YAMAHA TMAX 500 (2012 - 2019) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Annual servicing cost: £700
Power: 46 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.5 in / 800 mm)
Weight: Medium (478 lbs / 217 kg)


New N/A
Used £6,300

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

This bike went off sale in 2019, replaced by the Yamaha T MAX 560.

Ride quality & brakes

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

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.


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

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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
2 out of 5 (2/5)

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.


2 out of 5 (2/5)

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.


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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 47 mpg
Annual road tax £84
Annual service cost £700
New price -
Used price £6,300
Insurance group 9 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 46 bhp
Max torque 39.2 ft-lb
Top speed 110 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 157 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

Yamaha T-Max 500 (2001 - 2011)

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA TMAX 500 (2012 - 2019)

5 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA TMAX 500 (2012 - 2019) 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 - 2019)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Engine: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.2 out of 5 (3.2/5)
Equipment: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Annual servicing cost: £700
3 out of 5 Great tourer; too expensive to buy and run though
20 March 2023 by GeeCee

Year: 2017

I'd recommend a new one due to manufacturers warranty but not at the price yamaha want; this should be around £11k top whack and then discounted when appropriate. It's a great package compared with the other maxi scoots but I've got a horror story and heard just a bad. Desperate to trade this particular dog for one that is reliable, but I'd still go for the tmax. Because no other manufacturer has put the simple bits together.... reasonable power, extreme comfort and cruise control. Definitely costs far too much though

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

A little breathless at times in T mode rather than S and underpowered compared with either Burgman or Forza (I've test ridden all the on same day) and the brakes are shockingly bad considering the momentum gained. Compared to the rivals though...Oh My God So much fun!

Engine 3 out of 5

As mentioned, it feels underpowered somehow. Between services, by 2k miles it's gruff, by 3k yep, change the oil and it smooths but only fur the next 1k... by 6k you will desperately want the service to get the smooth feel back.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Overly expensive in every respect. Clutch gone after 11000 miles ... I've never had a clutch go on a bike before ever! £900.... electronics regularly immobilise the bike it inopportune time... 5 months with dealer being unsuccessfully repaired (no charge). Battery dies on a semi regular basis. At one point I was changing batteries more regularly than filing up fuel. 57mpg is terrible, I'd expect closer to 70 for a 530 bike tbh. Fuel cap flap sometimes won't open (immobiliser again). I'm assuming the electronics are also the reason the clutch went but I'm not a mechanic or technician and so don't know if the EMU electronically controls any clutch parts

Value vs rivals 2 out of 5

No idea of actual service costs as, each time, I've had big repairs done at same time. Last bill was £1600 total for service & clutch (!) @11000 miles (at yamaha dealer). Tyres were £500 after just 5000 miles and then again after another 5000 miles just 6 months later (tyre: SC2s)... it's a hefty bike. 57mpg average, 64mpg directly after service gradually drops to 52mpg by next service. Yamaha could do hugely better there I think, my rav4 4wd did 54mpg!

Equipment 4 out of 5

I needed the cruise control due to damaged nerves... it's a godsend. Heated grips, heated seat and motorised windscreen are all used regularly. 800 mile trip in a day and still comfortable.

Buying experience: Second hand from a non yamaha dealer. Dealer amazing trying to sort out the vagaries of the dodgy electronics (still ongoing after 14 months).

4 out of 5 American TMAX 530
28 June 2020 by BankRuptinPA

Version: TMAX 530

Year: 2015

Best- easy to ride Worst- rattling plastics

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Ride quality can be better , brakes excellent

Engine 4 out of 5

engine is smooth and quiet how I like it

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

The only issue I have is a dead battery in the keyless key fob

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

American gas mileage between 45 to 49 MPG

Equipment 5 out of 5

I have the Givi windscreen and Givi topcase

Buying experience: Buying experience was HORRIBLE! Dealer threw every roadblock to prevent me from buying it, but I loved it and wanted it , U.S. Dealer

5 out of 5 Should have bought this bike earlier
01 January 2018 by Tonyjoe

Version: 530 A-E uk

Year: 2017

Should have got it earlier, being a bit on the older side (bits falling off me, not the bike), retired and moved back to isle of wight from Kent . Had HONDA VFR 1200 , and couldn't get it out of 2 and gear ,before i drove of island into the sea. decent fuel consumption 50 mpg . I'd think excellent for work/leisurely touring/hols.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Glides along ,up to a good 70mph motorway. decent fairing and screen ( set to highest setting ,which i keep on) bit of raincoat keeps in clear. good tip in and stability owing to engine not being part of rear suspension. Warning back brake viscous until run in (carefully). some people have problem with wide comfy front seat when stopping .cant get feet on ground ( fixed problem ,as theres no tank move yourself forward then feet go flat foot on the ground)

Engine 5 out of 5

gets a bit getting used to after riding bikes for a while ,bit like a elastic band stretches then gives power

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

as apposed to a motorbike (been riding bikes since 1972 ,bit like a fully enclosed touring bike, easy to clean and maintain.added extra 45 litre top box .

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

everything locks electronically ,including centre stand. lost a star because fairing storage right hand side doesn't lock ,come on yamaha,its like having a four door car where you can only lock 3 doors?.

Buying experience: Bought from Island dealer, good service etc.

5 out of 5 Scooters just shouldn't be this good! buy one (if you're loaded that is!!)
14 August 2017 by Harvs

Version: TMAX 530 Non ABS

Year: 2014

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 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!! :)

Engine 5 out of 5

You have to keep it on the boil, but it's rewarding.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

its been used for 3 solid years and still looks and goes like new.

Value vs rivals 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!?

Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 Tmax 530 BronzeMAX, great great buy!
21 July 2015 by BronzeMAX

Version: Bronze Max

Year: 2014

Annual servicing cost: £700

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. 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.

Engine 5 out of 5

Very smooth engine, amazing responsiveness and great power for a maxi-scooter.

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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.

Equipment 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.

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