The New Piaggio BV 400 is the Best Yamaha XMAX and Suzuki Burgman 400 Alternative

2022 Piaggio BV 400 S HPE

2022 Piaggio BV400s HPE in Arancio Sunset yellow (ORANGE)

Why you might want to skip the 2022 Yamaha XMAX 300.

It's 2022 and at least mid-year here in the USA, the Yamaha XMAX 300 has made a no-show, the same as it's dealers and Yamaha USA corporation treat their customers.

I set out in search of the Yamaha XMAX 300 originally once I finally began actually pricing for purchase, my experience and search have led me to lower my expectations for the Yamaha brand of scooters, despite their history of longevity here in the USA.

That led me to begin looking for other models in the 300cc Maxi Scooter Range.  Not very many options available. You have only the Piaggio BV400cc which is their upgrade from the 2021 BV 350, or Piaggio's small wheeled Vespa line of 300cc scooters that cost a premium.  Suzuki only has either a 200cc or 400cc, but it's 400cc is at a premium cost of around $10,500 out the door.  Other than that you have the unobtainable Yamaha XMAX 300cc or the Kymco 300cc XTown which is made for tiny people, priced close to the Yamaha Xmax.


The Yamaha XMAX looks pretty good, having one of the largest under seat storage spaces. It's a 300cc scooter so it can hit the freeways. BUT! There are reasons why you might want to go with a Piaggio BV 400cc instead.

Here is an April 10, 2022 Yamaha XMAX 2022 price from a dealer in San Diego, California.  MSRP $5.799 + Added Dealer Fees (ADM) of $1,495 for a total initial cost of $7294 plus government fees.  

USA Yamaha needs to focus on customer service.

  • The Yamaha dealers here in the Los Angeles area fall into one or more of the following categories A) Not very friendly B) Not helpful C) Sketchy about actual pricing D) Not wanting to be bothered E) Not taking customers seriously F) Lack of enthusiasm G) Poor follow-up
  • I contacted Yamaha's US Corporate office since I was unable to get the information I needed about locating an XMAX. They never got back to me.
  • All of the dealers presented by Yamaha's official inventory and dealer search tool, didn't actually have any XMAX in stock.
  • The 2022 model was released in 2021, that's plenty of time to work out any post Covid crisis issues or shipping issues.  Suzuki, Honda, Kymco and Piaggio have 2022 scooters available. 
A search using Yamaha's Official Locator for XMAX 2021 or 2022 scooter 
only showed dealers who do not really have any available. 

  • Talking with Yamaha XMAX owners revealed that not only are the physical Yamaha XMAX scooters not available, but the parts and accessories are also not available.  That means if your scooter breaks down it's going to be sitting until the parts arrive.
  • Current 2021 and 2022 owners told me that the seating on the XMAX is uncomfortable and the LED headlights are near unusable at night.
  • While doing my research for the XMAX, I started noticing that by 2,500 miles people were putting their XMAX for sale, that seems very odd.  
  • A fellow YouTube reviewer I have been talking with called Motohound suddenly sold his Yamaha XMAX after hyping the scooter. I was shocked because he had made his complaints about the bike seem tolerable, but apparently the amount of money needed to make third-party updates to the lighting, out of stock handle bar upgrade, out of stock top-box parts upgrade, shock upgrades, cost of maintenance were ultimately not worth it. He bought a motorcycle to replace it.
  • In a Facebook Group dedicated to the Yamaha XMAX, there were way to many Yamaha XMAX owners complaining about the same issues as Motohound.
  • Yamaha XMAX only comes with a 1 year limited warranty. It's a pretty weak warranty. Other competitive brands offer a 2 year unlimited miles warranty and BMW offers a 3 year unlimited miles warranty for their name brand scooters.
A big gripe of current XMAX owners is that this rear carrier required 
for a top box, has been out of stock for a year.

My pet peeves when dealing with a business are:

  • Lack of communication
  • Lack of follow-through
  • Poor customer service
  • Not providing information I need to make a good decision.
  • Poor production quality
  • Unavailability of parts and accessories.  
That pretty much sums up my first impression experiences as a potential Yamaha motor-sport owner. I've been teaching small businesses how to sell better and sell more for nine years, and I am still shocked when I come across a business that have such poor customer service etiquette.

For a side-by-side comparison of the Yamaha XMAX 300 vs Piaggio BV400s with Technical Specifications Spreadsheet (Click Here)

KYMCO has some relatively competitive scooters, but only for a specific audience.

If you are an average native America height, you may be to tall or big for a KYMCO.  The KYMCO brand is focused on the Asian international market so their bikes may not be a good fit.

  • KYMCO's are made for short people. I am 5'11 and my knees hit the handle bars or turn signals on all of their 100cc to 300cc scooters.
  • On it's 300cc X-Town scooter that competes against the Yamaha XMAX, Suzuki 200cc and Piaggio BV400cc, the seat was very uncomfortable considering I have long legs.  The actual seat is plenty long, but it has a theater style passenger rise that locks the driver into a limited position.
  • The KYMCO 300i X-Town has a floor board for your feet similar to the Yamaha XMAX, Honda ADV, Honda PCX and other sporty scooters, but it's pretty small if you have large feet.  With great height, comes big feet.
The good thing about the Kymco is that lots of dealers carry them, they always seem to be in stock, the dealers I have encountered are pretty laid back, have their parts in stock and have given OTD (Out the door) estimates. So if you are on the shorter side, you might be able to get a really nice scooter for a decent price.

I have always liked the Suzuki Burgman

The first scooter I sat on in 2021 when I was visiting a Kymco dealer, was a previously owned Suzuki 200cc scooter.  Suzuki knows how to make a really comfortable scooter with big seats, lots of leg room, you can put your feet on the ground when needed.  Even their $4999 2022 Suzuki 200 has the same large storage space under the seat as the more expensive Yamaha XMAX.

If you are shopping for a scooter, the Suzuki's are good models to consider since you'll be able to stuff a few packages under the seat.  If you just want a comfortable ride, you'll be happy also.

A few things I do not like about Suzuki Scooters

  • Suzuki Scooters are a bit pricey.  It's 200cc model is $2000 MSRP more than a 150cc Piaggio Liberty.  It's 400cc model is $1300 more than the much more powerful Piaggio New BV 400s HPE scooter.
  • The Suzuki 200cc has relatively small tires, so while it's good for in-town driving up to 65 MPH, you wouldn't want to take it on the freeway.  For Freeway use, you really want a scooter with a larger tire size of 14 inches to 16 inches, but scooters with those size tires are less agile and zippy.  Vespa's premium brand 300cc scooters use similar small tires (for comparison)
  • The currently 2022 Burgman 200 hasn't been updated for quite a few years, so even though its a solid machine, it's a bit behind technology wise.  I suspect that the 2023 Burgman 200 will see quite a few updates to comply with Euro 5 emissions, but the price will probably go up to.
  • They tend to be a bit heavier than other scooters
  • They do not have the same kind of power and acceleration that newer models from other brands posses.  The Piaggio BV400 which is $1300 less MSRP can reach 90 MPH pretty fast and can out perform the more expensive Suzuki Burgman all day.  Think of the Suzuki as a laid back cruiser.
I can't think of anything else I don't like about Suzuki scooters in the USA.  There is a good inventory available nationally. Dealers like them. They're a good choice for an in town scooter, know for being the most comfortable to ride and decent storage space.

2022 Suzuki 400cc vs 2022 Piaggio 400cc 

So what is the next best option for a commuter and in town maxi scooter here in Southern California?  It's the 2022 New Piaggio Beverly 400s.  

Piaggio Beverly 400s 2022 comes in around $1700 lower than the Suzuki 2022 400 Burgman, but can beat the Burgman in acceleration with a twist of the throttle.  The New BV400 has a high top speed of 90+, but unlike the more expensive Suzuki Burgman 400 it doesn't bottom out at 65 MPH and then take a long time to pick up speed. The Piaggio features state of the art technology with a Smart Key Fob, powerful engine, great emissions, and not so-so under seat storage space.  

Under Seat Storage

In terms of under seat storage space, the Yamaha XMAX 300cc wins hands down.(If you can find one) It has the best under seat storage space being able to fit two adult large full-face helmets and it has pretty decent power at $5699

Second Place is the luxury Suzuki Burgman 400cc has the second best under seat with the ability to fit a single adult large full-face helmet under the seat. 

Third Place is the Piaggio New BV400 with the ability to put two medium half face helmets.  You will definitely need to invest in a top case trunk if you buy this model.

Miles Per Gallon

If you buy any of the USA 2022 available Maxi Scooters, you can expect around 65 miles per gallon from any of them. That's pretty decent for 300cc to 400cc scooters.  If you want 70 to 100 MPG you'll need to look at the smaller 150cc scooters.

I didn't include Vespa Scooters that are also made by Piaggio, because even though they have great build quality, they have small tires, the 250cc and 300cc Vespa can not perform the same amount of speed as those mentioned, are generally over priced, due to their historical Italian styling.

THINGS TO KNOW

  • The price of a scooter is similar to buying a car. The MSRP doesn't mean very much when considering it's price.  You need to plan on up to $2000 over the MSRP.
  • Walk away from any dealer (especially small ones and family owned ones), if you find them unhelpful, uncooperative, not being transparent about their pricing, impatient, etc.  Usually these small dealers have a small team that repairs the scooters as well as helps sell them.  When you buy a scooter you are investing in a long term relationship with the dealer. If you can't trust them, or if they're jerks when it comes to buying your scooter, they'll be jerks afterward too.
  • If you can test ride a scooter before purchase, then that's the best thing to do. It's not always possible.
  • Sit on any scooter you are considering for 15 minutes to see how it feels.
  • You'll need to set aside $1500 or more for your protective gear. A decent full-faced helmet costs around $400+ but remember, you only have one brain, it's worth protecting. You will need a riding jacket with inside protective armor and those cost $200 to 500. You will need riding boots with ankle protection, don't skimp out on your feet.  Motorcycle gloves are a must and a decent pair will cost $100+.  A good pair of strong denim jeans or buy some actual motorcycle pants. These are the basics.
  • The biggest cost of owning a scooter is not buying one, it's maintaining it. Before making a final decision to purchase, ask for the service maintenance schedule and get prices for those services.  A $3000 Piaggio Liberty Scooter is a great machine with excellent weight capacity, but its first 600 mile service is considered a major service and is going to cost $300 or more.  Then comes the normal service intervals, usually between 1500 and 4,000 miles. My Honda Element dealer charges around $165 an hour last I checked.  Some Motorcycle Dealers charge $265 an hour.  So ask about it.
  • Ask the dealer if they will pick up and drove off your scooter for free as part of the servicing.  Otherwise you'll need a pick-up truck with a ramp and tie downs, or to rent a U-Haul motorcycle trailer and have a vehicle or U-Haul truck with a trailer hitch.
  • Learn to change your own oil and oil filters to save some money.

Final Thoughts

I've talked with lots of scooter owners, dealers, and done a bit of research.  All of them ultimately gave the following insight.

  • Buy a scooter that meets your real need.  If you live in a city and are only going to be using your scooter locally, you probably do not need a 300cc to 500cc scooter commuter/touring scooter.  You'll want to consider a 150cc.
  • If you will be using your scooter to replace your car and community on a fast highway or freeway, then a 150cc scooter may be fine for short distances in the slow lane. If you are going to be traveling one the freeway more than a couple of exits, you'll be better off with a larger "Maxi" 300cc to 500cc scooter.
  • Expect to need to buy a Top Box locking trunk to store your helmet when your parked.
  • Invest in an alarm and extra theft deterrent, especially for smaller, lighter weight scooters.
  • Take photos of your scooter, license plate, its vin number, a photo of any unique characteristics that you've added to it, and a photo of you standing in front of the scooter. Those will help the police if your bike gets stolen.
  • If you will be using your scooter for business, you might want to consider a full body custom vinyl wrap, similar to what you see on business vans and city busses.  A wrap can change the color of your bike, add graphics, etc. for a relatively low price. It protects the original paint. Its easy to remove. Having a customized scooter makes it less desirable to thieves. 
  • Take a CHP approved course and learn to ride safely. Nothing sucks more than sliding across grooved concrete or rough asphalt because of a few slippery leaves or sand on a corner.

(Opens in Google Spreadsheets)

(Opens in web browsers able to read Adobe PDF files)
(Right click and Save As, to save it to your computer or phone)

(Right click and Save As, to save the spreadsheet to your computer or phone)



This page is sponsored by Mercari Shopping Directory
Find great stores to shop on from Mercari USA on the Mercari Shopping Directory

[TOP]