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Yamaha Introduces New 2018 XMAX Scooter

Yamaha surprised us by announcing the 292 cc XMAX scooter for the U.S. market yesterday. The fuel injected four-valve single is claimed to offer both sporting performance and excellent fuel economy.

Reasonably light at a claimed 397 pounds wet, the XMAX features large diameter tires, disc brakes with ABS and ample storage capacity (including room for two full-face helmets under the seat, according to Yamaha).

The following is a description of the new XMAX from Yamaha, as well as a list of significant features.  You can visit the XMAX web site for even more details. Priced at $5,599, the XMAX should be in dealerships this October.

2018 XMAX Scooter

Powered by a 292cc single cylinder, fuel-injected engine, the all-new XMAX bristles with convenience and technology features. A Constant Variable Transmission (CVT) makes riding easy, with no need to shift gears, while a Traction Control System (TCS) helps to keep everything in line when road grip is limited. Front and rear disc brakes with ABS keep braking under control, while a Smart Key system simplifies ignition access.

The XMAX comes ready to ride with lighted under seat storage that will accommodate two full-face helmets, a lockable storage pocket with a 12V electrical charging outlet, an adjustable windscreen and handlebars, and an LED headlight and taillight.

Available in Vivid White, the 2018 XMAX will begin arriving at Yamaha dealerships in October with a MSRP of $5,599.

  • MAX Series DNA
    More than just a practical commuter, the stylish XMAX™ features aggressive, angular bodywork for a high-class appearance that elevates the XMAX beyond expectations.
  • Sporty, Fuel Efficient Engine
    Featuring technology developed for use in Yamaha’s high-performance sport bikes, the XMAX motor is smooth, efficient and ready for everything from the day-to-day commute to fun rides on the weekend.
  • Convenience and Technology
    With a fully-automatic transmission, the XMAX is exceedingly simple to ride, and comes standard with an extensive list of rider aids, including traction control and ABS. Combined with a frame designed for light and neutral handling, the XMAX makes for a confidence inspiring ride on any road.
  • Luxury + Comfort + Practicality
    High-tech features distance the XMAX from your typical bare-bones scooter, including LED lighting and advanced instrumentation. With plenty of lockable onboard storage, a 12V power port to recharge small devices and an adjustable handlebar and windscreen, the XMAX is a ready to go whenever you are, whether you need to get groceries down the street or head across the state.
  • All-New Engine
    The XMAX is powered by an advanced 292cc liquid-cooled, four-valve single that develops smooth, tractable power. The cylinder is crafted from Yamaha’s DiASil aluminum for excellent heat dissipation, with a lightweight forged piston and forged crankshaft. A counterbalancer ensures minimal vibration, while the offset cylinder layout and semi-dry-sump lubrication system help reduce friction and drag inside the engine.
  • Full Automatic Convenience
    Thanks to Yamaha’s Continuously Variable Transmission, the XMAX offers the convenience of truly ‘twist and go’ riding, which no gears and no clutch. This gives the XMAX an easy-going riding character that is ideal for busting city traffic on weekdays and enjoying a relaxing ride on the weekend. The CVT system also features a large air-cooling path for the drive belt, reducing heat and engine noise significantly.
  • Fuel Injection and Traction Control
    Modern fuel injection features a 12-hole injector for excellent response, and just like Yamaha’s cutting edge supersport and sport-touring machines, the XMAX features a traction control system. TCS continuously monitors wheel speeds, and if the system detects rear tire slip, the engine smoothly cuts power to help prevent uncontrolled wheelspin.

  • Impressive Fuel Economy and Range
    Thanks to the efficient engine design features and advanced powertrain, the XMAX delivers 75 mpg. Combined with a large 3.4-gallon fuel tank, the XMAX boasts impressive cruising range.
  • MAX Series DNA
    The XMAX pushes the design envelope with advanced sport styling and aggressive, angular cues that set this Yamaha way ahead of the competition, for a high-class appearance that elevates the XMAX beyond expectations.
  • Motorcycle-Type Front Fork
    Unlike most scooters, the XMAX features a large motorcycle-type front fork that bolts to the steering stem at both the top and bottom triple clamps. This provides an ideal balance of strength and chassis rigidity, allowing for better damping feel and shock absorption compared to typical scooter-style forks.
  • Lightweight Steel Frame
    Designed for light and neutral handling character, the XMAX’s steel frame results in a wet weight of only 397 pounds fully fueled, for exceptional maneuverability.
  • Large Wheels and Tires
    The XMAX features large 15-inch front and 14-inch rear wheels for enhanced handling and sporty style. The XMAX also mounts the latest Dunlop® Scoot Smart tires for good traction in both wet and dry conditions.
  • Anti-Lock Braking System
    With large 267mm and 245mm front and rear disc brakes, the XMAX gives the rider controllable braking power backed up by the security of Yamaha’s anti-lock braking system, for confidence in all sorts of road conditions.
  • Smart Key System
    Yamaha’s Smart Key system eliminates the need to use the key to access the machine. Starting the bike, accessing the storage compartments and fuel tank, and locking the handlebar can all be done using the proximity Smart Key.
  • All-Inclusive Storage
    Further boosting convenience is a huge underseat storage area that locks securely to keep valuables safe, is large enough for two full-face helmets, and comes standard with LED lighting. The fairing also includes two additional storage bays, one of which locks electronically and includes a 12V DC outlet.
  • LED Lighting
    Boosting both style and visibility, the XMAX uses LED lighting, with sharp LED taillights and brilliant all-LED headlights. LEDs also use less power and last much longer than conventional bulbs, reducing maintenance needs.
  • Adjustable Handlebar and Windscreen
    The XMAX includes an adjustable handlebar, with 20mm of rearward adjustment, which can be changed quickly with zero additional parts. The XMAX also features a two-position windscreen that can be shifted two inches higher for additional wind protection. Finally, the sculpted saddle makes it easier to reach the ground at stops and works with the floorboards for a flexible all-day riding position.
  • Ready to Accessorize
    Personalize your XMAX with a range of Genuine Yamaha Accessories, including luggage, accessory mounts, backrests and more. See the full range of accessories on

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Stan S says:

    1st Mod: switch to the Euro model integrated turn signals.. so, so much cleaner.

    Hard to tell, but might require a little Dremel action on the front panels.

    • Dave says:

      Flush mounts look nice, but signals on stalks are much more visible from angles, which is a factor in cars turning across the lane in front of ‘cycles.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Pretty sure US laws dictate how far those turn signals need to stick out, thus the stalks for us

  2. Neil says:

    They have some nice designers. It looks inviting to take for a spin. Imagine if more of us left the SUV/truck/minivan at home and ran errands on these. Paris was FULL of scooters. They get it. Qui! Every corner there is stuffed with scooters. You don’t have to look for a parking lot or garage. Just toss it on the corner. Brilliant. One person, one small vehicle. Who’d have thought?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Thing is, in Paris, you CAN park it anywhere. That is not the case in the US. If riders were allowed to lane split and park anywhere, anytime, then I think we would see a lot of growth in the two wheeled market.

  3. Mike says:

    Where’s the new TMax 550?

  4. Alan Loo says:

    This will probably be my new scooter purchase in 10 years. My last was the 07 Burgman 400. This scooter had larger tires, better fuel economy, and about the same storage as the new 2018 Burgman 400. Unless Honda surprises me and brings in the X-ADV or Integra the XMAX-300 could be my new ride. What the article doesn’t state is that the XMAX also has traction control.

    • paul246 says:

      “What the article doesn’t state is that the XMAX also has traction control.”

      Yes, it did.

      “A Constant Variable Transmission (CVT) makes riding easy, with no need to shift gears, while a Traction Control System (TCS) helps to keep everything in line when road grip is limited.”

  5. Tank says:

    This scooter is like my Burgman 400, kinda heavy but great for hauling stuff. I would like another scooter like my Aprilia Scarabeo 150 with 16″ wheels. That scooter handled more like a regular motorcycle, but no storage. Problem is that it wasn’t as reliable as a Japanese scoot. I wouldn’t mind a 3 speed semi-auto scooter like back in the ’60s. First bike I ever rode was a 1969 Pink Lady Yamaha scooter. Nobody waved.

    • Dave says:

      Re: “That scooter handled more like a regular motorcycle, but no storage.”

      There’s the trade-off of the larger wheels. Sounds like they’ve gotten the handling really close with the 14″/15″ wheel combination and slightly longer wheelbases (the T-max is said to handle awesome) while maintaining big storage space.

      I have to admit, while I love my VFR, this is very tempting..

  6. Ken says:

    I have been riding a Vespa 300 GT for 6 years along with my other bikes. It is fast off the line up to about 50 mph and is great for in town or city riding.
    I don’t date fat chicks but will ride a scooter.

    This is a nice size but really heavy, 390 pounds is a lot for a 300 cc motor.

    • ellis says:

      I don’t ride a scooter but will date fat chicks.

    • paul246 says:

      Actually, the Vespa has a wet weight of close to 370 pounds, the Yamaha weighs 397 but carries an extra gallon of fuel ( about 6.5 pounds ) so the weight difference between the two scooters isn’t that much, really, about 21 pounds.

      The price difference is quite substantial, the Yamaha is close to 2200 dollars less than the Vespa.

  7. WSHart says:

    Well, whaddaya know…Yamaha builds a 292cc scooter with a fuel tank that is between 0.1 and 0.2 gallons smaller than Harley’s new Fatblob and Streetblob. Finally, someone gets it.

    All riding is touring and I would sooner tour on this scooter and go somewhere more than 90 mies away rather than pose for the sake of posing on either of the aforementioned Harleys. I like Harleys, just not ones designed for the “live to pose, pose to live” crowd. And both those bikes come with either a 107″ or 114″ motor that gets (per HD) 47 mpg. I’m callin’ BS, PhD.

    And another whaddaya know! The Streetblob features a single disc brake up front just like the little Yammie Scooter! Cheapazz HD. And the scooter has ABS standard? And it has tubeless tires too? The Streetblob looks to be fitted with antique bicycle wheels just like on a 1950s Schwinn. In other words, you flat, that’s that. Fortunately with that dinky tank on the Streetblob you won’t be far from home. Disgraceful.

    But wait! The Yamaha also has a smart key standard and traction control standard! HD?

    So then, if you want to ride not only in comfort but to distances further than your local Union 76 and in comfort with plenty of storage for your stuff, get this new Yamaha XMAX. I’m joking, right?

    Hell no. I am serious. This scoot looks to be a serious choice for both around town and down the highway. well done, Yamaha!

    • blitz11 says:

      You make many, many good points – many of which i hadn’t considered. Thanks.

    • Bob says:

      This guy gets it. Harley still doesn’t. Shame that doesn’t affect the sales with their core buyer segment (idiots, mainly).

      • Bill N says:

        Pretty wide brush you are painting everyone with. Luckily I’m not in the core buying segment as my Sportster has two front discs, a 4.5 gallon gas tank and cast wheels with tubeless tires. I think some of the new models actually do have smart key technology. I do have a sense of humor though, so I have to ask if you really think Harleys need traction control?

        • Neil says:

          Bill, as I have said for years, Harley call Sportster suspension, suspension? It’s like riding a brick. Flintstones! Lose the weight! Make the swingarm pivot higher than the rear wheel. Even w/rubber mounted by fingers still started falling asleep.

  8. Smaug says:

    It’s great to see that Yamaha is still making conventional CVT trans scooters. (Honda has moved onto dual clutch automatics with no built-in locking storage)

  9. Buzz says:

    I’ve been putting around on a Yamaha Vino 125 for the past few years.

    It mostly serves its purpose except it is really hilly where I live.

    300 cc sounds about perfect.

  10. Dail melton says:

    When you start reaching 400cc or better in engine size, it don’t make no difference if it has pegs or a running board, you have a motorcycle!

    • Fred M. says:

      Having owned a 500cc Aprilia scooter, I’d have to disagree. Lacking a tank you can grip with your knees significantly compromises control during hard braking and rapid changes in direction. You don’t know how much you rely on the tank until it isn’t there.

  11. MGNorge says:

    Any ideas on what looks like an air box plenum above the final drive? Is that what it is?

    • Dino says:

      Press release talked about air cooling for the CVT belt for longer life and less noise?

    • Lynchenstein says:

      It could be living quarters for the extra hamster.

    • EZ Mark says:

      That is the airbox. Conventional scooters use the engine as part of the rear swingarm. Since the engine moves up and down with the rear wheel, the airbox has to move with it, along with the exhaust pipe.

  12. Rennie says:

    I’ve been riding Motorcycles since I was 18. I retired to Spain about 4 months ago and need two wheels to keep me sane. In my town that comes down to Yamaha and Suzuki for the most part. The SV 650, M07 and this scooter are on my short list. Help me say it’s OK to ride a scooter….please.

    • MGNorge says:

      Consider it done. (ride what you want to ride)

    • Tank says:

      If you’re OK with dating fat chicks, you’ll be Ok riding a scooter. Just don’t do them at the same time.

      • Dave says:

        This is Spain he’s talking about, not ‘Murica. #1, they don’t really have fat chicks there and #2, their beauties like scooters.

        Get the ‘scoot Rennie. You earned retirement and the right to not care what other people think.

        • mickey says:

          I agree. Besides that scooters are fun even here in America. I’ve had two Yamaha Majesty 400’s. They were great. Air filter life sucked (and there were 2 of them), but overall, ownership was a great experience. Twist and Go baby!

    • Dino says:

      Two wheels good… For wheels baaadd…
      Any two wheels that turn your crank is a good thing!

    • Dirck Edge says:

      James Bond would ride a scooter… but he doesn’t spend time questioning his manhood. YMMV.

    • Tommy See says:

      Brother is 68 and went from a touring BMW to a 650 Burgman. He loves the ease of it. Twist and go. As long as you ride who cares. Oh ya loud pipes irritate seniors !

      • Chris says:

        I’m 68 and ride a Ninja ZX-14r with STOCK exhaust. My Hardley (no mistake) friends tell me it sounds like an Evenrude. Yeah. Fastest frickin’ Evenrude they ever encountered. Hardleys make noise, the Ninja makes power. Quietly.

    • Fred M. says:

      It’s okay to ride whatever makes you happy. I’ve got two Buell sport bikes, a BMW touring bike, and a Genuine Stella 150cc 2-stroke scooter. I ride them all. I commuted for a few years on a 500cc Aprilia scooter, which was comfortable and practical in stop-and-go rush hour traffic — nice to avoid clutch-induced arm pump as you move forward 10 feet at a time.

  13. Jeremy in TX says:

    Sharp-looking machine. Seems like a really good value for scooter fans.

  14. Bill says:

    This seems to be what a lot of people say they want. I hope it sells well.

  15. Tim C says:

    I remember when the bigger scooters could be mistaken for a sporty motorcycle from the front. Sometimes, even now, I mistakenly wave to these guys before realizing it*.

    At least this will help with this problem.

    * To their credit, serious scooter riders here in CO gear up like SF standard. Most “real” motorcyclists here disdain helmets.

    • MGNorge says:

      So when realizing the social faux pas of waving to scooter riders is there a retracted wave? Does one simply fold in the fingers to remove themselves from such a sticky situation?

      • Tim C says:

        Yeah over time I’ve learned to just keep my cool and keep waving, but for awhile there I’m sure I got caught halfway stopping and trying to figure out what to do. Same with Harley types (no-helmet types get nothing but sometimes it’s hard to tell, or they get a “reflex wave”)….

        • mickey says:

          I’ve become a “wave backer” (used to be a waver to all, but got tired of certain types not reciprocating) so now if you wave to me, I am more than happy to wave back. If you don’t want to wave, that’s fine with me too.

          • Dino says:

            when i see other riders i think WON’T wave back, sometimes i wave REALLY big! I look like an idiot, but it is fun, and really seems to piss some of them off (which makes it even funnier)!

          • blitz11 says:

            My daughter and I do this now – we call it the “highwayve.” (See what we did there?)

            I started doing this with people who rode with ape hangers – their hands are up high already, so i figured that they’re more likely to wave from there if we meet them 1/2 way. After a while, i quick worrying about looking like and idiot, and starting doing this for everybody. My daughter liked the reaction, so she started, too.

            We wave with our hands over our heads. It’s funny to see people wonder what they should do. The pillion for people riding two up ALWAYS do the highwayve back to us. Most who do the low way raise their hands a bit ’cause they’re completely confused. Some just highwayve back to us.

            Makes riding even more fun.

          • Stan S says:

            1st Mod: switch to the Euro model integrated turn signals.. so, so much cleaner.

            Hard to tell, but might require a little Dremel action on the front panels.

  16. dugsurf says:

    I look forward to the reviews on this. It strikes me as a highly effective mix of price-design-quality. With cutting edge features, it will be a perfect means to skip between moderately distanced locations with higher convience & less overkill. why is this input screen black tarmac with black text? in all due respect, a little contrast please

  17. todd says:

    Wow, this weighs as much as my (old) Ducati 900 Monster…

    • Dave says:

      It can carry lots of cargo (and lock it), gets much better mileage, protect it’s rider in weather, and carry a passenger comfortably. All that and it’s a couple thousand dollars cheaper, has presumably longer valve adjustment intervals at a significantly lower cost (admit it, that’s why you sold your Ducati..).

    • Cury says:

      It’s light-ish for a 250-300cc maxi scooter and the Internets say the 900 Monster was 428 wet.

    • Fred M. says:

      Wow, your old Ducati 900 Monster weighed as much as my Buell 1125CR and made about 60hp less…

  18. toad says:

    This hits the sweet spot in scooters for me. Good range, able to hold 70mph, less than 400lbs,storage, weather protection and Japanese reliability. I think this will replace my aging KYMCO 250 nicely. Thanks Yamaha!

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