2018 Yamaha SMAX

Elegant freeway flier.

2018 Yamaha SMAXCRS

Just one step up the price ladder from the Zuma 125 elevates you to a whole new dimension in scootering. That’s because the smartly styled SMAX has a 155cc four-stroke engine that’s freeway legal, opening up every road in the nation for personal transit. Realistically, though, despite its fuel injection, liquid-cooling, and automatic CVT drivetrain, the SMAX’s modest displacement isn’t going to let you command the fast lane as larger bikes are able to do. Just sayin’…

The chassis features are likewise a rung above smaller scooters, and include 13-inch wheels, a longer wheelbase than even Yamaha’s YZF-R6 (55.3 inches versus 54.1 inches, respectively), front and rear disc brakes, roomy two-passenger seating, and 32 liters of underseat storage—enough to hold your helmet or shopping bags. A large windshield is designed to control buffeting at higher speeds, and comfort can be further enhanced by adding accessory heated handgrips. And by the way, the reported fuel economy of 81 mpg beats the snot out of any car on the road.

Likes: Freeway legal, nice windshield design, high ease of use

Dislikes: Cockpit cramps taller riders, goofy passenger footpeg location

Verdict: A stylish and sensible transportation solution

2018 Yamaha SMAX Specs and Pricing

MSRP: $3,699
WET WEIGHT: 328 lb.