A whole day in Sepang karting circuit trying out the latest bikes from Suzuki sounds like a great way to spend your weekend right? That’s exactly what we did recently when we were invited to be part of Suzuki Malaysia’s test ride experience for their exciting new models. This one particular machine which is brand new for Malaysian market; Introducing the all-new 2017 Suzuki Burgman 400, a maxi-scooter that will surely takes your breath away as it did with us.
We’ll start with the things that we like, three of our test rider were present during the test in Sepang and all of them felt that the bike was great in this one particular segment; the engine. Suzuki had given the Burgman it’s life by putting a 400cc engine in which it produces 33hp with 36.3Nm of torque to give you the acceleration you need. Yes, the Burgman pulls away easily from stand still; not too much till it wheelies, no. But it is enough to leave you a grin when you’re pulling away from the red light, at least that’s what we’re assuming.
The motor didn’t felt like it was struggling and there was no sign of stress in the vocal that comes out from it too, we would say that as a good indicator that it is capable to cruise around 130-150 KPH if you so desire. But we have no solid proof on this as we tested it on the short Sepang Karting circuit instead of it’s larger GP circuit. There were no noticeable vibration on the bike coming from the engine and the transmission works flawlessly to accommodate the engine ups and downs of performance delivery by accelerating and braking.
It’s a scooter, so don’t expect it to move as if it was a moped or a sportsbike. Well, not too fast; the Burgman may not be a sporty kind of scooter but it felt like it wants to. Oh you will fell in love with the bike as it moves from left to right as easy as a bicycle. It’s amazingly light but not to the point where you doubt it’ll stick to the road. It’s really great to feel what the engineers at Suzuki has done with their Burgman platform in terms of maneuverability, it’s very-very easy to ride. It’ll get you from point A to point B in commuting with ease and comfort.
As if we’re not being obvious enough that we love the bike, the ergonomics of the bike gets a great score from us as it fits all three of our test riders body type. The rider’s seat is nicely shaped to hook you on to your seat with the leg position well balanced for that of an Asian built. The passenger seat wasn’t tested properly but we figure that it’s equally comfortable too, for this; we would take it for a spin later in the future to really get it tested. The windshield covers the rider well with a clear visual of whats coming upfront. The dash seems to be traditionally refined and it’s enough to get yourself as a rider well notified with the information needed (Must we elaborate more? Nahh).
Before we go to the real letdown of the bike, let’s visit something in between for the bike. The brake system. The dual caliper front brake equipped with ABS seems to be a great feature of the Burgman 400; unfortunately, we are quite in the middle with it. All three of our test rider felt that it could’ve been a bit less intrusive. The ABS seems to be in the way when it comes to hard braking in almost all turns in the Sepang kart circuit. But then again, maybe the way we were handling the bike activates the censors most of the time in which we felt that it couldn’t grip to the way we like. Let us remind you again, it’s not bad; it’s just that we didn’t exactly like it or hate it. If you got a chance to ride it, feel the brake first gently and push it to the max once a while to see if reacts to the way you’re comfortable with so that when it comes to real need of it’s use; you’ll be prepared.
Now on to the two things that we don’t like. It’s nothing major but hey, we have to say something right? The first of the Burgman’s downside that we discover during the test is how low the ground clearance is. We couldn’t ride it at our normal pace without scraping the front end underbelly of the bike in almost all turns; be it fast or slow. Yes, we might be overdoing it but it happens so we have to say that this won’t inspire confident for it’s rider to really lean in and angle the bike nicely for a quick turn. The tire can handle the action but the body acts an indicator saying that you’re a bit too low for the Burgman’s liking. The second thing that we don’t like about the Burgman is it’s price tag. We don’t love it because we’re afraid it will be the one setback to ensure the Burgman to really dominate the mid-sized maxi-scooter segment as we hope it should. At RM47,700 nett price, it won’t be easy to entice a potential owner to straightaway jump on it and sign those sales paper.
All in all, we’re hoping to spend some more time with it in the future as we felt that it deserves a better elaboration than what we can say at the moment. The fuel economics, the real world situation reaction of it and of course; how good it is when we put a full load on it with 2 riders and maybe some stuff onboard. Malaysian Riders team felt that it will be interesting to really have a go with in the bustling street of Kuala Lumpur and going up and down the hills that us riders enjoy so much.