Comparison Test: Suzuki Burgman Vs. Honda Scooter

by Michael G. Sanchez

The Suzuki Burgman and Honda Silver Wing both combine the ease and practicality of a compact, efficient scooter with the capability of a small motorcycle. The machines are around-town commuters but with the necessary power to hit the highway when required. While the 2014 Burgman is currently available, Honda is still selling the 2013 version of the Silver Wing.

Generously Sized

In terms of size, the Suzuki and the Honda are very closely matched. The Suzuki, however, is heavier by about 70 pounds. Both scooters can carry two passengers and a generous complement of gear and supplies. The Suzuki Burgman is 89.2 inches long and 31.9 inches wide, and has a seat height of 29.7 inches. It rides on a 62.4-inch wheelbase and has a curb weight of 613 pounds. The Burgman has a 4-gallon fuel tank. Its under-seat storage compartment has a capacity of 1.98 cubic feet -- enough room to store two full-face helmets. The Honda Silver Wing measures 89.6 inches in length and 30.3 inches in width, and has a seat height of 29.7 inches -- identical to that of the Burgman. The Silver Wing's wheelbase stretches 63.0 inches. It weighs in at 541 pounds and it has a 4.2-gallon fuel tank. The Silver Wing's under-seat storage bin can hold 1.94 cubic feet of cargo.

Surprisingly Powerful

Both models feature impressively large engines and top speeds of approximately 100 mph. The Suzuki Burgman is powered by a 638 cc parallel twin. The dual-overhead-cam, fuel-injected and liquid-cooled engine has a 2.97-inch bore and a 2.81-inch stroke. Its compression ratio is 11.2-to-1. The Burgman utilizes Suzuki's SECVT continuously variable transmission, which offers three modes: Drive, Power and Manual. In Manual mode, the driver can select from six "gear" ranges. This gives the Suzuki an edge over the Honda in terms of performance and "fun-to-drive" factor. Motivation for the Honda Silver Wing is provided by a smaller, but still muscular 582 cc parallel-twin, fuel-injected engine. It has a bore of 2.83 inches and a 2.81-inch stroke. Its compression ratio is 10.2-to-1. The scooter uses Honda's V-Matic CVT.

Luxurious Features

Both scooters were designed for comfort and day-to-day usability. Common features include large windscreens, aerodynamic full-body fairings, comfortable, well-padded seats and supplementary storage compartments. The Burgman features three small "glove box" compartments in the front fairing, while the Silver Wing has two. While both models are very comfy as far as scooters go, the Burgman has a bit more legroom than the Silver Wing and also boasts an adjustable windshield, as opposed the Honda's fixed unit. Particularly for taller riders, these two qualities give the Suzuki a definite edge.

Capable Suspension

The Burgman uses a telescopic front fork up front. The rear suspension is a swingarm setup, with a coil spring and oil-damped shock. The Burgman has a 15-inch wheel in the front and 14-incher in the back. It rides on a 120/70 front tire and a 160/60 rear tire. It features disc brakes front and rear with standard ABS. Like the Burgman, the Silver Wing employs a telescopic front fork. Out back, it uses a swingarm with dual shock absorbers. It rides on slightly smaller wheels than the Suzuki: a 14-incher in front and a 13-incher in the rear. These smaller-diameter wheels help make it more agile around town than the Burgman. On the highway, though, the Suzuki's larger wheels enhance stability. The Silver Wing uses a 120/80 front tire and a 150/70 rear. Like the Burgman, it comes standard with ABS.

Pricing and Fuel Economy Data

When it comes to price, the Honda has a distinct advantage. The 2014 Suzuki Burgman starts at $10,999. The 2013 Honda Silver Wing, on the other hand, begins at $9,270. For buyers on a budget, the Silver Wing's approximately $1,700 savings is a major win. When it comes to fuel economy, though, it is pretty much a toss-up between the two. Both scooters return an estimated 45 to 50 mpg in real-world, mixed driving.

About the Author

Michael G. Sanchez has been a professional writer for over 10 years. A lifelong car enthusiast and former senior mechanic, he has written on a wide range of automotive topics. He holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Castleton State College. Sanchez started writing about cars as a part-time copywriter for a local dealership while still in high school.

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