Favorite driver's magazines

"Fast Bikes", April 1, 2013

YAMAHA T-MAX

IF YOU WANT TO TAKE IT TO THE MAX, IS THIS THE BIKE?

WORDS: SIMON ‘ROOTSY’ ROOTS

On a scoot, do you need any more information?

PICS: SIMON ‘ROOTSY’ ROOTS

To judge the merits of the Yamaha T-Max you have to put yourself in the head of a Parisian, Roman, Barcelonian or Milanese. The T-Max has been on the streets of these cities since 2001 and has sold in droves thanks to its inner city appeal. London? Brum? Nah...

This is the fourth revision of the T-Max, and the changes see the motor grow from 499cc to 530cc – a minnow when set against the massive Aprilia SRV850. But after a while on the T-Max you wonder what its rivals are doing with their extra capacity.

Unlike Al, Yamaha resisted the temptation to go large, but you’re still getting a machine that will shoot away from the lights and top 100mph. With new fuel injection, lighter internals and a dry weight under 200 kilos Yamaha has got the balance right. Performance and economy compliment each other well and while the T-Max can keep up with fast motorway traffic, it still returns respectable mpg figures. It looks purposeful, and on the hoof it’s not found lacking. The T-Max has found fans thanks to its sprightly step, and the 2012 bike hasn’t hidden any of this. It turns quickly and confidently, and the nervous feeling that many associate with big scooters is absent. Braking is up to the job – but where’s the ABS? And while we’re at it, there’s no power point either. Or heated grips. Or electric screen...

Tazzing around Docklands, or the like, the T-Max is right at home. It looks sharp, it’s big enough to have presence on the road and is comfortable – especially when you duck behind the screen at speed. But it’s size lets it down when it comes to storage. Superscoots can usually fit in the kitchen sink, but the T-Max’s various compartments are found wanting. As mentioned, there are no gadgets, and it feels the Yamaha is being left behind. Yes, the T-Max will appeal to current owners, but against riders on competitor machines many will want more – especially when the dealer presents them with the price. £8,699 (£1,500 more expensive than the FZ8 and £3k more than a Burgman 400). This should have been an opportunity to undercut its rivals and sneak in some sales – but parity in price denies the T-Max an opportunity to steal a march on its bigger and flashier rivals.

Highlights

530cc parallel twin

Aluminium chassis

Belt drive

Happy handling

45bhp

217kg wet

£8,699

TRACK 3

It would be comfortable...

FAST ROAD 5

Not the worst option ever.

HOOLIGAN 1

It’s only ever angelic.

NEW RIDER 8

So, so simples.

DESIRABILITY 6

Depends where you live.

Verdict 6/10

Everything’s gravy, until you see the price. More storage would be welcome, but it’s a good dynamic option...

+ PERKY MOTOR, ABLE HANDLING, LOOKS

- PRICE, STORAGE, GADGET LITE

CONTACT: YAMAHA UK 01932 358000 WWW.YAMAHA-MOTOR.CO.UK

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