With the NMax, Yamaha intends to target the 150cc scooter space rather than entering the already competitive 125cc scooter segment
It’s no surprise that the 125cc segment is packed with offerings from most two-wheeler manufacturers, catering to varied sets of audience. You have the Hero Destini targeted towards a mature crowd at one end of the spectrum, while the sporty Aprilia SR 125 targets millennials at the other. That said, there is one manufacturer that seems to be missing from this competition, and that’s Japanese bikemaker, Yamaha. While that stands true, the game’s about to change, as sources close to the company have indicated that the bikemaker will bring the fight to the 150cc scooter segment, instead of competing in an already well-established space.
Yamaha proposes to achieve this by launching the NMax 155 which is a sporty maxi-scooter. So what about the Yamaha Aerox S spotted earlier in India? That was just a teaser from the manufacturer to give the Indian audience a taste of what's to come. Well played Yamaha!
While the Japanese brand was always known to produce thrilling two-wheelers, the oomph factor seemed to be missing, especially in the Indian scooter segment. But, that might just change with the introduction of the NMax 155 which will compete against the Vespas and the Aprilia SR 150. It also packs some never-seen-before features in its segment, namely LED lighting at both ends, a fully-digital instrument cluster, ABS, disc brakes, and a sporty design. Additionally, the scooter gets a long step-up seat, a split floorboard which makes you position your feet on either side and a windscreen up front.
The NMax draws power from a 155cc, liquid-cooled motor that churns out a maximum power of 14.8PS at 8,000rpm and 14.4Nm of torque at 6,000rpm. It also gets Variable Valve Actuation (VVA), which provides better lower-end performance and top-end grunt. To put things into perspective, that's a lot more powerful than the Aprilia SR 150 which makes 10.4PS at 6,750rpm and 11.4Nm at 5,000rpm in its current tune. However, considering the price sensitive market that India is, Yamaha might introduce a slightly detuned and air-cooled engine which is more fuel-efficient and affordable to manufacture.
Its 13-inch alloys are wrapped in 110/70 section tyres at the front and 130/70-13 section tyres at the rear. In terms of width, that’s an inch smaller than the Aprilia SR 150 up front, but an inch wider at the rear which adds to its sporty proportions.
Now let's get to the crux of the matter - the price. Remember, India is a market that thrives on the value-for-money factor. And, going by the price in the Philippines which stands at Rs 1.5 lakh (converted), it might not see the success 125cc scooters have of late.
But, there is a work around to this, and that’s heavy localisation, which should bring the price down to about Rs 1 lakh. However, in doing so, the NMax might lose out on some crucial features. While that would still make the NMax the most expensive proposition in the 150cc scooter space, its sporty looks, performance and most importantly the brand name should make up for it. We can expect the scooter to be launched in India mid-next year, so stay tuned to BikeDekho for latest updates.