YAMAHA TMAX 500 (2012-on) Review

Published: 14 December 2011

"The sports maxi-scooter that started it all"

Yamaha T-Max

"The sports maxi-scooter that started it all"

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The TMAX is an incredibly capable bike, and more than the big hair-dryer you might expect. It handles and goes like a motorcycle should, and is good enough to be a laugh in the turns when things get technical. The bike also has buckets of storage and is hugely comfortable. The turbulence created by the screen could really start to grate after a while, though, and if you want a scooter purely for commuting in the city the 300cc version might be a better alternative. The TMAX is a big old beast and, although it generally feels stable, it can be a little difficult to manage at low speed.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Thanks to it's aluminium ladder frame (new on the 2008 model), 43mm forks and die-cast swing arm the TMAX isn't just surprising down a twisty back lane, it's staggeringly good. A well-ridden conventional middleweight bike will out handle it in the end, but it's better than you'd think.

Engine 4 out of 5

A 30cc capacity hike plus a whole host of remodelled and lightened engine parts has increased power by 3bhp over the old model and, more importantly, a 10% bigger wodge of torque. The TMAX will beat most conventional bikes away from the lights (if only for a few yards) and cruises at a relaxed 70mph with enough gusto for efficient overtakes.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

The sports maxi-scooter that started it all. As close as you'll get to motorcycle handling in scooter form. The TMAX can tour, scratch and commute as good or better than many middleweight conventional bikes. But ABS isn't standard and it lacks the innovative features found on other maxi-scoots.

Insurance, running costs & value 2 out of 5

We've always said the TMAX and that's still the case with this model, even used examples hold their price well so you'll have to really hunt around if you want to find a bargain.

Insurance group: 9 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 2 out of 5

Underseat storage is just about OK and will swallow a full face lid and lunch box. The two position screen is efficient but needs tools and a few minutes to adjust. The belt drive is snatch free and unobtrusive. For the price, ABS should be standard.

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA TMAX 500 (2012-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA TMAX 500 (2012-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Scooters just shouldn't be this good! buy one (if you're loaded that is!!)

14 August 2017 by Harvs

I have had sports bikes, dirt bikes, Tourers, all sorts, and the TMAX is still the one I always chuckle on to myself when I take it off to work. It's just BRILLIANT!!! I only bought one because the dealer who was servicing my FZ1N had a demonstrator... Read more and told me to take it out. I couldn't believe how quick it was and how amazing it handled. Scooters just shouldn't be this much fun!! I'm a photographer and it's perfect for my journeys (36 miles each way) into and out of London. Loads of storage, supple ride, quick and not bad on fuel. Great brakes, great handling, twist and go heaven. I even took it to The Alps and it shocked my pals how capable it was everywhere. My 1 and only gripe is running costs. Oil change every 3000 miles and a service every 6000. A major service also needs V Belt replacement. I have now done 24,500 miles since new without 1 issue. However, the last service at 24k cost me £805.00 !!!!!!! Hence, as much as I love it, I'm trading in for an MT-07. I'll miss it though!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Just excellent all round. I've outridden plenty of bigger bikes through twisties, it goes and it handles and it stops!! :)
5 out of 5
You have to keep it on the boil, but it's rewarding.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
its been used for 3 solid years and still looks and goes like new.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
Expensive to buy and majorly expensive to service. This is the only downside. Seems crazy a new one costs the same as an MT-10!!!!! Come on Yamaha!?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Tmax 530 BronzeMAX, great great buy!

21 July 2015 by BronzeMAX

I paid a little extra and took the Bronze MAX which is the special edition. Amazing look, beautiful bike. You can really feel the quality on this bike, the response is great, has a really good amount of power to get you out of trouble should need be.... Read more Very comfortable to ride, especially within traffic and tight spots and even riding at 160km/h it feels stable. The worst feature is the ABS, as it feels as the bike could stop much quicker without the ABS. I would love to see future versions of the TMAX to have more power (although 530 is fantastic we all want more power).

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
The ride quality is amazing BUT the ABS is really annoying, I feel as when I have been in a situation I needed to slow down immediately, the bike just would not stop. I personally would prefer an edition without the ABS.....as in much much much more prefer it.
5 out of 5
Very smooth engine, amazing responsiveness and great power for a maxi-scooter.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
I am now on 12,000km and the quality of the bike is outstanding, absolutely great. Nothing has broken down and it is riding like it was new.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
The services are decent but a bit on the expensive side, I am still waiting for the 20,000km service which I've heard is expensive. The Tmax has one issue, it is very expensive for the bike you get. Yes the quality is amazing but you are paying sportsbike prices for a scooter at the end of the day.
5 out of 5
As with any bike purchase the best tires possible. I added an Akrapovic system and a malossi variator and the combo is great. It is much quicker and sounds great!.
Buying experience

I bought from the dealer and it was expensive, but it holds the price compared to other maxi scooters, there is a market to sell ti in and it is great quality.

Read all 2 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2012
Year discontinued -
New price £8,699
Used price £4,500 to £7,500
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 9 of 17
Annual road tax £62
Annual service cost £700
Max power 46.5 bhp
Max torque 39.2 ft-lb
Top speed 110 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 47 mpg
Tank range 157 miles
Engine size 530cc
Engine type Parallel 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves
Frame type Aluminium ladder
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 217kg
Front suspension Telescopic forks
Rear suspension Monoshock swingarm
Front brake Hydraulic dual disc, 267 mm
Rear brake Hydraulic single disc, 282 mm
Front tyre size 120/70-15
Rear tyre size 160/60-15

History & Versions

Model history

Yamaha T-Max 500 (2001 - 2011)

Other versions


Photo Gallery

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