Yamaha XMAX 300 Tech MAX review - Milan rush-hour on new sport scoot


The new 2023 Yamaha XMAX 300 Tech MAX has gained visual and technological updates for for this year, we flew to Milan to try it out

FOR the press launch of the 2023 Yamaha XMAX 300 Tech MAX we flew to the scooter Mecca which is Milan in Northern Italy, for a city ride and then a backroad jaunt to Lake Como for lunch.

Like many of the big European cities, scooters and maxi-scooters are some of the most popular forms of transport in the urban sprawl, and for 2023 Yamaha is trying to cement its place in the A2 licence sport scooter segment with updates to the popular model. There are two bikes in the XMAX 300 range for 2023, the stock bike and the more trick and attractive XMAX 300 Tech MAX, and it's this bike we would be riding for the launch.

For the press ride we had the obligatory city ride to begin with, before heading out into the Italian countryside and eventually ending up on the banks of the stunning Lake Como for lunch. 

2023 Yamaha XMAX 300 Tech MAX UK price

The new XMAX 300 Tech MAX comes in at £6,705 to UK buyers while the base model XMAX 300 will set you back £6,205. Competition in this class mainly comes from the Honda Forza 350 (£5,199) and Honda ADV 350 (£5,599), Suzuki Burgman 400 (£6,999), BMW C400 GT (£7,050), and the Piaggio Beverly S 300 (£5,100). While this does put the XMAX near the top of the pecking order on price alone, its spec level is unmatched by a few of the bikes here, plus its sporty style helps to stand it apart from the more traditional-looking competition.

What’s new with the 2023 Yamaha XMAX 300 range

Both models of the XMAX have been updated for this year, with the biggest change being revised styling and a sharper, more modern look. The LED lighting is updated, with distinctive ‘X’ features in the headlight and taillight of the new machine. Ergonomics have been tweaked, with a new seat that is shaved down on the side to help make the step-over easier for shorter riders - good news for me! Both XMAX 300 models also get high-level indicators now, meaning they are easier to spot by other road users as you are zipping through the traffic. Tech-wise the new bike is also revised, although it's the higher-spec XMAX 300 Tech MAX that gets the bulk of the updates including a neat looking TFT screen, Bluetooth connectivity and Garmin mapping which is full screen and very easy to use. The Tech MAX also gets a raft of aesthetic changes over the stock bike, with an Alcantara leather seat, neat-looking rearview mirrors and other minor tweaks.

For a more detailed look at what’s new with the two models, check out this article we published last year when the details of both bikes were officially announced.

2023 Yamaha XMAX Tech MAX review

After the obligatory morning catch-up with our lead and tail riders, we kitted up and headed into the melee that is Milan at rush hour. We only had to ride through Milan for about 10 miles before hitting the outskirts of the city, but 10 miles in Milan during rush-hour feels like a very long way. It really does change the way you ride, and the longer you do it you find yourself becoming ever more defensive with your filtering, overtakes and road positioning. 

It was though great to get a feel for the XMAX 300 in what is its natural habitat, and right off the bat, the engine felt spot-on for the task. 27-bhp might not sound like much, but it wears what power it has surprisingly well. The CVT set-up is also good, and it doesn’t feel too lethargic when you pull away from the lights. The riding position is great for city riding, and you are placed in a nicely relaxed yet commanding position with your head generally above that of the average car driver. One of the key factors in making this bike a great city slicker is its weight and how that weight is carried. The wet weight of the bike is a claimed 183kg, making it a lighter proposition than any of the other 300cc or above maxi-scoots on the market. That weight is all carried down low and towards the rear of the bike. These two factors make it flickable in town, with nice light steering when moving slowly, but still with good stability when you get out on the open road. And the open road was where we found ourselves, as we neared Lake Como we got a chance to test out the sporty side of Yamaha’s latest maxi scoot’. Like any of these types of bikes, the centre stand (which is standard fitment) will take a bit of a hammering in quicker turns, but unlike some other models I’ve ridden, grinding it down doesn’t upset the bike or kick it off-line. It is though a decent thing to ride quickly on a twisty road, and the quick turning handling characteristics I noticed around town continued as we got closer to Lake Como. It’s not quite as much fun to ride as the TMAX Tech MAX I rode last year, but overall it held its own on the open road. It also had enough shove to mean that overtakes on the twisting mountain roads weren’t a total bum-clenching affair, and as long as I picked my moment with care, I never really found myself getting trapped behind slower moving traffic. 

One thing that I did find genuinely impressive on the launch ride was the grip on sometimes questionable road surfaces. The 265mm front brake disc provides plenty of bite and paired with a rudimentary 2-channel ABS system surprising amounts of stopping power. Harder breaking will require a full hand on the lever, and I didn’t feel the ABS at the front of the bike cutting in at all during our ride, and the rear took quite a bit of provocation and usually some lean angle to trigger at all.

The ride quality of the bike is okay, although on some of the larger potholes and bumps it did fire some shockwaves up my spine. Nothing too bad, but after the first one, I did find myself tensing up whenever a rough road or pothole approached.

One element of the bike's comfort that has been updated for this year is the seat, and I found it to be a very comfortable place to spend the day. It’s not the plushest but it is expansive thanks to Yamaha increasing its length this year over the previous model. This means that not only is there some space between you and the pillion, but you also have plenty of room to move about should you need to give your backside a rest. Like pretty much all of these large scoots I’ve ridden, the step-over was a struggle if I wanted to get both feet on the ground. The seat sides have been shaved for this year, making the front of the seat slightly narrower than before, but I was still on the tips of my toes when putting both feet flat on the ground. Under the revised seat there is still room for two full-face lids, although the actual capacity has been reduced slightly. The seat and fuel cap are both operated through the keyless ignition which is a great feature on a bike in this segment. To open them both you turn the ignition dial to the ‘open’ setting and then press the appropriate button mounted in between your legs. Keyless ignition systems are great when they work, and not having to faff about opening the fuel cap and under-seat storage is a big plus in my mind. One element I’d like to see on the bike is an adjustable screen, and while I did hear from one of the Yamaha technicians that you can raise and lower it, you need to crack out the tools to carry out the task, which is a shame.

2023 Yamaha XMAX Tech MAX technology

As I mentioned at the top of the page, one of the big talking points with the 2023 Yamaha XMAX 300 Tech MAX is in the level of electronics the bike has. Starting at the top, the new TFT is a lovely feature, and while not huge (4.2-inch) it is a nice feature and gives you a very clear view when used for full-screen mapping. It’s also nice and easy to use, with the buttons on the lefthand switchcube carrying out all of the functions. The TFT can be linked to your smartphone to allow the aforementioned mapping and also allows you to answer and make calls, and all the other standard functions we’ve come to expect from systems like this. Dig a little deeper into the TFT and you’ll even find some switchable traction control, although I’m not quite sure why on a bike like this you have the option to switch it off altogether. Thankfully if you do switch it off altogether, the bike will reset when you switch it off, arming the system again for your next ride.

2023 Yamaha XMAX Tech MAX verdict

Whenever I get back from a launch on a maxi-scooter, I’m always a bit confused why we Brits still don’t get these quick, convenient and easy-to-ride bikes. I’m putting much of it down to pig-headedness and not wanting to be perceived as anything other than a ‘proper biker’. And that's a shame because these bikes can be great to get around on, whether you are in the city or out in the countryside. Granted, we do have problems, especially in the UK with regard to security and leaving bikes like this around town, but with a fairly expansive luggage compartment located beneath your backside, you really have no excuse to not take along a chain and a disclock when you do park it up.

I think part of the issue possibly comes from the price, but when you counter that with the PCP deals that Yamaha is offering (a £2,000 deposit will result in just £73 a month) and the fact that many of your four-wheeled commutes could be switched to the scooter, they begin to make much more sense. It’ll easily cruise at 70mph and (slightly) beyond, keep you drier than a bike when it rains, is comfier than your sports bike or super naked, and will still return a healthy 80mpg. Add to this frugality the sporty handling of the XMAX 300 and how easy it is to ride in the city, and I really get the feeling a lot of British riders are missing out on what is a very good bike for pretty much all of their needs.

More information on the new 2023 Yamaha XMAX 300 and XMAX 300 Tech MAX can be found on the official website.

2023 Yamaha XMAX Tech MAX specification


Engine type - 4-stroke, Liquid-cooled, SOHC, 4-valves, Single cylinder

Displacement - 292cc

Bore x stroke - 70.0 × 75.9 mm 

Compression ratio - 10.9:1

Maximum power - 20.6 kW (27bhp) @ 7,250 rpm

Maximum Torque - 29.0 Nm (21lb-ft) @ 5,750 rpm

Lubrication system - Wet sump

Fuel system - Fuel Injection

Ignition system - TCI

Starter system - Electric (keyless)

Transmission system - V-belt (CVT)

Fuel consumption - 3.0l per 100km (80mpg)

CO2 emission - 70 g/km 


Front suspension system - Telescopic fork

Front travel - 110mm

Rear suspension system - Unit Swing

Rear Travel - 79mm

Front brake - Hydraulic single disc, Ø267 mm (ABS)

Rear brake - Hydraulic single disc, Ø245 mm (ABS)

Front tyre - 120/70-15 

Rear tyre - 140/70-14 


Overall length - 2180 mm

Overall width - 795 mm

Overall height - 1410 mm -1460 mm (adjustable windscreen)

Seat height - 795 mm

Wheelbase - 1540 mm

Minimum ground clearance - 135 mm

Wet Weight - 183 kg

Fuel tank capacity - 13.2L 

Yamaha R125 Review 2023

Yamaha R125 Review 2023 | CBT sports bike tested on Road & Track | Visordown