Get the Max

In­dulge in Yama­haõs orig­i­nal bad boy

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

Bikes like the orig­i­nal V-max don’t come around very of­ten. Which is why, al­though now over 30 years old and with per­for­mance since bet­tered by vir­tu­ally all big bikes, the mon­ster Yamaha re­tains a cult fol­low­ing.

The first 1200cc V-max (it was suc­ceeded by an all-new, 1700cc, pre­mium-priced model in 2009 which is ac­tu­ally called the VMAX) was very much a one-off – or, at least, that was the idea. Con­ceived as a USonly ma­chine, in­spired by US V8 hot rod cars and ‘bridge rac­ing’ bikes, and sketched out by Yamaha USA in Cal­i­for­nia, it’s about as Amer­i­can as a Ja­panese bike can get.

Best of all, though, the V-max truly was a mould­break­ing hot rod. With the novel V-boost sys­tem help­ing it pro­duce a truly shat­ter­ing 145bhp, the Max ac­cel­er­ated (and to a large de­gree still does) like lit­tle else. That, and its unique style and huge pres­ence ex­plains its en­dur­ing ap­peal.

The ic­ing on the cake was its ex­clu­siv­ity. Avail­able in the UK only as a grey im­port un­til 1991, and once of­fi­cially avail­able (1991-1994) only in neutered, 95bhp form, good, full power Maxes re­main ex­clu­sive and in­ter­est­ing.

And, at un­der £4k, they are solid, up­right and even rea­son­ably ver­sa­tile – if you can live with the in­fa­mously way­ward han­dling and, by modern stan­dards, weak brakes. Their ap­peal is en­dur­ing – so much so that it won’t be long be­fore prices start climb­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.