Burgman 650 first ride

Published: 10 June 2002

We’ve just ridden the Burgman 650, Suzuki’s revolutionary big scooter.

The 650 debuts Suzuki’s Electronically-Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (SECVT) a system that gives the rider the choice of either a normal automatic mode, a power mode with a brisker engine map and, uniquely, a manual shift option.

You can read the full test of the Burgman 650 in a forthcoming issue of MCN, but here are our first impressions:

*The Burgman 650 is a big bike; 2260mm long and nearly a quarter of a ton fully fuelled. It’s marketed more as an alternative to conventional touring motorcycles rather than as a commuter.

*The semi-automatic style SECVT works well with practice, but the " Power " mode of the automatic gearbox is simpler to use, with no loss of performance.

*The chassis and grippy Bridgestone TH01 tyres mean that the only limiting factor to hard cornering is the floorboards.

*It shades its rivals, Honda’s Silverwing and Yamaha’s T-Max, for top speed. The 650 clawed its way to a genuine 110mph in tests, some 5mph faster.

*It brakes well considering the weight, but the tyres soon chirp if hard braking done with just the front, or just the rear brake.

Suzuki UK hasn’t confirmed the prices yet, but a price of £6000 excluding OTR charges looks likely. For more details contact Suzuki UK on: 01293-518000.