‘Practical, comfy and with no weaknesses’
“The TMAX has always stood head and shoulders above the maxiscooter opposition. I once did 55,000 trouble-free miles on an early one. It’s a scooter that handles more like a motorcycle, but at the same time it’s superpractical and comfortable.
“2013 saw a redesigned frame and swingarm, with a tooth rubber drive belt replacing the previous enclosed drive chain. These resulted in a significant weight saving and mass centralisation.
“Mechanically speaking, apart from a 30cc capacity increase and the addition of fuel injection, the bike is little changed from its inception in 2001 – proving how good it was to start with.
“The service intervals are 6000 miles, with sparkplugs, filters and primary belt at 12k. There’s also a valve-clearance check at 24k. The primary belt connects the engine to the clutch via the variator, which effectively changes the gearing fully automatically according to the load requirements.
“Warning messages remind you when oil changes and belt changes are required. There are three air filters; one for the engine and two for the primary belt. The final- drive belt is maintenance free, and apart from a tension check at the service it’ll require no attention. Thanks to the TMAX’S popularity in Europe, it’s a target for thieves. However, due to the built-in immobiliser, these bikes can’t be hot-wired or started without the keys. “You need to look after them – and don’t lose the red master key, which is needed if you require replacements. If you are tempted to buy a stolen/recovered one without keys, factor in the cost of an ECU and lock set, plus the fitting costs. You can’t just replace the ignition switch. There is no way around this. The ones that are stolen are either lifted into a van or taken with their own keys.
“These are good, reliable machines, with no particular weaknesses. The electrics are well protected, and they’re easy to keep clean. If you buy used, always go for the latest model you can afford and ensure there’s a documented service history. The primary belt and filter change at 12,000 miles is important; it’ll go for longer, but will then break and leave you stranded. Also, check for crash damage. Panel fit is superb; view anything otherwise with suspicion. Buy with confidence.
‘These are good, reliable machines, with no particular weaknesses’
Check for crash damage and make sure all main servicing has been carried out
Charles Marvell Flitwick Motorcycles