Urban Commuter to Outback Adventurer
Jay's Epic XMAX 300 Transcontinental Getaway
Riding a motorcycle across the vast and flat lands of Australia's Nullarbor Plain is a dream for many, but most never turn that dream into reality. Jay Prince not only embraced the challenge, he added his own unique twist. An epic adventure from Perth (WA) to Newcastle (NSW) via Adelaide (SA), Melbourne (VIC) and Sydney (NSW) - then back again. A journey of 9,800 kilometers that needed to be done in 14 days. His motorcycle of choice? Yamaha's legendary XMAX 300 scooter.
The Challenge Begins
The idea sparked over a beer when good mate Jordan announced he would ride his new adventure bike to Sydney to celebrate his grandad's 80th birthday. Fuelled by his competitive spirit and possibly the beer, Jay agreed to join the ride and said he would take up the challenge on his trusty XMAX 300 scooter. "After Jordan scoffed at my choice of machine, my competitive nature and desire to uphold the honour of the tuning fork brand kicked in," explained Jay. "From then on, I was committed to the idea; the XMAX 300 was set to prove itself against the challenges of an epic cross-country adventure."
A Yamaha Enthusiast's Journey
Jay, a Yamaha enthusiast through and through, works as the Spare Parts Manager at Five Star Yamaha in Hamilton Hill, Western Australia. His father, John, is also a Yamaha and works for Yamaha Motor Australia. With six Yamaha motorcycles in his shed, the XMAX 300 holds a special place as Jay's daily commuter. Despite its urban design, the scoot had already proven itself on multi-day road trips. However, the ultimate test lay ahead.
“We pointed our noses towards Perth and trucked through 120km wind gusts followed by driving rain. We clocked up just over 1200km in a single day! ”
Taking on The Roads Less Travelled
Jay and Jordan went through the necessary preparations before the trip; only the foolhardy would underestimate how vast and isolated parts of the Australian outback are; it’s essential to be prepared. Still, the pair did look like an odd couple as they departed: Jay on the XMAX 300 and Jordan on a long-haul adventure bike.
The pair faced a decent challenge on day one - a 300km gravel road from Hyden to Norseman. “I felt so bad for the scoot; I gave it a real hiding,” Jay revealed. “Barreling along at 110km/h on rutty pea gravel and caking it in mud, but in true Yamaha fashion, it took it all in its stride - something the little legend scoot did for the entire 9100km trip.”
While the opening day was challenging work, Jay said it just added to the spirit of adventure and was quickly entered into the long list of trip highlights. “I fell in love with The Great Ocean Road,” he revealed. The XMAX soaked up the twisties like a street Rossi packing a swag and supplies; it was an absolute blast.”
Also featured high on Jayden’s highlights reel were the views from the Nullarbor’s sheer cliffs that descend to hard-hitting water on the coast, crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, visiting friendly rural towns, and racing go-carts at Phillip Island.
Performance of the XMAX300
While Jay was keen to share the trip highlights, it's hard not to keep steering the conversation back to the performance of the XMAX 300 scooter. Is it fast enough? How does it handle? Is it comfortable? These are all questions he fielded wherever the pair visited along the way.
"People assume that since it's a scooter designed for urban commuting, it must lack power and speed," Jay explained. "The little scoot has plenty of both; it cruised effortlessly at outback open road speeds and passed plenty of 50m long road trains with ease. The only time it felt like it was working outside its design parameters was while tackling poorly maintained country roads, where the smaller wheels meant you felt a few bumps. It may have a city-slicker design, but it seems up for anything. On the other hand, Jordan's Euro adventure bike lost a mudguard and part of its fairing; I could have sworn I heard the XMAX have a chuckle."
Two things about the XMAX 300 are absolute standouts for Jay: storage and fuel consumption. "I averaged 3.3L/100km for the entire trip, and my fuel bill was just $746, including paying almost $3 per litre for fuel in outback Australia. I carried a 15L fuel bladder but did not need to use it. The 13-litre fuel tank provided more than 300km between fill-ups, enough to get me from town to town."
The other big winner for Jay was the storage capacity. His swag, ten litres of water, ten ration packets of food and a Bluetooth speaker were all packed into the under-seat storage area. "My clothes, cooking equipment and misc stuff went into or next to the top box, while a little tank bag carried my electronics and all-important road snacks."
The Epic Last Day
The question of comfort was answered on the final day when Jay logged 13 hours of riding to make it back in time to return to work. “What a day that was,” he exclaimed. “We left Ceduna, pointed our noses towards Perth and trucked through 120km wind gusts on the Nullarbor, followed by driving rain. We clocked up just over 1200km in a single day! I could have turned the little XMAX around and done it all again, and it still would not have missed a beat.”
Looking back on the ride, Jay said he never doubted the ability of the XMAX. “Truthfully, If I had any concerns, I would not have taken it, but fresh from its 20,000km service, it powered through every kilometre. I have never cared for what something was designed to do. I care what it’s capable of doing! And boy, can the XMAX 300 do.”
The little scoot is now back to daily commuter duties, but Jay has no doubt its ability as a multi-day touring machine will be called on again.