2001 European Model Yamaha TMAX
A 500cc Sports Commuter with an entirely new kind of ride
On July 6, Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Europe NV unveil at a press launch in Naples, Italy, the entirely new 2001 European market model Yamaha TMAX, a sports commuter powered by a newly developed liquid-cooled 4-stroke 499cc twin-cylinder engine.
The new TMAX mounts a newly developed liquid-cooled 4-stroke twin-cylinder engine with horizontally-opposed reciprocating balancer on a diamond-type frame and boast (1) outstanding high-speed performance in tandem riding, (2) handling comparable to a motorcycle and (3) excellent convenience and comfort, making it a model that breaks out of the scooter mold to offer an entirely new type of riding experience.
Main Features of the Yamaha TMAX
Showing strong growth since the 1994 annual demand of 430,000 units, the European motorcycle market (over 126cc) reached 800,000 units in 1999. One of the driving forces behind this growth has been the full-performance scooter Yamaha Majesty 250 released in 1996 and now established as a popular best-seller in Italy and other markets throughout Europe. Since the Majesty’s appearance the other manufacturers have come out with look-alike models that have also contributed to market growth in this sector.
What has made the Majesty 250 so popular is its comfortable ride and sporty performance. At the same time, however, voices from the market have expressed hopes for a next-generation commuter with expanded potential for long-distance expressway touring and even more enjoyable and comfortable tandem riding.
In answer to the above market needs, the new TMAX was developed around the concept of a high-speed sports commuter with the performance and functions to enable comfortable and enjoyable tandem touring over a 100 to 300 kilometer range from European cities on the weekends, all in a completely new scooter design.
In practical terms, the development aims were for a machine that could offer the full enjoyment of motorcycle-type fun riding while at the same time offering comfort as a commuter.
In terms of its technical features, the TMAX mounts a newly developed liquid-cooled 4-stroke twin-cylinder engine with horizontally-opposed reciprocating balancer on a diamond-type frame to achieve (1) comfortable and spirited riding performance at high expressway speeds even in tandem riding, (2) Handling stability equivalent to that of a motorcycle and (3) outstanding convenience and comfort. All this makes the TMAX a model that throws out all the preconceptions of what a scooter can be.
Liquid-cooled DOHC twin with horizontally-opposed reciprocating balancer
The newly developed lightweight, compact-design liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC parallel twin 8-valve 499cc engine adopted on this model has a 360-degree crank moment and plated cylinders. It has a bore x stroke of 66mm x 73mm, a 10.1:1 compression ratio, has a max. power output of 29.4 kW (40PS) and develops a max. torque of 45.8N-m (4.67kgf-m).
This engine is characterized by its compact design resulting in a slim overall width and features a horizontally-opposed reciprocating balancer with aluminum piston positioned opposite the crank shaft to greatly reduce vibration. This innovative new-design Yamaha reciprocating balancer concentrates its moving parts as low as possible in the unit to make optimum use of space, while at the same time effectively using primary inertial force to cancel out the secondary inertial force, thus reducing vibration to contribute to a more comfortable ride.
What’s more, the adoption of Yamaha’s air induction system reduces exhaust emissions.
Compact new-design rubber belt CVT transmission for outstanding performance
To accomodate the increased displacement of the engine, a new-design rubber-belt Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) has been adopted. In combination with the wet type multi-plate automatic centrifugal clutch, it offers very smooth running performance. This CVT unit features a highly practical design that positions the drive shaft on the right-hand side (opposite from a conventional scooter).
This makes it possible employ a slight amount of torque occurring before deceleration in the ratio control to increase reliability while also making more efficient use of design space.
Diamond-type frame adopted
A diamond-type tubular frame is adopted and the engine mounted with three rigid mounts to make it a stressed member in the frame to achieve outstanding overall chassis rigidity. Furthermore, the chassis adopts the same type of telescopic front fork used on sports motorcycles, large 14-inch front and rear tires, fixed rear wheel shaft and a high rigidity rear arm. In addition, front-rear weight distribution has been optimized.
The combined effect of these features is outstanding running stability at high expressway speeds.
What’s more, handling stability has been increased by use of Yamaha’s exclusive handling-stability analysis technologies.
Pivot coaxial drive shaft and 2-stage drive chain
A Yamaha-exclusive rear arm design (aluminum rear arm) that places the drive shaft and pivot shaft on the same axis is adopted. Positioning the rear arm’s pivot shaft supporting point and the drive shaft on the same axis makes for a more compact design, and a 2-stage silent chain system is adopted that transfers drive force to the silent chain by means of a 2-stage mechanism. The chain has also been made maintenance-free by running it in an oil bath fully enclosed in the rear arm.
Excellent convenience as a commuter
The kind of abundant storage space you hope for in a commuter has been provided. The 33-liter storage space under the seat is capable of holding a full-face helmet and a B4 size briefcase.
1) Outstanding starting is assured with the adoption of two auto-starter fitted carburetors.
2) Curved-type radiator for excellent cooling capacity
3) Oil cooler to reduce oil deterioration to a minimum
4) Front and rear disc brakes
5) Same pull-type horizontal rear shock absorber under the engine as on the Yamaha Royal Star
6) 50-degree banking angle equivalent to that of a motorcycle
7) Large-capacity 14-liter fuel tank
8) Front 120/70-14 and rear 150//70-14 tires
9) Multi-reflector twin headlights reminiscent of the YZF-R1
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