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Yamaha TMax 530 Royal En­field Clas­sic 500

Old Bike Australasia - - CONTENTS - Test Jim Scays­brook Pho­tos Sue Scays­brook

Around town, this thing is an ab­so­lute rocket – even Jorge Lorenzo wouldn’t beat it off the lights. So I guess the an­swer is that it’s a scooter be­cause it has small(ish) 15 inch wheels, you step through to mount rather than swing a leg over, and there’s mas­sive stor­age space un­der the rear­ward hing­ing seat. But be­yond that, it’s prob­a­bly the most prac­ti­cal two-wheeler on the mar­ket, al­beit at a price. By mod­ern def­i­ni­tion, this is a ‘maxi-scooter’, which will cruise the high­ways with con­sum- mate ease at the le­gal limit, and above. In fact, it is so easy to have the speed creep up I would have pre­ferred a big dig­i­tal read­out on the speedo rather than the old nee­dle. The seat­ing po­si­tion is supremely com­fort­able and the wind­screen is in just the right po­si­tion, but I never quite worked out whether I should have my feet for­ward on the front sec­tion of the run­ning boards or on the flat part, bikestyle. I chose the lat­ter as the TMax felt more sta­ble that way. How­ever it is wide across the

foot area, mean­ing your legs are splayed when at rest and those of shorter stature could find dif­fi­culty in gain­ing a firm foothold on the ground. With a 530cc DOHC par­al­lel twin un­der you, it’s no won­der the Yamaha ac­cel­er­ates like a scalded cat, and this is a real boost in traf­fic where you need in­stant power to avoid be­ing hemmed in or shoved about. There are two power modes: S and T, the lat­ter be­ing the softer, plus Trac­tion Con­trol. I stuck with S, and I guess the T mode is re­ally de­signed for less ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers (the TMax is LAMS le­gal). The CVT Au­to­matic trans­mis­sion works fault­lessly, in fact to all in­tents and pur­poses, it’s not even there.

The so­phis­ti­cated elec­tron­ics ex­tend to re­mote lock­ing, whereby you sim­ply carry the ‘key’ in your pocket and use the but­tons on the han­dle­bars to get ev­ery­thing un­der way. Although you start the TMax (and re­lease the seat latch and fuel caps) with the but­ton on the right switch block, you need to re­mem­ber to switch it all off with a sep­a­rate but­ton (which also locks the steer­ing), oth­er­wise it stays switched on and can drain the bat­tery. A use­ful fit­ting is a park­ing brake (op­er­ated by a lever be­low the left switch block) which is very handy when you need to take both hands off the bars when stopped. An­other smart fea­ture is the abil­ity to lock the cen­tre stand in the down po­si­tion, mean­ing it can’t even be pushed away by felons. The TMax is a fun ma­chine, no doubt about it. The steer­ing is a bit pon­der­ous due to the long wheel­base, but it can be flung about with aban­don, and noth­ing ever scrapes. And the brakes – fan­tas­tic, as you would ex­pect be­cause they are de­rived from the R6 sports ma­chine. Sus­pen­sion is also well set – up­side down front forks, no less – with none of the wal­low­ing or pitch­ing of­ten as­so­ci­ated with ‘scoot­ers’. A hor­i­zon­tally-mounted shock takes good care of the rear sus­pen­sion. As one gets older, ma­chines such as this be­come more and more at­trac­tive, giv­ing the best of both scooter and mo­tor­cy­cle worlds. The TMax 530 is not a small pack­age, so if you like the con­cept but would pre­fer some­thing a lit­tle more petite, there’s the XMax 300 which is lighter, smaller over­all and cheaper.

Stacks of space un­der the seat. Su­perb brakes and front sus­pen­sion. The lever be­low the left side switch­block is a park brake.

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