The Yamaha Zuma is a sturdy scooter that does a yeoman’s job, providing good value for the price, owners say. The Zuma is an entry-level motor scooter, but those for whom speed isn’t important will find it a good scooter to ride around town for work, to school, or for running errands. The top speed is 40 mph, though riders may be able to pick up an extra mile or two in speed going downhill. (One rider was clocked by police going 46 mph down a gentle hill.) The Zuma’s jaunty, modern looks are refreshing, coming at a time when the retro look is popular with so many scooter owners. The front end slants downhill, as does the rest of the scooter, including the seats. Tall riders say the slanting seat makes the Zuma somewhat uncomfortable for them to ride.
Quality and reliability are the top key features mentioned in rider forums. Some owners have replaced brake pads more often than they would have liked, but most owners say this workhorse of a scooter is pretty much problem free as long as recommended maintenance is performed. The Zuma’s gas mileage of 85 mpg to 90 mpg on regular-grade gasoline also wins high marks from owners. The Zuma has both an electric and kick starter. While most people use the electric start, riders who use the kick starter say the scooter generally starts on one kick. The Zuma also has both center and side stands; some riders report some difficulty in balancing the Zuma on the center stand. Although Yamaha intended the Zuma to be ridden basically on paved streets, the wide tires also travel well on gravel roads. Under-seat storage is ample. The front panel has a small storage pocket that makes a great cup holder. Known as BWs in Canada, the 2005 Zuma comes in Yamaha’s signature blue as well as red and silver.