Is a Burgman 400 too big for the city? - Suzuki Burgman Forum
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Is a Burgman 400 too big for the city?

Hello Everyone:

I live in Chicago and have always rode rather small scooters 50cc to 125cc. I need to get out to the suburbs more often and have just took a safety class and got my motorcycle license and am looking to upgrade. I will be doing 70% of my riding in the city neighborhoods (around Wrigley Field) and downtown and 30% out in the suburbs. I am 42 years old 5'6" 145lbs man. My questions are these:

1. Is a Burgman 400 simply too large for the city neighborhood streets?
2. Is a Burgman 200 perfect for the city but not so good on the crazy highways around Chicago (or any very large city)?
3. Does my (lack of) physical size make the Burgman 400 dangerous or difficult to handle?
4. Despite by loving Burgmans from afar for so long, should I be looking at something else?

Thanks in advance for your opinions. I'm really relying on your expertise.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 04:15 PM
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I have to say "no" to the general question, based on my experience with the TMAX 500. I think it is the PERFECT urban vehicle, and I ride it in the "city" daily.

I can't imagine that a 400 anything is too big for the city.

HOWEVER, a smaller bike (like a 50cc) WOULD have the advantage of probably letting you get away with parking at bike rakes, if that is important to you. Also, given that you said 70% of your riding is on city streets, a smaller bike may be something to consider, simply because of the lack of need for a bigger one.


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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 05:46 PM
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Having just returned to a B400 after a time away...and in an urban area - a small-but-dense city with heavy traffic...

...I can tell you, it's not that the thing is too big. It's that on some potholed streets the tires are a mite small.

Just FWIW. And this from having navigated this town for two years with a TW200. The smaller wheels...you feel it as you bounce harder into the ruts.
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oxeye View Post
Hello Everyone:

I live in Chicago and have always rode rather small scooters 50cc to 125cc. I need to get out to the suburbs more often and have just took a safety class and got my motorcycle license and am looking to upgrade. I will be doing 70% of my riding in the city neighborhoods (around Wrigley Field) and downtown and 30% out in the suburbs. I am 42 years old 5'6" 145lbs man. My questions are these:

1. Is a Burgman 400 simply too large for the city neighborhood streets?
2. Is a Burgman 200 perfect for the city but not so good on the crazy highways around Chicago (or any very large city)?
3. Does my (lack of) physical size make the Burgman 400 dangerous or difficult to handle?
4. Despite by loving Burgmans from afar for so long, should I be looking at something else?

Thanks in advance for your opinions. I'm really relying on your expertise.
If you are relying on my expertise, you are leaning on a weak reed; that being said, let me just add this:
Chicago is as big city--as you know--with plenty of highways coming in, going through and going all over--and here is where the 400 will be invaluable to you. A 50 will only put you in danger--except going about in neighborhoods, the Loop, other such slow traffic locales. If you are going out to the suburbs, then you positively need the 400. A 250 would do also but the 400, because it wouldn't be pressed to the limit, would last longer.
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 06:53 PM
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It's important to understand that Burgman family has a touring bias. If you don't care about storage space or a passenger, better ergos and comfort, i would recommend the TMax. Mind also that it's a very different bike from 50 cc, but it's exactly what doctor orders for the big city.

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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all of your input. To clarify, I understand that there is a difference between a 50cc scooter and the two options I laid out. I am looking to upgrade from what I currently have so I already know that there is a huge difference between the cc's of what I have and the models listed. Also, I am not looking for a comparison between the 200 and 400 vs other models available from other manufacturers. My main concern is this:

Do you think that my size and weight can handle the two different bikes; if not, which model would be better for me and why.

Of the two models listed in my question (200 vs 400); are they appropriate bikes to handle a city like Chicago, and also go on the occasional suburb/highway(ish) trips? I'm talking 150 mile round trip max.

For those of you who are familiar with the two models: do they both handle medium to heavy traffic fine (i.e. lane changes and traffic speed), city conditions (pot holes, sharp turns, skinny two way streets, etc.), and do you find parking to be easy/medium/impossible?

Please keep in mind that I am 5'6" so being able to maneuver the bikes and still feel comfortable is important.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 09:36 PM
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I can't imagine a much larger city than Los Angeles and the 400 is perfect for it. Now we have legal lane splitting and such and the 400 is my bike of choice. I haven't ridden the 200, but my previous ride was a 250 Honda helix. Wonderful bike, but boy was it lacking a little "umph" when the freeways were moving. Hence my upgrade to the 400.

I think the bigger question is what additional capabilities will the 400 add to your riding. It'll do fine in heavy traffic, but you'll gain true Turing capabilities. Your weekend jaunts may get longer and your grin a little wider. Beware the Burgman Grin... It's addictive. Lol.
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Ingrid - '07 Blue Burgman 400 (56k mi) - original owner
Jesse - '05 Silver Burgman 650 (27k mi) - 3rd owner

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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 10:22 PM
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And more advantages the 400 has that will be helpful to you:
Power to move and pass in traffic.
Huge 61 Liter Storage space under the seat.
Dual Front Disks Brakes.
With good care, can last over 75,000 miles.
Very comfortable.
I'm only 5 inches taller than you, it should fit you perfect.

Al in Sunny Tampa Bay Florida (St Petersburg)
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2008 Burgman AN400 K8 Red (The Red Baron)
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-16-2016, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oxeye View Post
Do you think that my size and weight can handle the two different bikes; if not, which model would be better for me and why.

Please keep in mind that I am 5'6" so being able to maneuver the bikes and still feel comfortable is important.
I loaned my 400 to a friend who was probably smaller than you, maybe 5'5", 145. We rode 750 miles up the coast and back for a weekend. He didn't seem to have any problems whatsoever. But give it a try. Go sit on one, maybe take it for a test ride. I think you'll be surprised. It's got a low seat height and substantially less weight than the 650.

"What is your measure of success? Warren Buffett has always said the measure is whether the people close to you are happy and love you." Bill Gates

Liamjs
Ingrid - '07 Blue Burgman 400 (56k mi) - original owner
Jesse - '05 Silver Burgman 650 (27k mi) - 3rd owner
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-16-2016, 12:51 AM
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A 400 versus a 200 in a major city, should be an easy choice.

If you're narrowing it to Burgmans (Burgmen?) the 200 and 400 are pretty close in physical size. Weight differences, according to Suzuki, are about a hundred pounds - 360 versus 490 pounds.

I doubt the 200 would be up for any rush-hour racing. Really...if you're small AND slow, you are in very-real danger in a major-urban-area freeway. The 400 will have the ability to keep up with traffic - and for relatively short distances, meaning under 20 miles or so, it shouldn't be too hard on the engine.

On the 200 you'll be running wide-open; you'll be shortening it's life greatly; your gas mileage will fall to less than the 400...and you'll still be holding up traffic.

The 200 looks like a good buy but the reality is, it's not suitable for anything but neighborhoods or college campuses or small-towns.
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