Great Bikes? Yamaha V-Max
Bike SA|February 2021
Some bikes earn reputations, be it for speed, looks, wayward handling, whatever. Some bikes are spoken about in hushed tones, generally tones of awe or fear. Some bikes achieve greatness, some have it thrust upon them! Some we forget.
Harry Fisher

One bike we can’t forget, however, is the Yamaha V-Max. Introduced in 1985, it is still in production today and it is still as mad as ever.

The heart of the V-Max was the engine, possibly more so than in any equivalent motorcycle of the time. A 16-valve V4 of 1198cc, it was developed as a relatively unstressed unit for use in a touring model. However, when the market created another niche, that of the ‘street dragster’, a bike that had minimal frills and maximum power, Yamaha engineers collectively looked at the engine and then at each other and nodded their heads in understanding; this engine was capable of much more.

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