Sporty approach and upright riding position
He continues: “Traditional maxi-scooters are like big boats: long and low, with a passive riding position. With the X-MAX 400, we prove that you can have a much more dynamic vehicle, more compact and upright, without having to sacrifice on comfort.”
In fact, this sporty approach and the upright riding position were already the success keys for its smaller brothers, the X-MAX 250 and 125.
Since their launch in 2005, these have been extremely successful in the European scooter market with over 200.000 units sold already!
Typically, what distinguishes X-MAX owners is their passion. They use the scooter not only for inner-city traffic, but also on longer stretches out of town and, due to the sporty handling, for leisure rides in the weekend. “Fun to ride” is a typical Yamaha trait that is highly appreciated by the Yamaha riders!
Yamaha develops and produces the X-MAX series exclusively in Europe, for European customers. Talking to our development team, we could hear they focused on four main areas:
- Performance: best in class
- Design: a high-grade evolution of X-MAX’ iconic design
- Comfort: to enjoy longer rides too
- Sporty handling: light and compact in town, stable and confident on open roads.
Sportive, serious and elegant
Manager of product development Olivier Prévost explains “The challenge for us was to offer more power and performance, without losing the agility that made the success of the X-MAX”.
To get that power, the team started with the famous and reliable Majesty 400 engine and worked on the detailed optimization of its transmission settings for the typical usage situations: “Acceleration was our first key word. We paid attention that the power is always available for best acceleration: from the start, to escape the other traffic, plus also the passing acceleration at various speeds, to overtake cars easily.”
Olivier smiles and continues “Of course, engine power is nothing if the engine has to pull a heavy vehicle. So the second key item for our development was to reduce weight. By those two points we could create the lighter and best acceleration 400cc scooter!”
The refined beauty of the X-MAX 400 is another item that stands out. Designer Cristiano Tasca reveals “The current X-MAX is already a milestone in design. So we had discussions whether we should change it at all. There was the idea to adopt the 400cc engine to the existing 250 design. But finally we went for the challenge to completely refresh the design with this new generation.”
There were more reasons to do that. Norihiko joins in: “With higher cc, we wanted to increase the value perception for the rider and let the X-MAX stand out even more as a high-class vehicle.”
Cristiano adds enthusiastically “We put all our skills in surface treatment and I’m really proud of it. This is typical Yamaha, to bring quality by using the proper dimensions, character lines, light reflections. On the X-MAX we use clean and sharp lines combined with smooth surfaces that have tension and power. It is sportive, serious and elegant at the same time. That is our Yamaha touch to the design of this scooter.”
Storage capacity for 2 fullface helmets
“On the outside we created a sharp and dynamic feeling” Cristiano says. “And on the inside, there is a comfortable, rich, elegant interior full of details and textures. I hope the customer will feel the care and passion that we put into that.”
Compared to the X-MAX 250, the front fairing is a bit wider and the windscreen a bit higher. “We created a more vertical, more proud front area that gives you more protection too.”
The wheels are also a new design, more modern and with a nice shape at both left and right sides. “I hate it when a wheel looks nice from one side and on the other side, not” says Cristiano.
But it is not only the looks that counts. Also the size and the weight of the wheels are optimized! Project chief of body design Rocco Fiorina clarifies “To get the best driveability, we finely balanced between front wheel mass and body mass. We also put a lot of effort in testing and refining the frame, the wheel sizes, the tyre dimensions. All to get the best feel for the bike. Also our suspension is set up in a sporty way.”
The same goes for the braking system. “With two floating discs in the front wheel, the brakes are on a very high level, fit for a sporty vehicle.”
Testing project chief Alessandro Bo sums up what he feels are the unique points of X-MAX 400: “What stands out compared to competitors, is performance. The general performance from the engine, the frame, the handling and the braking system.”
The team paid special attention to the stability. “With this strong engine performance, the top speed is really high. So we did a lot of refinements to the chassis to match that. We worked on the suspension, the frame rigidity, the engine link system. Now the stability is really good, you can use highway corners at high speed with confidence. There is not the ‘weaving’ effect that some others have. X-MAX is totally different from our competitors in the 300 or 400 category.”
Olivier summarizes their philosophy: “X-MAX means sporty handling. It is agile and reactive to go through traffic without hesitation. And once you escaped the traffic, you can enjoy the cruising, the cornering, the comfort and the storage capacity of this product.”