Posted On 09 Apr 2024
Comment: Off
This entry is part 38 of 26 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#27


It is easier to imagine the UH200/A asking for another port at the club rather than fanging through traffic, but its ample waist and pumping heart (engine) are misleading. This common sense road runner can be an absolute barrel of fun in the right hands.

There, are those comments enough to confuse you? You are not alone. The Burgman 200 confused me, too. At first.

Let’s see: the Burgman 650 was Australia’s first glimpse of the serious maxi scooter world. It was, and still is, the weapon of choice of Ulyssians who had dropped their GoldWing but didn’t want to drop motorcycling. It is a powerhouse, around town and on the freeway, and that is the main reason it is bought. Oh, it is relatively light, handles well, carries and even tows substantial loads, accommodates two pensioners in comfort and has matching twin cupholders (I may be lying about that last one), but the punch is the main reason it rolls out of the shops.

When Suzuki introduced the 400cc version, it failed to find many buyers; if you had a Burgman you had a 650.

So… why introduce a version with an even smaller engine? Though this be Miller’s, yet there is metho in’t, as Polonius said of Hamlet.

The Suzuki Burgman 200 looks a little like a PWC (powered water craft – I’m not allowed to write ‘jet ski’ because that term belongs to someone else), and its wide passenger foot boards have a habit of clipping you in the calves if you don’t get your feet up in time on takeoff. While we’re on the subject of takeoff, the V-belt drive takes some little time to rev up. You can still get away from the traffic, don’t worry, not least because drivers will be collecting their jaws off the floor at the sight of this je… that is to say, PWC haring off from the lights ahead of them. And if you’re tall, you would be well advised to sit on a UH200/A in the bike shop and make brr-brrr noises with your lips for a while to make sure that you fit on it all right.

Other than those petty criticisms, this is a terrific bit of Thai-built machinery.

Build quality is up to Suzuki’s usual high standards. It is a welcome surprise to find that the under-seat compartment takes two full-face helmets plus other junk. All this space has been liberated by the small engine.

For normally-built people (that’s me as opposed to Stuart) the rider’s seat is comfortable, and the pillion seat is paradise. I’ve already mentioned the substantial pillion footrests – they’re almost the size of a Sydney cycle path.

Fuel consumption is a meagre 3.4 litres per 100km, and that’s with me revving the crap out of it at every opportunity – just because I could.

To make sure I wasn’t suffering from delusions brought on by a subtle Suzuki adjustment of my critical faculties (such as they are), I compared the Burgman 200 with a 150cc scooter from another Major Manufacturer. Admittedly the other scooter was 50cc smaller and air cooled, but the Burgman powered away from it like… like a really powerful thing. It works, and even despite that initial hesitation the Burgman was nipping ahead of the, er, the other scooter. It’s really a matter of being relatively slow at the beginning compared to the pleasant acceleration that follows.

The one way in which the other scooter was superior, apart from looks, was in that it had a centre stand. Looks? The UH200/A is in fact quite attractive (although its bum does look big) but appearance-wise it could have come from any number of factories. A good reason to call it ‘Burgman’, to associate it with both Suzuki and success. Oh, I forgot, the other scooter also had a bag hook, which the Burgman lacks. Shame, that, but there isn’t really room for it.

The controls and instrument panel are pretty much standard, and although I prefer a digital speedo display I really can’t complain here.

There is even a sweet little green ecological soundness light which rewards you by lighting up when you’re riding ecologically soundly, ie saving fuel. I did not see this light very often, but that is because I became a… what’s the motorcycling equivalent of ‘leadfoot’? I was having fun.

All in all, the Burgman 200 goes easily well enough to keep up around town (I would even consider longer rides on it), is affordable at $5490 (+ on roads) and cheap to run, will carry heaps and can be made to fang, within reason. Those who like this sort of thing, as Abraham Lincoln said, will find this the sort of thing that they like. I did.

Series Navigation<< EVENTINSPECT DA GADGET >>
About the Author
Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
Page Scroller Supported By Bottom to Top