Yamaha V-Max

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Yamaha V-Max
Model year1985 - 2007
SuccessorYamaha VMAX
Classpower cruiser
Engine1,197 cm³ (73.0 cu in) liquid-cooled DOHC V-4
bore and stroke = 76mm x 66mm
Power99.3 kW (133 hp) @ 8000rpm at crank
Torque12.4 kg·m (90 ft·lbf) @ 7500rpm
Rake, Trail29°, 4.7 in (119 mm)
Wheelbase1,590 mm (62.6 in)
Seat height765 mm (30.1 in)
Weight263 kg (580 lb) (dry), 617 lb (280 kg) (wet)
Fuel capacity15 litres (4.0 US gallon, 3.3 Imperial gallons)
Fuel consumption25-40 mpg
RelatedYamaha Venture

The Yamaha V-Max is a motorcycle manufactured by Yamaha, which is known for its powerful V4 engine, shaft drive, and distinctive styling. While famed for its quick acceleration, it is often criticized for its poor cornering ability and soft suspension.[1][2][3]


John Reed, an English designer who lived in California was contracted by Yamaha to design the ultimate custom bike. He designed a muscle cruiser based on the Venture engine.[4]

Sold both in Japan and abroad, the V-Max has been on the market with only minor modifications since the 1985 model year, making it one of the best-selling Japanese motorcycles of all time. The Honda X-4 was created in response to its overwhelming success, but was in production for only six years, proving unable to shake the V-Max's popularity and exceptional reliability.

Until 2007, the original V-Max was offered for sale through the Star Motorcycles division of Yamaha Motorcycles. Apart from a minor freshening to the bike's specifications in 1993, when the bike gained a larger-diameter fork to minimize high-speed wobbling and drift, four-piston brake calipers, and other handling and safety related upgrades, the 2007 V-Max was almost the same as the original 1985 version.[5]


Overall, the V-Max was 2,300 millimetres (90.6 in) long, 795 millimetres (31.3 in) wide, and 1,160 millimetres (45.7 in) high.

The engine was a tuned version of the double overhead camshaft, four valve per cylinder, liquid-cooled V-4 from the Yamaha Venture. Along with other modifications to the engine, the compression ratio was raised to 10.5:1, and the V-Boost system was added.


V-Boost is a patented System from Yamaha which opens butterfly valves between the manifolds of the 1st and 2nd and between the 3rd and 4th cylinder starting from 5750 rpm. The valves are opened gradually to match the rising rotational speed signal provided by the ignition system. The valves are at the full open position at 8000 rpm. There is a small black box that reads the rotational speed and sends a computed signal to a servo motor. The servo pulls a wire to open the butterfly valves. The V-Boost System adds 10 percent to the top power rating of the base engine. [6]


Yamaha VMAX
Production2009 - present
PredecessorYamaha V-Max
Classpower cruiser
Engine1,679 cm³ (102 cu in) liquid-cooled DOHC V-4
Transmission5-speed, slipper clutch
Suspensionadjustable front and rear
BrakesFront: radial mount 6-piston calipers, dual wave-type 12.6" (320 mm) discs, brembo master cylinder
Rear: single piston caliper, wave-type 11.7" (298mm) disc, Brembo master cylinder
Wheelbase66.9" (1699 mm)
Seat height30.5" (774.7 mm)
Weight (dry), 683 lb (309.8 kg) (wet)
Fuel capacity4.0 US gallon (15.1 litres, 3.3 Imperial gallons)

In 2005, at the 39th Tokyo Motor Show, Yamaha displayed an all-new V-Max concept bike. It featured a new chassis, upgraded components all around, and state-of-the-art braking components. It is believed that the bike may be close to production and at dealers by late 2008.[7]

On 4 June 2008, Yamaha officially released a completely redesigned 2009 VMAX in North America and Europe. The features of the VMAX include an all aluminium frame with its 1,679 cm³ (102 cu in) liquid cooled V4 DOHC engine used as a stressed member of the chassis, an electroluminescent instrument readout, Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I), fully adjustable suspension, anti-lock brakes, slipper clutch, a fuel tank beneath the seat, and a distinctive key.[8]


V-Boost is now gone. In its place the VMAX now uses YCC-I and YCC-T.

Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I) is a new addition to the VMAX. The airhorns inside the airbox are lifted by a servo activated at 6650 RpM to open up the airway underneath. This shortens the length of the intake system from 150mm to 52mm. This system had it's first appearance in the Yamaha stable with the 2006 YZF-R1. The MV Agusta F4 Tamburini was the first bike with such a system. Massimo Tamburini invented this idea. It is called Torque Shift System (TSS) on the Agustas.

Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) is also a new addition. The throttle cables are connected to a throttle position sensor and a new computer called G.E.N.I.C.H. that operates the butterfly valves, the EXUP valve in the exhaust and the other components involved, such as the igniter unit, and the YCC-I lifter unit. The YCC-T computes all the input of the sensors and calculates the best throttle postion, ignition advance, EXUP valve and injection time in milliseconds.

V-Max in popular culture

  • Pierre Leghnome rides a V-Max in the French comic Joe Bar Team
  • Yu Ominae has a V-Max motorbike that he uses for transportation in Spriggan
  • Ken Nakajima of You're Under Arrest rides a V-Max when off-duty from his police work.
  • Bob Makihara's V-Max gets burned in the Tenjho Tenge manga.
  • Saber from the Fate/Zero novels uses a V-max for transportation
  • Freddy Krueger uses a V-Max to kill Dan Jordan in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child.
  • On a 2008 JC Whitney motorcycle catalog number 142L-09.

See also


  1. Motorcycle Online Muscle Bike Shootout
  2. Motorcycle Cruiser 1999 V-Max article
  3. Motorcycle USA 2004 V-Max article
  4. Wilson, H. "The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle" p. 205 Dorling Kindersley Limited, 1995 ISBN 0-7513-0206-6
  5. Motorcyclist March 2006 issue p. 89 Primedia Inc.
  6. VMX12F series Service Manual - LIT-11616-VM-13
  7. Motorcyclist January 2006 issue p. 16 - 17 Primedia Inc.
  8. 2009 VMAX Model Home Page

External links