2013 Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS Test Ride

?2013 Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS: Super scooting in style?


We recently reviewed the Burgman 400 in this column, which was totally acceptable, but we?ll deal here with the new 2013 Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS model ? their top-of-the-line scooter.?The Burgman from Suzuki has been around for a few years now, available as both a 400 and a 650 model. What is a Burgman you might ask? It?s a high-end scooter made by Suzuki. Incidentally, it?s no ordinary scooter either ? it falls into the ?Maxi? or ?Super? scooter genre.

Burgman seems like a rather unlikely moniker for a Japanese-produced two-wheeler, so in the interest of investigative journalism, I asked how the name originated. I was informed that it originated from the German term ?Burg? which stands for a town or village governed by a leading man. It may make sense to some, but I don?t see what it has to do with the price of rice in China (whoops, Japan).


The 2013 Suzuki Burgman 650, features a light, rigid chassis with a tubular frame and sleekly styled, curvaceous body work, which not only gives the scooter a sporty appearance, but delivers an aerodynamic advantage as well at higher freeway speeds (Yes Virginia, the Burgman 650 is definitely freeway legal). The headlights are widely-spaced ?cat-eye? affairs, and the rakish windscreen, which is electrically height adjustable, add to the purposeful sport bike appearance up front, creating a smooth air flow over the rider, while the updated taillights wrap deeply into the body sides for a clean effect. New for the 2013 model year are updated floating discs, a new exhaust system and superlative control.

Power for the Burgman 650 ABS (there is no longer an Executive trim level) comes from a 638cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8-valve, twin-cylinder with Suzuki?s electronic fuel injection. Power is delivered to the rear wheel through Suzuki?s Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (SECVT? – automatic) via a final gear drive, that at first glance appears to be a shaft drive assembly. The 4.0-gallon fuel tank allows for a satisfying range that consistently measures in excess of 150 miles, even when cranked up near the limit.











The new 2013 Suzuki Burgman 650 rides on Bridgestone Battlax tubeless rubber ? 15-inch up front and 14-inch in the rear, mounted on 5-swirl-spoke alloy wheels. Front suspension consists of telescopic forks with coil springs and oil damping and 4.3-inches of travel. The rear suspension is of a Swing arm, link-type configuration, also with a coil spring, oil damping and adjustable pre-load. Rear suspension travel is 3.9-inches. Bringing the Suzuki Burgman 650 to a halt is handled by hydraulic dual discs forward, and a single disc aft. ABS braking is standard on the 650 model.

Wheelbase of the Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS measures 62.4-inches (slightly shorter than the outgoing 650 Executive model, with the overall length registering 89.0-inches (.2-inches longer than the Executive. It weighs in at 613 pounds dry (2 lbs more than the Executive) and the stepped dual seat (which is designed to carry both rider and a passenger in comfort), height is a little taller at 29.7-inches. The adjustable kick-up to the pillion level surface provides lumbar support for the rider, and there is a separate backrest for the passenger, as well as side handgrips and floorboards.


The instrument cluster is both comprehensive and easily legible, with an analog speedometer and tachometer, twin trip meters, a digital clock, ambient temperature gauge, running average fuel consumption indicator, fuel level and coolant temperature readings. The starting system is electric, with a maintenance-free battery.

Additional thoughtful and useful features include: an easy-to-operate parking brake lever located on the left side within easy reach, and dual stands — a center stand, as well as a side stand. Lots of secure storage is provided too, with the bodywork ahead of the rider providing three lidded storage compartments and a DC power outlet for charging cell phones or operating a radar detector (yes Virginia, the Suzuki Burgman 650 easily exceeds the speed limit), or how about a GPS unit? Wait, there’s more ? there?s also a 6.2-liter lighted, locking storage beneath the seat assembly, capable of stashing two full-face helmets, with a smaller compartment alongside. Should one require yet more storage space, simply attach extra gear by utilizing the handy tie-down hooks. There?s a Power mode button that overrides the normal operating mode, that delivers power more aggressively, and the mirrors fold in at the touch of a button.


The riding position is exceptionally comfortable aboard the Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive, with plenty of room to stretch out the rider?s legs. The ignition switch features a tamper-resistant magnetic cover, along with a special cut-away section that allows for the use of a chain-type lock for securing the frame and bodywork to an immovable object. There?s also a fork lock.

My test 2013 Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS included all of the standard features and equipment found on the base Burgman 650, while adding: the advanced antilock braking system, electric adjustable windshield, rearview mirrors that swing in and out, electronically, utilizing a handlebar-mounted button; chrome exhaust cover and the passenger backrest. My test scooter sported Pearl Bracing White metallic bodywork with black upholstery. The base price was set at $10,999 while estimated dealer prep and handling (which can vary more or less) elevated the final total by another $250. to $11,249. There was an optional outrigger kit that sold for roughly another $8,000 installed, that added what appeared to be a trike setup but actually consisted of four wheels, retaining the original drive wheel, which was ideal for physically challenged riders. In all probability, some dealers will still be able to complete the transformation.

SUMMARY:? Admittedly, there are lots of testosterone loaded male riders who shudder at the prospect of being seen aboard a scooter of any size, shape or form, but? trust me, there?s nothing wimpy, or to be ashamed of about riding the Burgman 650. Okay, there?s no big V-twin ?potato, potato, potato exhaust note, but the fuel economy delivered by the Burgman is a heck of a lot better, and your neighbors won?t be annoyed when you fire up to take off on an early Sunday morning ride. There?s also no clutch or foot brake to concern yourself with either. Both front and rear brakes are operated by handlebar-mounted hand levers.

The SECVT transmission offers the option of manual or automatic shifting. The manual mode provides six predetermined CVT ratios to shift through, using UP and Down buttons on the left handlebar. Two fully automatic modes include Normal and Power ? the results of each mode are self-explanatory.

The balance is superb and the ride quality is smooth, despite the fact that I didn?t adjust the rear suspension pre-load. Had I done so, I?m sure the ride would have been even smoother. Acceleration is rapid even in the automatic mode, and the Burgman 650 is comfortable cruising at 70 or 75 mph, with more room to roll on even more throttle.


If you?re a manly man who can get past the potential threat of emasculation by riding a scooter, give it a try, I ?m sure that you?ll be pleasantly surprised?and pleased. It?s actually a lot of fun, and isn?t in the least gender or age specific. It has more power to offer than many motorcycles, is more comfortable and more economical to operate as well. Oh, and it comes with a 12 month unlimited mileage limited warranty.
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[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2013 Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS [/wptabtitle]

Base Price: $10,999.
Price as Tested: $11,249. * (est.) Dealer Prep and Handling costs may vary.
Engine Type and Size: 638cc four-stroke, DOHC, 8-valve twin-cylinder with Suzuki electronic fuel injection.
Horsepower (bhp): Not Listed.
Torque (ft./ lbs.): Not Listed.
Transmission: CVT Automatic with manual shift capability.
Drive Train: Final drive – Gear.
Suspension: Front – Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped 41mm forks.
Rear – Swingarm-style, coil spring, oil damped with adjustable pre-load..

Brakes: Twin disc brakes – front / single disc – rear.Tires: Bridgestone Battlax 120/70 R15 M/C 56H tubeless – front / 160/60 R14 M/C 65H tubeless mounted on 5-dual-spoke alloy wheels – 3.5-inches front / 4.5-inches rear.Wheelbase:62.4 inchesLength Overall:89.2 inchesWidth:31.9 inchesCurb Weight:613 lbs. (dry)Fuel Capacity:4.0 gallonsSeat Height:29.7 inches0 – 60 mph: Not tested

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