Will Yamaha develop a TMAX crossover to rival Honda X-ADV?

Yamaha thinks the new TMAX's sportiness is enough to lure buyers away from the Honda X-ADV but doesn't rule out a crossover model in future

Yamaha TMAX

Ever since Honda caught its rivals napping with the launch of its X-ADV off-road crossover scooter, there have long been rumours over whether Yamaha will follow suit a beefed-up version of its TMAX.

However, after there was no mention of such a machine when Yamaha pulled the wraps off its latest generation Maxi scooter at the 2019 EICMA show, the firm’s marketing and motorsport manager Paolo Pavesio says the company is confident it does need to go directly toe-to-toe with Honda in order to rival it.

Though Pavesio accepts the X-ADV has gone some way to cannibalising the sales of the TMAX, he believes this is largely down to the previous generation model swerving away from its sporty approach, an ethos he says the latest model recovers.

“We know our customers well, we know what they want,” he told Motociclismo. “The 2017 TMAX had probably lost a bit of sportiness, especially from the design point of view and with the 2020 version it found it again. The new engine and the work done on the suspension also go in that direction.

“We know the TMAX customer is very loyal we offer the product they expect. Over 50% of owners replace their TMAX with a new TMAX, so we just had to keep evolving a product that has had a clear DNA for 19 years.”

When asked whether the TMAX platform could be used as a basis for a new model that is targeted directly at the Honda X-ADV, Pavesio is more guarded, saying the rival model has show how flexible the scooter market can be.

“It is not in our DNA to do something that others have already done, however it is clear that in the hybridization between both worlds of motorcycles and scooters there is room to do other things. There is nothing decided.

“We have done a lot of reasoning in the past and will do it in future, so it is said that that platform will not expand. If it does, it certainly won’t be in the next two years.”