It is great to see Suzuki bringing the smallest member of their Burgman family to North America. It’s a stylish machine that's going to generate a cult of followers like its larger siblings.
Frugal at the pump
The bare minimum for the interstate
SUZUKI BURGMAN 200 (UH200)
Globally the Burgman 200 is the second smallest member of Suzuki’s Burgman family, which also includes 125cc, 400cc and 650cc versions. The 125cc and 200cc Burgman’s are nearly the same thing, as the 125 uses the same parts but receives an undersized motor to meet learners regulations in many countries (ie. the UK, France). Overseas the Burgman family uses the name Skywave instead. The Burgman 200 was introduced in the USA and Canadian markets for 2014. It remains on sale in the USA as of 2019, but has not been offered in Canada since 2016.
The Burgman 200 takes the opulent maxi-scooter concept of its bigger siblings and scales it down to be more economical. Instead of $8-$11g and 40-50 mpg, the Burgman 200 should cost $5-6g and achieve 60 mpg. First impressions of the Burgman 200 are that it’s quite large and 200cc seems like it’s not going to be enough motor. However, the UH200 isn’t as heavy as its bulk implies. It’s actually a very reasonable 359 lbs, which compares well with other scooters like Kymco’s Downtown 200 (367 lbs) and Honda’s Forza 300 (428 lbs).
Since 2002, Suzuki has been making three different Burgman designs. The smallest design was offered as 125cc and 150cc, while the mid-sized design was offered as 250cc and 400cc and the largest was the 650cc Burgman. When the smallest Burgman design was redesigned for a second generation (2006), Suzuki decided to offer a bigger 200cc version (model code UH200). For 2014, Suzuki gave the Burgman 200 an overall and also bought this model to the USA and Canada.
Compared to the older Burgman 200’s, the refreshed 2014 model introduced here gained new bodywork and standard ABS. The light setups are new at both ends, and the gauges are particularly nice. Suzuki has designed a new ABS system which comes standard. With the update, the headlights are now separate beams that resemble the Burgman 400.
With its light weight, the Burgman 200 gets up to speed fairly quickly. It uses a single cylinder 200cc powerplant, which creates a max of 18.1 HP. Peak power occurs way up at 8000 RPM, so the Burgman 200 revs its way to a decent top speed of 75mph (120 km/hr). With a scooter this large, top speed is quite wind dependant, so you can cruise past 130km/hr with a tailwind or see a max speed of 110km/hr if you’re heading into the breeze. The overall result is acceptable highway performance, but you certainly wouldn’t want to settle for less. Patient drivers will enjoy this little Burgman, while less passive scooterists will find performance a bit frustrating on windy days or with a passenger.
Suzuki squeezed good power of this motor thanks to the use of fuel injection and a high compression ratio (11.0:1). The former also helps to boost mileage, which is excellent at moderate speeds. At max velocity the wind drag takes a toll on efficiency, but around 60 mph the Burgman 200 can sip gas (60 mpg). The overall result is a very appealing economic package for those who value frugality as much as performance.
Design and Amenities
The Burgman design is all about amenities and convenience. Suzuki has tucked great storage opportunities everywhere, including both a large and small glovebox up front. A large glovebox spans the width of the legshield and can hold everything from your lunch to a spare rain jacket. This compartment includes a 12V port, so it’s a good spot to hook up a GPS or charge your phone.
Above this is a smaller glovebox that’s handy for small items like sunglasses. The bulk of the storage is found under the seat, which can swallow a full face helmet and much more. Two full face lids can fit in here side by side if they’re of the small sort. If you’re after even more storage for a proper road trip, Suzuki will sell you a rear top case that adds another 10 gallon of space.
Driving the Burgman is a delight at lower speeds, as the light weight plus low center of gravity makes for a peppy scooter that eagerly wraps around corners. Where it’s really at home is the country roads however, as the reclined seating position and moderate engine power work together to deliver a seamless experience. At these speeds, the windscreen works well with only moderate winds hitting the riders shoulders. Unlike the larger Burgman’s, the little 200 doesn’t cater to passenger comfort to the same extent. The passenger seat lacks a backrest so this area is really intended for short hauls.
For North America, Suzuki has equipped this little Burgman with standard ABS at both ends. This works in conjunction with the 240mm disc brakes that use 3 (front) or 1 (rear) piston calipers.
Gauges on the Burgman 200 are fairly standard. There’s a central analog speedometer which contains the odometer and a small LCD that displays both your trip odometer and the time. Besides that, opposing gauges show your motor temperature and fuel level. Completing the dash are warnings lights for your turn signals, high beams, fuel injection and oil change. The latter indicator is a smart inclusion. There’s also an “ECO” indicator light to help drive efficiently, although with no gears to shift it presumably discourages full throttle and high velocities.
The Burgman 200 occupies a lonely place on the scooter landscape as the smallest displacement maxi offered in North America. The only scooter that really competes closely is Kymco’s Downtown 200, which boasts 205cc. These low displacement maxi’s are an excellent choice for some riders but a frustrating choice for quite a few more. The right buyer should be someone who travels on backroads more than highways, doesn’t ride often with a passenger and isn’t looking for more highway capability than simply holding your own in the slow lane like most 150cc machines. In the right conditions the Burgman 200 can dance on the highway, but hills and high winds will quickly relegate you to the slow lane.
In exchange for this compromise, the Burgman 200 offers a lower entrance price ($4999) and excellent fuel mileage. Potential buyers should carefully consider some of the 300-400cc machines out there (Honda Forza, Kymco Downtown 300, Yamaha Majesty, Burgman 400, Piaggio BV350). Opting for a 300-400cc machine is going to gain highway prowess in any circumstances included passenger carrying, but it adds to the price tag and typically loses 5-10 mpg. Most appealingly, Honda’s Forza boasts similar amenities and MSRP, but higher milage (68 mpg vs 60 mpg) and top speed (95 mph instead of 75 mph). Burgman’s are king of comfort though, so riders who spend more time on country roads will be best served by the little Burgman.
While it is more of a niche machine than it’s larger stable mates, it is great to see Suzuki bringing the smallest member of their Burgman family to North America. It’s a stylish machine that’s going to generate a cult of followers like its larger siblings.