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Yamaha Announces New SMAX Scooter

SMax1

Look out Suzuki—Yamaha’s gunning for your top performance model. No, I’m not talking about the GSX-R. Yamaha is entering the middleweight sport scooter (I just invented that) segment with the 2015 SMAX (say “Ess-Max,” not “smacks”) Sport Scooter. It spots Suzuki’s Burgman 200 45cc, but it should have the power and speed to give the ‘zook a run for its money—for a lot less money. It should also compare favorably with Honda’s $200-cheaper PCX150.

Yamaha wanted to fill in a gap in its lineup—there wasn’t a freeway-legal (150cc in many states) scooter smaller than the 400cc Majesty. The SMAX uses a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, four-valve 155cc Single to offer good power (a Yamaha source told me one of his testers, a “pretty big guy” saw 87 mph) and fuel economy. The two-gallon tank should offer plenty of range at an estimated 81 mpg, and Yamaha promises sporty handling. The long, broad seat conceals 8.5 gallons of locking storage. It’s lighter than the 359-pound Burgman at 328 pounds ready to ride. However, it doesn’t offer ABS, which comes standard on the Burg.

SMax2

Honda’s PCX may be tougher competition. It’s two Bennies cheaper, is 42 pounds lighter and has a much higher claimed fuel economy. It’s also freeway capable (Dirck said he saw mid 70s on the speedo, or he may have said he looks like he’s 70 when he wears a Speedo) and has 14-inch wheels, which may handle bumps and allow a little more lean angle than the Yamaha’s 13s. But the Yamaha has more storage (32 liters compared to 25), disc brakes front and rear (the Honda doesn’t have ABS either, but does have CBS, which may be better for new riders) and (I’m making an educated guess) is faster. MD may have to have its first-ever middleweight sport-scooter shoot out. Or not (Don’t count on it – ed.).

At $3,690 it’s a good deal for a freeway-legal scoot—a little more than the PCX but a significant $1,300 less than the Burgman. The SMAX should be in dealers by November.

24 Comments

  1. brian says:

    As a long time motorcyclist and scooterist, I love this thing. Good job Yamaha. I will be first in line.

  2. Klaus says:

    I’m very disappointed in Yamaha! I’m a big fan of the Yamaha Nouvo Elegance 135, a light scooter with 16″ wheels and sporty looks; I’ve been waiting for two years for Yamaha to come out with a FI 150cc Nouvo, maybe with bigger tires and better suspension and a bigger screen. I’d definitely buy one to replace my old model. But this “PCX copy” with tiny wheels and roundish plastics is not at all what I was looking for! Here in Thailand Honda has 70% of the market so I will get the new PCX which looks a bit better than the original version – it’s lighter and cheaper! The 2015 Honda Forza 125 with a 4-valve engine, ABS and fat tires will probably be too expensive.
    Too bad, Yamaha really had a chance to stand out and build a better Nouvo but instead got in line and created what others have done already better. Well, it may not even be for sale in Thailand…

  3. Tom says:

    The Yamaha SMAX- official scooter of Diggems the Frog

  4. toad says:

    87 mph, I’ll have to see it to believe it. That’s faster than any 250cc scooter.

    • Vic F. says:

      You are right Toad. My Kymco GTi300 with 28HP will only do 84 by the GPS, but I’d love to race that 155 for pinks.

  5. Art S. says:

    Good job Yamaha. Now bring back the T MAX.

  6. Art S. says:

    If Yamaha wants to gun for Suzuki’s top performance model they should bring the new T MAX to the US.

  7. Art S. says:

    Yamaha you have put together a good machine. Now do all of us maxi-scooter lovers a favor and bring back the T MAX.

  8. Vic F. says:

    There ain’t no hill big enough to get 87MPH out of that thing. The motor would have to turn about 1500RPM’s past the point where the rev limiter would cut the ignition.

  9. George Krpan says:

    My 1985 Honda 250 Elite scooter would do 80 mph. 87 mph from 155cc shows how far technology has come. My Honda had drum brakes front and rear and a pedal for the rear brake. It was a great scooter, quick and comfortable.

    • George Krpan says:

      One more thing, adjusted for inflation, my Honda was far more expensive than this Yamaha.

      • xlayn says:

        there is people who love the comfortable side of it, I know people that comes from scrambler-land and like scooters.
        remember that the 250 elite and the long and low helix were made in japan, this scooter probably is not and if I’m not wrong the water cooled, 2 valves 250 elite use do did a lot more torque, not that much important on this lighter machine, yet still as you say impressive.

    • Dave says:

      I bet you’d have to go down a pretty steep hill to see 87mph on a 150cc anything that isn’t shaped like a elongated tear drop.

      • GearDrivenCam says:

        I’m with Dave here. The SMAX 155 will not readily go 87 mph – unless downhill. And probably a precipitous one at that. Not with a reported 14.8 hp at the crank. I suspect an optimistic speedo is the culprit here. A more realistic top speed would be about 75 mph.

  10. Xlayn says:

    I conjure the powers of irrationality and free-lunchisms:
    I demand
    -400 gal of storage
    -tire burning power at any speed and gear to make a vmax hide but no less than 1000km/gal (buyers in this price bracket are economy conscious)
    -4tuple brake discs 330mm everything brembo with superman blood per brake fluid
    –rumaniacs capable 150mm travel suspensions with at least 150cm clearance and low 1mm seat
    -100kg weight dry and 45 with all fulls and the 400 gal tank
    -Dirk review

    • Kagato says:

      yeah, where’s the supercharger on this thingy?

      • xlayn says:

        not even the k2 will match it’s power, basically has 4 turbos chained one into another, chassis is basically a heat sink.
        colded grips as the speeds it’s capable of achieve will make you be some degrees hotter 😉 (wait for the ladies to fight to be the second one on that seat)

  11. Kagato says:

    Has to be 250cc in Alabama to be freeway legal–can’t find a link to support that now though. just searched. : – ( I really like the smaller scooters–I guess we’ll have to leave it to the aftermarket to get the cc’s up.

  12. EZ Mark says:

    My wife had a 125 Zuma and misses it to this day.
    How about a 300cc Zuma with an optional short person seat?
    That would be freeway legal.

    • Klaus says:

      I believe her – I would definitely miss my 135! In fact I’ve often said that no matter what kind of bigger bike I own, I’ll always have a 125 of some kind!
      I take my Nouvo 135 to work every day. One twist of the throttle and I cut through city traffic; it’s light (110kg), nimble, very practical for shopping and easy on gas. It’s solid and comfy enough to take two adults down the road and even up an incline.
      Of course the top speed is low but up to 55 mph these bikes pull strongly. Small scooters are perfect for around town, they are easy to maneuver, easy to park and parts are cheap.
      For freeway use I have a bigger bike; you can’t expect a cheap 150cc scooter to perform like a CBR250!

  13. nick berg says:

    Admit it norm this much power scares you.

    • Norm G. says:

      those calipers (painted red) are not unlike the supercharger on Kawi’s H2 (also painted red)…

      the bright colours of a VENOMOUS CORAL SNAKE is what it is. danger will robinson…!!!

  14. Norm G. says:

    re: “Look out Suzuki—Yamaha’s gunning for your top performance model. No, I’m not talking about the GSX-R.”

    not yet anyway, but you will be…

    the R1 cometh.