I own a 2004 Honda Helix; though I like and enjoy the machine, I have longed for something faster, heavier and more stable when subject to gusty winds or cross drafts, like when an 18 wheeler passes you. I considered the Kymco Downtown 300i, the Yamaha Majesty and the Suzuki Burgman 400. When I saw a bran...
I own a 2004 Honda Helix; though I like and enjoy the machine, I have longed for something faster, heavier and more stable when subject to gusty winds or cross drafts, like when an 18 wheeler passes you. I considered the Kymco Downtown 300i, the Yamaha Majesty and the Suzuki Burgman 400. When I saw a brand new, leftover 2011 Burgman 400 ABS for $6,500, I had to get it! My Burgman has about 1,350 miles on the clock, which means I recently did the first oil change. Though I haven't had a lot of miles on the machine yet, I've had enough to form a good, initial impression. Here's what I think so far... The mileage for a machine of this size and power was a pleasant surprise! I've seen 50 mpg. when riding mostly in the city, while I can pull high 50s to low 60s on a trip. Considering that my Helix gets high 60s to low 70s on a similar ride (i.e. on a trip), that's great! Having the extra power and speed is nice to have; it means that freeway riding is now a viable option for me. Though back roads are more fun, sometimes freeway use is necessary. Though the Helix and other 250cc scooters are freeway legal, they're not freeway viable, in my opinion. In other words, if one uses a Helix on the freeway, it should only be for short distances, like from one exit to the next. Conversely, the Burgman 400 will handle freeways with aplomb, and it will do so all day long. For the added power, stability and speed that the Burgman 400 offers, the 10 mpg. reduction was well worth it. The stability of the machine is a welcome surprise, also. The Helix, though a fun, little machine, is also a light machine. Though its light weight make it ideally suited for operating on city streets, its light weight make it scary when operating on windy days or around 18 wheelers. While you feel wind gusts on the Burgman, you just feel them enough to know that they're there; you don't get scared when you hit a nasty gust of wind. The Burgman 400 will go where you want to, and will continue to go there until you change direction. Because the Burgman 400 is bigger and heavier, it simply isn't as quick and nimble in the city as a 250cc scooter like my Helix. One cannot expect the Burgman 400 to be as agile in the city though. One, it has bigger wheels (14" front with a 13" rear vs. a 12" front and a 10" rear for the Helix), which generates more gyroscopic force, which means it's harder to initiate a turn. Secondly, the Burgman 400 outweighs the Helix by some 150 pounds. That said, the Burgman 400, with its low center of gravity, is fairly easy to maneuver in the city. How are speed and acceleration? In a word, both are excellent. Unless going against a high performance bike or car, you will handily pull away when the light turns green. Top speed is good too. Whereas my Helix will barely hit 70-72 mph, the Burgman 400 will do that all day long and have something left over. Top speed so far was 93, which I hit for a few seconds a couple of weeks after I got it. Once the engine loosens up, I expect the top speed to be in the neighborhood of 95-100 mph. - more than fast enough on two wheels these days! Finally, the Burgman is practical. It has a huge storage compartment beneath the seat! I dare say you could easily put 2-4 bags of groceries in it, depending on what's in the bags. Did I mention that the underseat storage compartment is lit? It is! that's a nice, thoughtful touch. The glove box is a good size, and it has a 12V outlet so you can charge your mobile device. In the dash, there are two openings, one on either side of the handle bars; these compartments are big enough to hold your garage door opener, change or money for tolls, and other incidentals. You push a button, the doors pop up, and you swing them to the side. However, with all that the Burgman 400 has going for it, it's not a perfect bike; it has issues, like any two wheeler does. My main gripes with the Burgman 400 are the seat and the windshield. My main gripe with the bike is the seat; it's just a tad too firm for long rides. I was out on an all-day ride this past Sunday, and I was feeling it when I got home. Consider getting a seat pad from Aerostitch, or getting a Corbin seat if one is available. My second gripe with the Burgman 400 is that the stock wind screen simply does not provide the protection I would like. Though it protects my upper body from wind blast, it directs the slipstream directly at my helmet; ear plugs are a must on this machine! I've read about this shortcoming elsewhere, so this was no surprise. I am definitely going to change the wind screen or add a laminar lip in the near future though. The stock windshield simply is not up to scratch. Overall, I am very pleased with my purchase; the Burgman 400 ABS is everything I thought it would be. It's quick, stable, practical, economical and fun. It's a machine that's big enough to some touring, yet it's light enough for in town use too. It's not too big, not too small; it's not too fast, not too slow; it's not too heavy, not too light. To put it another way, it's like Goldilocks; it's "just right"! I do wish that the stock seat and wind screen were better though. The big question is this: would I buy this bike again? Absolutely! If you're looking for a bike that is practical and can do a lot of things well, you cannot go wrong purchasing the Burgman 400 ABS. My only regret is that I didn't get one sooner.:)