 69—-David

  76. I’m going to throw my .03$ worth in here also in favor of the 400. I bought mine last in June 08 at the height of the gas crunch, largely because of the much higher fuel range than the 650. I also use the bike for a lot of urban transport and backroads stuff. Overall, I’m getting 63.5 mpg with a usual range of 180-190 miles per tank…but when i filled the beast it’s never taken more than 2.89 gals so in theory there should be another 0.40 gals left in the tank (supposedly) and another 25-30 miles until dry. There’s enough room to put a small one gallon tank in the storage area and I’ve “considered” doing a fill to run dry test to see what the actual range could be – note the considered part since sitting on extra gallon of rocket fuel anywhere near the engine is not a good practice :-)

    so range wise the 400 beats the 650 by quite a bit and if the gas prices go up again than that could really start to make a significant financial difference for a bit more power.

    Ideally i’d have both, a 400 for my local stuff and a 650 to take on the highways.

    Prof. Craig

  77. G’day Craig.
    I thought about doing what you just said as I too find the most I’ve ever put in is 12.2 litres after doing 360 KMS. I decided not too for the same reason you did. My wife reckons she’ll carry the fuel in the car and follow me, but so far we haven’t got around to it. I can’t remember what the highway speeds are in the U.S. or Europe, but here in Aus it’s 110 or 100 KM/H in most states and territories except the Northern Territory where it’s 140 KM/H and the 400 has no trouble keeping up or passing traffic everywhere except N.T. I’ve considered getting a fuel cell (a bladder that carries fuel and fits more than a regular tank in the same space), but I don’t know if it’s worth the effort. Anyway, keep on riding and enjoying, two wheels of any type is the best.


  78. Hope you don’t mind me putting in my three pen’orth, chaps. This is the second day of riding my new 400. (190 miles, in strong gale force winds and rain, and I’m loving every minute of it) Straight up! But to get to the point I wanted to make, I filled up the petrol tank, too full. Yes, I know the hand book says don’t, but I did, and I couldn’t put the cap back on. So I went into the till, to pay for it, with the cap still in my hand. Back at the scoot, other vehicles was waiting to fill up, so I pushed it off the stand and wheeled it away from the pump, for them. when I lifted the seat up, the petrol level had gone down by about 2 inches below what it was, at first. It must have got an air-lock in it, and freed itself when I bumped it off the centre stand
    Maybe thats why you’re not getting the full amount, in your tank. P.S. The motorway speed limit in England, is 70 miles an hour.

    All the best…..Alan.

  79. Thanks Alan. I’ve experienced the air block thing as well. I think that we aren’t getting the full amount in the bike because we aren’t brave enough to keep riding it when the needle is so low under the empty line. Reminds me of the Seinfield episode. I will one day with the wife following me. Then watch as she drives past me laughing. lol. just kidding. Seriously though, how does the air get trapped in the tank, isn’t petrol much thinner than water? Where does the air get trapped? Cheers.


  80. I don’t know how it is, down under, Steph, but the nozzles here, only just, fits into the tank filler, so with the petrol gushing in at a rate of knots, the air can’t get out quick enough. If that is, the case, I will try filling it up, more slowly, and rock the scoot, on it’s centre stand. I did 103 miles, Friday. And although I enjoyed it, it was painfully slow, trying to keep the rev’s below 4,000. I have to rev. to 5,000, to get under-way, and 4,000, equates to 30 MPH, and only 26 MPH going up-hill. I keep pulling over, to let traffic get past me. It’s 6 1/2 years since I “Run in” an engine. Has anyone experienced this?…”I came up to a T juntion, looked to make sure no traffic was coming, while still moving, turned left, opened up the throttle, and the engine cut out”. This happened to me twice, on my first day out. I had to pull over and stop, turn the ignition off, and back on again, to re-start it. All very embarrassing, when you have a line of traffic, up behind you. [this goes out 1 am Sat. 5th.].


  81. G’day Alan. No, the nozzles here have plenty of room to let the air out through the sides. Must be a small area near the top of the tank that keeps the air untill something makes it move out. I dunno. Rocking the bike when you’re almost full sounds like a good idea, at any rate it can’t hurt.
    As for the cut out bit, I bought my bike when it had about 16000 KMS on the clock and it did do what you described to me once on my secound day. That was almost 3 months ago now, and I still don’t know what it was. It hasn’t happened to me since. If it was a normal motorcycle I would say it was the clutch was let out too early, but on these auto clutches your guess is as good as mine. Hope that it was just a one off. I wonder if the 650 has this happen as well or if it’s just the 400? Cheers.


  82. Forget the 4,000 rpm break-in maximum Alan…….at the minimal speeds reached, one can hold up traffic to the point of being dangerous. I didnt follow recommended break-in rpms on my 2007 AN400, but I did limit the first few hundred miles to around 5,000 rpm, with occasional bursts higher, and my engine broke in perfectly. I now have over 12,000 on her and she regularly achieves 75+ mpg running at posted highway speeds, doesnt use a drop of oil between changes, and runs surprisingly strong……..a great unit !!!

  83. Thanks for your advice, Murray. I think it wise to increase the rev’s, in the circumstances, even though I’m a “to the book person”, especially after relating the problem to my youngest son, (in his 40’s) who told me he didn’t run his Suzuki V-Strom 650 in, at all, and it’s never given him any trouble, what so ever. (rather him than me, though). I have given it the occasional short burst of accelleration, hoping it will bed in, and not glaze over, and I can see, this is going to be one very quick scooter.

    If you all give the time that you post these comments, it’ll give everybody, all around the world, the time differences, in the various contries. (most interesting)

    Roll On The Run In….Alan. [this goes out at 2040hrs. Sat. 5th.]

  84. I have been thinking of getting the Burgman for a while now and trying to decide between the 400 and 650. I’m new to riding and currently have a 150cc scooter (Piaggio Fly 150). Had it for 2 seasons now. The 150 is great for everyday communting on the side roads. However, for my weekend joy rides, there are some big hills here where I have to floor it just to go 35 mph. And, with my girlfriend on the back, it just doesn’t get it. So. It’s time for an upgrade and which do I select? Right now, I’m leaning twords the 400 and here’s my thoughts. At this point, I’m not really interested in doing alot of highway riding. My main goal is to have a good bike to commute with and, on the weekends, spend some time riding for fun (occasionally with the gf on the back). For now, my decision is based on 3 things. 1: The 650 costs more. $2000 – $3000 more than the 400 (depending on model). Something that I didn’t see mentioned in this review. Is my occasional and short highway stint worth 2000 – 3000 more? Not at this point and I hear the 400 is quite addequette for the highway. 2: According to the Suzuki website, the 650 get 38mpg and the 400 gets 56mpg. That’s almost 20mpg less on the 650. A co-worker of mine gets around 38 mpg on his mid-size Toyota hybrid sedan (not a Prius). Granted. He’s not having nearly as much fun on the ride. There is no doubt that gas prices will eventually get back up there. I bought the 150cc scooter when the price of gas went to $4.00 per gallon. It was saving me $200 a month on gas costs (over driving the cage). That’s something to consider when there is almost a 20mpg difference between the 400 and 650. 3: If I were planing to take long, overnight road trips (vacations) on the highway, I would have to say the 650 would be my choice. However, I prefer the winding, hilly, wooded back streets and small state highways around here where the speed limit rarely goes over 50mph. It would be nice to cover some new terrain though so a trailer may be in my future at some point. I’m just thinking. For everyday commuting to work and the weekend joy rides though the country, the 400 is right for me. The reason why I’m not buying one right now is that there is this little voice in the back of my head that says: “Get the big one. You’ll probably want to upgrade again in a couple of years anyway” That’s what most people do”. Arrgh. Decisions, decisions…… Help me out here.

  85. I’ve had a brain-wave, regarding the air lock, in the petrol tank. I reckon Suzuki has put baffles inside, cross-wise, with semi-circular cut-outs, at the bottom of each, in different positions, to stop any surging, when accelerating and braking. And thats a probable cause of air getting trapped. I did 117.5 miles today, and what a difference it made, taking the rev’s up to 5K; as Murray suggested. With 4K; I got 30 MPH. With just under 5K; I got 40 MPH; and with just over 5K; I got 50 MPH. It’s transformed this scooter, and a real joy to ride, now. Thanks again, Murray. Also, I filled up with petrol, right up to the top, and rocked the scooter twice, by pushing down on the back of the seat, and the level went down. I did this four times, before I got it to the right level. Try it, for yourselves, and just see how much more petrol, you can get in the tank. As for your situation, Mr. MCTronix, I think you have asked and answered your own questions, really. It’s horses for courses. The best bet, is, go to a dealer, and test ride the 400, and the 650, back to back, and then make your dicision. Thats what I did. I loved the 650, which I rode first, but when I rode the 400, I decided it was all I required, for my needs. As for the MPG’s, it all depends on HOW you ride the thing. My philosophy is, when the tank is empty, and needs petrol, FILL IT UP! End of story

    Happy riding…..Alan. [this goes out at 12.08 am. Monday 7th.-B.S.T.]

  86. G’day Alan. Thats a good thought about the air, I think you could be right. Good on ya, mate. I’ve tried rocking it a bit too, and it does add maybe a 1/2 litre or so per fill.
    MCTronix, my and my wife’s combined weight is almost 400 pounds (I own more than 250 of them,lol) and on the highway it has no trouble doing 110 KM/H and short bursts to overtake of 140KM/H and although it uses a bit more fuel 2 up (about 10% more), it has no trouble doing it. I would like (make that love) more power, but I said that when I used to have a 1200 Suzuki Bandit as well! If you can afford it, and don’t mind paying a bit more in fuel, go for the 650 and on long trips plan to stop more often as the tank is a bit small for the bike. Otherwise, get the 400, it has plenty of power for the city, and can cruise with the best of them. Not to mention the extra 100 KMS per tank, even though the tank is a bit smaller, the range is quite a bit higher.Cheers.

    Steph …Tuesday 8th 6.20 PM

    P.S. Not a bad sugestion on the time, Alan.

  87. Hi ! everybody. Whats up, you all run out of spit?…where’s all the feed-back? I’d like to add an addendum, to my last comment, regarding filling up the petrol tank. While I think its a good idea, if, and only if, you are going on a longish run, where there aren’t that many petrol stations around, there is the question of the need for air, to be present, in the tank, to replace the petrol, being used. Having filled my tank to the brim, so to speak, just the once, when I next opened the filler cap, a gush of air rushed in, at a rate of knots, which, obviously, told me it had created a vacuum in the tank. That vacuum may have an effect on the delivery of fuel, to the injector/s, and so, the efficient running of the engine. So my advice now, is, don’t fill it to the top, unless you really need to, and if you do, stop every 50 miles or so, and undo the filler cap, to let air into it. There should have been a vent in the cap, in the first place, which would have stopped all this happening. Maybe a non-return valve, or a diaphram of some sort. Or maybe its just my cap, that hasn’t got a vent…..What say you?

    Write-on. ( this is going out at 6.40 pm. B.S.T.)

    All the best…. Alan.

  88. I got my 400 4 months ago off ebay, and I love it. I get 190 mile range and 63 mpg. Told my wife I was saving a bunch of money on gas. But last month she found me out. I haven’t saved any money on gas, because I can’t stay off the bike. Odometer’s gone from 19 to 23k!
    My only complaint is the aluminum passenger seat frame has oxidized and the paint chipped off. I want to disassemble and get it powder-coated, but the way to get it apart isn’t clear. If I can do it myself, cost is only $20 (I’ll do black instead of Suzuki blue).
    I won’t need a cc upgrade, as the 400 gets me as close to fear as I want to be, although I’ve heard that wind buffeting is less with heavier bikes. One thing I’ve been told is that special oil with additive is needed for the transmission plates. The Bergman manual doesn’t mention this. Comments appreciated.

  89. G’day all. Today, just a couple of hours ago I was right behind a guy late 20’s early 30’s on a Yamaha FJ600 mid 80’s model. He had been reving it up at the lights to obviously take off quickly. Lights went green, he stalled it and I went araund him on my trusty 400 Burgman. It is an 80 KM/H zone and I quickly went to about 85-90 KM/H. It is also a very twisty road but I am used to it and I had my son on the back so we stayed in the middle of 3 lanes and enjoyed the ride up the hill. The FJ overtook me about 2 KMS further down the road and I could see him drifting across all 3 lanes in order to turn at his rate of speed witch I estimate was about 150+KMS. I think he didn’t see a car in the left most lane as he was drifting across all 3 lanes and he hit the brakes at the last secound. He missed the car, but the bike’s front brakes locked and he lost the front, came off the bike, the bike hit the guard rail followed almost instantly by his body, he bounced off it and came to rest on the side of the road unconcious. I stopped the bike, looked at him quickly, saw that he was breathing and called for the ambulance before assisting him further as I have no real knowledge of first aid. As I was talking to the emergenvy operator who quickly dispatched an ambulance to us, some people stopped and offered thier assistance, including a guy from the army who obviously knew what he was doing. The only advice I remember giving was “leave his helmet on unless he has trouble breathing”. Fortunately, it looks like he has no broken bones, and if he has internal injuries I’m sure the hospital will find them. He has a concusion as he can’t remember the day or even that he was on his moterbike, once he came back to part conciousness. Anyway, I feel a bit guilty, though my wife says that I shoudn’t, because I think that it was me overtaking him when he stalled his bike that prompted hime to “show what he really can do”. I know that had it been me about 10 years ago, if a guy on a scooter dared to overtake me I would have reacted the same way. I know it’s wrong, but that’s how we seem to be wired at that age. So whne the cops asked me what happened I told them that he overtook me on my left and didn’t see the car untill it was almost too late and lost control of the bike to avoid the car. When they asked me his speed I said “about 100-110KM/H”. They asked “was he riding recklessly?”. I said “just a bit silly”. I understated his behavior because I remember being his age and a bit silly, I was just lucky that I got away with it w/out crashing. Was I wrong not to tell the whole thing to the cops? What do you think. And no, this story is not made-up, it really happened here today at about 7.00 PM on Sunday the 18th of October. I’m just glad my son missed it. He told me ” I blinked when he came close to the car, and then it was all over, what happened, dad?”. Please, whoever reads this, no matter what the vehicle is that overtakes you or passes you for whatever reason, don’t try to show-off. I think this guy will be O.K, you may not be so lucky. Cheers.
    P.S. And I thought that it was the cars that don’t see us, looks like we aren’t any better after all.

  90. Steph,

    Thanks for sharing the story. Seems to support what I was saying on my previous forum post about most bike accidents are not collisions by other vehicles, but us doing ourselves in.


  91. I have a 650 burgy and was getting into some bad habits riding it. So i joined the Institute of advanced motorists (motor bike side) and eventually took the riding test. the examiner is a ex police rider so its pretty demanding, but after passing my riding has improved 1000% a great investment considering i am in my 68 year. My only moan about the bike is its 600bls weight.

  92. Maybe you should have got the 400, instead, Peter, as I did. It’s a lot lighter, and the national speed limit is no problem, with plenty to spare. I get into some bad habits, sometimes, but thats just for the fun of it. I’ve thought about giving the IAM a try, but then, when I’m on my best behaviour, I feel I can ride as good as most riders I observe on the roads. And I’m in my 68th. year, also. PS. you put one too many 0’s in your % figure….lol.

  93. Having read the comparison. I convinced the K9 400 ABS was the right choice for me. Parking is a snap even when you have to park on a hill. As for handling, other threads have increasing the adjustable rear shock to higher number improves the handling I am fine wiht mine at 3 the factory setting. The ABS instills confidence and the gauges are better than most cars. Speed is certainly not a issue. I had it comfortably to 135km with lots of thottle left. If you are really looking for a scooter the 400abs has it all at reasonable price. Even has many of my die hard motorcyle friends second guessing their decision. But in the end it is all about what makes you happy. And I’m happy.

  94. Hi ! Doug. So you changed your mind about getting the Aprilia Mana 850, after all. I thought it was the same as the Gilera 850, but its a different beast, altogether. The Gilera is a step through scooter. I’m sure you’ve made the right choice, going for the K9 400 Burman, as you’re already used to a 400. Although, I think the ABS is unnecessary, as it only stops riders skidding, who shouldn’t have got themselves into that position in the first place. ( The secret of staying alive, on two wheels, is to ride within your own, and the bike’s capabilities, know whats around you, and allow for their mistakes. ) (not as easy as it sounds, of course). Can you let us know what’s the main differences you’ve found between the K5, and the K9 400’s? please. Ride safe y’all. (8.45 pm. Tues. 3rd. Nov.)

  95. @Burgermiser: When I saw your post I had to go look in my garage! Alas, no K9 for me. LOL I looked at the previous post and saw that someone else posted using the same name as me. So, that guy is not me. I still have the K5. My bike is in near mint condition, so not sure it would make sense from a $$$ perspective to trade into another 400 even with the updates. Of course, I might prove myself wrong if I tried one out.

    I am still considering the Aprilia, but the budget is not there for me right now. I have someone that may buy my bike, but with the economy the way it is, it is tough on resale and hard to part with the funds on my part in uncertain times. As business picks, I will reconsider.

    My brother just picked up a Yamaha 650 dirt cheap on Craigslist recently, so the fact that there are so many good deals out there on used bikes make me think twice about the idea of buying an Aprilia, or any bike for that matter, off the showroom floor. No worries, I have a great bike in the garage, so all is good for now. It sounds like the other Doug is very happy with his choice. No doubt he made a good one.

  96. Sorry about the confusion. As I was reading through the post I realized Burgermiser confusion. I don’t have the years of experience of many of the other posters on this site but I think I did enough research of the various riders opionions to conclude for me based on the likes and dislikes the K9 with ABS seems to best compromize of agility, economy, style and price. I do like the 650 Exec (wish it had the 400 dash) but I think I’ll be keeping this K9 for a longtime.

  97. Crickey! Doug W, you took a long time replying to my 3rd. November post. LOL. Actually, I’ve only been on this site since 7th. July. And also, the first site, too. My 400 K9, hasn’t got ABS. Is your K9, the one with the “Brown” seat. ?

    Not that I have any intention of changing it, as I’m also going to keep, my one, too.

  98. Found your blog on Yahoo and was so glad i did. That was a excellent read. I have a quick question.Is it OK if i send you an email???…

  99. Who are you referring to, Luke. ? You mention NO names, and there’s a whole load of us, on here, posting stuff.

    And why do you want to send an email, anyway, when you can ask any questions, or post any information you may have, on this site.

    Thats what the site, is for. It’s all part of ” Burgmanriders.com ” Come & join us.

  100. Hey, Good day to everyone. My wife and I have K9 400’s. I have been 85 mph twice with more throttle left. I would guess my riding weight of the time to be around 190. Also we pay about $14 a month for good coverage from State Farm.

  101. Hello, Matt.

    You’re a dare devil…..LOL.

    If you tuck your head down behind the wind screen, keep your elbow’s in, and open the throttle to the stop, you should “Clock” 98 MPH…….My K9 did.

    My riding weight is 168 Lbs. Thats 12 Stone, here in England.

    PS. If there are any law inforcement officers reading this, I think I may have made a typing error…….LOL.

  102. We all dislike insurance companies, only wherever would we be if they were not around.

  103. Hey, found your site by accident doing a search on Ask but I’ll definitely be coming back. As for your post… I agree with a lot of what you’re saying here but wouldn’t it be just as easy to figure out another way to go about it? I mean why mess with your quality of life if you don’t have to?

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  106. I have been a reader for a long while, but am a first time commenter. I just wanted to let you know that this has been / is my favorite entry of yours! Keep up the great work and I’ll keep on coming back. If you’d be interested in swapping blogroll links with me, my website is MonaVie Scam.

  107. I have also ridden the 400 and now own a 2009 Burgman 650 executive and i must say it is a two cylinder against one cylinder so it does have a lot more power especially when riding two up.

  108. This was a really wonderful article, thank you so much for taking time to put it up! Touched on some very good points. I’ll certainly be back soon

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  110. Hello All,

    I have both a Burgman 400 and a 650. I got to say that my 400 is a dream urban
    bike and my 650 is a superior touring bike, especially when riding two up.

    I rode a wonderful 2200 mile tour last fall through Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
    Riding my 650 was like driving a very powerful and comfortable sofa!

    Does anyone have knowledge of or experience in pulling a one or two wheel trailer behind
    their Burgman 650? I would be most grateful for your reply.


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  116. Hello, Marc Gadoua.

    I’m sorry to say, that this feature, has been hi-jacked, by a load of people, who are not Burgman scooter owners.

    So, for the time being, until Steve can shift them off, it will be better for you to make your enquiries, to BurgmanRiders.com (‘s) forum.

    from Burgermiser.

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  118. Love my 400, it fits my body type perfect as well!
    Partner has a 650 and his fits him perfect!
    I ride the 650 once in a blue moon but love my 400 more :)

    I guess it just depends on your body type and what fits a person better..
    The 650 is a big whale , but a nice big whale that has poer and performance both!

    I can not complain about either of the Burgmans we have.. Great scooters…

  119. 650 has Power , I meant to say , not peor, lol

  120. I’ve had two 400s… a k4 and a k7…. BIG improvement with the newer model. I’ve had a 650 executive for two seasons now…. The one thing that has made the 650 my choice is the more stable front end… When I hit the tar patches with the 400 or was in a 55 mph long turn on the highway… I could feel the front wheel lose traction and it is an unnerving feeling…. Never had that happen in the 650… Except for the loss in MPG… I’d take the 650 over the 400… Not that there are not advantages the 400 has above the 650… but I feel safer on the 650 and to me, on a bike, stability counts as a necessity not an option. For 90% of the riding I do in town, the 400 was fine… but that stability thing with the front wheel… Well….

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  126. I read these comments and I just have to laugh. My first scooter (and bike for that matter) was a 150cc chinese scoot. I was able to do 50mph in rush hour traffic with it (not on the highway, though…that would be suicide). I got tired of it breaking down all the time, so I upgraded to a 2007 Burger 400. At first, it took some getting used to as far as weight goes. But then once I did, the handling, the seating, etc was all good. So one day I have to run an errand, and I decide to whip out the ole 150cc again just to give it some exercise. I jump on it and WHOA it’s so light weight! I felt like I was straddling a bicycle. Heh. It’s still able to buzz around town at 50mph, but that burger can sail down the road at 70-80mph on the highway, which was the real reason I got the burger. Where I live, you MUST have transportation that can go highway speeds, because it’s such a huge metroplex. So far, the burger’s lived up to my expectations. Like others, was thinking about trying a 650, but I think the 400 is just the right compromise between MPG and power for my taste. Was planning on getting a 750cc motorcyle as my next bike…then it’s off to the scrap yard with that 150cc chinese POS. LOL!

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  138. Hi all,

    Great reading the posts re the Burgman as I am thinking of buying one (possibly a 2006 – 400 on sale for £2,995), but I need to do more research. I currently ride a Yamaha FJ1200 but am looking for a lighter bike for a daily 10 mile each way commute in London traffic.

    Reason for posting is about the comments before re filling a Berger’s tank up full. I believe that Suzuki install an inch or so deep collar in the filler neck (as do a lot of other bike manufacturers). This collar provides and air tight seal round the inside of the filler neck, it’s purpose is to make sure that there is an air gap in the top of the tank and that the tank is not over filled. By over filled I mean brimmed. This is not because of a vacuum forming when fuel is drawn out in normal usage (should not happen as a separate breather should let air in) – rather it is because of fuel expansion.

    If you brimmed the tank (with no air gap) in cold weather and the tank/fuel then got hot then the fuel will expand. The air gap is to allow for the expansion of the fuel to push the air out of the separate breather, rather than spurting fuel out of the breather.

    Solution – a lot of people simply punch a small air hole in the side wall of the inner neck of the collar, so when filling up the last bit the air can escape. Obviously only fill to the brim when you are going to use the bike and use enough fuel so that the level goes down and regains an airgap. Don’t fill up on the way home and park in the sun.

    Mark – London England – messsage sent at 20:20

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  146. my 400 k7 will run 1oo all day obtainin 220 miles per tank i believe 650 is too expensive . its like comparin impala to deville come on people

  147. 400 also looks sportier faster

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  149. I upgraded from a 400 to a 650 so I am familiar with both.

    Both bikes impressed me with the way they divert engine heat away from the rider. In Texas heat, this is an important feature.

    Both have space for 2 helmets under the seat. The space is a little longer on the 400 and a little wider on the 650. Volume is about the same.

    Although the seat height is a little lower on the 400, there is actually more leg room. The seating position on the 650 is more upright. I am over 6 ft. tall and my knees tend to hit the glove compartment on the 650. This never happened on the 400.

    The passenger seat on the 650 is wider. My wife who is 5 ft. tall thought the passenger seat on the 400 was more comfortable. Bigger passengers might have a different opinion.

    The 650 feels much more like a motorcycle and I find it easier to turn.
    The 400 feels like it has a much longer wheel base and the longer the wheel base the harder it is to make tight turns or change directions.

    The 650 has more passing power but that is not a big selling point for me. What matters is how smooth it feels at low speeds. The 400 feels a little choppy and noisy until it reaches about 25 mph. The 650 is quick off the start and very smooth from 0 to 60+ mph.

    The pre 2010 Burgman 650’s had a lot of engine braking. When you let go of the accelerator, it would decelerate rapidly. One quickly learns to keep the throttle twisted enough to prevent this from happening. When coming to a stop the automatic clutch does not seem to disengage until you are below 4 mph. The 400 is easier to roll to a stop because the clutch disengages sooner.

    Deceleration on a 400 is very scooter like. Deceleration and rolling to a stop on a 650 is unique and takes some getting used to. Acceleration on the 650 is immediate, smooth, and swift.

    The 650 has a manual override so you can to some extent choose which gear you want to stay in. It does not let you choose when the clutch disengages.

    This video illustrates the use of the manual button shifting on a curvy road.

    I am getting 40 mpg on my 650 compared to 58 mpg on my 400 in mostly city driving. Both do a little better than this on the highway.

    I would like to see a hybrid Burgman which would keep the performance of the 650 while improving the in-town mileage to around 80 mpg. Unfortunately this is probably ten years away. It will probably depend on the success of the Piaggio MP3 hybrid which is supposed to get 140 mpg.

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  151. I have a Burgman 400, and let me say that I just love it. It is a hell of a lot of fun to drive, and fuel is easy on the pocket book. The fun of just taking a ride on it is what I enjoy the most. I feel anyone who is looking for a great bike should try one of these.

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  153. I love my 2008 400. I still can’t get used to taking off from a dead stop. It seems like it takes awhile for the clutch to fully engage. Is it normal for the engine to race at takeoff before 2nd gear engages?

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  155. Hey all, I can’t believe this thread remains so active. Wow. Anyway, back in July 2009 I mentioned that I was thinking about moving from a 400 to a 650, but after test driving a 650, decided I did not like the engine braking on it and it might not be enough of a game changer for me. I then said I was considering an Aprilia Mana 850 …

    Well, fastforward about 16-17 months since that post, and yesterday I took the plunge and bought an Aprilia. I got a 2009 Mana red naked bike (not the GT ABS model). All I can say is WOW. It is everything I thought it would be from the outset and more. Coming from a 400s, the performance it quite remarkable. The automatic features work flawlessly and the engine braking on it is very different than what I experienced with the 650. (To be fair to the 650, the bike I tested was used and I think there may have been a problem there.) Also, I found the Mana to be much more stable in places that I found the Burgman not to be and the wind buffeting issues I encountered on the Burgman are gone.

    I am not going to hijack the thread and take it off-topic, but I did want to update my status in this decision. If anyone is curious about the Mana, I will say that if you are looking for performance it is great. If you are looking for motorcycle feel, but maintain the ease of the Burgman, then you have found it with the Mana. The one thing you will need to ask yourself is if the ergonomics of a motorcycle is right for you. The step-through design of the scooter is great if you are short or have issues that do not allow you to mount a motorcycle properly or if you just like the convenience of the step through. The Mana feels heavier than the Burgman and that may be due to the difference in weight distribution. That could be a problem for some.

    The other thing to consider is storage. If you ride a Burgman because you need the storage, then I might would stay with a Burgman. The Mana takes the space where the gas tank would be and turn it into a storage area (The gas tank is under the seat on the Mana). It is very convenient to have the storage available right there in front of you, but it does not have the capacity of the Burgman. Those are a few thoughts after one day. I am really excited about the purchase and looking forward to making it an everyday ride. If you are a Burgman owner that has thought about jumping over to the Mana, I would recommend it highly.

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  163. I’ve had an ’04 Burgman 400 for the last 6 years and think it’s a blast on the local roads and it’s quite capable as a tourer with GIVI saddlebags and a topbox as well. But I saw a deal on a 650 Executive and bought and the difference is huge. The sound of the parallel twin engine, the bigger tires, the extra mass, the bigger windscreen and taller seat height put this bike in a totally different class. Cruising at an indicated 75mph on the highway is basically a non-event. While I prefer the comfort of the 650, I still love the 400 for in town errands and short blasts. And as gasoline keeps inching higher I’ll probably keep returning to the 400 to get me where I need to go.

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  165. Wow! this was great to read. It definatly shows how enjoyable a bike both rides are!. Just bought a 400 with 28miles on the odometer. It was purchased new in 2006 and the owner never had a bike before and it scared him so he parked it in the garage for 5 years and I was lucky enough to have a nearly brand new 5 year old bike for a great price. Having regular bikes when I was young, was enjoyable then, but now I am more mature and appreciate modern advances like no shifting. That was my main motivation for looking at a maxi scooter. I agree with all about the low front end power but now I dont do wheelies anymore so not important. I have change the windshield to a larger and higher one. The origional was a terrible design flaw where the wind deflects directly in your face, but a cheap fix. I get lots of looks and questions stoped at lights and I brag about the great time I am having with my comfortable bike. I loved reading these posts and I hope it continues for years to come and we read about continual improvements. I may upgrade to a 650 because I plan on some long trips and maybe even a rider to enjoy the gettaway so a 650 may be a fit. For now this is FUN! and more fun than anyone should have for a great price. Horray to Burgman fans!!!!!

  166. I just replaced the windshield with the Givi replacement. What a differance. I am 6′ tall and the origional was so badly placed that the wind was always directed at my face. I have to say there was no other product that could have changed so much for so little. Now warm hands and neck. Anyone who hasnt done the change yet, let me say, git er done! And I am not evern a redneck! Happy riding all!!!!!

  167. I know I am the only one posting lately but if anyone reads this I have a couple questions. I have read about an electronic device that controls the air to gas mixture to add power. Also, the changing of the rollers to get more starting power. Does this make the RPM’s even higer at high speed. I would like to get a little more power especially on hills with a passanger. I was hoping with all the experts here and by that I mean real riders that enjoy the ride and push just a little bit. Any answers will be greatly appreciated as there is little advice to be had about this!

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  171. The acceleration differences between the 400 and 650 Burgmans are diminished with an aftermarket variator and lighter variator weights. You can even use lighter weights in the stock variator. I am pretty pleased with my Malossi Multivar 2000 variator and 16 gram weights. It came with 14 gram weights which gave much more acceleration but also less fuel economy on the highway. There are also other after market variators available for the 400, like the Polini, JCosta, and possibly Athena variators. You just might surprise some of the riders of larger displacement cycles and scooters.

  172. Wow, there is a lot of interesting stuff on here. A lot of it seems to be comparing the Burgman 400 and the 650. Well I have been riding a 400 K9 for over a year now and I absolutley love the thing. I’m 73 yrs old and not real big 5′ 7″ and about 155 lbs. Have no trouble handling it and it is a joy to ride. Great gas milage, great storage and nice to look at which people seem to like to do. Someone said you get highway speed with no reserve ( on here ) No disrespect but I say this is ” Bull” I took mine out on the interstate the other day and was right up rolling with traffic in no time 80 mph and still had a lot of throttle left, I am sure I could have gotten to 100 with no problem but that is just too fast for me. I’m sure the 650 is a great machine but unless you are going crosscountry a lot I don’t know why you would want to pay more money, get less gas milage and have to handle a heavier machine not too meantion higher insurance and service cost. Bigger is not always better. Larry

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  176. Hi Burgman riders ! or drivers (it is a hell comfortable machine). I have always been big fun of Burgman. I’ve just got my L license, and I want to get a 400, but I am little bit afraid to ride such a heavy machine as a first bike. Do you encourage or discourage ?

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  184. Sayf,
    I started with a small scooter as my first bike, a 150cc engine. Within 2 months I knew I wanted something bigger and got a Burgman 400. I absolutely love it. Plenty of storage, plenty of power, fairly easy to handle. As I didn’t have much experience with a 2 wheeler with a motor, I had to learn fairly fast to be careful regarding how I move it so it didn’t tip over. Aside from getting used to its size, I think it would be a fine first bike. Just be careful not to underestimate its weight, because it is really hard to pick it off the ground for a fairly strong girl. Once you are on it and riding, it was very easy to get used to.

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  186. Great conversations and great information. My wife and I just finished our motorcycle classes and now we are looking for a Burgman 400/650. Based on what I have read, it sounds like the 400 is the one for us. We have never rode before and are in our mid 50’s, live in Central Florida. I would like to be able to ride down to the everglades, and the keys on a long weekend and the 400 sounds like that would be fine on this bike/scooter. Continue with talk. Thanks for all the information from everyone.

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  189. I had a “49 state” Burgman 400 for a while, in Calif.. A very good bike, very fast for a 400 prob because of no smog restrictions. The DMV wrote me a nasty letter that I cannot have this bike in Calif. If it had over 7500 miles on it OK it is legal. But it had 3000 mi… I should have lied and kept the bike! I rode a Burgman 650 a test ride on fwy and streets. I preferred the B 400 to the 650. Lighter and just as fast. I weigh 230 and the 400 was enough bike, and you can put a small elephant under the seat,a locking trunk. I will buy another Burg 400 before I die. I have too many bikes now, have had prob 25 bikes in my life since age 12. Craig age 60

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