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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just passed my first 1,000 miles on my new-to-me 2008 Burgman 400. I thought it would be a good time to give my review of the bike.

General Impression

The Burgman 400 is an elegant expression of an all-round motorcycle. I’ve not spent a very long day on the bike yet, but the two 200 mi. days I’ve spent have been very comfortable and enjoyable. In contrast, I’ve spent many hours running errands such as collecting groceries, delivering mail and making my, all too often, runs to the hardware store to make amends to my myriad projects – for which I am all to often inadequately equipped. The Burgman 400 has handled all with an artistry unknown to me in past motorcycle experience. It’s only been a couple of weeks since I bought the bike, but it has shown me pure joy and, at times, exhilaration.


1. Hated the stock windshield. As many on this forum have suggested, I changed it. I installed a Givi Airflow and the change was instant and gratifying. I can’t speak to any other after market screens, but this screen is exceptionally good.
2. Hated working on the air filter. The bike came with an after market K&N filter. I didn’t like the sound. I felt it was too harsh. Having a degree in music, I’m sensitive to the overall volume and the percussive affect the K&N filter produced. Some folks on this forum said by going back to the stock filter and reintroducing the inlet tube (snorkel) the volume would be reduced. I’ll tell you the percussive effect was reduced also. For my ears the change was a very positive enhancement. Working on the filter, however, was a nightmare. It was very difficult, nearly impossible, to get either the after market K&N or the stock filter installed properly. I still don’t quite understand how I finally got it done, other than the sharp rap with a wrench in a fit of frustration. (My daddy always said, “When in doubt, beat the **** out of it.”) I’ve been told to put the bike on the side stand and I’ll try that next time, but I’m not attempting that job for a while.

Strengths (Where to start!!)

1. The Burgman is the most comfortable motorcycle I’ve ridden. I haven’t ridden as many motorcycles as many on this forum. I’ve owned a Yamaha 400, Kawasaki 440 and a Harley Low-Rider. While the Harley was smoother on the road, I road it during my youthful bug-eatin’ days, I believe the Burgman, with the wind, and bug, protection is much more comfortable.
2. This is a very maneuverable motorcycle. While I’m sure it doesn’t match up with sportbikes, I think it must match up well with most motorcycles that are meant to be all round bikes. Actually, I think it must be the best all round bike, at least to me.
3. Storage is unbelievable. One of the first things I was going to get was a top case. Now, after a couple of weeks, I don’t think I need it. I have put four full grocery bags below the seat. I keep a couple of bungee cords on the bike just in case. Haven’t had a need yet.
4. I’m averaging 66 miles a gallon so far. I’ve had a worst tank of 63 MPG and twice a best of 70 MPG. Excellent!!
5. BurgmanUSA – What a great site!!

Today I’m packing for a short shake-down overnight camping trip. This is really why I wanted a motorcycle. After a couple decades of sea kayak camping, I wanted to see parts of the country I haven’t seen. I have a tent, tarp, table, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, bathroom bag, i-Pad, tool kit, fleece and rain gear beneath the seat. I’ve got i-Phone, water, gloves, bug dope, sunscreen and writing supplies in the dash compartments. On the pillion I’ve put a small “deck bag” that I’ve used on the deck of my sea kayak. It’s waterproof and holds 3 pairs of socks, 3 pair of underwear, and two shirts. I’ve got a luggage rack and I’ve bungied a soft-sided cooler that easily holds lots of food, cooking and cleaning gear, stove and fuel.

Added to all this, I was able to tie a good-sized chair to the starboard side grab handle. What luxury!!

The nice thing about the Burgman is that none of the compartments are completely full. This means I’m not working hard to compress anything down. Everything fits well and there is extra space.

Future Modifications

As mentioned before, I’ve already changed out the windshield and went back to the stock air filter. Here are some other mods I plan on making.

1. While the bike has been very comfortable so far, I worry about riding in hot weather. I’ll be adding a Bead Rider for hot weather riding. The Bead Rider has been around a long time and has a proven track record. I know not everyone likes them, and it may not suit me, but I’m going to try it first. Actually, I’m going to try nothing first and then go to the Bead Rider if I feel the need.
2. Although I don’t feel I need a top case, I’m probably going to get one because I like the looks. I’m sure it will come in handy and be convenient.
3. I’m going to get a pillion case (hope that’s the correct term) My deck bag will work fine for this short trip, but I think a bag designed for this use will be better. Hopefully, I’ll be using it a lot.

The only other “modification” I want to mention is my new helmet. I borrowed my son’s helmet when I got the bike. Although it was marginally useful, it was a tad too small. I don’t like using a face shield and I get headaches if my eyes are faced with too much sun. I also have a hard to fit head – it’s big. I wanted the ability to fit a chin guard for warmth in the fall. So, my criteria for a new helmet was:
1. Open face helmet
2. Detachable chin guard
3. Short visor
4. Drop down sun screen
5. 3X sizing
6. Less than $300

I tried on-line vendors. While they were easy to work with, I had to send back both helmets. The first was a Speed and Strength 2X that I couldn’t fit on my head. The second was a Nolan 2X that I got on, but it hurt! I finally took my son’s advice and went to the local store where he bought his helmet.

I ended up with a GMax GM67. It fit all my criteria and came in a 2X that fit. I ordered the 3X anyway and I feel I ended up with the perfect helmet for me. At a cost of $84.95, it’s got to be one of the great deals going. It’s nice and snug, but very comfortable.

The Burgman 400 is a great bike. I wish I hadn’t gotten so caught up with family and career for the past few decades that it kept me from enjoying two-wheel transportation. Now that the kids are on their own and I’m fully retired, I’m going to be making up for lost time.



4,876 Posts
Very nice review. I like that helmet you picked out. Might get one as a spare lid.

94 Posts
While the fit of a helmet is a personal thing and also while there may be better helmets out there (certainly more expensive), it's hard to beat a GMax if it fits. I have a GM54S and between the features and the amount of accessories available, I can't think of a much better lid even before taking the cost vs. value ratio into account.

1,468 Posts
When buying helmets I think your best bet is to try on helmets in person and then look online and if the price difference is worth it then buy online. Remember if you buy local and need warranty work it's much easier. My helmet needed the spring mechanism fixed. I took the liner out to use in my other helmet(I wash one and while it's drying I can use other) When I got my helmet back they even put a new liner in it. All for free, no shipping or anything. If I'd have bought it online I would have had to pay shipping at least.
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