YAMAHA TMAX 500 (2001 - 2011) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Power: 40 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.3 in / 795 mm)
Weight: Medium (434 lbs / 197 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

If you want to tour occasionally, a Deauville 650 does it better. If you want to commute, a YP250 Majesty is probably all you'll ever need. So where does that leave the maxi-scooter Yamaha YP500 T-Max? Good fun to ride, but just too expensive for most urban riders sadly.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Yamaha YP500 T-Max has a sturdy chassis, bit like a cut down motorcycle really, and the beefy 38mm forks, plus monoshock rear end help keep it handling on the sporty side, until the sheer weight of the thing starts some misbehaviour if you push it. At 197kgs the Yamaha YP500 T-Max is as heavy as a Yamaha Thunderace 1000.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Yamaha YP500 T-Max's twin cylinder 40bhp motor is a gem and the auto transmission makes commuting along urban motorways a joy in stop-start traffic. Car drivers cannot believe they've been overtaken by a scooter doing 70mph plus.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

You can tell straight away that Yamaha wanted the Yamaha YP500 T-Max to set a new standard in sporty maxi-scooters when they built this one. It's a classy looking vehicle. Many French and Italian riders choose a Yamaha YP500 T-Max instead of a second car and do 10K miles per year on `em.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Yamaha YP500 T-Max is an expensive machine and the truth is that many 500-600cc class roadster motorcycles, or 250-400cc scooters can cover all the commuter/weekend fun bases nearly as well as the Yamaha YP500 T-Max, for substantially less cash. You can get better fuel consumption out of some 600cc bikes, that are just as fast as the Yamaha YP500 T-Max. Find a Yamaha T-Max for sale


4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Yamaha YP500 T-Max's underseat storage space is plentiful, but you can't fit hard panniers to this scooter if you fancy touring - just a top case. Useful features on the Yamaha YP500 T-Max include an adjustable backrest for the rider, reflector beam lighting, optional wind deflectors and higher screen. Outstanding brakes and comprehensive dashboard too.


Engine size 499cc
Engine type 4 stroke, parallel twin, auto
Frame type Steel diamond type
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Seat height 795mm
Bike weight 197kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 282mm disc
Rear brake 267mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 14 in
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 14 in

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Annual road tax £84
Annual service cost -
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 9 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 40 bhp
Max torque 34.2 ft-lb
Top speed 100 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 130 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2001: Yamaha YP500 T-Max launched.

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA TMAX 500 (2001 - 2011)

8 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA TMAX 500 (2001 - 2011) 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 (2001 - 2011)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Engine: 3.4 out of 5 (3.4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.1 out of 5 (3.1/5)
Equipment: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
3 out of 5 Gone in 60 seconds
15 March 2018 by Tbob

Year: 2009

Traded in for commute shenanigans, and it was so awesome, within 22 hours of owning it, it had been stolen from Ealing broadway shopping centre by scum whilst chained up with sledge hammer attack while I went shopping. (My disc lock didn’t fit and I was 1hr from buying a new one). Don’t buy one in London unless you have 24 hr security guard. Apparently 12 of them were stolen in one day once.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5 Mr T. Scooter- on on steroids
26 August 2015 by Bikerpete51

Version: Last of the chain drive models

Year: 2010

After owning many bikes over the years I decided a TMax would best suit my current needs. I think I made the correct choice. The TMax is smooth, has great weather protection and is easy to live with. It will happily potter along in slow moving traffic, and is fast enough for the motorway and A roads, and I'm having fun on it. Roadholding and steering are excellent. It goes around tight bends far better than my last bike (SV1000S) and gives almost double the fuel economy, giving 55-60mpg under most riding conditions. (in stop start traffic the SV dipped to 30 mpg). I had to fit a Powerbronze double-bubble screen as the standard screen causes extreme buffeting to the head. The brakes are excellent and the riding position is upright and quite comfortable. Storage is great with underseat and a large Yamaha topbox. Lights are good to. The only areas I can mark it down (for me) is that the seat height and width of seat at the front combine to make it a stretch for shorties, and the standard windscreen could be far better. also some sort of hugger or mud protection for the rear of the engine and swingarm is needed. I adapted a 4x4 mudflap but you'd think all those brains at Yamaha could have come up with something better.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Great brakes, and good steering and ride. Going over big potholes affects it more than a big bike however.

Engine 4 out of 5

Enough power for me. Cruises at 75-80mph which is adequate.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

When I first got it I accidentally left the sidelights on, and discovered where Yamaha decided to conceal the battery. I fitted a "jump start lead" in case it happens again. General fit and finish however seem excellent.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

Has everything it needs. Better battery access would be a benefit.

4 out of 5 2007
04 July 2012 by stonecoldjohn

owned my tmax for a year now, very reliable, had to fit a givi screen as i am over 6 foot which now makes for a better ride, only fault it's heavy.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 Black Max
02 October 2011 by johnlich

Mine is a 2007 Black Max on which the fuel pump packed up a year after the warranty expired. Flitwick motors and Yamaha sorted this out between them - at no cost to me. Good service. The scoot has been a delight and has handled my commute in all weather over 4 winters. As many people have remarked the screen doesn't work for a rider of my height (180 cm) making progress at 70 mph tiring. The price has gone up by £2000 since I bought mine which i think is a bit steep for a fairly simple parallel twin.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 2 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5 Mk1
20 April 2010 by Woodyfjr

I always fancied a having a TMax when they 1st came out and I finally got a 2001 model which is a delight to ride I have been told the Mk2&3 are even better which is hard to believe and I do prefere carbs over FI anyway.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 One for those that ride...
10 December 2009 by dannyzac

If you want to cover lots of miles in all conditions and on british roads and arrive fresh, then this is the machine for you...

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 2 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5 Are we having fun yet?
04 June 2009 by rog5150

Swapped a Buell for a Scooter! Crazy experiment - maybe? But I'm now doing 3 times as many miles so I'm very happy I took the risk! Power, er well it's not bike but 100 plus and Okay. Handling is fab, stable, good ground clearance (without wife on back), good unlinked brakes, turns very well. Best thing is I use it all the time because its so damn usefull, ace in traffic, weather protection and storage - two wheel car that splits traffic- works for me.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
1 out of 5 An expensive and unreliable pile ...
31 October 2008 by teesee03

With shoddy manufacturing quality and inaccessibility of most of the engine, this machine is designed to be an expendable item. The starter motor was the first thing to go. Yamaha UK were as sympathetic as you might expect - ie not at all. The cam chain tensioner has now failed after 8000 miles, wrecking the engine, and the machine is now beyond economic repair, after only 4 years. An absolute disgrace.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 1 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
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