Yamaha V Max Reviews from United Kingdom

1994 Yamaha V Max

Model year1994
Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2011
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 10 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired28560 miles
Most recent distance32540 miles
Previous motorcycleHonda CBR750 Hurricane

Summary:

Brings out the devil in you

Faults:

There is slight wear to the front of the seat, caused by the previous owner wearing jeans. The marks are from zip chafing.

I replaced the clutch at 32000 for an up rated one, as standard clutches can be worn out after around 6000 miles due to the huge torque.

Other than that, absolutely nothing has gone wrong, not a fuse blown or a bulb popped.

General Comments:

After owning a Virago XV535 and XV750, I always hankered after a V-Max. This one came to me because the owner wanted a new clutch fitted. I did the work plus serviced the bike. During the post service test ride, I fell in love. Obscene acceleration coupled with the noise from the Supertrapp exhaust became instantly addictive. The owner never got it back!

This is what bikes are about, they must make you feel alive, mortal and free. The "Max" will happily bimble along in top two up at 60 like a faithful old Labrador, but drop a cog and wind it on, and it becomes a fire breathing banshee on a mission to headbutt the horizon.

The fuel filler cap is located under the seat bolster, and really is no bother. Some say it's a fiddle, but I don't find it so. Tank range is usually around 90 miles, but on a gentle cruise to the East coast I managed 120 miles before the fuel light came on (this lights up with 3 litres left)

I get a huge amount of pleasure from this bike. It made me fall in love with riding again. It has huge road presence and gets respect from other riders who know its fearsome reputation. Handling is actually more than acceptable, and better than the two Harleys I have owned. Brakes are borderline compared to sports machines, but give them a good pull and you do stop. There is bugger all feedback though, and they feel wooden. A change of pad material would sort this.

It is not a bike for the shy and retiring; it will bring out the extrovert in you. If you want to fit in with the crowd, then buy a BMW and pretend you're Ewan or Charlie. Leave the real men's bikes to us.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th September, 2011

10th Oct 2012, 13:10

ABSOLUTELY agree!! I just bought a '94 V-Max, and that 2nd paragraph describes it perfectly!

Only thing I'd add is that clutch leaks seem to be pretty common on these. I just found one on mine, and I'm not sure what exactly is leaking, but slave cylinder leaks seem to be common on the forums. Ideally, it's just a corroded seal from sitting for a while. Once I replace that, it should be good.

I've never loved an inanimate object this much... is that wrong?

1st Jan 2013, 23:36

I just bought a 1994 V Max a few weeks ago, after waiting for the right time for 16 years, LOL.

The bike is a blast... RF900Flyer.

2001 Yamaha V Max

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2011
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 10 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired8600 miles
Most recent distance16000 miles
Previous motorcycleKawasaki KZ1300-A1

Summary:

Superb bike, let down by ridiculous siting of the fuel cap

Faults:

Other than refining it to my tastes, absolutely nothing has stopped working, broken, given up, or in any way let my V-max down.

General Comments:

BRILLIANT!

I've always been a 'Kwak' fan, right back to the early 70's. I've had other marques, but always compared them unfavourably to the Kwak build-quality.

Then one day I saw what's now my V-max in a neighbour's garden. It was bright electric green. [Kwaks rule!] He said he was selling it, was I interested. (What? - interested in a YAMAHA!?!) I took it for a test ride anyway, just to find fault... and couldn't. And I really DID try - I slung it about, held it wide open, threw it into bends [on hedgeless roads on an old airfield on the marshes, before anyone bleats] Dear GOD that machine took off! I glanced down at one point - BIG figures.

It was smooth, powerful, exceptionally quick from a standing start and had no hesitation or 'cough' of any sort on top gear roll-on. The only thing I was dubious about was 'roll' entering corners.

I bought it, and put new Avons on, for their superb wall strength. I also changed the bars for higher, slightly wider, ones. The handling was transformed.

Kermit now enters bends with full sure-footed grip, as the Avon tyres are perfect for a bike of this weight and power, and with the higher bars, gives total control and feedback.

Shaft-drive, so no fussing with chains/sprockets, no oil getting onto the rear tyre or over the rear wheel/swinging arm.

The power delivery is exceptionally linear - by which I mean there's no 'power band' as such. Just ease out the clutch, and let the power happen. It'll build - as will the speed - MUCH faster than you would expect at 1st sight, and will carry on accelerating.

The headlight is very good - the road is lit up ahead well enough to instil confidence during winter nights/foggy mornings/rain..

The standard indicators were rubbish though - quick to rust, and unreliable - replaced with LED ones.

My one gripe with the Yamaha V-max is its petrol cap. Not only is it difficult to access, it's difficult to refit once off. This is due to having to reach under the bike to flip the levers which lift the backstop of the seat, then getting the key in at an angle, then getting the cap on once filled, at that same angle. Bloody annoying, and will eventually be the reason I sell Kermit on, as it happens every 90-ish miles. (A V-max has a very limited range on a tank)

So, although a testosterone-energising road rocket of exceptional quality, and having superb cornering abilities (no matter WHAT non-owners tell you!) I know I WILL sell it, due purely to that really annoying, fiddly petrol cap!

You think that's a silly reason? Well keep in mind you have to wrestle with that poxy cap at least twice EVERY TIME you take it out - it DOES become an issue.

A shaft-drive 1300 Kawasaki of equal abilities - FLIP cap open, fill, SNAP shut, pay. No fiddling about under the seat in a too-small gap, trying to get the key in at an angle, cap twisted off at angle, getting it back ON at angle.

The riding is an absolute hoot. You'll ALWAYS get some-one saying "V-max? They don't go round corners!" anywhere you go. To which the answer is always "Oh? So how come you can't catch me?" (which is kind of satisfying)

But always, in the back of your mind, is "How long can I put off having to fill up", coz of that awful cap.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th March, 2011

17th Sep 2011, 15:50

I cannot see why you struggle with the fuel cap? I have no gripes with it at all. The alignment arrow is clearly marked, and it does not need turning back on, snapping closed with a decent and satisfying click. I however do not have any other keys on my fob, which makes it easier.

5th Dec 2012, 20:42

Very funny story on the fuel cap. Was thinking about the cornering issue & how I'd hate to dump a bike like that. Maybe I'm getting too old to be cool like you. Guess I better keep my HD & meet up with ya later down the road.

1998 Yamaha V Max

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2005
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 5 / 10
Braking marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.1 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance21000 miles
Previous motorcycleYamaha ThunderAce

Summary:

Brilliant. I will never part with it

Faults:

Needed a new clutch because I used fully synthetic oil when I changed the oil.

General Comments:

Does not handle as bad as some of the press state. You get used to its character.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2005

15th Jul 2005, 18:34

Why does fully synthetic oil ruin the clutch? I have to do an oil change soon and was going to use fully synthetic... Andy.

11th Jul 2007, 18:59

Fully synthetic oil is too light!

Average review marks: 8.4 / 10, based on 3 reviews