WHAT I’VE LEARNED
More people should ride scooters. Commuters on Southern Rail – the line from the south coast where I live to the office in London – have put up with over a year of delays and cancellations, with the latest strike today.
Why? I suppose they think there’s no alternative. You can’t drive a car into London, unless you want a 10-hour commute.
But you can. You just need a two-wheeled car, which is what a big scooter is.
Chuck your bag in the boot, stick your bits in the glovebox, stretch your feet out on the floor, sit back behind your windscreen and go.
The commute takes an hour and 40 minutes door-to-door on the TMAX – or more like two hours by train, including the tube. And a day-return is £50 while the cost in fuel of riding is about £11. That is absurd.
As you’d expect from a two-wheeled car, there’s also no messy, high-maintenance drive-train. If I’m riding a motorcycle to work I give the chain a quick spray every day, then wipe my sticky hands on whatever’s available, usually my jeans. I haven’t touched the TMAX’s belt drive once in over 2,000 miles and most likely never will.
I DON’T LIKE
If that screen was just an inch or two taller at its highest setting, I might be able to do without earplugs, but it isn't so I can't'.
Also, Southern Rail.
Model tested: Yamaha TMAX
Engine: 530cc liquid-cooled DOHC parallel twin
Power: 45hp at 6,750rpm
Torque: 39lbft at 5,250rpm
Wet weight: 213kg