YAMAHA XMAX (YP300)
The sporty XMAX 300 launched in the USA market for 2018, filling part of the hole in Yamaha’s scooter line left when the larger TMAX 530 was discontinued after 2016. The XMAX carries on the same sports scooter spirit with aggressive styling and a sporty character. The 2018 XMAX 300 is a brand new design but actually the third generation of XMAX after two earlier generations were sold overseas starting in 2005.
Since 2005 outside North America, Yamaha has used the XMAX name for their mid sized sports scooters. The first XMAX was conceived as smaller sibling to Yamaha’s TMAX 500 maxiscooter (launched in 2001), so the XMAX shares the same ideals of sporty styling, a forward riding position and high end braking and handling but provides this in a smaller and more affordable scooter.
The first XMAX launched in Europe for 2005 as the XMAX 250, and this machine was soon joined by a smaller XMAX 125 (same body, smaller engine) in some markets to meet learner regulations in those areas.
Yamaha went on to debut a second generation of the XMAX for 2013, again offering it in both 125cc and 250cc displacements and eventually adding a 400cc version. A third generation was launched 5 years later for 2018, at which time Yamaha bumped the 250 model up to 300cc, such that the XMAX line offered 125, 300 and 400 sizes. Like the previous generations of the XMAX, all these models share a common body. Over the years Yamaha has used called these scooters both the XMAX and X-MAX, so the choice of a hyphen is up to you. Interesting, Yamaha’s larger TMAX is never called the T-MAX.
This third generation of MAX 300 is what Yamaha debuted into the USA market in fall 2017 as a 2018 model, marking the first time an X-MAX has been offered in North America.
The 2018 XMAX 300 is a brand new design from the ground up. It uses a brand new 292cc Yamaha engine, which is a liquid cooled single cylinder design. This motor is mounted as part of the swingarm - like most smaller scooters but unlike most maxi-scooters. The engine specifications are fairly standard (SOHC, 4-valve, 10.9:1 compression) but it does boast some higher end features like an aluminum cylinder with a ceramic bore.
This motor is capable of 27.6 horsepower @ 7250 RPM, which is healthy amount. That translates into a top speed of just over 100 mph, which should be plenty for most folks. Yamaha has also equipped the XMAX 300 with traction control, which seems a bit optimistic for a 292cc scooter, but it’s a nice feature none-the-less - particularly for when you’re launching onto a road from a gravel shoulder.
If you’re worried 27.6 horsepower is not enough, you could try to swap in the 32.9 HP, 395cc engine from the XMAX 400. This motor might bolt right in as both scooters share the same frames and bodies - but of course it might be easier just to import an XMAX 400.
Yamaha claims about 70 mpg for the XMAX 300, which sounds believable and is similar to what Honda claimed for their 278cc Forza 300.
Design and Amenities
The 2018 XMAX is a brand new generation and features sporty dual headlights similar to the latest TMAX. It’s a good looking scooter, with a higher end and more stylish look than Yamaha’s smaller SMAX 155.
This new XMAX design includes LED lighting for both the headlights and taillights. There’s also nicely redesigned instrumentation and for the first time, keyless ignition. The XMAX boasts Yamaha’s “Smart Key” which only needs to be in the proximity of the machine for it to start, so you won’t have to fiddle with inserting a key, or deal with your key chain scratching the machine.
Other amenities include adjustable handlebars, which can be moved fore/aft by 20mm, and a 2 position windscreen that lifts by 2” if desired.
Storage is a strong suit for the XMAX, with large two-tier underseat storage space enabled by the low swingarm mounted engine. This provides space for dual full face helmets, although the front half of this area is lower so only smaller full face helmets fit here. Riders with larger helmets should be able to fit their helmet in the rear half of the underseat area, and then other items forward of that.
The legshield area of the XMAX includes two more storage areas. The right storage cubby a small, non-locking space, while the left cubby is a similar size but can be locked and has a 12V power outlet for charging electronic devices.
Braking and Handling
As a sports scooter, Yamaha has put in a good effort towards making the XMAX fun to drive. In addition to the previously mentioned healthy power output and traction control, the XMAX boasts standard ABS and a higher end triple clamp fork. This high end fork is reported to be a major upgrade in stiffness and quality over the standard double clamp forks on most mid-sized scooters.
The braking is accomplished by single discs at both wheels, unlike the TMAX which gets dual rotors up front. There is a larger 267mm rotor up front and 245mm in the rear. These brakes are reported to be strong, and in combination with the standard ABS, make the XMAX a fun and safe scooter to take in the twisties.
Adding to that fun feel is a relatively low weight. For the 3rd generation of XMAX Yamaha managed to shave 12 lbs off the machine. At 397 lbs, it is still a hefty scooter but it’s 31 lbs lighter than Honda’s less powerful Forza (428 lbs) and also lighter than Kymco’s Downtown 300 (417 lbs). The TMAX 500 is about 100 lbs heavier.
Yamaha has a potential winner on their hands with the XMAX 300. It arrives in the USA with a price tag of $5599, which undercuts the discontinued Honda Forza ABS by $500 and is quite impressive for a machine this well appointed. The XMAX is a more compelling machine all around, with more power (27.6 HP vs 24.5 HP), more displacement (292cc vs 278cc), less weight (397 lbs vs 428 lbs), a high end fork, standard traction control, more aggressive styling and a newer design. Fortunately Honda doesn’t have anything to worry about since they stopped bringing the Forza here after 2016.
Another comparable machine is Kymco’s Downtown 300i. The Downtown lists for the same price as the XMAX and boasts 1 additional horsepower, but it’s an older design now by a less well regarded brand, so the XMAX is the obvious way to go unless you can find a good deal on the Downtown 300.
Other scooters with considering include a member of Suzuki’s Burgman family - either the smaller Burgman 200 or the larger Burgman 400 (discontinued after 2016). These will appeal to folks more interested in a comfortable touring ride than a sports scooter. Similarly, Piaggio’s less sporty but tasteful BV 350 is worth a look if you’re not after a sporty feel.
If there’s a counter argument to the X-MAX, it’s probably starts by pointing out that Yamaha is only offering it in white for 2018 which certainly isn’t for everyone. Another argument is that the more forward riding position that Yamaha uses in their sports scooter gives up some touring comfort in exchange for better handling. If you’re looking more for a touring machine, the BV 350 and Burgman’s are better suited.
OWNER REVIEWS (1) - Browse XMAX Owner Reviews REVIEW - Add Your Review
* Keyless ignition
* Low MSRP
* Aggressive styling
* Well appointed
* Less comfortable riding position vs a touring scooter
* Slightly high seat
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X-MAX 300 Review - Nice review by VisorDown
* Engine: 292cc liquid-cooled, SOHC, 4-stroke, 4-valve, single
* Bore and Stroke: 70.2 x 75.9mm
* Compression Ratio: 10.9:1
* Power: 27.6 HP @ 7250 RPM, 21.4 lbs-ft torque @ 5750 RPM
* Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection
* Estimated Fuel Consumption: 75 mpg
* Transmission: CVT
* Final Drive: V-Belt
* Suspension (Front): 33mm telescopic fork, 4.3” travel
* Suspension (Rear): Dual shocks, 3.1” travel, 5 pre-load positions
* Brakes (Front): Single 267 mm disc with ABS
* Brakes (Rear): Single 245 mm disc with ABS
* Tires: 120/70R15 (Front), 140/70R14 (Rear)
* Length: 86.0”
* Width: 30.5''
* Height: 55.7 - 57.7” (Adjustable)
* Wheelbase: 60.6”
* Ground Clearance: 5.3”
* Seat Height: 31.3’’
* Fuel Capacity: 3.4 Gallons (13 L)
* Wet Weight: 397 lbs
* MSRP: $5599 USD (2018)
2018: Vivid White