Kymco AK550 v Suzuki Burgman 400
Can Japan’s veteran maxi-scooter campaigner stave off Taiwan’s latest high-tech threat?
Suzuki’s Burgman 400 was a big innovation when it launched in Europe in 1998, being the first of the big-capacity scoots and even pre-dating Yamaha’s original TMAX 500, commonly regarded as the first maxi-scooter when it arrived in 2001.
Now the Burgman 400 has been updated, the model sporting a new look, a larger 15-inch front wheel and a redesigned underseat storage space. It’s also slimmed down, the engineers trimming some 7kg from the overall package.
Is that enough, however, for it to weather a new attack in the form of Kymco’s AK550? The model lobbed Down Under just recently and it sports a load of high-tech gear, including Bluetooth connectivity, a USB charger, LED lighting, tyre pressure monitoring and a complementary smartphone app.
The two models both fall under the maxi-scooter umbrella, and while this amounts to a relatively small niche in Australia compared to Europe, these big scoots are in fact a very comfortable, convenient and practical means of transport.
Yes, scooter folk are different to motorcycle folk, and maxi-scooter folk are a niche within a niche, but let’s take a closer look at these two seemingly similar steeds…