Now, I know some of you guys wont' understand this, but I'm now the proud owner of a brand new 2012 400Z ABS Burgman. What! I hear you say, have you lost your mind! Yes...but I lost it a long long time ago, well before I bought my Strom.
I've had the Strom for 3.5 years and loved it to bits. Prior to that I owned a GSX1400cc Suzy for years and neither bike ever gave me any trouble. The Strom was fun to ride, looked good etc etc. But it was big, heavy (especially top heavy) and the full luggage which I needed to have on the bike nearly all the time, stopped me filtering in traffic (we can do that over here in the uk). It did make long distance trips easy though. Something I did quite a bit of. But things change...
I took the Strom in for service to my dealer one day before Christmas and instead of the usual 1250 Bandit or replacecment 1000cc bike, I was given a Burgman 400 demo model to ride for the day. Frankly, I wasn't impressed at that. I had to go to County Hall for a meeting, then on to a training facility some 80 miles from my office. That meant I'd do over 200miles that day. Wife had the car so no option but to press on with the Burgman. I loaded my laptop, camera and briefcase under the seat, and after a quick run through of the controls and some advice about the auto tranny, off I went.
I wobbled a bit to start with as it felt light and I was sitting cruiser style very low down. Actually it isn't that light, being just 2kg lighter than my Strom (it was the fully loaded version). But it carries it's weight very low down which makes a huge difference. I nudged out across town and onto the dual carriageway (highway). At this point I'm watching the traffic like a hawk as I had some fear (groundless as it turned out) I would not have enough power to keep up. But after some 30 minutes of riding I suddenly realised I was cruising at 75mph in complete and utter comfort and I started to relax. Suddenly I was taking notice of how the bike was going. It felt smooth, plenty of power too, and the best bit, I was looking at the onboard fuel computer telling me I was averaging 70mpg!! The whole bike felt taught and responsive inspiring confidence that I really had not expected.
After my initial meeting, I had a 40mile cross country journey of fast 'A' roads and more dual carriageways. This time, being more used to the bike I opened it up a bit. It handled the twisty roads at speed amazingly well with good suspension control and a sure footedness that you get from any good motorcycle (obviously, not R1 type handling that's not what it's about). On a private bit of road I nudged 90mph without a problem, and getting there very quickly. I braked hard a couple of times due to not being used to the auto tranny and found I was a bit slow in getting on the power a time or two. This led me to needing to stop at a junction or two quickly. Wow, brakes are very good. It rained too, but the weather protection was superlative. Didn't even get damp boots.
On my way home, I cruised easily at 80mph for miles and miles and the bike was relaxed and smooth. In short, it was a real pleasure to ride and by the time I arrived back at the dealers to pick up my Strom I was relaxed, no aches, I was feeling admiration and amazement for the Burgman. It's a scooter I though, but what a scooter! It had averaged 71mpg for the day and covered 210 miles. How it does this on so little gas I don't know. We pay around $11 for a gallon (uk) so gas mileage is important.
So that got me thinking and researching the Burgmans. I tried the six fiddy version, and the weight was monumental, and performance good, but not much better than the 400. The extra complication and cost of the 650 wasn't worth it, for me. The latest 400's are about the best sorted scooter on the market with no problems, easy to service, cheap on fuel and a hell of a lot of fun to ride! I can filter easily now as I don't need luggage.
I can still do my Italian trips too, as it's built as a long distance cruiser.
This is the bike... Suzuki GB Motorcycles/ATVs: Burgman 400Z ABS: Intro
still can't believe I've bought one, but I've no regrets. I've had her for 8 weeks now and she is going really well. I'd like to keep and eye on you guys so will pop in from time to time if you don't mind. Bye for now. Ride safe everyone.