Suzuki Burgman 400Z review

By Marc Potter
marcpotter Tested every new bike since 1994, loves anything on two wheels, Bike Social boss, Potski to his mates. Recently discovered elbow-down riding - likely to end in tears.

Suzuki's Burgman 400 - big scooter looks, 400cc motor
Big scooters are really starting to take off in the UK and while Suzuki’s 400cc Burgman 400Z may not fit the description of big when it comes to capacity alone, in sheer physical size it’s as big as the 650.

Add in a massive underseat carrying capacity of 62 litres and you can tuck away 6 litres more junk than the 650 too. That’s the equivalent of a massive rucksack and enough kit for a weekend, or a spare pair of shoes and a laptop swallowed with ease.

With the ability to hit almost 100mph should sir require, tons of luggage space with enough room to stow away a weekend’s worth of luggage, and fuel consumption that’s not going to trouble the world oil crisis, the Suzuki Burgman is an often over-looked big to medium scooter.

At £6399, we’re talking an awful lot of money and that can’t be overlooked, but it is considerably cheaper than big scooters like Yamaha’s 500 T-Max at £8699 and the Yamaha 400 Majesty at £6399, the same retail price as the Suzuki. Yes, you can buy many used bikes and plenty of great new bikes for that price, but will they offer the same level of weather protection and carrying capacity as the Burgman? I doubt it.

The equipment you get would shame most small cars with a massive luxurious bench seat, tons of room for a pillion, footboards that let you stretch out in comfort even if you’re six foot four like our tester. The seat is plush, the wind protection good even for taller riders, there’s hand guards to keep the cold at bay, and our bike had optional £269 adjustable heated grips fitted, essential In the kind of weather the Burgman is going to be commuting in.

I used it to commute a 120 mile trip from Hinckley to Peterborough and plenty of runs from the NEC to home and despite initial reservations about riding so far on a scooter, I really enjoyed it.

It’s slightly susceptible to side winds but stable at speed when the wind dies down. It will hold 80mph if required and in town is an absolute treat. It’s more than fast enough away from the lights, the ABS is strong and powerful, the handling light and easy to manoeuvre, and despite being reasonably sized, it’s much easier to thread through traffic than a big tourer, yet with similar levels of weather protection. The headlight is good too, a very important thing on a bike designed to ride to work and back in all conditions.

Yes, it is a lot of money but for nipping around, getting to work and staying warm and dry the Burgman is a great bike, and used examples can be snapped up from a couple of grand.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Model tested: Suzuki Burgman 400Z ABS
UK price: £6399 (Plus optional heated grips at £269 fitted)
Available: Now
Engine: single cylinder, liquid cooled, 400cc
Power: n/a
Torque: n/a
Economy: 72mpg
Tank/Range: 3 gallon (13.5 litres) / 250 miles
Transmission: V-belt drive
Frame: Steel tubular chassis
Seat height: 28in (710mm) adjustable
Wheelbase: n/a
Rake/trail: n/a
Weight: 225kg (496lb) wet

+ Weather protection, all-round usability
-  Expensive

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