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MCN Fleet: XMAX 400 seat height woes

Published: 16 March 2018

Is the XMAX 400 too tall for Maria’s 5ft3 frame?

An email from MCN reader Jim Scott struck up the thought about the Yamaha XMAX 400’s seat height, something I never took a second look at before. Perhaps because I’ve ridden a few bikes now which I actually can’t flat foot (BMW’s F700GS and Yamaha’s MT-09 and R6).

Basically, Jim is considering buying an XMAX and while following some of my updates in the paper and on Motorcyclenews.com with the maxi-scooter he noticed I was 5ft 3in. Jim queried: “The MCN articles show your height and from memory, you make no mention of any difficulties or issues with seat height when riding.” 

Firstly, I’d like to say the seat width creates a false sense of height. The Yam is similar to most two-wheeled seat heights so there’s nothing to feel apprehensive about. Because of the seat style I’m able to slide forward when I want to stop and have both feet on the floor with ease. I can even put one foot down like on a motorbike and hold the 210kg scoot up.

When I first started riding, the lack of riding experience made me fearful of any bike that was “too tall for me”. Even now into my second year of riding people are always amazed when they see this small girl riding big bikes. Guys and girls, there truly is nothing to worry about when it comes to seat height and weight, it’s all about confidence, balance and having a bit of common sense. That’s what I think anyway.

Earlier this year, MCN visited Elspeth Beard, the first British woman to circumnavigate the globe alone in the early 80s. Now Elspeth, as amazing and inspiring as she is, has an opposing thought to seat height. She told MCN that she basically swears by having bikes that she can flat foot. From her perspective, she couldn’t comprehend the thought of having a mishap on a bike and not being able to at least control it with both feet.

So Jim, and anyone else worrying about seat heights, it’s ultimately down to you. Also…that’s what demo days and test rides are for. Wink.

Plush riding 

Back to the Yam directly, something I do love about the seat is how comfortable it is. The seat has been updated for 2018 with more of a plush look and feel. During my update from our recent trip to France I complimented the scooter and how comfortable the seat was. It’s so comfortable I could camp out on it. Stick the centre stand up and put a tent over me and I’ll be counting sheep. Basically, I’ll keep riding as far as the 13 litres in my tank will take me. 

Jim also asked about the XMAX’s big brother the TMAX, which I haven’t ridden yet. MCN Office Manager said the XMAX has the same quality feel and similar performance as the TMAX, for a fraction of the price.

To summarise, the 33bhp scoot is easy to manoeuvre in any situation. The only things you need to watch out for are:

-       The wide butt, only ever so miniscule, but sometimes it affects filtering

-       Be mindful at higher speeds as the wind swoops down the sides of the scoot, round the back and hits you on the back of the head. Nothing too drastic, but it is more noticeable when you first get on the scooter. I forget it even occurs now. 

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