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Molto Verboso
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So I have been posting a lot lately, but this should be my last for a while

So I have a vespa 300 Super and love it, I have never felt it could not handle whatever I needed it to do, great in local driving and handles rides at 65 MPH with no issues. But I saw a post about a Suzuki Bergman 650 and spent a bit of time reviewing that and also the BMW 650. They both seem awesome and either would probably be a great scooter and I was just curious if there is any experience with either or both of them on the MV blog. In my review it did seem the Bergman might be a bit better, but having had several BMW cars and SUV's over the years, while they are pricey, they do drive great. So I was curious what info is out there.


thanks


larry
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Good luck with your info search Larry. Why your last post for a while?
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Molto Verboso
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just thought I was posting too much and perhaps I should chill for a while, perhaps not?
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The deal breaker for me is that the BMW is not a true German machine. How much that intellectual property is worth to you and learning about how and where it's made will help with your decision.

Given the choice - only one option for me - Burgman. Don't forget the TMax, Piaggio BV, and several more.
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Yes, as Jesse said (above), don't overlook the Yamaha TMax. It's "only" a 530cc machine (and the Vespa GTS 300 is actually a 278, so let's not split hairs), but I think in terms of overall "technology per dollar," the Yamaha wins - hands down - over its Bavarian counterpart (that's actually a Kymco?) and the Suzuki. The Burgy was once a scooter that I heavily researched and considered, that is, until I discovered the TMax.

Once you go Max...you won't go back. 😉
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If the BMW is actually a Kymco ( or is that just internet misinformation?) then why not look at the Kymco AK550? I've recently had a test ride and its very good, best of scooter practicality combined with motorcycle power train layout and clean and smooth toothed belt final drive.
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Jesse_GT wrote:
The deal breaker for me is that the BMW is not a true German machine. How much that intellectual property is worth to you and learning about how and where it's made will help with your decision.

Given the choice - only one option for me - Burgman. Don't forget the TMax, Piaggio BV, and several more.
Oh this again... Kymko knows a LOT about making scooter and CVT trannies. So yes BMW had them make the engine. They are arguably one of the best scooter engine manufacturers out there. The first version the C650 was good and involved BMW tinkering a bit. On the newer versions (2016 and up) they let Kymko tweak the engine and the perforce is incredible. The rest of the scoot is ALL German and assembled in Germany. Hell trust me, try getting parts... The build quality is rock solid. There seems to be a little bias against BMW in a small core group.

As someone that has one let me say I am very happy with it. Read the reviews, many by riders that thought they would not like it before tying it. The build is solid, the heated seats, grips, ABS/ASR, sensors, automatic windscreen, 110 litres of storage and optional BMW Motorrad GPS all add up to one impressive scoot. Though to be honest some of the guys at BMW sort of refuse to call it a scoot and look at it more as motorcycle in disguise right down to the inverted forks.

So the downsides of the C650GT. It's BIG, very big (650 pounds) and not for beginners. It's also expensive so if money is tight maybe look at other options. I have a 2017 Vespa GTV and the 2017 BMWC650GT and the BMW does not replace the GTV. I love both bikes but when I want to ride for fun or in heavy traffic I lean towards the Vespa. It gets all the extra high performance parts and upgrades and by now cost at least as much as the BMW. Only thing I added to the C650GT is the Givi windscreen though I did get it with the highline package, drop protection, wind deflectors, top case, canopy (skirt) and GPS.

Edit - Tossed up a few pics. One with canopy and one with Givi screen.
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Re: Suzuki Bergman 650 vs BMW 650 scooter
LarryMK wrote:
but having had several BMW cars and SUV's over the years, while they are pricey, they do drive great. larry
I don't have any experience with any of these bikes but I know about style preference. If you choose a Vespa for style over price and performance, then you should get the BMW. When you choose for style it doesn't matter what country it's built.
I wanted a C600 when they first came out. When I researched it, I learned that even if you DIY, It cost more over all than any other scoot. I'd rather have 2 BV's than 1 BMW. Wait a minute, I do Razz emoticon
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It's always the best to answer when you don't have any experience on the topic....sooo, I saw (!) a 650 BMW scoot first time live this summer. Similar as Harbinger has.

My 900cc Triumph looked very small and agile on side of that, it truly is like a 650cc touring motorcycle. Looks very good at that. This was owned by an elderly genteleman, who seemed very pleased with the scoot - did not actually tour a lot, but was very experienced with larger motorcycles.

What comes to Kymco - it is nowadays one of the Big Boys at the two-wheeler front, especially so on scooters. To worry about Kymco quality is a bit like worrying about Honda quality - I'd focus more one whether the scoot feels good and fullfills your needs, "Kymco inside" just typically means very trouble free miles from the engine viewpoint.
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BMW VS Burgman
Although I have test ridden both the Burgman 650 and the BMW scooter....didn't buy. Both are very heavy, BMW does have easy to get off rear wheel! BMW maint can be high and some of it probably not necessary(I have been BMW owner since 1958).

Burgman bought new has warranty for transmission...I have seen tranmission complaints over the years but most often from people who bought old/worn out stuff in the first place.

In US, Suzuki has many more dealers than BMW...Handy on trips if you need them.

BMW appeared to have good wind management----something most Maxi scooters do not----I know, I have purchased 9 new ones since 1990 and covered over 400,000 miles---buffeting can drive you nuts.


More if you ride a lot Suzuki does not require belt replacement, BMW does and that can add up to quite an expense over time.
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I haven't ridden it, just sat on one, the BMW C650 IS ridiculously large to be called a scooter. I call it a step thru motorcycle. (I've owned almost a dozen BMW motorcycles.) Beautifully done though. I know I sound like I'm knocking it, but the truth is, if you keep the BMW for 100K miles and have a BMW dealer do all the 'required' maintenance, you will spend the MSRP price again in maintenance.

To give us even more to argue about, er, discuss "Is it a real BMW?"
there will very soon be this choice- BMW C400x
Designed in Germany, the entire scooter will be manufactured in China.

https://www.cyclenews.com/2018/07/article/bmw-c400x-first-test/
⚠️ Last edited by Vintage1 on UTC; edited 2 times
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I've had my Piaggio X10 500cc and to be honest, it's been faultless. It has a much longer wheelbase than the BMW and that does make it awkward trying to reverse the thing, and I did drop the thing doing so on loose gravel, so my bad.. but other than that - not a problem. It has ABS, traction control, electronic suspension adjusters, USB ports, and nice wide comfy seats that the passenger can appreciate! Whats quite nice as well is that the X10 has a nice sweeping floorboard that starts at the passenger position and sweeps up to the indicators, meaning that both you and the passenger have plenty of room to place thier feet, unlike pegs, which I think restricts you somewhat. It'll buzz along quite nicely at 85MPH all day, accelerates and overtakes smartly and handles like a dream with a good rider position.

However, and this is the big however- Parts. They can be really difficult to get in good time, especially if you try to get them from Piaggio, although here in the UK there are scooter shops that still sell X10 parts (Fowlers for instance) and a lots of parts come straight off the MP3 range of scooters.

Sadly sales of the X10 were poor in the UK, perhaps of the sheer size of them put a lot of buyers off, and Piaggio have now stopped importing them to the UK- at least the 500cc versions, so spotting another riding a X10 is quite rare!

I've more than happy with my X10- I've been trying to find a replacement ready for the day it dies, and I've tried both Burgmans and BMW's, but the problem with a majority of maxi scooters these days is what I mentioned earlier- footpegs.. and because of that issue I'm still looking.. In the meantime the X10 is more than adequate for the job!

Graham

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Hang on... I duplicated a photo! here's what it should be!

Graham

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Hi Larry,

I think that your sense that the GTS 300 has it's ideal operating 'range' and that a bigger scoot will be better in another 'range' is quite legit. Yes, yes, the 300 can do many things amazingly well, as my GTS 250 did. The BV 350 had strengths the GTS did not, and my TMax 530 sits in a different niche again.

This is a Vespa crowd generally, so style and design matter here. On that point it only matters what you like to look at. No machine is without it's niggles, and Burgs are no different. They do have a large owner community and it has a long production and import history, and that is a real benefit.

One the BMW, I personally think they may be similarly sized to the Burg, but IMHO, the BMW is a different class of scooter. It is beautifully detailed and built. My TMax and the Burgs I've seen are just not as nicely designed- thinking of plastics and switches and material quality and fit. And yes, they are more expensive to buy and probably to own.

I would not be bothered at all by the Kymco-produced engine. Maybe a Kymco dealer can do some of the basic maintenance.....

BWM also used engines built in Italy and Austria for past motorcycles without any quality issues. Nobody fusses about Hondas that are built in Thailand, or clutches or lights or water pumps built in other factories around the world. Same thing in cars.

I'd offer that the TMax/ BMW/ Burman scoots are sufficiently different, in all ways, than a GTS that you should do all you can to find out if that size of bike is what you want for the task at hand. The right tool for the job, so to speak.
⚠️ Last edited by Fencing Fan on UTC; edited 1 time
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Of the scooters mentioned I'd prefer the TMAX but I still think you need to say what it is you're after. These scoots are a hell of a lot of money and are quite bit more expensive than many motorcycles. My NC750X is a motorbike that has the same storage as my GTS and gives the same mpg in town but on fast roads it will easily cruise at 80mph and return not far off 80 mpg (imperial). It also comes as an automatic. The BMW and Burgman both look a bit too bulbous to ride in thick city traffic though I haven't ridden any of them. What do you need the bike for?
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BMW vs Burgman
Just to add to conversation: Had 2 new SilverWing 600's---heavy, dated, doesn't break, over 90,000 miles total on the two, but also had new TMAX....much more fun to ride than the other big scooters....sold mine as the miles piled up, fearing high maint. costs as it got old---they felt fast, too. TMAX probably the best Maxi-scooter if you ride a lot.
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All I know is everyday I get to go down to the parking space and make a choice. Puts a smile on my face and I feel I have the perfect balance. The BMW is a beautiful bike as is the Vespa. Looks wise I think they are top of their class and for me worth every penny. As far as cost goes I spend more on the Vespa and that's before adding a Malossi kit. As far as performance goes both kick serious butt in their catagories.

All the scoots mentioned here have their good points, no argument there. Maybe if I did not have the Vespa I would look at the TMAX. The BMW really is a bit of a beast and while I have no trouble riding it in Toronto traffic in the city if I only had one scoot and wanted a maxi the TMAX would be a good bet. Nothing against the Bergman but the looks just don't do it for me. Not really a price break on it either though maintenance from what I read here is cheaper. I'm fortunate enough that money for the most part is not a concern. We don't have a car so do save money there and bought our place before the market went crazy. I get a little tired of the BMW is too expensive argument though... that is something that is relative. Hell a Lamborghini to me is too expensive just like a 50cc piece of Tupperware can be too expensive to someone on welfare.
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A good friend purchased a BMW 1200 GS for about $12K (2013 I think). He's bee riding a HD 1200 for years and never wanted to be associated with BMW. He got hooked up with the 1200GS a few months ago on whim and has been hooked ever since.

He says its very light, well balanced, and has a very low center of gravity because the boxer engine design is so low in the chassis. It weighs about 500 lbs. The BMW 650 scooter is closer ~550 lbs.

The 650 scooter is about 60 hp while the GS is about 125 hp. The hp/weight ratio is remarkable. He got me thinking of a BMW 1200. Not sure I'll go there but almost test rode one a couple weeks ago. Personally, I like the scooter design better than the MC design.

Jus some food for thought.

Best
Miguel
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Hi Larry, I have experience of riding the Burgman 650's and of working on them. I've had two works Burgmans, covering 45,000 miles on one and 32,000 miles on the other.

Both were earlier bikes and one had transmission failure. The belts had a tendency to break on the earlier models if abused during the running in process ie: using WOT to produce the MOTORMAN effect to speed up the running in process. My colleague had used that process on my bike without my knowledge...you can guess what I called him! What that process does is cause too much heat in the transmission and the belt is weakened so that later on in it's life it breaks early. Suzuki now warns against using high throttle settings during running in on it's new bikes. I rebuilt that bike and one other after the belts broke. It normally takes out all the transmission bearings at the same time too, so it's an expensive business to repair them. Normally, it can cost more than even a bike is worth to repair them but if you do it yourself it's much better.

HOWEVER...from 2014 onwards the new 650 Burgmans were redesigned extensively, body and engine, and the transmissions now last much better due to less friction being generated in the engine and transmission. This lightens the load on the belt. I've not heard of a single belt breaking on the 2014's onwards and I have seen some high mileage models too. Comparing that to the earlier bikes, they were breaking belts quite early on in the first two or three years of being out there. Not many, but they were there.

The BMW's have had quite a mixed history with lots of problems with engines on bikes all around the workd. These are well documented. As I remember, Kymco originally warned BMW that the design of the 600/650 engines was flawed but BMW insisted they built the engine to their specs without any changes. It was a disaster for BMW, Kymco were right. Hundreds and hundreds of owners across the world have had major engine problems with camchains, valves and pistons plus other big bits of the engines which could only be fixed wih a brand new engine being installed. But the same problems were then experienced again by some owners on the new engines. So Kymco recommended changes and these have now been adopted. As far as I know the BMW engines are good now. I've not ridden one and have not worked on one so cannot comment on that side of it.

Bottom line is that BOTH BIKES ARE NOW VERY GOOD! BUT only buy new or nearly new bikes to be sure you have the latest engines. Also be prepared for MASSIVE service costs if taking it to the dealer. It breaks most people if you are not prepared for it and they get more and more expensive as the miles go on the clock. We ran them because we were engine design and development specialists and we had our own techs. It cost us very little to run the Burgmans. Let us know how you get on.
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Stromrider wrote:
The BMW's have had quite a mixed history with lots of problems with engines on bikes all around the workd. These are well documented. As I remember, Kymco originally warned BMW that the design of the 600/650 engines was flawed but BMW insisted they built the engine to their specs without any changes. It was a disaster for BMW, Kymco were right. Hundreds and hundreds of owners across the world have had major engine problems with camchains, valves and pistons plus other big bits of the engines which could only be fixed wih a brand new engine being installed. But the same problems were then experienced again by some owners on the new engines. So Kymco recommended changes and these have now been adopted. As far as I know the BMW engines are good now. I've not ridden one and have not worked on one so cannot comment on that side of it.

Bottom line is that BOTH BIKES ARE NOW VERY GOOD! BUT only buy new or nearly new bikes to be sure you have the latest engines. Also be prepared for MASSIVE service costs if taking it to the dealer. It breaks most people if you are not prepared for it and they get more and more expensive as the miles go on the clock. We ran them because we were engine design and development specialists and we had our own techs. It cost us very little to run the Burgmans. Let us know how you get on.
Good post, thanks Stromrider. Bang on on the BMW engine. BMW was smart enough to realize Kymko knew way more about CVT transmissions so had them make the engines. The Germans couldn't keep their hands off the first design though and it wasn't until the 2016 model that Kymko was allowed to make it the way they wanted to. I imagine BMW also learned a thing or 2 and Motorrad has some pretty good engineers on board as well as some great designers. I've had no issues with my engine at all and I haven't heard of any wide spread issue. The oil light can be a little touchy but I don't do my own work and have BMW change the oil.

Miguel the 1200 GS is a beast and can seriously haul. I don't need to go THAT fast . It comes down to design for me and honestly while I know how to shift gears I prefer not to especially in the city. Maybe when I retire to the country a BMW adventure bike may be on the list. That is a ways off though and CVT trannies are becoming more common. Cars have been there for years not sure why bikes are so far behind on this. Yea I know, tradition... but still.
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Fully agree Harbinger...cars are way ahead with the cvt's.
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To anyone that is interested here is a link to the 2017 WSJ article on the C650GT. The link gets are the WSJ's walled garden.

As a bonus the article mentions Corradino D'Ascanio and Vespa.

http://216.228.225.62/NewSocialize/forums/t/373850.aspx
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Masala wrote:
Yes, as Jesse said (above), don't overlook the Yamaha TMax. It's "only" a 530cc machine (and the Vespa GTS 300 is actually a 278, so let's not split hairs), but I think in terms of overall "technology per dollar," the Yamaha wins - hands down - over its Bavarian counterpart (that's actually a Kymco?) and the Suzuki. The Burgy was once a scooter that I heavily researched and considered, that is, until I discovered the TMax.

Once you go Max...you won't go back. 😉
What's up with Yamaha discontinuing the TMax? I wish I could buy one but they no longer import to NA.
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Harbinger wrote:
Miguel the 1200 GS is a beast and can seriously haul. I don't need to go THAT fast
I still think it might be worth having a look at the NC750X. It's a similar layout to the GS and the weight is also low down so low speed manoeuvring is quite easy. It's different to the Vespa so it represents a genuine choice in the mornings. It also comes in automatic. I think it looks quite pretty in blue. Plus you get the typical advantages of good storage and good economy if that's important to you.
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marklehnert wrote:
What's up with Yamaha discontinuing the TMax? I wish I could buy one but they no longer import to NA.
Maybe in NA. It's still in production in Europe and it even got a "refresh" with selectable power modes and cruise control...
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Miguel wrote:
A good friend purchased a BMW 1200 GS for about $12K (2013 I think). He's bee riding a HD 1200 for years and never wanted to be associated with BMW. He got hooked up with the 1200GS a few months ago on whim and has been hooked ever since.

He says its very light, well balanced, and has a very low center of gravity because the boxer engine design is so low in the chassis. It weighs about 500 lbs. The BMW 650 scooter is closer ~550 lbs.

The 650 scooter is about 60 hp while the GS is about 125 hp. The hp/weight ratio is remarkable. He got me thinking of a BMW 1200. Not sure I'll go there but almost test rode one a couple weeks ago. Personally, I like the scooter design better than the MC design.

Jus some food for thought.

Best
Miguel
Not putting you or any bike down, but if someone is considering several scooters, interjecting a BMW 1200GS doesn't make any sense at all. It's tall, heavier, made for different types of riding, is very capable off road, did I mention it was tall? May as well recommend a Harley too. It's that different.

Now, maybe you meant a R1200 RS or S, they're not as tall, but still not a scooter.
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
2023 Arancia Impulsivo Vespa GTS300 HPE , 2022 BMW R1250GSA 40th Anniversary, 2019 Ural Gear Up
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@harbinger avatar
2023 Arancia Impulsivo Vespa GTS300 HPE , 2022 BMW R1250GSA 40th Anniversary, 2019 Ural Gear Up
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Vintage1 wrote:
Not putting you or any bike down, but if someone is considering several scooters, interjecting a BMW 1200GS doesn't make any sense at all. It's tall, heavier, made for different types of riding, is very capable off road, did I mention it was tall? May as well recommend a Harley too. It's that different.

Now, maybe you meant a R1200 RS or S, they're not as tall, but still not a scooter.
Ah, Vintage, one thing I like about you is you never sugar coat things. You do of course stay polite unless the poster on the other end is an ahole

Miguel I agree with Vintage, it's not a scooter. I would miss the floorboards, riding position and luxury of the C650GT. Like I said maybe at retirement I'd look at something else (prob BMW) once on open roads. Still I have to say one thing I also really so not like is foot pegs. Give me a floorboard any day.
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robinm wrote:
Harbinger wrote:
Miguel the 1200 GS is a beast and can seriously haul. I don't need to go THAT fast
I still think it might be worth having a look at the NC750X. It's a similar layout to the GS and the weight is also low down so low speed manoeuvring is quite easy. It's different to the Vespa so it represents a genuine choice in the mornings. It also comes in automatic. I think it looks quite pretty in blue. Plus you get the typical advantages of good storage and good economy if that's important to you.
+1 to check out the NC750X. I test rode one before getting my latest bike. The slow speed manouverability was just amazing - ADV bikes agility combined with scoot like ultra low center of gravity. The automatic transmission was nice too, it was smoother than I expected. Personally I prefer the upwright, feet under you -riding position compared to maxi scoots sofa style, but that's a matter of taste and physics.

The only negative aspect for me was the seat itself, it was quite hard. Aftermarket options available, I've been told...
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2009 GTS 250, 2013 Buddy 125, 2014 Triumph Bonneville
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Duplicate. Mods please delete.
⚠️ Last edited by Vintage1 on UTC; edited 1 time
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Thank you, Harbinger. That's very kind of you.

I'm trying real hard. But it's very hard to control my Joisey Italian when someone starts something. Again, I mean no disrespect to Miguel. Sometimes without trying, my words seem a little harsh. It's just that I don't type looong replies and my sunny personality may not have the time to become obvious.
OP
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Molto Verboso
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I appreciate all of the input. i am surprised that there are so many choices in the larger scooter. I love my Vespa for riding bout town but thought that if I wanted to go out on the road a larger or maxi scooter would make more sense. I truly did not realize that there were so many choices out there. One thing does seem to be that many of the larger scooters are good, some differences between them but many are good. It may make the most sense to see what dealers are around me and that may help my choice.

Thanks for all the input I will explore

larry
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Let's get over all the bull shit and help the OP out with the original question.

I put 37,000 miles on an 07 Burgman 650 EX
I have just over 26,000 miles on my 13 BMW C650 GT

Both are excellent rides.

I had some major mechanical issues with the Burgman and it left a bad taste in my mouth but...I loved that scooter!

The Burgman is called Lardy for a reason, it's a big bike. That's not a bad thing. It's a solid ride at 75-80 mph. The mirror placement takes some getting used to but is the best I have had on any bike.

With the OEM Metzler tires the handling of the BMW is phenominal. It is heavy but the GERMAN ENGINEERED motor sits lower. I did the Blue Ridge and Skyline and was able to jam a lot of side roads, Braking is also better on the BMW.

Maintenance costs. My Burgman had the clutch bearing go bad at about 24,000 miles. If I hadnen't bought an extended warranty it would have been $3,000. At 37,000 miles I started hearing bearing noise and called it quits.

The scheduled BMW service is expensive. However when I had my 24,000 mile service done, schedule price about $1,900, my dealer told me that many parts were still well within tolerance and it was about $800.

All in all I prefer the BMW...but not by a whole lot. I would have gladly ridden the Burgman to 100K miles but it wasn't meant to be. I do enjoy backroad tourning more on the BMW than I did on the Burgman.
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PS - The stock windshields on both suck. I put a Cee Bailey with vent on the Burg and I have an Areoflow on the BMW. The Aeroflow rocks!
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BV250
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This is confusing. German engineered or Kymco engineered? I thought Kymco was better at engines than BMW. But if BMW engineered the engine - why was the first version so buggy?

So many questions remain.
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Molto Verboso
2004 Vespa ET4, 2009 Vespa S150, Suzuki Burgman 200
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I think the short version is don't buy the Burgman 650 used unless you have $3000 extra to bank for maintenance free transmission failure. Buy the BMW if you have $1900 per annum to bank for scheduled maintenance. Though you may get some back each year.
Or wait for the new Honda Forza to arrive and take 90mph scooting back to its cheap roots.
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Molto Verboso
2004 Vespa ET4, 2009 Vespa S150, Suzuki Burgman 200
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Post Scriptum.
(I'd buy the Kymco AK550 if I needed Maximus maxi scooter).
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I'm unsure as to why German engineering is so lauded. In the UK German cars aren't the most reliable, and BMW m/c's are iffy to in comparison to Japanese stuff. We've had the VW emissions scandal too.
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Thread hijack alert!

Early 2014 I asked a BMW rider how he liked his bike. He said "Rides great but I've had 3 warranty issues. The last one was spontaneous combustion." Razz emoticon
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Molto Verboso
2012 BV 350, 2013 BMW C650 GT, 2015 Indian Chieftain
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I have owned a BMW c650 GT for nearly 5 years and "high maintenance cost" has been a myth. It is a bit more expensive to operate than my MP3 was, more than my BV 350 and less than my Indian. I pay the same hourly rate for my BMW as I do for my Indian or my BV. There are 2 Vespa/piaggio dealers nearby - one is the BMW/Ducati dealer and the other is a super store (Indian, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki etc).

I love the GT - my favorite ride in most circumstances. Easily my favorite in the mountains. Not unwieldy around town, but I don't do that much in town riding. Only complaints on the GT is that I eat tires - about 4K miles and time for a change. Others have much better experience, with many reporting 7K or 8k before a change. I would complain about the saddle and the windscreen, but I rock a Corbin and a Aeroflow which eliminated those problems. But I've spent money on saddle and windscreen solutions on EVERY bike I've owned.

Is the bmw cheap? No, of course not. Compared to Suzuki or Vespa or Piaggio or [insert name], should maintenance cost be your primary concern? No, not even close.
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