The event of 2002 here was a project to check the feasibilty of converting Yamaha's Tmax Scooter into an FF. Just about everybody in FF's spotted that it looked possible from photos and Andrew Gibbens from Newcastle on Tyne came up with the finance for the project. From the start everything went really well. We got a good, cheap Tmax in February, during a gale - and it was yellow. The Omens were good!
Here's the Tmax in standard form during the inital evaluation, Bob Winsper on board, making it look quite small. In fact the seat is so high that several test team members couldn't get both feet down comfortably. Weather protection, aerodynamics, comfort were all found seriously wanting, although it proved capable of steady high speed motorway use with quite reasonable handling and brakes.
And here it is at the halfway stage, Wayne Ergo, in his first public appearance since leaving Wales, confirms that there is enough room for a 90% European male, sitting comfortably. At this stage it became clear that a reversible FF conversion was technically feasible, and could be made reversible. Costs also proved to be feasible, a fitted price for the conversion kit would be well below £2,000, which research suggested was the top price.
The final part of the project called for confirmation that the conversion would provide sufficient 'added value' in terms of performance and comfort to justify the cost. This called for a simple FF conversion as 'proof of concept'. Some idea of the suitibility of the Tmax for comversion can be gathered by the fact that the demonstrator took five days to convert and cost £44.00 in parts....
A team of riders was assembled to test the conversion, FF owners, Big scooter owners, motorcyclists and lapsed motorcyclists. They were very enthusiastic about the conversion, recording unanimous approval of the comfort and handling and especially the urban performance. I believe this is the best lightweight FF currently in existance.
The title of this picture is obvious. But which one of them is Good, Bad or Ugly? Photo by Ian Kew
Encouraged by the success of the conversion test and comments like "If we can't sell this I give up" from seasoned FF veterens we then briefly went through the process of finding a manufacturer. There are so few suitable companies that it was very easy to identify two with a really good 'fit' and already in the 'motorcycle' retail trade. Unfortunately none were even prepared to try the prototype. Attempts to publicise it's existance through the specialist press also came to nothing even though it was tested at length by Twist and Go magazine.
So the ComforTmax has become another Bristol FF project that didn't take off. Here it is with another Bristol FF project that didn't take off. It's traditional, you're safer on the ground.
Thanks to Bristol Industrial Museum, where this Quasar lives, last seen at 002's (re)birthday party. Photo by Mari
Every now and again FF development is really fun. The ones that work, the summer days, the beautiful countryside. The ComforTmax is a great little FF, so easy to do, such a perfect project. Maybe it's owner will come up with some bits to make it easy for everyone...
Thanks for the photo by Ian and Mari
You'll be bored stupid with all this two-wheeler stuff so here's a chance to wave off the Mk11 Escort to a new home. Apart from the Velocette Venom pictured in 'history' and the Ducatti FF 001, this is the only vehicle I've ever owned that survived the experience. It's gone off with a Vicar to Barnstable, to be a sport car (Locost 7). Before it went it had this paint job which caused the odd laugh. After nearly fourteen years of ownership we were all glad it didn't have to be crushed. No one makes cars this good any more.
History The Banana Early Prototypes Voyagers 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Last update 2nd January 2003. comments etc to ingrid oesten
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