Suzuki’s once again beefing up the Burgman scooter series, although the latest Burg’ isn’t exactly in the same category as the 650 or even the 400 maxi-scooters that once defined the line. Instead, we’re getting the new Burgman 125EX. It may be down on power compared to those scooters, but it has another feature that drivers find very appealing these days: Excellent fuel economy.
Suzuki launched two new 125 scooters to overseas markets earlier this year, the Avenis and Address. Those names probably wouldn’t draw thousands of buyers to showrooms; the economy of these models, particularly the excellent gas mileage, is what Suzuki is banking on. The engine from those scoots re-appears in this new Burgman. Suzuki figures the four-stroke air-cooled 124cc SOHC single-cylinder engine (making a claimed 8.4 hp and 7.4 lb-ft of torque) can return as much as 150 mpg. In a world where petrol pricing is skyrocketing, that fuel mileage sounds very appealing.
Twelve-inch wheels are a better option than the smaller rims on many janky economy scoots, and 30.7 seat height and 247-pound weight should make this machine accessible to most riders. With a twist-and-go throttle, it will be very easy to learn to ride, too. The only potential fly in the ointment, at least in the Canadian market, is that the 125-class engine will require a motorcycle course for legal licencing in most provinces. Given the rising costs of learners’ courses, not to mention insurance, it will take many riders a few seasons to really see any savings from their new step-through.
But Suzuki has a global market to sell to, and other countries don’t have the same difficulties with licencing and insurance. Furthermore, there are many Canadians who already have their full motorcycle licence who may be tempted back to two wheels with an economical machine like this Suzuki, if it ever comes here.
Because, its arrival here is not guaranteed yet—often these scooters from Japan only sell in Europe and Asia, not North America. Given global demand for any powered two-wheeler, Suzuki could probably sell out its stock while ignoring our market completely, and maybe that’s what will happen.
Hopefully not. though. While it’s not in the same league as the old big, bad Burgmans, this little 125 would be a very desirable option for urban commuters, particular if outfitted with heated grips, 27-liter topbox and other tasty options from the accessories catalogue. With features like an engine auto stop/start, which stops wasteful fuel consumption at traffic lights, this is about as environmentally friendly as you can get, while still burning gasoline.