In Asian countries like Indonesia and the Philippines where I’m from, two-wheeled mobility is ingrained into the very fabric of society. Lots of people, myself included, rely on our trusty two-wheelers to get around on a near-daily basis—contrasting starkly to how two-wheelers are mainly seen as toys in the US.

That said, scooters are the kings of the road over here. And just like their more premium siblings across the pond, manufacturers stuff them with tons of tech and features in a bid to make the ultimate commuter. A good example of this is the popular Yamaha NMAX, a scooter which is loved by both commuters and enthusiasts alike thanks to its simplicity and performance.

In Indonesia, Yamaha has just released the next-generation model to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Dubbed the NMAX Turbo, the commuter maxi-scooter certainly has a misleading name, because surprise, surprise, it isn’t turbocharged.

No, Yamaha’s New NMAX Turbo Isn’t Actually Turbocharged

Instead, it’s rocking some technology that Yamaha says provides a sudden surge of acceleration—sort of like a turbo, I guess? Beneath the surface, it’s really just an electronically assisted CVT, or what Yamaha calls Yamaha Electric CVT (YECVT). The technology provides riders with two modes—S-Mode for “sport-touring,” and T-Mode for “turbo.” Selecting the latter provides the scooter with electric boost, making overtaking maneuvers easier.

As for the engine itself, it’s the same Blue Core 155cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected unit we’re familiar with in the previous iteration of the maxi-scooter. In regular non-boost mode, this engine pumps out about 15 horsepower and 14.2 Nm—that’s 10.5 pound-feet of torque.

No, Yamaha’s New NMAX Turbo Isn’t Actually Turbocharged
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Other tech features include a massive TFT display complete with smartphone integration, as well as full-LED lights housed in sportier, more angular bodywork.

Now, I don’t know about you, but the fact that Yamaha actually called it the NMAX Turbo doesn’t exactly sit well with me. The fact is that this thing isn’t turbocharged—it’s merely rocking some fancy tech that makes it accelerate faster momentarily. It’s a misleading name that will surely make folks craving for a performance-oriented scooter disappointed, just as I was when I stumbled upon it on Yamaha Indonesia’s website.

And before you roast me and tell me that Porsche has a Turbo S variant of the Taycan, I think it’s completely different, as the Taycan is a fully electric car which obviously has no use for an actual turbocharger. Plus, Porsche’s been using the “Turbo” moniker across the entirety of its model range for decades, whereas Yamaha has not.

Nevertheless, the next-gen NMAX Turbo will surely be a massive hit in Indonesia and the rest of the Asian market—perhaps even in Europe if and when it makes its way there. Let’s just hope that Yamaha comes up with a better name for it.

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