The 125 cc scooter space is heating up, and how! In just over a year, there have been as many as four new 125 cc automatic scooter launches in India, with two more on the way (from Hero MotoCorp). The latest to join the market is the Suzuki Burgman Street, and it's a scooter which looks completely different from the sea of scooters on Indian roads today. That's a good thing, because the Burgman Street is designed specifically for India, and it borrows its styling from Suzuki's international maxi-scooter range, the Suzuki Burgman. Unlike the international range though, which has engines displacing as much as 650 cc, for India, Suzuki has tried to play it safe. And the Burgman Street scooter uses the same platform as the bestselling Suzuki Access 125.
Design and Features
The Suzuki Burgman Street certainly grabs attention, and turns a few heads on the street. After all, there's nothing quite like it available in the market right now, and that is its biggest USP. It looks big, and its reasonably large proportions make it appealing. The big front apron with the small flyscreen gives the face a commanding presence, and just a glance at the Burgman Street is enough to make it stand out, whether parked or out on the street. The LED headlights and turn indicators are neatly incorporated into the smart-looking front apron, and as you move across the profile of the scooter, the neat side panels with the sculpted creases taper off to a nice looking LED taillight, with the tell-tale Burgman Street badge on the side. Adding to its personality is the large, stepped, single-piece seat ending in the large grab rail and complemented by the chunky exhaust muffler. Our only complaint is that the rear end looks slightly disproportionate, with the 10-inch wheel with 100 mm tyre looking slightly small for the fat rear section.
On the features front, the Suzuki Burgman Street employs a full-digital instrument panel, which reads out the speed, odometer, two trip meters, and also comes with a fuel gauge and clock. It's easily readable and completes the premium positioning of the Burgman, but not as comprehensive as its closest rival, the TVS NTorq. But there's ample storage space with two cubby holes on the front, with a very handy enclosed glove compartment, but sadly it's not lockable. Lower down there are two 'hooks', one on the front and one just under the front part of the seat to hang some grocery bags or the like. The multi-function key opens up the seat hatch and underseat storage is generous, and will be helpful in storing a few books and even a bag, but it isn't enough to close the hatch with a full-face helmet inside.
Performance and Handling
As you straddle the scooter, the first thing you notice is the comfortable ergonomics and upright riding position, which is immediately likeable. The footboard has plenty of space and there is space for you to keep your feet in a forward-biased position, quite like a cruiser motorcycle. The position is immediately intuitive, but for riders on a long daily commute, this does help break the monotony of the standard riding position. The seat is fat, wide and long, and provides a comfortable perch, both for the rider as well as a pillion. Performance, for the most part, is familiar, because it shares the same engine, chassis and suspension with the Suzuki Access 125.
For the record, the Access 125 is the largest-selling 125 cc scooter, and Suzuki has tried to keep the same winning formula here. After all, why tweak something which seems to work well? And at the same time, it makes sense to have a parts bin which is easily shared with an already existing model The 124 cc, single-cylinder engine makes 8.6 bhp at 7,000 rpm and 10.2 Nm of peak torque at 5,000 rpm. On the move, the Suzuki Burgman Street is eager to get to speed, and has a strong mid-range which allows for quick acceleration to despatch slower moving traffic on the urban commute. But what is immediately likeable and very impressive is the sweet handling characteristics it shares with the Access 125.
Despite its large proportions, the Burgman Street is eager to turn, and filters through traffic easily, and enthusiastically. The front disc and rear drum braking set-up of our test scooter comes with a combi-brake set-up, and braking, for the most part, is satisfactory. Even though the bite from the brakes is good, progression is slow, and we felt the combi set-up biased with the rear wheel locking up sooner under hard braking. But it's not a deal breaker for sure, and for most part, the Suzuki Burgman Street offers an impressive performance and handling experience.
Our test ride of the Suzuki Burgman Street involved a fair bit of riding within the city, and we're happy to report that it does almost all things satisfactorily - looks good, rides well, and handles with a level of agility that is immediately likeable. Suzuki claims that the Burgman Street returns 53 kmpl, in the real world, and with a fuel tank capacity of 5.6 litres, that is more than enough for the daily urban run around. Although we didn't get enough time to test the actual fuel economy figures of the scooter, we're happy to report that the fuel gauge didn't budge even one notch during the time we spent with it, and with some spirited riding around to boot.
At ₹ 68,000 (ex-showroom), the Suzuki Burgman Street isn't exactly the affordable 125 cc scooter; in fact, it's the most expensive scooter in its segment and is certainly positioned as a premium 125 cc scooter. With maxi-scooter looks, if it's sheer road presence with some practicality you're looking for, the Burgman Street certainly ticks all the boxes, although it's a good ₹ 9,000-10,000 more expensive than its closest competitors and even its sibling the Suzuki Access 125. If the price tag isn't much of a bother, and you're looking for a scooter which stands out amidst the sea of automatic scooters on our roads, by all means take a look at the Suzuki Burgman Street, you won't be disappointed.
Photography: Azam Siddiqui