Test Track

Compare Burgman AN 400, Aprilia Pegaso and Malaguti Spidermax

Today I took some time to test the Spidermax on all kinds of roads. Let´s see how she compares to the Burgman 400 or Pegaso 650.

Mountains click image 2 c my mountain roads

We have here some really nice hairpin curves, a total 180 degrees right turn, up the hill and the road is nearly on top of itself. A car has to take the opposite lane and a bike has to drive at walking pace. So you need good balance driving dead slow up the hill in a 180 degree. With the Burgman I often had to put a foot out for balance.
The Pegaso, in first gear, and thanks to the wide handlebar managed without problems and the Spidermax was just like the Pegaso. So very good handling in slow tight situations. The Pegaso needed often be driven in the first  to third gear, but it  was not pleasant since the second gear was often very noisy to put in. Also the clutch needed to be feathered otherwise we got to much jerked around (not in a good way).  The Burgman 400  sometimes scraped the ground in downhill curves. So as a mountain goat the Spidermax is the best.
The Fast Lane

Driving on the highway can be a joy. The Burgman 400 was stable until the speedometer read 140km/h (130 GPS) then she became a bit unstable. Certain fast curves made me slow down because it did not feel safe to drive faster.

Some not very smooth parts of the road did not agree with the Burgman either and when we road through a fancy golf club settlement where some idiot designed the nature stone speed bumps I scraped with the Burgmann over nearly every one. I was driving dead slow and had the suspension set to the hardest setting. I really liked my Burgman much but that showed me that it is not the right bike for this island.
The tiny windshield of the Pegaso made everything above 120km/h not very pleasant to drive. Later I seldom found myself driving faster than 100km/h because of the wind and the high gas comsumption. The Spidermax has the front fork of a motorcycle (same as the Yamaha T-Max and the Burgman 650) High speeds are a joy with that bike.The wind protection is good and all the problems I mentioned I had with the Burgman were not present. So as a highway chaser the Spidermax is the best.
General Handling

The Burgman is a maxi scooter what likes to glide. The engine is smooth and nearly purrrfect. Slow turns take their space. Do not take the hands of the handlebar while driving, the Burgman becomes instable instantly. Easy on and off for both riders. I loved the comfort of riding with stretched out legs, but  wished the handlebar would have been closer for this type of relaxed riding. She did not like dirt roads to much because of her low ground clearance. The breaking was not bad and she did not dive in while just using the front brake.
The Pegaso likes to be ridden alone, 2 up the pillion gets a bit jerked around. Thanks to the wide handlebar she is easy to manover and to control. The higher seat makes it a bit harder to balance the Pegaso in standstill or backing up. A few seconds the hands of the handlebar are no problems for the Pegaso. I thought the Pegaso would open the other 50% of Gran Canaria´s roads for us (dirt roads with mostly loose gravel, from tiny to head size and sand like patches. But I learned the hard way that the 200kg heavy trail bike is not to balance with both legs and using the rear brake at the same time. I really learned to appreciate the rear brake on the handlebar from the scooters here.
The Spidermax has the most talketive motor. From the sound of an old farming tractor (20km/h 2800 rpm uphill) to the sonor sound of a big thumper bike you hear a wide variety of sounds. She always lets you know how she feels, the Italian girl. Also, she does like her vibrator, the Burgman and even the Pegaso dampened vibrations better. It is not too bad though. She is also not too fast getting up to go, but that might be improved with a different variator. She has the same engine as all Italian 500 cc Scooter. I had the feeling the Burgman was a bit faster from the start.
I found this article what did compare  the 2 cylinder Burgman 650 and the 2 cylinder TMAX with the Runner and the X9 and it sums the engine pretty much up:
With an engine in common – Piaggio’s 460cc single-cylinder, fuel-injected, four- valve, MASTER mill – the X9 and Nexus offer almost identical riding experiences. The MASTER has claimed peak outputs of 29kW at 7500rpm and 43Nm at 5500rpm, but the Nexus felt faster despite having a claimed kerb weight of 216kg, some 3kg greater than the X9. In comparison with the Japanese maxis, the Piaggio and Gilera engines are less pleasant to use, particularly around town or at lower speeds, where the Italian motor feels very rough, chuggy and unrefined. It smoothes out markedly as the revs rise and cruises very well, with a decent turn of speed for overtaking, but never quite manages to match the Japanese twins for acceleration, throttle response or smoothness.

If you drive downhill you can release the handlebar until you hit the next curve. The Spidermax is totally stable without hands on the handlebar. To get the relaxed scooter riding position with the legs stretched  I will look into the highway pegs mod what some people already doing on their scooters.  On dirt roads the Spidermax was not bad, enough ground clearance and the 16" wheels were much better than the Burgman. The breaking part on soft patches was not to bad either, better than the Pegaso since I could use the legs to balance and use the combi brake. I like the normal brakes better than the combi because the combi uses front and rear together. 60% rear and 40% front. I had to test how the combi brake behaves on slippery surfaces. I used a high gloss painted concrete parking level with patches of sandy dust on it. A low speed fast stop was successful without problem. The low speed emergency brake with blocked wheels let the front slip a bit. So I am not a too big fan of these brakes on a slippery surface. But lots of manufacturers mount these combi brakes on modern bikes
I found myself swinging the Spidermax through curves while sitting erect. She weings like a pendulum. I never felt so in control on a bike than with her.

The Bikes

Storage: Pegaso none, Burgman and Spidermax have space for 2 full face helmets the Spidermax also has an electrical outlet. Pegaso and Spidermax have an area where you can mount a topbox, Burgman needs an extra carrier mounted. The glove compartment is tiny on the Spidermax, but it holds the fuses, enough spare fuses and is big enough for a brake disc lock. The valves on the wheels of the Spidermax are bend so checking the air is much more easy than with the Burman. The Spidermax also tells you when the next oil change or driving belt change is due.
Oil change is easy on the Spidermax. The oil filter is mounted outside and so are the final drive check and change plugs. Valves should be checked on the Spidermax all 18.000km.
After 190 km the Burgman wanted to see a gas station while the Spidermax is good for 270 km. The Pegaso´s yellow tank lamp came mostly around 240 km. With 6-7 liter per 100km she was a bit too thirsty for my taste.
The gas mileage I get is quite OK Spritmonitor.de Spritmonitor.deSpritmonitor.deand close with my Burgman 400 K2 (she was around 4.5 but was ridden a bit slower). It is a bit higher than normal since I ride a lot into the mountains 2 up and we can speed a bit on the highway with 140kmh ~ 90mph

So the Spidermax is definitely not a scooter.
She is a sporty automatic touring motorcycle with a big trunk and a good wind protection.