1988 Yamaha V Max from Australia


Change into 4th gear at 210km/h..


Spark plug leads broke down; it turned out they were rubbish car ones and totally unsuitable. Replaced them with proper resistance m/cycle ones, no problems since with them.

2 of the braided brake hydraulic hoses fell apart, again aftermarket, fortunately both during maintenance whilst standing still. Won't mention the brand, but they are well known American company; replaced with custom built braided lines, and all good now.

A strange one recently, got my bag caught between the bars and ignition key whilst doing a U turn. This pushed the key hard down into the ignition lock and shorted out the main fuse. As the main fuse is hidden and separate from the marked fuse box, I didn't find it until I got it home the next day (these things always happen at night)

General Comments:

Truly ridiculous motorcycle, dangerously quick and handles like you'd expect (very very badly). Mine has a/market progressive suspension and it helps, but...

The braking can be helped, mine has R1 "buzzsaw" discs and GSXR750 calipers (4 pot) with braided lines all round. However, you have to remember that all loaded with me on it, you're trying to haul up close on 400kgs. The original set-up was dangerously close to suicidal.

The acceleration cannot be described, just try one day to get a ride on one (not mine though) and you'll want... When I first got mine, I'd had a 1972 Honda CB750 for years, and I'd got used to lining up cars one at a time to pass on the freeway; it took a while to get used to passing 4 or 5 in a lot less time.

It's true to say it's not the most comfortable thing to ride, but that's why they made the tank so small, so you could get off and stretch the muscles in your legs, de-pump your arm muscles, wait for your hands to stop shaking and the feeling to return to your backside. When your vision returns to normal, then it's time to fill the tank and do it all again.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th April, 2010

1988 Yamaha V Max from Australia


Max is bad, bad boy


Replaced cooling system drain valve after 17 years.

General Comments:

Not a bike for beginners.

Seriously powerful.

Small fuel tank limits range.

Uncomfortable pillion seat.

My V-max runs on 1 part testosterone, two parts adrenaline and standard pump gas, and offers more acceleration than most sport bikes.

The wife went for two pillion rides on the Max, and booked into rider training to get her bike licence.

The shaft drive is bullet proof, and the engine is practically indestructible.

The Max is a well balanced but heavy bike, and it handles as well as a 600lb slingshot needs to handle.

If you want to improve cornering behaviour to sport bike levels, you should suitably upgrade the front and rear shocks.

I have not found the braking to be a problem in spite of reports that the brakes are not up to scratch. You just have to remember that 600lbs takes a fair bit of stopping.

There are a lot of aftermarket custom bits available for the Max, and a thousand different ways to express your personality in your Max. Aftermarket performance is well catered for, and something as simple as a non-factory exhaust can add 20 ponies on the dyno.

The bike has a small gas tank, and this is would be my personal gripe against the Max. You need to stop and fill up regularly (which is great if you have a weak bladder), and this can be annoying (a pain) if you want to do long runs in the sticks. The pillion seat does not cater for long stints on the back and could be (a lot) more comfortable.

The only major expense is fuel. Maintenance is minimal.

The persona of the Max is unmissable. It doesn’t matter where you stop, the Max commands attention and gets it. So if you are the shy type, you should not get a V-max.

If this bike doesn’t excite you, check for a pulse.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th May, 2007