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Living with Yamaha NMax 155 | Bike Tests | Latest Tests

In seven days I spent less on fuel than I would have on a single return train ticket

Who is the Yamaha NMax 155 built for? If you’re a learner rider like me, a thick traffic commuter, in need of something to run a few fast and efficient errands on, maybe even pick up the late-night Chicken Pad Thai? Or, if you’ve realised the price of a year’s worth of train tickets is about the same price as a brand-new and good looking Japanese-quality scooter, then this is the motorcycle for you.

Let’s start with that price, at a trifle over four grand on the road, it’s priced extremely competitively in a small but saturated market where consumers have at least 10 other options in the 150cc scooter category. Fans of the big blue will be happy to know that the NMax 155 is priced towards the lower end of the 150cc market. The Piaggio Fly 150 is $500 less expensive than the NMax, but is pretty much on par with its Japanese competitor, the Honda SH150. The Kymcos, Honda, Piaggio Medley and Vespa’s range are all well over the $4000 mark.

But its value for money goes a lot further than just its swing tag. I travelled to and from work everyday for a week, plus a trip west one afternoon, and clocked almost 200kms before I needed to fill up the 6.6-litre fuel tank. It cost me just over $8 to fill up the NMax for a weeks’ worth of riding. In seven days I spent less on fuel than I would have on a single return train ticket. If you commute to work each day on public transport, it wouldn’t take very long for the NMax to have paid for itself.

The only downside I have is that, despite its roomy 23 litres of under-seat storage, it’s shaped in such a way that means I can’t lock my full-face helmet underneath the seat while I’m running errands. My gloves and leather jacket go in no problem, but I’m having to carry my helmet around which, in my opinion, defeats one of the benefits of owning a scooter over a conventional motorcycle. And to be fair, a lot of scooter riders opt for an open- or half-face helmet which would stow easily.

One feature I am a fan of, however, is the extremely modern dash – that signature Yamaha display panel which beams everything up at me that I need to know. The oversized digital speedometer is front and centre. The fuel gauge to the left with the real-time fuel consumption to the right and then, with the press of the button, two trip meters, the odometer and fuel gauge. There is also a storage compartment located underneath the left-hand handlebar, perfect for my wallet, phone and toll pass.

The other great thing about the NMax is what it’s not. Some scooters are clearly aimed at women, or inner-city office workers, or delivery riders, or hipsters. But the NMax isn’t, it’s just an honest little scooter which will be anything to anyone who’s after some inexpensive and efficient transport. The Yamaha quality and reliability is just a bonus.

By Dale Johnston