Yamaha Maxam CP250

Yamaha Maxam CP250 maxi-scooter
When I first stumbled across this odd scooter, I thought it was one of those concepts that would never see the light of day. And yes, the Maxam CP250 did start life as a concept—way back in 2005. But then Yamaha put it into production. It’s billed as a ‘tandem cruiser’, and it’s on sale right now in Japan. The technical specification is uninspiring: power comes from a 250cc single, and there’s only 20bhp to pull a very substantial 201kg (440 lbs). But that’s not what the Maxam is about. It’s about the styling, which is out of this world. It seems to be channeling the legendary General Motors designer Harley Earl, with cues from a 1950s Cadillac and four colorways to choose from. That bodywork comes at a price though, because the Maxam costs the equivalent of US$7,500—nearly a thousand dollars more than Vespa’s range-topping GTV 250. But is there any better way for two young Tokyo hipsters to comfortably cruise the neon streets of Shibuya?

For an even wilder custom, check out this Honda Ruckus from the Californian shop Rucksters.