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.
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.
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.
To help you with your choice, we’ve put together this top 5 list of popular maxi scooters.
Here’s a full run-down of each of these great bikes:
SH300i Key Specs
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.
TMAX 530 Key Specs
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 Key Specs
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.
Beverly 350 Key Specs
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
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
There are lots of great choices out there. We’d pick either the Honda Forza 125, Yamaha NMax 125 or Kawasaki J125.