Launched in 2000, Yamaha’s maxi scooter was designed to combine the performance of a motorcycle with the practicality of a scooter. The result was a sporty 500cc maxi scooter that achieved instant cult status in most cities around the world.
The second generation received injection, but it only became really interesting from 2008. Then the (then with a dash) T-Max got a more modern appearance, a lighter aluminum frame, a 15 inch front wheel (previously 14) and an extra liter in the tank (15 liters). In 2012, the T-Max became the TMAX, with a new update (and an extra 30cc) that carved its already solid reputation even further in marble. It was less practical than the assembled competition – which offered more storage space, for example – but thanks to its incredible ride quality, the loyal following only continued to grow.
In 2020, the TMAX received a suspension upgrade, the Euro5 treatment, among other things, pushed the displacement to 560cc, good for an extra horse or two. With the further developed 2022 model, Yamaha is ushering in the eighth generation TMAX, but frankly there was not much wrong with the previous one.
The aluminum twin spar frame under the fairing is the key to the success of the TMAX. Add to that the UPSD front fork, the (on the Tech Max) adjustable monoshock and four-piston radial calipers and you know: this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. From 2020, the TMAX got stiffer springs and the damping setting has also been revised; furthermore, there was another CVT gearing for (even) stronger acceleration; the result of all this is an even sportier scooter with even sharper steering behaviour.
While it remains a tall and wide thing, it also narrowed slightly at the saddle and butt, which can give smaller riders a little more confidence. Don’t be fooled by the sporty aura that hangs around the Tech Max (or even the base model): this is indeed a comfortable scooter, with an electrically adjustable windshield, multifunctional dashboard, heated grips and seat, cruise control, traction control… It says of course a hefty price tag, even for the base model – although most TMAX drivers opt for the full spec Tech Max.
Besides the fact that he is and remains a sturdy boy, the price is about the most heard point of criticism; although it also retains its value excellently when resold. Technically, there is little to criticize about the TMAX, apart from the usual things you should pay attention to when buying a second-hand.
Do know that TMAXs have always been (and remain) very popular with thieves, so be sure to check the papers and ensure sufficient security and possibly a tracker. In the distant past we drove a TMAX for a year, and we are still very enthusiastic about it. In short: from the launch 22 years ago this was a rock solid bike (because apart from the looks this thing is really a mature motorcycle) that has only got better over the years.
Liquid cooled parallel twin • 499 (530/562) cc • 43 (45/47) hp • 217 (220) kg • 15 l. • €4,000 – €12,000