Yamaha TMAX long-term test week five: the only way to get to work

Yamaha TMAX long-term test week five: the only way to get to work

There's no better way to commute when the sun's out


Not so much learned as remembered: there's no way better way to commute on a warm, sunny day than riding.

Forget the waterproofs for a day. No need to layer up with thermals. Take the lining out of your jacket and just go. 

I'm talking about days like today, when the wind is still warming at motorway speeds and riding is just easier than at any other time. 

And nothing makes it easier than the TMAX, with its space under the seat to ditch the helmet when you arrive. 

Waterproofs? I don't know why I mentioned them. With your and body fully shielded, you barely need them on rainy days. 

That's why maxi-scooters sell well in warmer countries, like Spain and Italy; because they tempt people looking for a convenient alternative to their hot car while retaining maximum convenience. Their price gets compared to that of a car, rather than a motorcycle of similar capacity. 

Here it's not hot enough often enough for drivers to think that way - so it's nice that the current warm spell enjoyed by most of the country coincides with the national Ride To Work Week, when the Motorcycle Industry Association tries to encourage more people onto two wheels. 

You never know, it might even work.  


I've had a tracker fitted, from Meta Trak, Yamaha's official supplier (so I can blame them if it gets nicked). I get a phone call if the bike moves without the key in the ignition. There have been a few false alarms already, including a couple of missed calls after I backed the TMAX out of a parking space, but at least I know it's working. 


In case you're wondering, I do not park the TMAX on the street, as pictured. With London bike crime as it is, I wouldn't leave it there for half an hour, even chained up and with that track fitter. 

We've got secure, tucked-away parking, so I don't have to, but for many people the problem will present a real deterrent to commuting by bike. 

Maybe it would help get more people riding to work if manufacturers made bikes more difficult to nick as standard. The TMAX comes with a lockable centre-stand, which is a start. 

Model tested: Yamaha TMAX

Price: £9,599

Engine: 530cc liquid-cooled DOHC parallel twin

Power: 45hp at 6,750rpm

Torque: 39lbft at 5,250rpm

Wet weight: 213kg

Read part one and two of my Yamaha TMAX long-term test.

Read Visordown's Yamaha TMAX DX first ride.