Review: 2008 Yamaha Morphous

Thu, Aug 14, 2008

Reviews, Scooter Reviews

Review – 2008 Yamaha Morphous from thescooterscoop on Vimeo.
Here’s the latest companion video to the review. I’d like to know what you think about the Morphous. Love it? Hate it? Totally confused by it?

(Here I am showing ‘em the goods out in front of the Rock Store)

, , ,

19 Responses to “Review: 2008 Yamaha Morphous”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Good review, I’m a big fan of the Morphous and I think Yamaha pulled the plug too quickly on it. I only have two problems with the bike.

    1. The storage space wasn’t adequate for our needs.
    2. The wind blast due to the low windshield was irritating.

    Both of those problems can be addressed but there were better options at the time.

    Dan in Milwaukee


  2. Tim Says:

    Steve, you nailed it with the Cadillac comment. It looks like a scooter Cadillac would make. I think it would look better with bigger wheels. That long wheelbase with dinky wheels just looks odd to me.


  3. Anonymous Says:



  4. Steve McCann Says:

    My guess is that the Morphous will be seen as ahead of its time some day. I’m also guessing that it’s a product of the scooter modding that exists in Japan, and since there’s no such phenom in the states it was doomed from the start. If radical modding ever becomes commonplace here then folks may look back at the morphous in envy.


  5. Anonymous Says:

    It might be well built and comfortable, but I’ll say the same thing I said when it first arrived on US shores: the Morphous has the butt-ugliest front end of any maxiscooter I’ve ever seen. Sorry, Morphous fans.


  6. Bryan J. Blog Says:

    I was dead set on one of these until I rode my Burgman 650. I found the Burgman easier to ride and it has a ton more space. The Morphous probably fits my long legged frame better though.


  7. Anonymous Says:

    The Morphalus is uglier everytime I see it. None the less thanks for the reviews.


  8. Nate Says:

    Wait, the 08s have LEDs beside the trunk lid as well as below in the strip? I had to convert my 06 model to dual element bulb holders and install aftermarket LED bulbs. I really wish both the side lights and and strip had red lenses instead of the clear ones.

    A 1/2″ strip of flexible chrome trim just below the taillight strip really shines up the back…

    So, you know I love mine- because it doesn’t look like anything else. It doesn’t look like a touring bike or a crotch rocket or a retro anything. It gets ~68mpg in town and on the highway and ridden as hard as I want every day.

    I think Steve’s right in the comments, its a scoot ahead of its time and without the marketing or buyer base to support it.

    And mine is NOT for sale as I love it.


  9. Anonymous Says:

    It's too long and a long wheelbase means it will be a pig in the twisties. The 13-inch tires are too small. It's too bulky and and has too much plastic. It's too heavy because they used a cheep double-cradle bent tube frame. The engine & transmission pivot on a swingarm and seriously increase unsprung weight. The engine is underpowered for a 250. The mechanical belt-pulley CVT is sloppy and inefficient.

    Seriously; 410-pounds dry weight, a 64-inch wheelbase, and a single-cylinder 250cc engine with 14.5 hp? Seriously?

    The 2008 Ninja 250 has a twin-cylinder engine putting out 32-hp, a 55-inch wheelbase, weighs 335-lbs and sells for $3499.

    How much does it cost to slap on a sloppy CVT and add some storage? How about some automatic transmissions that deliver performance? How about light-weight scooters? How about high-performance engines? How about some scooters that can pop wheelies? This is ridiculous. The manufacturers are playing us for fools.

    But I do love the 25-inch seat.


    • Don Says:

      Well – Although the numbers don’t look like it – It is almost as fast as my Ninja 250.

      The CVT tranny is very efficient and keeps the engine at peak torque very well.

      It’s no pig…


  10. Kuroneko Says:

    I've been riding a Maxam now for almost two years, and still love it. The Gemma is tempting as it is as gorgeous the Maxam is ugly, but it lacks the trunk space.

    The Maxam is made for two-up, economical, quiet, cruising in comfort on smooth Tokyo roads. It was designed to look the opposite of the Fusion, as the Gemma is now the opposite of the Maxam…

    It suits my lazy commute through Shibuya & Harajuku, with two-up sneaks out to Shimo for coffee on the weekend.

    This segment might not make much sense to small Euro-scoots, or big sport bike riders, but it makes great sense at this end…

    Thanks Steve for a great review of the ugliest scooter ever made. Neko.


  11. harley motorcycle parts Says:

    well , my concern was its storage space.


  12. Enviromoto Says:

    I realy like the lighting but it is way to heavy for a 250cc. Bring on the T-Max! I have to admit Steve this has been my favorite review so far. Must have been cool hanging with J.


  13. Anonymous Says:

    Butt Ugly is being nice.
    Well at least the engine is better than that Burgman junk that cost a arm and a leg to maintain.(Valve Adj.)
    I’m sure Harley riders like it’s looks, Just look at what they ride.
    Arlen Ness could have made that ugly POS.
    The T-Max will sell good now that it’s here.


  14. Anonymous Says:


    I’ve been considering a Morphous for a while now and was thrilled to see an actual review. I’m not as interested in top speed, etc. as much as driving impressions. Does it feel like the longest scooter in the world and handle like a semi truck? It is so low, does that feel funny compared to everything else on the road? The seating position seems to lean back compared to most other scooters, is it comfy? How does the steering feel compared to other big scooters? Any other thoughts would really be appreciated. Thanx!


  15. Keb Shemp Says:

    I love my Morph. Contrary to another poster’s assumptions, it’s a blast in the twisties! It loves to lean, and holds a line like it’s on rails. And while slow-speed might seem difficult at first, once you get used to it, it’s easy to handle as anything else, but for a slightly wider turning radius. On paper, it’s underpowered, but in city traffic, you’d never miss more power. On the highway, while acceleration is not great, I have no problem maintaining 75mph on flats, and 60mph up long, steep hills. And the handling at any speed is fantastic! I almost bought a Vespa GTS250 – fortunately, I made the wise choice!


  16. Ormond Otvos Says:

    What's with the raving about new and modern.

    It's a Helix. And before that, long before, a Salsbury. Nothing new under the sun.

    My '87 Helix runs fine, and may last forever. But maybe that's why they stopped making them.


  17. Anonymous Says:

    I just purchased an 06 Morphous with under 200 miles on it.
    Pros and cons, Cons = Very relaxed acceleration and hill climbing. Noisy rumbling clutch engagement. Both of my Helixes are quicker and faster. Pros = Very comfortable, excellent ergonomics, excellent stability, feels extremely solid and tracks as straight as an arrow. Much more stable and confident,compared to the Helix, especially on the highway.Very smooth and quite. Clearly far superior, in almost every way compared to the Helix.
    However, the lack of power is a big let down. The weight is just too much for the 250cc engine.
    It will cruise on the HW at 65mph with no fuss at all but it takes its time getting there and you will not have much power left to pass… you also my not maintain speeds on bigger hills. Oh and the Windshield actually directs more wind into your chest and face.

    If you are not in a hurry and want a relaxed smooth and quite ride, you'll really like the Morph. Think of an overweight and underpowered 4 cylinder car and you'll have an idea of the performance.
    I plan on selling the Morph and Helix and getting a bigger scooter or motorcycle in the spring of 2010.


  18. ScooterScoop Says:

    I still like the Morph, but it could use some dyno tested tuning parts. I wonder if anyone has managed to smuggle a Suzuki Gemma into the USA yet. That would be a fun comparison, all the low stretch scooters.

    I still think it's funny how people either love the look or absolutely abhor it. I guess if you're going to design something, it's better that people love or hate it. The worst thing you can do is design something that people are indifferent about.


Leave a Reply