Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bikes I'd Like To Ride: Suzuki Burgman

The last scooter I rode was a small, skittish, downright terrifying wheezer with wheels the size of the ones on my riding lawnmower. Its steering made a MotoGP bike feel like a chopper; thinking about turning was the same thing as doing it. Sometimes it even turned when you weren't thinking about it. At anything over a walking pace it darted one way and then the other, like a squirrel crossing the road. The engine could, on a good day, and with a stiff tailwind, pull the slack out of a dirty T-shirt. At the time I couldn't imagine a single reason why anyone would ride a scooter. Ever.

That was a long, long time ago. I'm told scooters have changed some since then. Boy, have they.

The Burgman has a fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, eight-valve, 638cc twin-cylinder engine, and a dual-mode continuously variable transmission. It has twin disc brakes up front, and a 41mm fork. You can get it with ABS. You can't get it without the angry-insect styling, but you can't see it while you're riding it anyway.

So why would I like to ride a Burgman? Because it's goofy, and goofy has always appealed to me. (Read more about that here.) Because it's different from what I'm used to, and yet not so different that I can't relate to it. Because I'd like to ride a two-wheeler I don't have to shift, just to see what that's like. Because the seat has an adjustable rider backrest (ahhh, that's the spot).

And because that angry-insect look is sort of growing on me.

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