Yamaha V-Max For Sale

The original 1985 Yamaha V-Max is a cruiser style bike optimised for 1/4 mile drag races and is powered by a 1,198cc V4 engine which puts out 145bhp. It was re-designed for 2009 and re-named VMAX.

  • Fun at the lights, looks bad ass, epic engine, legend
  • It doesn't like corners, suspension, brakes

What Is It?

The V-Max (later called VMAX) was fist launched in the USA in 1985, powered by a 1,198cc 145 bhp liquid cooled V4 engine which reached maximum power at 7,500rpm and maximum torque at 6,000rpm. The iconic side air intakes were inspired by the fast jets flying over the designer in Japan at the time.

Unfortunately it handled corners less well and generally tried to contain more power than the bits surrounding the engine could cope with. It arrived in the UK in 1992 but only with reduced 101bhp power, rectified in 1996 with the full 145 bhp V-Boost version.

Features include:

  • 282mm discs up front with single piston calipers
  • 282mm disc at the rear with single piston caliper
  • Adjustable 40mm fork with 140mm travel
  • Dual rear shocks with 100mm travel and 4-level re-bound/5-level pre-load
  • Four 35mm downdraft Mikuni carbs
  • Shaft drive
  • 5 speed gearbox

The early bikes basically had the V-Boost system turned off, which can be overcome, but it does mean you will see many imports 1992-1996. Check for three buzzes when the ignition is switched on. It can be a sign of restricted bikes - if you hear buzzes it's not restricted. Either way you might want to upgrade the breaks, suspension and tyres on early V-Max bikes.

The significant power on offer reaches the rear wheel via shaft drive and is aided by the V-Boost system, which added 10% more power at the top end. At 5,750 rpm butterfly valves between the cylinders begin to open, reaching fully open by 8,000 rpm, using a signal from the ignition system. The 15" rear wheel takes a 150/90 tyre and the front 18" a 110/90.

There have been a few changes over the years:

1987: Front wheel joins rear wheel with dished Aluminium design and the air intakes change from silver to blacked out.

1990: Air intakes back to silver and electric starter added.

1991: VMX1200: Engine tweaks to unleash maximum torque at 3,000rpm rather than 6,000rpm and new exhaust system to reduce noise by 2 dB. Power reduced from 101bhp to 95bhp. Camshafts re-designed and maximum torque now available at just 3,000rpm!

1993: Fork enlarged from 40mm to 43mm to improve high speed wobbles while the front discs moved from 282mm with single piston calipers to 298mm with 2 piston calipers. Generator upgraded.

1996: Air intakes and forks are half blacked out while wheels and exhaust are now all black.

1998-1999: The exhaust, forks and wheels are back to silver.

2001: Carbon look added to fuel tank

2005 marked the 20th anniversary and to celebrate Yamaha launched a special red edition with red pinstripe wheels. The V-Max was actually unavailable to buy new in the UK 2005-2008 however some have found there way over and command a premium.

Did You Know?

The VMX1200 was designed with quarter mile acceleration in mind for the love of drag racing in the USA

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Price Guide

Year Dealer Private Part Ex Mileage
1985 £3,750 £3,000 £2,650 42,200
1986 £3,800 £3,050 £2,650 41,600
1987 £3,550 £2,850 £2,500 41,000
1988 £3,300 £2,650 £2,350 40,300
1989 £3,150 £2,550 £2,200 39,500
1990 £3,050 £2,450 £2,150 38,700
1991 £2,950 £2,350 £2,100 37,800
1992 £2,950 £2,350 £2,050 36,900
1993 £2,950 £2,350 £2,050 35,900
1994 £3,000 £2,400 £2,100 34,800
1995 £3,100 £2,500 £2,200 33,700
1996 £3,300 £2,650 £2,300 32,600
1997 £3,500 £2,800 £2,450 31,400
1998 £3,700 £3,000 £2,600 30,200
1999 £4,000 £3,200 £2,800 28,900
2000 £4,350 £3,500 £3,050 27,600
2001 £4,750 £3,800 £3,300 26,200
2002 £5,150 £4,150 £3,600 24,800
2003 £5,650 £4,500 £3,950 23,400
2004 £6,150 £4,900 £4,300 21,900
2005 £6,700 £5,350 £4,700 20,500
2006 £7,300 £5,850 £5,150 18,900
2007 £8,000 £6,400 £5,600 17,400
2008 £8,700 £6,950 £6,100 15,800

Year shows signs of appreciation

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Check out this quick walk around a 2005 20th anniversary edition: