Let’s talk about variable valve timing on the NMAX. This is one of the standout features, and one that Yamaha is the first in the segment to launch. Ironically, Yamaha’s main competitor Honda, that excels in cars lag behind in introducing variable valve timing to the market. Delivering an extra torque of 6000rpm after the first intake makes for a great addition to the 2019 NMAX.
One of the first features to check on any test ride, after the throttle of course, is the breaks. The NMAX’s ABS anti-lock braking comes into play and is standard for all models. This will keep you from sliding into any obstacles whilst riding in any conditions. For a bike of this size and in the scooter segment, this is a welcomed addition to the Yamaha and makes the NMAX a great machine to navigate the city roads that can be covered in all sorts of slippery substances.
The riding height is generous and although a little taller than other competitors, the NMAX is very comfortable for the majority of riders. With a central spar between your legs however you will not be able to step through the bike or store anything between your legs. Although, talking about storage, there is nothing to worry about with enough room to store a full face helmet in the underseat storage with some spare room to boot.
One of the surprise features is the oomph that you receive away from the lights and when you use the power of the NMAX. It shouldn’t be a surprise however, as after all it is a 125cc so pulling out from slow traffic and zooming past is no trouble at all. It feels like there is a much larger beast under the bodywork than the stated 125cc.
Whilst moving along the city streets at steady speeds, the NMAX’s liquid-cooled single cylinder engine is smooth and quiet, with no vibrations for the rider. Don’t worry about top speed at the expense of a comfortable ride, the NMAX still outputs a claimed 62mph.
The NMAX grabs the road effectively at all times with stable 13-inch wheels compared to competitors smaller stock. When leaning into corners and being positive on the throttle, the NMAX still remains unchanged and unaffected, holding the road well, always feeling stable.
The clear and simple dash makes the key information any rider may need in view whilst riding displaying, digital display for speed, fuel and temperature. One critic of what you can find in front of you whilst riding, is the screen. For locations that get more than their fair share of rain then I would opt for the taller screen to keep the weather away.
The build quality of the NMAX is every bit as good as any of it’s rivals in the segment. The NMAX we would state to be different not better than any of its competitors, offering a sportier feel and a style and design that stands out.
Model year reviewed: 2019