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Common Tread

2015 Yamaha TMAX coming to America

Mar 03, 2015

Yamaha calls the TMAX the "sportbike of scooters."

My first thought whenever I hear a manufacturer make a claim like that is to be skeptical and to start looking for ways to discredit it. Surely, scooters can't be cool or fun (besides that cute kind of scooter fun), right?

2015 Yamaha TMAX
The 2015 Yamaha TMAX. Yamaha photo.

I fired up the googlez and quickly found a ton of photos and videos of people with insanely customized TMAXs. Then I remembered Yamaha gave Roland Sands one a few years back, which resulted in the RSD TMAX. That thing definitely passes the "do I want to ride it" test. OK, Yamaha, you have my attention.

Roland Sands Design TMAX
Roland Sands Design TMAX. Roland Sands photo.

The 2015 Yamaha TMAX features a 530 cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected twin engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). It has a 41 mm inverted fork and twin disc brakes up front with radially mounted calipers. The only real competitor is the Suzuki Burgman 650, which is more of a touring scooter than a sport scooter. Its 108 cc displacement advantage (the big Burg engine is actually 638 cc) is attached to a bike that weighs an extra 128 pounds (613 pounds versus 485 pounds), which is probably why it doesn't feel quite as snappy — or so they say.

2015 Yamaha TMAX
The 2015 Yamaha TMAX. Yamaha photo.

I actually wasn't a huge fan of the Burgman 650. I prefer smaller scooters and just don't really get the idea of wanting to tour on a big scooter. That said, our Vespa Primavera review is proof that I do love to try to hoon scooters, so I can't wait to get my hands on this TMAX and see if it really earns the "sportbike of scooters" claim.

2015 Yamaha TMAX
Engine type

530 cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke, forward-inclined parallel two-cylinder, DOHC, four valves per cylinder

Bore x stroke 68.0 mm x 73.0 mm
Compression ratio 10.9:1
Fuel delivery Electronic Fuel Injection
Ignition Digital TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission Automatic CVT
Final drive V Belt
Front suspension 41 mm inverted telescopic forks with 4.7 inches of travel
Rear suspension Mid-ship horizontal shock with 4.6 inches of travel
Front brakes Two 267 mm dual hydraulic discs
Rear brake 282 mm hydraulic disc
Front tire 120/70-15
Rear tire 160/60-15
Seat height 31.5 inches
Wheelbase 62.2 inches
Rake 25 degrees
Trail 92 mm
Fuel capacity 4.0 gallons
Fuel economy 46 mpg
Wet weight 485 pounds
Warranty One-year limited factory warranty
Color Sonic Gray

We'll be getting one in as soon as we can to thoroughly test the sporty claims. Anyone abroad had any experience with the TMAX? Do you think American scooterists will customize the TMAX the way people do in Europe and Asia?