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Written by Del Fuego    Friday, 13 June 2008 13:29     E-mail
Suzuki Burgman 650 - Page 3
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Now I mentioned, “power mode” in the last paragraph… this is one of the many gadgets that Suzuki have included in the Burgman’s reasonably large repertoire thereof. First; power mode, this is controlled by one of about 318 thousand buttons on the left handle bar. The CVT on the Burgman is electronically controlled (rather than by weights etc) the power button basically changes the way the transmission shifts “gears” effectively it just allows higher engine revs to develop. This button does improve acceleration, however it also induces a “jerky” quality to the ride, it feels very similar to “chain lash” on a conventional motorbike, the sensation is like constantly moving the throttle on and off… which can be pretty unsettling, especially in slippery conditions. The next gizmo on the list is the “manual shift” option… you hit the Drive/Manual button, which is also on the left handle bar area, the bike then allows you to control when the transmission “changes gear” this is effectively a user controlled version of the “power button” It works about as well as you would expect of an electronic version of a gear change. To me this seems to be virtually pointless. The entire point of a CVT is so you don’t have to mess around with gears etc. This is not an “on the limits” racing machine. The Burgman is a big, comfortable mile muncher, so why on earth would you want to change gears? Even with the gizmos, gear changes and gadgetry the Burgman transmission never really felt, right… in what we began calling “slush mode” (full auto, no power mode) it was OK but a bit slow. In both “manual” and “power” modes the transmission was a bit of a nuisance. Personally I would have been happier if Suzuki had just thrown away all the toys and built a smooth, efficient gearbox as Honda did with the Silver Wing… That bikes transmission made good use of the engine power, was always smooth and always predictable… how it should be.

You may be wondering to yourself how on earth Mr Suzuki managed to cram so many buttons onto one little area near the left hand grip? Wonder no more, there was no science involved… they just crammed them in! What this means in the real world is that if you try to use the turn signal, at night… wearing gloves you will, first of all lurch into power mode…. Then manual mode, then you will blind oncoming traffic with the high beam then you will put it into 2nd gear, and, as your front wheel slides from under you and you fly from the bike, you will hit the turn signal switch with your left knee…unfortunately by this point it doesn’t really need to be on any more. Is it really all that bad? Yes, there are no fewer than 9 possible button position controls on that one control surface. The one you need most often, the turn signal, is recessed and the same black as it’s mounting. This is a joke; One suspects that nobody rode the Burgman before it left the factory, or at least not at night… wearing gloves.

Last Updated ( Friday, 08 August 2008 13:57 )


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