Suzuki Burgman 400 K7
Motoaus takes a look at the Suzuki Burgman 400 K7 maxi scooter.
Imagine sitting in a soft leather chair, with your feet up, with a gentle breeze caressing your face. Now add the following to this scenario; you’re on a country highway, and you are travelling at 110kmh. Convertible car? No. Suzuki’s Burgman 400 K7, a “not quite motorcycle, not quite scooter”.
We gained a new found respect for scooters when we recently spent some time on two maxi scooters, that story is here: Burgman vs Scarabeo .
But here we’ll take a closer look at Suzuki’s Burgman 400 K7.
As lengthy as a Hayabusa, and heavier than a GSX-R600, the 400cc Burgman falls into the maxi scooter class comfortably. So although it won’t be as manoeuvrable in a tight spot as your classic scoot, good luck carving through the traffic on the freeway with your 50cc beast . Herein lies the appeal of the larger scooters, whilst not quite making it to fully fledged motorcycle status, they can do an admirable job commuting, weekend riding, and even touring. All in comfort, and with minimal fuel consumption.
With nearly half the boot storage capacity of a Mini Cooper, -over 60 litres- plus another 10 litres of space in the handy glove box , the Burgman can safely hide two full face helmets under the seat, or cart a couple of large pizzas and half a slab of tinnies back home. Its low centre of gravity with the resultant easy handling and a lack of gear lever or footbrake add up to effortless lower speed touring on winding roads.
A high windscreen allows visor-up riding at sub 100kmh speeds and the wide bodywork keeps the elements from freezing- or drenching-your legs. Suzuki has thoughtfully designed in two different positions for your feet, straight down on the floorboards, like a normal scooter, plus a feet forward option giving a riding position not unlike a cruiser. The adjustable backrest on the rider’s seat moves back and forth and provides surprisingly good lower back support.
Hitting the road on the Burgman for the first time felt a little strange after being used to the clutch and gears of a motorcycle. The lack of a tank between your legs to grip in fear was disconcerting to start with. However if you were moving up from a smaller scooter, none of this would be noticeable.
The Burgman is powered by a 400cc DOHC fuel injected four stroke single. The 35 odd hp is put to the ground through a CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission). For those that haven’t yet experienced this, it’s like an automatic car, but with no noticeable gear shift points. It works through a clever system that in effect alters the gearing infinitely dependent on road speed and engine revs. Instead of a clutch, the right hand lever activates the linked brake system, and uses rear, and one front disc. The left hand lever operates the twin front discs as per normal.
Nifty features abound on the Burgman. There is a key operated protective cover that can be closed over the ignition switch, preventing tampering. Dash functions include a clock, temperature gauge, fuel consumption indicator, and two trip meters, handy for recording total trip length on one, but resetting the other for fuel range for example. The massive under seat storage area is accessed electronically via the ignition switch. Once unlocked, the seat can be raised and held up with its gas strut, and a handy light is provided for after dark rummaging.
Whilst the seat is up, a single lever pull is all that’s required to move the back rest fore and aft. As we mention earlier, this massive under seat storage is one of the delights of this machine, a laptop computer, cameras, jackets, change of clothes or even a few days grocery shopping could be made to disappear under its seat. No mucking around with ockie straps, and no need for panniers.
Once loaded and underway, the 199kg bulk means it’s a little slower than a motorcycle away from a standstill, but plenty fast enough to see off the traffic from the lights. The high windscreen does an admirable job of keeping the wind off , great in colder climates, although a couple of times I wished for a little more airflow in the hot conditions we rode it in. At highway speeds it was about perfect I thought, although I am of average (man) size.
Handling was a pleasant surprise, the Burgman tips effortlessly into corners with the feet forward position the most comfortable for me. The smallish wheel size of 13” rear and 14” front (up from 13 last year) no doubt helps with this, and perhaps also contributes to a mild instability when ridden hard over bumpy roads. With it cranked over at a reasonable speed, hitting bumps or corrugations would result in a mild head shake, but nothing too extreme. The large Aprilia scooter we rode at the same time exhibited similar traits. Ground clearance was pretty good; with the centre stand the first thing to touch down on either side, but only when pushing fairly hard. For most types of riding, there’s plenty.
Some testing on a closed track showed the top speed indicated perhaps optimistically at over 160kmh, again the little wheels making it feel just a tad nervous. Brakes were more than adequate, in fact at lower speeds, I’m assuming the linked brakes were the reason it felt like it would out brake a sports bike. The low centre of Gravity meant unintentional (or intentional;) stoppies are unlikely.
There’s not much point dwelling on its appearance, as that is totally subjective. Most comments on it were favourable however. Non motorcyclists seemed in awe of its size and features when shown. Several who stopped in the street to take a look and have a chat were older, and were considering returning to motorcycling after a long break, on something a little less demanding. The Burgman would be ideal for that.
I – unexpectedly – really enjoyed my time on the Burgman, perhaps Im reaching "that" age? More likely, its just a fun thing to ride, no matter your biking preferences. While its no replacement for a 1000cc sports bike, for its intended purpose of easy commuting, with a weekend ride and even touring possible, I can see this style of ride becoming increasingly popular with riders old and new.
Suzuki Burgman 400 K7 Specifications:
Engine 400cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, DOHC, 4-valve
Transmission V-belt, CVT- automatic
Front suspension Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Rear suspension Link-type, coil spring, oil damped, 7-way adjustable preload
Front brakes Dual hydraulic disc
Rear brakes Single hydraulic disc
Seat height 710mm
Dry weight 199kg
Fuel capacity 13.5 litres
Colours Candy Red
Warranty 2 year unlimited kilometre