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Sayonara Yamaha VMAX | NEWS

Saying goodbye to a Yamaha legend

Yamaha’s VMAX – the descendent of the original V-Max – has been killed off. In August the last one will roll off the production lines and there’s no sign of a replacement waiting in the wings.

With the current 1700cc V4 bike’s demise, we will be witnessing the end of a model that can trace its heritage back almost 33 years to the debut of the original 1200cc version in Las Vegas in October 1984.

The V-Max, and the VMAX that followed, are enigmas. They offered big numbers in terms of power, but achieved only small ones when it came to sales. It didn’t inspire a host of rivals or become famous through racing exploits, and yet  the model achieved a mystique and a hard-core following that means its name is up there with Ninja, Katana or Goldwing as a motorcycling touchstone.

Kids in the 1980s who couldn’t tell a C90 from a VF1000 would recognise the V-Max’s name and its distinctive shape, and know that it was the Top Trump of bikes when it came to sheer power and straight-line acceleration. 

For a bike that made such a splash when it was launched, the V-Max’s ongoing development was neglected. While American sales were initially strong, they settled down after a couple of years and Yamaha opted to let it bumble along as it was rather than change it to regain interest.

Read the full story in the current issue of AMCN on sale now!