With Rocket getting old and now broken almost all of the time, I think it is a good time to look for a new scooter to take its place. Not that I would ever get rid of Rocket, but its long distance rides may be fewer and shorter.
I have been intrigued by the new Yamaha Smax. It is a small, 155 cc scooter that has just come out in the US. Several reviews have said that they are seeing speeds over 80 mph indicated during the test rides. They are also getting over 80 mpg. If these are correct, combined with Yamaha dependability, it could be a perfect Cannonball scooter.
So, today I rode the Honda down for a test ride. The dealership, St. Johns Powersport in Palatka, is owned by a good friend. He had told the staff that I was coming and they prepared the scooter for the test ride. It was a blue one that had 12 miles on it.
In sitting on it I immediately could tell that the space alotted for the rider was minimal. Yamaha wanted to have a flat floor for the feet, but with the frame down there, they had to make it quite high in relation to the seat. This placed my knees very close to my hands. They were also close to the leg shield. The seat bolster contributed to this as it forces the rear end forward, pushing the knees into the leg shield.
I took the prescribed test route plus a little more on US17 so I could give it one quick top speed run. Acceleration was good and the ride smooth and stable. It was nice to have a tachometer, not really necessary with the CVT transmission, but cool to see the engine speed. The speedometer is digital and I found it to read almost 10% optimistic. I hit an indicated 71 mph, that read 65 on the GPS that I brought along to check the speedometer. That was wide open into the wind on a very short stretch. I am certain that with ideal conditions and a broken in scooter, it would go faster. The suspension was very compliant and brakes strong.
It is a fine machine, but I am not certain that it will work for me as it might be uncomfortable after 100 miles or so. I will not rule it out, but my friend Mike's 2005 Vespa GT with less than 5000 miles might be a better choice.