Is Yamaha VMAX on the verge of extinction?

 Is Yamaha VMAX on the verge of extinction?

Yamaha VMAX is the epitome of the motorcycle cruisers. The 1679cc powerhouse comes under the Sports Heritage segment of Yamaha.

And now we can only see the 2020 model on the Yamaha USA website. Whereas in Europe (UK) or for that matter in Japan or Thailand. We don’t see the Yamaha VMAX in their respective lineups.

Yamaha UK Sports Heritage lineup where we don’t see VMAX

Now, this also gives rise to a crucial question. Which is will Yamaha discontinue the VMAX?

Well, in November 2020 there were specific rumours about Yamaha bringing the new 2021 VMAX.

However, the rumour seems to fade. And we do see the VMAX in the USA will be the last of its species.

1985 VMAX – Image Source Wikipedia


Born in 1985 the VMAX came with the 1,197 cc (73.0 cu in) liquid-cooled DOHC 70° V-4 motor capable enough to make 108 kW (145 hp) power. With 112.7 Nm torque which came with five-speed transmission.

The 1679 cc-power setup

Later in 2009, we saw a major revamp with Yamaha adding 482 ccs to the present 1197cc. And made the 1679cc (102 cu in) liquid-cooled DOHC 65°V-4 powerhouse. 

The new motor made 147 kW (197 hp) power with 129.2 kW (173.3 hp) @ 9,000 rpm on the rear wheel. And 166.79 N⋅m (123.02 lbf-ft) torque 153 N⋅m (113 lbf⋅ft) @ 6,600 rpm on the rear wheel.

The motor combines four-valve technology with a high 11.3:1 compression ratio. Forged aluminium pistons. And NGK Iridium spark plugs with R1-type direct ignition coils to extract maximum horsepower from the fuel charge.


Cams come driven by a combined chain and gear system to control valves precisely. In comparison, keeping cylinder heads remarkably compact for such a large displacement engine.

 Two radiators help cool the 1679cc high-performance motor.

However, we don’t see much happening after 2009 till present as Yamaha went cold on the upgrades related to the VMAX.


The colossal structure comes supported by a cast aluminium mainframe. Controlled-fill die-cast and extruded aluminium rear frame and cast aluminium swingarm.

Cast aluminium frame

The front forks are Cartridge-damper-type, and they have 52mm inner tubes with oxidized titanium coating. Forks have both compression and rebound damping adjustability plus spring preload.

While on the rear we see the Link-type Monocross which has a remote reservoir and features compression. And rebound clickers plus remote preload adjustment.

Front fork

Brembos help to perform the braking duties the front has the front with the radial-pump master cylinder. Large 320mm wave-style dual front discs come matched to radial-mount monoblock 6-piston callipers.

On the rear, we see there’s a 298mm wave design disc and single-piston calliper. These high-tech brakes also incorporate advanced ABS.

18-inch radial tires with Brembo

Further, the tires are 18-inch radial tires120/70R18 front and 200/50R18 rear. Are mounted on cast aluminium five-spoke wheels.

The handler comes tapered with muscular 1-1/8″ diameter.

Electronic Package

The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) uses three microprocessors to control fuel injection, ignition.YCC-T, YCC-I, meters and other electrical components.

The instrument panel includes an analogue, step-motor driven tachometer, and digital speedometer with LED indicator lights. 

Analogue Speedo

Main LED shift timing indicator adds to the performance character of the VMAX.

H4 60/55W headlight provides excellent visibility and distinctive style.

Digital Speedo 

Borrowing liberally from advanced sportbike technology, VMAX features a slipper clutch, wave-style brake discs.ABS, and complete suspension adjustability front and rear.

With only one colour Matte Raven Black the VMAX is still available in the USA with a price tag of $17,999.

However, if the VMAX dies, which we think is likely what other cruiser or motorcycle will Yamaha bring is a question.



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Akash Dolas

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