Comparison Test: Suzuki Burgman Vs. Honda Scooter

Written by maggie worth
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Comparison Test: Suzuki Burgman Vs. Honda Scooter
The Suzuki Burgman and the Honda Silver Wing are two of the best-known "maxi-scooters." (scooter image by dead_account from Fotolia.com)

Both Honda and Suzuki are well known scooter manufacturers. Both offer scooters that start at 50cc and go up from there. The Suzuki Burgman and the Honda Silver Wing are two of the best known "maxi-scooters" (scooters with engines over 300cc) and are often compared by those looking to purchase a large, highway-legal scooter.

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Engine

One main difference between the Burgman and the Silver Wing is the engine size. The Burgman comes in a 400cc and a 638cc model. The Silver Wing has a 600-class engine (technically 582cc). Both bikes have a four-stroke, liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder engine, a fuel injection system and an electric starter. At 10.2:1, the Honda's compression ratio is closer to the Suzuki 400's 10.6:1 ratio than the 600's 11.2:1 ratio. With a 4.2-gallon tank, the Silver Wing has a slightly larger fuel capacity as compared with the Burgman tanks, which are 3.6 gallons and 4.0 gallons, respectively. Both have top speeds between 80 and 100 miles.

Chassis

Both Burgmans have front twin-disc and rear single-disc brakes. The Honda has a single-disc brake on both the front and the rear. The Burgman 650 has a telescopic, coil spring, oil-damped front suspension and a swing arm, coil spring, oil-damped rear suspension. The 400 has the same front system and a link-type, coil spring, oil-damped rear system. The Silver Wing has an hydraulic fork front suspension and a swing arm rear suspension with dual hydraulic shocks and five-position spring-preload adjustability. The Burgman 400 and the Silver Wing both have a V-belt drive while the Burgman 650 has a gear drive.

Size and Style

All three bikes have a wheelbase of about 62.5 inches, but the Suzukis are slightly longer than the Honda, nose to tail. The Burgman 400 and 650 have a curb weight (including topped fluids) of 215 and 269 Kilogram, respectively. Not surprisingly, the Silver Wing is in the middle at 245 Kilogram. The Honda has a 29.7-inch seat height, comparable to the Burgman 650's 29 inches. The Burgman 400 is slightly lower at 28 inches. The Burgman is annually available in two colours for each model. Honda produces one specific Silver Wing colour per model-year. All three bikes have under-seat storage large enough for two full-face helmets. Owners of both machines generally claim the Silver Wing looks a bit more like a sport motorcycle while the Burgman looks more like a touring bike.

Upgrading

Suzuki puts out an upgraded version of the 650 each year, called the "executive." This bike has ABS brakes, a motorised windshield, additional chrome trim and is available in a single distinct colour each year. Honda began producing an ABS model in 2008. All three bikes have upgrade options, including extended windshields, top boxes (sometimes called boot cases), hard and soft saddle bags, and custom seats. All offer the ability to have aftermarket sound systems installed.

Parts and Service

When it comes to availability and cost of parts, as well as the availability of mechanics qualified to repair the bikes, the Burgman and the Silver Wing are about even. Any power sports dealer for either brand can manage maintenance and repairs. Most other bike shops that handle scooter repairs can easily take care of oil changes and tire replacement. Many Vespa dealers will take on more complex repairs for either bike. A review of scooter forums reveals that people perceive the Burgman as slightly easier in terms of the owner performing minor maintenance, but this information is purely anecdotal.

Price

The 2009 Burgman 400 had a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of £4,289. The MSRP for the 2009 Burgman 650 was £5,654 for the standard model and £6,369 for the executive. The Honda Silver Wing's 2009 MSRP started at £5,524.

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