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I just traded my 2003 Burgman 650 for a 2005. I've only had it one week, so I cannot give a fair rating of reliability, etc. However, I expect it to be rock solid in that department just like the 2003 model. My 2003 had 22,300 miles on it without a single problem; I just did the routine maintenance such as oil & filter changes, transmission oil changes, and final gear oil changes. I only had it back to a dealer for service one time, at around 16,000 miles just to have them check the valves, etc. because I was getting ready for a trip to Michigan. The valves were still within normal tolerances and needed no adjusting. The spark plugs looked great, but I had them changed anyway because they need to be done when valves are being checked or other major work.
I probably should have kept the 2003 model; it still rode and looked like new. However, I wanted the '05 model because of a few changes this year: a new over drive in the transmission, clear turn signal lenses, ambient temperature gauge, a fuel consumption meter, and color matched panel in front between headlights rather than the black panel. Suzuki advertises better fuel mileage on the '05 model, but so far I haven't noticed any difference. I'm getting from 48-53 mpg as I did on the '03. However, it might get better when it is fully broken it.
The owner's manual doesn't do a good job of explaining the overdrive, but I found that the indicator only comes on when you use the manual mode. The display is changed so that the D for normal mode is now on the far left at the bottom with the 1-5 gear positions next and the OD for overdrive on the far right at the bottom after the 5. I have noticed lower rpm in overdrive and I am also having more fun with the manual mode. I hardly ever used it on my '03 model, but I find myself using it quite a bit now. It is easier to vary the engine speed (rpm) during break-in. The fuel consumption meter isn't worth much to me since it only goes up to 50 mpg. I wish they had made it go at least to 60mph. The '99 Hayabusa I owned several years ago was the same way, only went up to 50, and I sometimes got over 50 with it if I was careful. Some of you probably don't believe that, but it is true. I keep a record of fuel consumption on all of my vehicles and have done this for the past 35 years. I have a little book in each vehicle and record information every time I fill up, so I know what I'm talking about when I give fuel consumption figures. On my '03 Burgman I averaged 52.4 miles per gallon during the first 11,500 miles. You can subtract about 5% from whatever fuel mileage you think you are getting because that's about how much the speedometer and odometer are off. When your speedmeter reads 70, you're only going about 66.
I really like the looks of the color matched panel on the front of the '05 model and I like the overdrive in the transmission. I also like knowing the ambient temperature although I don't know for sure how accurate the gauge is; I suppose it's accurate. I probably should have kept my '03 model because there's not enough difference in the new model, although as I said, I enjoy some of the additional features. I just hope this new one is as reliable as the old one; if it is I'll be happy. By the way, after 30 years and 41 motorcycles, this is the very first time I have bought the same model twice in a row. I think that says something for the Burgman. It is a great motorcycle.
Reviews are provided on an "as is" basis with no warranty and should be considered entertainment only. Reviews should not be used for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to, making decisions about any referenced vehicles, products, modifications or other information.