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2012 Yamaha TMAX Preview


by Pascal Bastien ,

The full-size touring scooter is on – ahem – quite a roll. We’re seeing more and more of this new breed of motorcycle on our roads, which comes with its own slew of special features. Other than a few styling touch-ups here and there, the 2012 Yamaha TMAX also inherits an improved frame and a thoroughly redesigned engine.

2012 Yamaha TMAX front 3/4 view
Photo: Yamaha

A generation that left its mark
The third generation of the TMAX (but the first one in Canada) trumped the other maxi scooters on the market in terms of riding dynamics. It ushered in a new era, that of the sport – dare I say performance – scooter. With this revolutionary machine, Yamaha delivered for the first time in history a scooter offering performance and comfort levels nearly on par with a GT.

The manufacturer is at it again for 2012, serving up a lighter, better equipped, more potent and even more dynamic TMAX than ever before. Could it be that Yamaha had already guessed at the arrival of BMW’s new C scooters, the pioneering TMAX’s first direct competitors?

Family resemblance
Aiming for nothing less than the top of the class, Yamaha pulled no punches here. The new TMAX comes off as more athletic and belligerent thanks to sharper, tauter lines reminiscent of the brand’s high-end sportbikes. Retaining the same dimensions, it now sports an upturned croup, a longer exhaust pipe pointing skywards and a more ergonomic passenger grip. The taillamp is taken directly from the R1.

The TMAX inherits a new, comprehensive, 3D-style instrument panel complete with ambient temperature gauge, clock, fuel consumption average, fuel level gauge and analogue tachometer. You can also manually adjust the new windscreen’s height with a key included in the tool kit provided by Yamaha.

There are two storage compartments under the instrument cluster; a small one for your cell phone and a bigger one that can accommodate a 500-ml water bottle. You can stash a full-face helmet and a few other doodads in the compartment under the seat as well. Unfortunately, there’s no 12V outlet to be found, neither under the seat nor on the dash.

Lighter and stiffer
The 2012 Yamaha TMAX is built on the same aluminum frame as before, which has been strengthened and fitted with an aluminum swing arm. The suspensions haven’t changed, but they’re hooked up to lighter 15” aluminum wheels. As for brakes, the TMAX has kept the same 267-mm disc up front, but in back it swapped its 267-mm size for a 282. Thanks to lighter engine, forks, wheels and kickstand, the new and improved TMAX weighs in at 200 kg, or 4 kg lighter than the outgoing model.

2012 Yamaha TMAX chassis
Photo: Yamaha
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