MCN Fleet: The XMAX 400 – 'A scoot for all seasons'

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You may remember I was considering winterising the XMAX. You know the sort
of thing: looking at different tyres, extended screens and hand guards, keeping on top of the grime…

In truth, however – partly due to my ineptitude but mostly because of the Yamaha’s continuing brilliance – I’ve simply not needed to. Not much, anyway.


I abandoned my search for hand-guard options after 20 minutes, simply because there aren’t any – not that my hands are suffering much on my daily commute anyway. Meanwhile, as the mileage has started to climb, so too has my confidence.

The XMAX is not just nippy, it feels super stable, and despite damp roads I’ve been leaning further into bends than I did on my last MCN fleet bike, KTM’s 125 Duke. So, scrub any thoughts of different tyre options: the Yam’s Michelin City Grip 15-inchers are serving me well.

How I clean the XMAX 400…

Instead, the main thing I’ve done to battle through winter is ensure the scooter remains as clean as possible. One bottle of SDoc100 Total Cleaner (£16.99 for 1 litre) has seen me through two-and-a-half scooter cleans.

You spray it all over the bike, almost like a foam. It loosens all the dirt, then after around 10 minutes you’re supposed to rinse it off with a pressure washer. I don’t have one, so I use a bucket of water and a sponge. Then it proper foams up. Next I rinse with water. It lifts the dirt and cleans the scoot really well.

I’ve also been using Muc-Off MO-94 (£6.00 for 400ml ) to add a protective film. This leaves a clear top coat on the XMAX, adding an extra-sleek shine. Making sure I cover all areas aside from the brakes, I spray this as evenly as possible once the Yam is clean. I then leave it to dry and, as instructed,

I don’t buff. The shine stays until the following day.

In the meantime, I’ve been happily using the XMAX to commute (when not too icy) and for my food shops after work. Oh, and I’ve been planning a trip to France. I’m going to be heading across the Channel with Office Manager Alison on her Honda X-ADV to break my two-wheeled, European road-trip virginity. Ali has visited France (Le Touquet) before, so it’s reassuring to be going with someone who knows what they’re doing.

The preparation for what will be a three-day trip has already started. After gathering up my paperwork (V5, insurance etc), I started thinking about luggage. A weekend away with the scoot will surely be easy; I can fit two helmets under the seat, so a few pieces of clothing and a pair of trainers are going to be a breeze.

But to be on the safe side I started experimenting with how much shopping it can really take. I put in one bag for life, two helmets and a pair of gloves. Bah, they didn’t fit. Then I did a proper food shop, and cranked it up to three bags. Now we’re talking. That’ll easily last three days. Roll on France. 

Maria Martin

By Maria Martin

Former MCN Online Editor