2018 Suzuki Burgman 400 Review |
Mid-size Luxury Scooter
Although many brands offer scooters as a mode of transportation with cost as a primary selling point, Suzuki offers the three-scooter Burgman line with a focus on luxury. With the Burgman 650 Executive taking care of touring aficionados and urban dwellers satisfied with the Burgman 200, the all-new 2018 Suzuki Burgman 400 stakes out a middle ground as an all-around scooter.
We tested it in heavy traffic and at Interstate speeds, and here’s what you need to know about the 2018 Suzuki Burgman 400 scooter.
1. The 2018 Suzuki Burgman 400 is freeway-ready. With an updated motor—it’s still a fuel-injected liquid-cooled DOHC single—the Burgman 400 stands ready to tackle freeway commuting. It zips right up to the speed limit, even if it’s 65 mph. However, once at that speed, acceleration is difficult to come by, so always keep in mind that braking is your best avoidance maneuver.
2. Triple disc brakes and ABS make the Burgman 400 an able stopper. While motorcyclists may be confused by the left lever being a brake rather than a clutch, the two hand levers do a great job. The right lever actuates the four-piston calipers on the twin 260mm discs, and that’s where the real power is. You can use them aggressively with confidence, as the ABS kicks in fairly early. The left-hand brake works fine and links the front and rear, but riders should focus on right-hand front brake use for maximum safety.
3. It isn’t a small scooter, but the Burgman 400 is still capable in city traffic. Fully faired with a total length over seven feet, the Burgman 400 will seem imposing to newer riders. It also weighs in at 474 pounds, so it’s no lightweight. Regardless, the 400 is light on its feet. Zipping between cars is certainly doable, and you have that extra power to squirt through a gap—something you won’t find on 200 and smaller scooters.
4. Ergonomically, it’s a mid-size scooter. For moving around downtown, the standard floorboards give you quick access to the pavement should it become necessary. There are upper floorboards that let you stretch your legs comfortably on long haul rides. The riding position makes it possible to balance the Burgman 400, so you can maneuver it at speeds below walking pace without putting your foot down. The sub-30-inch seat height is manageable for most.
5. Operation could no be easier—twist the throttle and go. Like virtually all scooters, the 2018 Suzuki Burgman 400 uses a fully automatic continuously variable transmission. It automatically adjusts for load and demand to put the engine at just the right combination of rpm for your mph. Although it has more torque than previously, the Burgman is very manageable taking off. Suzuki lets it rev a bit before moving forward and the power engagement is buttery. Twist the throttle hard, and you’ll get instant gratification. Ease on the gas for a friendly, docile ride.
6. The new 15-inch front wheel is welcome. On freeways, you’ll appreciate the stability that the larger diameter wheel offers. In town, the 15-inch wheel handles potholes just that much better. There is still a 13-inch rear wheel, with a nicely wide 150mm Dunlop to complement the 120 up front.
7. The rear suspension on the 2018 Burgman 400 is unexpectedly sophisticated. As is scooter custom, the 400cc motor is unsprung—it moves with the wheel over bumps. This wouldn’t be tolerable on a motorcycle, but it works fine for scooters. The big news is the linkage-assisted single-shock design. Though it is only adjustable for spring-preload, the rear suspension is excellent. The non-adjustable fork with 41mm legs is a perfect match. You get a bit of feel for the road, yet you are generally isolated from sharp edges and hard hits. The suspension works great on freeways and city streets.
8. Wind protection is superb. The newly angular fairing and smaller windshield work together to keep the wind at bay. Freeway speeds don’t have you hanging on for dear life, as your body is isolated from wind attack. I’m 5’ 10” and could easily see over the windshield, yet it still kept the wind from blasting my HJC RPHA 70 ST helmet.
9. Underneath the very comfortable seat is a 44-quart lockable compartment. You can put groceries or work materials under the seat for transport, as well as store a full-face helmet when you are at your destination. Unfortunately, two full-face helmets won’t fit—at least one helmet has to be open-face. Still, the cargo bay is roomy and well designed, in addition to being convenient.
10. Two fairly roomy compartments sit on each side of the fairing. They’re nice, but not as functional as they could be. They aren’t lockable, and the right compartment has a 12V socket for power. We checked our calendar and it’s 2018—it’s time for Suzuki to provide a powered USB port. Also, there’s no notch in the cover, so if you had the idea to power a GPS mounted to the right rearview mirror stalk, you’re out of luck. Oh, and we would like to see a little warning light if you take off with one of the compartments open.
11. The headlights and rear running lights are LEDs, and they are clean and bright. You can decide for yourself if you like the way the 2018 Suzuki Burgman looks, but we think it’s a sharp ride. The LED lighting gives it a very modern and efficient automotive styling, plus it takes less power to run LEDs.
12. Should you want to head for the hills, the 2018 Suzuki Burgman 400 is ready. Handling is nicely intuitive, with plenty of cornering clearance. Stability and predictability is high—give credit to the new, huskier frame. The Dunlop Scootsmart tires are a great choice, with plenty of traction as you explore the edges of the Burgman 400’s capabilities. The motor has the power to provide entertaining acceleration out of corners, and the triple discs will bail you out should you get too exuberant with the throttle.
13. There are plenty of nice touches. The parking brake immobilizes the Burgman 400 on a hill. There is a key accessory that makes the ignition less accessible to would-be thieves. The seat has adjustable lumbar support—very nice. The dash is informative, even if the tachometer is completely unnecessary. There’s a snowflake warning light—I thought it detects a Millennial aboard, but it turns out it lets you know that the road may be icy.
14. A tweener scooter, the 2018 Suzuki Burgman 400 is impressively capable for a wide range of tasks. Ready for everything from urban crawling to freeway flying, the Burgman 400 meets Suzuki’s goal of being a luxury scooter—with an $8099 tariff—while providing owners with many options for their weekday commutes and weekend recreating. Even if you already have a bike or two in the garage, the 2018 Suzuki Burgman offers conveniences that traditional motorcycles don’t possess.
Photography by Julia LaPalme
- Helmet: HJC RPHA 70 ST
- Jacket: Joe Rocket Alter Ego 4.1
- Gloves: Racer Feeling
- Jeans: Alpinestars Pro Denim
- Footwear: Joe Rocket Big Bang 2.0
2018 Suzuki Burgman 400 ABS Specs
- Type: Single-cylinder
- Displacement: 400cc
- Bore x stroke: 81.0 x 77.6mm
- Compression ratio: 10.6:1
- Valve train: DOHC, 4 valves
- Fueling: EFI
- Cooling: Liquid
- Lubrication: Wet sump
- Transmission: Fully automatic CVT
- Final drive: V-belt
- Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 41mm fork; 4.3 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Spring-preload adjustable linkage-assisted shock; 3.9 inches
- Tires: Dunlop Scootsmart G
- Front tire: 120/70 x 15
- Rear tire: 150/70 x 13
- Front brake: 260mm discs
- Rear brake: 210mm disc
- ABS: Standard
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 62.2 inches
- Rake: 25.1 degrees
- Trail: 4.0 inches
- Seat height: 29.7 inches
- Fuel capacity: 3.6 gallons
- Curb weight: 474 pounds
- Color: Pearl Glacier White
2018 Suzuki Burgman 400 ABS Price:
- $8099 MSRP