The TMAX hit the market with a bang in 2001: A revolutionary scooter with a 500cc twin engine and the riding behavior and performances of a motorcycle. Until then, the biggest scooters were 250-400 cc single-cylinder models. Yamaha’s development team understood that these were lacking the levels of performance, speed and especially riding fun that riders in the higher cc categories would demand.
At the time of launch, the TMAX was the most powerful scooter ever produced. Everything from the engine to all the details of the chassis to the body design was unique and new.
The upright riding position offered great control of the machine and encouraged an active riding style. Ample comfort and wind protection allowed long trips out of town for leisure use, with or without a passenger.
In short, this scooter was not confined to city/commuting use anymore. The unique and dynamic design with dual headlamps and ‘boomerang’-shaped paneling became iconic.
Engine / Frame
The horizontal DOHC 2-cylinder 4-valve engine featured a reciprocating piston balancer and automatic CVT transmission. Thus it was smooth, responsive and powerful. The engine was mounted in a high-rigidity diamond type frame with strong, dual-clamped front forks and a motorcycle-type swingarm. (Conventional scooters had single-clamped front forks and incorporated the swingarm and engine into a single unit, resulting in poorer road holding and less feeling of stability). By mounting the engine far in front, the weight distribution was like a motorcycle. Combined with large 14 inch tyres, this resulted in an excellent feel for the road, never seen before on any scooter!