A trio of 2023 upgrades for the new scooter range from Suzuki, covering the Burgman 125, Avenis 125, and Address 125. Today was the turn of the new Suzuki Burgman Street 125EX, we were off to Cambridge to sample the scooter that the Hamamatsu marque says fuses together class, style, comfort and practicality – with performance and convenience to sweeten the deal.
I’d argue performance isn’t quite the buzzword to use when peddling an 8 bhp scooter. Still, nevertheless, the Burgman is an iconic name in the scootering world and tends to make plenty of 'Top 10 Scooters' lists – but has this latest update brought enough to the table to challenge the big dogs of Yamaha and Honda, who together sell a seriously astounding number of two-wheeled scooters per year?
2023 updates include the SEP-A (or Suzuki Eco Performance Alpha) engine that focuses on economical running, featuring start-stop to help conserve fuel with silent starting as the headline features, along with the promise of 180 miles between fill-ups, USB charging, and 21.5 litres of under-seat storage space. Is the Burgman back in style? Is it packing enough scoot for £2,999?
Suzuki Burgman Street 125EX | Quick Overview
- Price £2,999
- Engine 125cc single-cylinder, SEP-A, 8.4 bhp and 10 Nm of torque
- Under-seat storage: 21.5 litres (not enough for a full size helmet)
- Weight: 112 kg
- Seat height: 780 mm
- Fuel capacity: 5.5 litres
- 12 inch tyres front & rear
Suzuki Burgman Street 125EX | Price and Availability
At £2,999, this new Burgman conveniently slots in cheaper than the popular Yamaha NMAX 125 (£3,777) and Honda PCX 125 (£3,599), though this is to be expected to compete with two of the best-selling two-wheelers in the UK motorcycling market.
You can pick from a colour palette of Pearl Moon Stone Grey (as ridden), Metallic Matt Black No.2, and Pearl Mirage White – and all include a 3-year warranty as standard.
If looking to bolster the scoot with official accessories from the factory, you can choose to add grip heaters (for £323.40), a plastic top case (27L and quoted to be enough for a full face lid, at £148.13 plus £32.09 adapter plate), and a pillion grab rail (£82.12) to replace the standard rear carrier – subsequently shortening the scooter’s length, too, handy if you’re fitting it into a motorhome, for example.
I’d recommend looking at a better screen if riding long distances at over 40 mph – our brief stint on the A14 was seriously windy, and though the little screen looks the part, it doesn’t provide a great deal of protection.
Engine and Power
- Engine: 124cc 4-stroke, air-cooled SOHC single-cylinder
- Power: 8.4 BHP at 6,500 rpm & 10 Nm Torque at 5,500 rpm
- Final drive: Belt
- Transmission: CVT
- MPG: 148.6 (104 MPG when tested)
- Fuel capacity: 5.5 litres
Silently firing up beneath the surprisingly small Burgman Street 125EX is the air-cooled SEP-A engine, also housed in the Address and Avenis 125 - though this Burgman gets the ‘alpha’ upgrade (in Japan they use this as the connotation for ‘a bit extra’) which here means Engine Auto Stop-Start, a first for Suzuki bikes/scooters, and silent start – along with the aim of being eco-friendly and conservative with fuel.
Effectively, the little single aims to be as frugal as possible with start-stop and silent start (which replaces the conventional starter motor and generator. Once the motor has warmed up from running for a few minutes, the green stop-start function light confirms the scoot will automatically shut off after a few seconds of no movement, and silently rumble into life at the twist of the throttle. You also have the option to switch this feature off on-the-fly, with a switch that takes the place of the killswitch.
In terms of fuel economy, the official quoted figure is 148 mpg from the 5.5 litre tank, which is theory should be good for 180 miles or so – particularly if you aim to adjust your riding to illuminate the Eco indicator light on the dash at all times.
With my 6’3” frame and matching weight, the final figure from the 53.2 mile ride was an average 104 mpg figure, alongside 2 of the 5 fuel bars being consumed – other test riders on the day announced figures ranging from 107 to 111 miles per gallon – smaller, lighter riders will get the most mileage per tank.
Suzuki Burgman 125 Top Speed Test
With a CBT-licence-compliant 8.4 BHP at peak power, and 10 Nm of torque, it’s not huge on the numbers - but it’s plucky enough with enough instant torque to zip up to 30 mph at a good pace and at full tuck and with enough road in front of you, can get up to 62 mph under its own steam.
I did somehow get it to 66 mph (indicated) on the A14 when slipstreaming behind two other Burgmans with riders at full tuck, stupidly good fun. Aside from the laughs, it does mean you can just about keep up with traffic at full tuck – though in full tuck, the weight distribution put far too much over the front wheel, and it felt immensely dodgy with my weight floating high above of an otherwise low-centre-of-gravity scooter. I mean, just look at me on it.
Whereas previous iterations of the Burgman were larger, maxi-scooter sized units, this one is more of your standard 125cc small scooter. The 1290mm wheelbase allows for nimble handling, and you can duck and weave around on the road, filtering past anything and everything – the ultimate city commuting tool.
Burgman 125 | Frame, Suspension, Brakes
Overall, it’s a compact and lightweight package – though not quite as ‘maxi’ as I was expecting the Burgman to be, with dimensions more in line with your typical 125cc scooter, and therefore missing out on the large carrying capacity in the name of sleek style.
An underbone design frame is produced using repeated CAE, with large diameter thin tube sections for minimum mass and maximum rigidity. It corner’s quickly, and for the most part is happy when going full throttle on the countryside roads heading out towards Ely.
Though it’s noticeably small in size for me, it’s still fairly comfortable with adequate space for your feet – plus the raised boards to stretch your legs out on.
Suspension up front is a telescopic front fork, the rear a swingarm with coil spring. For the most part bumps in the road are dealt with well, but it can get a bit unsettled if the road condition is severe or after successive bumps.
New here are the 12-inch wheels front and rear, which are a tad narrow, but provide nice riding character for nipping around town. Mounted to those wheels up front is a disc brake, linked with CBS to the rear drum brake. Braking power is good, no skidding, though it’s such a light weight you would be hard pressed to struggle with the brakes here.
Burgman 125 | Super Scooter Commuter Features
You get a basic LCD screen with your speed, Trip 1 & 2, and ODO – plus the time, fuel status, engine temp, and avg MPG. Solid lights indicate an Eco mode (ride strictly to this and you’ll no doubt get closer to that 148 mpg (and if you don’t weigh over 14 stone, too)).
There is a USB-A plug illuminated in the left compartment in the leg shield, illuminated in blue when the weather protection plug is yanked off. It’s fairly deep, enough for a phone and wallet (and keys etc), though not lockable. The right side is open, equally deep and equally narrow. The ignition has the magnet-closing cap that is unlocked with your key.
The 780mm saddle opens to reveal a 21.5 Litre underseat storage compartment, enough for a backpack with goods in, but as mentioned above, will not take a medium/large full-face helmet. No chance.
Other than that, the tech on offer is limited, but in line with the price. You have no option to connect your smartphone to the dash to control calls etc, but that’s not a huge detraction, a Suzuki rep noted there is an accessory bar that’ll stretch across the handlebar, allowing you to mount a phone if you require.
Working on the 104 mpg average I returned from the test ride (other reviewers on the day landed on higher figures, around 110-117 mpg) would suggest a rough 120 mile range from the 5.5-litre tank. Absolutely enough for a commuter scooter, though compared to the Japanese rivals with 7.1 litres in the Nmax 125 and 8.1 litres in the PCX 125, it’s quite small.
It does have LED all around, though!
Suzuki Burgman Street 125EX | Pros and Cons
- Smartly integrated stop/start function with silent start.
- Cheap £2,999 price.
- Nippy ride in town.
- Small for a 6’3” rider – no longer a 125cc maxi.
- 21.5-litre under-seat storage will not take a medium/large helmet.
- Felt a little sorry for it carting me around all day – could it have been a maxi?
2023 Suzuki Burgman Street 125EX | Verdict
Could this be the option for a cheap-to-buy and cheap-to-run scooter that’ll twist and go wherever you want it to? Perhaps. If you’re a smaller rider you’ll get on just great, the £2,999 price tag is a very tempting option to consider as an alternative to the Honda and Yamaha scoots of the world, and not too far off the cheaper alternatives in the market.
The Suzuki Burgman Street 125EX impressed in its style and simplicity of ride, though in my mind it could have distinguished itself from the Avenis 125 and Address 125 of which it is loosely based – for instance, by being the 125cc maxi-scooter with double the under-seat storage space, and the go-to option for riders over 5’10”. Maybe even phone integration whilst we’re there, too.
A bigger size overall would have done this Burgman wonders. A bigger tank, larger under-seat storage, and more power – but as a package, it’s suitable for all as a commuter scooter. Will it outsell the indomitable Honda PCX 125 and Yamaha NMAX 125? Perhaps not, they will likely forever be the top-selling scooters of the UK, but it’s nice for Suzuki to continue its model offensive with a trio of scooter attempts to serve all markets.
Thanks to Suzuki for having us on the launch, head to their website for more info.
When it's time to get a quote on your Suzuki Burgman (or other) scooter, try Lexham Insurance direct for a quote on one (or more) of their several exclusive schemes.