Yamaha V-Max — Classic Yamaha Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics

11 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Yamaha V-Max — Classic Yamaha Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics отключены
Yamaha V 70

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Yamaha V-Max

Years 1985-present

Claimed power: @ 9,000rpm (1985 test)

Top 150mph

Engine type: double-overhead cam, four per cylinder, water-cooled 70-degree V4

(dry): 271kg (596lb)

then: $5,299 (1985

Price now: $3,500-$5,500 model)

In 1985, the brand-new 70-degree V4 monster Yamaha was an unapologetic two-wheeled hot-rod. It was the king of the boulevard, and the most bike ever to come out of Virtually unchanged 22 years it still may be.

The V-Max boasted of road-burning acceleration, introduced innovative V-Boost technology, and the stakes for the then-new “muscle-cruiser” Its looks, while jarring at the predated the styling of the BMW R1200C and V-Rod. From its headlight to its squared heads, V-layout and low-slung wheelbase and fat tires, an icon of motorcycling.

It has enjoyed a 20-plus year production, has a worldwide fan following with clubs from France to and still earns reverence and from top motorcycle publications model year.

This is a built for the moody loner. No repli-racer resplendent in rainbow … no weekend offroading with the The V-Max is all about wicked in spades, anti-social behavior and up the other guy in stoplight to stoplight

The V-Max was a hooligan bike a before the term existed.

out? The V4 revolution

When it was in 1969, the air-cooled, inline-four, Honda CB750 revolutionized design and sales, offering a reliable, easy to maintain with aggressive performance and a American V-twins and British twins simply couldn’t Almost immediately, Yamaha, and Suzuki released their own fours. So ubiquitous was the engine that Japanese four-cylinder as a whole were labeled the unflattering moniker “Universal Motorcycle.”

For the next decade, most Japanese bikes retained the engine design. But in 1982, broke the lock of inlines their 750cc V45 Sabre and models, a euro-styled standard and chopper-esque custom, respectively, were both powered by 90-degree V4s. This layout offered perfect balance for unbelievable smoothness as as meaner performance.

The Magna, in with it’s wide and “American Custom” styling, was most overt attempt to tap Harley-Davidson’s American customer and began the era of the “muscle cruiser” continues unabated today.

fired another salvo in by introducing its 1,100cc V65 Magna, quickly established itself as THE to beat. To promote its introduction, aired notorious television highlighting its quarter-mile performance on the strip. During this the motorcycle press declared the V4 plant “the engine of the and the design other companies surely have to copy, some immediately did.

soon released its Venture bike, powered by a 70-degree, 1,198cc V4, while Suzuki out its forgettable 70-degree V4 Madura, a disguised Magna clone. simply dolled up their (inline) KZ in drag strip-inspired and released it as the Eliminator. But Yamaha done. They wanted to and beat Honda’s challenge by the strongest V4 motorcycle on the market.

And the start, mind-blowing acceleration was a

“The first concept I Akira Araki, project for the V-Max (and now general for Yamaha’s motorcycle operations in has stated, “was to make a which is strong at straight and really fast. It was the birth of the concept,” he said. It was the American Hot

California schemin’

In 1983 and two Yamaha engineers holed up for 30 in the GKDI Design Co. studios, an Yamaha design center in Monica, Calif. working the new into form. The bike come together as part of most American of formulas, has worked for everything from cars to .44 Magnums to Mack Shoehorn big-… horsepower a strong, simple frame, with all bells and whistles, and add an ounce of anything unnecessary.

The goal was a balls-out performer wide mid-range, and the logical point was the V4 from Yamaha’s own tourer. Displacing 1,198cc a 10.5:1 compression ratio and valves per cylinder, it was a solid power plant that possessed strong low and mid-range, and ample room for power Intake valves were from 29mm to 30.5mm and valves grew from to 26mm.

Flow was improved by reducing the size of the valve and enlarging the carburetors from to 35mm. Beefier camshafts further increase mid-range Key engine and transmission components strengthened to help withstand the stress.

To further increase Araki’s team considered a turbo (then all the rage in production) before devising the “V-Boost.” In this system, a links the intake manifolds of the and rear cylinders on each of the engine, with cylinder #1 to #2 and #3 to #4. Two servo-operated butterfly valves, one each cylinder pair, off the passages at low rpm. But past rpm, the servo opens the and whatever cylinder is drawing a at any given moment is filled the air/fuel mixture from two “supercharging” the cylinder.

The styling, not took its inspiration from muscle cars and American strips. Probably Max’s instantly recognizable styling is the set of imposing chrome (later “air scoops” astride the gas These aren’t functional — merely styling elements — they do house Max’s Similarly, the “gas tank” is a cover for the air induction and filter

The V-Max’s 4gal fuel is actually contained beneath the The hard plastic, stepped of the seat pivots forward to the filler cap.

A staggering wheelbase leads you around to the 150/95 section rear tire. At the time of V-Max’s this was the widest tire seen on a production motorcycle. The tires were necessarily and soft – its claimed 145hp and takeoffs meant the rider need all the traction he could though owners found the rubber wore quickly, and were fairly expensive.

When Araki and his engineers their sketches to Yamaha, were greeted with than universal enthusiasm. “I it was because the style of this was too eccentric for most people at the and nobody knew how to react,” once explained. It’s not to empathize: One look at the V-Max and the spill out: Audacious! Crude, rude and unrefined!

The impression you get upon viewing a Max at is that it possesses all the grace and of an A-10 Warthog. The bike so … well, un-Japanese.

In fact, its Teutonic looks and the sonic of its exhaust bring to mind a day Stuka. But during their time, Araki’s team out customer input and conducted research that showed acceptance of the radical styling, and management gave the go ahead.

The was a motorcycle that absolutely the American credo of “Go faster, louder, and be meaner.” And the Max guaranteed rights: No other cruiser accelerate faster from to stoplight.

Debuting at an October U.S. dealer meeting in Las the V-Max garnered immediate and praise from the motorcycling Released in 1985 to a public with claims of 145hp, the hit showrooms with an MSRP of — fully $2,000 more Honda’s V65, its closest Fortunately, those seeking and a blunt statement found it every nickel.

Cycle named it “Bike of the Year,” the Max “outrageous” and “the most intensive motorcycle” of 1985.

of Max’s instant success be attributed to Yamaha’s excellent strategy and clarity of focus. accurately identified the specific for V-Max and spoke the appropriate

Introductory year advertisements with references to “blown and “Hemi heads,” comparisons to dragsters, and the assertion that Max was first hot rod.” Perfectly about the image they to capture, Yamaha consistently on it for years. Period magazines the theme, splashing their with photo spreads of the on drag strips. Cycle even pitted a Max against a Cobra for bragging rights.

Riding the V-Max

To the uninitiated, the Max is of surprises, possessing a Jekyll and split personality: It is simultaneously sedate and pleasurable than expect and every bit the broncing you feared. The engine is smooth-running and vibration free, offering comfort than appearances suggest.

Yamaha V 70

Hit the starter button and you are to a lumpy idle Cycle “reminiscent of leaned-on V-8s the late 1960s.” Power in a seamless flow — there is no jerkiness or choking — and the wide is immediately noticeable: You can accelerate in any gear, no questions asked. Cycle World . “What the Max’s engine apart other powerful motors is it has power everywhere. Off the bottom torquier than a Honda Wing, on top it hits harder a Kawasaki 900 Ninja, and from the to the top, the power band is than that of a BMW K100s.”

Not the V-Max is most at home in and beat all comers for speed and in its first few years, hitting in a Cycle World comparison and between 119 and 135hp in various However, many loyal say the V-Max is also a nimble, machine, and many praise its and stability.

The front dual-disc work well, though pressure is required, so the rider a strong braking hand. the V-Max lacks the anti-dive of its contemporaries, so too heavy a brake can to nose diving. (Interestingly, felt an anti-dive system was sport bike” and left it The rear brake may likewise be a too good at its job — a foot full of may find you hopping and twisting, as easy to lock up the rear

These aren’t problems you know how the Max behaves and acquire a for it, but the V-Max is not forgiving of sloppy It demands you respect it and commit to its likes and dislikes. Shifting requires a beefy stomp, you’re apt to miss a gear.

The mounted above the faux tank, has frequently been for its impractical placement. To properly the gauge, the rider must his head downward, momentarily his eyes from the road. is extra wrong for a bike tempts, hell, outright for power rush take-offs and One acceleration.

The V-Max glides slickly twists, and the suspension, though stiff, performs admirably. The suspension, in fact, is one of the few key gripes give. The problem is especially while accelerating hard in gears — every imperfection in the is felt, making the rider like he’s on a hardtail The problem is exacerbated by a small, seat.

The center seat which accommodates the fuel cap, limits backward You have one position in which to sit and better like it. In addition, the and foot peg arrangement leave taller riders feeling If the sometimes-harsh ride doesn’t time in the saddle, Max’s fuel consumption might — about 30mpg, it’s a gas

In fairness, what shortcomings may be in the V-Max (stiff suspension, riding position, gas hungry) appropriately enough, the same one encounter in a hot rod or muscle car. And not as though the prospective customer is between the V-Max and the Gold — a specific individual will be to the Max, and he or she knows going the bargain whether or not they’re for the wicked beast.

So, where V-Max fit today? By 1989 the it towered over — the V65 Magna, Eliminator and Suzuki Madura — all history, and a new breed of sport easily eclipsed the speed set by Max. Certainly, a Kawasaki or Suzuki Hayabusa will it today, and brawny monster like the Honda Rune or Rocket III overwhelm it for visual

However, V-Max soldiers on as a package with sharp, cornering capacity, still-impressive performance, and massive horsepower all in one of the most distinct and recognizable shapes of the modern motorcycle

Although a new version is being for 2008, Yamaha seemed to get it right the first time out the V-Max, and it has remained, ironically, a classic” (as motor-journalist Peter has referred to models that to sell respectably with or no press long after whiz-bang models have the spotlight). In a sea of interchangeable crotch and cookie-cutter Japanese cruisers, the remains, 22 years on, as a still-popular new model, a now collectible bike clubs worldwide dedicated to it, still snorts fire as a classic. MC

Press reviews

“When it to street-legal, production motorcycles, absolutely nothing can touch it in a line”

— Cycle Guide . May

“When you cruise the streets on a … you aren’t innocently looking for to race with, you’re for fresh

victims, for poor souls to chew up and spit out exhaust pipes.”

— Cycle May 1985

“It’s still the motorcycle overall of the big cruisers. Its is above reproach and its chassis is the in the class. Only its seat and choppy ride keep it being as comfortable as some for general cruising.”

— Motorcyclist . 1986

“Yamaha’s fire-breathing is about as subtle as a whack the forehead with a


— Cycle World . May 1985

“In a sort of way, the V-Max is the sought after “standard” of the Eighties. Sure, the term an image of a station wagon, in fact the V-Max is more a two-wheeled funny car; but the footpeg location, handlebar and overall riding position are all standard-ish.”

— Cycle World . 1988

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