As urban traffic conditions continue to worsen, scooters increasingly become more popular than conventional motorcycles with manual gearbox. Nothing beats the “twist-n-go” convenience of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) when traversing congested roads. Yamaha started capitalizing on this fact more than a decade ago and it is now the leading brand in the Philippine scooter market. It also helps that the company currently has the widest range of what it calls “automatic motorcycles” in its stable. To further strengthen its position in this particular segment, Yamaha recently launched the NMAX.
The Yamaha NMAX is powered by a single cylinder, 155.1-cubic centimeter liquid-cooled Blue Core engine which produces 11.1 kilowatts (15 horsepower) of power at 8,000 revolutions per minute and 14.4 Newton-meters of torque at 6,000 rpm. It is equipped with a variable valve actuation system that helps regulate fuel combustion at various speeds. The system adjusts the fuel intake, using the force of acceleration as shifting point. This results in better torque in low rpms and more power in high rpms. Being one of Yamaha’s global scooter models, the NMAX is also being sold in different regions of the globe. This explains the simple but elegant European styling cues. It wouldn’t feel odd riding the NMAX in your suit, on the way to work. Stow away your laptop and other important documents in the generous under seat compartment. You can easily breeze through rush hour traffic and there’s no need to compete for a parking slot.
The NMAX’s 13-inch wheels allow light and nimble handling, even with the 1,350-millimeter wheelbase. The position of the grips offers good leverage and the reasonable 127-kilogram wet weight also makes riding less of a chore. Also keeping the center of gravity low is the 6.6-liter fuel tank that is placed between the step boards. The telescopic front and the dual rear shocks (though not adjustable) smooth out bumps pretty well. The fuel-injection system automatically adjusts air-fuel mixture relative to altitude, resulting in a consistent engine performance during its testing in Baguio City. Though there’s no engine brake on a CVT, the front and rear disc brakes were easy to modulate when tackling steep slopes. I also wasn’t worried about squeezing the brakes too hard as both are equipped with anti-lock braking System.
At a competitive price tag of P 118,000, you also get LED head and tail lights, full digital instrument panel and a magnetic keyhole shutter to help protect your investment from theft. The Yamaha NMAX is available in Metallic Black and Gun Metal Grey.