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Suzuki GS 500 test comparison against Yamaha XP500 TMax

Overtaking maneuvers

Yamaha’s XP500 TMax is basically a motorcycle. Is driving really as much fun now as it is on a motorcycle? A comparison with the Suzuki GS 500.

For 16,500 marks, there is already a Smart, a Honda Africa Twin or a Suzuki GS 500 plus 4000 liters of fuel or 400 cases of beer. Or the new Yamaha XP500 TMax scooter. This should combine the advantages of a scooter with those of a motorcycle. City runabouts, shopping help, weather protection, driving dynamics and lots of fun. Is it true? MOTORRAD feels the TMax on a test drive together with a Suzuki GS 500.
The 2001 GS is freshly modeled for 8,490 marks. In addition to optical retouching, the 500 series received a secondary air system and a modified seat-tank combination, the fuel supply is now 20 instead of 17 liters. The diameter of the front brake disc grew from 310 to 320 millimeters. Suzuki delivers the entry-level machine weighing 192 kilograms only with 34 hp. A dethrottling kit for 45 hp is available for 123 marks.
Yamaha’s TMax, on the other hand, is only available with full power. The parallel win produces 39 hp, in which the technicians run a third, counter-rotating piston as a mass balance to reduce vibrations. The power is transmitted via an automatic system known from scooters. As with a motorcycle, a telescopic fork guides the front wheel and a swing arm guides the rear wheel. And in contrast to the conventional drive train swing arm, the motor is installed rigidly in the frame. The drive chain runs fully encapsulated in the left swing arm designed as a chain case.
With the TMax, a generous 224 kilograms are distributed between the front and rear wheels, and they attract attention even when maneuvering. However, the low center of gravity calms you down and conveys security. Disadvantage: The TMax does not have a parking brake and cannot be secured against rolling away on sloping paths. Instead, Hey shows off space like on grandma’s good sofa. The bench is wide, long, and extremely comfortable, on which the driver sits upright like in an office armchair and only has contact with his mobile pedestal through the seat. The Suzuki driver is completely different. He sits much more compactly on his motorcycle, has a much more intimate relationship with his vehicle via the knee on the narrow tank, feels every change of direction, every lean much more directly.
City traffic. Evening time. Both vehicles prove to be quite handy when it comes to driving around metal cages. It’s easier with the Suzuki, because the feeling for the dimensions of the TMax only becomes apparent after a few kilometers. It has a ten centimeter longer wheelbase, is ten centimeters longer and wider and more confusing. The agile Suzuki gives the driver more safety and more direct contact with the road thanks to the more active seating position. The steering also feels much more direct than on the scooter. The point in city traffic clearly goes to the Suzuki. Despite the automatic plus of the big Max. Its advantage: the storage space under the bench is modest for scooter conditions, but it can hold a helmet or two shopping bags or two suits. Ideal for brokers.
It also offers advantages for touring riders. A 38 liter top case is available from the factory. And its front punches a hole in the atmosphere, through which the driver glides almost unmolested by the wind. Provided that it is less than 1.70 meters. Larger pilots feel turbulence in the helmet area, which also causes annoying noises. The GS rider, no matter whether big or small, is exposed to wind and weather completely unprotected, but the flow to the head and chest can be endured even in the long term.
This also applies to the unrest in the chassis in undulating curves, which are disturbing but not dangerous. The nervous steering reacts sensitively to even the smallest movements that the driver introduces into the chassis via the handlebars. The GS then looks wobbly, especially on bad roads. Chassis disturbances of this kind are largely alien to the scooter. The 120 millimeters of travel at the front and rear absorb almost all the bumps in the road surface and offer sufficient reserves of suspension and damping. And that even without adjustment. Of course, the small 14-inch tires detect bumps in the road that the 17-inch Suzuki models do not even notice.
Clear advantages for the TMax when it comes to braking. The front one has a crisper pressure point, the rear one can? maybe because operated with the left hand ?? dose better than that of the GS. The scooter is also ahead when it comes to the smooth running of the engine. The XP drive works with little vibration, feels as if it has been decoupled from the driver, while the GS-500 pilot feels fine vibrations unfiltered. And load change reaction. A foreign word for the TMax due to its automatic system.
The wind-protected scooter driver experiences the almost identical top speed of 160 km / h in a very relaxed, pendulum-free and stable manner. On the Suzuki, the wind saps your strength, the chassis shows slight unrest. On the other hand, the entertainment value of the TMax is comparatively low on winding country roads. The mixture of small wheels and a low center of gravity allows it to swing by turning without much physical effort. The TMax simply cannot match the sporty, active driving feeling of a motorcycle, where changes of direction are possible by pressing the thighs and shifting the upper body.
But Yamaha has actually succeeded in building a scooter with driving stability and good performance previously unknown in these circles. The size of the 500 series means that it is only a very nimble means of local transport to a limited extent, but it is otherwise completely convincing from a pragmatic point of view. Tea scooter is easier to jack up, its drive does not require any maintenance, the light is better and the pillion passenger enjoys comfort that is only known from luxury tourers. However, also at the exclusive price of 16,500 marks.
Lean back and relax, let yourself drift, the TMax is the ideal partner for this. Switch and rule is on the GS 500 E hip. Those who do not want to forego active driving fun clearly opt for the Suzuki. And can still afford a small scooter with the money saved? as well as 100 crates of beer or 1000 liters of gasoline.

Suzuki GS 500 test comparison against Yamaha XP500 TMax

Overtaking maneuvers

Technical data: Yamaha XP 500 Tmax

YAMAHA XP500 TMAXDataMotor: water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke engine, transverse crankshaft, one balance shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, Mikuni constant pressure carburetor, Ø 30 mm, transistor ignition, electric starter, three-phase alternator 305 W, battery 12 V / 8 Ah .Bore x stroke 66 x 73 mm Displacement 499 cm³ Compression ratio 10.1: 1 Nominal output (ECE) 29 kW (39 PS) at 7000 rpm Max. Torque 46 Nm (4.7 kpm) at 5500 rpm. Front disc brake, double-piston caliper, Ø 282 mm, rear disc brake, Ø 267 mm. Cast aluminum wheels MT 3.5 x 14; MT 4.5 x 14 tires 120/70 S 14; 150/70 14 Chassis data: wheelbase 1575 mm, steering head angle 62 °, caster 95 mm, spring travel f / r 120/120 mm Dimensions and weights: Seat height * 790 mm, weight with a full tank * 224 kg, payload 176 kg, tank capacity 14 liters Guarantee two years with no mileage limit Basic price including VAT. 16,500 marks * MOTORCYCLE measurements

Technical data: Suzuki GS 500

Engine: Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke engine, a balance shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, two valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, Mikuni constant pressure carburetor, Ø 34 mm, contactless transistor ignition, secondary air system, electric starter, alternator 230 W, battery 12 V / 11 Ah.Bore x stroke 74 x 56.6 mmHub volume 487 cm³ Compression ratio 9: 1 Nominal output (DIN) 25 kW (34 HP) at 7800 / min Max. Torque 34 Nm (3.5 kpm) at 4400 / min Power transmission: primary drive via gear wheels, Mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 39:16. Chassis: Double loop frame made of square steel profiles, screwed right beam, telescopic fork, standpipe diameter 37 mm, adjustable spring base, two-arm swing arm made of steel profiles, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring strut, Front disc brake, four-piston calipers, floating brake disc, Ø 320 mm, rear disc brake n Two-piston caliper, Ø 250 mm. Cast aluminum wheels 3.00 x 17; 3.50 x 17 tires 110/70 H 17; 130/70 H 17 Chassis data: wheelbase 1405 mm, steering head angle 65 °, caster 97 mm, spring travel f / h 120/115 mm Dimensions and weights: Seat height (780 mm, weight with a full tank (192 kg, payload 188 kg, tank capacity / reserve 20/3 LitersWarranty two years with unlimited mileageColors blue, yellow, dark bluePrice including VAT 8490 marks (MOTORCYCLE measurements

1st place – Yamaha XP500 TMax

Yamaha XP500 TMax

A scooter will probably never come close to the sportiness of a motorcycle. The driver sits inactive, but extremely comfortable. And that also over longer stages. The TMax does not have to accept any criticism. The high beam could be better, the seat height lower, the lean angle greater in pillion operation and the blind spot in the mirrors smaller. The fact that the Yamaha TMax ultimately beats the GS is mainly due to its top chassis.

2nd place – Suzuki GS 500

Suzuki GS 500

The fork of the GS 500 is the biggest criticism. Often blocks when braking and has no reserves. It spoils the driving experience. The low consumption, the handiness, the low purchase price and its manageable technology make the GS a recommendation for all beginners. She is less of a fascination, but for the money you save, you can take her on a fascinating vacation. And even several times.

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