The scooter has undoubtedly come a long way ever since finding its roots in the middle of the twentieth century. Initially designed as a cheap and easy-to-use means of transportation, scooter back then were little more than two wheels, a seat, brakes, and an engine. These days, however, scooters have become bigger, more techie, and are now chock full of premium features. All this has in fact given birth to a new subsegment of scootering—the maxi-scooter. Now, high-capacity maxi-scooters are very versatile machines in a sense that they offer the comfort and convenience of a scooter, and the go-anywhere, long-distance capability of a big bike.
Having said all that, maxi-scooters serve as the perfect gateway drug for someone who wants to get into big bikes for the first time. On top of this, a maxi-scooter is an excellen choice for those who want to go the distance in style, practicality, and comfort. With that, let's take a look at our top 5 picks for the best expressway legal scooters in the market.
SYM Maxsym 400i
The SYM Maxsym 400i starts our list as the most affordable expressway-legal maxi-scooter. It is in fact SYM's top-of-the-line scooter which delivers prety decent performance thanks to its 400cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled motor. Pumping ot an adequate 33 horsepower, the Maxsym is a very approachable, beginner-friendly scooter that can take you across Luzon is comfort and reliability.
After all, SYM is a well-known Taiwanese motorcycle manufacturer popular for their affordable yet robust scooter offerings. On the feature front, we find pretty decent componentry on the Maxsym 400i. For starters, a set of twin LED headlights, as well as LED taillights and turn signals provide adequate lighting. A two-up saddle, ample under-seat storage, as well as compartments on the apron of the scooter provide the rider with a lot of creature comforts. The SYM Maxsym 400i gets pretty simple underpinnings consisting of standard telescopic forks, as well as ABS-equipped disc brakes front and rear. It commands quite an affordable price tag of P318,000.
Kymco Xciting S 400i
The next expressway-legal maxi-scooter on our list is from yet another Taiwanese motorcycle manufacturer, Kymco. Enjoying considerable success in the local market, Kymco has a popular maxi-scooter in the form of the Xciting S 400i. Similiar to the SYM Maxsym 400i, the Xciting S 400i features a 400cc single-cylinder, liquid cooled motor which pumps out 36 horsepower and 38 Nm of torque. It's a very beginner-friendly scooter which makes it the perfect step-up into the world of big bikes.
In the styling department, the Kymco Xciting 400i boasts very sporty bodywork, mated to a rather aggressive front fascia. Its chiseled body panels give off the illusion of size, making it easy to mistake it for a larger, more powerful maxi-scooter. It gets the usual LED lighting both in the front and rear, as well as a multi-color LCD instrument panel. Kymco has thrown in a handy 12V socket for charging your gadgets while on the go, while ample 12 liters of under-seat storage is large enough to accomodate a full-face helmet. The bike gets ABS-equipped brakes as standard, and is priced at P359,000.
Moving up the ladder in terms of price and performance, we find the Yamaha TMAX. This scooter is Team Blue's biggest, most capable scooter in its "Max" lineup, and boasts some serious performance figures. Powering this welterweight scooter is a 530cc liquid-cooled, DOHC engine which pumps out an exhilarating 46 horsepower and 52 Nm of torque. It sends this power to the back wheel via an easy-to-operate CVT, making it a rather lively and exciting scooter to ride at speed.
Equipped with premium features, TMAX owners are treated to keyless ignition, digital instrumentation, LED lighting, and a very useful USB charging port integrated into the storage compartment. Keeping things at bay are ABS-equipped brakes, as well as Yamaha's traction control system. All this tech and performance commands quite a hefty price tag of P649,000.
The Honda X-ADV is largely responsible for the rise in popularity of the adventure scooter. Designed as a go-anywhere scooter capable of some off-road riding, the X-ADV is a rugged and robust scooter which boasts dual-sport features such as off-road-ready tires, long-travel suspension, and sophisticated electronics. It's powered by Honda's 745cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled, 270-degree parallel-twin engine that makes 54 horsepower and 68 Nm of torque. This mill is then paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which makes for smooth and compliant power delivery.
On the tech side, the Honda X-ADV has an LCD instrument cluster that has decent backlighting to make it legible even at night, as well as a handy adjustable windshield to protect you from the wind, as well debris during exciting off-road stints. Other features include robust wire-spoke wheels, as well as Showa suspension which all lend themselves to a comfortable ride on the street, and a confidence-inspiring ride on light trails and gravel roads. The Honda X-ADV retails for P830,000, quite a tidy sum, but you get quite a lot of bike for the money.
BMW C 650 GT
The BMW C 650 GT is by far the most expensive yet most premium and luxurious maxi-scooter on our list today. Featuring the latest and greatest tech from the Bavarian company, the C 650 GT is quite possibly the pinnacle of maxi-scooter performance. It's powered by a 647cc liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder motor which pumps out a healthy 60 horsepower and 63 Nm of torque. It's mated to a smooth and silky CVT, which makes the bike surprisingly fast, yet very comfortable and tractable at the same time.
The BMW C 650 GT gets some pretty decent componentry in the from of a digital gauge cluster, LED indicators, and an LED tail lamp. The headlight, however, is a halogen unit—something which BMW ought to update soon enough. For a little more money, you can opt to unlock a suite of premium optional features which consist of heated grips, a USB charging port, and a built-in navigation system. The BMW C 650 GT comes with a sticker price of P965,000.