Suzuki Burgman 400
MOST FIRMS CLAIM to have invented a new class of bike but Suzuki’s boast of building the first big-bore superscoot seems legitimate. It was 1998 when the Burgman 400 hit the street, bringing extra grunt to the step-thru world. With 150cc more than the competitors, it expanded the scooter remit into longer commutes and became a hit with riders in Europe.
Now Suzuki has given it a makeover, turning the slightly lardy old 400 into a sharper beastie. The basics are simple: a new 15in front wheel for more stability, a 7kg weight loss (now 215kg), LED lighting and a retuned Euro4 motor, which loses some peak power (now 31bhp) but gains low-down grunt. Price is £6395 on the road.
Riding the new bike in Turin, the chassis mods have indeed paid dividends. The front end is more communicative than most scooters and the suspension is firm and controlled. There’s a more nimble feel overall, putting it closer to the likes of Yamaha’s X-max 300. The new dash is clear and full of info, while storage (including 42 litres underseat) is well designed and capacious.
Round town the gruntier engine is great, with a real shove away from the lights. But later in the day, in the Turin hills, the atrophied top end is noticeable. Overtaking cars at around 60-70mph is tough and there’s not much spare power at cruising speeds. Keep it suburban though, and the new 400 works pretty well. ALAN DOWDS
New Bergman 400 has more grunt