Brea, CA–In a candid press conference, Suzuki CEO Osamu Suzuki explained that the origin of the legendary Suzuki maxi scooter, Burgman, (marketed “Skywave” in Japan), is predicated on the (albeit too true) stereotype of “lazy Americans who love their burgers and fries.” According to Osamu, “Burgman” was suggested by one of the company’s advertising copywriters, when other, preferred ideas for names went sour–e.g., “Burger King” getting the company into hot water with a cease and desist from the popular American burger chain, and “Burger Man” coming off as too obvious and too unflinchingly cruel.
On explaining the Burgman’s historic origins, Osamu commented:
In the late 90s when we were originally developing plans for what would later be known as ‘Burgman’ in the states, we saw a void in a market–a target consumer who simultaneously yearns for adventure and craves high-caloric, unhealthy foods. You see, Americans love the open road, “looking for adventure,” getting motors running, etc. etc.; they write rock n’ roll songs about it, authors romanticize in books about it. But they also have hearty appetites and seemingly unquenchable thirsts… not really a practical lifestyle to contain for long stretches in a fairingless motorcycle with no storage space to speak of. So we designed Burgman around the idea that you get your sense of adventure without compromising in satisfying the abnormal hunger your anatomically-enlarged stomach requires. You know, as they say, you can have your cake and eat it, too. I just hope this isn’t taken out of context or misinterpreted, and that nobody tries to eat one of the scooters…
He went on to describe what has made the Suzuki Burgman a staple in the scooter world–the unique combination of ride quality, comfort, multi-function, a stellar (unbeatable) MPG, and finally, unparalleled storage capacity with which even Honda can’t compete:
…but anyway, just as a feature of a categorically American cavernous stomach, Burgman features mighty glove compartments to fit a whopper and a large fry from Burger King, if you like, with ease! But if that’s not enough to satisfy your hunger, you’ll find, under the seat, we’ve created a cavernous storage container large enough to store a cow carcass, provided it’s been properly disemboweled for optimal packing. Hell, you could probably fit a few small-average-sized dead bodies in there, again if they’ve been properly disemboweled, if you’re into that. And it accomplishes all of this all while providing the comfort of practically being on your living room recliner, so you know you can get your sense of adventure without the effort of having to work at it.
Despite Suzuki’s high hopes of collaborating with Burger King, the large American burger chain rejected the use of their trademarked identity to sell medium-large, highway capable motorized scooters. Still, Suzuki claims complete respect and admiration for Burger King, even suggesting using the first fleet of Suzuki Burger Kings as publicity for both brands. “We thought Burger King might start delivering their burgers and fries for optimal consumer convenience, and they could have their delivery personnel ride our new Burger King scooters. We even had plans drawn up for custom-fitted delivery tour-packs, despite the fact that the ample storage capacity in the scooters would probably have been sufficient.”
Nonetheless, without Burger King’s approval, Suzuki moved forward with “Burgman,” an abbreviation of “Burger Man,” which a creative director thought sounded too harsh in its literalness.
At press time, Suzuki advertising copywriter Les Calm, who coined the name “Burgman,” added:
Look, we all know that Americans are lazy, but we don’t want to come out and say it. That’s Burgman–it’s the appearance of rugged adventurism without the hassles that actually exist within such an identity. You can ride the highway without enduring the force of harsh wind speeds. You look like you’re a hardened outlaw, but under the surface, you’re at peace, watching TV in your favorite luxurious recliner. And while I know we haven’t yet implemented a large screen TV in any of our Burgman package options, due to safety concerns, we’re currently trying to determine a work around.