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2011 Maxi Scooter Shootout: For My Money

Monday, June 27, 2011
2011 Yamaha T-Max
2011 Kymco Xciting 500Ri
2011 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive
2011 Aprilia Scarabeo 500ie
Jen Ross: Yamaha TMAX
“The Yamaha TMAX was the clear winner of the day. Performance-wise, none of the other scooters came close. I was very much surprised when I twisted the throttle and the T-Max jumped to life instantly and with some zing. What really blew off my socks was sending the TMAX into the fast sweepers of Ortega and it sailing through them without any upsets reactions from the suspension and just great all-around overall handling. The ergonomics, size, and weight of the TMAX were all favorable and I felt instantly comfortable riding it. The Yamaha proved itself to be very versatile and easily out-performed all the other scooters here in a variety of different manner; whether it’s freeway commuting, tight city navigating, or leisurely beach cruising, the TMAX is the best scooter for the job if you ask me.”

Justin Dawes: Suzuki Burgman 650
“Although the handling and clutching were not as good as the TMAX, I’m going to give the Suzuki Burgman the nod. Yes, even though it looks like a sad elephant, I would sign on the dotted line for this giant driving pillow. For me a scooter isn’t really about performance as much as usability, comfort, and convenience, and the Suzuki has got all three in spades. You can hide a family of chimpanzees in the under seat storage (why he wants to store monkeys under his back side we have no idea... Ed), the tunnel in the step-through area isn’t too tall, and the adjustable windscreen is better than a Goldwing. If a want to tear ass all over town I’ll ride a motorcycle. When I want to take it easy, the Burgman is perfect.”

Joey Augustin: Yamaha TMAX
“Out of comparison, if I were to buy one of these scooters with my own money, I would have to go with the Yamaha. Which is funny because it is the only Yamaha that I have not only been impressed with, butt that I have even liked all this year. This scooter has great looks and a decent amount storage under the seat and in the dash; it’s not only quick, but agile as well, and it has a great set of brakes on it. You will have fun taking this scooter on day rides or just putting around town. Hands down the best of the bunch.”

Steve Atlas: Yamaha TMAX
“While is see where Dawes is coming from and I too see the merit in the bags and leisurely feel of the Suzuki, there’s no question the Yamaha destroys the competition in this comparison. So much so that it almost seems unfair; the others never stood a chance. When you have a properly quick little machine that handles like an entry-level sportbike, can fit a human head under the seat (ya never know who might need some freelance help...), will do stoppies on the brakes, and yet still features the convince of an automatic transmission, there’s no comparison.

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Russsell   January 2, 2012 01:09 PM
First of I want to commend MotorcycleUSA this was the best review of scooters I have ever read.I was disappointed that you did not include the 400 Burgman instead of the 650,which cost $10,000 & weighs over 600 lbs.Also the Silver Wing would have been nice.A shoot out between 250 & 300's would be fantastic Also between 150-200 would be nice.But as long time time reader of Cycle & Cycle World this article was very enjoyable.
billmc   July 12, 2011 10:38 AM
I enjoyed the comparisons. I was surprised not to see the Honda Silverwing in the mix. I too, would like to see a few of the other scoots looked at including the Burgman 400 and the Majesty, which has been brought back. As for myself, I've owned a Silverwing, Scarabeo 200, and am now riding the Burgman 400. Of those 3, my opinion is the Burgy is the best.
bikerrandy   June 29, 2011 09:53 AM
'Beo fuel pump failure. Never heard of that 1 before. What I have heard of is a fuel line in the gas tank that swells/loosens up depending on the ingredients in the gasoline. The fix is putting on a fuel line that isn't effected by different fuel ingredients. I've also read there are 49 different fuel mixtures required by the EPA depending where you live and what time of year it is.
TechGuy   June 28, 2011 02:17 PM
Great article. I would love to see this comparo for some of the newer 300-400cc scooters available in the market now. Kymco has two new models and Suzuki's B400 is quite different than the B650. As to this article, the X500 is one of the older Kymco models and is known to wallow. The B650, while the Cadillac of scooters, is getting older also. But I guess this is the way many of the Japanese brands are, make a good model and continue making it, with minor tweaks, for a long time. The TMAX is one of the newer designs in this article. I read about the 'beo and I assumed it was the fuel pump that failed. It is pretty common to ride it hard, get it hot, take a short break and then it not run again due to a fuel pump failure.
mdlargent   June 28, 2011 11:33 AM
Thanks for the write-up! I've been waiting to see a group up like this for a while. I understand you can't just pull everything you want into the comparisons that you'd (this was limited to what the manufactures sent as their maxi scoot-basidors) but would have liked seeing a few more in there. I know you've reviewed other large(for scooter) displacement scooters in the past and wondered if you can offer impressions of such mid-maxi models such as the back-for-2012 Yamaha Majesty, the brand new Kymko Downtown 300i, and the one I find most compelling, the somewhat-long-in-the-tooth Suzuki Burgman 400. Maybe something for a future article ;) Thanks again and keep it up Mike
bikerrandy   June 27, 2011 03:34 PM
Too bad you didn't compare a 500 MP3 with these other maxi-scooters.