City slicker

X-max 300, PLUS Egli Fritz

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Jon Urry MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

What is it about scoot­ers that UK com­muters don’t un­der­stand? Take Yamaha’s new X-MAX 300. For just £65 a month on PCP you can own one of these A2-le­gal maxi- scoot­ers and ba­si­cally kiss good­bye to your pub­lic trans­port woes, not to men­tion save a stack­load 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 ma­chine 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 tag. And then there is the prac­ti­cal­ity side.

Pop up the X- MAX’S seat and un­der­neath is a vast 45-litre stor­age area (which is help­fully lit by an LED light) that can hap­pily swal­low up two full-face lids with room to spare. In one of the two glove­boxes (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 all day long sound? On pa­per the X- MAX is ev­ery sub­ur­ban commuter’s dream mode of trans­port, and the ride doesn’t dis­ap­point ei­ther.

De­spite ap­pear­ing phys­i­cally large, the X-MAX soon re­veals it­self as a sur­pris­ingly light and ag­ile commuter. 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 are ef­fec­tive and it can al­most hit 100mph flat-out. Should you need to an­chor up quickly, while the brakes lack some feel, the ABS is ex­cel­lent in catch­ing any lock-ups and the trac­tion control cer­tainly worked on wet cob­bles.

The sus­pen­sion, how­ever, could be a lit­tle bet­ter. Over par­tic­u­larly poor sur­faces the X-MAX’S twin shocks felt a lit­tle harsh and un­der-damped, jolt­ing the rider in an un­pleas­ant way. On smoother roads they were up to the job, but if you own an X-MAX it’s best to avoid pot­holes wher­ever pos­si­ble. As well as in­clined park­ing spots…

In a slightly odd move, Yamaha haven’t equipped the big­ger X-MAX (or any X-MAX model for that mat­ter) with a park­ing brake, mean­ing you do need to be wary when park­ing up on any kind of slope. But this a small ir­ri­ta­tion on what is oth­er­wise a thor­oughly sorted, and well-spec­i­fied, maxi-scooter that – if tried – would cer­tainly win over a few pub­lic trans­port-weary com­muters.

‘Laden with toys, for £65 a month on PCP, how does this not make sense?’

Clear dash sits neatly be­low height-ad­justable screen

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