At first glance, this 250cc scooter looks good, and that alone will win many hearts, with its aggressive X-pattern headlights and tail lights doing the talking.
The redesigned LED headlamps will light up in an ‘X’ shape, while the tail lights display another ‘X’ pattern when the brake is activated.
An upgrade over the previous generation, the bodywork of the XMax 250 is new and comes in two colour choices – Icon Blue and Max Silver.
The new design gives the appearance of a large bike, whereas the XMax can easily be mistaken for a maxi scooter (those having displacements of 500cc or more).
Also new for 2023 is the high-mounted turn signals at the front, though the primary change is also in the cockpit, with the XMax now sporting a 4.2-inch TFT-LCD screen similar to the unit on the Tech Max 560.
Software-wise, the refreshed XMax is compatible with the Yamaha Y-Connect app and Garmin StreetCross to allow mirroring (via Bluetooth) of the rider’s smartphone so that he can navigate more easily.
There are no changes in the engine room department, with the liquid-cooled single-cylinder mill producing 22.8PS (16.8kW) at 7,000 rpm and 24.3Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm.
The scooter starts smoothly, and quickly hits 120kph, enabling the rider to keep up easily in urban settings as well as the free-flowing roads.
The wonderful part is not the speed, but how remarkably this scooter is at low speeds, with not much effort required to balance it while squeezing through tighter spots such as rows of cars stuck in a traffic jam.
The surge of torque is good, with this delivery noticeable even to the pillion rider.
The seat height is good and is not too high to intimidate the shorter riders, enabling them to have a good view of the surroundings.
The onboard display provides a lot of useful info, such as coolant temperature, ambient temperature, average fuel consumption, clock, and tachometer.
The nice bit is that the display can be customised according to individual preference.
The trip computer system said I averaged about 3.5 litres for 100km, or around 28.57km for each litre of RON95, in an urban setting.
Expect improved figures when cruising long distances as the test ride was all in the city areas.
The cavernous under-seat storage delivers as promised, which easily accommodates a full-faced helmet, with another helmet with a full visor, illustrating the generous storage space.
A nice feature is that there is an LED light in the storage area that comes on whenever the seat is opened, in keeping with its premium image.
The layout of the controls for turn indicators and lights is mostly in accordance with the traditional Japanese scooter control layout, so it does not take a lot of time to familiarise.
As a keyless scooter, Yamaha has opted to provide a dial-based interface for starting/locking/opening the fuel lid/opening the seat, and this is where I struggled to operate it as the dial is not lit at all, making it hard in dark areas.
Perhaps, the LCD display could be synched with the dial so that the user can easily know which “mode” the machine is on, rather than having to struggle to find out, as I did even after a week with the scooter.
Those who regularly ride above 90kph are advised to wear a helmet with a full visor, as the wind blast from the non-adjustable windshield is very strong.
I initially started by wearing a helmet with a half visor and found the wind hitting me smack on my lips.
Shorter riders may initially find the XMax a tad tall or heavy (especially if they have to push it out in reverse), but this is a small price to pay for good ride stability and looks.
Overall, this new model is a very welcome addition to the local two-wheeler scene, where quality scooters in the 250cc are not so easy to come by.
The XMax is priced at RM23,998 (without road tax, insurance and registration), and is now available at all authorised Hong Leong Yamaha Motor dealers.
More information can be found at www.yamaha-motor.com.my.
Engine: 249.8cc, 4-stroke, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, SOHC
Maximum power: 16.8kW (22.8PS) at 7,000rpm
Maximum torque: 24.3Nm at 5,500rpm
Suspension: Front telescopic forks; rear non-adjustable unit swing
Seat height: 795mm
Brakes: Front hydraulic single disc (two-channel ABS); rear hydraulic single disc (ABS)
Fuel capacity: 13 litres
Price: RM23,998 (without insurance, road tax and registration)