The 400 Is Back And Better Than Ever

The Burgman range has served as Suzuki’s modern-metro luxury scooter lineup for a football minute now. The Burgman stable used to have a “400” within the range, but the factory pulled it out of the North American market for the ’17 model year. Back in the lineup for 2018, the Burgman 400 emerges as an all-new, third-generation model available for the NA market. A new powerplant delivers over 30 horsepower, and it comes tucked away under a revised body.

Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Burgman 400.

Design

2018 Suzuki Burgman 400
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“Contemporary and mature” are both words that I would use to describe the Burgman line, and to that I would add “edgy” in honor of the revised looks of the new 400.

I’m comfortable calling this a particularly important model since it falls out at what I consider to be the smallest displacement that I would be comfortable riding on our urban arteries and interstates. I wanted to check out Suzuki’s mid-size flagship scooter and see how the factory has adapted to reflect its interpretation of the changing popular tastes.

“Contemporary and mature” are both words that I would use to describe the Burgman line, and to that I would add “edgy” in honor of the revised looks of the new 400. The factory dropped the huge headlight array in favor of a smaller pair of recessed projectors with the turn signals located down on the points of the legguards for a much cleaner look than what we get from hangy-downy or sticky-outie type winkers.

Although the bodywork is all-around slimmer than the previous gen, it seems to retain a sufficient leg pocket for most body types though the step-through remains mostly blocked by the tunnel and you can forget about stowing any cargo between your feet. Inside the fairing is the usual pair of glove boxes for your small possibles. The slimmer design comes with a concurrent reduction in underseat storage capacity that nevertheless gives it 42 liters of storage — more grocery-gettin’ capacity than some of its close competitors — and most would consider it worth the trade off since the overall agility has seen some marked improvement as a direct result.

A sculpted saddle comes pared down up front so as to avoid forcing the thighs apart and interfering with your stance when you deploy your training wheels. The rise to the pillion level serves as a sort of lumbar support for the pilot, and the P-pad itself comes with a scoop shape that is sure to cup and support the passenger’s fifth point of contact with a set of JC handles and flip-out footpegs to complete the ensemble.

Out back, a color-matched subframe panel contains the recessed taillight with a plateholder/mudguard to complete the rear-wheel-fling containment.

Chassis

2018 Suzuki Burgman 400
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Almost as if to make up for that tiny rear wheel, Suzuki tossed on a pair of 260 mm front discs to supplement the 210 mm rear disc with ABS protection as part of the standard equipment package.

Suzuki shuns the monocoque framing method and runs on a frame made with large-diameter, thin-wall steel tubing for increased strength and reduced weight, and this is another contributing factor in the increased handling performance as the extra stiffness makes the chassis more stable under cornering stresses. The factory increased the diameter of the front wheel from 14 inches to 15 inches, but the 13 inch rear wheel remains.

Almost as if to make up for that tiny rear wheel, Suzuki tossed on a pair of 260 mm front discs to supplement the 210 mm rear disc (no drums, thank goodness) with ABS protection as part of the standard equipment package. Suspension components are also motorcycle-like with 41 mm stems up front that deliver 4.3 inches of travel. The rear shock comes with the obligatory spring preload adjustment, but that represents the only adjustment in the system and the rest is straight vanilla.

Center-to-center, the contact patches lie 53.1 inches from each other with an overall length of 88 inches even and a 29.7-inch seat height that should work for nearly all body types. If you’re the last one to know that it’s raining, you may have problems, but everyone else should be alright.

Suspension Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Disc, twin 260mm
Brakes Rear: Disc single 210mm
Tires Front: 120/70-15M/C (56S), tubeless
Tires Rear: 150/70-13M/C (64S), tubeless

Drivetrain

2018 Suzuki Burgman 400
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Suzuki claims a total of 65 mpg, so the three-gallon fuel tank should far outlast your ability to stay in the saddle.

The factory powers the 400 with a water-cooled, 399 cc powerplant that keeps the 81 mm bore and 77.6 mm stroke of its predecessor, but drops the compression from 12.6-to-1 on down to 10.6-to-1. This brings with it a loss in power to the tune of 1.5-ponies down to 30.5-horsepower at 6,300 rpm with 26.5 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm, but also allows it to conform to Euro 4 emissions standards.

Suzuki claims a total of 65 mpg, so the three-gallon fuel tank should far outlast your ability to stay in the saddle. Naturally we aren’t going to find a lot of top-shelf fandanglery in the engine control suite, but Suzuki did grace the new engine with its proprietary Idle Speed Control feature that aids with cold starts and stabilizes the engine at low rpm. To further clean up emissions, the Pulsed-secondary AIR-injection system and exhaust catalyst was added this year to make the 400 good to go in the NA market.

As ever, the engine comes married to the drive unit, all as a stressed member that forms the swingarm. The swing-mount drive contains a twist-and-ride CVT gearbox that provides effortless shifts with a centrifugal clutch to decouple engine power from the rear wheel. Easy peasy, but at the end of the day, just like almost every other scooter in the world in that respect and so nothing special.

Engine: 399cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, DOHC
Bore x Stroke: 81.0 x 77.6 mm (3.2 x 3.1 in.)
Compression Ratio: 10.6: 1
Fuel System: Suzuki Fuel Injection
Starter: Electric
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: CVT (automatic, centrifugal clutch)
Final Drive: V-belt drive

Pricing

2018 Suzuki Burgman 400
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MSRP on the 2018 Burgman 400 is just $100 over the 2016 price, but it's a whole lot better bike for the money.

You can get the 2018 Burgman 400 in any color you like...as long as you like Pearl Glacier White. The $8,099 sticker gets you all of the above with a 12-month, unlimited-mileage warranty.

Warranty: 12 month unlimited mileage limited warranty.
Color: Pearl Glacier White
Price: $8,099

Competitors

2018 Suzuki Burgman 400
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2018 Yamaha XMAX
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Yamaha gets a win at the checkout counter that may look mighty appealing to someone just looking for some inexpensive, basic transportation.

While the actual engine size may be off just a tad, the Yamaha XMAX looks almost like a brother from another mother with its aggressive angular entry and tall windshield, though it seems that Yamaha didn’t get the memo about stickey-outie turn signals, ’cause the XMAX bristles up front with a pair of turn signal standoffs. Not as clean as the Burgman at all.

The profiles are very similar from there on back, though the XMAX has a noticeably slimmer legshield that makes it seem a lot less substantial up front. Yamaha skimps on the stems with 33 mm tubes up front, and though it boosts the rear disc up to 245 mm, it only runs a single 267 mm front disc against the dual front anchors on the 400. Oh well, at least it comes with ABS, so you can use what brakes you have with confidence.

The XMAX is a tad short in the displacement department with only 292 cc, but that’s big enough to qualify for the mid-size scooter-commuter market as well. Yammie is still keeping the power numbers close to the vest on the 2018 XMAX, but I expect it to be just shy of the Burgman concurrent with its displacement. Yamaha gets a win at the checkout with a $5,599 sticker that may look mighty appealing to someone just looking for some inexpensive basic transportation.

He Said

My husband and fellow motorcycle writer, TJ Hinton, says “Looks as smart and businesslike as I would expect from a Burgman, but the slimming efforts also yielded a younger machine. I’m sure that was part of the ongoing effort to appeal to the Millennial crowd in order to attract another generation of buyers. We’ll soon see if it pays off.”

She Said

“I was a bit disappointed when the Burgman 400 dropped out of the lineup for 2017. It was, in my opinion and for my purposes, a better choice than the 200 or the 650. I was hoping it would be back, and my hopes were realized when the 400 reappeared better than ever. Europe saw this update last year, but we had to wait until 2018. The engine has better performance and torque is available earlier in the range which makes getting off the line a better experience than with the previous 400. On the highway, though, it is still lacking. Roll-on when you’re up at highway speeds is a bit weak, but if you spend a lot of time on the highway, the Burgman 650 might be more suited to your purposes.”

Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 399cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, DOHC
Bore x Stroke: 81.0 x 77.6 mm (3.2 x 3.1 in.)
Compression Ratio: 10.6: 1
Fuel System: Suzuki Fuel Injection
Starter: Electric
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: CVT (automatic, centrifugal clutch)
Final Drive: V-belt drive
Chassis:
Suspension Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Disc, twin 260mm
Brakes Rear: Disc single 210mm
Tires Front: 120/70-15M/C (56S), tubeless
Tires Rear: 150/70-13M/C (64S), tubeless
[[Electrical:
Ignition: Electronic ignition (Transistorized)
Spark Plug: NGK CR7EIA-9 or DENSO IU22D
Headlight: Dual LED (high- & low-beam, plus position lights)
Tail light: LED
Dimensions & Capacities:
Overall Length: 2235 mm (88.0 in.)
Overall Width: 765 mm (30.1 in.)
Wheelbase: 1580 mm (53.1 in.)
Ground: Clearance 125 mm (4.9 in.)
Seat Height: 755 mm (29.7 in.)
Curb Weight: 215 kg (474 lbs.)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.5 L (3.6 US gallons)
Details:
Warranty: 12 month unlimited mileage limited warranty.
Color: Pearl Glacier White
Price: $8,099

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: suzukicycles.com, yamaha-motor.com

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