Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive, review, test ride

    We take Suzuki’s maxi-scooter out for a quick spin to see how well it fares on Indian roads.

    Published on Sep 08, 2015 05:28:00 PM


    The seat on this massive scooter is plush, and accommodates both, rider and pillion in comfort, with backrests for both. The well padded backrest for the rider is adjustable, and works well for both tall and short riders. Comfort is thoroughly thought out, with front and rear seats electrically heated on the Burgman 650.
    Open the seat and you have a really large storage compartment, good enough to hold two full sized helmets. Besides this, there are small storage areas below the handlebars, which hold smaller things such as water bottles and cell-phones. The Burgman 650 even houses a DC charging port to top up your battery on the go. And there’s a parking brake lever that sits besides the big seat.
    The Burgman 650 feels impeccably put together, a high quality product with premium finish on all the parts. While taking the big Suzuki on a short spin, we found nothing to complain about.
    Powering the Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive is a 638cc, four-stroke, parallel-twin and liquid-cooled engine that makes a heady on a scooter 54bhp of maximum power at 7,000rpm, and 6.3kgm of torque at 5,000rpm. Transmission is via a fully automatic gearbox system, as used by automatic cars, and not the more scooter typical CVT systems we are more used to seeing India. The Burgman 650 offers three riding modes riders can choose from, Drive, Power and Manual. Drive and Power modes shift gears automatically, while Manual allows the rider to control gearshifts, going up or down five steps using toggle buttons on the left hand side switch cluster.
    Wring the throttle open and be prepared to be greeted with robust bursts of un-scooter like acceleration, as the burly Burgman zips away from the starter blocks to nudge 100kph, and even higher speeds in short stretches. Even at cruising speeds of close to a 100kph, there’s still ample power in reserve for you to tap into, making overtaking a breeze.
    Suspending the scooter are telescopic shock absorbers in front, and twin shock absorbers mounted on a swingarm at the rear. Ride quality is good, neither too stiff, nor overly plush, turning quite sublime at higher speeds, to soak up road undulations with ease. Tyres on the front are 120/70 tubeless units mounted on a 15-inch alloy wheel, while at the rear 160/60 tubeless units are mounted on a 14-inch alloy wheel. The Burgman 650 is stable in a straight line, and corners with a weighty, still composed enough feel for a big scooter of this large a size. Braking is strong, with excellent feel and feedback at the lever, delivered via 260mm dual discs on the front and a 250mm disc brake at the rear, and the welcome safety net of ABS is offered as standard on this powerful Suzuki.
    While it might appear intimidating to those who lay eyes on it for the first time, the Burgman 650 offers a pleasant riding experience, providing the practicality and ease of an automatic gearbox equipped scooter for urban conditions, with enough performance to keep you entertained. It is not overly ponderous, and handles confidently even while negotiating city traffic, even for shorter riders.
    As and when the Suzuki Burgman 650 does make it to India, expect it to crack open up a whole new and exciting segment, that’s waiting to be tapped into. However, the foreseeable challenge for Suzuki is going to be how they manage to price this excellent, top drawer scooter affordably to sell in our value sensitive market. With assembly for such premium products not on the cards today at Suzuki, the Japanese giant will be left little option other than to import the Burgman 650 to our shores as a completely built up unit, CBU, meaning the big scooter will be priced in the vicinity of Rs 12 lakh, with all duties paid to the government.
    If they can get this sorted out though, the Burgman 650 does make an ideal two-wheeler option, in terms of an alternate urban runabout for superbike owners, with comfort and practicality all for the taking.


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