- Single cylinder, 292 cm3, 28 hp at 7,250 rpm, 29 Nm at 5,750 rpm, 179 kilos, € 5,899
- Yamaha’s mid-size scooter gets a makeover and gets traction control
- In the saddle
- In the city
- On highways and main roads
- On departmental
- Comfort and duo
- Consumption / autonomy
- The video test of the Yamaha X-Max 300
Single cylinder, 292 cm3, 28 hp at 7,250 rpm, 29 Nm at 5,750 rpm, 179 kilos, € 5,899
Yamaha’s mid-size scooter gets a makeover and gets traction control
That must be the effect of globalization. Because the time has come for a change of cylinder capacity: goodbye to the 250, we liked you. However, we have always known it, the 250. From the Ducati Desmo to the Yamaha XT, from the MZ ETS to the Kawasaki KR-1, from the Moto Guzzi Airone to the Harley-Davidson SS 250 Aermacchi, the history of the motorbike is full of machines of this displacement. And with the exception of the Suzuki GSX-R and V-Strom as well as the Honda CRF, the novelties in “medium-low displacement” are more often in 300: this is the result of globalized markets or both in South Asia. Is that in Latin America, this engine is popular with the emerging middle class who sees them as statutory vehicles.
In fact, farewell to the 250s and above all farewell to the Xmax 250. This scooter, launched by Yamaha in 2005, has been updated once in 2010 and then another in 2013. This family of scooters has had decent success, with sales peaks at over 19,000 units per year in 2006 and 2007, before steadily eroding.
In fact, one could consider at the choice, that this Xmax 300 constitutes the 4th generation of this family, or that it marks rather a rupture, because all is not at the same time more modern, but it is also new from the ground on the ceiling, with a new engine and a new frame. This is obviously how to consider this Xmax 300.
How to blame Yamaha for exploiting the lineage to the full with the "Max" attitude and in particular for giving this novelty a strong family resemblance with its flagship, the Tmax. Huh, how ?
As it is impossible, we therefore recognize the essential distinctive signs: the central boomerang-style arch, the new lights with a garland of LEDs at the base, at the front and at the rear, as well as much sharper lines. from where we distinguish an "X" shape. In short, it’s modern, even better highlighted in the bronze color of our test model and with good news rarely coming alone, let’s admit that the quality of presentation and finish is simply excellent. This will appeal to the urban user concerned about his appearance, just like the motorist accustomed to his premium sedan, but who now wants to go home earlier to help Moumoune with the dishes (no, it’s not a horrible cliche , but just a fact: the Xmax 300 will be bought 90% by men).
The modernity of the Xmax is not only due to its appearance. It now has a keyless starter: transponder in the pocket, we just manipulate the switch to turn it on, open the gas hatch or even block the steering. Buttons at the bottom of the apron open one of the two spaces in the front panel, as well as the saddle. The latter covers a space whose capacity has increased by 18%, from 37 to 45 liters. In fact, we can accommodate two full-face helmets.
It’s not enough to talk about what’s under the saddle; What does it do when you step on it? (Admire the relentless mastery of this major art of transition ….).
In the saddle
And hop there, in the saddle. Its height is 795 mm, but we appreciate the fact that it is narrow at the edges and that the fairing is slightly hollowed out at the level of the feet: in fact, putting the feet on the ground is relatively easy for a not insignificant proportion of humanity, with the exception of legless and other garden gnomes.
Another good news: the Xmax 300 takes care of the ergonomics of its owner with a handlebar that moves over an amplitude of 20 mm, while the screen, with 4 screws, can go up to 50 mm.
In front of you, a dashboard, modern and classic at the same time. Classic with its two round counters (speed and rpm), perfectly legible; modern by the central digital window and which, thanks to a button on the right stalk, allows you to scroll through a package of information: average and instantaneous consumption, average speed, outside temperature, trips, driving time…. In short, it’s complete.
In the city
What counts for a scooter in town? Whether it has practical aspects? Check, with the cargo-style hold and the two small storage spaces in the apron. That it be agile and manoeuvrable? Double check, because the Xmax 300 advances here one of its first qualities: the front axle is light (but not fickle) and in fact the Xmax 300 is both very self-stable at very low speed, changes direction at the speed of a hummingbird (or almost, shouldn’t be exaggerated either), steers excellently between cars and is narrow enough to eat the interface without the shadow of an ounce of stress. In short, full box.
And wait, it’s not over: the new 292 cm3 engine is also distinguished by a set of qualities: flexible, very quiet, vibrating little for a mono, it highlights excellent smoothness at low revs, a silky response. to the handle and an automatic transmission with variator which slips very little in the semolina. And still it is that this operating silence is very pleasant and very citizen; nonetheless, if you have a pure keke soul, Yamaha has two Akrapovic “silencers” for you, so your neighborhood might hate you ….
As for the power, it cannot offer the brutal acceleration of a Tmax, but it is sufficient to control the traffic in all circumstances. During this test, our opener opened (normal….) The road on a previous generation Xmax 400 and he did not stick a boulevard on the boulevards..
Yes, it turns into a panegyric, but it is clear that this machine will not only be perfectly at ease in its favorite biotope, it will also be masterfully pleasant to take there..
With 28 horses for 179 kilos, Yamaha is launching a subliminal message: watch out for the megapower! Power which, as we have just said, was extremely well behaved. Okay, this is a bit of a marketing argument, but it is true that it is also there to reassure the commuter who, in his car, has plenty of electronic systems and can no longer imagine driving without; which is to say that he doesn’t know how to drive, but what do you mean, the days of assistantship. Still, this Xmax 300 has traction control, which can be disconnected as needed. We tested it a bit on the irregular cobblestones of Florence: it works. And it will always serve as a lifeline for the stunned who put gas in big on the white stripes and in the rain ….
On highways and main roads
Very few freeways on this test consisting mainly of town and country roads. A section of a few kilometers with roadworks and automatic radars, however, revealed that the screen in the standard position protected my large carcass at the level of the shoulders, but less of the head. In this case, it may be necessary to move the bubble to the high position: it then climbs from 1415 to 1465 mm. We ran out of time to do it.
The engine is always a pleasant ally, which purrs, on a trickle of gas, at around 5500 rpm at 110 km / h and 6500 rpm at 130. We were unable to try to verify the top speed. During this much too short experience, nothing to say about the stability or any mechanical vibrations.
With more than 130 kilometers covered on magnificent secondary roads winding around the Tuscan hills and the Chianti vineyards, the Xmax was able to show off its versatility. City and suburbs, he knows how to do it, but he won’t mind a little green trip.
Of course, there are a few rules to follow: first, all the good that we have already expressed about the engine and the chassis is true in this environment. The agility is as impressive as ever, with an Xmax 300 that throws itself into the bends and rolls up the pif-pafs with a disconcerting naturalness. On the mechanical side, smoothness and length are always on the program and the machine does not lack the resources to overtake.
Now, even though Yamaha puts it in the "sport scooter" family, don’t imagine that the Xmax 300 has the rigor of a Tmax. Its design remains "traditional", unlike the Tmax, it has no aluminum frame and its engine remains attached to the swingarm. Which means that if his behavior remains healthy in absolute terms, we will still easily find limits, especially on bumps, as well as in terms of ground clearance on the left side. However and since our opener always opened in Xmax 400, the 300 showed greater ease in turns..
In short: by winding gently, it is effective and we have fun. For the pure attack, move on. And while riding on a trickle of gas, when the variator is almost in direct drive, the Xmax 300 purrs at a nice 4000/4500 rpm at 90 km / h.
The new frame of the Xmax300 saved 3 kilos compared to that of the 250. Of course, the equipment is on the rise: in fact, the weight gain is only two kilos (179 against 181), but it doesn’t matter. , because the feeling of lightness is real and greatly contributes to the driving pleasure of this 300.
That’s not all: wheels and tires are new, as are the suspensions, with a dual rear shock absorber adjustable in 5-position preload. The tires are Dunlop, 120/70 x 15 front and 140/70 x 14 rear.
The device is entrusted to two discs: one of 267 mm in front and one of 245 mm behind. Let’s put it bluntly: can do better. Admittedly, the average customer is a responsible commuter who is content to go to his office building every day of the calendar and he risks not driving like the Super Assholes who constitute a fringe admittedly backward-looking, but still active in the motorcycle press..
In fact, we still find that the bite of the front brake is quite passable; fortunately the rear brake is relatively powerful and as the system is coupled (to the front brake….), the slowdowns are nevertheless reassuring. But since the mono 300 deposits well (admittedly, smoothly, but still ….), we surprised ourselves a few times, in our trip on Tuscan county roads, to want to find a little more under the levers.
And since we are talking about brakes, a parking brake would be a plus for jacking up on slightly sloping terrain…. After all, the Tmax does have one.
Comfort and duo
No duo on this test, but we look forward to it on the next ride, because the saddle is generous and the grab handles are great..
For the pilot, it’s hot and cold. Warm: natural riding position, sufficient space to move a little, generous and comfortable saddle at first glance.
Cold: the shocks, although new, are in line with previous vintages and do not do the job. Hard in compression and dry in relaxation, they throw you blows in the kidneys and after a few hours of driving, we read the bitumen to avoid breakage, which is never a good omen to speak of the quality of the ‘amortization. And, in fact, the saddle is firm and you end up feeling the frames.
Admittedly, this is the lot of many small and medium displacement scooters, but Yamaha seemed proud of the progress made in this area. There is still work to do ….
Consumption / autonomy
The on-board computer has an average and instantaneous consumption indicator. Our records therefore come solely from this source of information. During a big twenty kilometers made in the center (including the historic center) of Florence (Italy), the computer posted 5.1 l / 100, which is not completely insignificant, in particular because Yamaha is proud of its Blue Core technology, supposed to reduce consumption and emissions. Admittedly, the test was short and it should be validated by a good week of commuting in Paris, big kif in perspective.
Nevertheless, listening to the speeches of Yamaha, presenting its scooter as a machine designed to make motorists comfortable, testify to the readability of the dashboard and the presence of traction control. Very good. But motorists also have, in most modern cars, a stop & start system that cuts off the power when stationary. This is doubly good: it saves fuel and creates silence when stopping at a fire. As long as claiming its Blue Core technologies, Yamaha could have pushed in this direction, which Honda has been developing for many years on its 125s ….
At less than € 6,000, the Xmax 300 stands out as a proposition steeped in qualities: quiet and efficient engine, natural agility and ease of driving, benchmark engine / gearbox approval, convincing practical and technological aspects.
Admittedly, it does have a few slight flaws, which most of its competitors share. Not enough to permanently harm its breakthrough in the market and therefore to take up the torch of the Xmax 250 which has sold more than 150,000 units throughout its career..
On top of that, the Xmax 300 asks real questions: in real life, do you really need more? More horses, more weight, more budget? Not sure….
- Modern and dynamic look
- Quality of manufacture and finish
- Feeling of lightness
- Very good turning radius
- Nice engine
- Handle / motor / transmission tuning
- Practical aspects (large trunk)
- Techno (smartkey, traction control)
- Already cloned (MBK 300 Evolis)
- Still stiff rear shocks
- Lightweight front brake
- No parking brake
- Consumption to check in town
- No stop & start
The technical sheet of the Yamaha X-Max 300
- Itinerary: 150 kilometers, of which about twenty in the center (including the historic center) of Florence (Italy) and given the brothel, that counts twice; then about 130 kilometers, mainly on small departmental roads in Tuscany and in the Chianti vineyards. How beautiful !
- Motorcycle mileage: 270 km
- Problem encountered: none…
Competition: Kawasaki J300, Honda Forza 300, SYM GTS 300, Kymco Dowtown 350i
The video test of the Yamaha X-Max 300
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