Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive
As scooters go, the Burgman is a big one – and far more fun to ride than it looks, as Mikko finds out…
There’s no mistaking what my first impression was when I saw the bike: it’s big! With a wet weight of 275kg the Burgman is a bit of a lump to push around, but jump on it and get going, and all of a sudden it feels very nimble and light.
There’s plenty of punch in the 650cc motor. It’s fast off the lights, and keeps on going on the open road.
There are three transmission modes: the ‘Drive’ mode is perfect for the start-stop riding in the city; the ‘Power’ mode increases the revs, providing more acceleration and engine braking; finally the ‘Manual’ mode lets you control the gears with ‘up’ and ‘down’ buttons in the left-side switchgear.
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Power delivery is pleasantly smooth regardless of the transmission mode selected, which makes the Burgman easy to live with.
The suspension worked as well in cities as on flowing A-roads with corners taken at a brisk pace. The rear shock preload is adjustable with a simple click of the adjuster, but I was happy with the standard settings.
In town traffic the Burgman feels nice and nimble, so I had to remind myself that it’s 810mm wide before attempting to filter through the smaller cracks in the traffic. On the open road the size and weight help keep the machine stable and planted.
With the comfortable riding position, big adjustable screen, heated grips and seat, and the different ride modes, the Burgman is easily comfortable enough for serious mile-munching.
There’s a huge space under the seat that takes two full face lids and still leaves a bit of room. At the front, there are two compartments below the handlebars that easily take a phone, wallet and selected chocolate bars, as well as a larger, lockable compartment. In addition to the standard set-up, our test bike came with a top box that has been designed for the Burgman.
What’s it like to live with?
Fuel economy is pretty decent if you stick to the basic automatic mode, where the bike achieves mid-50s per gallon. But if you want to get a bit more oomph out of the engine and go for the ‘Power’ mode for prolonged periods of time the fuel economy will suffer. Over time that will make a huge difference, so I decided to save the power button for acceleration and overtakes only.
I found the big Suzuki a comfortable and enjoyable ride both in urban and rural environments. It’s a nimble city-bike, but equally pleasant on fast A and B-roads. It’s about as versatile as you can get with a scooter. I would have happily ridden it another 1,500 miles.
ENGINE: 638cc, 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC
GEARSHIFT PATTERN: Automatic & manual shift
SEAT HEIGHT: 760mm
CURB MASS: 275kg
Fuel tank: 15 litres
SUSPENSION: Front: telescopic, coil spring, oil damped. Rear: swing-arm type, coil spring, oil damped
TYRES: Front: 120/70R 15M/C 56H, tubeless. Rear: 160/60R 14M/C 65H, tubeless
Words/images: Mikko Nieminen