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A maxi-scooter is a great two-wheeler choice if you’re after both comfort and performance in a package that’s easy to handle and effortless to ride.
What is a maxi scooter?
More powerful than regular scooters, a maxi-scooter is defined as a scooter with an engine capacity over 125cc. Often they have larger fairings offering more weather protection.
The smaller maxi-scooters have an engine capacity around 250cc (think Yamaha XMAX 250) and are good for around 80mph the larger ones are often over 600cc have the straight line performance of a middleweight motorcycle and can easily top 100mph.
Maxi-scooters are roomy, comfortable, good for pillions and great for carrying your everyday gear. If you have an out-of-town commute into a city-centre, then a maxi-scooter is a great choice. It’ll cruise dual carriageways and motorways with ease and be pretty good around town too.
Small vs big engined maxi scooters
If you want a maxi-scooter to weave your way through traffic, go for a smaller-engined one, as they’ll have a shorter wheelbase, making them easier to turn. They’ll often have a better steering lock and less bodywork too, making it easy to thread your way sideways and forwards through traffic like a crab.
You won’t be able to ride a maxi-scooter on just a CBT,; you’ll need an A2 licence or full A category motorcycle licence.
To help you with your choice, we’ve put together this top 5 list of popular maxi scooters.
BikerRated’s best Maxi-Scooters
- Honda SH300i
- Yamaha TMAX 530
- BMW C Evolution
- Piaggio Beverly Sports Touring 350
- Honda X-ADV
Here’s a full run-down of each of these great bikes:
SH300i Key Specs
- Engine: Liquid-cooled 4-stroke SOHC single cylinder
- Max power output: 18.5kW
- Displacement: 279.1cc
- Seat height: 805mm
- Weight: 169kg
Honda’s SH300 is one of the most popular maxi scooters for commuters. It combines the best of a 125cc scooter’s manoeuvrability with big-wheeled motorcycle-like handling and decent performance from its 279cc engine.
Sophisticated lines and the smaller-than-average chassis make it the ideal ally for your travels. Equipped with ABS anti-lock system, it provides maximum stability and security. Perfectly suited to grid-locked cities, the SH isn’t bad on dual carriageways either. If you have a 30-mile round commute, it’s a great option.
Yamaha TMAX 530
TMAX 530 Key Specs
- Engine: Liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC parallel-twin
- Max power output: 33.8kW
- Displacement: 530.0kW
- Seat height: 800mm
- Weight: 213kg
Perhaps the most popular maxi scooter in Europe, Yamaha’s TMAX 530 doesn’t come cheap but it impresses with its dynamic motorcycle-style design.
Ideal for long-haul cruising it’s not bad at cutting its way through city traffic but it’s not as nimble as some of its smaller-engined rivals. This two-wheeler comes with all you could expect from a best-in-class. Some of the most sought-after features include an advanced traction control system, lightweight agility, ABS and a high torque engine. If your commute is 80% roads and 20% city streets, it’s a great choice.
BMW C Evolution
BMW C Evolution Key Specs
- Engine: Liquid-cooled electric drive motor
- Max power output: 19kW
- Battery: 133V
- Seat height: 765mm
- Weight: 275kg
An electric scooter that’s perfect for eco-conscious riders. BMW are proving that leccy power isn’t just a novelty. The C-Evolution has a 100-mile range and takes just 45 minutes to charge to 75%.
With futuristic lines that won’t go unnoticed the BMW C Evolution might be expensive up-front but it’s very cheap to run.
Its powerful 35KW motor has a range of about 100 miles per charge, making it practical for most commuters. It features four riding modes and intelligent energy recovery during braking. The battery housing acts as the main chassis (it runs under the footboard) and consequently, the C-Ev has a firm and precise ride.
Piaggio Beverly 350 Sport Touring
Beverly 350 Key Specs
- Engine: Liquid-cooled 4-stroke single cylinder
- Max power output: 22.2kW
- Displacement: 330cc
- Seat height: 790mm
- Weight: 191kg
The Beverly is under most people’s radars. It’s slightly faster and plusher than Honda’s SH300 but then with a 330cc enigne, it has a 50cc advantage.
It has sporty lines and an aggressive attitude. Combining convenience and performance, it incorporates a host of interesting features and is ideal for longer trips. Safety comes in the form of ABS and ARS traction control. It features a USB socket, can carry two full-face helmets and has a remote-central locking.
X-ADV Key Specs
- Engine: Liquid-cooled, 8-valve SOHC parallel twin
- Max power output: 40.3kW
- Displacement: 745cc
- Seat height: 820mm
- Weight: 238kg
Is it a scooter or is it an Adventure bike? The truth is, the lines are blurred.
Honda’s X-ADV is arguably the coolest maxi scooter around. A true hybrid between scooter and adventure bike, this bad boy is up to anything. From slow-paced rides around the town to adrenaline-boosting challenges on off-road terrain. If a £300kg BMW GS can go off road then why can’t the X-ADV?
This powerful, sophisticated maxi scooter is perfect for A2 licence holders. A true weapon for defeating daily traffic, it offers off-road attitude combined with urban agility. It’s a glorious machine but it doesn’t come cheap.
The best maxi-scooter for you
While this is a guide to max-scooters that you can buy new from UK motorcycle dealers, don’t forget there’s a huge choice of second hand and lightly-used scooters on sites like eBay.
Whether your budget is a lean £1,500 or you’ve got £10,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you’ll be able to find a decent scooter to suit your needs.
If you’re planning on doing a lot of out of town work, you’ll appreciate an engine that’s over 400cc, but if you’re only riding around down, a smaller 250 or 350cc max-scoot will be perfect.
Then there’s the electric choice. Sure, electric scooters are expensive to buy, especially premium options like BMWs but you can lease a new bike or get one on a finance deal, which means you won’t have to shell out the full asking price.
You can check out our motorcycle finance guide here.
Don’t forget though: the easiest way to tell if the two-wheeler you like is truly the best for you is to try it out. So, visit your local dealer to explore your options.
The 1-minute insurance estimate
Do you know roughly what you’ll need to budget to insure your 125cc motorbike?
We’ve created a motorcycle insurance estimator that asks no personal questions and takes just 1 minute to fill out. It’ll give you an accurate idea of what it’ll cost to insure your first motorbike.
Maxi Scooter FAQs
What’s the best maxi scooter?
It is impossible to pick just one which is why we wrote this guide. However some of the consistently top-selling maxi scooters are: Honda’s SH300i, Yamaha’s T-Max 530 and Vespa’s GTS300.
What’s the fastest maxi scooter?
To go fast you need power and to get power you need a big engine. One of the fastest maxi scooters was a mammoth made by Aprilia. The Aprilia SRV850 uses an 839cc v-twin engine and can reach 120mph.
What’s the best scooter for long distances?
To tackle long distances on a scooter, there are two essentials you need: a large fairing to keep the windblast away from you and a large engine, to make the ride effortless. Some great options are BMW’s 650 range, Yamaha’s T Max 530, Sym MaxSym 600i and Peugeot’s Metropolis 3-wheeler scooter range.
How safe are scooters compared to motorcycles?
There are no official accident figures. However, even if there were they would be hard to quantify. Broadly speaking motorcycle riders have more experience than scooter riders. It is down to the rider and not the bike – both scooters and motorbikes face the same risks and it’s up to the rider to minimize them.
What’s the best 125cc maxi scooter?
There are lots of great choices out there. We’d pick either the Honda Forza 125, Yamaha NMax 125 or Kawasaki J125.
Questions or Comments?
If you’ve got a question about this article and you need a bit more guidance, drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you.
Likewise, if you’ve got something to add to this article or an experience you’d like to share, let’s hear it!
We love reading your comments and helping our readers.
Piaggio is the best for European Market. For asiatic wouldn’t be easy to find parts after a while and quality isn’t so high as Piaggio
Suzuki Burgman AN400?
Honda X-ADV… are they joking? Not much ground clearance & looks ridiculous. At £11k you’d be better with a CRF300L AND a Forza 350 for the same money.
£2k down & £139 p/month on pcp??? No chance; not when £3160 down & £129 p/month puts you on an Africa Twin with a servicing package.
Honda are losing the plot. Even their PCX125 has just increased to £3550.
And proof-read your article please. It’s full of mistakes.