There are many reasons why you would want to get a maxi-scooter. Maybe big bikes are just too tall and difficult for you to handle, or perhaps you want an easy-to-ride machine to accompany your garage of big bikes, you know, for when you don’t want to bother with fiddling with a manual gearbox. Whatever it may be, maxi-scooters are rapidly gaining popularity, and more and more options from all sorts of manufacturers are popping up. It’s definitely worth asking: what exactly makes a good maxi-scooter? Naturally, the answer varies from person to person. We can, however, pinpoint a few key features that really put the maxi in maxi-scooter. That said, without further ado, let’s dive right into it.
Of course, in order for you to be able to do any real touring aboard your maxi-scooter, it needs to be able to access the expressway. This means it must have a registered engine displacement of at least 400cc. As antiquated as this ruling may seem, it is indeed the sad reality we in the Philippines must face. Luckily, most maxi-scooters worth their salt are equipped with 400cc and up engines. Machines like the venerable Yamaha TMAX and the rugged Honda X-ADV are both extremely capable highway-munchers, and are definitely worth checking out.
Long highway rides can be tiring and fatiguing. The wind is a huge factor when it comes to this, as the noise and constant strain it presses against your body with can wear you out very, very quickly, As such, wind protection, in the form of a tall, preferably adjustable windscreen, as well as wide fairings are an absolute must when it comes to maxi-scooters. This is why scooters like the Kymco Xciting 400i look like overgrown jet skis on wheels with massive windscreens. Their voluminous fairings and tall windscreens are designed to redirect wind away from the rider and passenger, therefore making the ride a lot more quiet and comfortable.
Going on long rides out of town implies you’ll be staying the night, be it in a hotel, campsite, or a friend’s place. This definitely means you’re going to be needing ample storage space aboard your scooter for all your belongings. While most maxi-scooters will have some degree of under-seat storage, some have more than others, so be sure to do your research beforehand. It also helps to scour the aftermarket for accessories and upgrades to give you more storage options such as top cases, saddlebags, or even panniers.
Seating for two
Another welcome feature when it comes to maxi-scooters is ample seating, especially if you plan on riding with your significant other. Top-shelf maxi-scooters like the BMW C 650 GT come equipped with a huge seat complete with lower back support and a thick, voluminous cushion. Not only does comfortable seating give both you and your pillion a pleasant riding experience, it also keeps you nice and comfy to be able to endure longer hours on the saddle, without having to take as many breaks to stretch your legs and get your blood flowing freely.
The last feature on our list is something that isn’t really an essential, but is certainly something nice to have. Cruise control is one of those features which, once you've tried, you’ll never want to give up. However, this feature is found almost exclusively on top-shelf sport-tourers, adventure bikes, and maxi-scooters. It allows you to set your cruising speed, engage the system, and simply cruise along without having to keep the throttle twisted open. This keeps your hands nice and comfortable, as if you were floating down the highway on a fancy sofa.