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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up a 2008 Burgman with about 400 miles. I did a short write up after 2500 miles.

Here’s my 6000 mile write up.

Long story short: Out of the 60 motorcycles I’ve owned, the Burgman 400 has proven to be my best commuter. It gets decent gas mileage, has good protection and I’ve come to appreciate the CVT transmission.

I added a taller Cee Bailey’s windshield, Suzuki hand guards and grip puppies. All of these helped make the Burgman a better commuter. However, they did not make the Burgman a better touring bike for me.

I don’t think that’s the Burgman’s mission. Do people ride around the world on 90cc Honda Supercubs? Of course, some do; I just wouldn’t.

I owned a Honda Rebel for a while. One common question that comes up on that owner’s forum-- how do I make more power? The best response -- for what it would cost to squeeze more performance out of that engine, you should just buy a different bike.

I thought I’d use the Burgman for the 100 mile round trip to my farm, but just found it wanting for power for a spirited ride through the KY hills.

I’d recommend the Givi Topcase. Initially, I found it temperamental, but it’s one of the few things in the world that got better with age. I keep my wet weather pants, expanded toolkit and umbrella under the seat. My book bag and helmet/gloves swap out of the Givi topcase.

I had a 1995 BMW R1100RA that I could wring like a chicken’s neck and it always returned a solid 50 mpg for five years. I consistently wring out the Burgman and only do slightly better. However, my gas fill ups confirm that my actual gas mileage is consistently better than what the display indicates. The only way I’ve gotten in the 60 mpg range is to ride so conservatively that it’s dangerous for the traffic I swim in. Defeats the purpose.

So -- to the Burgman 400 owner I met 10 years ago at the Chicken Rally in Alabama. You said that you consistently got 75 mpg. I don’t want to call you a liar, but… I don’t know how to finish that sentence.

Maintenance? Nothing but consumables. In the dead of winter, the starter began acting grumpy. I figured after 7 years, it was time to get a fresh battery. Oil changes? Piece of cake. Also, thanks to those helpful Youtube videos, I pulled the front and rear wheels (not at the same time) and had Pirelli Diablos spooned on. Dramatic difference? Not really, but no more scary hydroplaning moments compliments of balding tires.

As with public speaking, people’s minds tend to stick to the criticisms, but I can say without reservation that it’s been an ideal ride for commuting and light pick up duty.

Hey, you’re not impugning the Mazda Miata by saying it’s not a good pickup truck. Same thing here.

Hope this helps. This forum has been extremely helpful in helping decide to buy and help me with commonly asked questions and problems that come with ownership.

Ride on. :thumbup:

Best commuter bike = 2008 Suzuki Burgman 400
Best retro bike = 2010 Triumph Bonneville Standard
Best bike all-rounder = 1994 Honda VFR750
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I’ve owned and ridden a number of true scooters—a 1966 Honda Supercub 90, a 2010 Sachs Madass 125 and a 2010 Fly Scout. Long story short, these scooters provide a new way to experience riding, but they are primarily built for skinny people.

I’m under 200 pounds, but not enough under.

When I sat on a 50cc Honda Ruckus, I could hear it groan. It could barely catch its breath as I rode it.

I figured the Sachs would be powerful enough for stop and go highway traffic, but it was like riding a mountain bike in stop and go highway traffic.

All of these led me to seek out a freeway capable scoot, the Burgman 400. Everything I’d read about the Burgman’s freeway capabilities was true. It was able to get up to speed and run with traffic without concern.

But it’s always a quest to find one motorcycle for all purposes and seasons. The Burgman didn’t do that. Actually, I haven’t found any one motorcycle that does that. Still searching.

Light, fuel efficient bikes with storage tend to be too light for touring. Big, comfortable bikes for touring, turn out to be too heavy for everyday manhandling. Let’s not even talk about riding in the dirt…
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You're right about the math-- that's a 5 year old battery, not 7. In my experience, anything much past three years is borrowed time with a motorcycle battery. You can run a Battery tender and all of that, but when it starts grunting on startup, it's giving you a warning. Pay attention.

Totally agree that riding style - easy on acceleration, coasting to a stop and all of that will significantly contribute to improved gas mileage. To enter that top tier of fuel efficiency, the riding habits must change. Fix the nut behind the wheel, so to speak.

The cosmic dissonance comes when I ride an 1100cc R1100RA and a 400cc Burgman essentially the same way, but achieve nearly the same gas mileage.

For a time there, I would turn off the Burgman at long stop lights to keep my mpg "high score," but realized I was becoming a (gas) mileage slave.

It's more important for me to focus on the riding, rather than fretting about .2 mpg. Need to pay attention to the road- every day is amateur night.

You can use downshifting to slow your (non-CVT) bike when coming off the exit ramp instead of using your brakes. A mechanic pointed out to me that it's easier and cheaper to replace your brakes than the clutch. Hmmmm. Food for thought. I guess there are many different paths to the same destination, but the tradeoffs are not all equal.
 
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