"The previous TMAX was already a perfectly balanced vehicle" says Naoki Segawa who was guiding the development process. "Our challenge was how to improve the performance while keeping all the good points of the previous model."
That was a hard task for such a versatile vehicle - on one hand it's a sporty motorcycle, on the other hand a practical and comfortable maxi-scooter. TMAX should be light enough to be at ease in the busy city traffic, performant enough to effortlessly cover distances on highways and sporty enough to enjoy winding roads to the full!
To keep this delicate balance of sports and versatility was a big challenge during the development.
• Increased to 530cc
• By bigger bore: from 66 to 68 mm
• New lightweight forged aluminum pistons with optimized valve recess
• A newly designed pent roof combustion chamber
• Combined with a new camshaft profile and larger intake valves, to create outstanding combustion torque
• The intake and exhaust systems redesigned for the new engine too, as well as the fuel injection settings
• 12-hole fuel injectors, same as on YZF-R6, create a finely atomized fuel spray
• Over 10% increase in torque output
Optimized balancer design
• For reduced horsepower loss
• The balancer sleeve is changed from steel to aluminum for lighter weight
• The balancer piston as well as the crankcase have been designed with vents to avoid pumping losses.
Redesigned CVT unit
• Set to deliver the engine torque with outstanding driveability
• With different materials and surface treatments, new speed ratios and a new belt cooling system.
• There is also a larger wet sump clutch, to handle the higher torque.
"There has always been a request for more performance, but we did not want to upset the fantastic balance of TMAX" says Naoki. "Keeping or even improving the handling has been a key point in this project. The weight is lower and the weight balance has shifted more to the front of the machine. This gives you a better feeling, more easy to feel the road. It's even closer to a motorcycle than it was already."
What makes TMAX so famous for its handling?
• Strong, CF aluminum motorcycle type chassis with engine fixed mounted to the chassis (and optimized rigidity balance for 2012)
• Horizontal parallel-twin engine layout to keep the gravity low and to the front; air-cleaner positioned above the engine, in the frame's central tunnel
• Mono rear suspension under the engine helps lower the center of gravity even more
• Motorcycle type, 43mm front fork with cast aluminum upper-bracket and forged aluminum under-bracket
New for 2012: aluminum swingarm and belt drive system
• The previous closed oil-bath system which used 2 steel chains (connected by an intermediate dual sprocket) is replaced by a single belt
• The belt system is very smooth, with clearly less 'drive train vibrations' felt in the footboard and handlebars
• Not only is the belt itself much lighter than the chains; it also saves the weight of the dual sprocket and its bearings, the weight of the closing lid and the oil
• The new die-cast aluminum swingarm is much lighter too
• All of this weight saving is un-sprung weight, so the road-holding of the rear wheel is strongly improved and the machine mass is more centralized.
• The weight balance between front and rear is shifted more to the front wheel by around 1%. You feel more one with the bike than ever before.
"The design was a logical evolution" says Alessandro. "and even sportier than before. The design is more tight, with an aggressive and piercing look. And the front and tail lights are inspired by our supersports motorbikes!"
• The dual headlights are now the compact projector-type, which is a similar technology as used on the R1
• New front fairing design and flasher design give an aggressive expression
• A more compact windscreen can be mounted in 2 positions and reduces turbulence and noise
• New rear sidepanels with increased passenger comfort: less wide at the leg area
• Forged aluminum side-stand
• New compact LED taillights are same as R1
Other new features
• Large diameter 282mm (instead of 267) rear disk with single pot caliper and ultra-compact, separate rear brake lock caliper
• New, beautiful 5-spoke wheels; front wheel is 6.6% lighter
• New rearview mirrors to minimize turbulence; positioned slightly lower
• New handlebar design, with motorcycle-type clamp mounting system. Handle grips are now same as YZF-R6.
• Polygon shaped meter panel with 2 large analog clocks (speedometer and rpm counter). It has an LCD info panel in between which includes service information as well as the outside temperature reading and fuel consumption measurement - both average and instantaneous.
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