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2009 Yamaha TMAX Review


by Amyot Bachand ,

Yamaha Canada is taking a gamble for 2009 by offering a sport-oriented scooter. The all-new TMAX 500 is a different breed of scooters -- definitely more akin to a motorcycle yet featuring traditional elements like under-seat storage, a step-through design and, of course, an automatic transmission. While this machine encourages a sportier type of riding, it still remains a scooter first and foremost.

The TMAX is a truly sporty scooter.

At $9,999, Yamaha's "maxi scooter" targets intermediate and advanced riders (between 20 and 40 years old) who don't want to have to shift gears. Since coming to market in 2001, the TMAX has conquered Europe with the highest sales volumes in the maxi segment. Such popularity is easy to understand.

Everything is designed to emphasize the scooter's sportiness: the tapered front apron, the raised rear section and the upswept muffler are a few examples. Even the folding passenger footrests, which consist of two aluminum pegs, are inspired from a sportbike. The stylish 2-piece windshield provides adequate protection against the elements.

The die-cast aluminum frame is a cross between a motorcycle-type frame and a scooter step-through design. The swingarm is not integrated to the engine since the latter sits right in the middle of the frame.

The large 43-mm fork offers 120 millimeters of front-wheel travel for a smooth ride. Mounted between the engine and swingarm, the rear shock offers 116 millimeters of wheel travel.

The dual floating front discs are squeezed by four-piston monoblock callipers, while the rear disc teams up with a single-piston calliper.

The rugged 3-spoke wheels are fitted with 15-inch tires. Both the front and rear tires are tubeless and radial construction for sporty handling.

The TMAX weighs 222 kilos and some effort is required to put it on its center stand. Fortunately, an easy-to-use side stand is there to help you.

The dual floating front discs are squeezed by four-piston monoblock callipers.
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