Scooters hit the big-time
Now you can get some weight under you around town, writes CRAIG DUFF
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.