Many years ago, I had the chance to interview Jeffry de Vries, an ex-World Superbike racer who, at the time, was the chief motorcycle tester for Yamaha Europe. This man had ridden and developed basically every motorcycle Yamaha had produced for the last 20-something years.
Capable, fun, practical and surprising. The 2018 Yamaha TMAX scooter now gets its own Sports Edition.(Credit: Yamaha)
Naturally, I asked him what was the best bike he'd tested. And his response was instant and definitive: the TMAX maxi-scooter. The first time he rode an early prototype before its 2001 launch, he told me, it was just about spot on – and they've only gotten better from there. He'd just bought his third one.
It was the first of the maxi-scoots that combined the practical nature of the scooter with the handling characteristics of a motorcycle. Taking the heavy engine off the swingarm gave it vastly superior suspension response, and moving the engine further forward on the bike made it turn much more neutrally. It still had a CVT transmission, but the 500cc engine gave it far more poke than a regular scooter. And it offered comfy seating for two and bulk under-seat storage for day-to-day practicalities.
Now the brand has announced a further specification to add to the stable – the SX Sport Edition. It's far from a huge update. The Sport Edition gets an Akrapovic exhaust with TMAX written on it, so it'll sound a little nicer, plus a short sports-cut screen and a "sporty" license plate holder.
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About the author
Loz has been one of our most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only New Atlas contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.
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