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2011 Suzuki Burgman ZA400 ABS Review


by Michel Deslauriers ,

There are many types of motorcycles out there, one for every purpose. A superbike like a Suzuki GSX-R might get your adrenaline pumping, but as a daily rider, it’s pretty marginal. A touring bike such as a Honda Gold Wing is great for heading down to Florida with the spouse, but it’s heavy – and expensive.

2011 Suzuki Burgman ZA400 ABS front 3/4 view
I could easily imagine myself riding to work every sunny morning aboard the Suzuki Burgman. (Photo:Sébastien D'Amour/

How about a scooter? No, I’m not kidding.

Forget those 50-cc buzzers that the kids are poppin’ wheelies with and punching holes in their mufflers for some extra-aggravating noise; I’m talking about a grown-up, responsible adult scooter. Okay, most of them on the road seem to be ridden by an older crowd, but get that out of your mind the time you read this.

Granted, there aren’t many manufacturers who offer full-size scooters; Yamaha, Kymco, Piaggio, a few less-known brands as well as Suzuki with their Burgman.

One hard-working cylinder
The Burgman ZA400 is equipped with a 4-stroke, liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine mated to a continuously-variable automatic (or CVT). Output is rated at 34 horsepower, which is enough to get this scooter moving along swiftly. We recorded a 0-100 km/h time of 12.6 seconds; the bike actually feels quicker, as power comes on after the initial launch from a standstill.

Out on the open road, you’d probably be surprised to know that the Burgman 400 can reach speeds of 150 km/h and above; actually, it surprised the driver of a BMW who thought he could pass me with his eyes closed as we were both merging onto the highway.

What’s equally impressive is how rock-solid stable the Burgman feels at speed. The bike sports a low centre of gravity, but is pretty nimble nonetheless, despite its 489-lb (222-kg) weight. The telescopic fork and link-type rear suspension do a good job of soaking up city street lumps, bumps and potholes.

2011 Suzuki Burgman ZA400 ABS left side view
What’s equally impressive is how rock-solid stable the Burgman feels at speed. (Photo:Sébastien D'Amour/
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