Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 3rd May 2017

Yamaha’s X-MAX 300 is new for 2017.

Replacing the old X-MAX 250, it sits in that space between the learner legal 125s and the more powerful (and rather expensive) 500cc and above maxi-scooters. At £4949, the 300 is just over half the price of the range topping TMAX, although a look at the spec sheet would suggest that the X-MAX offers a good value package with enough performance to hold its own on the open roads.

yamaha x max 300 review

Yamaha held the press introduction for the new X-MAX 300 in Florence, Italy, where these mid-sized scooters are big business. Here in the UK, they’ve yet to take off in such numbers, which is a great shame as they can surely offer a viable alternative to public transport or a car for many daily commuters.

Car drivers are a big target audience for Yamaha, who say that the average X-MAX 250 customers were men aged 45 and over, who used the scooter for commuting. It was a big model for them too – selling more than 150,000 examples in Europe since being introduced in 2005.

The X-MAX needed an update for 2017 thanks to the introduction of Euro 4. Rather than simply modify the old model to meet the new emissions standards, Yamaha made the decision to build a new model from the ground up. The result is a more refined and classier scooter that is stronger in all areas.

yamaha xmax 300

With a 28bhp, 292cc, single cylinder engine the X-MAX 300 has plenty of pep about it. With a standard twist and go transmission it’s as easy as a 125 to ride, however that extra power means that it can hold its own on the open roads. Riding the 300 does require a full A2 motorcycle licence (unlike a 125, which can be ridden on L plates after doing the CBT) but it’s much more effective on dual carriageways. Where most 125s get stuck in the slow lane behind trucks and buses, the X-MAX 300 has enough power to overtake cleanly and cruise at speeds up to and over the legal speed limit.

Recognising that its customer base are mostly professionals, the X-MAX 300 delivers a business class riding experience. The seat is wide and comfy, and the dashboard has more than a touch of car about it. In addition to the two large dials (for speed and tacho) there is a digital panel in the centre that delivers the usual additional information, such as a clock, fuel gauge, temperature, range, fuel economy and trip counters.

yamaha xmax review

The screen and handlebars both have two settings, although the scooter does sit a little taller than the average 125. Two gloveboxes are useful, and one of them is lockable and features a power socket to charge smaller devices, such as a mobile phone or sat nav. The space under the seat is positively cavernous. Yamaha claims 45 litres (up 18% on the outgoing 250) and it’s enough to take two full face helmets, or several generous bags of shopping. There are also several top box options available as accessories, if that’s not quite enough for you.

yamaha x max

On the road, the X-MAX 300 feels lively and refined. As we’ve come to expect from a Yamaha scooter, the ride is sporty and the rear suspension is adjustable, meaning that you can dial in different settings to accommodate a passenger, lots of luggage or just to meet your personal preferences for comfort or a more sporty ride.

There’s also lots of safety tech too. The anti-lock brakes are unobtrusive and the traction control, still a relative novelty on this class of scooter, works well on slippery and poorly surfaced roads.

Overall the X-MAX 300 is a worthy new addition to the mid-sized scooter market. You can pick one of these up for £65 a month on a PCP and for most commuters, not just those in London, that’s got to be cheaper than a season ticket on the bus or train. Even once you’ve factored in the costs of training, insurance, fuel and bike gear, you can see why bikes like these make so much sense to suburban dwellers.

And the savings are not just financial. The X-MAX 300 remains small enough to nip through the traffic. The switch to two wheels would also help get our road network moving again, reducing overall congestion and pollution, as well as reducing our own daily commuting cost and time.

Why more of us Brits are not joining our European cousins in discovering the joys of scootering is beyond me, but for those making the switch – or existing two wheeled commuters looking for something new – the X-MAX 300 really is a fantastic solution to our everyday needs.

Specifications

Engine type

Single cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, SOHC, four-valves

Displacement

292cc

Bore x stroke

70×75.9mm

Maximum power

20.6kW (28bhp) @7250rpm

Maximum torque

29Nm @ 5750rpm

Front suspension

Telescopic forks

Seat height

795mm

Wet weight

179kg

Fuel tank

13 litres