The Suit-and-Tie Of Scootering

The Burgman line has always been about classy and comfortable commuting, and the factory seems to have found a sweet spot here with its largest displacement version that brings comfort, convenience and safety to the table. As a “maxi-scoot,” the Executive delivers a motorcycle-like riding experience with amped up scooter features that give it something of an exaggerated look, so clearly, this is a vehicle of extremes. Suzuki carries over its Burgman 650 Executive with a new color for MY2018, so let’s check this ride out and then see how it stacks up against one of the top office-scooters to come out of Europe.

Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive.

  • 2016 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive
  • Year:
    2016- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Parallel-Twin
  • Displacement:
    638 cc
  • Price:
    11049
  • Price:

Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive Design

2016 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive
- image 789276
The Executive carries itself with a certain amount of class and maturity that is hard to beat and sure to appeal to young professionals and business commuters alike.

If I had to pick just two words to describe the Executive, they’d be “richly appointed.” The Executive starts out with rather large wheels for a scooter, and that gets things started off in the right direction looks-wise since the 12-inch doughnuts many scooters run tend to make the rest of the machine just look a bit rinky-dinky and small.

Dual front brakes add to the effect, as does an almost sport-tour-style fairing that opens up like a cowl to form a scoop for the radiator and the legguard area. Of course, that structure quickly surrenders to the footwell and partially blocked step-through before fattening up once again up top to contain the instrumentation, storage cubbies and the first bits of luxe gear. Not only does the windscreen come with push-button adjustability, but the mirrors can also be folded in with the same convenience. Gotta ’ say that last is a bit unexpected, but I can definitely see the benefits thereof, especially given the 31.9-inch overall width; better to fold ’em in than smack ’em trying to filter or negotiate a cramped parking space.

Heated handgrips finish off the yummygoodness up front, and that’s a theme that gets repeated at the saddle with bunwarmers for pilot and passenger both. A fore-and-aft adjustable lumbar pad supports the rider, and in a rarity for scooters, the wide pillion pad comes with a built-in backrest that probably won’t actually provide much support, but will most definitely give your passenger some extra security and peace of mind.

Under the seat is the 50-liter storage compartment that comes locked and lighted with room for a pair of full-face buckets, as long as they aren’t great big honkin’ modular helmets. The factory provides a cable lock for external helmet storage to free up the underseat area for other cargo. There aren’t many variations this year, but the white double stitching on the seat adds a nice little bit of contrast that really makes the saddle pop, and the brake levers come in black to match the rest of the controls and dash area.

Viewed from the rear, the passenger’s backrest upright dominates the look, but the beefy rear end runs a close second with large tail/turn lights and a wide mudguard that doubles as a plateholder. Overall, the Executive carries itself with a certain amount of class and maturity that is hard to beat and sure to appeal to young professionals and business commuters alike.

Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive Chassis

2016 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive
- image 789279
A swingarm, not a swing mount, pushes the Burgman more toward a proper motorcycle and less like a scooter.

Tubular steel members underpin the machine with an aluminum swingarm to articulate the rear wheel. That’s right; I said “swingarm,” not swing-mount, so that pushes the Burgman toward the edge of the envelope as far as my definition of a scooter is concerned. Dual coil-over shocks spring off the swingarm with motorcycle-style telescopic front forks to buoy the front.

The Burgman Executive boasts a generous 1,014-pound GVWR, so the factory made sure to give you plenty of brakeage to help you manage all that energy. Dual hydraulic disc brakes haul down the front wheel, and I doubt Suzuki even entertained the notion of running an antiquated drum brake on this ride. ABS protection ensures that you’ll be able to safely get the max out of the anchors, and since the Executive rolls on cast-aluminum rims that mount a 120/70-15 up front and a 160/60-14 out back, it has uncommonly large contact patches for a scooter.

Suspension Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Swingarm, dual shock, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Twin disc brakes
Brakes Rear: Disc brake
Tires Front: 120/70R 15 M/C 56H, tubeless
Tires Rear: 160/60R 14 M/C 65H, tube type

Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive Drivetrain

2016 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive
- image 789280
Power numbers are respectable and the drivetrain is fairly unremarkable, but all that changes at the transmission.

Suzuki powers the Executive with a water-cooled, twin-cylinder powerplant that rocks a 75.5 mm bore with a 71.3 mm stroke that gives it a total displacement of 638 cc. The four-stroke parallel-twin mill uses dual over-head cams to time the poppets and electronic fuel injection to meter the fuel with feedback from a hot-O2 sensor in the exhaust to keep the air-fuel mixture on point. A secondary air injector helps burn off any remaining free hydrocarbons to help the plant meet emissions standards. Yeah, it’s also got a couple of counterbalancers to tame the vibrations before they can escape the engine cases and put your hands and butt asleep, and the value of that is impossible to overstate.

Power numbers are respectable with 56 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 45.7 pound-feet at five grand, and that gives the Executive a top speed just six-tenths shy of the 100 mph mark. So far, the drivetrain is fairly unremarkable, but all that changes at the transmission.

The Burgman 650 doesn’t run just any old constant-velocity transmission; it runs the Suzuki Electric CVT that delivers the expected twist-and-go operation, plus a whole lot more. There’s a couple of fully automatic modes; Drive and Power. Drive mode delivers normal, smooth operation with a linear acceleration curve, and the Power mode delivers a bit more mustard when you twist the throttle. On top of all that yummygoodness, the factory chucks on a rocker-button-actuated manual shifter that comes with six preset ratios for a more motorcycle-like riding experience. That’s sure to appeal to riders looking for a little lagniappe from their maxi-scoot.

Engine: 638 cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 45-degree parallel twin
Bore x Stroke: 75.5 x 71.3 mm (2.97 x 2.81 in)
Compression Ratio: 11.2:1
Fuel System: Suzuki Fuel Injection
Starter: Electric
Ignition: Electronic ignition (transistorized)
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: SECVT (Suzuki Electronic Automatic & Manual Shift)
Final Drive: Gear Drive

Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive Price

2016 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive
- image 789277
MSRP is just over $11k, which isn't bad considering this is a heavy-hitter maxi-scooter.

Base MSRP on the 2018 Burgman 650 Executive is $11,049. That comes with a 12-month limited warranty with additional coverage available as an option.

Warranty: 12 month unlimited mileage limited warranty. Coverage extension and additional benefits are available.
Color:
2016: Metallic Matte Black No.2
2017: Pearl Bracing White
2018: Pearl Glacier White
Price:
2016, 2017: $10,999
2018: $11,049

Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive Competitor

2016 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive
- image 760841
2017 - 2019 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT
- image 781452
Looks-wise, the GT is actually even more mature and businesslike than the Burgman, and that's no mean feat.

Suzuki is pulling the Executive off the top shelf, so I had to pick another serious heavyweight for my head-to-head. Luckily for me, BMW was my Huckleberry with its C 650 GT. Looks-wise, the GT is actually even more mature and businesslike than the Burgman, and that’s no mean feat. It’s clear that both manufacturers are on point with the fit-and-finish, and as a matter of taste, I gotta’ say I really like the GT, but my tastes ain’t your tastes, and yours is the one that matters at the end of the day.

A wide front end, intergrated mirrors/turnsignals and tall windshield lead the way with a generous pilot’s lumbar support, but nothing to match the pillion backrest Suzuki brings to the table. Beemer supports the GT on a set of 40 mm, usd front forks with a one-side swingarm and laid-over shock out back. It also sports 270 mm discs all around with dual brakes up front and ABS to match the Burgman.

Parallel-twin engines get plenty of love from both manufacturers. The GT rocks a 647 cc mill that cranks out 60 ponies with 46 pounds o’ grunt against 56/45.7 from the Executive, so neither gain anything here. BMW gains a slight edge at the checkout with a $10,995 price tag versus the 11 K-plus Suzuki asks for the Executive.

He Said

That price difference isn’t likely to influence anyone, and neither is the power difference. Suzuki really did a good job, as always, with the Burgman, and this ride really pushes scootering close to what surely must be the logical max for the genre. This ain’t your grand-dad’s scooter, not by a long shot.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “It has nice wide handlebars and a soft cushy seat, so it’s a very comfortable ride. It’s very maneuverable at low-speeds and with the center of gravity so low, it’s as easy to handle as a much smaller scooter. Even though the Burgman 650 is a large machine, you don’t get that feeling of heft. If I were to say anything negative about it, it would have to be that it doesn’t handle bumps in the road very well. It’s a dream on smooth pavement, but bumpy roads and speed bumps are not your friend.”

Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 638 cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 45-degree parallel twin
Bore x Stroke: 75.5 x 71.3 mm (2.97 x 2.81 in)
Compression Ratio: 11.2:1
Fuel System: Suzuki Fuel Injection
Starter: Electric
Ignition: Electronic ignition (transistorized)
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: SECVT (Suzuki Electronic Automatic & Manual Shift)
Final Drive: Gear Drive
Chassis:
Suspension Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Swingarm, dual shock, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Twin disc brakes
Brakes Rear: Disc brake
Tires Front: 120/70R 15 M/C 56H, tubeless
Tires Rear: 160/60R 14 M/C 65H, tube type
Dimensions & Capacities:
Overall Length: 2265 mm (89.2 in)
Overall Width: 810 mm (31.9 in)
Wheelbase: 1585 mm (62.4 in)
Ground Clearance: 125 mm (4.9 in)
Seat Height: 760 mm (29.9 in.)
Curb Weight: 277 kg (611 lbs.), 278 kg (618 lbs.) CA model
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.0 US Gallons (15.0 L)
Electricals:
Spark plugs: NGK CR8EA or DENSO U24ESR-U
Headlight: 12V 60/55W H4 x 2
Tail Light: 12V 21/5W
Details:
Warranty: 12 month unlimited mileage limited warranty. Coverage extension and additional benefits are available.
Color:
2016: Metallic Matte Black No.2
2017: Pearl Bracing White
2018: Pearl Glacier White
Price:
2016, 2017: $10,999
2018: $11,049

References

BMW C 650 GT

2017 - 2019 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT
- image 752233

See our review of the BMW C 650 Sport/C 650 GT.

Suzuki Burgman 400

2018 Suzuki Burgman 400
- image 745222

See our review of the Suzuki Burgman 400.

Suzuki Burgman 200

2016 - 2017 Suzuki Burgman
- image 734332

See our review of the Suzuki Burgman 200.

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- image 788898

Read more Suzuki news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: suzukicycles.com, bmwmotorcycles.com

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