Suzuki Burgman 650 reigned without competition for ten years over the market of maxiscooters GT, but the arrival of BMW C 650 GT forced the Japanese constructor to see again its flagship. What is it today? Face to face of big scooters GT.
The woodcutter German face the Japanese sumo
In the growing family of maxiscooters, there are two separate branches now sports and GT. If the first is outrageously dominated by the Yamaha Tmax, It is clear that so far, the Suzuki Burgman 650 was rather quiet on its niche.
But the 2012 arrival of BMW C 650 GT forced Suzuki to react to change – finally! -its maxiscooter oriented GT. An evolution more than a revolution, since the technical and aesthetic basis remains very (too?) closes to the previous vintage.
Difficult however to blame to Suzuki, both the basis, precisely, was good. Aesthetically, the new Burgman is a little over-sharpened, particularly at the level of the narrower back part of 25 mm.
Some find it more harmonious, while others feel that it has lost much of its statutory side of ‘mini-Goldwing’… Apart from a whole new sleeker scoreboard, the rest is hardly changing. An effort was however given injection to reduce fuel consumption – Suzuki promises ‘decreased by 15% ‘ – as well as on the final drive that offers much less friction.
Same capacity as the Suzuki Burgman 650, even imposing size, even the immense trunk BMW C 650 GT is clearly trampling flowerbeds its Japanese competitor! Unveiled in 2012, it was immediately convinced us, almost finally his ‘fraternal twin’ yet highly anticipated, the BMW C 600 Sport. Common to both – – The engine and chassis are in agreement even better when a utility / GT use.
The Bavarian offers
If the German scooter seems to cut to the sickle with its edges sharp, the Japanese more evokes’Barb papa way mange’: less ‘stylish’, the Suzuki seems a little less rewarding and it is especially much more consensual than the BMW C 650 GT. Conversely, BMW has dared a bold design that will not leave anyone indifferent. In his Burgundy color, its harmonious proportions are highlighted at first.
But at a closer examination, the BMW scooter disappoints quality plastics, paints (of the floor, etc.) and some assemblies unsatisfactory. On our test scooter which had less than 2,000 miles on the odometer, the cache of the trap an essence suffered from erratic operation: poorly adjusted, he was rubbing on the saddle, using paint and forcing the driver to open the flap with your fingers, or with nails! Yet, this trap is supposed to open with a simple rotation of the key in the switch: over 12000 euros the equipment it annoys!
Ironically, the cache of the essence cover was also the weak point of the former Suzuki Burgman 650. Present at our side during this confrontation, Bruno can attest: this ‘Burgman- certainly convinced (more than 70,000 miles on Suzuki Burgman 650) changed four times before giving up!
On the new Burgman, the problem seems solved with a cache ‘beefy’ and ad hoc hinge. For the rest, the quality of Suzuki is correct, but not exceptional all parts and coatings are of extremely high quality (and pockets handle cache, for example), but the system is adjusted correctly.
However, the use of multiple colors (blue, orange screaming, farting yellow, black, light gray and red) on stalks swear visually it does not operate in favor of the perceived quality, no more than the outgoing cable surrounded catnip the basic control heated grips …
For their protection, comfort and carrying capacity, both maxiscooters also intend to compete with road bikes like the BMW R1200RT and other Yamaha FJR1300, also much more expensive.
Electrically adjustable windshield, saddle and handlebars, daytime running lights, ABS series… the driver is pampered and protected, both the BMW on the Suzuki. But who says also said bloated equipment therefore weight: our two competitors are not the Feather weight! Lightweight advantage however in the BMW C 650 GT, which accuses 16 kg less on balance than the Suzuki Burgman 650 (261 kg against 277 all full facts).
Therefore, caution is required when handling: without going to require a template of mover to move motor cut or Jack up, a bit of experience – and arms! -is required.
Surprisingly, the Suzuki is forgive his excess weight during these first contact: placed really low centre of gravity and its 20 mm lower seat height (760 mm against 780 on the BMW) combine to make us forget her curves. These two features allow even to support the comparison against a BMW C 650 GT remarkably balanced and rather easy to maneuver.
On the other hand, one of the big defects of the previous vintage of the Suzuki Burgman 650 was friction exaggerated its final transmission by cascade of sprockets, making any cut engine company maneuver grueling. This friction has been considerably softened and is now almost forgotten.
Ergonomic level, the driver sits over a little more ‘elongated’ BMW C 650 GT and right on the Suzuki Burgman 650. The scooter BMW is better pilots over 1.85 m, which might feel a bit cramped on the Suzuki.
The former antediluvian dashboard of the Suzuki Burgman 650 2013 is advantageously replaced by an elegant, readable and complete item. But the BMW dashboard is still more complete, with particular witness the DRC tires (optional in the Highline pack € 805).
It is a pity that the digital window of BMW C 650 GT, which introduces a zillion of important information however, suffers from one be short of legibility by sunny time. The same reproach concerning the revolution-counter by bar graph on which it is sometimes difficult to raise driving regime, all the more so as digital scales go by edge of 1000 rpm.
The maxi hold of maxi scoots
The strong point of these two maxiscooters is their under-seat storage, so spacious that they eliminate the need for a top box! The new Suzuki Burgman 650 executive sees his chest from 60 to 56 liters, but still hosts easily two full-face helmets. BMW claims the hold 60 liters, but it is a bit less roomy, perhaps because of its rear wheel that goes above 15 inches (14 against the Suzuki).
There are three pockets still practices on the Suzuki Burgman 650 executive, against ‘only’ two on the BMW C 650 GT. And again, the quality of these elements is lacking the touch, plastic seems fragile and important game arises between the cover pockets and hinges…
Through an agile chassis and a train before bright, the BMW turns more pleasant and more efficient in the city. Its retro pass above those of sedans and below those of utilities, allowing sneaking quite easily heavier, the Suzuki adapts less well pressed line.
His mirrors are still prominent and misplaced, but fortunately they are electrically retractable pressure to the handle (at the cost of a total loss of the rear view which can be extremely dangerous)…
The two competitors have warnings, to which BMW adds – in option in the High-line pack – an excellent daytime light for better visibility. By its intensity and its color, it can be seen by motorists without them dazzle: a real advantage for security. The Suzuki Burgman 650 executive is also features small, hot fires diurnal on its flanks, not as visible… but installed in series.
Tested at night, two optical doubles and the Suzuki Burgman 650 executive BMW C 650 GT are overall equaled game: the beam illuminates the road width and depth and offers a serene night flying.
Common BMW C 600 Sport and BMW C 650 GT twin designed by BMW and assembled by Kymco, offers performance and approval, but any, little melodic sound.
The sensations are softer and hushed riding the Burgman, which one would almost think he is driven by an electric motor. If the dimmer of the BMW knows a little lag time to accelerate, it perfectly fits the rhythm imposed by the driver while the Suzuki continuously variable transmission required making a choice: for soft and smooth driving, it should look to its mode of transmission ‘Drive’, but starts and times will be a little ‘fair’. This is exactly the opposite and more powerful Power mode, certainly, but more brutal – lots of engine braking – and greedy fuel.
On a daily basis, adding an intermediate mode (‘Soft Power’ or ‘Speed Drive’) would be appropriate … Its sequential mode (passing five reports manually ‘via handlebar controls) is still fun to play over short distances – in the winding, for example. But its usefulness is its limits after all, is not to pass a speed biker buys a scooter.
As soon as it escapes from the city, the gap is widening between the two competitors: the chassis of the BMW clearly imposes on the Suzuki, which clearly plays the card of accreditation and comfortable versatility. Despite his fountain of youth, the Suzuki Burgman 650 executive remains a little clumsy when it accelerates the pace.
As his nose, it can become light and imprecise on degraded surfaces. His reached breaking it also very quickly his last entrenchments, especially at the level of the ABS that always fires too quickly. The Suzuki is decidedly not an athlete, but it will fill his crew at a walking pace.
With its air of do not touches, BMW C 650 GT hides well his game: on twisty roads, it shows barely less successful than his ‘brother’ BMW C 600 Sport. Its rigid chassis, in particular, demonstrated impeccable stability.
If the weight is naturally sensitive when changes in fast corners, the train before agile and secure allows a pace furious Suzuki cannot follow. At the times, German – Taiwanese twin resumed with force and reached very easily fully prohibited, like speeds on Highway…
Braking is strong and effective, but its bite is not to the standard of the Bavarian brand motorcycles. On the other hand, is plague quickly against its retro: not that they vibrate, but they rickety to each irregularity in the road…
Scooter GT: a specification complex
Recall that the two letters GT means ‘Grand tourism’. And it is true that these two maxiscooter really let travel: their saddle comfort is remarkable, especially as it is decorated with a real folder to save the driver lumbar.
Use, each submits its arguments. The Suzuki Burgman 650 executive is ultra comfortable, but the protection offered by its bubble is perfectible and creates mainly a depression in the back in the up position. The saddle and the suspensions of the BMW C 650 GT are firmer, but its protection is nicer because devoid of Whirlpool and depression.
As the BMW K1600 (GTL and GT), two deflectors orient the air flow to the upper body of interesting equipment in hot weather in the city, even if they are more effective on motorcycles 6 – cylinders of the German manufacturer. Note also that the motor of the electric bubble seemed small in form on this test model.
With their small 15 liter tank, Suzuki and BMW is not a ‘maxi’ radius of action. Even though Suzuki has actually managed to reduce the consumption of its Suzuki Burgman 650 executive – MNC recorded a drop of a liter compared to our previous comparison of 2009 with 5.4 l / 100 km against 6.4-, the reserve light around 200 km at leisurely pace.
It is a better hair on the BMW who begins to feel the thirst to the 220/230 km, with an average consumption of 5.1 l / 100 km. Not bad at all for a two-wheeler in automatic weighing and taking to the wind are also high.
The duo is obviously a delight aboard two scooters, which will be happy to host the Miss and ‘small business. The Executive version of the Suzuki Burgman 650 (charged 900 euros more than the genuine version) even has a handy record passenger over long distances.
Verdict: technical knockout victory
In absolute terms, the findings drawn from this duel are fairly simple large rollers can opt not too eager eyes closed for the Suzuki Burgman 650 executive, while the BMW C 650 GT is for those who sportsmanship must be part program.
On this point, the German chassis surpasses the Japanese rigor and precision. The BMW engine is also more powerful, although a little less nice in some ways. Practical side, the GT spearhead the Bavarian manufacturer is also appreciate thoughtful, as the automatic handbrake that engages when the side stand is extended details.
However, its price – and that of its options – can be intimidating our test model appears to € 12 570 (11 550 euros 805 euros 215 euros High-line pack for alarm), a rather tidy sum for scooter 650 cc … Second reason for hesitation finish and build quality are not – yet – at the height of the positioning ‘premium’.
According to our information, BMW Motored treated or treated these ‘flaws of youth’ and deploys considerable resources to meet the expected level of satisfaction. In the meantime, the Suzuki Burgman 650 executive trace his way calmly in relying on its unstoppable price-comfort-quality report to seduce: the genuine version (without saddle and handlebars and passenger backrest) starts at €9,999, with a €10 899 Executive model.