400 vs 650? - Suzuki Burgman Forum
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 400 vs 650?

Hey all, I have a 2006 AN400, I bought it new. Of course I love it. I get about 55 to 60 mpg . I use it for my around town and back n forth to work. But I am thinking about selling it and moving up to a 650 ? Is the mileage about the same with a 650 or a little bit worse ? Can anyone give me the pros and cons of moving up or staying with my 400? Thanks all. Much appreciated
Steve
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 400 vs 650?

Heavier
Uglier (IMO)
Thirstier (I average 47mpg)

More powerful
Roomier cockpit
Less maintenance (belts)

In the end, the roomy cockpit is what won me over the most, because I am lanky. I think I'd be on a 400 if I were a foot shorter and 50 lbs lighter.
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 400 vs 650?

Have a look at this:
http://www.max.grenkowitz.net/?topic=786
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 400 vs 650?

With the type of riding you say you're doing, I'd stay with a 400. Both bikes will do the job, and I'm sure you'll be happy with both.

If you read the review that Kiwi Dave included the link to in his post, you'll see that what the reviewer wanted most was more power when coming out of a corner and heading up hill. Myself, I consider that a challenge to my riding skills to maintain my speed as well as I can through the corner, so I'm not relying solely on a larger engine to make up for my lack of skill. Seriously though, what would you gain from a 650 when commuting to work and riding in the city? Better performance at stop lights? Who cares. You can only do that so often before getting bored at it, and the 400 will walk away from most cars with no trouble at all.

I suggest you try at least sitting on both before committing in your mind for what you want. The older 400 like you have, and the newer model are two different bikes. The only thing similar is the name and general shape.

Some of the advantages to the 400 in my mind are:
1. Weight. Try moving the two bikes around on the dealership floor by yourself.
2. Economy. The 400 gets mid-60s gas mileage for most owners. Even pushing the bike hard at a real 75-77 mph and bucking a strong quartering wind riding through Ellensburg and over Snoqualmie Pass, I still got 68 mpg.
3. Power. How much do you need? The 400 is rated to reach 105 mph. The 650 is rated to reach 115. Both bikes have enough speed to get you killed, and if you're caught by the police, you can easily get a "performance award" or have the bike impounded. Again...how much do you need?
4. Storage. The 400 has more than any other maxi-scooter in the world.
5. Handling. Both are fun to ride in the corners. Some will prefer one over the other. I've ridden with 650 owners, and I had to wait for them in the corners and I didn't feel like I was pushing the bike any.
6. Maintenance. The 400 has a CVT belt to replace every 20,000 miles or so. Read through the 650 section of the forum on the number of CVT issues that are coming up. While the percentage is small...if you get it while out of warranty, it is the cost of a 400 to fix. The CVT system on the 400 is so simple, there's little to go wrong. If it does, it won't cost much.
7. Maintenance again. Tires cost half what they do for the 650...and last twice as long.
8. Maintenance one more time. You have a very simple, but effective design on the 400. One cylinder. I don't know what they call it on fuel injection systems, but on the carb systems you had to adjust both carbs to keep the two cylinders balanced. I'm sure it still needs to be done. I don't know what it is called on fuel injected systems...because I don't have to worry about it.
9. The seat. Many people want to change the 650's seat. Few change it on the 400.
10. Looks. The 400 is svelte. The 650's nickname is "Lardy".

I'm sure a 650 owner will come up with a similar list. And hopefully, many more 400 owners will chime in too.

The bottom line to me, is which one "fits" you the best when you sit on it. And which excites you when you think about riding it? My 400 does both for me. It may not for you. Only you can make that determination.

Chris
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 400 vs 650?

As a owner of both bikes i had the same decision to make last year. I decided to take on the 650 and never looked back.
You will suffer in gas mileage. 400= 60-65mpg..650=48-52mpg.
The power is what makes the difference to me. When i need to get out of the way, i can.
With the 400 i felt it to be a little sluggish.
I also felt the wind would blow me around on the 400. Not with the 650, they don't give it the name "Lardy" for nothing.
Both have maint. issues. After all they are scooters.
I disagree with Chris about the cost involving tires. Both are equally bad on tires. Since i do not have a warranty on my bike i do all the
maint i can using Ledudes tutorials thus saving lots of $$. Thanks Ledude. You will find greater support for the 650.
But, i also got great support from Mitch on the 400. Mitch is a fun and wild guy who loves his 400.
I opted fora used Exec and i couldn't be happier. The 650 weighs more and is about 1-2" taller. Being short 5'5" it was the hardest part
of my decision. Chris is right about the seat. Not bad on 400. Terrible on the 650.(My only complaint about the 650 is the seat).
Good luck on what ever you decide. It's your money, it's your ride don't let anyone tell you which on to buy.
Ride both as they are different rides and make your own decision.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 400 vs 650?

As an owner of one of each I guess I am qualified to offer an opinion.

My first inclination is to say that if you are going to continue to use the bike as just and around town and commuting bike then there is not much need to switch to a 650. The 400 handles those just about as well as one could wish for. You do get a little more power with the 650 but you give up some gas mileage and you are dealing with a heavier bike that is harder to push around when parking. In my opinion there are really very few situations that you would need the extra power for in around town driving.

Where the 650 shines is out of town. It is a more relaxed ride if you want to ride the Interstates. If your inclination is to run the twisties it will out perform the 400 (sorry Daboo, you might be able to pull away from some riders on 650s but given riders of equal skill the 650 will pull away every time). The 650's manners when pushed really hard on less than perfect road surfaces are also better. That primarily comes from having a stronger front fork design and not carrying it's engine on the swing arm like the 400 does. You get less flex from the front fork and the back end is less likely to bottom out if you hit a bump when you have it leaned way over.

As for maintenance, it you exclude the cost of tires then to date I've spent more per mile on my 400 than I have on my 650. The 650 is currently apart because of one of the dreaded CVT failures that Daboo mentioned. I did all the work to take it apart. My opinion so far is that it is not a difficult job. There are a lot of things to do to get to the transmission but all are simple. Once you have the CVT out of the bike it is as easy if not easier to take apart than the 400's CVT. It looks like my cost by the time I get it back together will be under $500. That will still leave me at a cost per mile that is very close to what I've spent on the 400.

From a maintenance cost standpoint the deciding factors are if you are able and willing to do the maintenance work yourself and how many miles you plan to put on the bike. If you are going to pay someone to do it then if you get enough miles on the bike to need work on the CVT it is going to cost a good size chunk of money. If you never get that many miles on the bike your maintenance cost could well end up less than on a 400. The likely hood of a CVT problem before you get 50,000+ miles on the bike are low. I went 80,596 miles before the belt in my CVT broke requiring me to pull the CVT to replace it.

As Daboo said, tires for the 650 cost 30% to 50% more than for the 400 depending on brand. I get about the same mileage from the tires on my 650 as I do on my 400 so there is no wear advantage either way.

The thing Daboo mentioned in item 8 it called throttle valve synchronization. I've had it done one time on my bike. It really only makes a difference when the bike is at idle an if you are not having idle problems there is not much need to do it. It is not expensive to have done if you don't own the gauges you need to do it yourself.

As for the seat , that is a subjective thing. I found the stock seat on either the new style 400 or the old style 400 to be just as uncomfortable as the one on the 650. In stock form I can't put more than about 100 miles on any of them before I am squirming around trying to relieve hot spots. I've changed the seat on my 650 to a Corbin and I can ride that all day with little discomfort. I've made modifications to the seat on my 400 and it is now tolerable for about 200 miles before I've squirming.

As for looks, again that is a subjective thing. To my eyes the 650 looks better than either the early or late model 400.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 400 vs 650?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalo
(sorry Daboo, you might be able to pull away from some riders on 650s but given riders of equal skill the 650 will pull away every time).
While I generally agree with you, Buffalo, I won't go so far as to say every time.

That is a superlative generalization. Not all roads are equal. Given a twisty enough section of road with multiple back to back transitions and switch-backs where the 650hp advantage cannot be maximized, the lighter, later braking, more flickable 400 may indeed be quicker, even with the same rider on both. While I don't own both, I rode one all day in Hawaii, and I can say that the 400 is more flickable than the 650, IMO.

Further, I do know from personal experience, just not on this type of bike. I owned a 250 and a 650 of the same model of bike a few years ago. There were places I WAS quicker on my 250. And, since I rode the same sections of twisties one week apart (and sometimes same day), I think I was of the same skill .

As I have said on this forum many times, there are many vids out there of 400cc supermotos pacing liter sport bikes in the twisties. If it is twisty enough, the cornering ability of the moto cancels any lead an R1 can gain on a 100 meter straight.

I know this is kinda stupid, but it is a good example to visualize what's happening: I bet that if I went to a Kart track that had a scooter day, I would be faster on a 400 than a 650. Those tracks can be very tight, and I wouldn't be able to wring out the power on the 650 enough in the short straights to counter how easy I could transition a 400 from corner to corner. But, I'm just speculatin' again.

OTOH, given long enough straight sections, the higher HP bikes will murder the lower class.
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 400 vs 650?

There are numerous reviews of the two models in the BKB.

http://burgmanusa.com/bkb/650+Reviews+and+Comparisons

Reading Daboo and Buffalo's posts made me think that we could have a BKB article with itemized comparisions of individual components. Front forks, engine, tires, etc.
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 400 vs 650?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rustynail

While I generally agree with you, Buffalo, I won't go so far as to say every time.

That is a superlative generalization. Not all roads are equal. Given a twisty enough section of road with multiple back to back transitions and switch-backs where the 650hp advantage cannot be maximized, the lighter, later braking, more flickable 400 may indeed be quicker, even with the same rider on both. While I don't own both, I rode one all day in Hawaii, and I can say that the 400 is more flickable than the 650, IMO.
I made the statement from some pretty specific experience. Robin and I ride together just about every weekend. We ride twisty roads and we ride at a quite quick pace. Some of the roads we ride are as twisty as any you will find else where. I own an 06 400 and my 07 650. Robin owned an 08 400 along with her 07 650 for a couple of years but has sold the 400 recently. When we are out riding and on the same size bikes neither can pull away from the other. When one of us is on the 650 and the other is on the 400 the 650 rider will have to back off a just little or they will get ahead of the 400 rider no matter how twisty the road is.

The 400 does feel more flickable when ridden by it's self but when you are running them side to side that just doesn't hold up. The 650 feels heavier and you have to apply just a little more force on the bars but it will turn in just as fast. It can also carry just a little more speed into and through a corner before flex in the front fork makes it's self known. The difference is more governed by the 400's scooter style suspension layout verses the 650's motorcycle style suspension layout than it is by the weight difference.

All that being said, the 400 is still a fun bike to ride through the twisties. I had a fun time last weekend trying to stay ahead of Robin's 650. Using a lot of body english and very early application of the throttle on the exit I could just about do it.
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 400 vs 650?

One thing I should have pointed out but didn't is that the 400 is not just a smaller version of the 650. They are very different bikes with totally different layouts. There is very little about them that is the same both in concept and execution. Comparing one to the other is very much an apples to oranges comparison.
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