Photo courtesy of SuzukiBy Guido Ebert

Suzuki’s Big Scoot –
the Burgman 650 ABS

The Suzuki Burgman 650, launched in 2002, helped introduce the Maxi-Scoot to the U.S. market.

The latest version of this comfortable grand touring scooter comes in the form of the 2013 Burgman 650 ABS. Massively overhauled from its predecessor, it receives updated styling with new bodywork, a slimmer rear section, redesigned lighting and instrument cluster, a new exhaust system featuring a triangular section muffler, updated floating disc brakes and a refined transmission. 

As for amenities, there’s a push-button three-position Drive Mode selector, an electronically adjustable windshield, power folding mirrors and an adjustable rider backrest – items previously only available on the Executive model.


Powered by a newly tuned 638cc liquid-cooled 8-valve twin-cylinder engine developing 54hp @ 7,000 rpm and 45.7 ft. lbs. @ 6,400 rpm, the 613-lb. Burgman’s output is regulated by a push-button three-position Drive Mode selector – selecting “Drive” heightens efficiency at normal road speeds and gives smooth, linear, almost shock-free power delivery for easy riding, “Power” gives more punch when you twist the throttle, and “Manual” lets you thumb-toggle between six preset gear ratios for a unique feeling of control.

Need more buttons? The windscreen is electrically adjustable by four inches to suit the rider’s height and, for convenience in tight parking spaces, the rearview mirrors can be retracted electrically with the touch of a fingertip (a feature I enjoyed on KYMCO’s old Grand Vista model).


The Burgman 650’s updated tubular frame and aluminum-alloy swingarm inherit the long, 62.4-inch wheelbase of earlier Burgmans for a controllable ride, but now there’s a newly designed, slimmer tail section that’s likely to improve passenger comfort.

Within that new tail section you’ll find an underseat compartment that can hold two full-face helmets and has a light for nighttime convenience. Further, three compartments located below the handlebars provide space for items you may need immediate access to while on the road. One contains a DC outlet that’s ideal for charging a mobile phone.

Back up top, the redesigned instrument cluster features big, easy-to-read analogue dials for the speedometer and tachometer flanked by a digital display that shows an odometer, twin trip meters, a fuel consumption meter, a fuel meter, a coolant temperature indicator, a thermometer, a clock, an oil level indicator, an oil change indicator, a Drive Mode indicator (for Drive mode and Power mode), and a gear position indicator (for Manual mode).

The new ABS unit, linked to the 260mm twin floating discs in front and a 250mm single disc in the back, weighs 55% less than the previous model and dutifully slows the 120/70R15 front and 160/60R14 rear tires.

Finally, Suzuki says refinements in the Suzuki Electronically-controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (SECVT) resulted in 35% less drag and a reduction in mechanical losses that combine to contribute to boost fuel economy by 15% compared to the previous model.

Available only in Pearl Bracing White, the 2013 Burgman 650 ABS is priced at $10,999 – considerably higher priced than $9,699 for the KYMCO MyRoad 700i ABS, $9,590 for the BMW C 600 Sport ABS and $9,990 for the BMW C 650 GT ABS, but with more useful amenities.


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