Written on: 04/10/2008 by mbarnes
Well equiped and excellent value. Is at home in the town and on the motorway. Provides a safe comfortable ride, and good riding position. Good spec but could be improved hence low overall rating 8/10
The external locking mechanism for the helmet is fiddly. Lack of high visibility rear light for use in fog. A low petrol warning light would be helpful.
I returned to motorcycle riding (scooters) when i retired. I have previously owned a Honda Pantheon 125cc which I quite liked and Yamaha X max 250 which I disliked. I bought a Burgmnan 400 because I found the X max less stable and less comfortable than my pantheoen which is no longer available. When I first sat on the burgman i found the windscreen a little off putting as it has 'fish eye' lens effect where it bends. This is a bit disconcerting. Normally however it would not be in your line of vision except possibly when you first ride it and you feel that need to keep an eye on the speedo and controls. If the fish lens effect is troubling you the chances are that you are not looking far enough in front of you.
The ride however is excellent. The lower centre of gravity helps and it is very responsive to 'body steering'. The leg positions are great. On the X max i often got cramp but have not done so on the Burgman. I also particularly liked the angle and depth of the brake levers. The levers are basically parallel to the road surface which means your hands are more relaxed and not extended in a permanent curve when you drive. Unlike some bikes you dont have to stretch you fingers too much to pull the levers back. The seat is excellent with an ability to adjust the bum rest.
Very useful when you change from summer clothing to winter clothing and take up more seat space. I have not ridden with a pillion passenger so i cant comment on that. Some reviewers have commented negatively on adverse handling in the wind. I am suprised by this. I find it handles very well in both cross and fore and aft winds. My guess is that those who find the wind troublesome are not wearing proper motorcycle clothes - it makes such a difference. As with any bike it takes practice and experience to cope with the wind. Most people tighten up in gusts when a more relaxed response is called for. The secret is knowing when to fight the wind and when to let it help you. Practice makes perfect.
Much is made of the storage. It is very good but I don't find it easy to store my full face helmet in it. It will go in but not as easily as I thought. I have yet to try two helmets! I have though managed to store a weekend end case in the available space. I did take the precaution of having a small rear carrier fitted which I have used many times. I have also fitted heated handle grips and knuckle guards. Recently i fitted a sat nav as well.
Overall the bike is well equipped. I agree however that locks on the side'pockets'would be useful. I am not sure about the need for the handbrake. I have used it twice, once to see if it is working and the other time to show off!. The same is true of the double hazard lights. Apparently both are justified on safety grounds. Personally I would much prefer it if some hi visibility rear lights were fitted to making driving in the fog and rain a bit bit more secure. In fairness the front lights are excellent, as is the odometer.
The lack of a low petrol warning light is a nuisance. Initially i found the petrol cap fiddly but you soon get used to this. In terms of speed and accelarataion it does all i need it to. It coasts easliy at 70mph, and overtakes smoothly and efficiently on motorways and on gradients.
Depending on your point of view petrol consumption is good., however motorcycle manufacturers will soon have to wake up to the fact that some cars are now more fuel efficient than two wheelers.
To sum up; the 2008 version is an excellent scooter, safe, comfortable (I did 400 miles in a day without excessive body fatigue), stylish and well kitted out. Its excellent for commuting and low level touring, and good value for money.