What is a maxi-scooter?
In the traditional sense, it’s a touring scooter. A scooter that you can take on long rides – be it on the highways, over changing terrain, or around some twisties; much like a motorcycle, if you will. But, it is a scooter. And, that means it must also be practical and effortless to ride on a daily basis.
Now, because maxi-scooter as a concept took off in Europe, higher capacity engines, larger frames, and bigger wheels became a signature element for these scooters. Not surprisingly, the Suzuki Burgman Street with its 125cc engine, a combo of 12-10-inch wheels, and mechanicals borrowed from the Access 125, was met with some skepticism.
Yes, it certainly looked the part; the large front fairing, the long tail, the low mounted headlamp, the visible handlebar, and the high floorboard with foot-forward ergos, are all very maxi. But, the initial sales haven’t gone through the roof. Just to give you an idea, the Access – which is an older and more established brand – sold almost 50,000 units in September. The Burgman managed to sell less than 10,000 in the same time period.
So, does it mean Suzuki has got it wrong with the latter?
Quite the opposite, if you ask me. We are a country of busy highways, and speed averse commuters. We love fuel efficiency and remain penny wise. And, though we love visual size, we don’t take too well to excess weight that comes with it. The Burgman Street checks all these sensibilities.
And, to see if my thought process is right, I have one on a long-term test. The plan over the next three to four months is to see if the Burgman can actually live up to the maxi-scooter tag, the lack of engine capacity or bigger wheels notwithstanding.
That means it needs to be practical, comfortable, efficient and manageable like most city scooters are. Then to top it, it must be able to handle a 200km intercity run; you know to justify the ‘maxi’ tag. And that means, it must be able to cruise comfortably, have a decent range, and it ought to have the ergonomics suited for long distance travel.
But, that's planned for a later date. Next month, we will stick to the city and test the Burgman’s ‘scooter’ tag…
Kilometres this month: 86.6km
Fuel Efficiency: 48.1kmpl