Superb bike, let down by ridiculous siting of the fuel cap
Other than refining it to my tastes, absolutely nothing has stopped working, broken, given up, or in any way let my V-max down.
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