NEW 2009 V-MAX!!

Yamaha have revealed their 2009 V-Max, the successor to the original iconic Max that made its debut way back in 1985. We’ve added a few bits of info since we first posted this, but we’ve bolded them for easy identification. 


New motor has a tighter V and is more compact.

The new V-Max is an all new machine which has spent a decade in development.
The heart of the Max – its liquid-cooled V4 motor – is still there, but the capacity has been boosted from 1198 to 1679 cc with a slight reduction in the v-angle from 70 to 65 degrees. The new motor is also more compact and features a new combination gear and chain cam drive that drive the intake cams by chain, but then the intakes drive the exhausts by direct gearing, allowing for more compact cylinder heads.

A 180 degree crank is fitted (pistons up and down alternatively) which although gives a certain amount of balance in itself, is aided by a balance shaft. The carbs have been replaced with 48 mm injectors, while compression ratio is boosted from 10.5 to 11.3 to 1. Much like the new R1, the Max comes with Yamaha’s variable length intake funnels, which vary up to 150 mm for better tuning to engine RPM. 


21st century update!

These changes result in a huge torque increase with Yamaha claiming a
chunky 123 ft-lbs (presumably at the crank) while the old Max could
only muster a little shy of 80 ft-lbs, though that was rear wheel. Horsepower is a claimed 200PS, which is about 197 actual horsepower, coming in at 9,000 rpm.

A hydraulic slipper clutch takes care of ham-fisted gear changes.
There’s five speeds inside the box and the final drive retains the
shaft. The exhaust system is a complex sounding four into one into two
into four and retains the EXUP valve while keeping emissions down with
a cat.


Air box induction.

The old steel cradle frame has been replaced with a lightweight cast
aluminium jobbie with similar (detachable) sub frame and extra long
swingarm for better traction. Total wet wet is a claimed 310 Kg.

Suspension up front, while still
conventional forks, are now far fatter with a 52 mm fork replacing the
old 43 mills and fully adjustable for preload, compression and
rebound. Out back the twin shocks have been replaced with a mono-shock,
also fully adjustable.

The fuel tank (15 litre capacity) stays under the rider’s seat, with the airbox still sitting where tanks used to live when I were a lad. 320 mm wave style rotors adorn the front, with massive 6 piston radially mounted calipers to haul everything to a stop. A 298 mm, single piston caliper sits at the rear. Braking is now ABS, just in case you grab a bit too big of a handful.



Wheels are 18 inch diameter front and back (yes the old 15 inch rear has gone!), but in homage the rear gets a gluttonous 200/50 wide tire. Seat height is up 20 mm to 785 mm.

Oh, and there’s the Yamaha immobilizer system installed that has a chip in the key that needs to be recognized before the bike will start, thus preventing some ignorant oik from sticking a screwdriver in it and riding away.

MSRP for the new Max is C$21,999 (Includes 1 year standard warranty and an extra 2 years Yamaha Protection Plus Extended Warranty for 3 total years coverage). It won’t be in showrooms until late November/early October, where you’ll find it in Metallic Black.

If you want to see more about the V-Max, Yamaha Canada have the usual info plus and extensive photo and video page and both Yamaha USA and Yamaha Europe have very inclusive dedicated microsites up.



  1. got 1,handles great, not making statment the 1985 did but look at the compotion difference level, i gave a 2009 zx1400 more than it wanted in the 1/8 mile & can’t wait to see the 1/4 mile with him or the bking, it is to quiet for my tast so i installed a 4 into header that sounds like a big block chevy, k&n air filter, 2″ lowering kit & fender elimanator, all set the bike off great

  2. Improvement yes, but still not stylish. Some not so pretty exhaust jsut hope they at least sound “right”. And the gas tank…what a deception for a bike that size. Going for a ride around the gas stations here. Come on Yamaha…..extend the range at least as far as the warranty on this bike goes..

  3. A very agressive bike. I like the air intakes, but don’t find the exhaust pretty even though it’s supposed to follow the lines and harmonize with the intakes.
    Wonder how many hp it may be tuned to with software only…

  4. Almost 700 lbs, about 37% heavier than the Suzuki B-king, while producing a scant 10% more horses and 23% more torque. Pound for pound a slower, lumpier ride with a range of about 120 miles on a full tank. It’s supposed to be a standard muscle bike, not a cruiser for fat-ass old men. What a dissapointment. Looks like Suzuki won hands down on all angles.

  5. Beautiful Bike! Great new styling but remains true to the original. They really got it right, 200HP, functional intakes, sportbike like suspension and I presume good handling. Here are my nits, Yamaha should have stuck with the dual rear shocks, ugly exhaust – should have stuck with chrome, the rear seat looks like a little turd.

  6. STUPID! UGLY. WHY? Are we all Homer Simpsons here? Think Rune people, now there was a success story. Inspiring innit how some humans can only imagine better as being bigger? Mind you, with the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in N.A., these decadent chariots will be the perfect way to transport your jaded fat self to the Mini Mart, hospital, gas station etc. If you really want to move meat though, the Boss Hoss LS2 with 425HP – AND – 425 ft lbs. of torque is a more sensible bet. So what if it weighs over half a ton, handling is for sissies. Roads, like people, should all be straight.

  7. Patrick:

    Motorcycle U.S.A. says “The pulse of the new VMax is provided by a 1679cc liquid cooled V4 with a claimed 197.4 hp and 123 ft-lb of torque.”

  8. So those air intake ducts are finally functional?? Any word on horsepower? Not that is matters much, but I like to drool over numbers.

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