Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Yamaha T-Max

Fri, July 15th, 2011

2009–11 Yamaha YP500 T-Max
Yea, it's pretty zippy for a scooter, but the majority of 500cc motorcycles have more power, significantly less weight and a more efficient, snappy manual transmission.
Yamaha positions the T-Max as a 'sports scooter.' Thanks to decent suspension, lower unsprung weight (due to a rigidly mounted crankcase), and a stiff aluminum frame, the T-Max really can reach respectable cornering speeds. The weight distribution, steering and seating position will still feel rather odd to a sportbike rider, though.
Even with Yamaha Racing derived graphics, it's a rather ordinary and unexceptional-looking scooter. It's certainly not unattractive by any means, just forgettable.
It's a quality, robustly-built vehicle that requires little maintenance. The twist-and-go CVT makes the drivetrain difficult to misuse, abuse or over-stress.
The T-Max is fun and comfortable to ride. It has plenty of power for any road, over any distance, has nice wind and weather protection and is nearly as secure on the highway as it is nimble in town. The only demerit is for poor value: the price tag is way too high.
If I wanted a big scooter, the T-Max would be the frontrunner. But looking at it another way, if I had $8,590 to spend, lots of motorcycles would be ahead of it in line.
The T-Max is arguably the most competent scooter available today, but it doesn't stir the soul.