… in which the V4 is screwed in four places and has a load-bearing function.
Yamaha’s new Vmax is a beast. Huge 1700 millimeters wheelbase, fat 310 kilograms, the four-cylinder V-block is a monumental work of art made from the highest quality materials.
At around 100 km / h, the 1670 cm³ engine only rotates 3200 rpm ?? around a third of the maximum speed. And acts as if he were on his wellness vacation.
It is not possible to go unnoticed with the new Vmax.
The heart of the Vmax sits in a frame made of mighty aluminum cast parts …
A deep gurgling can be heard from both the new V4 and the old road cruiser.
Hajime Nakaaki’s team has managed to redefine the subject of acceleration. More than half of the roughly 2,000 pieces that will come to Europe at the end of the year have already been sold: for almost 20,000 euros over the Internet.
The multifunction display above the airbox cover provides a lot of information.
320 mm double disc brakes and six-piston fixed calipers keep the Vmax in check.
The cardan drive works extremely unobtrusively, the disc brake and the ABS leave nothing to be desired.
You can feel the front-wheel-heavy weight distribution on the first few centimeters of the journey. The new Vmax feels massive like a fat cruiser.
Ignition key in. Push of a button. The hair on the back of the neck stand up.
Clear priorities: central rev counter with integrated digital speedometer, above the shift light.
An aggregate that would look great on an opulent oak desk as a daily delight for the observer.
Driving report: Yamaha Vmax
The last samurai
Huge 200 hp from 1670 cubic meters, plus a whopping 166 Newton meters of torque. A single affront to all doubters and against all political correctness.
"No", says Hajime Nakaaki, grins and tilts his head. "Despite the 200 HP, we did not install traction control." The Vmax project manager is amused, rummages in his pocket and hands over the ignition key. A part whose handle is so bulky that at first you think: How do you get it on a bunch of keys? But somehow it fits the machine. Yamaha’s new Vmax is a beast. Huge 1700 millimeters wheelbase, fat 310 kilograms, the four-cylinder V-block is a monumental work of art made from the highest quality materials. An aggregate that would look great on an opulent oak desk as a daily delight for the observer. An engine without cooling fins has never looked so sexy, so mysterious, so exuding power.
Ignition key in. Push of a button. The hair on the back of the neck stand up. The sound of this V4 alone is unique. When idling, snorkel ecstatically through the polished aluminum air scoops, and behind its thick water jacket it grinds, stamps and knocks mystically. You can feel the front-wheel-heavy weight distribution on the first few centimeters of the journey. The new Vmax feels massive like a fat cruiser. Especially since the steering head angle was chosen to be quite flat at 59 degrees, the caster quite large at 148 millimeters. A handling miracle certainly has other requirements. Bare theory. It’s a beautiful morning in sunny California. A 220-kilometer daily stage lies ahead of the bikes. From San Diego into the mountains and then back along the ocean. After just a hundred meters, the fifth knocked in. Do you need another gear today? Shifting is definitely easy, the gear box seems tidy. Given this performance, one would have expected the gear train and shafts of a bulldozer. And switching shocks like a worn out Harley. But nothing like that. The gear wheels mesh exactly, without much effort, the Vmax can be switched with sneakers.
The new Vmax is proof that even XXL ladies can glide almost weightlessly.
Gliding on the highway is the motto of the first few kilometers. At around 100 km / h, the 1670 cm³ engine only rotates 3200 rpm ?? around a third of the maximum speed. And acts as if he were on his wellness vacation. The Americans have wrapped strips of asphalt the size of an airplane runway through a dry, hilly landscape. The Vmax rolls casually over it? an absolute feast for the ears. The sound comes across the most impressive acoustically between 2000 and 4000 rpm, because the wind has not yet pulled it off your ear. In this area the V4 gurgles dull and pulsating like an American road cruiser. Overtaking maneuvers are literally shaken off the wrist. Around 15 minutes have passed. A quarter of an hour in which you never asked yourself what you need the 200 hp for. And that although here in California speeds over 65 mph (around 100 km / h) are immediately acknowledged with handcuffs. In the end, it doesn’t matter whether the machine has 150, 200 or 250 hp. What makes you in a great mood is this insane excess of power that oozes out of every pore at Vmax. Certainly the expert accelerates a 180-horsepower supersport grenade a touch faster, but none shakes the sprint out of its sleeve more casually than a Vmax.
Off the highway, into the mountains. Tight turns, wide arcs. The brakes and ABS leave nothing to be desired. The engine hangs neatly on the gas, and the cardan works extremely inconspicuously without reacting to the suspension. So let’s take it a little faster. But whoops: The Wiemäx always swings a little in quick arcs. The paper values actually stand for superb stability: fat telescopic fork with 52 mm stanchions, extremely massive rear suspension, high-quality, fully adjustable shock absorber. In addition, a frame made of massive aluminum castings, in which the V4 is screwed in four places and has a load-bearing function. The new 200 Bridgestone BT 028, which was specially developed for the fat Max, should hardly be the cause, other big bikes like the Suzuki B-King can handle the 200 cc in any case. One thing should be mentioned at this point in order to save one’s honor: The unrest is not as explosive as the original Vmax, whose bad pendulum phenomena quickly earned it the nickname wobbly. With the new one, they are never critical, but unfortunately noticeable. And in the upper speed range it was probably so alarming that Yamaha felt compelled to electronically stall the Vmax at 220 km / h.
There can only be one
It’s midday. The thermometer shows an incredible 39 degrees in the shade. The asphalt shimmers, birds of prey circling in the royal blue sky, the dry pastures thirst for water. For an hour now it has been going on roads that ripple endlessly over the hills. The V4 block gurgles and clicks the load seemingly completely calmly with enormous force from one curve to the other. A traffic light glitters in the distance. Suddenly there is a flash in the rearview mirror. Four bikes approach from behind. Together you come to a stop at the traffic lights. Mirrored visors. Sneakers, T-shirts, mohawk hairstyles glued to helmets. At the same time, the visors fold up. Young eyes that sparkle with an unspoken question. No, gestures are superfluous. It is clear what this is about. This is the wild west. And the encounter at the traffic light in nothing is just as if gunslingers met a hundred years ago in the only bar within a thousand miles: there can only be one.
Four hot super athletes, the engines whip up while standing. Visors close. Still red. What can the Vmax really do? Praised as a diabolical mix of hot rod and dragster, built for the legendary quarter mile, the second of truth has now come. Green! Engage at 3500 rpm. Throttle valve further open. It smokes, it squeaks. The Vmax breaks out. Briefly pull the clutch, the machine back on course, and reload. From 4500 rpm something like the second stage ignites in the V4. It is getting serious. From 6000 tours you have to hold on, the 200 hp are at 9000 rpm. Merciless. The feeling of acceleration is something like the comic book artists of the last century put it on paper: the driver cramps on the handlebars. Third, fourth gear ?? hopefully the sheriffs are not in the bushes ?? and looking back: leathered. The guys, who obviously don’t have their long-geared sports machines under control, hardly expected that. What remains is a rubber carpet that is around 50 meters long and ends in a long black line.
Yes, Hajime Nakaaki’s team has managed to redefine the subject of acceleration. Although the Vmax won’t pulverize any acceleration records, it’s too heavy for that. But the motor experience is as excessive as in hardly any other bike. In contrast to the 1000 cc athletes, who seem almost weak in the speed range and are therefore extremely difficult to accelerate, the Vmax explodes anytime and anywhere. She growls, grumbles, smacks her lips, curses, angry and tempted. You enjoy every traffic light, every situation that is made for opening the throttle. Every intermediate sprint, every overtaking maneuver, every tunnel. And so it is also clear why Yamaha did without traction control. What is a samurai sword with a blunt edge supposed to do? The Vmax is sheer madness, and that’s what makes it so exciting. Rarely has a motorcycle worn out time in such a fascinatingly relaxed manner. Rarely does a machine have its driver accelerating? Boy let it rain ?? so demanded. And rewarded him like that in return. A machine that places high demands on the responsibility and experience of its owner. This is not for rice pudding boys. More than half of the approximately 2000 pieces that will come to Europe at the end of the year have already been sold. For almost 20,000 euros over the Internet. To people who were not yet allowed to drive a meter, for whom the paper values were enough to buy. You will not be disappointed.
Technical data Yamaha Vmax
Water-cooled four-cylinder, four-stroke, 65-degree V engine, two overhead, gear / chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, ø 48 mm injection, regulated catalytic converter, 420 W alternator, 12 V / 11 battery , 2 Ah, hydraulically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, cardan.
Bore x stroke 90.0 x 66.0 mm
Cubic capacity 1680 cm³
Compression ratio 11.3: 1
Rated output 147.2 kW (200 hp) at 9000 rpm
Max. Torque 167 Nm at 6500 rpm
Bridge frame made of cast aluminum, telescopic fork, ø 52 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, ø 320 mm, six-piston fixed caliper, disc brake at the rear, ø 298 mm, single-piston floating caliper, ABS.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 18; 6.00 x 18
Tires 120/70 R 18; 200/50 R 18
Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1700 mm, steering head angle 59.0 degrees, caster 148 mm, spring travel f / r 120/110 mm, seat height 775 mm, weight fully fueled 310 kg, tank capacity 15.0 liters.
Two year guarantee
Price (excluding additional costs) 19750 euros
+ Endless power
+ ABS brake very effective
+ Effort easily controllable
– The critical limit area requires a sense of responsibility
– Pendulum approaches at high speeds
– Handling a bit sluggish
Yamaha Vmax, model year 1985.
1985: "… Bomb on wheels"
With the Vmax and its nominally 145 hp, Yamaha presents the most powerful production bike in the world. Pee Wee Gleason, umpteen times US champion in the drag strip discipline, glows with her in just 10.34 seconds over the legendary quarter mile. The world is listening, the machine is getting its executor image. A macho dream come true, a bad one at the same time. In the following years, myths circulated: The 1198 cubic V4 could rasp the 165 Dunlop completely over less than 200 kilometers. Traffic light starts with 50 meters long rubber carpets can be easily implemented. Maximum consumption of 15 liters per 100 kilometers as well. A monster, indeed. But one that stays outside the door. Because the Germans stick to their voluntary self-restraint. 98 hp maximum. Basta. Ten years later, an estimated 2500 to 3000 copies roll on German roads. Gray imports. But what does roll mean? They tend to wobble, wobble and swing. Because the ?? Wiemäx ?? has chassis weaknesses. Out of round steering head bearings, inconsistent wheel alignment, axially pushed apart swing arm bearings, the fork: a stability joke? from this LG cocktail there’s more headache than headache. In 1996, the eleventh year after the birth, the swing box officially came to Germany. With a 98 hp muzzle, of course. Maybe it’s better that way.
2000: Mad Max
It’s over. The production of the Vmax is stopped, the remaining machines are sold. From the first official German import to the last copy in 2004, 6710 ?? Wiemäxe ?? a buyer in the Federal Republic of Germany. Hardly hired, resourceful Japanese journalists want to have found out that the successor to the metal muscle is already training in the fitness studio: it should have a full two liters of displacement, around 140 hp at speeds just above idle. 165 Dunlop? Forget it! It has to be a 180. At least. The machine will after "Ear witness reports" drawn. And Yamaha Germany denies violently.
The gaping hole in the Yamaha product range needs to be filled urgently, is MOTORCYCLE and is devising a Vmax that is trendy. It should be more sporty. Lighter, more graceful, more stable. Above all, however, it also has pioneering features: the tank disappears under the engine with a favorable focus, the seat is additionally sprung, and light-emitting diodes cast the light. If you are traveling solo, the rear footrests cannot be visibly folded away, and the V4 engine is fully integrated into the light alloy frame as a load-bearing element: the front cylinder heads carry the steering head, while two spring struts are supported on the rear. Carbon rims guided by light metal stars finally put the machine in the spotlight. Power? Well, 180 hp from 1,800 cubic meters are on the wish list. That should be enough for the new to honor the old. Only the name has to be changed of course: Big-Maxx. If you don’t think of something big from America, home of the dragstrip races, it’s your own fault.
2005: Cross-border commuters
The rumors are growing. This time, the British colleagues from MCN deliver fragments of news which, put together, can only mean one thing: It’s Yamaha’s turn. A new Vmax will definitely come. The key data are also available: 1800 cm³, V4, 200 hp. Hello! Who can handle it at all? Where is the line between mania for acceleration and driveability? Experts are certain that the new Yamaha will not break it. If a Vmax comes then it will be drivable. With an eternally long wheelbase and not less than 300 kilograms. In order to curb the tendency to wheelie and prevent unintentional drifting, speculates data recording expert Dirk Debus, electronic helpers undoubtedly take over the thinking. And accelerate. Debus works practically with all well-known MotoGP riders and says: "Power must be released as linearly as possible so that it can be controlled. Only in this way is it possible for the driver to be able to circle a 200 hp grenade with the rear wheel through the curve." And MOTORRAD test editor Werner Koch ideally imagines it as follows: ?? Depending on the speed, gear and driving condition, the maximum power that can be called up must be reduced to such an extent that optimal acceleration is possible. ?? well then …
2005 Study: Dream Catcher
At the Tokyo Motor Show, Yamaha presented a study of the legend to astonished experts. More martial and massive than ever thought. It is closely surrounded, success seems to be programmed. Above all, fans and owners of the original Vmax, of which there are around 100,000 worldwide, are enthusiastic, because Yamaha has not broken with tradition: tank still under the seat, pompous air scoops, openly displayed V4 drive, two struts, Cardan drive. Great. If this dream came true, too …
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