Yamaha looks like strengthening its hold on the big scooter market with the introduction of a heavily revised X-MAX 400 for 2018.
Sitting between the £4949 X-MAX 300 and the £9599 530cc TMAX, the new 400 features more performance and sharper handling than its predecessor. With the standard addition of traction control, still a relative rarity on a mid-capacity scooter, the new Yamaha offers a higher spec than its small number of rivals in the 400cc class.
The introduction of a new 400 is hardly surprising following the success of the X-MAX 300, which went on sale at the start of this year. The 300, which replaced the old X-MAX 250, offered almost all of the power (27bhp) of the 400 in a lighter, better specced and far less expensive package. The new 400, which goes on sale towards the end of this year, redresses that balance and looks likely to come in at a sub-£6000 price point.
Yamaha has dropped the wet weight of the 33bhp X-MAX 400 by 5kg, mostly through the introduction of lighter wheels, although at 210kg it is still over 30kg heavier than the 300 and only a few kilos shy of the range-topping TMAX.
Where Yamaha say that the 400 has really been improved is in the comfort, finish and ergonomics – areas where both the 300 and TMAX have really moved the game on. There’s plenty of car developed tech in the 400, with LED lights front and rear, a keyless ignition system and a two-way adjustable windscreen. Yamaha’s press blurb describes it as having the ‘look and feel of a luxury sports car’ and while that may be pushing it somewhat, there’s no doubt that it looks like a well built and extremely classy urban commuter.
Continuing the car theme is a new dashboard that goes along the lines of the 300, with twin analogue dials for the speed and revs, with a tidy digital LCD display centrally located for additional information. Rider and passenger are accommodated in style, with a sumptuous dual seat with pillion backrest and storage underneath of two full-faced helmets. Handlebars are also two-way adjustable.
New motorcycle style telescopic forks are said to improve the handling, while traction control and ABS are key safety features on the new bike. It’s a bike that’s been designed for longer daily commutes and occasional touring, only Suzuki’s Burgman 400 (which is also being updated for 2018) really goes up against it in the inbetweener class. With a significant price saving on the big two cylinder maxi scooters, and more comfort and performance than the many 250s and 300s in the market, the X-MAX 400 could well find an audience – particularly in countries like France and Italy where big scooters are big business.