Seven of the best big scoots
Comfy, fast and practical. It is time to super size?
Yamaha TMAX 500 (2001-2016)
Truly ground-breaking when launched back in 2001 in being the first big scoot to offer genuinely decent sports handling and, thanks to its eager 500cc, twin-cylinder motor producing 45bhp, having the 100mph performance to match. Against it, however, was less practicality than some and a high price tag. Fully revised in 2011 it gained an extra 30cc and two more bhp while retaining its class-leading handling, but it’s still fairly pricey. What you’ll pay today £3000-£5400 for the original, £4800-£8000 for the latest.
But should you? Still the best big sports scoot dynamically as long as you’re prepared to pay the premium.
BMW C600/650 Sport & GT (2012-2016)
BMW’S surprise entry into the maxi world first came in 2012 in two forms, the C600 Sport and C650GT (although confusingly both shared the same 647cc, 60bhp twin). The Sport is effectively a TMAX, sports-scooter rival, with less weight and bodywork and the GT a larger, more lavish Burgman rival. Though decent, quality control blighted early examples and both were updated (with the Sport finally being called a 650) in 2015.
What you’ll pay today £4300-£9000 for a Sport, £5-10K for a GT.
But should you? BMW badge justifies the price for some. If you are in the market for one the GT is the pick.
Gilera Fuoco( 2007-2016)
Sports-orientated, leaning three-wheeler is sassier and more entertaining than most of the tilting trike breed. Its 493cc single may not be a match for the likes of the TMAX’S twin, but is enough to produce a healthy 39bhp and a top speed of around 90mph, which makes it the fastest machine of this type. What you’ll pay today £2200-£7300 But should you? It’s rare and misunderstood, but still tempting.
Suzuki Burgman 650 (2003-2016)
Large, lavish, comfortable and well equipped, it’s powered by a punchy 638cc twin producing a decent 54bhp and effectively has the performance and comfort of a mid-sized car. The Burgman is also big and heavy enough to be a handful at a standstill.
What you’ll pay today £2500-£9000 But should you? If you want the ‘most’ in scooter form – this is it.
Honda SW-T Silver Wing 600 (2001-2014)
Like its closest rival, the Suzuki Burgman, it’s a big, roomy, luxury machine powered by a liquid-cooled twin, in this case 582cc producing 48bhp. On the downside, it’s not quite as luxurious as the Suzuki, nor as potent and nimble as Yamaha’s TMAX.
What you’ll pay today £1700-£7000 But should you? Often overlooked as it’s no longer available here as a new bike, but still a decent used buy.
Aprilia SRV850 (2012-2014)
Launched in 2012 as essentially a rebadged, restyled version of the Gilera GP800, the big Aprilia claims the bragging rights as the world’s biggest (being powered by an 839cc V-twin) and most powerful (76bhp) super-scoot. On the downside, however, although fast away from the lights and having Italian good looks, its handling is a little wayward, build quality isn’t what it could be and it lacks the refinement and equipment of rivals such as the Burgman. What you’ll pay today £5000-£6000 But should you? Not a success in the UK and quickly dropped so it’s rare but can be a lot of scoot for the money.
Peugeot Satelis 500 (2007-2016)
Oft-overlooked city scoot made a decent commuter by virtue of blending a maxiscooter motor – in this case a 39bhp four-stroke single – with more-nimblethan-most, ‘small wheel’ dimensions. Add to that decent styling and build quality plus ample comfort and luggage storage.
What you’ll pay today £2800-£3300 But should you? Smaller and less potent than most but decent value.
839cc scoot? That’ll get you to the shops double quick
Ideal for those days when you want to leave the GS at home…
Real 100mph performance in scooter form