A co-worker bought a Burgman 400 w/ABS the other day and asked me to ride it home from the dealership for her, so of course I jumped at a chance to try one of these beasts (something I would personally never consider buying myself) and I just wanted to pass along a few observations from this experience. Lets dwell on positives first; It has 2 wheels, the body work offers good protection similar or superior to a full fairing motorcycle, the riding position is perfect for typing, if you are actually striving for perfect office seating posture when riding. You could wear a skirt and high heels riding this thing, (too bad I’m a guy or that one might actually work for me;) ummm …it’s quiet, did I mention it has 2 wheels? OK, now I’m really struggling here and I think you get the point, this is without a doubt the least exciting motorcycle I have ever ridden, I know scoots are popular and want to stay positive here, but damn! riding that thing I never felt so totally invisible and vulnerable in traffic. Automatic Yuck! Sorry but it did Not make for easy riding for me, I had to anticipate needing to accelerate and grab a wrist full of throttle well in advance of anything happening. The throttle response and suspension felt far more like a 250cc single cylinder snowmobile than a motorcycle. It does have excellent engine braking and that’s another plus, right ?:i I rode the entire time with one finger on each brake lever, (mostly to remind myself not to clutch) and discovered that by applying both brakes equally, felt like I would never want more brake force than one finger on each lever provided, the engine braking was so good in fact, I only needed the brakes for about the last yard on stopping, (or to activate the brake light so I didn’t get rear ended). A faster throttle might be a nice upgrade, and I guess some people might think it’s a good thing you could not pop a wheelie if your life depended on it, let’s hope you don’t come across any road debris or pot holes, because your only option would be to brace yourself and plow into it.
Other than being uninspiring and automatic, here are my 2 biggest complaints about the behemoth Burgman; The handle bars are so far back and close to your body that the bar mounted mirrors are near useless, you need to turn your head to view the vibrating mirrors and it would be far superior if they were mounted low and forward on the fairing. The flat foot forward leg stance made it impossible to lift your butt off the seat and the most comfortable place for my feet was right where the floor boards are cut away to put your feet on the ground.
For a fraction of the cost i’d go with a CBR125, a Ninjette or an S40 (Owlie’s ride) and feel safer for it, but if you do wear a skirt and absolutely need that trunk space, the Bergman would still be way more enjoyable to park & ride than a smart car. …just trash the mirrors, ride flat out and the heck with the guy behind you :i