Yamaha T Max 500 test
Intro: THE MUTANT IS OUT DATED
The first perceptible difference compared to a scooter: one climbs aboard the machine as if it was a motorbike! The riding position is halfway between a cruiser and a scooter, with two possible positions for the legs (straight or folded). The seat, with an adjustable rider back support, is broad and the handlebar recalls certain high-performance grand tourings. With an overall length of 2 235 mm and a dry weight nearing 200 kgs, the T max impresses. Fourteen inch wheels, with large tires of 120/70 at the front and 150/70 at the back, and the width of the machine accentuates this feeling.
Motorization: A REEL APPROVAL
The most powerful scooter on the market (499cm3 40bhp) at its debut, the T max has been surpassed by the Honda Silverwing and Suzuki Burgman. The twin-cylinder engine with liquid cooling remains a reference - but it is the chassis, which dissociates the remainder of the production. Contrary to traditional scooters, on which the engine and the whole of the transmission, interdependent, oscillate with the rear suspension, that of T max is assembled within a rigid tubular framework of "Diamond" shape. It is positioned horizontally in front of the carter/transmission unit, thus contributing to a new distribution of weight for a scooter (47% front and 53% at the back). This twin takes its turns briskly. On the open road, the needle of the meter climbs quickly to 160 km/h. With the resumptions from 60 to 90 km/h and 90 to 130 km/h, the T max is faster by two seconds than the Honda CB 500 with its 58bhp and 173 kg..
On the road: A GOOD COMPROMISE
What strikes at the time of the first turns of the wheels, is the progressiveness of the transmission with in particular its multi-disk clutch emerged in oil with in the carter. The 40bhp are quite present and lengthens the impressiveness for a scooter. The whole lot arrives with softness and without vibration. Admittedly, under the rain one should not open up the gas too much, as one could do with the 125 or 250 Cm3, but the facility of control of this machine is an excellent surprise, with a premium of a good motor brake. At higher speeds, protection is frankly lacking compared to its competitors and it is necessary to become very small behind the windshield to minimize fatigue. More astonishing, the engine has difficulty attaining top speed. In short Yamaha loses points and confirms entry as a true in town scooter. If the handiness is never taken at fault with a centre of gravity placed low and 14-inch wheels, the very significant footing of the T max takes a short period of adaptation. As with a custom, for example, the motorbike (sorry... the scooter!) has a tendency to pull straight if one touches the brake before an entry of a turn. A simple practice to learn... The handling is quite simply surprising. At 90, 130, or even with 155 km/h on good or bad roads, the T max is on rails. And definitely more effective than certain motorbikes equipped with reduced suspensions. The movements of air at the head and the shoulder levels are proportional to your size but also to the speed. It should be noted that with the top speed of 130 km/h the windshield tends to bend a little, thus accentuating turbulence. Braking is powerful and quite measurable, even if the rear lacks a little progressiveness. Not negative: consumption. It exceeds the 7 litres per 100km. The Yamaha consumes up to 9 litres per 100km on the motorway. It is the electronic injection, which is missing that, equips all its competitors.