2018 Suzuki Burgman Long Term Review: Big in size, practicality and value!

2018 Suzuki Burgman Long Term Review: The Burgman was launched last year amid strong competition from 125cc scooters that offer a long feature list and a smaller price tag. So, we lived with one to find out how it competes.

By: | Published: January 6, 2019 10:00 PM

I moved to Noida a couple of months ago, which cut my commute to work from 25 km to a cool 5 km. This also meant that using a car to get to work was almost moot. Aside from the fact that Noida is 2-wheeler country,  the roads, occupants (which may vary from non-motorized traffic to farm animals with the occasional smattering of wild-life) and the general traffic sense all aren’t compliant to cars. Not to mention blood pressure. Luckily for me, this was about the same time, that Suzuki sent us the Burgman Street 125cc. Their newest campaign in the automatic scooter space that was underpinned by the Access’ supremely successful 125cc motor and drew inspiration from the Burgman Maxi-Scooter range that’s on sale abroad. As a device for a commute, the Burgman had everything I was looking for. It was quick, comfortable and for the scope of my commute, made a whole lot of economic sense. We got it straight of the showroom floor and now it has a little more than 1000 km on the clock. Here’s what it was like over the last few months.

Design

One of the major things that set the Burgman apart is its unique body style, like it or not,  ignoring the Burgman is not an option. Its Maxi Scooter Inspired Styling stands out in a market full of Scooters that look almost identical and equally bland. The Independent handlebars feel less clutter-y and while they may not make much of a difference to the handling, it adds a certain amount of appeal to the scooter. The large fly screen upfront is another bonus, while it may add a semblance of aerodynamic benefit to the scoot, it also adds some premium value to the scooter.

Another thing stands out is the layout of the headlamp shaped like a beak and doubles as the nose of the Scooter. The sleek profile of the LED tail-lamps also add some visual appeal. My only peeve when it comes to the Suzuki Burgman Street is its bulbous body design and the fact that Suzuki decide to go for the 10-inch rear wheel and a 12-inch front. This means the body looks a little disproportionate, although, this seems to be a problem that only affects me. Most people that have pulled up to me at traffic signals seem to love the way the Burgman looks without noticing the disproportionate body.

Features & Convenience

In my mind, while motorcycles are bought with the heart.  A scooter requires a more practical bend of mind, practicality comfort and convenience are key things that come into consideration when it comes to buying an automatic scooter. Unlike its most relevant rival, the Ntorq 125  which has a lot of fun features, like a 0-60 timer, a top speed recorder, and lap timer, the Burgman Street keeps it simple but not threadbare. It features the first all-digital cluster from Suzuki, which makes all the most important information available to you in a clear legible way.

The switchgear is properly premium is probably the best we have seen on any Suzuki scooter thus far in the Indian market, however, it does miss out on the Engine Kill Switch and the Pass indicator that the Ntorq have. Storage however, is the Burgman Street’s strong suit. In the front, the Burgman Street gets a small glove compartment that fits a full-size mobile phone and has a charging output as well, its flanked by a bottle holder that is deceptively spacious. It holds a full-size litre bottle with space to spare. The generously proportioned posterior also means that there is more than enough space for a full-face helmet under the seat.

Comfort, Ride, and Handling

The riding position is another one of the Burgman Streets’ unique features, on the Burgman Suzuki advises you to keep your feet upright against the front panel more like a car rather than flat on the floorboard. This is an ergonomic advantage, it locks you in better onto the scooter and keeps you from sliding forward every time you brake. However, when it comes to comfort that wide seat is the Suzuki’s Party piece. Although I have no evidence to support this, I believe that some limited touring is very much a possibility for the Burgman and long rides will not leave your bum aching.

Prima Facie, I assumed the Suzuki would be difficult to lug around corners thanks to it bulk. I was wrong. The Suzuki despite its proportions is actually 2 kgs lighter than the Ntorq 125. That’s not all, the Suzuki’s unique handlebar affords a lighter steering feel, which is great for maneuvering through traffic. Stopping force on the Suzuki Burgman is delegated through a combined -brake system with a disc brake in the front and drum at the rear. Even under panic braking, the Suzuki stops confidently and rarely loses traction. Inadvertently, my commute through Noida’s almost lawless traffic has given me more than one opportunity to test the brakes out. The fact that the Suzuki managed to stop well within time in every occasion is a testament to the reliability of the brakes. The suspension combination of forks in the front and a monoshock at the rear,  is more than adequate, and does a good job of absorbing small bumps and rattles. Even those with longer commutes will appreciate the comfort of the Suzuki.

Engine & Performance  

Powering the Suzuki Burgman is the same 125cc motor that you might find on the Access, with 8.7 hp and 10.2 Nm of twist. Now, the Suzuki Burgman, is about 7 kg heavier than the Access, but Suzuki has managed to tune the motor to more than compensate for the added load. It has enough grunt to hussle when you need to quickly accelerate,  although the party piece of the motor is its smooth mid-range, between 60-70 kmph the motor is in its element almost entirely silent with very little vibes transferred to the rider. This takes the strain out of commutes and makes the ride enjoyable. If you really have to get somewhere quickly, although we don’t advocate it, the Burgman will go all the way to 105 kmph. During this initial test cycle,  the Burgman managed to return 48 kmpl in terms of efficiency. With a 5.6-litre fuel tank, this allows for more than 240 km a tank, which is far more than respectable. For me, that meant two-week long gaps between visits to the pump, and not standing in line for fuel is a feature you can’t put a price on.

Verdict

In the interest of transparency, I will admit that I did not like the idea of the Burgman when I read about it. I thought it was a bit of a poser with a 125cc motor under a massive maxi-scooter shell. However, over the last couple of months and 1000 km that I have spent on it, I’m convinced of the ethos behind the Burgman. The comfort of a maxi-scooter without the bulkiness, and much better value for money not just to buy but to own and use. Considering that in India travelling on a scooter is still not a norm, inside the confines of the city, if you want a comfortable ride with decent performance, packed in an attractive shell that stands out, the extra money that you pay to buy the Suzuki makes a huge difference.

Fuel Efficiency: 48 kmpl

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