Suzuki Burgman 400

RiDE (UK) - - Rides Month In Bikes -

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

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