Tech reviews

Review – Yamaha XMax 300 Tech max – strengthen position


It was in Milan that Yamaha decided to present the 5th generation XMAX 300 to journalists, amid the chaotic traffic of the city and on the fantastic roads that took us to Lake Como. Having taken the 4th generation XMAX 300 Tech Max to the Algarve in the May issue of the magazine, this was a good time to test the new generation, still fresh from our trip to the south of Portugal.

The XMAX is Yamaha’s best-selling scooter, with 450,000 units sold worldwide. And although this figure refers to all cylinder sizes, from 125 cc to 400 cc – which is no longer in production – it is still impressive. And as far as the XMAX 300 is concerned, the Tech Max version, i.e. the best-equipped version, accounts for more than 50% of sales of this model, something we were able to see after riding this 5th generation, which is becoming more and more complete, and with better features.

UNCHANGED HEART

Source:Yamaha

With such a high number of bikes sold, Yamaha is doing something right. That’s why one of the main components, the engine, has remained unchanged for the 2023 model. So we have the same block as the previous version, with 292 cc, 20.6 kW (28 hp) and a maximum torque of 29.0 Nm. These figures offer not only an advertised top speed of 138 km/h, but also consumption of around 3L/100km – we managed to score 3.1L/100km on the on-board computer. However, it’s still a little strange that the Japanese brand has opted to continue with a 300 cc engine at a time when practically all the competition is increasing the displacement of their “old” 300s. However, according to the Japanese engineers present in Milan, the reason for not investing in a new block is due to all the extra work that would be required to create an engine from scratch, rather than improving the existing block. As a result, the XMAX has a somewhat weak response at medium and high engine speeds, and the presence of restrictions is very noticeable, although it is possible to feel a significant improvement in throttle response when you’re at a standstill and need a quick start. Even so, this maxi scooter proved capable of reaching higher speeds than those announced by Yamaha when riding on expressways or freeways, progressively increasing speed – a feature that has been retained from previous generations of this bike.

SPORTY INCLINATION

Source:Yamaha

As well as the XMAX’s natural ability to reach high speeds, if the road allows it, one point that characterizes this Japanese maxi scooter is its sporting flair and cornering ability. With a revised frame and front fork, Yamaha wants to retain the title of the sportiest scooter in its class, without neglecting ergonomics and rider and passenger comfort. To this end, it has increased the seat space available to the rider, so that the riding position is more ergonomic with the legs less flexed and benefiting from more space. This change proved to be an asset during the 200 km we drove with the XMAX, making each of them comfortable and enjoyable. All this could mean less space under the seat, but the Japanese brand continues to promise that it is possible to fit two helmets under the rider and passenger – depending on the size and shape of the helmet, of course, and it is certainly possible to fit two jet helmets.

But back to the sporting side. The XMAX 300 definitely has a distinctive character – amplified now with a new look inspired by the TMAX – which conveys the sensations of the front of the bike very well, allowing you to reach fast speeds without being frightened by sudden reactions or unexpected behavior. The weak point is the double rear shock absorber, which also deserved to be revised and replaced, as it definitely doesn’t follow the more rebellious side of the XMAX, offering a somewhat stiff behavior and conveying the feeling that only the spring works, with the shock absorber being a bit “lazy”. The Michellin City Grip2 tires that come as standard on the XMAX 300 Tech Max are also a limiting factor for this scooter, which would benefit greatly from rubber with better grip. Even so, the XMAX 300 Tech Max has shown an excellent compromise between the comfort it provides in the city and the ability to ride at higher speeds with good sensations. And there’s one more very important point to mention, which has been improved in this 5th version: braking. This was a frequently reported problem in previous generations, due to its stiffness and lack of feel, so it was improved in 2023. Now, the way the brake responds to the force applied to the lever is much more assertive and the excessive stiffness has disappeared, making it easier to find the right pressure to brake the XMAX, whether in town or on roads that call for a higher pace.

TECH MAXIMA

Source:Yamaha

Everything we’ve talked about so far are features that don’t differ between the two versions of the new XMAX 300, i.e. from the normal version to the Tech Max. So let’s focus on the technology and the differences that Yamaha has introduced to the scooter we tested, the most equipped version, the Tech Max. What immediately stands out, compared to the normal version, are the details such as the leather seat, the aluminum footplates, small Tech Max-specific plates and, of course, a 4.2″ TFT panel accompanied by a 3.2″ LCD, which we only found on this version. And the TFT panel was one of the focal points of the presentation, and rightly so. This panel allows you to connect to your cell phone and intercom, making it possible to answer and make calls using the panel’s navigation controls – which are very intuitive – as well as receive messages and view their content. It is also possible to access the Garmin StreetCross application, which provides navigation with access to maps and real-time indications on the TFT. The Dark Petrol (tested) and Tech Black colors are also exclusive to the XMAX 300 Tech Max. What about the technological similarities? Everything apart from the TFT panel and the 3.2″ LCD – replaced in the normal version by just a 4.3″ LCD panel – i.e. the keyless system, the new X-shaped headlights and the full LED lighting is similar in both versions.

AT THE TOP OF THE CHAIN

Source:Yamaha

The XMAX 300 has always been one of the benchmark models in the medium-displacement maxi scooter segment, and in 2023 Yamaha wanted to ensure that it remained so, and that’s exactly what it did. The Tech Max version now has a greater differentiating factor on the Tech side with an innovative dashboard that allows for various functionalities, and the mechanical package is more refined than ever, thus maintaining the XMAX 300 as one of the most desirable maxi scooters on the market.



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