Motor Scooters

Suzuki Unveils Its Hydrogen-Powered Scooter: The Suzuki Burgman

Suzuki Unveils Its Hydrogen-Powered Scooter: The Suzuki Burgman

The big names in the motorcycling world have been constantly working on electric and hydrogen-powered motorcycles. Several successful electric motorcycle models belonging to almost every category, including sports bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, and standard bikes have been released and have garnered positive reviews and responses from the motorcycling community. However, there is still a lot to do in this field as electric motorcycles have failed when it comes to making good sales compared to gasoline-powered motorcycles. Along with the ongoing struggle to make electric motorcycles cheaper and perform better, engineers have also started to work on hydrogen fuel technology to power motorcycles.

Suzuki, along with other members of the big four Japanese motorcycle brands (Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha) has been constantly struggling for a decade to design and build a hydrogen-powered motorcycle. The company has produced and unveiled several hydrogen-powered prototypes at the Tokyo Motor Shows. As per the recent development in this field, Suzuki is planning to show the world its recent engineering marvel, the Suzuki Burgman, a hydrogen-powered scooter prototype, which is built around the gas-powered Suzuki Burgman 400 scooter.

What makes the hydrogen-powered Suzuki Burgman different from the rest of the ongoing hydrogen-powered projects and prototypes from other manufacturers is the mechanism it uses to power the rear wheel. Suzuki’s prototype has not adopted the conventional hydrogen fuel cell mechanism. Instead, it uses the same single-cylinder base engine installed in the gas-powered Suzuki Burgman with a variety of modifications to make it compatible with hydrogen fuel.

The latest Suzuki Burgman prototype features an engine that is supplied with hydrogen fuel to burn and produce power. The previous hydrogen-powered Suzuki Burgman variations produced since 2010 used hydrogen fuel cells to power the electric motors installed near the rear wheel. However, this time, Suzuki has made a bold move by introducing an engine that will burn hydrogen fuel. To carry out the process of burning hydrogen fuel in a scooter’s engine is a highly challenging task, especially when trying to ensure that it is clean and safe for the environment.

Suzuki Unveils Its Hydrogen-Powered Scooter: The Suzuki Burgman
Photo Credit: New Atlas

Suzuki has been a prominent member of the HySE (Hydrogen Small Mobility & Engine Technology) group, along with Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki to research, develop, and promote clean and green energy resources, such as the hydrogen fuel to use in motorcycles and other small vehicles. The role and responsibilities Suzuki performs as an esteemed member of the HySE include “element study on functionality, performance, and reliability of hydrogen-powered engines.” This is what Suzuki aims to achieve with the new hydrogen-powered Suzuki Burgman as per the company sources.

The details of the hydrogen-powered Suzuki Burgman, which is expected to be unveiled at the 2023 Tokyo Motor Show - now renamed the 2023 Japan Mobility Show - are yet to be disclosed. However, the hydrogen fuel engine is expected to contain a direct fuel injection system. Reports further inform that the upcoming Suzuki Burgman prototype will have the hydrogen fuel tank installed somewhere between the rider’s feet, and the fuel will be stored at a pressure of around 10,000 psi.

Suzuki Unveils Its Hydrogen-Powered Scooter: The Suzuki Burgman
Photo Credit: Cycle World

The engine and the drivetrain had to be shifted slightly backward to make space for the hydrogen fuel tank, resulting in a longer wheelbase. However, the good thing about this design is the availability of storage space below the seat, which was removed in the previous hydrogen-powered Suzuki Burgman prototypes to store the hydrogen cells.

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