Tim O'Brien | Jul 28, 2008

Yamaha's legendary muscle bike, the VMAX, has been reborn – but in strictly limited numbers. While Yamaha is being coy about exactly how many of the new VMAX it is to let loose on the global market, it seems that if you want one here, you’ll need to be quick off the mark.

The original V4 roadster, launched in 1985, achieved cult warrior status for its face-melting power and grinding torque (enough to drag Queen Mary off the can). The new VMAX, while retaining the trademark V4 engine layout, has been boosted from the original’s 1198cc to a massive 1679cc. The all-new donk is a liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC 65 degree V4 (bore and stroke, 90.0mm x 66.0mm, and compression ratio of 11.3:1).

With Yamaha’s latest fuel injection and throttle control technology feeding the beast within, the new unit produces an astonishing 200bhp (147.2 kW) @ 9000 rpm and a gut-busting 166.8 Nm of torque @ 6500 rpm.

It promises to be a very interesting unit. As well as a 4-valve pent-roof combustion chamber, the new VMAX features an innovative camshaft drive system in which the intake camshaft is driven by a chain, while the exhaust camshaft is driven by a gear mechanism. This minimises the pitch between the intake and exhaust camshafts, which in turn permits a much more compact cylinder head design.

yamaha-v-max-tmr-1

The chassis also gets a serious make-over with a new low-profile aluminium frame (which incorporates the engine as a stressed member), longer wheelbase and longer swing arm. Up front, keeping the show in touch with terra-firma are large-diameter forks with massive 52mm tubes and radial-mounted six-piston front brakes. Rear suspension is a link-type monocross set-up.

Yamaha Australia is offering the new VMAX ‘mother-ship’ at $29,850 (inc. GST) RRP. However, because of the limited numbers on offer, customers will need to place a $2000 deposit with their local Yamaha dealer if they want to join the queue to snag one.

Delivery of the units to dealers takes place from November 2008 on a first come, first served basis. (Yup, sounds like there could some enthusiastic eye-gouging, biting and squirrel-gripping going on outside the Yamaha shop come November).

Want to wrap your mitts on one? Go to www.yamahamotor.com.au for all the details of the ordering process.

ENGINE - TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • All-new large-capacity 1679cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke V4 engine
  • Max power 147.2 kW (200 bhp) @ 9000 rpm
  • Max torque 166.8 Nm (17.0 kg-m) @ 6500 rpm
  • Combined chain and gear cam drive
  • Compact pent-roof combustion chambers, 11.3:1 compression
  • Iridium spark plugs
  • Narrow valve angle of 29 degrees
  • Compact 65 degree, V-bank configuration
  • Front-rear engine dimensions 27mm less than previous VMAX
  • Centre camchain (keeps engine width the same as previous VMAX)
  • Lightweight aluminium forged pistons
  • Fracture-split (FS) carburised con rods
  • YCC-I Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake
  • YCC-T Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle
  • Fuel injection
  • Large capacity airbox
  • Front left and right side-mounted air intakes
  • Slipper clutch
  • Low-maintenance shaft drive system with compact rear gear case
  • 4-1-2-4 exhaust system
  • Short, upswept titanium silencers
  • Magnesium alloy clutch cover, ACM cover and drive shaft cover
  • Immobiliser

CHASSIS - TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • All-new diamond-type low-profile aluminium frame
  • Longer 1700mm wheelbase for straight line stability
  • Longer swingarm (optiming roadholding during acceleration)
  • Massive 52mm conventional forks with oxidised titanium coating
  • Link-type Monocross rear suspension
  • Fully-adjustable front and rear suspension
  • 320mm dual front wave-type brake discs with 6-piston radial-mounted calipers
  • 298mm rear brake disc
  • Linear controlled ABS with compact one-piece ECU/hydraulic unit
  • Highly-efficient 2-piece radiator, curved upper, flat lower with cooling fan
  • Underseat fuel tank and lightweight bodywork