UK´s Superbike Magazine Article on the VMAX – San Diego

The Yamaha V-Max is back, and it’s madder than ever. Riding it in San Diego

Yamaha’s taken a long time to prepare the follow-up model to its crazy 1985 V-Max power cruiser. But nearly a quarter of a century on from the original, the new V-Max seems to be a worthy successor.

We spent yesterday riding the new 1,679cc V-four powered monster around the hills near San Diego, down onto the freeway, and into the town. And had a stack of fun. The bike sticks to the ‘hot-rod’ format invented by its predecessor, so the basic recipe is like a big American muscle car – lots of torque and horsepower, in a merely-adequate chassis. This mismatch between engine output and chassis dynamics is much smaller on the new V-Max than before, thanks to a proper aluminium frame and advanced suspension, but is still there. It’s not a bad-handling bike by any means though, and you can hustle down a twisty road at a pretty decent pace in confidence.

But you couldn’t take this bike on a track – the ground clearance, brakes, and suspension are a long way off competition like Suzuki’s B-King. So if you’re looking for something a bit different from your R1 for next year, you’re going to have to radically rethink your riding.

But, as is the case with bikes like Triumph’s Rocket III and Honda’s Valkyrie, there’s much more to the V-Max than cornering. The sheer acceleration of the long, low V-Max is pretty awesome, and it’s not long before you’ve got the back end spinning up away from every set of lights, the front wheel just bouncing off the deck as the motor exerts its 123lbf ft of torque and 200bhp. The riding position is spot-on, and the brakes are powerful, although the front wheel locks pretty easily, kicking the ABS into action if you get carried away. It’s essential to use the back brake for any serious stopping. The finish and design is pretty much flawless too – this is a handsome, well-made bike.

Which it should be too – because at £16,000 this is strictly a bike for high rollers. Is it worth it? Well, as ever, that depends on your expectations. If you want a sportsbike replacement with all the chassis performance that entails, look elsewhere. But if you want an all-out piece of extreme motorcycle design, then the Max definitely fits the (high) bill.

More, as ever, in the next issue of the mag. If you want to buy a V-Max, then go to

And if you want to vent your spleen about the V-Max, try here.

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