From a Wing to a Burgman?


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oldmopars
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From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by oldmopars » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:02 pm



Looking for some opinions here. I currently have a 96 GL1500SE and a 84 GL1200 Standard. I am starting to really like my 1200 now that I have turned it into a standard, but the 1500 is just not growing on me like I hoped it would. It intimidates my wife and she is the main reason I got it. I want her to ride with me.
I like to do some touring, but don't think I will ever get my wife to do more than an overnight at a hotel off the bike. Maybe if I am lucky she may do a 2 night weekend trip. I like to take off for a week or better and ride with a friend or by myself. For this I can take the 1200 once I get it dialed in. This leaves me with a 1500 I just don't really need, and struggle to love. Its a great bike, but not a good fit for me.
I used to have a 250 Maxi Scooter, I loved the thing, but I was limited to where and how far I could go due to the limits of the 250cc engine. This got me to thinking about a Burgman and if my wife would prefer that to a Goldwing. I asked her and she indicated that she would like it more and be more willing to ride it.
I know that at least one of you here has a Burgman or other Maxi Scoot in the stable. What have you found? How it is to tour 2 up for a day or two? Is it comfortable? Is it less intimidating as a 2 up ride due to half the weight of the Wing?
Aside from the perception of other riders, that I care nothing about, is there any downsides to the Big Maxi scooters like the Burgman?
I know the Burgman has a huge trunk under the seat and with a top box would easily hold enough for my wife and I for a weekend, we travel fairly light.



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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:16 pm

oldmopars wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:02 pm
Looking for some opinions here. I currently have a 96 GL1500SE and a 84 GL1200 Standard. I am starting to really like my 1200 now that I have turned it into a standard, but the 1500 is just not growing on me like I hoped it would. It intimidates my wife and she is the main reason I got it. I want her to ride with me.
I like to do some touring, but don't think I will ever get my wife to do more than an overnight at a hotel off the bike. Maybe if I am lucky she may do a 2 night weekend trip. I like to take off for a week or better and ride with a friend or by myself. For this I can take the 1200 once I get it dialed in. This leaves me with a 1500 I just don't really need, and struggle to love. Its a great bike, but not a good fit for me.
I used to have a 250 Maxi Scooter, I loved the thing, but I was limited to where and how far I could go due to the limits of the 250cc engine. This got me to thinking about a Burgman and if my wife would prefer that to a Goldwing. I asked her and she indicated that she would like it more and be more willing to ride it.
I know that at least one of you here has a Burgman or other Maxi Scoot in the stable. What have you found? How it is to tour 2 up for a day or two? Is it comfortable? Is it less intimidating as a 2 up ride due to half the weight of the Wing?
Aside from the perception of other riders, that I care nothing about, is there any downsides to the Big Maxi scooters like the Burgman?
I know the Burgman has a huge trunk under the seat and with a top box would easily hold enough for my wife and I for a weekend, we travel fairly light.
We have a 400 Burgman for my wife. I've ridden it a number of times. My thoughts:

- It's very easy to ride. Compared to a Wing, it feels featherweight (even though it's not). Like a Wing, the weight is very low, so it has good handling feel.
- The automatic clutch/declutch takes a bit of getting used to. Starting off I found the only way to smoothly do it was to hold the brakes, increase the throttle until the clutch bites, then smoothly release the brakes.
- Drive belts need regular replacement. I'd also recommend replacing the CV transmission sliders with heavier, aftermarket sliders, to reduce engine RPM at highway speeds. I replaced the factory sliders with 19 gram "Dr Slider" sliders, and at 70 mph RPM went from over 7,000 rpm to 5,500 rpm. A big difference.
- It has limited preload adjustment on the rear shock. If you and your wife are heavier than some, you might find you bottom out on larger bumps.
- I have long legs, and find the seating position cramped. There's nowhere for my legs to go, and putting my feet farther up is not all that comfortable.
- The seat is nowhere near as comfortable as a Wing. Particularly for the rear passenger.

I definitely notice a passenger on it far more than on the Wing. The passenger is a larger percentage of the overall weight, and it doesn't have the torque low down that a Wing does.

oldmopars
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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by oldmopars » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:23 pm

Thank you, that is good info to know. I am going to look at a 650 Burgman weekend after next if it is still there. I think the 650 is larger and may help overcome some of the issues you have with the 650. However your insights are great and will give me things to consider when looking at the 650.

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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:37 pm

I should mention that they are a NIGHTMARE to work on. I thought the PC800 was crazy to get bodywork off of in order to work on it. The Burgman has it beat! Once the body panels are off, it's not too tough to work on (except the engine being tucked away under the seat isn't very accessible), but getting the body panels off and on is not for the faint-hearted. The Suzuki factory service manual is also nowhere near the quality and detail of Honda service manuals.









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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by LloydB » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:21 pm

I went to a Burgman 400, after worn out knees gave me problems holding up the Wing at stops. I enjoyed it a lot, but my wife hated riding on the back seat, and when I added a Suzuki passenger back rest, she said it made it worse. She complained about sliding forward, and having to hold herself back with foot pressure, making her legs tired, she also complained about wind buffeting jerking her helmet around causing a sore neck. After riding two up with me for over 50 years, she said "that's it, I refuse to ride the scooter". I have never ridden a 650, and have no idea if they are better for the passenger. My wife just told me to tell you to keep one of the Wings and put a sidecar on it, she loved our 1800 with a Hannigan sidecar.
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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by PoolDude » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:54 am

It's interesting that I have been considering this same move so did some research. There is a 650 Burgman needing a new belt for very little money. Turns out that the 650s don't have drive belt like other scooters but do have a belt that is buried in the transmission. Still didn't look too bad to repair until I found out that the belts cost $450+, on the flip side they are not considered wear parts so should last the life of the bike. I have considered some thing smaller but am not sure. I have a friend that for health reasons can only ride scooters and he rides his all over the place having even crossed the country a couple of times.

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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by brettchallenger » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:57 am

When I was having back, shoulder and leg problems (managed to get them all at the same time) I felt my motorcycle days were finished and I found myself a 650 Burgman. It was pre-owned but only had 49 miles on the clock when I bought it, so I had to run it in as it was practically a new machine. First thing, it is a lot easier to get on and off, simply slide into the seat, easier than a car. When I started motorcycling in the early seventies, a 650 was a big bike, a 750 was a superbike! So the 650 Burgman is one heck of a scooter. I never used it two up but it does have really good load carrying capacity. During the running in period it delivered about 65mpg (Imp) which is 54mpg US. This surprised me as the little light which comes on to say that you are travelling in an economic fashion rarely seemed to come on for very long. I am 6'2" and it fitted me - just. It handled fine, even with the relatively small wheels, it was quick off the mark and certainly surprised a few BMW car drivers.

However, I just couldn't fall in love with it. You know what it's like when you date a stunning, gorgeous blonde who has it all but who just doesn't do it for you - no neither do I. But it was what I imagine that must be like. The Burgman worked faultlessly but I just couldn't get used to it. I never felt in control of the engine as it didn't have a manual clutch, the seating position always felt cramped, and it was like I was sitting on the bike rather than "in" it. Despite the excellent weather protection and heated seat and handlebars, I always felt cold (in winter), with a horrible breeze blowing between my legs, where an engine should be. Oh, and if you buy one new, boy are they expensive! Suzuki's basic car is a £1000 cheaper.

Needless to say, I don't have it now.
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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by minimac » Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:34 am

I had bought a well maintained, low milage '06 Burgman 650 Executive when I first considered selling my 1500 'Wing. I wanted to see if it would be a good replacement. With a Corbin seat, huge underseat storage, and a Givi 52 liter top case, it has almost as much storage as my Goldwing. It also is almost as comfortable to ride, but the seat makes all the difference over the stock Suzuki seat. The 650 is as miserable to work on as the 400 is. Gas mileage on mine is 49-52, but I think after the model change in 2013, it is a bit better. The 650 does not have a belt in the usual sense. If it has to be replaced, it is a high dollar item and the bike needs to be virtually stripped and broken in half, to get to it.
As far as riding two up, my wife hated it. Even with the electrically controlled windscreen, the buffering for her was unbearable and she hated the rear foot rests. For the driver, it was a comfortable ride, even with the minimal suspension travel, with good wind and rain protection. the power was smooth and more than ample, but lacking the reverse of the Honda, it wasn't much easier to move around. A very nice feature was that the CVT can be shifted manually, if desired, which made my speed runs on the Back of the Dragon a whole lot of fun. The bike also has a huge amount of engine braking, which took a little getting used to.Expect to replace the rear tire every 6-7K miles or less, unless you darkside it. I did.
Alas, my CVT belt broke at 29,xxx miles, which unfortunately is not unheard of. The dealer wanted over $2000 to repair it. I've since learned that a lot of them go out between 45,000 and 85,000 miles. The feeling on the Burgman board is if the CVT goes out, part out the bike because it's not worth the price of the repair-unless you have the skills and tools to do it. I was lucky enough to have a friend experienced in doing the repair, and he talked me through it, but it took me the entire winter and about $500 to fix it.
Needless to say, I still have my Goldwing-I don't have the Burgman.

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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by WingAdmin » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:46 am

The CVT in the 650 is different than the one in the 450.

The 650's transmission and belt are sealed, and supposed to last the life of the bike - but they usually don't. They are expensive to replace, as John mentioned.

The 400's transmission is easily worked on, and the belt can be had for much cheaper - I bought mine from Partzilla for $110. The belt on a 400 is a wear item with an expected life of 20,000 miles.

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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by oldmopars » Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:15 am

Thank you for all the input. This is very valuable to me, I can't thank you enough. It is great to hear from people who own one. Sounds like that is not the right bike for me either.
I completely understand the issue of not falling in love with a bike. That is the problem I am having with the GL1500SE. Fantastic bike, plenty of power, smooth, etc. I just struggle to fall in love with it. It just doesn't tick the right boxes for me.
Every bike I get on, I compare to the BMW K1200lt, and nothing ever comes close to giving me the feeling I had on that bike. Not to say that any of the other bikes are bad, they just fall short. The BMW has its share of issues, but as a mechanic I can overcome all of them, it is just more money for the parts.
I have found a nice BMW for a really good price. If I can figure out the money end of things, I will just go get it and sell the 1500.
When I had the BMW, I always looked for a reason to get on the bike to go ride. With the Wing, I almost have to force myself to ride it because I need to.
I know you guys here love these Wings, but I have tried and it is just not for me. I guess we are all different and different things make us happy.
I am not going anywhere, I still have the 1200 and it is fun, but I think my 1500 is going to find a new home. If anyone is looking for a great 1500 that just had a bunk of PM stuff done, let me know.
PS, it comes with a free parts bike too.

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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by Terry D » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:02 pm

When my wing was totaled back in 2005, I did not replace it with another right away. I tried the Honda VTX for a while and then a friend wanted to sell his 2009 Burgman 650 Exec. I bought it and had a lot of fun with it as a commuter bike. I even purchased a cruise control unit from a company that makes them for the Burgman in New Zealand. Or was that Australia? Anyway, it was fun to have an automatic bike with a cruise unit that operated like the Goldwing. The only thing that I was leery of with the Burgy was the stopper bolt breaking. So many people had that break and the Forum did not favor the replacement if it did. I had my Burgy up to 100 mph and put a car tire on the rear. Great scoot with lots of power.

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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by AZgl1800 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:18 pm

I have a 250cc Piaggio MP3 scooter.

my comment is that you are "sitting on top if it" rather than down on the saddle like a Goldwing.

It is a dream to scoot around town, but I do not enjoy it much at more than 50 mph, and definitely it is not a touring machine.

My daughter rode behind me a couple of times, it seemed to handle the extra load okay, but again, the suspension is just not there for 2 up.


~John

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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by NOVAwing » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:20 pm

OP,

My last bike before my GL1500 was a 2006 white Suzuki Burgman 650 standard.

I am 255lbs. 6 ft 1in.
Wife is 5ft 6in 140 tops.

Seating sucks, always sliding forward.
Needs custom seat, I used a cushion.
Loved the forward leg room and always rode legs stretched out like I was in a bobshed, felt great on curves this way, very sled like. Felt unstable with legs in the sitting position like the GL1500.

Very wide rear seat for passenger.
Wife always felt bow legged and sore hips after 50 miles.

Suspension and wheel size is lacking, especially 2 up.
Can be and is, a harsh ride.

I rode commuting 37 miles each way for 2 years. Very good for urban commuting, alone.

Automatic is amazing, every bike should be this way!
Clutching and gears is fun and all that, but on a bike auto is a godsend!

Fully decked mine out with Givi saddle bags, trunk, windscreen with chopper vents. Jensen marine stereo, 4 speakers, 2 cup holders.

Has tons more storage then GL1500.

Power is adaquete alone and if your light weight.
Becomes lacking over a short time.
Absolutely a rocket stop light to stop light, beats some sport bikes even. Auto RULEZ!

Main belt is a known, expensive, liability over 10k miles.

I dream of a 900 Burgman on motorcycle tires, with a better cvt or dct trans with no belt issues.

I miss it every time I get on the blue beast GL1500. But it had major faults as stated
Never had to do more then change fluids, tires and brakes on mine but it was low mileage then I sold it before belt issues could happen.

That's my first hand opinion.
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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by AZgl1800 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:33 pm

I forgot to mention that the seat is sloping forward and down.
PITA for more than a few minutes.

way bad for two up.
~John

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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by brettchallenger » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:58 am

PITA for more than a few minutes
Quite literally in this case.
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oldmopars
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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by oldmopars » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:56 am

Funny thing about this is that when I asked the original question it was because I had talked to my wife and asked about it to see if she would be more comfortable on a scooter that size ten on the wing. What I did not know was that she was thinking for her to ride on alone, not 2 up with me.
So, she did not want me to replace the wing with a Burgman, but to buy her a large scooter in addition to the wing. Because that is the case, I may bee looking for something more of a 400cc and avoid the 650cc belt issue. Maybe even look at the Honda Scooters.

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Re: From a Wing to a Burgman?

Post by offcenter » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:53 pm

A belt every 10,000 miles???
That is ridiculous!!
I'd be going through a belt a year, or even more often!!
Totally unacceptable.


George in Jersey.
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