Scoot­ers hit the big-time

Now you can get some weight un­der you around town, writes CRAIG DUFF

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Bikes -

SCOOT­ERS are as­so­ci­ated with city liv­ing — and so they should be. They’re fun, prac­ti­cal and cheap. But they are gen­er­ally con­fined to in­ner sub­ur­bia, where their lack of speed isn’t a li­a­bil­ity. En­ter the maxi scooter. They’re far big­ger but still nim­ble enough to ma­noeu­vre to the front at traf­fic lights.

And they will sit on 110km/h on week­end cruises but still have plenty in re­serve for over­tak­ing.

Suzuki’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive is the Bug­man 650 Ex­ec­u­tive, aimed at the cor­po­rate type. Burgman own­ers will have a stylish-look­ing ma­chine but still be en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly.

Burgmans can out-ac­cel­er­ate most cars at the lights.

And, af­ter pulling up in the com­pany car park, you can flip a switch to tuck in their elec­tric side mir­rors, just like the BMW car next to you.

It’s also smart trans­port for those who pre­fer scoot­ers to mo­tor­bikes but want some­thing with power. And they’re good for peo­ple in outer sub­urbs look­ing to cut fuel bills and com­mut­ing time.

The Burgman de­vours kilo­me­tres whether there’s one or two peo­ple aboard. The rid­ing po­si­tion is com­fort­able enough to hap­pily stay there be­tween petrol stops. De­pend­ing on how you ride and who you carry, that ranges from 200km to nearly 300km.

The han­dling is very good, helped by the 15-inch front and 14-inch rear rub­ber and you can gen­er­ate se­ri­ous lean an­gles.

The disc brakes are sur­pris­ingly ef­fi­cient given the bike weighs about 230kg dry. The anti-skid mech­a­nism was ac­ti­vated once — to make sure it worked.

The 638c twin-cylin­der en­gine is paired with a con­tin­u­ally vari­able trans­mis­sion and of­fers good re­sponse at any revs. The trans­mis­sion can be switched to power mode, or you can flick it to man­ual and use but­tons on the han­dle­bars to se­lect any of six set ra­tios.

It’s quick in any mode, so I tended to leave it in nor­mal.

Un­der­seat stor­age will take two full-sized hel­mets and there are places for keys and sun­glasses.

At $13,000 it’s priced as a pre­mium scooter, but you are buy­ing a good com­bi­na­tion of per­for­mance and com­fort.

Power to burn: the Burgman can move you along on the open road and still have enough in re­serve to over­take.

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