Would you be willing to sell your everyday commuter motorcycle and replace it with a scooter? How about if we tell you that it’s a maxi-scooter? But, what if you had to shell out more cash to acquire the said maxi-scooter, in addition to the money you received from selling your old motorcycle? Made you think, huh?
Here’s what we’re getting at. We have with us, the Yamaha NMAX: Yamaha’s 155cc offering from its ‘X’ scooter family. For those who remember, the NMAX is reminiscent of the Kinetic Blaze when it plied the streets of Kathmandu over a decade ago. Its power figures surpass those returned by the majority of motorcycles in the 150cc segment. Further, it is the first scooter to feature fuel injection, and dual channel ABS in Nepal.
Anyone presuming the NMAX to be just another scooter would be gravely mistaken. The NMAX is the Mr. Hyde of the scooter world; a kind, well-respected scooter that happened to meddle with the dark side of automotive mechanism and thus transformed into its alter ego that’s significantly larger, more powerful, and exhibits evil intent.
Styling and Design
Appearance-wise, the Yamaha NMAX 155 is a handsome devil. And it’s well built.
The NMAX looks good on the biggest person we have in our office and for a scooter that prides itself on size, that is a compliment. We are talking about a person so large, he makes the Bajaj Dominar look like a Pulsar 150. Our point being, the Yamaha NMAX is a big boy maxi-scooter.
It has a two tone body color, and a smooth flowing design, giving it a European flare. The bulbous front gets a large single unit, twin eye, headlamp flanked by side indicators on the body panel. The lines that define the NMAX aren’t very aggressive, but neither is it a dull design. If Yamaha were looking to hit that middle of the road, ‘timeless’ look with the styling, they have achieved it.
The seats are large and comfortable, good enough to keep your rear ends well rested on your daily excursions. The ergonomics are also relaxed and easy going. Footrests are large and you have the option of changing your feet placement to a relaxed or higher up position for a more cruiser experience. While we’re not completely sold on the cruiser-style foot placement, we definitely like the acres of legroom that you get.
As motorcycle riders reviewing a maxi scooter, we really liked that the fuel tank cab is up front, and between your legs. There will be none of that ‘getting off your seat and flipping it up to refuel’ nonsense anymore.
When you will be flipping open the seat is to stow away your helmet or your belongings. You can just accommodate a full faced helmet in the space provided. You also get easy to read LCD instruments, including a bar type fuel gauge, speedo, clock, and fuel economy data.
The Yamaha NMAX runs on sizable rubber with 230mm front and rear rotors, with single piston calipers.
When you first sit astride the rather large frame of the Yamaha NMAX 155 you still expect it to perform like your run of the mill scooter. However, you will be pleased to know that the NMAX is no slouch. It’s quick to get off the mark and continues to provide decent power throughout the rev ranges. That’s thanks to the 155cc SOHC single-cylinder engine that churns out 14.9hp and 14.9Nm of torque. Its Blue Core engine also features a variable valve actuation, which is set to enhance efficiency of power delivery.
On the road the NMAX 155 handles well. It’s stable and feels firmly planted on straights. Thanks to the grippy tires, you also get the confidence to take on the turns. Bumps and potholes are subdued with the help of a twin shock rear suspension system and smooth-action telescopic front forks. Stopping duties are undertaken by the 230mm front and rear discs with ABS, which further enhances the rider’s confidence.
We’ve always felt that safety wise, scooters do not belong on the highways. However, we can definitely see ourselves going on long haul rides with the Yamaha NMAX 155. This is one of the few ‘scooters’ (maxi-scooters) in which we would feel comfortable riding the highways. That is mainly thanks to the quick delivery of the powerful and sharp ABS equipped brakes.
Again, the Yamaha NMAX 155 isn’t your average scooter. It’s the Mr. Hyde to every Dr. Jekyll scooter.
You get more power, more comfort, and an overall better driving experience. All positives in our book. However, you have to wrap your head around the price tag of Rs 459,900, which can be challenging.
The ‘maxi-scooter’ is still a young product concept for the Nepali market. Ahead of it is the task of shrugging off the “still a scooter” mentality that people could have about the NMAX. Then it has the difficult duty of encroaching the new-fangled notion that a scooter can have a serious touring prospect.
Nevertheless, we are positive about the future of maxi-scooters in Nepal. We loved the experience of riding it around town and the bigger highways. We might even consider switching out a smaller commuter motorcycle for the comforts and riding amusement of the Yamaha NMAX 155—if only we could get around that price.