Published on July 1st, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin3
Test Ride – Yamaha NMAX
Scooters are steadily becoming the go-to solution among commuters in the country for the simple fact that they are easy to handle, comfortable and practical. The growing demand results in fierce competition between manufacturers with everyone trying to come up with products loaded with latest technology.
Not wanting to be left behind in the increasingly popular segment, Yamaha steps up to the plate with the NMAX, a mid-sized city runner that is expected to cater not only riders in Malaysia but in other regions as well. For those who didn’t know, the NMAX is the second global product developed by Yamaha Indonesia Motor Manufacturing (YIMM) after the R25.
Making its global debut in February 2015, the NMAX first arrived to our shores a year later and was sold officially in April this year. It comes with a RM8,812 price tag, which is much cheaper than its closest rival, the RM10,000 Honda PCX.
Among the key features highlighted include its BlueCore engine, which has been tuned specifically for increased combustion efficiency and reduced power loss that occurs as a result of friction on the inside. On top of that, the technology also promotes enhanced cooling system for longer engine lifespan.
Unfortunately, while it comes equipped with a fairly sophisticated technology, the Malaysian market NMAX loses out on one very important feature which is the ABS. While it may be the difference between life and death, the anti-lock braking system is not a mandatory equipment that should come with every bike sold in the country.
That said, we don’t have a reason not to like the NMAX. It looks sharp and well thought-out, while the strong character lines give it some kind of presence on the road – all thanks to the styling which is said to incorporate the DNA of its big brother, the TMAX. Apart from the bright LED headlight, the large rear light also contributes to its visibility especially at night.
In essence, riding the NMAX is an effortless affair. With the proportions set just right for average Asian riders and precise ergonomics, it is fair to say that the scooter can be ridden by anyone, whether you’re an experienced rider who owns more than one bike at home or a student who just obtained his or her driver’s license.
Well, maybe the NMAX is not for all. Judging by what we learned from other journalists, the scooter may not suit those who are, say, vertically blessed. Add the cramped floorboard area to the equation, comfort especially during long distance excursions will become an issue for the tall riders. Perhaps the TMAX is what they need.
Like most scooters, practicality is emphasized on the NMAX. Apart from an underseat storage compartment that’s big enough for a full-face helmet, it also has an extra storage compartment for your personal belongings. The seat is equipped with spring hinges for better accessibility.
On the performance front, the NMAX feels pretty lively for a 155cc scooter with fuel injection technology. The single-cylinder mill churns out 14.8 hp at 8,000 rpm and 14.4 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm, which we feel was enough to propel the scooter in an energetic manner. Combined with the responsive throttle and smooth CVT, the NMAX would be the right answer to our stop-and-go traffic.
The BlueCore technology really plays its part in keeping the consumption low. A full 6.6-litre tank provided was enough for the whole week we were with the NMAX, with a decent total range of around 300 km. However, if we’re honest, a system similar to Honda PCX’s Idling Stop would be a bonus not only for the owner but for the environment as well.
Its suspension setup – which comprises a front telescopic fork and a twin shock at the rear – feels a little stiff but is still forgiving even for long distance traveling. The NMAX is steady around the bends but as expected, it loses composure if you wring its neck.
Braking power comes from a set of 230 mm discs fitted at both ends. It provides plenty of bite but we can’t stop thinking how much better it will be had Yamaha included the ABS. There’s no denying that it would increase the cost of ownership but we need to consider it as an investment that will pay dividends in life-threatening situations.
In conclusion, we think that the Yamaha NMAX ticks all the right boxes for those who put practicality and comfort above all else.
Yamaha NMAX Specifications
Engine: single-cylinder four-stroke
Capacity: 155 cc
Power: 14.8 hp @ 8,000 rpm
Torque: 14.4 Nm @ 6,000 rpm
Transmission: V-belt automatic
Top speed: –