Yamaha understands the importance of serving all motorcyclists, no matter what type of riding they enjoy. And for those seeking simple freeway-capable transportation it offers its 155cc Smax scooter ($3690).
The 2015 Smax employs a fuel-injected and liquid-cooled 155cc four-stroke Single positioning it between the smaller college campus-ready Zuma/Vino scooters (49cc) and the more touring-capable Majesty (395cc). It’s engineered to offer the best of both words: friendly, non-intimidating acceleration on city streets, yet enough muscle to climb steep hills and keep up with fast paced San Diego traffic on the freeway (we saw a top speed of 84 mph).
It’s also claimed to be capable of delivering 81 miles-per-gallon on regular pump gas. This equates to a range of around 160 miles based on the 2.0-gallon capacity fuel tank. However after our 55-mile loop, which included equal parts stop-and-go city riding and top speed freeway blasting, we consumed roughly half a tank.
Regardless, the Smax proves to be a capable urban mount. Twist the throttle and the scooter rolls forward smoothly with a friendly response that’s easy to get a feel for, yet it’s got enough muscle to outpace most traffic from a stoplight. It also sounds sporty, emitting just the right amount of growl from the exhaust. The fully automated CVT-style transmission functions transparently and is completely devoid of lurching or another misbehavior that you may have experienced on other scooters. Although built in Thailand, the Smax looks and feels like a quality piece of hardware.
Slowing down is an equally pleasing experience courtesy of the independent front (right lever) and rear (left lever) hydraulic disc brakes. Either lever offers enough bite to get you stopped from speed yet is forgiving and overly sensitive in application. Although ABS isn’t available, you have to squeeze the lever pretty hard to get the wheel to lock-up.
The instrument display is ripe with information, including a needle face tachometer and fuel gauge, as well as a crisp digital readout that displays speed, trip and odometer functions. It’s also easy to decipher while riding. The Smax comes standard with LED parking and tail lights and a large halogen headlight. The rider seat is wide and well-supported. Other creature comforts include a large underseat storage ‘trunk’ that’s big enough to swallow a full-face helmet, and a handy storage compartment in the floor board panel for stuff you need easy access to. There’s also a flip-down helmet hook. Another nice touch are the passenger footpegs that fold neatly into the bodywork of the machine.
In motion the 328 pound is nearly effortless to command. It’s so easy to ride that it takes the worry off riding and allows you to better focus on your surroundings and take in all of the sights and sounds. True, the ride can get a bit jolty over potholes and manhole covers, but for its size and intended use, the Smax delivers adequate ride quality. Equipped with both a motorcycle-style kickstand as well as a more conventional center stand, the compact Smax is as easy to
park as it is to ride. The only real knock against it is the limited amount of leg room for taller riders. It would also be helpful if you could raise the height of the windscreen. Besides those gripes the Smax is a fantastic means of transportation for zipping around town.
- Freeway capable
- Plenty of storage
- Excellent transportation value
- Limited leg room for taller folks
- Adjustable windscreen would be nice
Bore x Stroke: 58.0 x 58.7mm
Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel-injection
Clutch: Automatic CVT
Transmission: Automatic CVT
Final Drive: Belt
Front Suspension: Telescopic fork; 3.1 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Horizontal shock absorber; 3.6 in. travel
Front Brake: 267mm disc with twin-piston caliper
Rear Brake: 245mm disc with twin-piston caliper
Curb Weight: 308 lbs.
Wheelbase: 55.3 in.
Rake: 26.0 deg. Trail: 3.22 in.
Seat Height: 31.3 in.
Fuel Capacity: 2.0 gal.