The Suzuki Burgman is, perhaps, the most stylish scooter line in the market today. Who said an every-day task like commuting to work should be a boring one? Suzuki is making its best effort to make a statement: you should do it in style. With newer colours and the same tried-and-true approach in all its models, the Suzuki Burgman is looking stronger than ever. From the small Suzuki Burgman 200 to the luxurious Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive, there is a model for every rider. I will tell you about my experiences trying the models and also give you tips about fantastic accessories which can significantly improve your riding experience. Read on and find out everything you need to know about this state-of-the-art urban line of motorcycles by Suzuki.
The first design of the Suzuki Burgman came to life in the year 1998 with two models: AN250 and AN400Y. By the year 2002, with the major change of fuel injection, Suzuki launched the AN2 series. This series extended the engines to fit the most prominent model, the AN650. This last incarnation was the flagship of the line for the mix of comfort and power in a bike of its format. The Executive version of it hit the streets in 2004 including ABS and some luxurious improvements. However, the entire line was revamped in 2018 to look exactly as it does now. While most of the companies in the world manufacturing scooters for commuting focus on cost, Suzuki does so in luxury. The newest incarnation of the line shows precisely that.
The first thing to be said about the Suzuki Burgman 400 is that it sits in the middle. The first motorbike in the line, the Suzuki Burgman 200 is the ideal model for urban-only riders. The Suzuki Burgman is the one for those who commute to work but also like riding out on the open road eventually. The Suzuki Burgman 400 found its place right in the middle, and you can use it for both seamlessly. The model I got for testing came in a beautiful matte blue colour that was a little sparkly and very attractive. The first thing that strikes you about the Suzuki Burgman 400 is the dual front lights, resembling bigger touring bikes. Another thing that draws your attention is the attention to detail the design got from Suzuki. It looks impeccable with a mix of subtle and straight lines that are harmonically mixed.
I started it, and it came on effortlessly with the electric starter. The moment you jump on, you feel the ergonomics job that Suzuki did to it. It is as comfortable as putting on an old pair of jeans. The driving position is not as laid-back as on some scooters, but it is comfortable. Although the front wheel still stays in scooter territory, Suzuki went up from a 14 inch to a 15 inch and feels more solid. Gloves and helmet on and off I went to the pavement.
The low-speed torque on the bike feels like you can make your way in the city. Suzuki improved the low-speed response and added an Automatic Idle Speed Control. This combination of innovations along with the ABS kicking fairly early make city driving a relaxing experience. The engine consumption is more efficient than previous models too, making the Suzuki Burgman 400 a reliable and cheap means of transport to commute.
What I didn’t like so much was the bike´s performance on the highway. Although it has a 399cc engine, which should be more than enough for a regular highway situation, it feels short. It is not a light bike at 215kg, and with the extra focus on the urban performance, Suzuki lost some horsepower for the top end. This is not an issue if you are going to do short distances commuting inside the city. If your commuting involves the freeway, then you might be short in the top end to ride past cars feeling comfortable. It is a scooter, of course, but for the urban commuters only there is a 200cc model that is just as handsome. I was expecting a little more in the open road. Other than that, for daily commuting and small distances, it is tough to beat as the best choice.
Undoubtedly, the Suzuki Burgman 400 specs are quite impressive for a scooter.
The price on the 2019 Suzuki Burgman 400 that I had for testing including ABS and the matte blue colour is of $8199. Arguably, thinking of it as merely a scooter for commuting, can be a little on the high side. Nonetheless, it is essential to understand that we are talking about a technology-driven, luxury bike. The moment you jump on it and hit the electric starter, you start understanding the price. Furthermore, the suspension, ease of driving and elegant looks is all inside the $8199 and, in my opinion, the bike is worth it. I was expecting a little more in the open road, but in an overall conclusion, it will give you a lot for what you paid.
The biggest incarnation of the Suzuki Burgman is not only a really big, but also a powerful scooter. As much as the Suzuki Burgman 200 is a commuter-only urban use motorcycle, the Suzuki Burgman 650 is almost a little too big for just urban use. It makes for a great commuter, and the streamlined body makes it look a little thinner than previous years. Still, it feels as commuting in a real bike rather than driving a scooter. For starters, the feel and the weight are of a bigger motorcycle. Also, the twin parallel engine is different than you would expect in a scooter.
My test bike came in a beautiful white finish that was ideal for riding in sunlight. Before doing anything, I opened the under-the-seat compartment that holds fifty litres of storage space. Amazingly, this amount means two full-face helmets. Furthermore, I put my leg over it, and as I sat down, I noticed the driving position, just like the Suzuki Burgman 400 is a little more engaged. The rider is seated behind with good feet space, but with your back a little more curved. There is a second seat with a backrest for a companion to travel with you. The second seat is as comfortable as the driver´s if not a little more. The companion is a little higher than the driver, so the view from the back is very compelling.
Next, I turned it on with the electric starter and have to say that is a pretty silent machine. I rolled it over to the asphalt and tried the manual shifting but soon after settled for the automatic. It makes transitions much smoother than human interaction. In the streets, the performance of the Suzuki Burgman 650 is flawless. It has more than enough torque to face traffic lights. Not only do the floating discs for the ABS work marvellously in every corner, but also the slightly larger front wheel makes turning a breeze. Although it is not a small bike by any means, it is malleable enough to swerve between cars in a busy street.
The actual difference between the rest of the line and the Suzuki Burgman 650 is the open road, so after a quick spin in city traffic I twisted my wrist and took the bike to the highway. It performed just flawlessly, and everything that wasn´t “enough” in the 400 model is “fitting” in the 650. I tried it by pushing the engine but also the wheels and the direction. Everything responded perfectly with lots of grip and then some. One disappointing thing for the open road was the adjustable windshield that moves way too little. It is like inches up and down, not covering enough for a tall guy like me.
Also, the 15 litres of the gas tank seems a little short for a bike with touring aspirations. Other than those small details that Suzuki can correct any time, the bike is a good crossover. Not only can you take it to work every day, but also take off from the office on a Friday for a weekend in the mountains. You will have to stop for gas several times but driving the open road with the Suzuki Burgman 650 is a delight.
If the Suzuki Burgman 650 is the biggest incarnation of the Suzuki Burgman, obviously, the Executive version is the most luxurious. It almost feels as the tuxedo-version of the Suzuki Burgman line. This scooter has every accessory you can think of and then some. For those who enjoy riding into the open road, the Executive version covers the same territory as the base model. It adds some features for riding in the cold like a heating seat, which very handy in adverse weather.
I wasn´t very impressed with the way the handles heated, it could have been warmer. The issue with the windshield was still there, but the wonderful additions are the remotely-controlled mirrors. Not only are they remote controlled, the mirrors in the Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive, as well as the 650 ABS, are big and very useful. They can be hit during urban experiences, and you don´t want to ruin your bike. At the flick of a switch, they can be adjusted and brought closer to you.
The Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive is, without a doubt, an excellent addition to the line for those who want a little more. The illuminated storage space, heated grips and seat are just what you need for longer rides. Suzuki should really consider fitting these bikes with a larger gas tank to accommodate longer trips.
The price difference between the Suzuki Burgman 400 and 650 is of $2,800, and you can really feel it. Size wise, the chassis is not so different, but the engine is pushing you forward is way more powerful. However, the low-speed torque in both is pretty similar, but the high-end speed and open road sensation are very different. It doesn’t matter, If you like driving your scooter out on weekends, or have longer commute involving the highway, I really recommend it. Now, the difference between the Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS and Executive is of merely $50. The 650 ABS price tag is $10,999 and the Executive $11,049. It is an absolute no-brainer to go for the 650ABS and losing the extra features for $50, therefore, I guess, in the near future you will only have the Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive.
Top Case – This is the additional storage space you could add to the Suzuki Burgman 400 or 650. It holds 49 extra litres of storage capacity, ideal for an extra helmet or some clothing.
Suzuki Cycle Cover – This might seem like detail for some people, but your bike will be extra thankful for it. This new incarnation of this long-used accessory comes with added UV-protection. Never worry about leaving your bike under the sun again.
STS (Smart Turn System) – This is an accessory I came upon by chance but love it ever since. Not only is it especially useful for urban bikes like the Suzuki Burgman, but you will love it on any other motorcycle as well. It is easily installed and what it does is to automatically disengage the turning lights after you completed the turn. Just like cars do, avoiding giving false indications to cars behind you because you left turning lights on. I have it in all my bikes, and most importantly, I feel safer with it.
SBM (Smart Brake Module) – After getting the above mentioned STS, I needed to know more about the team behind this product, so I googled the company and found the SBM. This is especially useful in the open road but can be handy in the city as well. What it does is to engage the braking light when you lose the throttle. It lets cars and bikes behind you know that you are going to slow down, which is obviously a very important feature. Undoubtedly, it can be a great addition to your Suzuki Burgman 650. Furthermore, you can do as I did, and add it to all your bikes.
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The segment in which the Suzuki Burgman excels is not a popular one. We are not talking about a traditional motorcycle you will see every day. This is, to me, an asset, the added uniqueness of the design. Suzuki makes a bold statement putting out a luxurious scooter line with a price tag that could get you a car (by the same brand). There is something wise about this bold move.
In a world where commuting to work is increasingly stressful, doing it by car is, at times, not even an option. Having a state-of-the-art scooter that has all the comfort money can buy to swerve among cars in a traffic jam is a great idea. Perhaps, it will become a hit in years to come, and we come across with them more in the future. For now, it is the ultimate comfort, luxury and convenience for commuters who can afford it. Even with the Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive, you can get a taste of the open road every week.
What do you think? Please leave us a comment letting us know what you think and share this with your fellow riders. Will the luxury scooter revolution win the streets?