Dual sport Burgman Executive???

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by BerndM, May 6, 2013.

  1. BerndM

    BerndM Shiftless One

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    Anyone out here put dual sport tires on their 650 Executive and ACTUALLY taken it off pavement. I'm NOT talking singletrack, more like dirt fire roads.
    I figure as long as the speeds are kept pretty low, the short suspension travel shouldn't be TOO much of an issue.
    But then again, I might be completely wrong....:evil

    Regards, Bernd

    2005 BMW R1200RT
    2012 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive
    1986 Kawasaki KLR 250
    #1
  2. rv-rick

    rv-rick Been here awhile

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    The only comment I can make is that's an awful lot of very expensive plastic you're playing with. :eek1
    #2
  3. creighta

    creighta Been here awhile

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    we have ridden several miles of dirt and gravel on maxi-scoots(silverwing, majesty, and a helix) but never any steep hills or ruts like most fire roads. even on good solid bikes they sound like they are going to rattle apart on those roads, may just be squeaky plastic, but always makes me nervous, i would definitely pull off any top box if you do try it.
    #3
  4. BerndM

    BerndM Shiftless One

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    Very true, but then again I used to ride a $20,000 (OTD) 2006 BMW R1200GS which is (sort of) made for easy dirt riding. :D

    Regards, Bernd

    2005 BMW R1200RT
    2012 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive
    1986 Kawasaki KLR 250
    #4
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    No. It's not possible to ride a Burgman off of the pavement.

    [​IMG]

    Seriously, the rider on this Burgman was not an experienced off road rider. He just took it easy. Pretty much any motorcycle or scooter can be ridden off the pavement by a reasonably competent rider. Street tires work just fine on gravel, wet or dry but on dirt roads you want to stay off them when wet on street tires.
    #5
  6. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    I wouldn't try it.

    The R1200GS was intended for at least some off-road stress. I know; I owned one. Expensive; but up to the task.

    The Burg Exec is NOT intended for such rough service. The tupperware is intended for wind resistance; and nothing more. The jarring on rough surfaces will - not might, will - loosen and eventually crack something. Going in a rut or having a stone kick up will either break the radiator surround or hole the radiator.

    The engine is low in there, also - in the dirt plume the front tire and radiator fan are throwing up. Behind the engine, is that very-very expensive transmission; and behind THAT, your drive-belt assembly.

    The BMW had none of that; it had a sealed single-plate dry clutch, and a transmission and linkages sealed against dust. Moreover, I found every electrical connection I looked at (routine bulb changes) well-booted against water, dust and road shock.

    The question is more than price - the question is, what is the machine engineered for?
    #6
  7. Eliter85

    Eliter85 Been here awhile

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    I've had my elite ch150 off roading before. Not even on fancy tires. It was pretty ridiculous, I definitely had a goofy smile on my face. However I'm sure glad my seat is so cushiony or else it would have been a heck of a rough ride.
    #7
  8. Scott_F

    Scott_F Been here awhile

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    Quite so. We've ridden 25000 km through five states and two provinces in the last three years. We're careful to stay on pavement, but at the same time we avoid main highways in favour of some exploring. I rely on the little walkie man from google maps — if you hold him over a locations, all the paved roads appear in blue, including the NFS forestry roads, which we've come to appreciate. Gravel isn't a problem as long as the road is maintained, although the radiator is right behind the front wheel.

    Then there are times when we are faced with dirt. We were headed from Libby to Whitefish, Montana along NF73, a forestry road the meanders east through the woods. We came to a washout. The detour was a bulldozed path through the woods that went for maybe two miles. It was not a road but bare dirt, cratered with potholes trenches and and ruts from runoff with big rocks and the odd tree root stretching across the road. It would be a piece of cake on a dirt bike, but the Lardy gets its name for a reason.

    The suspension isn't up to it. The front shocks on the Burgman are quite soft, nicely set up for touring at 60 mph but not up to hard cornering at 100 mph or rutted roads at 10 mph. The rear shocks can be adjusted, which helps, but the back is still very heavy and will bottom out easily.

    The wheels are too small. There is no ground clearance. The radiator, shrouded in plastic, is low and forward, right behind the front wheel. There is no bashplate. There are no pegs, which I really miss when jumping over stumps. The threat to the tupperware is real, from dropping it to bashing the underside to rattling it apart. At low speed, the Burgman is a bit of a beast at the best of times. Going slow enough to avoid obstacles on a really rough road takes skill and effort, not at all fun like it would be on a V-Strom.

    Make no mistake, I love my Burgman. It is hands down better for touring than a cruiser, comfortable and practical and capable to the nth degree. Even so, I would not recommend it to anyone for use in the woods. There are much ebtter choices. The Burgman is made for the highway, and there it excels.

    Regards
    Scott Fraser
    #8
  9. SPOFF

    SPOFF Been here awhile

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    How silly. You can buy a used KLR 650 for less than the cost of half your plastic. And the KLR can handle a rutted fire road at freeway speeds.
    #9
  10. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    While a Burgman may not be the best choice for off road riding, I see no reason you can't do an occasional dirt or gravel road. If you are out exploring and the pavement ends, you can't just magically transform your scooter into a KLR or other dual sport. You just have to know when to turn around. I have ridden many dirt roads that were smoother than the crappy paved roads that led to them. Obviously there is a limit on how rough a road you would want to take any scooter on. This is one situation where a smaller scooter is better. I take my scooters on dirt roads all the time. Since they are small and light, it is easy to turn around when the going gets too rough. On a Maxi scooter the road needs to be wide enough that you could turn around if needed.

    This might not be the best road for a Burgman 650:

    [​IMG]

    Of course, having some real dirt riding experience also helps:ricky
    #10
  11. SPOFF

    SPOFF Been here awhile

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    True, but I wouldn't hesitate with my Honda PCX.
    #11
  12. ohgood

    ohgood Long timer

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    *cough* finaldrive.




    anyway, i've been down quite a few dirt roads (just like what bmw owners call "OFF ROAD") on my cheapo scooter. the differences: i'm not drifting, fast, or caring about the plastics, oh and the whole damned scooter cost $1000. total.

    now, back to the burgman, hell ya i'd rock that down some DIRT ROADS. keep in mind, if a stupid car can fit, it's a road, not "OFF ROAD".

    my understanding is plastics are for the US market, the rest of the world doesn't care at all.
    #12
  13. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    My opinion is that no scooter, especially an automatic, should be ridden off road, and it is not because the possibility of crashing is greater. Scooters are not dirt bikes. Dirt bikes, and dual sport bikes are designed the way they are for a reason. They are designed specifically for the off road environment. They are designed to survive minor getoffs, and they are dirt resistant. Even a sport bike should be a lot more capable off road than a scooter. You would likely trash the lower plastic, but not do to much mechanical damage. Scooters are simply not built to handle the stresses of off pavement riding, they are not even designed to handle the paved roads around here. Some day I'm going to get stopped on suspicion of DUI, because I am constantly having to swerve around to miss all the potholes and 4" deep manhole covers. A scooter frame, suspension, and bodywork is not designed for that. It will flex, and eventually start to come apart. Not to mention the toll dirt is going to take on the final drive. The CVT housing is going to quickly fill up with dirt and sand, and it will destroy the belt, pulleys, clutch, etc.

    People have ridden off road with old (manual shift 2 stroke) Vespas, but they are a lot stronger than modern scooters like the Burgman. They have no place where dirt can get into the mechanical parts, and the body is solid one piece metal. The suspension was poor, and the tires were small and narrow, but you just had to go slow and take it easy.


    Someday I might get an old scooter that is already trashed and ride it off road. But I sure wouldn't do that to a nice one. And certainly not a $12000 one. But then I am also the type that would get a used KLR instead of a new BMW GS too.
    #13
  14. knucklehead90

    knucklehead90 Been here awhile

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    Good question on the Burgman being even mildly off-road capable. All that Tupperware flying off or getting scraped up could be costly. But how about a 'naked' 650? Tupperware off and ready for action. Might look pretty cool with a big wide knobby on the back.

    http://www.burgmanusa.com/forums/download/file.php?id=13131&t=1
    #14
  15. DougFromKentucky

    DougFromKentucky Just a good 'ole boy

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    Yes, I could take my Burgman off the pavement if I so choosed. But all of that plastic would be expensive to replace if I dumped it. So no, I don't plan any off pavement rides on it. I do have a WeeStrom fitted with all the goodies such as a steel bashpan and such that I can and do take off the pavement. It is a lot more fun off the pavement because I don't really worry if it decides it is tired and lays down for a rest. It already has trophy scrapes on it anyhow.
    #15