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Old 04-23-2013, 07:27 PM   #1
TheReaper! OP
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Question for 650 Burg owners

I was going to look at a 650 exec today with like 1800 miles on it supposedly in pristine condition . That is until I saw a review of the 650 exec on you-tube
last night . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA3nHazdhS8

These guys said the transmission was basically pure shit slipping all over the place trying to find the right gear etc etc .

My question to an owner with some experience is WTF is up with that ?

Thanks in advance . TheReaper!
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:41 PM   #2
CaseyJones
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I have not experienced that.

There are issues with the transmission - specifically a spacer bolt that can wear on its end and if it does, cause catastrophic failure - but beyond that, I've found it a fine ride.

It looks like a Burgman 400 with glandular issues. It sucks gas like a Harley...48 mpg is all I can get out of it. But...it's a great distance ride.

I have toured with it. Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to the Four Corners region of Colorado and back. NO issues.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:41 PM   #3
gogogordy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheReaper! View Post
I was going to look at a 650 exec today with like 1800 miles on it supposedly in pristine condition . That is until I saw a review of the 650 exec on you-tube
last night . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA3nHazdhS8

These guys said the transmission was basically pure shit slipping all over the place trying to find the right gear etc etc .

My question to an owner with some experience is WTF is up with that ?

Thanks in advance . TheReaper!

Ive never owned a Burgie, but rumor has it the transmission is gear-driven, and super expensive to fix if it breaks. Like 3500 bucks worth. All or nothing.

Anyone care to confirm or deny?
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:49 PM   #4
CaseyJones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogogordy View Post
Ive never owned a Burgie, but rumor has it the transmission is gear-driven, and super expensive to fix if it breaks. Like 3500 bucks worth. All or nothing.

Anyone care to confirm or deny?
Yup. It's not a variator; it's a miniature planetary gear setup.

Great in use. A nightmare in failure...you might as well walk away from it.

If you're buying new, buy an extended warranty. If you're buying used...users here and at BurgmanUSA have specific checks and instructions. Beyond that...it's as reliable as anything Japanese.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:57 AM   #5
Bearcat
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I have 2 Burgy 650's, one an 08 with almost 16000 miles and one an 09 with 8000 miles. Never a problem with any on them. I change the oil and other fluids, trans, final drive etc. when needed and they work great, good rides. But, as someone said, if they would fail it would be expensive to fix. The trans. is not pure shit, and doesn't slip all over the place, it's always in the right gear, you do get a lot of engine braking when slowing down which takes getting used to, however it saves on brake pads. There were some problems with the early models, 03-06 but I have not heard of any failures with any later models. As a matter of fact, they improved the 2013 model trans. even more.

I would buy another one!
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
Brooktown Geezer
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I would be wary of a pre-2007 Burgman 650 because of the potential for failure. The 2008 models and beyond were redesigned, and to my knowledge do not share the same proclivity for catastrophic failure.

On the pre-2007 design, it's true: if the transmission fails, the cost to repair is more than the value of the scooter.

I owned a 2011 Burgman 650, and it's truly a mile eating beast. As stated above, the fuel consumption was around 45 mpg. If I were making that same purchase again, knowing what I know now, I'd probably buy the 400. I think if I had bought the 400, I'd still have it today.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:39 PM   #7
Tromper
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The upgrade to address the main issue (primary drive bolt coming loose) was late 05 with a version that is reported as being both less of an issue for loosening, & easier to replace. It's something to keep an eye on. The one in my 06 did come loose, & I replaced it with a fresh bolt & some blue loctite. It's under a small cover on the left side, & on my list of things to check when I change the oil.

There's another bolt (primary pulley bolt) on the right side which some folks have had erode on them. This was changed in 07, then again in 11 (I think). The 07 bolt was just tougher, & can be used in the late 05/06 through models. The 11 change was to a diff bolt/setup that won't cross to the older models.
I have replaced mine a couple times since it's easy to do & cheap. The old ones in mine only had a minor chip in it so was perfectly serviceable, I've kept them around as spares. The bolt in question is accessible without pulling plastic, & fully accessible when you go to clean the CVT air filter.

MPG: I run as low as about 42-43 on my winter commute, burning the tapwater they call gas that time of year, to a high of about 60 if I'm loafing on backrods (60 and under). www.fuelly.com has some on it including mine so you don't have to trust me or anybody on that. Your results may vary of course, the bike can do 100mph+, & the bike can get 60mpg, but it won't do these things at the same time.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
Scott_F
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Reports of transmission failure are greatly exaggerated. When it happens, which is rarely, there is much wailing because a CVT failure is stupid expensive to repair, BUT...

The CVT only fails because of a adjustment bolt that can work loose. If you check the bolt as part of regular maintainance, there is no problem. There is lots of information about this on the BUSA forum.

I have two Burgmans, both with 30,000 km on them, almost all highway miles. We have had no problems apart from the regulator on one of them — 2009 Burgmans have a crappy regulator that is a known point of failure.

The transmission has never given any problems. The bikes shift regularly and reliably, with no slipping or other such foolishness. There is a learning curve — the transmission shifts when it does, and it takes a bit of getting used to before you learn how to feather the throttle to control it. Once you do, it's a dream to ride.

Buy with confidence. If you maintain the bike properly, you will not have problems. Virtually everything that can go wrong has gone wrong and been discussed to death on the BUSA forum. You can read what issues there may be with reliability and maintenance there.

Regards
Scott Fraser
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:46 PM   #9
DandM
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I purchased a new 2012 650 about a month ago. Reservations about the transmission were on my mind. I thought that I'd have piece of mind by bringing it back to the dealer at the 600 mile mark for the 1st and very crucial service.
Well the dealer never did change the transmission fluid at this first service as required. My reservations concerning the transmission just increased ten fold.
I contacted a member here and he helped me service my new Burgman the right way. I changed all three oil locations and the filter. Now I feel good. I'm confident in the Burgman but have zero confidence in this Suzuki dealer. That makes two Suzuki dealers that I've dealt with who have incompetent service departments.
My Suzuki products have been good, my dealers and service have not. I'm hoping this is another good Suzuki product. I'll do my best to properly service it; Myself.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:39 PM   #10
Scott_F
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DandM View Post
I purchased a new 2012 650 about a month ago. Reservations about the transmission were on my mind. I thought that I'd have piece of mind by bringing it back to the dealer at the 600 mile mark for the 1st and very crucial service.
Well the dealer never did change the transmission fluid at this first service as required. My reservations concerning the transmission just increased ten fold.
I contacted a member here and he helped me service my new Burgman the right way. I changed all three oil locations and the filter. Now I feel good. I'm confident in the Burgman but have zero confidence in this Suzuki dealer. That makes two Suzuki dealers that I've dealt with who have incompetent service departments.
My Suzuki products have been good, my dealers and service have not. I'm hoping this is another good Suzuki product. I'll do my best to properly service it; Myself.
The BUSA forum is excellent and has links to LeDude's site, which has everything you need to know about taking a Burgman apart and putting it back together.

Regards
Scott Fraser
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:51 PM   #11
TheReaper! OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_F View Post
The BUSA forum is excellent and has links to LeDude's site, which has everything you need to know about taking a Burgman apart and putting it back together.

Regards
Scott Fraser
Hey Scott , I just checked out Ledude's site , I would like to buy that magnificent SOB a drink and I don't even own a burg LOL .

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Old 04-25-2013, 09:12 PM   #12
Scott_F
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Originally Posted by TheReaper! View Post
Hey Scott , I just checked out Ledude's site , I would like to buy that magnificent SOB a drink and I don't even own a burg LOL .

TheReaper!

LOL! There's a line-up. The info he's posted has certainly saved my much grief and expense.

Enjoy your scooter!
Scott Fraser
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:09 PM   #13
JerryH
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The Burgman 650 has always had a reputation for transmission failure, but I suspect it is exaggerated, and some of it is due to lack of maintenance. BMW has a terrible reputation for eating final drives, it usually happens out of warranty, and the cost to fix it is absurd.

Kawasaki Vulcan 750s (I do own one of those, actually have owned 2 of them, both bought new, and have 160,000 miles on the 2 of them) are also known for eating final drives. The problem is caused by 2 things. A design that requires excessive maintenance, which many owners don't do, and by the final drive not being properly lubricated at the factory. By the time the first service is due, there is often already damage done to the final drive. This problem existed throughout the entire 22 year production run, and was never fixed. I spend about 2 days every 10,000 miles maintaining the final drive (the whole rear end of the bike has to be disassembled)

The Suzuki Savage/S40 has been made even longer, and still has a defective cam chain tensioner which tends to fail around 12,000-15,000 miles, and has never been fixed.

Many bikes have such issues, which have remained for decades, and the manufacturers steadfastly refused to fix. My guess is that a properly maintained Burgman 650 that is not already damaged should be fine.

As for the comment about handling, I have to agree with that. I rode one around a parking lot, and my 1500 Goldwing was easier to handle. My choice for a maxi scooter would most likely be a Silverwing, if I could afford it.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:33 PM   #14
Phipsd
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I have spent time this winter reading about transmission issues on the 650 Burgman's ( TV is boring ) LOL .It looks like a reasonable expectation for service life for the belt is about 100,000 KM. (60,000 miles)

If the complicated electrics and machinery keep working properly the belt can go much further and it is possible; but this seems to be rare. Some unlucky souls have mechanical trouble and thus belt trouble at 20, 30 thousand miles.

Now 60,000 miles is further than I have ever flogged a particular bike in over 40 years of riding so that isn't a fatal issue, but the difficulty ( read expense ) of doing service, repair on the driveline is.

A lifetime of riding has taught me that things can go wrong on even the best bikes and reasonable ease and expense of repair is important. It's a shame because I really like that bike alot.

My next scooter purchase will be a Burgman; but it will be the 400.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:51 PM   #15
DandyDoug
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I bought my 2012 Burgman 650 in Sept of 12 , it has about 3500 miles on it so far and all of them make me smile.

Do some have transmission trouble ?
I suppose they do from what I read.

But if you do regular maintenance I think it's really a non problem , much over blown on forums by a few. When you think about how many of these CVT driven machines have been sold and ridden a lot ,vs the actual reported failures I bet the number is in line with most vehicles . They sell a bunch of Burgmans in Europe to people who ride them as everyday transportation, so Suzuki must be doing something right.

A local Burgman rider has 178,000 miles on one , with one belt replacement and normal maintenance , his new Burgman has already gone over 13,ooo miles .

I hope mine is one of the good ones and with regular maintenance I bet I ride it a long time. It may be my last 2 wheeled hurrah at my age.
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