YAMAHA TMAX 500 (2012 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£700|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
Latest news: 2020 Yamaha TMAX 560 revealed
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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 qualityNext up: Value
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 rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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 type||Parallel 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves|
|Frame type||Aluminium ladder|
|Fuel capacity||15 litres|
|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||£67|
|Annual service cost||£700|
9 of 17
How much to insure?
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
Yamaha T-Max 500 (2001 - 2011)
Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA TMAX 500 (2012 - on)
4 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£700|
Version: TMAX 530
Best- easy to ride Worst- rattling plastics
Ride quality can be better , brakes excellent
engine is smooth and quiet how I like it
The only issue I have is a dead battery in the keyless key fob
American gas mileage between 45 to 49 MPG
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
Version: 530 A-E uk
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.
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)
gets a bit getting used to after riding bikes for a while ,bit like a elastic band stretches then gives power
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 .
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.
Version: TMAX 530 Non ABS
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!
Just excellent all round. I've outridden plenty of bigger bikes through twisties, it goes and it handles and it stops!! :)
You have to keep it on the boil, but it's rewarding.
its been used for 3 solid years and still looks and goes like new.
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!?
Version: Bronze Max
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).
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.
Very smooth engine, amazing responsiveness and great power for a maxi-scooter.
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.
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.
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.