The Burgman 650 boasts cavernous storage, massive power and a very comfortable ride. It’s a very compelling package for long distance trips.
Powerful, high tech engine
SUZUKI BURGMAN 650 (AN650)
The Burgman 650 is the largest member of the Burgman family and one of the most popular maxi-scooters. This maxi-scooter was first introduced into the North American market for 2003 and remains on sale until it was discontinued after 2018. In Asian markets this scooter is known as the Skywave 650.
Fans of biggest Burgman suffered a scare when the 650 Burg was excluded from Suzuki’s main announcement of 2013 models, but Suzuki went on to show an updated model (shown at right) at the 2012 EICMA show and then in mid-November 2012 announced its North American debut. That updated model would last a further six years (2013 – 2018).
At 638cc, The Burgman 650 boasts the largest scooter engine offered in North America. This powerful engine makes this scooter a great touring machine, while perhaps losing some of that euphoria at the fuel pump. 40mpg is about what you can expect which is in the same league as Honda’s Silver Wing. Still, 40mpg is still pretty good for an bike engine that will easily take you past 100mph.
Unlike most scooters, the largest Burgman goes beyond a single cylinder engine and uses a parallel twin motor. This liquid cooled, fuel injected motor includes 8 valves and dual overhead camshafts.
Versions & Amenities
The Burgman 650 was available originally available in the American market in just the standard trim (above), with an ‘Executive’ option added for 2007. Both versions were sold side by side until the Executive became the sole post 2009. Suzuki USA skipped the 2010 model year for the big Burgman, and then returned with the Executive Burgman for two more years (2011, 2012) before the curtain was drawn on generation one. In Canada, only the ABS equipped Executive version has been sold (2004 to present).
In generation one, the ‘Executive’ version added ABS, a multi-mode transmission, a 500 watt alternator, an electric windscreen and retractable mirrors. The multi-mode transmission was a rather neat feature that allowed selection between ‘power’ and ‘normal’ modes depending on your preference for more power, or better fuel economy.
For 2013 Suzuki introduced a heavily revised Burgman 650. While being billed as new model by Suzuki USA and Canada, the second generation Burgman 650 utilizes the same frame and motor with small refinements. Technologically the biggest news is the new transmission, which is claimed to be much more efficient. Even with the same motor, Suzuki is claiming a 15% improvement in fuel use due to the subtle refinements, a new clutch design and the slimmer shape. Also noteworthy is a new ABS system with uses floating discs and weighs half what the older system did. As a result, total machine weight plummets from 613 lbs to 609 lbs.
More noticeably, the styling is tastefully reworked to freshen the look and gain a slimmer profile. The instrumentation is also new and contains a mix of analog and digital instrumentation (shown at right). This new Burgman retains the amenities of the departed Executive model, but utilizes now utilizes the name Burgman 650 ABS. In Canada the ‘Executive’ suffix sticks around.
The storage arrangement in the Burgman 650 is very similar to its smaller 400cc sibling. You get huge storage under the seat (56 litres or 15 gallons worth) plus a pair of storage cubbies up in the dash. The under seat space is ample enough to stow two full face helmets.
The Burgman 650 is also a rather hefty machine at 613 lbs. It’s not large for a touring bike but for someone coming from a 150cc scooter it’s going to seem enormous. Thankfully Suzuki has equipped the 650 with both a centerstand and a sidestand, so lugging it onto the centerstand isn’t an everyday occurrence.
Over the years, competitors to the biggest Burgman have come and gone, with only Honda’s Silver Wing battling it the whole way. Competitors that have been around for parts of the Burgman’s run include Yamaha’s TMAX, Piaggio’s X9 500 and Kymco’s Xciting 500. Of these, the Xciting offers the lowest price, the TMAX has the best brakes and sporty styling, while the Burgman and Silverwing battle it out for the crown of the most lavishly equipped highway tourer.
The entire scooter is aimed not at the typical scooter usage (frugal transit around town) but rather it’s designed to be the scooter equivalent of a Goldwing. The Burgman 650 boasts cavernous storage, massive power and a very comfortable ride. It’s a very compelling package for long distance trips.