Yamaha VMAX

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Yamaha V-Max
Yamaha V-Max .jpg
ManufacturerYamaha Motor Company
ClassPower cruiser
Engine1,197 cc (73.0 cu in) liquid-cooled DOHC 70° V-4
Bore / stroke76 mm × 66 mm (3.0 in × 2.6 in)
Top speed240 km/h (150 mph)[1]
Power89 kW (120 hp) (rear wheel)[2]
Torque112.7 N⋅m (83.1 lbf⋅ft) (rear wheel)[2]
Rake, trail29°, 4.7 in (119 mm)
Wheelbase1,590 mm (63 in)
DimensionsL: 2,300 mm (91 in)
W: 795 mm (31.3 in)
H: 1,160 mm (46 in)
Seat height765 mm (30.1 in)
Weight271 kg (597 lb)[1] (dry)
286 kg (631 lb)[2] (wet)
Fuel capacity15 L (3.3 imp gal; 4.0 US gal)
Fuel consumption34.2 mpg‑US (6.9 L/100 km; 41.1 mpg‑imp)[2]
RelatedYamaha Venture
Yamaha Royal Star

The Yamaha V-Max, (or VMAX) cruiser motorcycle was produced by Yamaha from 1985. Known for its 70° V4 engine, shaft drive, and distinctive styling, the V-Max was discontinued following the 2020 model year.


The V-Max was designed by Atsushi Ichijo in a team led by Akira Araki with input from Ed Burke and John Reed.[3][4][5]

Upon its release in 1985, the V-Max garnered instant critical acclaim and earned the title "Bike of the Year" from Cycle Guide.[6] Sold both in Japan and abroad, the V-Max was sold with only minor modifications from the 1985 model year until the 2007 model year. The V-Max was noted for its quick acceleration, but was also criticized for its poor cornering ability and soft suspension.[7][8][9]

In 1997, the bike cost £9,359 or $15,322 (equivalent to $25,864 in 2021) to purchase.[10]

Until 2008, 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.[11]

Yamaha VMAX 1998 dash


Overall, the V-Max was 2,300 mm (91 in) long, 795 mm (31.3 in) wide, and 1,160 mm (46 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 system that opens butterfly valves in the intake manifold between the 1st and 2nd and between the 3rd and 4th cylinders starting from 5,750 rpm. The valves are opened gradually to match the rising engine speed with a signal provided by the ignition system. The valves are at the full open position at 8,000 rpm. A small black box sends a computed signal to a servo motor that pulls a wire to open the butterfly valves. The V-Boost system adds 10 percent to the top power rating of the base engine.[12]


VMAX 2009 Engine cutaway
Yamaha VMAX
Yamaha 1700 VMax.jpg
ManufacturerYamaha Motor Company
PredecessorYamaha V-Max
Classpower cruiser
Engine1,679 cc (102 cu in) liquid-cooled DOHC 65°V-4
Bore / stroke90 mm × 66 mm (3.5 in × 2.6 in)
Power147 kW (197 hp) (claimed)[13]
129.2 kW (173.3 hp) @ 9,000 rpm[2][14](rear wheel)
Torque166.79 N⋅m (123.02 lb⋅ft) (claimed)[13]
153 N⋅m (113 lbf⋅ft) @ 6,600 rpm (rear wheel)[14]
Transmission5-speed, slipper clutch
Frame typecast aluminum
Suspensionfront adjustable 52mm oxidized titanium coated
rear adjustable Link-type Monocross with piggyback reservoir
BrakesFront: radial mount 6-piston calipers, dual wave-type 12.6 in (320 mm) discs, brembo master cylinder
Rear: single piston caliper, wave-type 11.7 in (298 mm) disc, Brembo master cylinder
Wheelbase66.9 in (1,699 mm)
DimensionsL: 94.3 in (2,395 mm)
W: 32.3 in (820 mm)
Seat height30.5 in (775 mm)
Weight694 lb (315 kg)[2] (wet)
Fuel capacity4.0 US gallons (15 l; 3.3 imp gal)
Fuel consumption28.3 mpg‑US (8.3 L/100 km; 34.0 mpg‑imp)[2]

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.[15]

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 cc (102 cu in) liquid-cooled 65° 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.[16]

On 20 September 2009, VMAX was also launched in India.[17]


Instead of the V-Boost on the original carburated V-Max, the fuel injected VMAX 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 6,650 rpm to open up the airway underneath. This shortens the length of the intake system from 150 mm to 52 mm. This system had its 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 position, ignition advance, EXUP valve and injection time in milliseconds.

Popular culture[edit]

In the video game Final Fantasy VII (1997), the protagonist Cloud Strife's Hardy Daytona motorbike is based on the Yamaha V-Max.[10] It was also used by Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider 2.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b MacMahan, Chris (September–October 2007). "Yamaha V-Max". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Performance Index '10" (PDF), Motorcycle Consumer News, Bowtie Magazines, 2010, archived from the original (PDF) on February 15, 2010, retrieved February 14, 2011
  3. ^ "世田谷美術館に行きませんか?". Yamaha Motor Company.
  4. ^ "GK Report No.19" (PDF). Atsushi Ichijo, Takeshi Umemoto. GK Design Group. April 2010. pp. 9–12.
  5. ^ Gardiner, Mark. "2009 Star V-Max Launch". Motorcycle.com.
  6. ^ Chris MacMahan (September–October 2007). "Yamaha V-Max". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
  7. ^ Motorcycle Online Muscle Bike Shootout Archived 2007-01-08 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Motorcycle Cruiser 1999 V-Max article
  9. ^ Motorcycle USA 2004 V-Max article
  10. ^ a b "The Final Fantasy". Computer and Video Games. No. 194 (January 1998). December 12, 1997. p. 98.
  11. ^ Motorcyclist March 2006 issue p. 89 Primedia Inc.
  12. ^ VMX12F series Service Manual - LIT-11616-VM-13
  13. ^ a b Edwards, David (June 15, 2008). "2009 Star V-Max - First Look". Cycle World. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Gleason, Jay; Blades, Brian (December 2008), "Max muscle", Cycle World, pp. 34–43
  15. ^ Motorcyclist January 2006 issue p. 16 - 17 Primedia Inc.
  16. ^ 2009 VMAX Model Home Page
  17. ^ The Economic Times 16 September 2009: "Yamaha launches superbike VMAX for Rs 20 lakh"

External links[edit]