Yamaha Yamaha (2022) TMAX Tech Max review | 10 things to know


The 2022 Yamaha TMAX Tech Max has seen a big update for this year, and Yamaha hedging its bets on more tech, suspension tweaks, and ergonomic updates

THE Yamaha TMAX has been the class-leading maxi scooter for more than two decades now, providing hoards of customers with a convenient, comfortable, and fun way of getting around big cities.

That concept has moved on though, and as Yamaha realised the customer base for the bike was evolving, so did the bike. The latest 2022 Yamaha TMAX Tech Max is the result of this journey, and it’s turned into a bit more than ‘just’ a maxi scooter. Yamaha has begun referring to the machine as a ‘sports scooter’ and we headed out to Valencia in Spain, to find out what one actually was.

What’s new with the 2022 Yamaha TMAX Tech Max

The first thing you notice about the new TMAX is the more modern and sleek styling. The twin headlight design, synonymous with the bike, remains, although its peepers are now noticeably smaller, and feature an all LED construction.

Peeling back the plastic reveals tweaks to the frame, engine, suspension, and technology of the bike, with Yamaha listening hard to the feedback from the bike’s army of supporters. And when I say army, I mean one! Around 350,000 have been sold since 2001. That’s a number that seems hardly believable in the UK, but head to the south of France, all over Italy, and most of Spain, and these things are as common as corner shop-coffee bars!

The cockpit of the bike is where most of the big changes take place, with Yamaha focusing its efforts on the dash, screen, and ergonomics of the machine. The dash is now TFT, the screen massively revised the ergonomics tweak for a more involving and exciting ride – it is a ‘sport scooter’ after all!

2022 Yamaha TMAX Tech Max, price, colours, and availability

The 2022 bike is landing in dealerships with a price tag of £12,500. It should be ready in early spring 2022, and is available in two colours, Dark Petrol (as ridden) and Power Gray. A £3,343 deposit will mean paying £139 p/m over 36-months. And if you are not a TMAX owner already, you’re probably thinking that’s quite a lot of cash.

And yes, it is. But as I’m going to discuss later, I don’t think Yamaha is actually worried about that…

Ten things I’ve learned about the 2022 Yamaha TMAX Tech Max


1. The TFT dash is bloody good!

I’m getting this in early because it’s really impressive. The TFT screen on the bike isn’t just good quality when benchmarked against other maxi scooters. It’s quite possibly class-leading in the motorcycle sector as a whole.

For starters, the screen is very big, taking up most of the space above the handlebars. And everything you need to know is included in the TFT, with no extra warning lights hastily stuck on the side. That for one keeps it looking clean and modern, totally aligned with the values of this premium maxi scooter. The large shroud also means you can read the dash all the time, even in the blinding Valencian sunshine.

It’s also extremely uncluttered, with Yamaha figuring out how to squeeze in all the info you need without overcomplicating the design. Fuel, riding mode, speed, and revs; it’s all perfectly clear and very easy to read.

The menus too as well set up, with a mode button flicking between settings on the right-hand handlebar, and a joystick on the left doing all the work. A wheel makes up the bottom section of the dash, with the joystick scrolling through them to take you to the place you need to be. Once there, a thumb in will select, and up and down with adjust. It’s as simple as.

2. The screen works very well

The screen is also changed for the 2022 bike, with a revised shape that is promised to deliver more protection when out on the road. I did find that on its highest setting I was nicely cocooned in a bubble of peace, although those much taller than my 5” 7’ frame may just be above this and require an aftermarket deflector.

One niggle with the screen and I do realise I’ve just mentioned how intuitive and easy to use the menus are, is that adjusting the screen means you have to look down and scroll through some menus. I’m not a fan of taking my eyes off the road when riding – long story, don’t ask – and a rocker switch on one of the handlebars would be a better option in my mind.

3. The ride is sporty and possibly harder than most customers are used to

For this year the TMAX features an increase in the amount of damping there is in the forks and rear shock. The basic look, design, and placement are the same, although Yamaha is stating the new setup should give a more responsive and dynamic feel to the bike.

And it seems to have worked. The TMAX is much more ‘dynamic’ than you’d expect from a 218kg machine that’s as long as your sofa, and it actually impressed me with it’s eagerness to jump into the apex of a corner.

In the real world and in the hands of a real owner though, you’re probably more worried about who well it rides bumps and potholes. I’m not going to say this is the plushest bike of this type I’ve ridden, but it's not exactly jarring when you hit a speed bump either. Yamaha is evidently leaning to the sports scooter side of things with this latest bike, so a firmer, slightly more taut ride is what you are going to get.

4. That sporty handling does have some pluses when you head out of town though…

After about an hour of slogging it out through inner-city Valencia, we headed out into the hills to the north, and what can only be described as some beautiful riding roads. It was a switchback riding dream, with smooth and dry roads and sinuous mountain roads. That’s normally not the time to be riding a big maxi scooter. That wasn’t the case though, as the Yamaha proved to be exceedingly good at carving through the countryside. The side-stand, exhaust, and centre stand all took a bit of a battering, but the overall handling dynamic is one that left a lasting impression on me.

One very neat trick of this bike is the way you can manipulate the brake, throttle, and steering, right in the heart of the corner and it really doesn’t upset the bike. There is no black magic at work here, it’s all about the chassis and tyres, but it makes the thing seem totally unflappable, and quite impressive.

5. The brakes don’t quite have the same bite as the handling does

At 218kg, this can never be described as a featherweight of the two-wheeled world. And while it does carry that weight very well at speed, you do feel it when hauling up to a stop. The brakes lack initial bite and while the power is there, you do have to work hard to discover it.

The ABS system is a two-channel affair, and while it is quite intrusive at the rear, I could imagine it’s a godsend on a wet Wednesday in Winchester. The bike also features a neat cable-operated hand brake.

6. It is a very premium feeling machine

I know there isn't a manufacturer from Aprilia to Zontes that'll refer to its products as anything other than calling them premium. The truth is though, not that many of them actually are. The TMAX on the other hand does have a quality feel to it, from the tactile matt finishes to the super-clean castings used for the handlebars and passenger grab rails, you get the impression it's very well put together.

I’d also say that the level of spec you get with the bike is also very premium. There is that brilliant TFT for starters, heated grips, and rider, and passenger seats, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, electrically adjustable screen. When you look at it like that, it’s got all of the toys, and some more, that you’d find on a top-class £20k touring machine.

7. The under-seat storage isn’t the biggest

As under-seat storage compartments go, I don’t think the TMAX is near the top of the charts. The slightly smaller Honda ADV 350 has a more cavernous area to stash your kit, although the TMAX will still take a lid with room to spare.

If you wanted a little more space, there is a sizable top box on offer as an extra. It’s big enough for two full-face lids and even com8.es with colour matched inserts to keep the whole thing looking good.

8. The level of comfort is very good

A couple of points of note here, with the first being the seat. Updated for this year, the perch on the Yamaha TMAX Tech Max is exceedingly good. It’s as large as any of the latest generation of full-sized mega tourers and comes equipped with heating elements and a very large pillion perch. The grab rails are also nicely located and within easy reach.

For those like me that are a little short in the leg, you may, like me, find flat-footing a bit of a struggle. At 5’10” it was easier to lead at the lights with my left leg on the deck, although the fairly wide stance of the TMAX meant I was having to lean it over a fair bit to get there. Not a huge problem, but something to consider.

9. The premium feel does carry a premium price tag

Admittedly, the £12,500 sticker price of the big TMAX is a stumbling block for many. With a plethora of deals to be had on middleweight nakeds, and even some supernakeds, sitting around that figure, many simply can’t justify the cost. The thing is though, comparing this to a bike like an MT-10, or GSX-1000S is like mentioning Pavarotti and the So Solid Crew in the same sentence.

People don’t buy a TMAX because they think it’s going to be alright for their needs, and a fine replacement for their aging sportsbike. People buy a TMAX because they’ve had one before and they are faithful to the model, how it performs and how it fits around their lifestyle.

10. Most UK bikers are a bit snobby and are missing out on a genuinely handy piece of kit

I’ve been going through the social media responses to our posts and photos about the TMAX, and it’s genuinely surprising to see how much hate this thing gets. And all of it from supposedly grown adults! Yamaha has sold over 350,000 TMAX machines since its launch in 2007. I could forgive the pasting the bike has taken if there were three zeroes missing from that number.

This isn’t Yamaha flogging a dead horse, it’s them supplying a bike to its customers, that in most markets sells extremely well. It is the class leader in the maxi-scooter segment, has more tech than most other ‘proper bikes’, has comfort for days, long legs and it’s a hoot to ride down a twisty B-road thanks to its un-crashable handling dynamic.

If you aren’t at least a little bit intrigued as to what the fuss is, it’s your loss!

For more information on the new 2022 Yamaha TMAX Tech Max, head to: www.yamaha-motor.eu