YAMAHA ADDS XMAX 300 TO 2018 SCOOTER LINEUP
October 15, 2017 Filed under: Yamaha | 2018 Models
NEW XMAX 300 CARRIES ON THE TMAX SPIRIT
Yamaha has released their 2018 scooter lineup and it is arriving in dealerships now.
The big news this year is the all new XMAX 300, which looks a lot like a mini-version of the TMAX 530 that left a couple years ago. The XMAX is an all new machine that went on sale in Europe earlier this year. It features aggressive styling, good power and sporty handling with a number of high end features including ABS, traction control and a keyless ignition (just have the key in your power and you can scoot off). Unfortunately for Canadian scooterists, the XMAX looks like it’s only headed to the USA for 2018.
The XMAX jumps in where Honda left off with their Forza 300 after discontinuing it last year. Comparatively, the XMAX offers 10% more power (27.6 HP vs 24.5 HP) in a lighter scooter (397 lbs vs 428 lbs), so it should be pretty quick. If you’re worried about handling all that power, Yamaha’s got you covered with standard traction control and ABS. Unfortunately Yamaha thinks everyone in the USA likes white, so the silver and brown colors they’re offering overseas won’t be arriving here this year.
The rest of Yamaha’s scooter line received virtually no attention. Yamaha USA is returning their 5 other scooters without a single tweak to even the colors. Thankfully the pricing is also the same.
Without the XMAX, Yamaha Canada is offering a completely unchanged line up for 2018. Color options are the same, but there are some price increases for the BWs (+$200 to $2999), Zuma X (+$100 to $3099) and SMAX (+$100 to $4099) but no changes in pricing to the Vino ($2899) and BWs 125 ($3699).
MODELS: Vino, BWs / Zuma, Zuma FX / X, BWs 125 / Zuma 125, SMAX, XMAX (USA Only)
BMW ANNOUNCES C EVOLUTION FOR CALIFORNIA
August 10, 2017 Filed under: 2018 Models | BMW
ONLY ALL ELECTRIC MAXI-SCOOTER ON SALE IN THE USA
BMW has been selling their all electric C Evolution maxiscooter in Europe since 2014, but they’ve been coy about whether it will be sold in North America, with several false promises over the years. Finally this week BMW announced that it is coming to the USA - or at least California - for 2018, and they seem serious this time by also releasing pricing. When it arrives, it’ll be the first electric maxi-scooter sold here since Vectrix closed up shop a couple years ago.
The C Evolution shares little with BMW’s other C series maxiscooters, but rather has been designed from the ground up as an all electric ride. It’s based around a 12.5 kWh battery, which are pretty large for a scooter. For comparison, Chevy’s all electric car, the Bolt, has a 60 kWh back, while Tesla’s new Model 3 is being offered with 50 and 75 kWh packs. With 12.5kWh, the C Evolution has a range of 100 miles.
That should be enough range for most folks commutes, but BMW hasn’t equipped the C Evolution with particularly fast charging, so it’s not a great road trip machine. The C Evolution can’t use DC fast charging networks currently, so the best it can do is an 80% charge via 220V power in 4 hrs, or double that on 110V. So at best you’d spend twice as much time charging as driving.
The C Evolution makes 19 kW of power (not to be confused with kWh, which is power capacity), which translates into about 48 horsepower and 53 lbs-ft of torque. Thus, the C Evolution can jump to 60 mph in just 6.8 seconds despite it’s hefty 606 lbs weight (about 50 lbs more than BMW’s other maxi’s).
For folks that do more commuting than road tripping, the C Evolution could be an excellent machine with it’s clean operation, low maintenance, cheap operational costs and quality construction. The C Evolution also has 40mm diameter inverted forks, a single sided swingarm, 15” wheels and dual 270mm front disc brakes with standard ABS.
BMW is pricing the longer range model (12.5 kWH, 48 horsepower) at $13.5g and then you can add heated grips ($250), an upgraded seat ($145) and an alarm ($395). This price is $3-4g higher than BMW’s gas powered maxi scooters, but you’ll save quite a bit in fuel and maintenance costs over the life of the machine, as electrons are typically only 1/4 the cost of gasoline.
STATE OF THE SCOOTER SCENE 2017
2017 BRINGS JUST ONE NEW MODEL, WHILE OLD FAVOURITES DEPART
All the 2017 scooter lineups have been announced, and unfortunately there’s not much to get excited about with only a single new model, while several notable scooters are on their way out. For 2017, six of the nine major manufacturers we cover here are returning last years models unchanged or reduced (Aprilia, BMW, Honda, Kymco, Suzuki, Yamaha). Only Piaggio released a new model, while Genuine and Vespa made some updates.
Piaggio Liberty 50 / 150
Genuine Buddy Eclipse
Piaggio MP3 Business 500
Vespa (red) 946
Genuine Blur 220
In each of the past five years, 7 to 10 new scooters were introduced. For 2016 that dipped to just two and now for 2017 Piaggio’s Liberty 50 and 150 is the lone new machine. Even that is a bit of a stretch because the Liberty is actually a 2018 model, but we need to count something.
The Liberty (above) is a large wheeled scooter and it actually has a little history in North America, with a previous generation being offered briefly here in 2003 - 2004 using the LT50 and LT150 names. The Liberty certainly has grown up since then, with less quirkiness in the styling, which now resembles Piaggio’s larger BV350. We’ll see if it catches on better than other big wheeled scooters in North America that didn’t last long, like Honda’s SH150i.
Thankfully a few other scooters got substantial updates. Piaggio unwrapped a “Business” version of their MP3 500 with a brown seat and grey rims, Vespa debuted a new version of their 946 as part of the anti-aids (red) project, and Genuine released the next in a long list of variants of their Buddy scooter, called the Buddy Eclipse, which is a stylistic variant on the regular Buddy.
Unfortunately the list of discontinued scooters is even longer. It includes 4 machines: Genuine’s Blur 220, Honda’s Forza, Suzuki’s Burgman 400 and Yamaha’s TMAX. Collectively, these four machines have 31 years of experience in the North American market.
The Blur 220 was first offered with a 150 motor from 2006 - 2007 before returning with an extra 70cc from 2010 to 2016, so it’s an aging design and it’s no surprise to see it dropped. The Forza was only introduced in 2014 and it’s been a popular scooter, so hopefully we’ll see it return for 2018. It was voted by the readers here as the favourite new scooter for 2014, so hopefully Honda is just be reducing inventory or prepping a new variant. The Burgman 400 was in Suzuki’s original lineup when they returned to North American in 2003. While it was overhauled for 2007, it hasn’t been updated in the decade since so it’s not shocking that the end has come. Lastly, Yamaha has flip flopped with offering their TMAX since it was introduced in 2009, so unless it has more lives than a cat, this is likely the end.
While 2017 isn’t blessed with many new machines, the numerous new models introduced over the past 5 years have meant that scooter selection remains near an all time high. In total, 49 different scooter models are being offered from all these manufacturers in 2017. That counts scooters available in 2 engine sizes as 2 models (fair? maybe not) and it includes the Liberty 50 and 150, which is sort of a 2018 machine. This total of 49 models is less than last year (52) but the same as 2013, so scooter selection has been largely stable for the past few years.