YAMAHA TMAX SCOOTER
BIKE OF THE WEEK
First arriving on the scene in July 2000, the Yamaha TMAX maxi scooter is a powerful little animal with the heart of a motorcycle and the body of a scooter. It was really designed as a commuter machine, combining a powerful engine for nipping through the town traffic, with the hop on hop off convenience of a scooter, but its big engine also gives it big road capability so it covers every base.
The 500cc TMAX has an exceptionally large engine for a scooter and it was enlarged to a stonking 530cc for 2012 onwards. And as it has evolved, subsequent additions and improvements have been made like D-Mode which gives the rider the option to choose a sportier running mode for an even nippier ride.
The design proved to be spot-on and with its finger firmly on the pulse, it took off, streaking ahead of contemporary rivals - winning Gold in the 2001 Good Design Award (Japan) and a Red Dot award for product design for the 2012 model. It has turned out to be an extremely popular ride, with more than 233,000 TMAX scooters sold in Europe!
It was initially designed for existing scooter riders as an upgrade, for middleweight motorcycle owners - used to a lot of power - but wanting something more manoeuvrable in traffic, and new or returning riders who wanted a versatile powerful and easy to use machine. It was also a maxi scooter which due to its large engine, had autobahn and autostrada capability for the European market.
Twist and Go...
As a kind of hybrid motorcycle/scooter it has some characteristics of both, for example the swingarm of a motorcycle, plus the engine bolted to the frame further forward than is usual on a scooter so that the weight distribution feels more motorcycle than scooter. Some of these factors, along with its water cooled, four stroke, horizontal straight twin engine combined with twist and go automatic transmission, all added to its versatility and appeal.
Sadly, a side effect of its eminently useable speed, power and manoeuvrability have meant that it is can be the go-to vehicle of choice for London scooter crime and is often used by Scooter gangs in the capital.
What do you think?
Do you have any experience of this powerhouse of a scooter, would you ride one? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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