We suspected for a while that Yamaha was going to bring a 155cc scooter to India, but when it finally did so last year, it threw us a curveball by launching the Aerox 155 maxi-sports scooter, rather than the NMax 155, which is the more traditional maxi-scooter that we expected to arrive.
Speaking to Eishin Chihana, Chairman of Yamaha Motor India, we discussed the decision behind bringing the Aerox here first, and the company’s plans for the NMax. What we learned is that Yamaha saw the 150cc sports scooter segment as relatively untapped in India and wanted to try something different in this space, which is why it went for the Aerox. Depending on how well the Aerox fares in the Indian market, and whether customers express a desire for a scooter in this segment with a little more luggage capacity or touring capability, the company could quite easily bring the NMax here as well.
This is good news because, so far, the Aerox seems to be doing quite well for itself in our market, carving out a neat little fan following. Demand has considerably surpassed supply, especially since the Aerox is only available through Yamaha’s relatively scant network of premium Blue Square dealerships in India. Whether this is just initial euphoria or it will carry on is something we will have to see.
Another piece of good news is that Yamaha is working to make the Aerox available in all its dealerships, which would greatly increase the reach of the scooter and open it up to new customers. The company is also working to increase localisation levels, which should help streamline the production process and better cater to the demand that it is receiving.
Yamaha NMax 155 vs Aerox: how do they compare?
Despite the Aerox’s success, though, people have expressed reservations about the Aerox’s practicality, and the NMax is well poised to address those criticisms, with a larger fuel tank and more luggage options (its underseat storage capacity is comparable to the Aerox’s, but it does get a large 39-litre optional top box). The only hiccup could be ground clearance – the NMax’s clearance ranges between 125mm and 135mm, depending on the market, while the Aerox offers a little more, at 145mm.
With all the important factors lining up quite well, there is a good chance that we could see the NMax 155 in Indian showrooms at some point in the near future. For a little background on the scooter, the NMax is powered by the same R15-derived 155cc, liquid-cooled, VVA-equipped engine that does duty in the Aerox but is housed in a different form factor. It also features a step-through format with a prominent spine section, but the scooter is aimed more at urban commuting, in contrast to the sportier Aerox. One major difference is that it rolls on smaller 13-inch wheels (the Aerox gets 14-inchers). This should make it slightly lighter steering and easier to manoeuvre, though perhaps at the cost of high-speed stability.