Yamaha VMAX opinion by the UK´s Motorcycle News (MCN)

MCN overall verdict

The V-Max is what happens when you mix 1679cc and nearly 200 horsepower in a motorcycle that’s one part cruiser, one part sportbike – and all parts thrilling. It’s difficult to explain just how quickly the V-Max builds speed. Cruise along at 30 mph in second gear, pick up the throttle and hold on tight… you’ll be doing 90 mph before you say, «Holycrapthisthingisfast!». It’s a thrill ride of epic proportions – the V-Max redefines the word torque. It produces the kind of acceleration that you feel in your chest. The kind you don’t soon forget…. and it handles to boot. What’s the catch? Well, there’s 16,500 of them…


The V-Max’s brutal all-new 1679cc, 65-degree V4 produces a claimed 200hp (or 197.4bhp) at just 9000rpm. To put that into perspective, that’s the same as a GP replica Ducati Desmosedici RR, but at 4000rpm less. To achieve this, the new V-Max borrows heavily from latest sportsbike technology, meaning that looks aside, it has little in common with its predecessor. Key features are the YCC-I adjustable intake funnels (which are a bit like a 21st century V-Boost); R6-style ‘fly-by-wire’ electronic throttle, a high 11.3:1 compression ratio and forged aluminium pistons.

Ride and Handling

Main frame is an all-new, cast aluminium diamond with a die-cast and extruded rear subframe. Suspension front and rear is about as bling as it gets: mammoth, 52mm diamter inverted forks with TIN coated tubes. Rear monoshock has a remote preload adjuster to go with its shock-mounted rebound and compression adjusters. Front end is multi-adjustable, too. Believe it or not, this beast actually handles.


Handlebars are posh, tapered items. Like the original Vmax and to keep mass centralization as low as possible, the 15-litre fuel tank is mounted under the seat with the fuel filler positioned under the rider’s backrest. All-new instrument panel includes an analog tacho, digital speedo plus LED shift lights. The info-center on the V-Max’s pseudo gas tank provides more information than you can imagine… throttle position, miles per gallon and a stop watch – just for starters.

Quality and Reliability

You can expect the kind of bulletproof quality and reliabilty that has become standard on all new Japanaese motorcycles. It’s enough to put the American competition to shame. There’s some quality parts as standard, including brembo brakes with wavy discs and a hi-tech info-center on the tank. Interesting fact: the Vmax’s signature aluminium intake covers are hand finished.


At an expected price of £16,500, the V-Max is pretty hard to justify to the missus. That’s alot of money for a motorcycle, but then big name cruisers have never been cheap and they still sell, just look at Harley’s… But this is no Davidson, complex electronics and and sportsbike specs are what pulls the price up, not marketing and branding. If you want a 197bhp cruiser and the kudos that goes with it, be prepared to pay for it.



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