Motorcycle News (UK) - - THIS WEEK - By Jon Urry GUEST TESTER

‘What is it about scoot­ers that UK com­muters don’t un­der­stand?’

What is it about scoot­ers that UK com­muters don’t un­der­stand? Take Yamaha’s new X-MAX 300 as an ex­am­ple. For just £65 a month on PCP you can have one of these A2le­gal maxi-scoot­ers and ba­si­cally kiss good­bye to your pub­lic trans­port woes, not to men­tion save a stack of cash in the process. How does that not make sense? And if you are yet to be con­verted to two-wheels and are wor­ried about safety, the X-MAX even helps quash this fear.

Along­side ABS, Yamaha’s new 292cc sin­gle cylin­der maxi-scooter comes with trac­tion con­trol as stan­dard which, although a lit­tle un­nec­es­sary on a 27.6bhp twist-and- go, is still re­as­sur­ing when it starts to rain. Add to this key­less ig­ni­tion and disc brakes front and rear, and the X-MAX goes a long way to jus­ti­fy­ing its £4949 price. And then there is the prac­ti­cal­ity side.

Pop the seat and un­der­neath is a vast 45-litre stor­age com­part­ment (which is lit by an LED light) can hap­pily swal­low up two full-face lids with room to spare. In one of the two glove boxes (the one that locks) there is a 12v power source so you can charge a phone while on the go and both the screen and bars are height ad­justable. Did I men­tion econ­omy? How does 80mpg sound? On paper the X-MAX is ev­ery sub­ur­ban com­muter’s dream trans­port, and the ride doesn’t dis­ap­point.

De­spite ap­pear­ing quite large phys­i­cally, the X-MAX is ac­tu­ally sur­pris­ingly light and ag­ile. Car­ry­ing its 179kg weight very low helps it flick ef­fort­lessly from side to side and it’s nar­row enough to zip through gaps. The seat is com­fort­able, the screen and fair­ing ef­fec­tive, and it can al­most hit 100mph flat-out. Should you need to an­chor up quickly the ABS brakes are ex­cel­lent, if lack­ing a lit­tle in feel, and the trac­tion con­trol worked when we rode it on wet cob­bles.

The sus­pen­sion, how­ever, could be bet­ter. Over poor sur­faces the twin shocks felt a lit­tle harsh and un­der-damped. On smoother roads they were up to the job, but pot­holes are best avoided. As are in­clined park­ing spots, be­cause Yamaha haven’t equipped the X-MAX with a park­ing brake, mean­ing you do need to be wary when park­ing on a slope. But it’s a small ir­ri­ta­tion on what is oth­er­wise a thor­oughly sorted maxi-scooter.

Clear dash and an ad­justable screen Need to charge your phone? Easy! Two lids and room for gloves and more

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