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Suzuki Burgman 400 -- Upper Class Scooting

By Arv Voss, July 6th, 2013

What is a Burgman? It's a high-end scooter made by Suzuki. It's no ordinary scooter -- it falls into the "Maxi" or "Super" scooter genre. The Suzuki Burgman 400 ABS is the affordable entry-level scooter.

Obviously, there are lots of testosterone loaded male riders who shudder at the prospect of being seen aboard a scooter of any size, shape or form, but trust us, there's nothing wimpy, or to be ashamed of about riding the Burgman 400 ABS. Okay, so there's no big V-twin exhaust note, but the fuel economy delivered by the Burgman is a heck of a lot better.

When viewed from the front, it looks for all the world like a sport bike, but in profile, it definitely takes on the persona of a scooter, with no visible engine and a traditional step-through mounting. There are a host of maxi or super scooters available in today's marketplace, ranging from 400 cc to 650 cc in displacement, but the Suzuki Burgman line seems to rank a cut above the others in terms of its design execution.

The Suzuki Burgman 400 ABS model, whose light, rigid chassis and sleekly styled, curvaceous body work, not only gives the scooter a sporty appearance, but also an aerodynamic advantage as well at higher freeway speeds. The headlights are widely-spaced "cat-eye" affairs, and the rakish windscreen, which is electrically height adjustable, add to the purposeful sport bike appearance up front, creating a smooth air flow over the rider, while the updated taillights wrap deeply into the body sides for a clean effect.

Motive force for the 2013 Suzuki Burgman 400 ABS comes from a 400cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 2-valve, single-cylinder with electronic fuel injection. Power is delivered to the rear wheel through Suzuki's electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission via a final gear drive, that at first glance appears to be a shaft drive assembly. The 3.8-gallon fuel tank allows for a satisfying reach that consistently measures in the range of 150 miles.

The Burgman 400 rides on Bridgestone Hoop tubeless rubber mounted on 5-Y-swirl-spoke alloy wheels. Front suspension consists of telescopic forks with coil springs and oil damping and 4.3 inches of travel. The rear suspension is of a Swing arm, link-type configuration, also with a coil spring, oil damping and adjustable pre-load. Rear suspension travel is 3.9 inches. Bringing the Burgman 650 to a halt is handled by hydraulic dual discs forward, and a single disc aft. ABS braking is an option on the Burgman 400.

The instrument cluster is both comprehensive and easily legible, with an analog speedometer and tachometer, twin trip meters, a digital clock, ambient temperature gauge, running average fuel consumption indicator, fuel level and coolant temperature readings. The starting system is electric, with a maintenance-free battery.

The riding position is exceptionally comfortable aboard the Suzuki Burgman 400 ABS, with plenty of room to stretch out the rider's legs. My test Suzuki Burgman 400 ABS scooter includes all of the standard features and equipment found on the base Burgman 400, while adding: the advanced anti-lock braking system and chrome exhaust cover. My test scooter featured Thunder Gray metallic and Sparkle Black and Black bodywork with black upholstery. The base price was set at $7,899.

There's no clutch or foot brake to concern yourself with either. Both front and rear brakes are operate by handlebar-mounted hand levers. Combined mileage during testing came to 51.5 mpg.

The CVT automatic transmission provides a smooth, steady speed progression with no shifting. The balance is superb and the ride quality is smooth, despite the fact that the rear suspension pre-load was left alone. Had it been adjusted, the ride would likely have been even smoother. Acceleration is responsive, and the 400 is comfortable cruising in the 55-65 mph range, with room to roll on more throttle.

It's actually a lot of fun and isn't in the least gender or age specific. It has more power to offer than some motorcycles, is more comfortable and more economical to operate as well.

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