Burgman as a Luxury Touring Rig?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by SimpleSimon, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Aspiring advrider

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,399
    Location:
    Lake Stevens, WA
    I was cruising my local craigslist for a sport-touring bike to use a few future road trips when I saw a Burgman 650. I then dug a little deeper to discover it has an adjustable windscreen, trunk, abs, sport shift, and storage out the wazoo! To me, it is like a poor mans goldwing if you add a vented tall windcreen and rear box.

    Am I nuts to consider doing some lengthy touring on a Burgman vs. buying a used sport touring bike?

    Pros vs. Cons (feel free to add)
    Pros:
    Cost
    Reliability
    Shaft (gear drive)
    Good wind protection
    Ability to move legs to keep comfortable
    decent mileage
    ergonomics
    Sufficient power

    Cons:
    Tons of tupperware
    It is a scooter
    No Cruise control
    ???

    :ear
    #1
  2. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,308
    Location:
    Florida Keys
    I like the Burgman 650. Its massive which I find more disadvantageous than the absence of cuise control, however the mass gives iot the road presence of a motorcycle which would be good when surrounded by angry car drivers. It needs almost no maintenance but it does have acres of plastic, which on the other hand gives good weather protection. I think you'd be crazy not to consider the Burgman for touring.
    #2
  3. MrVvrroomm

    MrVvrroomm Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    Savage, MN USA
    My 74 year old father has 2 Burgman 650's. He has an '03 and an '06 Executive.

    He has made regular solo rides from Wisconsin to Arizona. The bike is bullet-proof. Change oil and tires.

    I've put some miles on his. I'd ride it anywhere.

    He's ridden shoulder to shoulder with me on an FJR1300.
    #3
  4. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,696
    Location:
    Ensenada, Baja California
    Amigo, the Burgman 650 it's a great motorcycle, I don't have one but I have seen some very good reviews from owners and mags to know that.

    The minus you wrote about being a scooter... well it is but it is not. What? well it is because it has some of the basic features of a scooter, BUT it will do over 100 mph! can your average scooter do that? NO, as much as I like the Ruckus, well it only goes up to 35-40 mph.

    it is very comfy even for 2 up, as you mention it has a lot of space for your gear.

    So ask for a test drive, and ask the people of Burgam USA http://burgmanusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=25793 that link is a comparison Burgaman vs Majestry

    Damasovi
    #4
  5. ElusivePedro

    ElusivePedro Layin' Low

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,598
    Location:
    Fort Walton Beach, FL
    This is my second 650 Burgman. It is fine a fine "tourer" for those of us who may have not yet been "spoiled" by the electric nose-picker/butt-wiper conveyances like the "real" GW.

    Riding a full-on "touring" Burgman 650 (not the 400 referred to previously) is an an excersise in "balance." There is a bit of "give and take" when it come to "gearing down and cueing up" for "the long ride" that may lay ahead.

    The damn half-price Burger weighs in at about 600 pounds, and it comes with the ABS, radial tires, fuel injection, electric windshield, and well - the WHOLE BIT.

    Yes, the big 5-figure-money GW has everything 'cept the kitchen sink, but the way more easy/not as much of a PITA to ride Burger comes with (more than anything else), HUGE, built-in weather coverage.
    Ripping the big Honda flat six to each yellow-line has GOT to be mighty fun, and Nope, the 650 Burgman has nowhere near the horsepower that the big Honda does - but, say 'cept when you get a hooligan hair across your ass - why would it matter? You can just as well be "splatted" on a Goldwing as you could on a big Burger.


    I have put over 35 thousand miles on Burman 650s. They are slightly under-powered for two-up, fully laden duty, but if you only have to do that once a year, and the other three times you'll just be eating up the miles solo - then there is no need for the 5th didgit in the price, nor the bulk when piloting.

    Just my .2

    pedz
    #5
  6. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,826
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Add the big Givi trunk and it has more storage than a wing (well, maybe not quite). I'd love one to put in the truck and go camping with the Mrs. Plenty of room for getting groceries and beer.
    #6
  7. ElusivePedro

    ElusivePedro Layin' Low

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,598
    Location:
    Fort Walton Beach, FL
    I was sort of PUI on my last - suffice to say, the big Burger is one of the nicest middle-weight "tourers" available.

    - The BEST all-around weather protection? - Check.
    - Barely no engine heat? - Check.
    - Big wheels (for a scooter)? - Check.
    - Anti-lock brakes? - Check.
    - Electric Windscreen and Mirrors? - Check.
    - Cool "tiptronic-type" (via the manual button) paddle-shifting 6-speed? - Check.
    -"Two-Speed" power-glide-type xmission via the "Power Button"? - Check.
    - Stock storage galore? - Check.
    - Brand name reliability? - Check.
    - All-day-long on I-10 capability? - Check - go for a hundred miles at a true 90 - no problem; more MPH available.
    - Low-ish maintenance? - Check (well sort of - i.e. 'cept for the tupperware).
    - Firm and sturdy - not too subceptible to cross winds? - Check.
    - Lot's of trunks, cases, windshields and other farkles available? - pretty good.

    Yes - when y'all are out of the "scraping tupperware around the corner" mode - I would subscribe that most that experience the "GoldWing of Scooters" would agree... there is no equal.

    Me
    #7
  8. funhouse

    funhouse Overdue

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,044
    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    Ride a Yamaha Tmax! Bruce
    #8
  9. PassTheGravy

    PassTheGravy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    758
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    I have a Burgman 650 and a Goldwing. The Burgman is a fine touring bike. The Goldwing is a GREAT one.

    The Wing is more comfortable by far, and has more conveniences. But the Burgman 650 is no slouch, has plenty of power and storage, and makes a fine touring bike for not much money. A lot of bang for the buck.

    But, when I'm loading up for a cross country trip, the Wing is the weapon of choice without any debate or hesitation whatsoever.
    #9
  10. Geezerider

    Geezerider Just coastin'

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    869
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I rode my 650 from SC to AK and back this year. It is a whole lot more competent as a touring rig than my VFR.
    #10
  11. Tory1942

    Tory1942 The Retired Reprobate

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    This past April, I rode my Burgman 650 to Hell & back (Hell, Michigan) -- 1400 miles.

    I 'camped' in motels and ate in restaurants (did carry emergency food -- I'll not eat in Denny's again unless the alternative is starvation).

    No mechanical problems of any kind -- just smoothly applied power, for back roads and the slab. An exvcellent b ike for my 6' 8" frame and 65 y/o status.
    #11
  12. oldrt

    oldrt n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2
    Well my new Burgman 650 Exe will be in for me to pick up this week. I have reached a point in my life that I want to try a a CVT transmission. Oh but I still have several other bike in the garage if I am not happy. The bike I am replacing is a low milage '06 Suzuki V-Strom 1000. The wife would not let me replace the GL1800 unless I get an other GW. If I want horsepower I fire up the FJR if I want to cruise I ride the Road Glide.
    After riding a long demo ride on a Burgmean 650 I was ready to trade.

    I will let you know how it is after I but some miles on it. :clap
    #12
  13. wanna bECO

    wanna bECO Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    727
    Location:
    Third stone from the sun
    I rented a wing for a weekend. I loved it. I'd own the burg, and rent a wing if ya really need it. Dad always said, 'if it has tits or tires...RENT it" That is really key for the OP to take note of.
    #13
  14. westnash

    westnash Long timer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,428
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Friends Burgman 650 w/ 23k just went down and it was a bad tranny bearing which destroyed the tranny and cost him $4,000 to fix. Though it had been in for a shifting problem Suzuki would do nothing on it. The auto/manual/power buttons on this thing are apt to cause trouble and the bike has to almost be disassembled to get at a belt change.....bottom line...stay away or always keep factory warranty.
    #14
  15. dynamos2000

    dynamos2000 is boinking your mom

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,560
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I was talking to the guys about this - either a big coincidence or this was at midsouth motoplex! Bad bad shame on suzuki. If you document issues then this happens, thats just SAD, I'm sure they lost a customer for life.
    #15
  16. Mohawk Badger

    Mohawk Badger Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    144
    Location:
    Up along the cold Mohawk River
    I love my 650 and have done many 250+ mile days on it as well as one day of 532 miles (mostly on back roads).

    Is it a great touring machine? I think so but it does have some negatives to consider.
    1. Range. I can barely get 200 miles from a tank which I think is the minimum for a bike with a "touring" designation.
    2. It sucks on bad dirt and gravel roads. What does this have to do with touring? Unless you are damn sure you are going to restrict yourself to pavement make sure you are willing to put up with the Burgman's poor road performance (I do).
    3. The seat is only so-so.
    4. The windscreen is not acceptable for riders over 5'10". I added a laminar lip which helped a lot.

    I have ridden a number of motorcycles (mostly dual-sport) and the Burgman is this best bike I've had for the combination commuting/errand running/touring life it has to lead.
    #16
  17. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,207
    Location:
    WNC SWFL
    Badger,
    I sure you are aware of this since you have ridden dual sport bikes but dropping the air pressure in the tires sure helps my SYM HD200 handle much better on gravel/dirt roads.
    #17
  18. Capt-Kevlar

    Capt-Kevlar Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    FL
    I know this thread is old but since its been revived....
    The Burg 650 is an absolute blast to tour on. I've done multiple long distance multi state trips on her, w/ the longest day in the saddle at 800+mi(not my longest but still respectable). The insane under the seat storage allows you to pack a lot of stuff nice and neat and outta sight. Couple that with a Givi top box and you'll have room to spare. I've ridden in the mountains a bunch and the 650 will not leave you wanting more power. On a recent trip to the TN NC mountain area( Deals Gap, The Snake)and I passed more than a few bikes and left a few full on sport bikes dazed and confused as to why they couldnt catch a damn scooter. Bottom line is I wouldnt hesitate to jump on and ride to the ends of the earth if need be. The fact that you are not isolated to footpegs really allows you to move your feet around, allowing you to put many many more miles in the saddle over the day compared to a traditional bike set up. If you are not into the whole ego thing, the Burgman makes one helluva tourer:deal

    On a side note, I have added new Racetech springs and emulators to the forks. A most do mod, as the stock set up sucks. A clearview screen also helps if the stock windscreen is not up to your liking.
    #18
  19. gec343

    gec343 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Oddometer:
    880
    Location:
    Evart, Michigan
    I am resurrecting this thread from the dead! I am seriously considering switching from my present ST1300A to a Burgman Executive. I tour about 10000 miles a year, always carry my 30# dog, and camping gear. Any other opinions on this my plan???? Do tiree wear much more quickly on scooters?? Are there other scooters more suitable for long distance touring, etc?
    #19
  20. aidanpryde18

    aidanpryde18 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    87
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I'd say tires wear similar on scooters and bikes. Maybe a little less since there is not as much torque chewing up rubber in the rear. I have a silverwing and the OEM Bridgestone Hoop on the rear lasted ~10k miles. The tires tend to be cheaper than larger MC tires too. Most can be had for 50-75 per.

    Most big scoots have ~50 liters of storage underneath which is similar to a set of saddlebags or a top box. This leaves room to add both so it is easy to up 150 liters or more of storage on a scoot and still have room for a passenger.

    I've never ridden a Burgman 650 so I can't comment on it specifically but I love my Silver Wing and I can't see the need for any other bike. It fills every role imaginable. Auto trans for effortless commuting, low CoG for unloaded fun in the twisties, plenty of power and room for loaded touring.

    Scooters are a great jack of all trades. Sure, if I had the money, I would have 2 or 3 different bikes for different occasions, but being limited as I am, I can't imagine having anything but my Silver Wing. It is my car and it does a damn fine job in any situation I put it in.
    #20